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STEP INTO THE ROOM AND DANCE FOR ME: TO GREENLIGHT OR NOT

PROJECT GREENLIGHT, like everyone who’s been watching the show on HBO knows already, is now the latest tone of typed tatter. Err, tattered typing, toned. If you watch, you’ll understand. Probably even type about it afterward.

It’s one of those series that HBO manages to wrangle into broadcast reality, that’s not real, that’s great television but counterproductive to the theme, the anti-thing of what is depicted. Everyone who loves “The Sopranos” as much as I do, and has Italian ancestry, such as I recently discovered that I did (well, great grandmother, at least), will understand the lucky counterspin involved in the smartness of what HBO has been recently achieving, in the series it’s been making available to us viewers.

Anyway, “Project Greenlight” is great television, but it’s great television about bad filmmaking, making the process itself of bad filmmaking so enticing as to be impossible to not hook into, like fatalism. You know it’s bad, you know you want to watch, you can’t understand life before you watched it, and did I say it’s bad? Oh, right, I did, already. Not a bad series, but a great series, but about bad filmmaking. The counterspin thing.

Producer Chris Moore heroes the series, makes me wonder what may/may not have taken place with the film underway (“The Battle for Shaker Heights”) without him (I can’t imagine). Moore writes an apology, of all things, for his behavior and words on the last Episode 5, but I can’t imagine why, since all that Moore said and did on that Episode seemed right to me. Without Moore’s revisions, for the most part, along the production and casting and now filming way of this work, we’d have nothing by now.

Producer Jeff Balis, who’s more withdrawn from the process than is Chris Moore, is interviewed by Josh Horowitz, but, despite his reserve (I wish he’d be more direct, and, although he was jumped on by the Director of Casting for being too hard on a “below minimum wage” person on the telephone, Balis wasn’t too hard on anyone, even that worker, but the Casting Director needs a few words from Chris Moore — someone, anyway), Balis is making sharp observations, at least, from what we see and hear in the televised series. I realize we’ll never know what’s edited out, what wasn’t filmed.

They’ve undergone cruel and inspired casting mashes, but Moore’s insistence on selected acting talent has been good, and steady. Actor William (“Bill”) Sadler shares some gritty but real experiences on his Board (see comments from 07/22/2003, 01:37 A.M.) — I decided that PGL was great television but bad filmmaking long before I read Sadler’s similar statements.

It appears relatively conclusive that nearly everyone — on the Internet, anyway — is way tired of the Directors (Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin), but, particularly, Efram. Caught in a sneaky rewrite of the script, Efram attempts to accuse the apparently talented screenwriter, Erica Beeney, of posing “a situation” in the midst of filming, when Beeney objects to being excluded from the process.

And, about Beeney, I wish she’d speak up and outright and just be more demonstratively involved. Follow Moore’s lead. Be a squeeky wheel.

Where are Ben and Matt? And, could they possibly have made a worse choice in these two Directors? They had their chance with that Director graced with early Hitchcock inspired vision, and I was beside myself that he wasn’t selected to direct the selected script (“The Battle for Shaker Heights”).

What I’m now waiting for is that overlooked Director from the competition to make a real movie, maybe another script by Beeney, with Chris Moore Producing.

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