PROJECT GREENLIGHT, the documentary series chronicling the search for a first-time director and exploring the filmmaking process, returns to HBO for its eight-episode fourth season SUNDAY, SEPT. 13 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), with other new episodes debuting subsequent Sundays at the same time.
Executive producers of the new season include Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who were executive producers of the previous two seasons on HBO in 2001 and 2003, as well as Adaptive Studios’ Marc Joubert, TJ Barrack, Perrin Chiles and Marshall Lewy; Miramax’s Zanne Devine; and Magical Elves’ Jane Lipsitz, Dan Cutforth and Alexander Lipsitz. The new season of PROJECT GREENLIGHT is produced for HBO by Adaptive Studios, Affleck and Damon’s Pearl Street Films, Miramax and Magical Elves.
Spanning the entire filmmaking process, PROJECT GREENLIGHT takes a revealing, uncensored look at the challenges facing a first-time director. The show begins with a digital competition, as thousands of aspiring filmmakers submit three-minute short films via a Facebook page. The pool of contestants is eventually narrowed to 13 finalists, who are each given a scene to direct for their final project, based on a script provided to them.
PROJECT GREENLIGHT follows the winner from pre-production and casting through principal photography and post-production. Equipped with a Hollywood-vetted script and surrounded by a team of industry professionals, including filmmaking duo Peter and Bobby Farrelly (“There’s Something About Mary”), the fledgling director must learn to cope with pressure from the studio and producers, survive on-set politics and lead a veteran cast and crew, all while trying to deliver a viable movie – on schedule and on budget.
Episode #26 (season 4, episode 1)
Debut date: SUNDAY, SEPT. 13 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: Sept. 13 (11:30 p.m., 2:30 a.m.), 14 (2:35 a.m.), 15 (4:45 p.m.), 17 (8:30 p.m.) and 19 (12:10 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Sept. 15 (2:20 a.m.) and 19 (8:30 p.m.)
Narrowed down from thousands of submissions, 13 finalists arrive in Los Angeles to meet with PROJECT GREENLIGHT judges: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, executive Jennifer Todd, producer Marc Joubert, producer Effie Brown, HBO’s Len Amato and the Farrelly brothers. As the judges discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each contestant’s final project, they also debate the importance of artistic vision versus the collaborative skills required to be a successful director, all leading up to a red-carpet event, where Jason Mann is announced as the winner.
Episode #27 (season 4, episode 2)
Debut date: SUNDAY, SEPT. 20 (10:00-10:30 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: Sept. 20 (11:30 p.m., 1:30 a.m.), 21 (3:00 a.m.), 22 (5:30 p.m.), 24 (8:30 p.m.) and 26 (1:45 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Sept. 22 (3:15 a.m.) and 26 (8:30 p.m.)
With two months until production begins, Effie, Marc and Len try to convince Jason that digital is the only way to keep the project on schedule and within budget. Meanwhile, instead of moving forward with the original PROJECT GREENLIGHT script, Jason pitches his own script: a dark comedy titled “The Leisure Class.”
Episode #28 (season 4, episode 3)
Debut date: SUNDAY, SEPT. 27 (10:00-10:30 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: Sept. 27 (11:30 p.m., 2:30 a.m.), 28 (1:20 a.m.) and 29 (5:45 p.m.), and Oct. 1 (8:00 p.m.) and 3 (2:35 a.m.)
HBO2 playdate: Sept. 29 (3:10 a.m.)
After filling key production-staff roles, Effie brings in the location manager to choose LA-area mansions, but Jason thinks none of them match his creative vision. Meanwhile, the production team begins casting the lead roles, and Pete Farrelly and Effie butt heads about Jason’s continued resistance to shooting digitally.
“PROJECT GREENLIGHT was ahead of its time,” notes Affleck. “Now that technology has caught up to the concept, we thought it was a perfect time to bring it back. A whole new generation of filmmakers has grown up sharing everything, and the next big director could be just an upload away. It is really great having PROJECT GREENLIGHT back at HBO.”
Damon says, “PROJECT GREENLIGHT works — careers have been launched and sustained as a direct result of this contest. Pete Jones, John Gulager, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan are just a few of the PGL alums who’ve gone on to do great things in Hollywood, and Ben and I are really proud of that.”
PROJECT GREENLIGHT is produced for HBO by Adaptive Studios in association with Pearl Street Films, Miramax and Magical Elves; executive producers, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Marc Joubert, TJ Barrack, Perrin Chiles, Marshall Lewy, Zanne Devine, Jane Lipsitz, Dan Cutforth and Alexander Lipsitz.