Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Shooting has wrapped, and the editing process has just begun. "This is really the time we find out whether the movie's any good," says producer Chris Moore. The film's editor is Richard Nord (The Fugitive). Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin have never worked with an editor before, but Nord gives them a lot of leeway, even letting Potelle sit at the editing table to work on some things. Two weeks into the five-week process, Moore sees a rough cut. He's concerned about the tone, which he describes as a mix of slapstick and heavy family drama. He also complains that for the first 20 minutes of the film, there's no story. But when Rick Schwartz of Miramax asks Moore if it's better than Stolen Summer, the last Project Greenlight film, Moore assures him that it is. Screenwriter Erica Beeney also complains about the tone, saying the dramatic parts are "cheesier" than she'd imagined. She says she's emotionally disengaged from the project. Two weeks later, Miramax executives, along with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, see a cut. Schwartz and Damon both think it's a good first cut, but Damon thinks it's a bit heavy-handed at times. He has nice things to say about Shia LaBeouf's lead performance. Potelle and Rankin have high hopes for Miramax's all-important test screening, which will determine how much effort Miramax puts into marketing the film. They mock Jeff Balis when he tries to temper their expectations. Moore and the Miramax suits get angry when the directors, making last-minute adjustments, are late getting the tape to them for the test screening. While the audience seems to respond to the film, the scores are not nearly as high as the directors had hoped.