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Project Greenlight

Watch Shia LaBeouf on a live feed in an elevator

Shia LaBeouf, the actor who came to fame on Project Greenlight‘s second season, is in an elevator at Oxford for the next 24 hours, live streaming his conversations with two other performance artists and strangers. It’s a live feed that rivals Big Brother‘s, taking place in an enclosed space with not much going on—though the conversations I’ve heard so far …

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The frustrations of Project Greenlight 4, cartoon edition

The return of Project Greenlight to HBO has offered two critical opportunities to observe Hollywood at work. The first, and rightfully the most-attention getting, is Hollywood’s problem with diversity. The second has been the shift in reality television. Resurrected after original star Chris Moore brought back the format with a twist, Project Greenlight is one of the all-time great formats, a guaranteed …

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The racist Project Greenlight episode title, explained

Project Greenlight’s sixth episode, which aired last night, was titled “Hot Ghetto Mess.” That was not a phrase spoken by any character in the episode, which once again largely focused on producer Effie Brown’s ongoing attempts to manage production of a film directed by a petulant, demanding child who constantly goes behind her back to white men to get …

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Matt Damon’s pseudo-apology blames editing, congratulates himself

Matt Damon has apologized and blamed the editing for comments he made during the first episode of Project Greenlight‘s fourth season, in which he rejected another producer’s concern about diversity. The season premiere include the producers of Project Greenlight deliberating about which director to hire, and during that, Effie Brown—a successful film producer who will …

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First thoughts on the return of Project Greenlight

In the last moment of the first episode of Project Greenlight 4, executive producer and mentor Peter Farrelly says, “this guy is the best filmmaker in the group, but I think he’s self destructive.” He’s talking about Jason Mann, the first-time director the Farrelly brothers, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and others actually chose as the …

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Two amazing shows return this week. Will they still be great?

This Sunday, The Great British Baking Show returns to the US, the second season of the UK competition to air on PBS. A week later, on Sept. 13, a fourth season of Project Greenlight will debut on HBO, 10 years after it went off the air. Both represented the best of reality television. The question …

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The Chair, The Jinx win TV critics awards

The Television Critics Association has given two TCA awards to unscripted series, The Chair and The Jinx. Also in nonfiction, the award for outstanding achievement in news and information went to HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The Chair, Starz’s exceptionally crafted documentary series that followed two filmmakers as they produced films from the …

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The Chair winner Shane Dawson comes out as bisexual

Earlier this year, fellow YouTube star and Amazing Race cast member Joey Graceffa came out as gay, and now the winner of Starz’s The Chair and YouTube star Shane Dawson has come out as bisexual via a video. “I always wished that I was gay, just 100 percent gay,” Shane says, “but I’m not, I’m …

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The Chair’s Anthony B. Sacco wins Directors Guild award

Anthony B. Sacco, the director of Starz’s The Chair, has won the Directors Guild Award for outstanding directorial achievement in reality programs. It’s his second win; he previously won for NBC’s Treasure Hunters in 2006, and in was nominated for an episode of Project Runway‘s fourth season in 2007. Sacco won for the ninth episode, which focuses …

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A second season of The Chair seems very possible

The Chair was one of my favorite series of 2014, and there seems to be a chance it could return for a second season. The network, Starz, is “totally open” and its creator, Chris Moore, has promised to go back to Pittsburgh for a second season of the outstanding filmmaking competition reality series. First, in …

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Shane Dawson on winning The Chair, Not Cool critics, Big Brother

Shane Dawson has won The Chair and $250,000, a coda tacked on to the ending of one of the best reality TV series I’ve ever watched. I talked to him about making Not Cool under the scrutiny of reality TV cameras, criticism of his work (including from Zachary Quinto), how fair the competition was considering his millions of followers on social …

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Anna Martemucci on The Chair, directing, collaboration, creativity

Starz’ The Chair comes to an end tomorrow night, with either Anna Martemucci (“Hollidaysburg”) or Shane Dawson (“Not Cool”) winning $250,000. But despite that large prize, the contest has truly been secondary to the reality series’ extraordinary ability to capture the filmmaking process. I talked with Anna last night, and she offered a lot of candid insight about The Chair, its …

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