The new Starz unscripted series “The Chair” documents an experiment that otherwise may have never happened. In the series, made in and around Pittsburgh, two young filmmakers are given the same script and told to make different versions of one story. “The Chair” documents the process as Anna Martemucci and Shane Dawson — each completing a feature-length film for the first time — work to complete their movies while putting their own stamp on the source
material, a story about college students returning home for the
Thanksgiving holiday. The winning filmmaker, as chosen by Starz viewers via digital
voting platforms, will take home $250,000.
“The Chair” was made via a partnership between the Steeltown Entertainment Project, Point Park
University, Before the Door (actor and Pittsburgh native Zachary Quinto’s production company)
and Chris Moore Productions. The series airs at 11 p.m. Saturdays; the finished films received limited
theatrical releases last month and are available via digital services including i Tunes and Amazon.
Martemucci, a native of State College and graduate of New York University’s film school, is a creator
of the highly regarded online film series “Periods. Films.” She co-wrote, produced and starred in the
low-budget comedy “Breakup at a Wedding.” Her film, “Hollidaysburg,” takes a comedy-with-a-heart
approach to the source material, lending it a more serious tone than the film made by her competitor.
Dawson is a veritable Internet sensation. Ten million fans subscribe to the Californian filmmaker’s
You Tube videos; Dawson also has sent both original songs and a podcast onto their respective i Tunes
charts. His film, “Not Cool,” is a farcical sex comedy that is very much the more outrageous of
the two films.
Making The Chair
The Starz series documents the filming of two versions of the same MOVIE SCRIPT.
By Sean Collier Photos by Sarah Cunningham