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Damascus by night, pictured from a hilltop; the green lights are the minarets of mosques. Damascus by night, pictured from a hilltop; the green lights are the minarets of mosques.

To greenlight a project, in the context of the movie business, is to formally approve production finance, thereby allowing the project to move forward from the development phase to pre-production and, barring disasters, principal photography. A project which is financed is said to be greenlit or greenlighted and a studio executive who has authority to grant greenlight status to a project is said to have greenlight power.

The term is a reference to the green traffic signal, indicating "go ahead." The term red light is occasionally used to refer to "stop," (though its more commonly associated with prostitution).

Executives who have true greenlight power are few and far between. It is usually the case that only one person in any given financing entity has true greenlight power and that those who have nominal greenlight power in the management structure beneath them must seek their approval for projects which they wish to greenlight.

The trials and tribulations of taking a project from pitch to greenlight formed the basis of a successful reality TV show titled Project Greenlight.

The term "greenlight" has managed to find its way into business and military culture as a result of its use in the film industry.

Home | Up | Backlot | Breaking down the script | Cameo appearance | Camera dolly | Clapperboard | Closing credits | Development hell | Feature film | Film budgeting | Film crew | Film finance | Film industry | Filming location | Filmmaking | Footage | Front projection effect | Greenlight | Hollywood accounting | Movie ranch | Option | Pan and scan | Post-production | Pre-production | Previsualization | Principal photography | Screen test | Screenplay | Second unit | Shelved | Shot | Sound stage | Stand-in | Storyboard | Take | Test screening | Voice-over | Script breakdown

Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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