Spike Lee has turned to Kickstarter to raise $1.25 million in funds in the next 30 days for a new film that’s known for now as “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint.” Lee is among most high-profile creatives to tap into his fanbase for crowdfunded financing.
In a video posted on Kickstarter, Lee noted that the “Veronica Mars” film used Kickstarter to raise $5 million earlier this year. Actor-director Zach Braff raised $3.1 million for his film “Wish I Was Here” in May.
Lee gave few details about the project, but described it as being focused on human beings who are addicted to blood. “Funny, sexy, and bloody (and it’s not ‘Blacula’),” he added.
(The director was referring to cult blaxploitation pic “Blacula,” which starred William Marshall as an 18th century African prince who returns from the dead in 1972 Los Angeles.)
The top Kickstarter donation for Lee’s film is $10,000 — which will get the donor dinner and a courtside seat with Lee for a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. Lee is perhaps the best-known fan of the NBA team.
“This is big, big time,” Lee said of the offer. “P.S. Knicks will be great this coming season.”
As of 6:30 p.m. PDT, one donor had come forward for a Knicks game package and a total of 352 backers had pledged $29,105.
For a $5,000 pledge, a donor will be named an associate producer on the project; a $1,000 pledge will give a donor a part as an extra; and for $750, Lee will give the donor a pair of Nike shoes that he’s worn. Fourteen early backers had pledged $250 each for a pair of tickets to the film’s New York premiere and another seven pledged $250 for two tickets to the Los Angeles premiere.
The filmmaker appealed to potential supporters by touting the film as counter to the current high-priced tentpoles.
“Do you wish to see Human Beings dealing with each other on a Human Level?” he asked in a quintessentially Lee-esque statement exhorting his supporters to “GET DOWN FOR THE CAUSE.” “How many more explosions with Ear splitting Sound Effects can you take?”
“Nothing in Life is Free and if you want something you got to pay for it,” the statement said.
Lee is in post-production on “Oldboy,” a remake of the critically-acclaimed 2003 South Korean thriller that bows Oct. 25 through FilmDistrict. He had a $30 million budget to work with — considerably higher than the $1.25 million he’s asking for on Kickstarter for which he vows “Every Dollar will go up on the Screen and not into my pocket.”
His most recent directing gigs have been “Red Hook Summer,” “Miracle at St. Anna” and “Inside Man.”