Project Greenlight: The Decision

So I spent some time over the last few days talking about Project Greenlight with my partner at E Leal Productions, and we have come to a decision about what we’re going to do about it.

As I mentioned in my previous post about Project Greenlight, it really is a film competition that I am quite interested in. Being able to direct a feature length film with a Hollywood fledged script and the help of veteran producers and actors would be a really great gift if our project were to win.

We discussed possible ideas for three minute films, and we did come up with an idea that we are very proud of. We figured out locations and actors, and we were going to contact them today, but as I thought about it overnight, I changed my mind.

The terms and conditions for the contest are very vague, leading me to a page of terms and conditions for HBO as a whole, not just this competition. The most probable scenario with this contest is that we will submit a video, and we will not win. With this being the case, I cannot submit my film to an entity not knowing entirely what my rights on my own film will be in the end. In the general terms and conditions, HBO claims that submissions will retain my copyright, but several sections later, HBO says that they reserve the right to do whatever they want with my product after it’s been submitted with no payment or reference to myself.

That was my first red flag. I can’t seriously consider submitting my work to this entity without a terms and conditions that is understandable and applied to the contest for which I am submitting.

The second reason that I have chosen to not participate in the competition is due to the off chance that our submission actually wins. The winning filmmakers will then be a part of a feature film production, as I mentioned earlier, which will be the focus of the documentary series Project Greenlight. The scheduling of it all doesn’t work for me.

As great of an opportunity that would be, I’m about to start my final year of university before attaining my BA. This last year is almost entirely paid for by scholarships, which I would revoke if I had to take a year off of school. I can’t take that risk when I’m so close, and winning the competition would not guarantee me a successful career after that particular feature film. If I had already graduated, this would be an entirely different story.

Even though, we have decided to not partake in this particular competition, the short film idea that we came up with still stands and will probably still be made. There are many more film competitions that require three minute submissions that our idea would work perfectly for.


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