It's a fabulous and frustrating time for independent filmmakers. David Lynch recently took to the press to lament about the state of "alternative cinema," expressing his reluctance to direct another movie. "You’re fresh out of luck in terms of getting theater space and having people come to see it. Even if I had a big idea, the world is different now," he told
the The Independent
. At the same time, projects are being realized through crowd-funding sources like Kickstarter that might have never been possible without help from supportive fans around the world. Let's be honest: who else would hand Zach Braff a few million bucks
in three days?
Fighting the good fight alongside Braff and the Veronica Mars crew
is Spike Lee
— a veteran of indie cinema who has paid his dues. (We still haven't recovered from the Academy oversight regarding Malcolm X
.) The director has announced a Kickstarter campaign
to raise $1.25 million for his next feature film. Lee doesn't reveal many details about the project, but he offers this colorful description to whet our appetites: "Human beings who are addicted to blood. Funny, sexy and bloody (and it's not Blacula
)... " There's a lengthy letter to accompany his plea for your hard-earned dollars and cents. Lee explains his motivation for turning to the Internet for help:
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. I have a different vision of what Cinema can be, a different vision of what some under-served Audiences might want to see. That is why I am here on KICKSTARTER, to raise the Funds for The New Spike Lee Joint, to get this BAD BOY financed.
Despite Lee's vexation about the movie biz, he's been a fairly busy man — most recently adapting Park Chan-wook's brilliantly violent thriller Oldboy
. Last year he released Bad 25
, the Michael Jackson documentary about the pop icon's seventh studio album. Roger Ebert called
Lee's 2012 "Chronicles of Brooklyn" tale Red Hook Summer
"spontaneous and sincere" — and that's exactly what we're getting with Lee's Kickstarter. He's more than earned our trust -- and it would be great to see him return to the off-the-cuff roots of his first feature, She's Gotta Have It
. Kickstarter is turning the tide of cinema before our eyes. It's great to see Lee's passion is still there and that he's along for the ride.
Check out his Kickstarter campaign video below.