From Spike Lee's MasterClass

Editing

By taking a look at the inter-cutting technique in BlacKkKlansman, Spike demonstrates how he was able to create heightened drama and tonal balance in pivotal scenes.

Topics include: Striking Tone and Balance in the Editing Room • Don’t Overlook the Ad-libs • Involve Your Editor Early • First Screenings Are Learning Opportunities • Hire an Experienced Editor

Play

By taking a look at the inter-cutting technique in BlacKkKlansman, Spike demonstrates how he was able to create heightened drama and tonal balance in pivotal scenes.

Topics include: Striking Tone and Balance in the Editing Room • Don’t Overlook the Ad-libs • Involve Your Editor Early • First Screenings Are Learning Opportunities • Hire an Experienced Editor

Spike Lee

Teaches Independent Filmmaking

Learn More

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 directing class, the visionary behind Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and 25th Hour lets you in on his uncompromising approach to filmmaking. Learn about writing, self-producing, working with actors, and making movies that break barriers.

Reviews

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

This master class allowed me to see a vision of what I want to create from a different perspective. It showed me to think outside the box and that is invaluable.

An amazing class demonstrating both the uncanny ability and the gritty hard work, behind this amazing filmmakers!

I did not want this class with Spike to end, made my day many a time. Everything I have to say is in the superlative - so wise and so compelling on the cutting edge of indie and Black filmmaking. And let's not forget his perfect sense of humor!

I AM SUPER MOTIVATED!!! Not to date myself, but with all of the RESPECT I have for Spike Lee's talent, my pen is fierce on my notepad! Love the intro!

Comments

Saba

"You have to have the material!" So true. Too many feature films are a mere concept that is stretched over 2 hours...

Karina

Amazing. I'm watching this soon after the Oscar nominations were announced. Congratulations for the Editing nomination for BlacKkKlansman!

Michael O.

You have to have the material! (As in the editor cannot go out and reshoot the scene.) Spike, you are a national treasure - as a filmmaker, teacher and a Black activist.

A fellow student

Hoping someone with knowledge of filmmaking can settle a debate: When the ‘portraitures’ of black people from the crowd are shown on screen during Kwame’s speech in Blackkklansman, are they being filmed while sitting still, or are these single-frame portraits put on film?

Tino T.

Editing is like be in love and I am not exagerating, its like a spiritual approach to the movie, it feels like a celestial creator would feel, becuase if you are the writer and the editor you can feel the power of your own world. I must say i am very jealous and i always edit my own productions. I always thought that a good movie comes from the editroom, because you may have a wonderful production but when the edition sucks the movie will suck. You can have a very bad production, but on the end the edition is what can give you a wonderful Movie. I always have a kind of anxiety during the editing, but on the end i feel so full, so happy and i feel like one who was starving and than eat a lot of food.. I feel fullfilled. Music, and Editing is a must to learn... and is the REAL column of every movie, the script of course, if the script is bad the movie may be bad, but you should see Brazil, the script was aweful, but the edition was very good and today its a cult movie. Same goes with Pedro Almodovars: "Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios". Very bad script based on theater dialogs, but it was so good edited. After that, "Todo sobre mi madre (All about my mother 1999)" was a masterpiece too same from Pedro Almodovar who won an Oscar! Here the Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFkzU3n4TI

Kat M.

Let's not forget Oscar Micheaux! DW Griffith stole many of his techniques! Also, I brought Kwame Ture (aka Stokely Charmichael). to talk at my school, before his death. I was so moved to see him in Blackkklansman! He was a genius with a photographic memory. He deserves his own movie. Also, I loved the montage of close ups during Kwame's speech! Beautiful!!

Jeffrey H.

I have been a fan of editing in a Spike Lee film since his early work. Great to hear him discuss the process.

Steven J.

I’ve been an editor for the past 10 years of my life I learned from my mentor about a great film makers that on my idols Scorsese and Howard and now spike that’s very powerful for what he’s trying to say what he did with those films including black Klansman. See you Gotta know what you want as a director to get those editors the material that they need to put together in the intercut wow that is an amazing lesson to learn about the Intercut.

Vladimir M.

I appreciate you Spike; the consistency of your voice over the years and the shear force of will it took to bring so many black stories to the screen despite the odds. Thank you for doing what many of us couldn’t and helping to bring so many along with you. You’re point about bringing enough material for your editor to work with is legit. It isn’t just about how many shots of coverage you have but the variety of intent behind what the scene is or could be. Being willing to try more than what you initially intended then seeing how things play in the cut. It’s what allows a film to take on its own life while in the edit.

Kathy

Positive stuff. You definitely express exactly how the little child feels in a few words. Amazing to learn that I need my composer by my side from the beginning, along with my editor. Thanks Spike.