NEW! Chris Moore ('The Chair')
'Step Right Up ... The Chair Awaits You!'
From Emmy-nominated producer, Chris Moore, the Executive Producer of Oscar®-winning Good Will Hunting and Project Greenlight comes a competition documentary series that follows two directors through the process of bringing their first feature to the screen.
The up-and-coming directors, who have unique backgrounds and skill sets, will be provided with an identical screenplay which they must craft as their own film.
'THE CHAIR' will document the creation, marketing and theatrical release of the two adaptations. Both directors will be given the same budget, and both versions will use locations in the same city. Through multiplatform voting, the audience will determine which director will be awarded $250,000.
Chatting recently with the man himself, Chris Moore I first wondered, being that he had already Executively-Produced the Emmy-nominated Project Greenlight series, and now had created THE CHAIR, what it was about these kinds of shows that seemed to suck him in? "Well I am probably guilty of just being so fascinated by the opportunity to tell a story with cameras and microphones and effects that I can only see how cool it is. I feel like getting to be a storyteller for a living is a great gift and I also feel it is so authentic to see people get a chance to try it that I love it. The compare and contrast idea of the Chair came out of the many experiences I have had working with directors on movies. So I am truly entertained and interested in this process and I guess I assume other people will be too."
With THE CHAIR now being released as a 5-Disc box set, when did a project like this begin to awaken in your mind; given that Project Greenlight was not such a dissimilar premise? "It is always there. Any time I get to make a movie I am watching the director and figuring out how to help that person tell the story they are trying to tell. Sometimes I am so excited by choices and sometimes so let down, but it is comparing the two directors that makes me most interested. Since my first movie, Glory Daze, I have been totally a student of the business and a lover of great storytelling."
THE CHAIR follows both Shane Dawson and Anna Martemucci, but how were they narrowed down to be the only two (2) finally chosen for the show? "So choosing a director is a serious decision. I believe there are a few key elements to research. First is do they love the story and have a clear and exciting vision for it. Second is can they execute given the money and time pressure on that vision. And their is are they a leader? Can they motivate a group of people to work hard days and bring their best attitudes to the job. Shane and Anna both had these qualities and most sparked to the script."
They are both provided with an identical screenplay which they have to craft into their own vision. Can you tell our readers what the working title of that screenplay was and what you initially expected from them both? "'How Soon Is Now', by Dan Schoffer. I wanted them to make it their own, but to keep the spine of the story. The idea of coming home for that first Thanksgiving when you have been away is a cool setting. Two couples dealing with the different outcomes is a fun premise. I liked the characters and the world and the plot. So I hoped they would keep what they thought was good and make it their own. They did."
How long were they both given to put there feature-length projects together, and what monetary budget was afforded them? "They were given three months, basically, to rework the script and start shooting and a 15 week editorial process. They had roughly $600,000 to use as they pleased."
The 5-Disc box set also contains their final movies made for the competition, Not Cool and Hollidaysburg. As we now know that Not Cool won overall, what was it about that finished product that made the online voting public choose it? "If I could answer that question I would have a different job! Most people feel it was rigged since he came with a bunch of YouTube fans. I actually think it was that for a specific audience, young folks, it was funny and entertaining and reflected their 12 to 16 year-old lives. But we will never know how a movie catches an audience or why it does not."
What if you had chosen, in your behind-the-scenes, collective producing minds, the other one (and maybe all your knowledgeable friends had too), but the voting public had chosen otherwise? Can you intervene in any way, call for a recount, etc?! "No Sire! It is not a competition for judges. None of us are experts at what people will pay to see. But that is what we do, we tell stories that we believe people will pay to see. That is a high bar, paying to see, and it is the bar we are all judged by in the end in this industry. So for me, it had to be a popular vote to see who won. Next time I hope it is actual paid tickets, but who knows."
THE CHAIR is a rare look at the creative process and the challenges and victories that surface behind the camera. As we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, please tell us something about THE CHAIR that you don't actually talk much about - but is VERY interesting! "Wow, that is hard! Part of what made the process and show and social media popular with people that found it and with insiders was that we broke the 4th wall and showed everything honestly so there is not much we do not talk about. Probably the thing we discussed the most, but no one really knows about, is how hard it is to figure out what platform is best fir movies. People use everything from theaters to phones to watch and it is really hard to find people today. It really effects how you shoot a movie or cast it and we were unable to really capture that debate about how best to watch both of these movies. It is a weird time for moves, because we all acknowledge that people are watching in many ways, but we cannot figure out how to capture that and make them see our movies. Really hard and really part f both movies, but not really a big part of the show."
With renowned actor Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Into Darkness) joining you, Josh Shader (the script's original producer), and THE CHAIR's producing partners Corey Moosa and Neal Dodson, was there ever the worry that something could go wrong? Like, perhaps, when both Zack and Neil decided to back away from supporting Shane's film?! "Well you always worry when you bring people who did not know each other together. Particularly when it is around something as personal as storytelling. We all got along it was that we have different tastes. And for Zach and Neal they were not able to be around so they were seeing Not Cool from the outside and it was not their thing. I was so glad they were willing to be honest about it as movies are about taste and that episode gave us the chance to really discuss that."
Finally, what's next? Have you already begun putting everything in place for THE CHAIR 2 ... and are you lining up some movies of your own to produce ie: Manchester By The Sea? "Why yes, Manchester is running right now outside of Boston and we are meeting directors on The Chair 2. Thanks for asking. Thanks for doing the story."
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
'The Chair' on Starz!
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED 'The Chair - Season 1' 5-Disc DVD from Chris Moore himself, just answer this question about, well, Chris Moore: Moore formerly ran a production company with producing partners Matt Damon & Ben Affleck. But what was the exact name of it?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win an AUTOGRAPHED 'The Chair - Season 1' 5-Disc DVD from Chris Moore himself! Just send us an e:mail here before July 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: SIGNED THE CHAIR DVDs to: email@example.com
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