Synopsis by Josh Ralske
On the second episode of Project Greenlight, newly christened screenwriting contest winner Pete Jones begins pre-production meetings on his script, Stolen Summer. "I'm ready to make a movie," says Jones, in his trademark halting, William Shatner-esque cadence, "I'm not really sure how to go about it at this scale." Others know what a challenge he's facing. "As hard as you have ever worked," executive producer Matt Damon says, "triple it, and that's what it is to direct a movie." Line producer Patrick Peach talks about the risks involved in handing the reins to a first-time director. Jones gets notes on his script from Miramax. There are discussions about the budget. Peach, who will oversee spending on the shoot, says, there's "no way to do it on a million-dollar budget." Jones realizes, "Everything you write has a cost to it." Executive producer Chris Moore tries to prepare Jones, telling him that he may have to sacrifice shooting the film on-location in Chicago, or setting it in 1976. "He's in a tough spot," Moore points out, "because it was sold as a million-dollar movie and it can't be made for a million dollars." Miramax arranges for Jones to meet with director Kevin Smith (Clerks). After Jones complains to Smith about his budget battles, Smith jokingly turns to the camera and shouts, "This motherfu--er appreciates nothing!" Responding to Miramax exec Jon Gordon's suggestion that he set his film in 2001, Jones says, for the first of what will be many times, "Over my dead body." The casting process begins, with casting director Joseph Middleton suggesting Aidan Quinn for a key role. Jones wants to try to get Sean Penn before offering it to Quinn. He also writes a letter to Emma Thompson, who turns the project down.