Spike Lee

Spike Lee Scores Kickstarter Goal [INTERVIEW]

Even after 30 films, a couple Oscar nods, dozens of TV spots and who-knows-how-many Knicks games, Spike Lee still upsets the establishment

Craigh Barboza

by Craigh Barboza, August 22, 2013

Spike Lee

Spike Lee

Photo courtesy of Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

up with that. We shot in New Orleans, but in the movie it’s supposed to be a nondescript urban United States city. 

EBONY: How did you handle the memorable fight scene in which the protagonist hammers through a hallway of bad guys with a knife stuck in his back?

SL: You got to see it.

EBONY: How many takes did you do?

SL: You got to see it.

EBONY: Are you really not going to tell us anything?

SL: I’m not really talking about the film. As a director, I feel that people should see the movie. I never understood the concept of showing everything in the trailer. Why go to a movie if there’s no surprise? I can’t do it like that.

EBONY: For your next film, described as “human beings addicted to blood,” you turned to Kickstarter. Many, including Steven Soderbergh, who kicked in 10 Gs, came out and supported the project. Just as many thought, “What is Spike Lee doing up here asking for donations? 

SL: It’s not a donation. You make a pledge and you get something. Someone is not donating ten fu**ing thousand dollars for me. They’re going to a motherfu**ing Knick game. You know how much those tickets cost? Those tickets cost $3,500! For every monetary [value], you get a reward. It’s a pledge.

EBONY: Did you anticipate the controversy that your Kickstarter campaign would stir up?

SL: Before I did the campaign, I sat down with the cofounders of Kickstarter, and they told me what was going to happen. It happened to the makers of Veronica Mars. It happened to Zach Braff. [That filmmaker raised over $2 million for Wish I Was Here, a film he will write and direct.] But since when would that stop me from doing something, because someone might not like it? I wouldn’t be doing motherfu**ing films for almost three decades if every time I did something that someone didn’t like I went in a fu**ing cocoon and just hid there and didn’t make my art. 

EBONY: Well, congratulations on reaching your goal.

SL: Yeah, but here’s the thing. People say what they want. We’re making this movie. We got that motherfu**ing money. [Laughs] Third largest campaign in Kickstarter history. And I got to thank everybody that helped us. It wasn’t me alone. It was the hardworking people at 40 Acres and a Mule and the people that came out and supported it.

EBONY: How will you spend the extra $100,000 your campaign raised?

SL: Every single penny goes up on the screen.


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