Score one for Kyle and Efram! sort of - Ebert on "Shaker Heights"

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Tommy Ceez, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. Tommy Ceez

    Tommy Ceez Second Unit

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    It looks like Ebert is giving some backhand validity to the directors from project Greenlight...
    http://www.suntimes.com/output/ebert...battle29f.html

    Money quote...
     
  2. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I'll probably see it this weekend, just because I liked some of the work Rankin & Potelle did up in Portland, ME - a local theater showed their Reindeer Games and Pennyweight movies, and even though I haven't lived up there in five years, there's a "Local Guys Make Good" pleasure in seeing them get a big, national release. Of course, I haven't yet seen Project: Greenlight, either.
     
  3. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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  4. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    I think Ebert is on to something. I watch Project Greenlight and a few things bother me.

    For one, the writer. Why the hell is she on the set? And why did everyone freak out when the directors needed to change some lines? And that Chris or whatever his name is has got to be the most annoying person on earth. how can an artist do work with these people around?

    A director should have almost complete control, IMO. All the great movies are made with autocratic directors. And 85 minutes in lengtht? Please.

    It seems Miramax has a recipe for disaster for these Project G movies! Hire directors with no say on anything, bring a bunch of studio guys that have no artistic aesthetic and tell them to make annoying suggestions and demands. Require the filmmaker to limit the film to made-for-TV length and make the writer the one with the power.

    I'm not a filmmaker and guess I'm out of touch but geez...
     
  5. Chris Harvey

    Chris Harvey Second Unit

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    At the same time, if the melodrama was as bad as suggested (and remember, takes of various scenes were shown on HBO and they *were* very melodramatic), then the whole post-production process was essentially trying to save what remnents were good.

    Obviously Moore and Miramax pushed hard for the comedy bits because they felt that was the stuff that worked -- whether or not this was true or not we'll probably never know, unless someone has access to all the raw footage shot on "Greenlight".

    But having seen some of the directors' stuff on their site (http://www.newbornpix.com), I'm inclined to say that they make amusing stuff that's really more at an advanced student level.

    Remember, the point of the series is to give an aspiring director the ability to make a film in Hollywood. That means learning to work well with seasoned professionals and actors. Again, I'm not sure how successful Kyle and Efrem were with that.
     
  6. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  8. Tim Raffey

    Tim Raffey Stunt Coordinator

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    Exactly.

    Hell, if you win Survivor they let you spend it on coke and whores for all they care...


    Derek:
     
  9. Erik Pontius

    Erik Pontius Stunt Coordinator

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    I traveled 3+ hrs to Dallas from Austin last night to catch this film. I had been a loyal viewer of the series and wanted to see how the finished film turned out as well as support the effort.
    I was disappointed for much of the same reasons Ebert had.
    I think no one will dispute that LeBeouf had a great performace and I didn't have a problem with the cinematography or direction. But, much like Ebert stated, there was too much of a jumble of different ideas to really see what was going on. Little bits thrown together trying to make a coherent film. But I don't fault Kyle & Efram or Erica for this.
    Having watched the series, I know that Kyle and Efram had been forced to cut the film the way the studio was wanting it to be...scrape all the little funny bits together and make a comedy out of it (they had several cuts before they finally just gave up). American Pie this is not, nor was intended to be in the beginning. I believe from watching the series, that the original concept of the film was to make a family drama with some light humor in it. The studio got cold feet at the last minute after test screening scores were tallied and then tried to make it a comedy with a sprinkling of family drama/coming of age thrown in. The end result was this mish-mash film. It's the studio's money, they can do as they wish...
    To add insult to injury they had to beg the studio to release the film in 10 theaters. This perhaps solidifies the theory that they were less interested in making a film as they were a series.
    I'm hoping that when the DVD is released that we would see a "Directors' Cut" of the film to actually see what BOSH could have been.

    EJP
     
  10. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    This is all giving me the push to actually sit down and write an analysis of the different drafts of the script. I'm dying to see the finished version to compare to the shooting draft, but I have definite opinions on the direction they took from the version that won the contest to the version that they shot. If I get this done in the next few days, look for it at Movie Poop Shoot next week...
     
  11. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    I hope the eventual DVD release contains the version that was shown at the initial screening. It would, if nothing else, demonstrate how a movie can be completely changed in editing.
     

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