Hot Ghetto Mess
Project Greenlight (2001) | Season 4 | Episode 6

Hot Ghetto Mess

TV-MA | 30 MIN

The production gears up for the most expensive day of shooting -- a wedding rehearsal scene. Jason is annoyed at Effie, who made the decision that the scene take place during the day. Effie laments her reputation as a "dream killer," since her job is to always say no. Feeling that a jarring transition will distract from the story, Jason suggests filming a portion of the scene at dusk.
Actor Bridget Regan joins the cast, and is surprised by how much improv is happening on set. Bruce Davison, who plays Edward, marvels that Jason does not seem like a first time director since he knows exactly what he wants. As the scene is setting up, Effie realizes there is no racial diversity among the extras.

Writer Pete Jones surprises Jason with a visit to the set. He's impressed as he watches the filming, believing that the actors are elevating the material. Producer Marc Joubert also thinks the improvisation is successful, but worries about time management. Effie shares his concerns, as dusk is a short window of time. Jason is uneasy about how much it will cost to create lighting continuity in post-production. The next day, Jason visits editor Craig Hayes to work on matching the two scenes. The results leave Jason frustrated, and he blames the production team for forcing him into the situation.

Effie brings on a stunt coordinator Julius Leflore to assist with a complicated car accident scheduled for the last day. She reiterates she's doing everything she can to execute Jason's vision. Len Amato, president of HBO Films, calls to explain to Jason and the team that the final stunt scene seems too ambitious given the timeframe.

Effie spots an African-American man playing a driver. She confronts Van and Marc about the man's role. "It's time for us to tell a different narrative," she says of the stereotypical choice. Marc understands, but emphasizes they need to move forward instead of getting caught up in drama.
Jason gets an update from Effie about the stunt and learns for the first time that the scene he envisioned is not possible. "It was never on the table," Effie says, irritated Jason does not acknowledge her efforts to achieve his goal. Marc hears Effie's account of the conversation and is concerned that the growing tension between director and producer might affect what's on screen. Effie believes that Jason is entitled and sees no reciprocity in their working relationship.

Len comes to set to meet about safety concerns around the stunt. When Jason hears the group is not planning the car flip, he is furious. Len takes stock of the obvious communication issues. Jason presses the team to execute the car flip the way he originally scripted it -- even though Effie has already said it's not a viable option.