Spike Lee Turns To Kickstarter To Raise $1.25 Million For His Next Film

July 22, 2013  |  


Spike Lee has always been something of a Hollywood outsider — a successful one, but still on the fringes. He borrowed money from family and friends to make his first feature, Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, and further into his career he turned to black businesspeople and celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Jordan to help him finish Malcolm X (what a fantastic movie!) when the film company wouldn’t increase his budget. Then Lee dug into his own pockets to fund his last film, Red Hook Summer, which grossed a mere $338,803. (We hear it wasn’t good. Thoughts?

Now he has decided, like other mostly indie filmmakers have done, to reach out to his fans and others to help fund his new film through a Kickstarter campaign called “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint,” reports Black Film.

Lee is looking to raise $1.25 million through the program. Contributors will get something back. “A minimum $5 contribution will get you a customized ‘thanks’  tweet from the famed filmmaker. Those kicking in $10,000 or more will — among other prizes — get to sit courtside with Spike Lee, a famously passionate New York Knicks Fan, at Madison Square Garden,” reports The Verge.

On his Kickstarter page, Lee writes:

When you are blessed to do that especially if you’re an Artist it can bring those emotions of the Human Experience to your Audience (if you are Lucky). The catch is Filmmaking is an Artform that costs M-O-N-E-Y. That is why I’m appealing to the Kindness in your Hearts, to the Faithful who have given me the much needed Love and Support over my 3 decades of Spike Lee Joints….

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…

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.

The movie, according to the clip below, is about the addiction to blood and there’s “a lot of sex in it too.” Well, all right.

The campaign runs through August 21. So far, in one day, it has raised nearly $11,700 from 254 people, most of them giving $100 or less. (Spike points out that the Veronica Mars movie that just debuted its trailer at Comic Con, raised $5.7 million from fans of the long-cancelled program.

Will you contribute to Lee’s Kickerstarter campaign? If it’s going to be anything like Do The Right Thing, we’re in.

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  • 1Val

    Let me see if I understand Spike correctly, he wants us the paying public to become investors in his films without return on our investments. So we are to pay Spike to make and go see his movie. Somehow I will just pass on that one.

  • IllyPhilly

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuck Spike Lee. I feel like these celebs as with gas prices are trying to get every last dime every idiot is willing to pay.

  • Tiffany Shaw

    Hmmmmmm I’m not sure how I feel about this. Kick-starter is a campaign for people who really need it. And I suspect Mr. Lee does not really need it. But I know that we need more movies about and by US.. so I’d really have to be behind the project before I contribute.

  • I thought that Spike Lee was monetarily stable enough to still finance his own films. Regarding the personalized “thank you” tweets, acknowledging the people who contributed to the film in the credits might be a better form of recompense. Spike Lee has made some great films that do go against the grain of what Hollywood expects, and I’m always happy to see Black people support each other. But I haven’t really enjoyed one of his films in a long time, felt that “kick” that made them so engrossing in the first place. He’s also made a lot of enemies. Not just from the Hollywood studio system and the white power structure, who we know are racist, but also from within the Black community. (For the record, I’m not saying that some of the criticisms weren’t valid, but some of them were mean-spirited as well). He’s bashed a lot of people, and criticized the Black public for not supporting his work and investing their money in his projects. Ironically, these are the same people whom he now is asking for help. I wonder if he would provide the same support to other young independent filmmakers in similar situations. We’ll see how this turns out, but it’s important to remember that people reap what they sow.

  • FromUR2UB

    Glad he’s occupying his time with a movie project again.

  • xyzebra

    Spike at one point had a net worth of $40 million, where did it go. I rather give my money to filmmakers who really need it.

    • IllyPhilly

      Right? Indie movies are so much better at times than the big releases.

  • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

    When i donate i’d like more than a thank-you tweet, can i get a follow at least?

  • Kim

    Yes, I would donate to Spike Lee’s campaign. He has done some great movies. And I am willing to give him a chance. Let’s face it Hollywood doesn’t support black film makers. Hell,Tyler Perry finances his own movies, because Whiteywood doesn’t support him. If we don’t help each other.. who wlll?