Rating: TV-MA and PG-13
Ben Affleck as Himself
Shiri Appleby as Herself
Jeff Balis as Himself
Erica Beeney as Herself
David B. Clark as Himself
Matt Damon as Himself
Brian LaBelle as Himself
Shia LaBeouf as Himself
Robert Archer Lynn
Chris Moore as Himself
Efram Potelle as Himself
Kathleen Quinlan as Herself
Kyle Rankin as Himself
James Renner as Himself
Erin Rott as Herself
William Sadler as Himself
Rick Schwartz as Himself
Amy Smart as Herself
Deleted Scenes from the Greenlight Episodes
– How do they Feel About Friggin’?
– Cigar Scene
– Jimmy Fallon on Set
– Shia’s Pissing Scene
– The Bouy Test
– There’s a Film crew in my Shower
– Jeff Stabs Chris in the Back
– To Grab a Girl’s Hand
– The Dinner Scene
– Chris in a Skirt
– Post Traumatic Stress
– The Invasion of Lance’s House
– The Crane Situation
“The Battle of Shaker Heights” special cut
Feature Commentary with directors Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle
Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats
Project Greenlight Series: Full Frame (1.33:1)
The Battle of Shaker Heights: Widescreen (1.85:1) Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Running Time: 454 Minutes
This is the complete second season of the HBO series Project Greenlight. The idea behind this reality TV show is that rookie writers and directors enter the contest to get a shot at making a movie for Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Miramax. A group of writers all submit their scripts from which the winner is chosen. In this case, it was The Battle of Shaker Heights by Erica Beeney. Then the director is chosen based on a short film they made of a nonsense script provided by Damon and Affleck. The winners in this show were Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin.
After being announced that they won at the Sundance Film Festival, they are quickly thrown into the thick of things. Facing a tight schedule, a nervous studio, and hard headed producers, the rookie trio must do whatever it takes to get the movie made for $1 million. The series chronicles their trials and tribulations from the beginning of the project up through the red carpet premiere of the film.
A special edition of The Battle of Shaker Heights is also included in this set. Project Greenlight The Complete 2nd Season is rated TV-MA and the film is rated PG-13.
I’d never seen Project Greenlight before, but I had definitely heard of it. I had even seen The Battle of Shaker Heights on DVD. But this particular DVD viewing was my first chance to see the series and I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you’re into reality TV series or are interested in movie making, then this film is required viewing for you. I also think anyone aspiring to be a filmmaker should check it out, too. It will quickly give you an idea of what to say, what not to say, and what hurdles you can expect to face in making a film.
Project Greenlight has the same kind of appeal as Survivor and other reality TV shows. You see a large number of contestants whittled down to a chosen few. You then see a warts and all depiction of the moviemaking process. People fight, develop relationships, and generally go through all sorts of drama in order to get a movie made. I knew that sort of thing went on all the time in Hollywood, but to see it all documented here was even more eye opening. Some of the battles are so trivial and childish that you sometimes wonder how any movies get made.
At the beginning of the show, you see just how involved Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are in the process. It’s kind of fun to see the contestants get shell shocked in meeting them. (Jennifer Lopez even creeps into a few shots, as if she isn’t on camera enough as it is.) You also get a look at all the director’s audition films. Some of them are quite impressive for new talent. Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle end up winning and it’s a good thing because they are funny guys. I’m not sure some of the other directors would have been as interesting or as outspoken on the show. They are followed all the way through to the marketing, press junkets, and premiere of the film. I was really surprised how they had to fight the studio in order to get the film promoted.
Also highlighted is young actor Shia LaBeouf. I had only seen him in his Disney performances and in Shaker Heights, so it was interesting to see another side of him behind the camera. He has quite a mouth on him!
Again, I can’t emphasize enough how valuable watching this series would be for aspiring filmmakers. There’s a lot to learn here. But even if you’re not interested in making movies it’s a fun reality TV show. It’s cool to see what it takes to get a movie made and it has all the drama and excitement of other reality TV shows. It’s worth checking out.
There are a number of extras included on this DVD. Here are the highlights:
Deleted Scenes from the Greenlight Episodes There are 13 deleted scenes included on this DVD. One amusing one shows the directors going over the MPAA guidelines for profanity in movies. Some of it seems so absurd and inconsistent that it’s quite amusing. In another scene, Jimmy Fallon visits the set only to be virtually ignored by the crew. It’s quite sad, especially since they originally wanted him cast in the movie. Other deleted scenes show the trials and tribulations of being followed by a film crew, antics on the set by the cast, and a big fight about how to film the final scene of the film. If you liked the series, you’ll enjoy this.
Filmmaker Bios These are the videos originally submitted by the contestants. It features the screenwriters and directors talking about their submissions, their experiences, and more. It’s pretty fun to watch, especially if you followed the series.
Filmmaker Scenes These are the actual submissions by the director contestants. You only got brief glimpses of them in the show, so this was a lot of fun to see them whole.
Also included in this DVD set is a “The Battle of Shaker Heights” special edition. It features a new commentary, bonus features, and more. There’s a Gag Reel that is probably the longest that I’ve ever seen (over 15 minutes). There is also a feature commentary with directors Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle that is quite funny. Then there is a “Jump-to-Scene” Feature that allows you to go directly from selected scenes in the film to behind the scenes footage from the series. If you liked Shaker Heights, it’s worth checking out. You can read my old review of the movie here.
The Bottom Line:
This one is worth checking out if you like reality TV shows and it’s worth buying if you’re an aspiring filmmaker.