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'Greenlight' Filmmakers Tune Out Show

08/26/2003 10:00AM

Reality, as they say, bites.

Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle, the filmmaking duo at the center of HBO's "Project Greenlight" series (established by big-screen stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon), say they couldn't even finish watching their HBO reality show, because they thought it portrayed them negatively, the Associated Press reports.

"We wished the show showed more of the fun we did have making (the film)," Rankin tells AP. "But I think through this we've learned to have thicker skin."

"Project Greenlight," launched by Damon and Affleck, chronicles the filmmakers and a writer who win a contest and get funding to write and direct a major film for Miramax.

Rankin and Potelle, both 30, got a $2 million budget for "The Battle of Shaker Heights," which stars Shia LaBeouf as a disaffected teen obsessed with World War II battle-scene reenactments. But in the 12 to 13 hours a day of backstage filming, the HBO crews captured plenty of fighting, name-calling and backstabbing from Rankin and Potelle's team.

If their film becomes a hit, Rankin says, it will be a "redemption" for the pair, landing them more big Hollywood jobs. But unfortunately, Rankin and Potelle may not like the performance of "The Battle of Shaker Heights" any more than they liked "Greenlight": The film opened Friday in limited release in New York and Los Angeles, to mediocre reviews and business. The film averaged $9,539 per screen for a $47,693 total.

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