When Spike Lee put his latest film up on Kickstarter, there were a lot of recent success stories (the Veronica Mars movie, Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here), but there were also examples of a growing backlash against established artists crowd-funding their projects (sorry, Melissa Joan Hart).
Lee knew going in that he would get flak, but the only difference he sees between hustling for financing for She’s Gotta Have It back in 1985 and asking fans for cash in 2013 is the advent of social media. “We were doing Kickstarter before there was Kickstarter,” the director said in an interview with filmmaking blog Film Courage. “We just didn’t have the technology.”
See the interview below:
The filmmaker also sees what Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and Braff did as a way to get more people, and therefore more potential donors, on Kickstarter.
“I’m bringing people to Kickstarter who never even heard of Kickstarter; I’m talking [about] a lot of people of color who’ve never heard of Kickstarter, who’ve never made a pledge on Kickstarter,” he said. “So I really think it’s a fallacy, it’s a misconception, and it’s just plain-out wrong, with a capital W, that because someone puts $5 on my film … that was $5 that a young filmmaker was going to get. That logic does not follow through. There’s concrete evidence with what Mr. Thomas did with Veronica Mars and what Zach did will his film, the majority of people who back those things had never been on Kickstarter before. But I think those people backed films after that, once they were made the introduction to Kickstarter.”
One of those donors brought in: Steven Soderbergh, who pledged $10,000 to Lee’s film about “human beings who are addicted to blood.”
What do you think: Should established artists ask fans for money, or should crowd-sourcing sites be left for struggling newcomers?