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Battle over HBO's 'Project Greenlight 2' heats up


By Wade Paulsen, 08/25/2003 

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the battle over whether HBO's Project Greenlight 2 fairly presented the story of the making of the Miramax movie The Battle of Shaker Heights has heated up with the movie's upcoming general release this Friday, especially since the show has been prominently featured in reviews of the film.

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Directors Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle claim to have "a slight feeling of betrayal" over the way they were presented by the show, which they claim not to have watched. As Potelle said, "We've learned that you need a very thick skin" ... which is probably good advice for everyone who appears on a reality TV show.

However, scriptwriter Erica Beeney, who seemed during the show to be irate over changes to her script made by the directors, doesn't seem to have cooled off with the passage of time. "I understand that they feel betrayed, but I would say that for a lot of us, it was extremely difficult working with them at times," she said.

The directors do have at least one important defender: Shia LeBeouf, the film's Emmy-winning 17-year-old star, who also appeared in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and starred in the surprise hit Holes this year.

"They look like schmucks. But truth be told, they're really good directors," LeBeouf stated. "Those are some of the best directors I've worked with in a long time. The thing with these guys is they had to shoot a film in only three weeks, with only $1 million, and Miramax on their backs and cameras in their faces. Of course they had problems. But I'll tell you, they make me look really good. They make me look like a prince. I don't know how they made that happen."

As far as the directors' abilities, we're willing to take Shia LeBeouf's word about it. However, it's nice to know that even Hollywood types have trouble with the "truth" as portrayed in unscripted TV shows. Haven't they ever watched Rashomon?

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