Spike Lee was a pioneer in several ways when he started making movies in the 1980s. Now with a new Kickstarter campaign, he’s become the latest director to jump on the go-to vehicle for 21st century pioneers (and the occasional celebrity).
Acknowledging “Veronica Mars” and Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” as inspirations, Lee took to the crowdfunding site Monday to ask for $1.25 million to make his new movie, joining a bevy of filmmakers that also includes James Franco.
“It’s a very different climate now,” Lee said as he referenced the comparatively easy era in which he was able to get films like 1992's “Malcolm X” made. “And the only way to ensure as an independent filmmaker that your vision gets on screen is when you bring your money to the table.”
Lee was circumspect about the contents of the new film — he hinted there were vampires but didn’t say much more than that. (“This film is about the addiction of blood. Lot of sex too.”) He added in his written appeal that "it's not 'Blacula'."
The director has switched up his studio and indie projects lately — the remake of “Oldboy,” due from mid-major FilmDistrict in October, was preceded by the independently distributed “Red Hook Summer,” his coming-of-age religion/molestation drama he made with even less money than this new one — and in just a few weeks.
Though there may be vampires, Lee took pains in his Kickstarter essay to distinguish it from studio films. “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,” he said, plaintively.
And despite the turn to the genre, Lee was quick to go through his body of work and remind that he’ll keep fighting the power. He’ll just do it with the latest fight-the-power tool.
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