Spike Lee Response Post (due 2.28)

spike-lee-at-governors-awardsAfter watching the interview clips and the linked article, address two (2) of the following questions by Tuesday, Feb. 28 (6pm). Please remember to attempt originality within your post and do not just reuse thoughts from your classmates.

Read the following Spike lee biography:

http://www.biography.com/people/spike-lee-9377207#cinematic-career

Watch Spike Lee’s own words as you discover “10 Rules for Success” –

Answer any two of the following questions relating to Spike Lee (from the readings or the videos):

  1. What tip from Spike Lee do you think is the most relevant for your life? Why?safe_image-php
  2. Who are Spike Lee’s favorite types of filmmakers? How do those compare with your favorite types?
  3. What do you feel makes Spike Lee’s approach to filmmaking innovative?
  4. What impressed or intrigued you the most about Lee’s history/ background? Why?
  5. What impressed or intrigued you the most about Lee’s body of work?
  6. How has Lee challenged the norm in storytelling for films?
  7. What tip do you feel is most important that Spike Lee shared for other filmmakers? Why?
  8. What do you think makes Spike Lee angry? Why? Can you relate to the things that make him mad? Why or why not?
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20 thoughts on “Spike Lee Response Post (due 2.28)

  1. Who are Spike Lee’s favorite types of filmmakers? How do those compare with your favorite types?

    Spike Lee said that his favorite types of filmmakers are storytellers such because he feels it allows the maker to express themselves through film. My favorite types of filmmakers are entertainers, someone who just wants to ell a good story and make people laugh, or cry, etc. People like Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney are good examples of this. When you compare my like entertainers to Spike’s like of storytellers, they are similar in a way like for example entertainers tell stories through films and can use that to express themselves like Spike Lee’s kind of filmmakers. So Spike and I like the same type of films, however; he says the story’s objective is not entertain, but in some cases to inform. That is the difference in the comparison of entertainers and storytellers.

    What do you think makes Spike Lee angry? Why? Can you relate to the things that make him mad? Why or why not?

    One thing I learned in the ten tips from Spike Lee Video is that he can’t stand laziness. According to Spike, he gets really angry if someone on his set is not working as hard as they should therefore being lazy. He says that when people are lazy and don’t put the work in that it not only puts a strain on that person’s character, but it also strains other people’s character that are around you. He says that you are not entitled to anything that you haven’t put work or effort in just because of where you’re from or what school you went to like his school, NYU. “It doesn’t work like that in the real world and that you can’t make perfection with laziness.” In order for a film to be great, there has to be a lot of work and effort put towards it. Otherwise, you will get nowhere in the film industry. I can relate to that honestly. For example, if I am in a group project of 4 people and only two of us are doing the work while the other four are doing nothing, it angers me. You can’t be lazy and sit around thinking that you don’t need to work for anything because you already got your future planned. You have to work to make it in this world. I feel that laziness really downsides your character. There’s a difference between being lazy and taking a break.

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  2. Rachel Gann

    What impressed or intrigued you the most about Lee’s history/ background? Why?

    I don’t know if anything about Lee’s background surprised me as much as just me not knowing who he was before this surprised me. I had heard the name Spike Lee before but other than simply hearing his name I had never really heard about him before this. Despite him being a successful filmmaker I am very shocked that I never knew who he was until now. Something that did surprise me about his past though was that he was making films by the age of 20. Maybe that’s not surprising to some people but it seems like he always knew what he wanted to do and to me its impressive that by age 20 he was making amateur films and was winning awards even before he became the filmmaker that is known today. Then I started thinking of how hard he must’ve worked to get where he was/is in such a short amount of time. I am impressed at not only how fast he worked but how hard he must have worked as well to get where he is now.

    What impressed or intrigued you the most about Lee’s body of work?

    I am surprised at what his films focus on. The article says that he focuses on politics, race, and violence. This impressed me because I feel a lot of directors probably try to avoid topics such as that as much as possible. You can’t have a movie that doesn’t touch on one of those topics in someway, shape or form but I think a lot of directors especially now try and graze over those topics and try not linger on them for too long in fear of offending people but Lee seems to embrace the topics. It’s refreshing because as much as some people might hate it, those are very real issues/topics that have to be addressed. I like that Lee isn’t afraid to make movies that surround those issues and that he not only acknowledges them but he looks at them from a critical stand point.

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    1. It is pretty crazy for some people to know what they want to do at such a young age … there are still times I’m trying to figure what I want to do with my life 🙂
      I think it challenging for a filmmaker to explore real issues and hot topics of society, and to do so with relevance and precision. I think Lee finds a way.

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  3. 1. Something I learned from Spike Lee is don’t just find a job because the pay is really good. Yes, having a lot of money sounds amazing but working long hours and not enjoying the job isn’t worth it. I am a really big family person and having a job that would take me away from family isn’t worth it. Lee talked about how he loves being a filmmaker and that he enjoys working with his craft. The point that Lee is trying to make is if you love what you are doing you never truly have to work a day of your life. You are too busy loving what you are doing, that you forget that it is your job.

    4. In the interview he spoke about how one day he was in his apartment after college looking at his Student Academy Award. He was so impressed and proud that he won this award but thought major film companies were going to be rushing at him. Then his lights went off, the gas was shut off, and everything in his apartment was off. It was then Lee woke up from this “Dream” and realized he needed to be productive. That people weren’t going to come find him and that if he wanted to be a filmmaker he needed to work hard to become one.

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  4. 1. The tip from Spike Lee that is the most relevant for my life would have to be number 8, follow your passion. When I was a kid, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I grew up. However, after doing some work with the radio and TV, that was when I realized that I wanted to be a news reporter in the broadcasting world. I loved doing my radio show at my first college, and we even did our own little news broadcasts with a local TV station. And I’ve been told how good I am with this, which gave me the inspiration to follow my passion and decide to become a reporter for TV or radio.

    8. I think one of the things that make Spike Lee mad, is one of his rules, is laziness. I say this could relate to my life a little. I’m not a big fan of laziness either, and I don’t want to show laziness when I head into the working world too. I want to be able to show that I can work my tail off, and that I can do good with my job. However, it takes some practice to get used to what you’re doing for a living, and that you won’t get it right away. Which is fine with me, because you don’t’ get to do what you want to do right away when you get that first job, you would first have to work your way up. Which is what I’m willing to do, I’m willing to work my hardest and make my way to doing what I’ve been training almost my entire life for.

    -Will Braunlich

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  5. Haley Walker

    What tip from Spike Lee do you think is the most relevant for your life? Why?

    He said you have to love what you do. For me, this is most relevant to my life because I’m in the Journalism field. It’s competitive and gets overwhelming at times but I stick with it because I love it.

    What impressed or intrigued you the most about Lee’s history/ background? Why?

    I was really impressed that he won a student Academy Award for his student thesis film. He drew attention with his feature film She’s Gotta Have It. It was the most profitable film in 1986. He was so young and was able to kick start his career that early in college.

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  6. Kate Lamar:
    1. One thing that he said, “The worst thing you can do not choose your major based on how much money you can, if you want to be happy, have a happy life, and not be miserable, find something you love”. Where I am at my college career, I am about to graduate and find a job. I am not sure exactly what type of job I want to go into, so I am doing a lot of searching, and thinking about what I have done it the past, and saying “Did I like this from Communications, or didn’t I? I think this hits the spot, because you are searching and finding something that will give you a job, but you do not want to be at this job just to be getting money. Start out at somewhere you love, and work your way up in the corporation, and later you will not only love your job, but you will be loving the money you are making.
    5. I think one thing that intrigued me about Lee’s early body of works were that he did not care about controversy when he was talking about racial facts, politic issues, and the violence. I think this is something that has never been talked about big in movies, until recently. When he started talking about it, I think it was showing people that he was a big person in letting everyone know what is truly going on in the world, when they are not wanting to open their eyes to the problems in the world. I do not get into politics, or all the racial discrimination, but I like that people can stand up and show what is going on, and getting into people’s minds, if something does not change, this is going to get worse. This is a great thing that he is doing, because when you show it in movies, it gets everybody’s attention, and they will start talking about it.

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  7. Sthefany Flores
    3. I feel that the method of his funding is something that is very innovative for filmmaking. This is definitely an old method that needs to be revised in our current film world. Because he gets funding directly from his audience, he can create a movie that is 100% by him. This would limit the involvement of huge cinematic companies that could censor or dilute the message of the film. I think it’s very important to note that for the most part, his budget is small but he delivers high-quality works with what he utilizes.
    2. Story tellers who believe in the message that they deliver are some of Lee’s favorite. Those who do their best to tell the story and aren’t afraid to put in the work. Filmmakers that aren’t afraid to do something new to find alternative means of doing what they love.

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  8. Spike Lee
    1. What tip from Spike Lee do you think is the most relevant for your life? Why?
    After watching Spike Lee’s “10 Rules For Success”, I found that his tip number 2 (Don’t be lazy) is something I find most relevant to my life. I love how Spike Lee basically says he has no tolerance for laziness. I find this most relevant to my life because he talks about hard work and entitlement. I think now more than ever, we are surrounded by people who feel entitled and who haven’t had to work for their success. He mentions that in the real world people don’t really care about where you come from. I think this is a huge thing I have to keep in mind as I’m graduated and trying to find a job. It is all about hard work the work you put it will account for your success.

    8. What do you think makes Spike Lee angry? Why? Can you relate to the things that make him mad? Why or why not?
    After watching Spike Lee become very angry in an interview about the start-up of Kickstarter. He became very angry in the way the interviewer opened up on explaining Kickstarter and his work. He felt like he had to defend his work because she was already attacking his work from the negative view right of the bat. I think things that make him angry are close-minded people that can’t look outside of the box to appreciate independent work. After talking about entitled people in the previous question, I also think this is something that angers him. He works hard and looks outside of the box and when someone attacks his work, he will defend his work because he believes in it and that is what he feels is important. I can relate in a way to this because I hate when people don’t take me seriously and I think this is apart of what Spike Lee gets angered at too. I can’t relate to how vocal Spike Lee is about what angers him but I definitely can see where this anger comes from.
    -Kacy O’Connor

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    1. Great thoughts and I think your answers go hand in hand. He’s all about earning your way, and I even think in the crowd sourcing “kickstarter” campaigns he was working to find investors. Really an interesting guy. NTMII

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  9. Tyra Long

    The one thing that I found most intresting about Spike Lee and most respectable is his ability to push the limits when it comes to making controversial films. His Chi-Raq film is a perfect example of how he takes “behind closed doors” conversations and brings them to light. We need more people who are willing to talk about real issues and not be afraid of making other people uncomfortable because these are topics that need to be brought to light.

    The most important tip to me was to “Perfect your craft”. That is something that hit close to home because the older I get the more better I want to be at everything I do. I am learning that if you are going to do something you might as well do it to your best ability, especially if you love what you do then why not be good at it.

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  10. Mallory Moore
    1. What tip from Spike Lee do you think is the most relevant for your life? Why?
    From the Top Ten Tips video, the one that was most relevant to my life was the “attack, attack, attack!” tip. He told a story about how after he won a Student Academy Award, he thought all of these opportunities would open up for him. But, they didn’t open up right away, and he still had to work hard to find those opportunities and he still had to pay his dues (like the bills) just like everyone else. Being in college, I get burned out and tired very easily, and I wake up most days of the week without a lot of motivation. I think his tip to “attack” like is a good reminder for me to keep doing my best.
    7.What tip do you feel is most important that Spike Lee shared for other filmmakers? Why?
    The most important tip for other filmmakers seems to be, “don’t be lazy.” I really liked what he said about talent mattering more than your degree. I think he also meant that your body of work is more important than your degree. Filmmakers cannot expect to leave school with nothing but a degree and no amateur film attempts or portfolios of film work that they have done. You can’t just leave school without having tried to create a film before and expect to get jobs making really good films. I think it’s important for anyone in college, not just filmmakers, to make sure they are practicing the thing that they want to do after they get their degree so that they have a good body of work to show.

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