The Chair’s Hollidaysburg + Not Cool (2014)

March 13, 2015 | By

Chair_S1_2014Chris Moore’s Project Greenlight was a series that always sounded intriguing but one I never managed to catch, either on TV or DVD, but in 2014 Moore returned to the genre he co-created with The Chair, which aired on Starz and makes its debut on DVD via Anchor Bay.

Instead of following the birth, growth, and maturation of a single film and its filmmaker, The Chair has two newbie feature film directors tasked with making their own version of the same script – a dizzying experience for screenwriter Dan Schoffer, and a nerve-racking one for directors Shane Dawson and Anna Martemucci.

Spanning 10 episodes, this primarily documentary series follows the making of both films, and the DVD set includes their respective feature films, which in terms of sensibilities, are almost polar opposites.

The chief reason the show interests me – and I’m generally not a fan of reality-styled shows – is that hook of two films spun off from one source material, which is not dissimilar to seeing one film scored by two composers when there was trouble in a film’s post-production and testing phases.

I usually jump at the chance whenever possible to do comparative reviews of originals and remakes – prior efforts include Lost Horizon (1937 + 1973), When a Stranger Calls (1979 + 2006), and The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (1974 + 2009) –  but Moore’s concept of simultaneous productions is genuinely novel, and I appreciate that he was able to create this genuine experiment and see the results through production and release.




The series makes it clear that even indie films coming to the market with pre-existing buzz, a surrounding docu series, and social media ties can have a tough time snagging audiences in cinemas as well as online, but it’s still a personal and professional coup to actually finish a work and write it off as Done, and hopefully everyone connected with the series and the resulting two films, Martemucci’s Hollidaysburg and Dawson’s Not Cool, benefitted from the experience.

As one of the producers states in the final episode, the two newcomers may not have met until the premieres of their films, but they share a unique connection and filmmaking experience which is neatly captured and preserved in The Chair.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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