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The second season of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's movie making reality series goes a different route when it's two professionals realizing their vision on screen instead of just one: writer and director.

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Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Series cast summary:
...
 Himself (33 episodes, 2001-2005)
...
 Himself (20 episodes, 2001-2003)
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 Himself (15 episodes, 2001-2015)
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 Himself (15 episodes, 2001-2015)
...
 Himself (14 episodes, 2001-2015)
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The second season of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's movie making reality series goes a different route when it's two professionals realizing their vision on screen instead of just one: writer and director.

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Witness the horror of making a movie. See more »

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Reality-TV

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2 December 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Project Greenlight 2  »

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$1,000,000 (estimated)
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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

Casting the role of Abe turned out to be extremely difficult. The directors' initial choices were either unavailable (eg Billy Bob Thornton) or passed on the role (eg Bill Paxton). 'Gary Cole' and 'William Sadler' both auditioned; Cole was the studio's choice and was offered the part. The day before filming it became clear that Cole's schedule wouldn't allow him to participate, and so the role was offered to 'Christopher McDonald' the night before filming started. While McDonald was on the set the next day being fitted for a costume, it was discovered that his schedule did not allow him to be available for the dates that the production required him. After deciding the that the scheduled couldn't be rearranged to accommodate him, the role was offered over the phone to 'Christopher Lloyd' , a friend of cinematographer Thomas E. Ackerman. Lloyd was simultaneously offered a role in Haunted Lighthouse (2003) which he preferred, and so he passed. The role was finally offered to Sadler, who arrived on set and had only 60 minutes to meet and form a relationship with 'Shia LaBeouf' before their big emotional scene together. See more »

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Spoofed in Contest Searchlight (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

The Idea and the Show Could Have Been Better
12 February 2002 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

Project Greenlight is the brainchild of actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and Producer Chris Moore, the trio that brought `Good Will Hunting' to the screen. The show is based on a competition during which wannabe directors submit their scripts to Live Planet, the trio's production company, with the winner getting the opportunity to turn their script into a film, courtesy of Miramax. The series follows the exploits of the contest winner, Pete Jones, as he directs his feature, `Stolen Summer.'

Having worked on film sets before, I know that movie shoots that go well can be pretty boring places to be. The hours are long and the work is hard, but basically you set up, you shoot, you have lunch, you shoot some more, then you go home. It seems to me that the P.G. creators and producers stacked the deck against Jones to wring out as much `drama' as they could. First they give Jones, who has never directed a film before, less money and less time than would be optimal for the movie he is making. Logic would suggest you would want to give a neophyte more time and cash to make mistakes, do things over, etc. Logic would also suggest you would surround the newbie with the best people you could get to provide support and guidance. Instead, Jones is hooked up with a first-time Producer (Jeff Balis) and a Line Producer (Pat Peach) and cinematographer (Pete Biagi) who seem more interested in furthering their own personal agendas than making the best film for Jones. All through the series the question of `Who's in charge?' hangs in the air, with Executive Producer Chris Moore coming by the set to yell at people and threaten Balis with firing (as opposed to, say, providing genuine leadership and guidance to the production) and studio suit Michelle Sy occasionally dropping in to `represent the interests of Miramax,' whatever that means.

The series shows all the major screw-ups on the production – Jones shoots under a noisy train platform that renders sound recording impossible, the big baseball scene is rained out and the crew does not have an alternative location, the scene of the two main characters swimming is hindered by the fact that the child actors are terrible swimmers. The crew gets worn down but soldiers on through the confusion, taking note of such basic directing/producing mistakes as not having a daily shot list. The series is very good at depicting just how chaotic movie making can be, especially when the people calling the shots do not really know what they are doing. Unfortunately, the series did not show anything that went well on the set. Despite the numerous gaffs depicted in the show, a movie apparently did get made. It would have been nice to see how the crew went about crafting and shooting a normal, regular scene, without all the conflict that went on behind the camera.

The last episode of the series showed Stolen Summer's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It seemed the reactions of the audience to the film were upbeat, but not overwhelming. I hope the film is good – I'll probably check it out when it goes into wide release. I also hope the mistakes depicted in the series do not hurt Jones's chances of directing again. All in all the idea of Project Greenlight is an admirable one. Any opportunity for fresh talent to break into the insulated world of major films can't be bad. If Affleck and Damon decide to do this again, however, I hope they forget the whole reality series angle and just give the contest winner the money and people he or she needs to make the best film they can.


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