Spike Lee may be 56 years old but he’s as feisty as he’s always been since coming onto the filmmaking scene back in the 1980s. He’s also true to his independent filmmaking values which is his defense for using the crowdsourcing site Kickstarter to fund his newest joint. On his Kickstarter page, Lee touts that he was doing what Kickstarter does way before the site even existed but that didn’t stop a Bloomberg TV host from calling him out for having too much money for the crowdsourcing site.
Needless to say, Lee did not like being called out on live television and tore into the host for making assumptions about his bank account and it’s relation to his filmmaking future.
It’s always fun when live television gets really awkward as it’s clear from the TV hostesses face that she was not expecting the type of aggressive reaction she got from Spike Lee. But what did she expect to happen when she poked the bear?
Lee’s comments represent one half of the argument when it comes to the ethical use of Kickstarter. Filmmakers like Kevin Smith — and independent who got his start much like Lee did — said he was too rich to crowdsourced funding for Clerks 3. But others like Zach Braff and Lee himself have had success with Kickstarter despite taking flak for being “too rich” to take money from fans.
But the bottom line seems to be that taking money from donors online is no different than taking money from studios. However, in taking donations there is more creative freedom which seems to be the draw for filmmakers like Lee.
The debate isn’t going away any time soon and with more and more talented and legendary filmmakers like Lee making to jump to crowdsourcing, the arguments won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.