“Everyone Else Said No”/People no longer go to film school like me and Jim Jarmusch
Art & Experience: It was recently revealed that Amazon would be making its first endeavor into major, blockbuster films with its theatrical release of the parody film on Dec. 4. Alongside its theater debut, the film will also be released exclusively to Amazon subscribers. Although it seems like a sweet deal, Spike Lee later leaked that it wasn’t only because of Amazon’s name and reputation. It was also because Amazon was the only one to support the film.
“I’ve been making a film almost every year since 1986,” says Spike Lee, the 58-year-old director ofDo the Right Thing, Malcolm X, He Got Game and 17 others. He has been nominated twice for an Oscar (and won a Student Oscar in film school), but at the Governors Awards, he’ll pick up a statuette for his lifetime contribution to cinema.
Despite all the negative feedback, Spike Lee has stood behind his latest project. And apparently his confidence in his film led him to keep searching until he found that one yes. “All it takes is one yes. You get a bunch of no’s, but all it takes is one yes,” he said. About How has independent filmmaking changed since he started, he said: “That might as well have been a million years ago. Filmmakers like Jim [Jarmusch] and I, the only reason we went to film school was because of the equipment. We didn’t care about the MFA. You went to film school to get the equipment. Now students look at the cost of going to schools and say, “I could use that money to buy my own camera and lighting kit.” It’s a new world.”
About How he thinks companies like Amazon and Netflix are affecting the industry, he said:”They’re doing a lot. I think studios are threatened. That’s a good thing. I also think there’s enough room for everybody out here. As a filmmaker, artist, the more places there are established that you [can] have your work seen, the better it is.”
Amazon will release Chi-raq on December 4.