Now even the New York Knickerbockers’ #1 fan is getting in on the crowdsourcing trend. Presumably attempting to capitalize on his latest hired-gun project remaking Oldboy, Spike Lee recently heard from one of his students at NYU’s graduate film program about this newfangled Kickstarter thing. Have you heard about this? That television show Veronica Mars got $5 million for a movie, and then Zach Braff from Scrubs got $3 million? What does the director of Malcolm X and Do The Right Thing (and Girl 6, Miracle At St. Anna, and Red Hook Summer) have to do for some of this money?
In Lee’s promotional video, he cites the changing business of film as making production more challenging: “It’s a very different climate now, and the only way to ensure, as an independent filmmaker, that your vision gets onscreen is when you bring the money to the table.” And by “you bring the money” he means he brings money other people will give to him now that he’s got a Kickstarter page, because that's all that needs to happen. Lee’s pitch for the film is vague—it’s about “the addiction of blood…a lot of sex in it too!”— showing a lack of understanding at how detailed pitches inspire donations for projects that strike a chord. It’s more of a “Just trust me because I know what I’m doing, Ya-Dig?” sentiment, a nebulous faith in his name as a brand to carry an unfocused, untitled project. “Super Heroes, Comic Books, 3D Special EFX, Blowing up the Planet Nine Times and Fly through the Air while Transforming is not my Thang,” says Lee. But some good old-fashioned blood and sex mixed with unnecessarily capitalized words is most definitely his “Thang.”
For just $750, you can get a pair of autographed Nikes that have been worn by Lee himself. Or plunk down $10,000, and you’ll get to sit next to Lee courtside at Madison Square Garden—though that calls attention to the expenses that may be getting in the way of Lee funding his own film. The project just started, but considering Lee’s best narrative films since 2000 have been films he was hired to direct (Inside Man, 25th Hour), it may explain the tepid initial response to funding Lee’s unfiltered vision.