Think of this as the lost episode of Project Greenlight, the HBO documentary about the making of Pete Jones’ indie, Stolen Summer. On March 22, EW followed the Greenlight team (including producer Chris Moore and coproducer Jeff Balis) as they visited L.A. theaters where Summer debuted. Despite critical pans and a disappointing weekend gross of $62,000 in 13 venues nationwide, they kept a brave face even without a camera crew or shot list.
FRIDAY 6:30 P.M. Moore and Not Another Teen Movie director Joel Gallen compare bad reviews at Moore’s office — Gallen’s there to tape a Greenlight parody for Miramax’s pre-Oscar party. Meanwhile, Jones is en route from New York City to L.A. after pretending to mentor ”novice” Martin Scorsese for the spoof. (Jones’ advice: ”You might want to change your last name.”)
7:15 A rented van picks up Balis, who was fired and rehired by Moore. After trying to get Balis off his cell phone to call for early grosses, Moore complains, ”What good is Balis?” Replies Balis: ”You’ve been quoted saying that enough.”
7:30 At a West Hollywood theater that’s less than half full, Moore notes: ”They were watching; they were laughing.”
8:30 Moore and Co. run into Jeff Probst at a Santa Monica multiplex concession stand. ”You guys in line?” asks the Survivor host. Sadly, he’s seeing E.T. (About 30 occupy the 300-seat theater playing Summer.)
9:30 The Century City venue is three-quarters full. In the lobby, a woman in her 40s approaches Moore and says, ”Hey, that’s the Project Greenlight guy.” He retreats to the van. ”I have stalkers now. A guy…actually came up to me and said, ‘Man, you’re a d — -.”’
SATURDAY 11 A.M. Back in L.A., Jones works on his next script, Old Style. ”I wish the movie had been better reviewed and more people had gone,” he concludes. ”I’m not trying to be PC Humble Guy, but it is what it is.”