Starz Docudrama THE CHAIR is Like PROJECT GREENLIGHT with an Awesome Twist
By Alicia Lutes on April 15, 2014
It’s a supremely fascinating question: what do you think the most iconic movies would’ve looked like had they been directed by someone else? Creative vision rests solely on the risks of a singular vision, but with the newest venture from one of the creators of Project Greenlight (man, we loved that show so much), that hypothetical can actually be posited. Producer Chris Moore has teamed up with Starz to create a new, similarly docudrama-styled series — the first for the network — titled The Chair, and we’re really, really excited about it. The series follows two directors as they bring their first feature films to life. Only there’s a twist: the screenplay both directors receive is…exactly the same.
The two up-and-coming directors in question — Shane Dawson, YouTube sensation (pictured above with his cast from The Chair), and Anna Martemucci, writer and star of Nerdist Alliance partner PERIODS. Films‘ Breakup at a Wedding — will have the creation, marketing, and theatrical releases of both their adaptations documented in the series, and later see their films air on Starz. Since equality is the name of the game, both directors will be given identical budgets and city locations. And given that this is the modern, social media age, audience voting will determine which of the two directors shall be awarded the $250,000 prize.
The screenplay in question? How Soon is Now, a coming-of-age comedy chronicling that first Thanksgiving weekend home from your freshman year of college. It was written by Dan Schoffer and will be produced by Josh Shader, but each director will have creative control over crew members, the film’s title, casting, and rewrites. Creative visions abound! (You can watch a video of Dawson discussing the experience here, if you fancy spoilers.)
The series already has some pretty major legs (har har har), with actor Zachary Quinto and his producing partners Corey Moosa, Neal Dodson and Sean Akers featured as mentors throughout the process. We’re most excited to see not only the differences in the final products, but also how and why certain creative decisions are made. We’re not rooting for one director over another, but rather to see two wildly different but equally good films come into fruition. (Call us idealists, if you must. It’s accurate.)
What do you think of the premise of The Chair? Let us know in the comments.