From the looks of things, Spike Lee’s new crowd-funded joint is going to be more Zach Braff than Zosia Mamet.
The Brooklyn-centric “Malcolm X” filmmaker, who on Monday launched a Kickstarter campaign for his new “funny, sexy” movie about human beings addicted to blood, is getting a major boost from Steven Soderbergh, the indie-film icon who recently announced that he plans to quit directing movies.
In an interview with NextMovie.com on Tuesday, Lee confirmed that Soderbergh donated $10,000 to the project, for which Lee is seeking a cool $1.25 million. The donation entitles the “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” director to dinner with Lee and front-row tickets to a New York Knicks game.
With more than 28 days to go, Lee’s Kickstarter campaign is off to a strong start, having already raked in more than $105,000 with the help of 709 backers. That’s not quite as strong as the $1.1 million Braff brought in during his first 24 hours, but it’s solid enough to all but guarantee that Lee’s film doesn’t fall as flat as the Mamet sisters’ proposed music video, which never got near its goal of $30,000.
But while Lee looks certain to reach his goal, not everyone is convinced he’s doing the right thing. The filmmaker is taking a fair amount of flak from Twitter users who believe crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter should be reserved for non-millionaires who don’t have industry connections.
If Spike Lee has to use kickstarter to raise finance for his next film where does that leave us? #sob
— raffaella delledonne (@mouthofword) July 23, 2013
And yet whatever mild backlash Lee is receiving, it’s not nearly as pronounced as it was when Braff got into the crowd-funding game, suggesting that the general public is warming up to the idea of celebrity crowd-funding. Lee, for his part, addressed the predictable criticism in a Tuesday update on the project’s website:
“Going into this I was well aware that there would be Haters. They were Hating that an established Filmmaker (Worth 40 Million – A LIE) would be on Kickstarter. But I have every right as anybody else. I’m an Independent Filmmaker and I wanted to try this.”
Incidentally, Soderbergh is not the only big-name backer for Lee. The British author Neil Gaiman tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he was so irritated with people telling him not to donate to Lee’s project, he decided to support it.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 23, 2013