Chris Moore is an American film producer who has worked in the industry since the 1990s. Moore's first film was Glory Daze, followed by successes Good Will Hunting and American Pie. In addition to producing films throughout the 2000s and 2010s, he has also produced television such as Project Greenlight. He has directed two films, Kill Theory and The People Speak, both released in 2009.
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Hi everyone, I’m Chris Moore, producer of “Good Will Hunting,” “American Pie,” and the original “Project Greenlight.” I’m also the creator and executive producer of "The Chair" currently airing on STARZ.
Here’s the trailer for “The Chair”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orlvQpcbxo4&feature=youtu.be
Thanks Reddit! I had an awesome time answering questions. To people who know me thanks for the questions and to new folks thanks for asking great questions. Feel free to get in touch @CMooreChris and check out the last 2 episodes of the CHAIR on STARZ 10pm Saturday nights. And do not forget that the movies Not Cool and Hollidaysburg and take our final survey before Nov 2nd. See More Programming!!!
Good Will Hunting is one of my absolute favorite movies. Do you think it's a shame that there aren't many new movies like that one?
I am so sad there are not more original movies getting made. Check out St. Vincent for a good original movie with Bill Murray and Mellissa McCrthy. I had nothing to do with it just loved it.
I have this idea for a movie where this kid is like, a genius. He solves problems left on the board at his high school. But instead of using his intelligence for good he uses it to try to get him and his buddies laid before graduation. I've basically combined Good Will Hunting and American Pie. My question to you is:
Can you make this happen, and how much will I get for this movie?
I'm going to need about three hunerd and fiddy thousand to make it. Thanks.
Genius. I wish i had thought of it. My two problems are that I am not sure how math gets anyone laid and girls are in charge now so it really is up to them no matter how smart one is. But A for effort.
Thanks for doing the AMA Chris.
For peoople who may not know, what does a Producer do/day to day involvement in a project?
Why did you decide to go with The Chair instead of going back to Project Greenlight?
So day to day can vary alot. Mostly it is finding the material hiring the folks to make that material into a movie and then helping market that movie to the folks who will like it. So my day is spent divided aongst these three areas of focus. reading books, seeing plays and reading scripts to find material. Meeting a watching people's work to hire crew and directors and actors. And learning how people find movies and watch movies to try and get the movies I make in front of the people that might like them. really fun.
As for the new Project Greenlight, I am really happy Matt and Ben were able to get that going again. The more people can learn about what we do the better in my opinion. I was already doing the CHAIR as I feel it is different and am truly fascinated by the 2 directors making movies from the same material so for me it was timing and how much I loved The Chair.
Hi Chris – it’s Mory W from Easton. I’ve been wanting to ask you for the last couple years if you knew whether the Will Hunting character is based on anyone? My current boss is a janitor who was cleaning a lab at a major university and was discovered to be a genius… Thanks and hope to see you over Thanksgiving.
Really Mory? Good seeing you here. In the movie it was an amalgamation of a few folks in Matt and Ben's lives. I am glad for your boss. What are you doing now?
Thank you for doing an AMA Chris. In your line of work, what is the one thing you absolutely do not look forward to doing? In other words, what do you hate about your job?
Mostly I hate having to be the grown-up. Delivering bad news or having to reprimand people for bad behavior sucks. It is so fun being on a set and so exciting making movies but the producer is kind of like the camp counselor making a fun experience safe and keeping everyone focused. I wish I did not have to do that as often.
Were you surprised at how well the acronym MILF caught on after American Pie?
I am most surprised that it became a porn category as far as my friends have told me ;-)
It was a hilarious scene to shoot as well. But it existed before we shot it, we just made it big.
Yea, really me! I'm CFO of a technology company in DC. We have a couple investors you'd know. No kidding, our CEO has an amazing life story and I've always wondered if there was any connection. Pls get in touch via FaceBook or Stokes if you're around over the holidays. Love to catch up. Cheers
What was the most enjoyable experience you have had as a producer?
I love getting movies made so getting the financing together and being there on day one fo shooting is awesome. Also the first time yu screen your movie in front of strangers is never wracking but awesome too when they love it.
Hey Chris - love The Chair! After watching what is on of the series and both movies, I find myself confused on why it's a competition. Both directors did a great job and it was interesting as a viewer to watch as a docu-series. Why add the competition? THANKS!
This is a great question. We are deciding for season 2 if we want it. I did it to get attention for the docu-series pure and simple. I thought having the audience participation of determining a winner would add to the engagement. It has but I agree it is almost like comparing apples to oranges the movies are so different.
Is there a movie you passed on producing and regret it? I'm sure there have been a few that you're thankful for as well!
This one is easy. I had a chance to work on the BOURNE IDENTITY. I love Matt in this role and am so excited it is coming back. But at the time of shooting, my first child was being born and living in EUROPE while this was happening did not seem right. But man I would have loved to make that movie.
How do you think the generation of cord-cutters and online viewing will affect filmmaking?
I struggle with this everyday. I want a world where people are their own programmers. They find the storytellers they like and they follow them like bands. So you would think on-line and cord cut viewers would be great for this. But MARKETING still seems to be the driver of financial success so the need for big marketing budgets will propel the need for centralized programming and most of those will need a way into your world so you can see it. So it depends on whether people start proving they can go out and find programming themselves. If not MARKETING will stay the most important piece of filmmaking as far a on financial terms.
Love The Chair. The whole time I was watching, I couldn't help wondering...On Season Two of The Chair, if you could choose any two directors in the world, and one screenwriter, who would it be and why? Budget is no issue (yeah, this is really not a real life scenario I know). And what genre would you choose for them?
Stanley Kubrick vs. James Cameron on an Isaac Asimov story.
Loved the original greenlight and the chair looks terrific. Thoughts on film vs digital video? One over the other or indifferent?
So see the Chair damn it. Just kidding i am proud of it.
As far as digital versus film as a method for storing images I am indifferent. I am not smart enough to tell the difference. But for the business of making movies it is massive because it changes lighting, process, and delivery methods being digital. Some thing better other things worse but much cleaner and simpler as far as process.
What's your favorite scene from any movie that you've produced and why? Thank you for doing the AMA!
I am so grateful for Reddit having me. So thank you or tuning in. I have two favorite scenes. One because it was so hard to get done and it turned out well which was how to show the balls jokes i WAITING and the other was the "Its not your fault" scene in Good Will Hunting because we all cried on set.
name your top 3 movies?
A Clockwork Orange
Do you expect to have another season of the chair? Its been so insightful for me as a new director and I'd love to see this show continue on.
Yes indeed. We are looking for the underlying material now, Hoping for a story people are familiar with like a remake or something old school - Romeo or Juliet? I think people could get even deeper into it if they knew what story the directors were trying to tell.
How do you get the money to be a producer?
Sell. Sell. Sell. It is a hard world especially now that most fo the big companies are doing just repeat projects and sequels. Never stop selling.
What was the hardest part of creating The Chair?
Getting people to believe me that seeing 2 directors making movies based on the same script would be cool. The basic premise is so fascinating to me and I was amazed at how many people outside the industry said yea I would love to see that and yet I could not get people in the business to want to do it. Thank you Starz.
Considering most producers/production companies will not accept unsolicited material, how would someone not represented submit story ideas? What would you suggest as a good starting point or avenue to take?
Agencies are the way to go. They are set up to look for stuff to sell into the industry. As a producer I rely on them to bring stuff they have already determined could be worth my energy and time. There are just too many stories for one small producer to try and stay on top of.
Hey Chris Happy Halloween! What kind of screenplays most appeal to you and what advice would you give writers starting out on going with the right script? Big fan and look forward to your future productions!
This is a great question. And thanks for the positive words about my work. I look for characters in a plausible environment and a story I am interested in seeing through to the end. Will Will Hunting get out of Southie? Will JIM ever get laid? Why does working at restaurant make me happy but I want to stop? Can I escape the crazy trucker? I want people to have fun and be glad they spent their time and money on something I helped get made.
Hi Chris - first of all, loving The Chair. But I was wondering if you preferred directing or producing?
I really am better at producing. As the show demonstrates directing is hard. But the real issue is that as director you have to be the first to decide stuff and as a producer you get the luxury of getting to sit back and respond to the directors. I had a blast and would do it again but for a story I really wanted to tell a specific way.
Did Robin Williams really do a superb job acting (it sure looked like he did to my unprofessional eyes), or did it just appear that way?
He was a true professional and he could act. He also was funny as hell and he was a personality. Sometimes hard to differentiate but he was both. As I said before, genius.
Hey Chris! How much does your association to certain projects affect one's career in Hollywood? For example, Frank Paladino is an extremely talented cinematographer, but so far all the content he has shot doesn't allow for him to truly showcase his talents. Does the industry allow for wiggle room or are you pretty much stuck to stuff that is familiar?
Sadly it is a business of boxes. We all end up in boxes based on our past work. One just has to do different things to show people their range.
Chris--sorry I came to this late. Can you clarify the rumor that Affleck and Damon had alot of edits/rewriting done to the script of Good Will Hunting that significantly changed it? Thanks.
They wrote it. We met with a few super talented writers and directors to get feedback but they wrote it. Dumb rumors and I hate they are still out there.
The concept for "The Chair" is so unique. How did you successfully pitch it?
Thanks for the sweet comment. It really is not that unique in the sense that many of us, producers or financiers, wonder about what that other director we could have hired would have done. But no one ever put it together like this and I just thought it was such a cool idea and that I would watch it. So it took a bunch of pitch meetings and raising some outside the business money in Pittsburgh from Steeltown and Point Park University to really get this going. Sometime you need to get outside of LA or New York to get something new done. We get in ruts and do the same thing over and over again.
Are there any genres that you prefer producing?
What's your favorite ride in Disney?
What's your best Ben Affleck or Matt Damon story?
My favorite moment was when we starting shooting that first day after 4 years of trying to get the movie made. It was an awesome feeling. I was really sad neither of them could be at the first test screening because that was awesome too.
If I wanted to be a director, what would be the best route I could take? I'm not good in school at all. But its all I want to do ever since I was a little kid. I just enjoy making little short films and I someday want to make a full movie half as successful as the ones you've done.
Keep shooting stuff. Try to make it stand out and to be narrative stuff. Prove you can tell a story with a camera and then prove you can pick the best story to tell. These are the only two true levels a director is judged upon.
How was your experience working with Robin Williams on Good Will Hunting?
This guy was a genius and it breaks my heart he is no longer out there. Robin really was my first experience working with a big name and I would say today still my only experience working with a flat out genius. I loved everyday and I keep asking Miramax to put out all of the outtakes from Good Will Hunting because they are awesome and a true study in how an actor can give varied performances.
What’s your Myers-Briggs personality type?
What is it? I am not familiar with it. Tell me what it is and I will answer.
Hi Chris. I've been in LA for a few years, and I'm slowly moving into the business. Due to where I live and my age (40s) I've met a number of people in the industry that seem great (we've met a number of times, for instance). I have done some writing and worked as an associate producer on a few indie projects, one a feature (with names! heh), and now am working on a short film where I'm doing more. At the moment, I don't see a clear path to working in features short of trying to produce my own screenplay - I don't want to just approach the people I've met that are very established saying "I'd like to work with you" because that would be weird at best. Do I just keep doing this stuff on my own wherever I can (on the side now, out of fiscal necessity) and hope for the best/to get noticed? I mean, that's what I'm doing, just curious if you have any thoughts on this you would share. Thanks
I am sad to confirm it is rough to break in. It is super competitive and business all about what have you done for me lately. Your own money is key at some level and yes pushing your own stuff is really important. There are no ladders which makes it hard and there are not alot of regular jobs. So it is a struggle everyday and finances are always a problem.
Can you talk about some of your film festival experiences. What are you favorite ones and least favorite ones?
Festivals are so fun to me because you get see stuff you did not know about. They also are a big party with people like me who love storytelling with cameras. Sometimes they can be desperate with all the people trying to get their films discovered but they are still a blast. I do not have too many experiences as I have been making more studio movies recently but Sundance is always fun and I enjoy SXSW in Ausitin. Great place to hang out.
Yo, do you collect swords?
Only ancient Greek ones. All other swords from all other periods of time suck!
What's your favorite Jonathan Joseph story? Have you ever seen him breakdance?
No break dancing. Something to ask about next trip to Pittsburgh. He is just too together to have one but the look on his face when asked to find someone in Pittsburgh who was African American and would show their penis on camera was hilarious. THE CHAIR captured this well. Jonathan was our head of production for the CHAIR and is a hell of a producer.
Do you feel like American Pie captures a moment in time (i.e. late 90s kids"? I was a senior in high school when I saw that movie and it seems a bit dated (i.e. fashion, etc.), but it brings back good memories.
Yes. I think there are generational leaps for kids growing up. I came up in teh 80's like John Hughes movies. I show them to my kids and they think it is history lesson. This si why I wanted Shane Dawson to direct one of the CHAIR movies. He is from a whole new generation and his movie reflects that.