Exclusive: Spike Lee Talks 'Kickstarter,' Brooklyn Gentrification And 'School Daze 2'
Spike Lee is the latest to use crowdfunding to create buzz about his latest project, an as-yet-to-be revealed film that serves as another chapter in his chronicles of Brooklyn, New York.
Following in the footsteps of fellow filmmakers, Zach Braff (Garden State) and Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars), renowned filmmaker, artistic director of NYU's graduate film program, and lifelong Brooklynite, Spike Lee, is the latest to turn to Kickstarter. It's no secret that the Morehouse grad turned Black Hollywood megastar has a long history of struggling to get funding for his projects. The often-lauded, yet criminally slept-on film Malcolm X was a certified Oscar award winner that had its bankroll assisted by Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan.
Lee's most recent film to date, Red Hook Summer (2012) was self-financed and shot in 19 days; leaving Lee to suggest that his inability to secure financing was due to his continued willingness to create films aimed at the Black Experience. Hollywood, which recently has fallen deeply in love with CGI films and big blockbuster talent, has often brushed films such as Love Jones, The Best Man and its ilk as "unmarketable."
As of this posting, Spike Lee's mysterious Kickstarter project has earned $214,923 through 1,221 backers in just under four days. With a goal of $1,250,000 in mind, 30 days to accomplish it, and plenty of criticism being bandied about his announcement of a "psychological thriller involving people addicted to blood," Lee and his 40 Acres and a Mule production crew have their work cut out.
VIBE was one of the few places invited to chat with Madison Square Garden's favorite season ticket holder.
Our chat found the legendary filmmaker breaking down the incentives of his Kickstarter campaign (of which director Steven Soderbergh contributed $10,000; expressing his unhappiness with the current gentrification boon going on in Brooklyn, and hints at an intriguing School Daze 2 script that Lee wants to make.
Watch the clips for yourself below: