Spike Lee Using Kickstarter to Help Fund New Independent Project
by Ethan Anderton
July 23, 2013
Following in the footsteps of the Veronica Mars movie (watch footage from Comic-Con right here) and the sophomore directing efforts of Zach Braff, a bigger name filmmaker is using Kickstarter to get a film off the ground. Vulture noticed that Spike Lee has taken to Kickstarter to get his next project off the ground, and it sounds like it's a film that otherwise might not get made through the Hollywood system, hence his needs for outside support. The only details divulged about the project from Lee are that the story follows "human beings who are addicted to blood. Funny, sexy, and bloody (and it's not Blacula)." More below!
Lee is trying to raise $1.25 million, and he's already at $90,000, at the time of this writing, with just under a month left for people to donate. On the Kickstarter page, complete with random capitalized words, Lee talks about being bored with Hollywood films:
"With the current climate in The Hollywood Studio System it's not an encouraging look for Independent Filmmakers. I'm not hating, just stating the facts. Super Heroes, Comic Books, 3D Special EFX, Blowing up the Planet Nine Times and Fly through the Air while Transforming is not my Thang. To me it's not just that these Films are being made but it seems like these are the only films getting made. To The Studios it seems like every Film must be a Home run on a Global scale, a Tent Pole Enterprise, able to spin off Sequel after Sequel after Sequel after Sequel after Sequel after Sequel.
I have a different vision of what Cinema can be, a different vision of what some under-served Audiences might want to see. That is why I am here on KICKSTARTER, to raise the Funds for The New Spike Lee Joint, to get this BAD BOY financed. Nothing in Life is Free and if you want something you got to pay for it. If you have liked any of my Films in the past, this is the price it costs to see another one (which can be less than the cost of one Movie Ticket). We feel the different levels on contributions make it affordable for everyone to GET DOWN FOR THE CAUSE.
Do you wish to see Human Beings dealing with each other on a Human Level? How many more explosions with Ear splitting Sound Effects can you take? C'mon People, please get behind this Joint."
And here's the video that Lee has posted on the Kickstarter campaign page for his film:
And since this is Kickstarter, there are some pretty cool incentives to convince you to back the project. Many of them include a special online screening of the film, autographed DVDs, posters, etc. But the coolest option, that's only reserved for those willing to dish out $10,000, is basically the quintessential Spike Lee experience. For those who give $10,000, Lee will take you out to dinner and let you sit courtside with him at Madison Square Garden to watch his beloved New York Knicks. He calls that the "Award for All Playa-Plays," and that actually seems appropriate. Hopefully we'll hear more about the project after it gets funded.
This seems like a trend now. I hope it doesn't affect the smaller teams trying to get funds for their films. Before I'd give a dime to this guy or the others I'd put a question to them... you are a millionaire from your directing success, why should we give you money to make another film when you can pay for it yourself? Do you not believe in it enough to waste your own dollars? Thats the thing you see, these guys can afford to make independent films whereas the majority are on kickstarter cos they can't afford it and are looking for some help! Shame on them.
Nathan on Jul 23, 2013
What do you do for a living and why don't you do it for free? 1 million is still 1 million, I'm sure he isn't that rich of a man. And he probably is throwing some of his money into the mix. Kickstarter also gives him a fan base and recognition that might help get more funds. Still, I'm not backing this because I'm not a fan of his work
Pak3000 on Jul 23, 2013
DAVIDPD on Jul 23, 2013
Wow. His blatant misuse of capital letters seems more annoying than all caps. But as Nathan has stated... shouldn't such a "successful director" be able to fund his own projects?
avconsumer2 on Jul 23, 2013
After Red Hook Summer, Spike should be paying us to see his movies.
Skindiz on Jul 23, 2013
"I have a different vision of what Cinema can be." Jesus, this dude is an annoying, arrogant prick.
Sal Featherstone on Jul 23, 2013
"(and it's not Blacula)." - seriously, man?
Selino on Jul 23, 2013
He can get Oprah Winfrey to help finance the film. I remember she was a major contributor to his big budget "Malcolm X' movie. Tyler Perry?
Blue Silver on Jul 23, 2013
Lee's comments really fit in with what Dave Chappelle said in that great episode of "Inside the Actors Studio". On the other hand I think of people like Aronofsky or Coppola, Jarmusch, Allen and even Romero that can get their movies made, even though they aren't set up to be blockbusters. Art House films get made all the time and if "being connected" is an issue Lee shouldn't have a problem. Probably we who comment here don't have the slightest clue what a b**** making movies is and what a s***** working environment it is for people that want to make a movie without having to worry about commercial success, franchising and all that bullsh. Lee hasn't made a good movie in a while now and his criticism of Django Unchained was really uncalled for from my pov and is answer to Eastwood's WWII movies (Miracle At St. Anna) was almost horrible, to say the least about it. I like many of his prior flicks and maybe it's the environment he has to deal with that made him kind of bitter. I still think he has great potential. Can it be so hard to find a studio willing to pay for his work?! Call Redford or someone! As regards Kickstarter. I really think it gives "out-of-the-box" projects chances that otherwise wouldn't come up. For example: Star Trek: Renegades by Tim Russ, which seems to get a pilot made later this year all thanks to ks.
Spartakus_X on Jul 23, 2013
Spike Lee has big following, the idea of him making his own films on his own terms isn't such a bad idea, hopefully he can do it. He does seem a bit grumpy, but I suppose his vision of cinema is pretty different to the masses who want the explosions and ear splitting sound effects.
Carpola on Jul 24, 2013
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