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Calling all indie filmmakers! Calling all indie filmmakers! HBO is finally bringing back the reality competition series Project Greenlight, and its two most recognizable producers are here to welcome everyone back to the show. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have taken time away from creating mega-blockbusters to make the video above, announcing to the world (or at least the U.S. part of the world) that video submissions will be accepted from July 24 through August 8. Might I suggest a summer shark movie, perhaps called Mandibles?
Started back in 2001, Project Greenlight was developed as a way to get first-time filmmakers the budget and promotion needed to make a feature film. It spent two years on HBO and spawned the final films Stolen Summer and The Battle of Shaker Heights. After a slight delay, the show moved to Bravo in 2005, and gave the world Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton’s Feast, which spawned two sequels and launched the two filmmakers into the horror splatosphere.
Things fell south after that, and it took nine more years for HBO to announce Project Greenlight would be returning for a Season 4. This time around, they’re asking wannabe filmmakers for a three-minute (or so) video submission, created in nearly any format imaginable. (Enter here.) You want to make a romance using only time-lapse photography shot on a smartphone? You probably won’t win, but you’re more than welcome to spend a chunk of your life creating it. But you can’t use animals, so maybe that Mandibles idea needs some more thought.
Regardless of how the world perceives them, I still enjoy the hell out of Affleck and Damon’s camaraderie, and they’re just as wry and slightly fatigued as ever in the video, making jokes about not having any better ideas over the past decade. They mention they’ll be bringing in many directors and screenwriters to help the contestants on their way to creating their movies, but I’m thinking this is where Affleck should shine like never before, considering he directed three highly acclaimed films in the intervening years between Season 3 and now. (Argo greenlight yourself.)
It’s not clear when the series would begin filming, seeing as how Affleck has Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice going on and Damon is set to star in Ridley Scott’s The Martian. But fans can probably expect to find Project Greenlight popping up on HBO’s schedule at some point in 2015.