Created by: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
Starring: Jason Mann, Effie Brown, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
Anytime a work of art must be created collaboratively there will be conflict; sometimes it’s minimal and sometimes it’s tragic. The level of conflict between artists all depends on chemistry. A strong creative team with a singular vision can weather the storms of conflict pretty smoothly and end up with a work that is of a singular unified vision for better or worse. The core problem with this season of Project Greenlight lies in that chemistry or lack thereof. This is probably why so many directors develop a team of people they can work well with and use them on virtually every project. Jason Mann won a contest to direct a film fully funded by HBO. The first falling of the production team is that he should simply be humbled by what he has been given. They must have forgot he is an artist; when asked to create art the artist sets the vision of the work and a good artist fights to see the vision he has been asked to create come to life as it is supposed to. With that said Mann does come off quite entitled. The fact that the script he was supposed to shoot has been thrown out and his own original feature script was brought in probably set a pace for him to feel he deserves what he is asking for because apparently they all think he’s good at what he does. Effie Brown is the experienced producer that believes Jason should follow her lead because she has been navigating these waters for some time. Problem is, Jason is an artist. He believes she should make what he envisions just happen. Effie also has other goals for the project that sometimes halt the production.
In this episode the production is well on the way and a great deal of footage has been shot at night. Now, because Jason took so long to lock the location the producers were unable to obtain permits to shoot everything at night. Jason became pretty whiny at this point saying the nighttime is key to the story. Well he inevitably came up with an additional shot that creates a transition from day to night for the nighttime footage that has already been shot. Jason constantly says every speedbump he hits is a key to the story. at some point it’s cry wolf time. With that said the script was approved by HBO and all of the team so why now is the stunt at the end of the shoot becoming an issue. Jason has some conspiracy beliefs that at first blush seem outlandish but really, this stunt has been in the script from day one!
There’s a lot of drama happening and some of it may be built up for the reality side of the series. With that said Effie is someone I would never work with. It feels like her social agenda is more important to her than making good movies. While I don’t disagree with her mission I do believe there’s a time and place to deal with it. She had no problem wasting Jason’s budget (time is money) to argue over having an ethnic limo driver. Sure this is not an ethnically diverse cast but if you went to a party with real people like these do you honestly think the guest list would be ethnically diverse? Make the cast, extras included fit the story being told. The crew is ethnically diverse and that’s a great thing. Effie is putting her social views in front of the film which is scary. Either way this is great TV for folks that make movies, or are curious about how movies or made even if it has its reality drama moments.