I'm not sure what made me think of Project Greenlight, recently. Was it last week's opening of the Tribeca Film Festival that made me think of the HBO competition from a few years back? Or maybe it was the sudden reemergence of Ben Affleck, in films like State of Play, and Extract (which looks pretty funny). Or maybe it was the Matt Damon cameo during Finding Forrester (he does alot of those).
Oh well, whatever it was, now that I've got it in my head, I'll have to look all over the Internet, or at least Wikipedia, to find out if the winners ever went on to bigger and better things.
Season One - Stolen Summer
Description: In its premiere season, Project Greenlight producers received 7,000 screenplays, with the top prize going to filmmaker Pete Jones for Stolen Summer, the story of a Catholic boy who tries to convert his terminally ill Jewish friend (Wow...can you believe it only made $134,000) The HBO behind-the-scenes series focused on the day-to-day struggles of a director who was clearly over his head, and the hilarious confrontations that followed.
Cast: Aidan Quinn, Bonnie Hunt, Kevin Pollak, Brian Dennehy
Where Is He Now? After Stolen Summer, Jones wrote, directed and starred in Outing Riley, the story of a regular Joe who comes out to his drinking buddies. The film was praised by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance, but didn't get much traction beyond that. But in 2005, Jones wrote Hall Pass, the story of man whose wife gives him permission to sleep around (sounds believable), and it was actually purchased by the Farrelly Brothers. He also had a role in My Big Fat Independent Movie, but I'm sure he wants to forget that. He's probably hoping the Farrellys finally decide to make Hall Pass their next Something About Mary.
Season Two - The Battle of Shaker Heights
Description: In season two, the competition was split into writing and directing categories, presumably to foster some good fight scenes between the directors, and writer whose work they were butchering. Erica Beeney won the writing competition with The Battle of Shaker Heights, and Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle were chosen to direct. As I think back, the one thing I remember most about this season was continually asking, "Shia who?" I don't say that anymore.
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Amy Smart, Kathleen Quinlan, William Sadler
Where Are They Now? Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle's production company, Newborn Pictures went on to produce classics like InSex and a web series called HellHoles, the story of a hapless drifter who buys a new home for a dollar, only to discover he's purchased a portal to Hell (I don't know about you, but I think I have to see this flick). And the only thing I can find on writer Erica Beeney is that she worked on some television pilots, including Ice Road Truckers. (Please insert "long cold rode to stardom" joke here)
Season Three - Feast
Description: HBO gives up on its baby, and Bravo picks up the third and final season. To spice things up, they focused the competition on the horror genre, and brought on Wes Craven to add some slasher cred. The selected screenplay, Feast was written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, and the director was John Gulager. If you don't remember John Gulager, he was this really soft-spoken dude, who walked around like he was amazed that he actually won the thing. But as it turned out, Feast was probably the most succesful of all three films.
Cast: Krista Allen, Balthazar Getty, Judah Friedlander, Clu Gulager (winner's dad), Henry Rollins
Where Are They Now? Well it looks like Feast actually made some money, because Live Planet made Feast Two: Sloppy Seconds, and Feast Three: Happy Finish. As for the winners, writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton continued to do well in the horror game, writing the screenplays for Saw IV, V and VI. They're also working on a remake of a Vincent Price classic called The Tingler. (gotta love these titles). As for John Gulager, in addition to directing the Feast sequels, he's done some cinematography work, and some acting, as well. Oh, and he has a MySpace page...It's kinda creepy, but we wouldn't expect anything less.
Project Greenlight Producer - Chris Moore
Description: And finally, Ben and Matt's producing partner at Live Planet was a guy named Chris Moore. He was the one who kept having to coach the young winners on how to manage the crew, or handle crises, or let them know there was no way they were getting Angelina or Brad...you know, everyday stuff like that. He had his hands full.
Update: I included Chris Moore because he was such a big part of the series, but I'm actually a little confused as to what happend to him after his Project Geenlight days. It looks like he parted ways with Live Planet in 2002, but he was still listed as producer on Project Greenlight 3. Live Planet went with Larry Tanz as CEO, but apparently closed shop last year. But it looks like Mr. Moore made out ok, because he's currently producing a documentary called The People Speak, with Damon, Sean Penn, Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle and about a dozen other stars, and he's also got a JJ Abrams project in the works. Don't you love a happy ending.