Slate’s Right: Spike Lee’s Kickstarter Has Numerous Problems. Here’s One More

I approve of Spike Lee's glasses. Grammar, not so much. (AP)
• July 25, 2013 12:48 pm


Spike Lee, the director behind Do the Right Thing, Inside Man, and 25th Hour, has turned to Kickstarter to fund his latest project. Spurred on by the success of Zach Braff and the Veronica Mars team, Lee is asking for $1.25M to make his new joint.

It is not going terribly well, at least in relation to other recent high-profile Kickstarter campaigns. Over at Slate, Aisha Harris has a good post on the three biggest problems with Spike Lee's Kickstarter pitch. Lee comes across as cocky, doesn't tell potential donors what the film is about, and undersells his financial "struggles."* Allow me to offer another suggestion as to why he's struggling: The dude doesn't know how to use capital letters.**

Seriously! His sentences are remarkably aggravating to read. For instance:

I say my Prayers every night because I have been able to do what I Love and I Love what I do.


When you Love what you do it's not a job, it's something you would do for free because it brings True Joy to your Heart and Soul.


When you are blessed to do that especially if you're an Artist it can bring those emotions of the Human Experience to your Audience (if you are Lucky).

Those are three of the first four sentences. It's not like these are typos. This is a stylistic choice. There's no rhyme or reason as to what gets capitalized and what doesn't. Even if I were inclined to contribute to Lee's campaign (full disclosure: I'm not, for reasons in the footnote at the bottom of this post), I wouldn't solely out of revulsion for his style of writing. It is aesthetically displeasing to me.

Anyway, I'm sure Lee will be fine. I'm willing to bet "Black Twitter" could whip up $1M in an afternoon for a favored son if it wanted to.

*As I noted on Twitter when this was announced, I have a feeling that Lee isn't doing this because he couldn't wring $1.25M out of a patron or a studio head. In Hollywood and for the Megan Ellison set, $1.25M is nothing. Rather, I think he's simply tired of having to ask people with more power than him for money. So instead he's asking for help from people with less power. I have very conflicted feelings about this strategy. They range from "Hey, it's their dime" to "Ugh, that's kind of gross of Lee."

**For the record and to head off the humorless scolds: I do not think this is putting a damper on Lee's fundraising efforts. At least, not a serious damper. I simply find it maddening.

Published under: Hollywood