Project Greenlight was the brainchild of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. If you're not familiar with it the idea is to give a budding director a million dollars to make a movie. Last year, some guy named Pete got a chance to direct a script that he had written about the relationship between a young Jewish boy and a Catholic kid. This year the competition picked a best screenplay written by one person and then chose a different person as the director to make a movie from the screenplay. Actually, the winning director was a "dynamic duo" of two guys who work together (or who don't work together, as last night's episode suggested).
If you haven't been watching this show it's not too late to set your Tivo. The fascinating thing about this "reality show" is that it actually conveys something real that most people don't get to see. Namely, how hard it is to make a movie.
What's it like to make a movie?
It's like a large scale military invasion, except that the guys calling the shots are complete novices (i.e. the winners of the Project Greenlight contest). And they have to quickly learn how to manuever the political, administrative and legal issues that constrain the creative process.
I've heard a lot of people say that actors and Hollywood types should stay out of politics because they don't understand it. After watching Project Greenlight, I'm not so sure about that. I think politics is an indispensible skill for movie types. Acting and directing ability are secondary.
Next year they should give the directing job to someone with military experience and see what happens.