For example, when Kyle and Efram sat down to rework a scene. Film is a director’s medium. And it is within their job description to change a scene in any way they see fit. I’m not saying they have the authority to rewrite a script, but to fix a scene to better fit their vision? I have no problem with that.
And then the next day, their day is hectic enough, but to have to deal with the writer and the producers over changing a few things. That’s bullshit. And that’s when I finally realized that Greenlight is bullshit. I truly believe that Chris Moore, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon have the best of intentions. That Project Greenlight is altruistic at its core. But the reality is nobody can make the best movie possible knowing that cameras not only are capturing their mistakes, but that the mistakes will be exploited. For the sake of entertainment. Greenlight is not a documentary. It is a reality TV show. HBO submits Greenlight for Emmy consideration in the reality TV competition. So by serving its TV master, the film suffers. And that’s too bad. But like a liberal, I can only point out the problems. I have no answers, because the Project Greenlight movie doesn’t get made without the TV show. And I’m sure that I speak for Kyle, Efram, and a majority of aspiring filmmakers out there. If the end is making a movie, the means are justified.
Well, I feel better now. Sorry if that was boring for you. It was cathartic for me.
Now back to “Doubting Riley.” We just finished the first week of shooting. And I don’t have the perspective to comment on it quite yet. But I can tell you this much, we were great. And we were awful. I made a promise to myself after Stolen Summer that I would not move on to a new scene until I really thought we nailed it. Just so I could make my day. And there were a couple of days that I held true to this philosophy. So we didn’t make our days. So I reversed my thought because we were moving scenes to other days, making those future days impossible. So I then made my days. And I’m in a panic about the quality of those days.
As I wrote in last week’s column, I am playing the lead character Bobby Riley. And he is in the closet. Well, we shot the scene where the audience sees for the first time that Bobby is physically gay. In other words, I had to make out with another guy. Oh my. Wow. Okay, I can’t lie. Making out with another guy is thrilling. Especially cause it’s Mike McDonald from “Mad TV.” But my wife was on set and my crew… let’s just these are the type of people that still laugh when you say “dick” or “vagina.” So imagine how tough it was for them when they saw me making out with another guy. Thank God Mike McDonald was cool about it.
I’m going to have to cut this column short because I have just been informed that my location for Wednesday’s shoot has fallen through. So I need to rewrite that day to fit a location we’re already using. But I promise next week I will get into the details of shooting and explain how difficult it is to watch dailies of myself single-handedly sinking “Doubting Riley.”
CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK…
The second week of shooting intensifies as Pete gets completely out of control. (You know, we all hope.) Watch out! Visit FilmThreat.com each Wednesday for the next exciting entry (or depressing entry, depending on how you look at it) in PETE JONES’ “DOUBTING RILEY” DIARY!
Discuss Pete Jones’ “Doubting Riley Diary” in Film Threat’s brand new BACK TALK section! Click here>>>