Starring Efram Potelle,Kyle Rankin, Erica Beeney, Jeff Balis, Chris Moore, Shia LaBeouf, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
Project Greenlight, a “” type show where it features each week how three lucky winners were chosen to direct and write a movie for Miramax. Entertaining, and intriguing, this is personally one of my favorite shows on HBO and the networks.
Creators and Executive Producers Ben Affleck, Damon and Chris Moore sifted through thousands of entries/scripts to find the right movie to make. This year was a little different than the previous year. Instead of just one director being picked, a writer and their treatment would be chosen as well. For the directors, Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin, they had to direct “The Battle of Shaker Heights,” written by Erica Beeney. Project Greenlight documents the winners from the interview process, the results of the contest, and then all the way straight to the premiere of the movie.13 episodes pretty much cover every aspect of the director’s and writer’s obligations as well as the crew, and cast. Everyone might think making a movie is easy but from watching this show, it looks very chaotic and stressful. Now, I bet it’s not all drama all the time, with lots of lighter moments taking place. HBO and Miramax wouldn’t have had a show then if it was a boring production. The directors wanted to be involved in as much as the pre production as possible but sometimes found it wasn’t that easy. Casting decisions usually were Miramax’s decision, and the casting director had more input. Of course with a small budget movie, it’s tough to get big name actors. I did find that were some well known actors in the movie. Newcomer Shia LaBeouf (Holes) was great in the series and the movie. This kid is going to be real popular one day. You just get that vibe from him. Despite last minute casting, up until the second day of shooting, I think the crew did a great job getting these actors on board.
Shooting was a trying 22-day shoot with many problems along the way, or so it seemed. The directors were always trying to simplify set ups and dialogue. Both of which were never appreciated, due to many changes that would have to be made, logistically.
The movie is finally done being shot, and now it’s time to edit. Yeah, that was a fiasco as well. Efram, Kyle and Erica all join the editor and slave away at making several versions of the movie. After a poorly graded test screening, the crew are at it again to try and lighten up the movie and make it more comical. It is tough to do that when it’s drama with funny parts throughout. Despite all this work, the movie is released in only a handful of theaters. As was the first Project Greenlight, this movie performed very bad as well. The movie wasn’t bad. It was entertaining to watch. If it wasn’t for Shia LaBeouf, the movie would have been in worse shape. The directors are very talented but it seems they are very difficult to work for. With dislike from Executive Producer Chris Moore, and several other members of the staff, the directors had an uphill climb the entire time.
Looking at some the extras, there were quite a bit on here. WIth over 30 mins of the show’s deleted scenes as well as the movie and their deleted scenes. Next up, which was really cool to have on here, was the directors submission film along with the other 9 finalist. It was interesting to see how each director used several phrases and lines in each submission. Also, commentary could be found on “The Battle of Shaker Heights” movie DVD with the directors.
Overall, an immensely entertaining show for avid film fans and filmmakers, as well as the general public. The contest winners are really talented but like the previous Project’ the success of the movie fell short. With Project Greenlight premiering soon on Bravo, perhaps the success will change with a new movie.
Project Greenlight Series:
– Deleted Scenes
– Filmmaker Bios
– Filmmaker Scenes
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround CC
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Favorite Scenes: Casting, Scouting, Car Lessons, Supermarket Scenes, Invasion.
Rating: NR / PG-13 (Movie)
Running Time: 376 minutes