Legendary auteur recently turned to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to raise $1.25 million for his latest feature. He has described the project as a 'pyschological bloody thriller' about humans being addicted to blood – but has emphasised these characters are not vampires.
With sixteen days to go, he's already amassed over $600,000 and drawn over 3200 backers – but with this, has also generated a lot of media criticism from those who think that an Oscar winning director shouldn't be using a crowdfunding platform best known for helping small-time filmmakers. Lee took to Bloomberg’s business news show 'Smart Street' to respond to his naysayers.
Host Trish Regan opened the show, guns blazing.
'Do the right thing,' she began, 'That's what many are saying to filmmaker Spike Lee as they call on the famed director to end his new Kickstarter campaign.' Lee could be heard saying in the background 'Why would you open like that? Why would you open like that?' repeatedly over the top of Regan as she tried to explain to the audience what Kickstarter is.
Despite her attack, Lee seemed more than capable of holding his own. When she asked why 'an Oscar nominated director...with a lot of money' would need Kickstarter, he was outraged:
'First of all, you don't know how much money I have. You've never seen me before in your life.'
Despite Regan's attempts to smooth things over and to reassure Lee that she was merely playing devil's advocate, Lee seemed to take her beginning statements very personally and remained emotional throughout the interview.
After defending his project, he went on to call Regan a 'hater'. 'Don't worry about haters like her,' he said, 'We're going to get this. You cannot be for my film if you open the segment like that. That was pure hate.'
Check it out below. I think Lee's got some great points about how the industry's changed for directors who want to make something besides franchise films and also about how people make assumptions about his income - for me, the only fly in the ointment is what he'd do with the film's profits should he reach his target.
On Monday, filmmaker , who helmed 2 Guns weighed in on Lee's Kickstarter appeal:
'I think if you don't need it [money], let the other ones have it,' Kormákur said. 'Or if it helps the whole thing to get attention maybe that's a good way of doing it...'
'But I'm basically saying, I don't think he needs it. I'm sure he can finance his project differently. But who am I to judge him?'
Watch the video and let us know your thoughts - is Spike Lee in the right? Or should Kickstarter be exclusively reserved for those just starting out in the industry?