If you’re interested in Behind-the-Scenes movie making, tune into “The Chair” on Starz, starting Sept. 6. Two novice directors compete with each other in creating a movie. The directors are Shane Dawson, a prolific YouTube personality, and Anna Martemucci, writer/actress in “Breakup at a Wedding” and other vids by Periods Films. Both were given a starting script and a budget to go forth and create. Their process was captured – that’s what the Starz series shows – their actions and anxieties as well as the coaching they get from the more experienced producers. Their resulting films will be judged by the audience.
Both had available high-class coaching. Chris Moore (“Goodwill Hunting“, “Project Greenlight“, etc) brings his experience of a lot of hits under his belt. In contrast, the Before The Door coaches are newer to the scene, yet have already created two Oscar nominations – “Margin Call” and “All Is Lost”! Before The Door is the production company of Star Trek’s Spock, Zachary Quinto, and his business partners Neal Dodson, Corey Moosa, and Sean Akers. I’m as interested in their coaching as I am in the directors’ processes.
I attended a panel for “The Chair” at the San Diego Comic Con 2014, where we compared how the directors addressed the same scene. Zachary Quinto and an actress read the scene as originally written by Dan Schoffer. Then Chris Moore showed Dawson’s and Martemucci’s versions of the same scene. I was amazed at how different they were! For example, Dawson’s focused more on him – he played the character and most of the camera was on him. Martemucci’s focused more on the story, on getting across the situation and relationships. My guess is that Dawson will only be able to “do his own thing”, which is probably just fine to his many followers. Martemucci is my bet for a more versatile future as a director. She appears to have the discipline to be able to give form to someone else’s idea. We’ll see, eh?
Tune in – and let me know your impressions!