Chapter 19 of 19 from Spike Lee



In his parting words, Spike reflects on what it takes to be an independent filmmaker and encourages you to take his tools and be a student of cinema.

Topics include: Closing

In his parting words, Spike reflects on what it takes to be an independent filmmaker and encourages you to take his tools and be a student of cinema.

Topics include: Closing

Spike Lee

Spike Lee Teaches Independent Filmmaking

Academy Award–winning filmmaker Spike Lee teaches his approach to directing, writing, and producing.

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Make films with an impact

Spike Lee didn’t just direct his award-winning 1986 feature debut, She’s Gotta Have It. He was also the writer, star, truck driver, location scout, electrician, and caterer—because that’s what it took to get his film made. In his first-ever online class, the visionary behind Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and BlacKkKlansman lets you in on his uncompromising approach to filmmaking. Learn about writing, self-producing, working with actors, and making movies that break down barriers.

Spike Lee opens the doors of his Brooklyn office to teach filmmaking through scripts and storyboards from some of his greatest films.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps, assignments, and supplemental material.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Spike will answer select student questions.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Hearing from filmmakers who have succeeded and have already travelled down the road of success helps to light the way for those who follow. Hearing about what it takes to succeed as a filmmaker has helped me to prepare for the journey ahead.

I absolutely loved it!!! Everything about it. Spike's teaching style, his curriculum, video clips...all of it!!! Thank you very much Spike for sharing

Spike Lee is a role model of mine, and being able to receive such in-depth instruction from him was priceless.

Lots of good insights - great work ethic - It's always good to get to know the 'behind the scenes' creators. I thought he did a great job - love to have dinner with him sometime. He highlighted a saying I used on one of my paintings - "There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going to"


Anthony N.

Big plans in film. Love the idea I can learn from prominent figures in my industry.

Jim C.

Good closing words. As its been said, Hollywood is an industry designed to keep you out. Patience, confidence, thick skin, integrity, and keen networking skills will go a long way. Good luck, everyone.

Jason G.

It’s Spike Lee teaching you the ins and outs of independent filmmaking. He talks straight and makes sense. It definitely inspired me.

A fellow student

One of the best classes I have sat in on. thank you for sharing your life's testimony with us Spike!

Tony C.

Thanks Spike. Said it before and will say it again. The world is a better place having you around.

Troy B.

Thank you Spike for this Master Class. You have a very unique and powerful perspective and I am extremely grateful that you have shared your wisdom with me. The world is a much place better with you in it.

Wyatt J.

Interestingly, I met Spike at the Roxy club at the after party for the opening of School Daze in 1988! It was magical to see all the young talent and artists around who were indeed being influenced by and looking to influence the pop culture scene. He has been the same force of creativity ever since. Excellent Master Class!

Diana B.

I am grateful for your wisdom. Thank you for sharing your vision and insight into the powerful world of Independent filmmaking for social change. I feel fortunate for the lessons shared, the inspiration granted, and I am moved by the sensitivity by which you approach your work while addressing and tackling the issues presented. Thank you for an amazing experience! -Diana


Spike Lee's classes felt so-oooo personable, intimate, to the point and pungent- Thank You Spike!! Thank You MasterClass!!


Mr. Lee, thank you for doing this class and sharing with us your experience. Your films and contribution to our society has had a great impact on the conscience of many in a positive way. Currently I am in the process of scripting and wanting to pilot my screenplay “Shadows of a Past” as a sequel prequel to my novel “Da Minister Messenger 13”. Your class has given me the extra sense of determination I need to continue. You spoke of Lawrence and his helpful push. The unity of you and him are like hand in glove. By the way I share a Birthday with him except I am a year older. Best wishes to you and your future endeavors and hopefully I will be fortunate enough to meet you in person through my journey becoming a screenwriter. Shalom