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Set Pieces

‘Project Greenlight’ Returns to Where It All Started: The Internet

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Even a semi-cult TV show needs the Net. ”You can’t do the project without the website,” says producer — and unlikely celeb — Chris Moore about the online counterpart to Project Greenlight, the just-concluded HBO docu-series that chronicled the nightmarish production of a writer-director’s big-screen debut. Indeed, ever since Moore — along with partners Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Sean Bailey — launched the give-an-unknown-filmmaker-a-shot contest in 2000, the endeavor has been rooted in the Web. More than 7,000 hopefuls sent their scripts to projectgreenlight.com for a chance to have their work turned into a $1 million production. Baby-faced scribe Pete Jones won the contest, and found himself at the helm of Stolen Summer. His efforts provided the voyeuristic thrills of the series — and the website. Each week, some 200,000 visitors have accessed such insider arcana as budget statements and candid memos. And before a second Greenlight competition begins later this year, the site will prep for Summer’s March 22 theatrical release and introduce new features like the recent ”Chris Moore Challenge,” which drew 500 videotaped impressions of Greenlight’s breakout star. ”It’s kind of embarrassing,” says Moore of his newfound fame. Well, you can’t do a website without an embarrassing look-alike contest.