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Spike Lee Says He'll Set Up A Kickstarter Endowment To Fund Other Projects If His Is Profitable

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 21, 2013 2:49 PM
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Thanks to Dankwa for catching this, because I missed it. But it's something you should be aware of - at the very least, so that you can hold him to it!

In an August 12th live chat, discussing his mysterious Kickstarter-funded project, Spike Lee revealed, about a third of the way through it, that if this new joint of his makes a profit, he'll set up what he calls a Spike Lee Kickstarter Endowment, which will be used to back projects by other filmmakers, every quarter - as in, four times a year.

As you'll see in the video, he even encourages viewers to "write that down!" So write it down!

The one thing that Spike just might regret later, is how transparent this entire process has been for him. We all know exactly - to the penny - how much money was raised for the upcoming film, and he's made a few promises (including the one above), on video, that folks will likely remind him of in time. So after the film is made and it opens in theaters, I'm sure we'll all be watching its box office totals very closely - especially those who contributed to the campaign.

What "profit" looks like exactly in this case, I really don't know. How much of the film's profit will be put into this endowment, we don't know that yet either.

But we do know that the film's Kickstarter campaign ended earlier today, raising $1,418,910. But we also have to assume that this is strictly production funding, and doesn't include any P&A costs, no marketing, etc - essentially, money that will be spent after the film is made, and on its theatrical release.

Hypothetically, let's say it's a box office smash (relative to budget) earning $20 million in ticket sales. How much of that will go into the endowment? Again, we don't know that yet either.

Questions, questions... I have a few.

Still, I'd say that the gesture is the right one, all things considered. I think he's the first celebrity with a successful gazillion dollar Kickstarter campaign that has made this kind of an offer.

Watch the video below. His revelation comes around the 21:25 mark:

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  • H.M. Johnquest | August 24, 2013 11:32 AMReply

    Movie-making bookeeping is notoriously as crooked as is the banking industry. Can you believe "Forest Gump" hasn't turned one dollar of profit yet?

  • Donella | August 23, 2013 12:55 PMReply

    Spike's offer is more than most Kickstarter beneficiaries have done. I just read that Stallone is launching a Kickstarter campaign.

  • Dankwa Brooks | August 21, 2013 4:34 PMReply

    To the chagrin of many, many people I know—many, Spike did not give many plot details about this next film, but like Tambay said I thought he has been quite transparent in everything else. As someone who follows him on social media Spike, and his staff, was grindin' every single day—GRINDIN'!

    Following him like I do I caught the chat and this endowment announcement and thought "Great!"

    People can trip on whatever, but between his teaching, his grad school film fund and his books, Spike has BEEN transparent in the way he gives back to film. This endowment just seems like one more way for him to give back.

  • Dankwa Brooks | August 25, 2013 11:04 AM

    I agree KATIE! Spike was offering everything, but the kitchen sink in rewards and think HE DID offer that, but I missed it. LOL. Team 40 Acres were GRINDIN' until the last minute!

  • Katie | August 22, 2013 10:49 AM

    I completely agree with Dankwa. People need to calm down. I wasn't happy about him starting a kickstarter campaign, but after some thought, I'm happy he did. I know many people didn't know anything about kickstarter know something about it now and more awareness is great for indie filmmakers.

    Plus, Spike Lee EARNED this money. I know he and his team were on their grind EVERYDAY! You could tell he was hungry for this. He deserves every cent. Good job Spike!

  • Claitun Bigzbee | August 21, 2013 3:51 PMReply


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