Starting this fall, anyone in America can submit their screenplay electronically to [ www.projectgreenlight.com ]. The winner will be paid by Miramax to direct their feature film. Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Chris Moore will be executive producers of the movie. Miramax TV will produce a fast-paced, cinema-verite-style series for HBO covering the experience and Miramax Films will release the finished movie in theaters, it was announced today by Miramax co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein and Miramax Television president Billy Campbell.
The contest can only be entered by submitting screenplays electronically, according to the instructions which will soon be posted on the “Greenlight” website. Material submitted in any other form, or prior to the opening of the competition, will not be considered. The “Greenlight” website will also serve as an interactive on-line community where aspiring filmmakers can meet, discuss and learn about each other’s projects and perspectives on breaking into the film industry.
“We are really excited to be working with Miramax and HBO on our first major television project,” said Damon and Affleck. “After our great experience with “Good Will Hunting”, ‘Greenlight’ is a chance for us to open the door to Hollywood to aspiring filmmakers.”
“This unique series will offer a fascinating and unprecedented look inside the moviemaking process,” said Chris Albrecht, president HBO Original Programming. “I’m delighted that we’ll be working with Miramax, one of the most distinguished movie studios in Hollywood, and with three of today’s brightest young talents – Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Chris Moore.”
“‘Greenlight’ highlights the synergy between our film and TV divisions which we have been striving to achieve,” said Billy Campbell, president of Miramax TV.” This innovative project is a great opportunity for us to further develop our relationship with Matt and Ben, while establishing a new partnership with HBO.”
The 13 episode, half-hour HBO series, designed to show how a movie really gets made, is scheduled to air on HBO in January 2002. The premiere episode will introduce the filmmaking hopefuls and the selection of the winning script. Subsequent “Greenlight” episodes will chronicle the entire filmmaking process, from pre-production and casting, through principal photography and post-production, allowing audience members to witness the tough decisions, difficult personalities, and inherent drama facing the first-time director.
The process begins with aspiring writer-directors submitting their screenplays to the “Greenlight” website. In lieu of a registration fee, contestants will be required to read and review three submissions from other contestants using a coverage form available on the website. The accuracy and integrity of each competitor’s reviews will serve as a factor in determining the winner of the competition.
The HBO series was created by Alex Keledjian and developed for television by Eli Holzman, vice president of Miramax TV, and Kent Kubena, vice president of Pearl Street Productions – the two executives who brought in the project.