To green-light a project is to give permission or a go ahead to move forward with a project. In the context of the movie
Film industry
The film industry consists of the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking: i.e. film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, distribution; and actors, film directors and other film crew...

 and TV businesses, to green-light something is to formally approve its production finance, thereby allowing the project to move forward from the development phase to pre-production
Pre-production or In Production is the process of preparing all the elements involved in a film, play, or other performance.- In film :...

 and principal photography
Principal photography
thumb|300px|Film production on location in [[Newark, New Jersey]].Principal photography is the phase of film production in which the movie is filmed, with actors on set and cameras rolling, as distinct from pre-production and post-production....


The term is a reference to the green traffic signal, indicating "go ahead."

The power to green-light a project is generally reserved to those in a project or financial management role within an organization. The process of taking a project from pitch to green light formed the basis of a successful reality TV show titled Project Greenlight
Project Greenlight
Project Greenlight was a contest and television series focusing on first-time filmmakers being given the chance to direct a feature film. It was created by Alex Keledjian, developed by Eli Holzman and produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Sean Bailey, and Chris Moore through their production...

. The term has found its way into general business and military culture as a result of its use in the film industry.

In organized crime, gang and prison slang to green-light a person is to authorize the assassination of this person. An example of this use of the word can be found in the 2008 movie Felon
Felon (film)
Felon is a 2008 American drama film about a family man who ends up in state prison after he kills an intruder. The film was written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh, and stars Stephen Dorff, Val Kilmer and Harold Perrineau...

spoken by Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer
Val Edward Kilmer is an American actor. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret! , then the cult classic Real Genius , as well as blockbuster action films, including a supporting role in Top Gun and a...

's character, John Smith.

The term also has specialized meaning in baseball.
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