At some point, the Kickstarter bubble will shift or break, with fans and Hollywood discarding it the way a child does with a toy that's lost its "new". But for now, the crowdfunding train keeps on rolling, with being the latest in a growing line of filmmakers who want to sidestep begging at studios' doors for financing and are instead heading straight to the public.
Lee's argument is a simple one: The studios aren't interested in financing films if they can't make half a million dollars at the box office:
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.
Filmmaker has been preaching this for a while, delivering an explosive critique of the current state of cinema at this year's San Francisco International Film Festival that sent ripples throughout the industry and catalyzed other filmmakers to start taking steps to break away from the studio system of Hollywood.
To that end, he has decided to personally back Lee's mysterious Kickstarter project, even though nothing is known about the film other than that it will be about an "addiction to blood" (non-vampire) and will feature a lot of sex. Soderbergh kicked in $10,000 of his own money, and has since gone on record in support of Lee's project:
...as I was attempting to find my own voice and place in the film world, three independent American filmmakers in particular attracted my attention and expanded my idea of what was possible; David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, and Spike Lee. These were distinctive new voices, and the freedom (and success) they represented was liberating and energizing; these were shoulders I would try to stand on, that I would be proud to stand on.
Certain filmmakers exist outside the traditional parameters of criticism; their point of view and body of work make discussions about individual films interesting but ultimately irrelevant because each project is merely a chapter in a very long book that must (and will) be acknowledged and appreciated for its breadth, ambition, and contributions to the art of cinema. For me, Spike Lee is one of those filmmakers. He is a totally unique figure in American cinema, and he’s always gone his own way and spoken his mind (even when the commercial stakes were high), qualities which are in short supply in the film business.
Since the whole crowdfunding movement stated in earnest, people have been arguing about millionaires and well-connected industry people like and now Lee asking for money, when they can just finance their projects themselves. But Lee addresses that paradox in this clip:
And here he is talking about the Kickstarter movement and how he's always had to hustle to finance his films:
If you want to check out 'The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint' and contribute some money to the cause, click here.
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