Film & TV

Editing

Spike Lee

Lesson time 17:06 min

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.

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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 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.

I aspire to be a filmmaker. I did some 360º movies in the pass 2 years just trying to learn more about this art, and Spike Lee lessons ore very enlightening. Thanks for the lessons, Spike Lee is a legend it was handsome seeing how he grow in this business.

Some great practical advice on the actual process of what it takes to make an independent film, as well as thoughtful insights on the reason philosophy of filmmaking, and why it is important in our culture.

The class is pure education and motivation for me. Especially in moments where I believe I could add more to my creativity to address, influence and relate to the audience. Thank you!

"A good director both commands and surrenders to the moment." You must be strong as stone and flexible as water at the same time. Love this paradigm.


Comments

Chava G.

Witnessing American Terrorism, in film, truth/lies, love and hate no one but Spike Lee and 40 Acres & A Mule, Inc & Crew has ever, or could ever bring to the audience. This exists because you brought it to us. The thing is to be able to take technology from the good or evil and tell the truth with it, is an extraordinary mind expanding feat of genius. The music brought us along with your choices. We have to have Black Love, Appreciation And Gratitude For The Many Blessings We Possess.

Matt H.

Wonderful. Many levels like a mixed tape. marlo, or marlon, whichever one you want to call me...IS the original painter name. a little old world mixed with new world...oil paints and watercolours like oldschool during the impressionism movement in the late 1800's and early 1900's...and in the end, as you walk away thinking about the painting...gives off this futuristic vibe... ~ Post Modern Impressionism/Abstract ~ (c) ~ our idea Also what makes marlo different than The Van Goghs and Claude Monet's, all the greats and classics throughout Art-History , A Black Feminist- original painter and Nobel Peace Prize winner. marlo's color scheme = very simular to Van Goghs but for mine, black = LOVE. got that from a Malcolm X speech, I never thought of it that way, he was right. Think about the little children, whoever was giving colors meanings, and made the color black stand for all things bad and evil and devil all that, sure, but! They never thought, "Yea but what if your skin is black?" --Thinc' about the children. Well, for the skin color black, it should stand for love and all things good and purity and innocence, beauty. We weren't thinking about that. Nobody thought there would be so many skin colors." These are humans, that's different. Thinc' about the kids... "Yes, the color black =LOVE." There's nothing better than that. Black = LOVE, yes I did that for a Malcolm X. simular to Van Gogh's color scheme black = love yellow = happy blue = infinite brown = kindness red = compassion/the blood of Christ purple = royalty Green = genius litepurpleLavendar = relaxing and magical liteRed = a lighter shade of red Orange = G :) D white is a complementary color with all colors, interchangeable with the color Black, and humbling. What if all colors are equal, have a positive meaning and all add up to world-peace resulting in winning a Nobel Peace Prize. *that was it...you were right Pastor King...you were right all along... !!! <3 !! **!!!epicJusticeNOW!! was a mighty act of Jesus, Jesus2, the 2nd coming... Ta-Dah!! "I'm back." //: ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Hp2WANepc ...to be continued!

Matt H.

first things first, make !!!epicJusticeNOW!! happen in real life right NOW. This one was edited differently, went out to the U.N. Nobel Peace Prize committees, Martin Luther King jr knew how to Unite everyone, he UNITED EVERYone. MLKjr had a natural and automatic talent for uniting people. Winston Churchill too, the same way, he knew how to Unite everyone The Alliance, that's how we won WW2. Winston Churchill & Martin Luther King jr would have united ancient Zen as a part of the newer bigger Alliance. Zen Master Dogen Zenji read Testament Of Hope and !!!never give in!! -speeches by Winston Churchill aka "How To Win A World War And Win A Nobel Peace Prize For It". We united Albert Einstein a long time ago. He's the one that pointed it out, "Martin Luther is a genius too, an even bigger genius than I ever was. He wrote everything down - the whole entire way, JUSTICE, he was really doing it too, just like Gandhi in a way...nobody believed him and they made it harder, the persuit of justice, never stopped, he kept writing, he knew it all along. Every single book talks about justice and how to obtain that, yes, this is how you really do it.... I sent this paper to the higher court systems, and this one to the U.N. ...just like it says in the writings he left behind!!! <3 !! Global justice everything, Martin Luther King jr knew how to really do it too, in real life. All4!!!epicJusticeNOW!! NobelWinner/St/Rev/Pastor, and Brother, Martin Luther King jr ~~~ <3 ~~ the case of all cases... 4!!!epicJusticeNOW!! ~ The Nobel Peace Prize X2 ~ Confirming that Martin Luther King jr is indeed a genius! ~~~ <3 ~~ This is the one that did it(A Testament Of Hope), proved his case and won it hands down, all the way across the board, if I was a lawyer reading this... ~~~ <3 ~~ I broke down and cried 3/4th way into the book. Thinc'ing, "My God this man needs JUSTICE!!! <3 !! !!!epicJusticeNOW!! *it's like winning it twice(4Martin Luther King jr)...this time beyond the grave - and he did it with all the books he wrote. Just in case something were to happen to him...Genius!!! <3 !! Let's just face it. Martin Luther King jr IS a genius. Yes, if God wanted to make a Black Man a genius, this is it. And they laugh and mock and scoff... trying to suppress the truth that Martin Luther King jr was a genius and then they all go to jail. For the criminally insane. All their writers have got to go too, not a letter, not a single word will be left of them. This will never happen again in History = !!!epicJusticeNOW!! = They were tried as a terrorist organization and lost. That was the end of the *** **** *****. JUSTICE for Brother Martin Luther King jr!!! <3 !! Amen, Ameen, and amiiiiin! 8.24.2019 ~~~ <3 ~~ ! And for the terrorist overseas, terrorism in The Middle East, this is a different country, a different religion, culture - everything, from the 3rd world. I can still prove them wrong, the very peaceful/righteous way. Simple. Through the eyes of a child. The innocent child-like 12-year-old-Jesus's eyes. To prove them all wrong, not very righteous at all, and very guilty, but! - Allah is oft forgiving and most merciful - this is it ~~~ <3 ~~ ! "All Peace Comes From Allah." ~ The Holy Quran. (towards the back, about 3/4ths) The "Unconditional Surrender" is different for everyone, they would be surrendering to Allah. Because they are not really Muslim...and they don't even know it. ...to be continued! Global Justice is for global terrorism. In our own country, it will be different for the USA's terrorists, they will all be burned alive in hell for the whole world to see. Makes all the terrorists in other countries not want to be terrorists anymore. It's not worth it. Doesn't matter if they are giving you money, look at what is happening to the USA's terrorists. It's not worth it. From terrorist to SAINT...for righteousness from now on. ~ All PEACE comes from Allah ~ ! 4TheNobelPEACEPRize. sidenote//: It was Jesus's Sermon On The MT. = WIN sidenote2//: **the unconditional surrender*** is a technique used by Winston Churchill and how they defeated the nazis and **** ****** in WW2. This really worked for Winston Churchill, and he won a Nobel Peace Prize for it ~ <3 = (((WORLD-PEACE)) ! repeat outloud, please... NobelWinner/St/Rev/Pastor, and Brother, Martin Luther King jr ~~~ <3 ~~ the case of all cases... 4!!!epicJusticeNOW!! ~ The Nobel Peace Prize ~~~ <3 ~~ This is the one that did it(A Testament Of Hope), proved his case and won it hands down, all the way across the board, if I was a lawyer reading this... ~~~ <3 ~~ I broke down and cried 3/4th way into the book. Thinc'ing, "My God this man needs JUSTICE!!! <3 !! !!!epicJusticeNOW!! *it's like winning it twice(4Martin Luther King jr)...this time beyond the grave - and he did it with all the books he wrote. Just in case something were to happen to him...Genius!!! <3 !! Let's just face it. Martin Luther King jr IS a genius. Yes, if God wanted to make a Black Man a genius, this is it. And they laugh and mock and scoff... trying to suppress the truth that Martin Luther King jr was a genius and then they all go to jail. For the criminally insane. All their writers have got to go too, not a letter, not a single word will be left of them. This will never happen again in History = !!!epicJusticeNOW!! = They were tried as a terrorist organization and lost. That was the end of the *** **** *****. JUSTICE for Brother Martin Luther King jr!!! <3 !! Amen, Ameen, and amiiiiin! 8.24.2019 ~~~ <3 ~~ ! And for the terrorist overseas, terrorism in The Middle East, this is a different country, a different religion, culture - everything, from the 3rd world. I can still prove them wrong, the very peaceful/righteous way. Simple. Through the eyes of a child. The innocent child-like 12-year-old-Jesus's eyes. To prove them all wrong, not very righteous at all, and very guilty, but! - Allah is oft forgiving and most merciful - this is it ~~~ <3 ~~ ! "All Peace Comes From Allah." ~ The Holy Quran. (towards the back, about 3/4ths) The "Unconditional Surrender" is different for everyone, they would be surrendering to Allah. Because they are not really Muslim...and they don't even know it. ...to be continued! Global Justice is for global terrorism. In our own country, it will be different for the USA's terrorists, they will all be burned alive in hell for the whole world to see. Makes all the terrorists in other countries not want to be terrorists anymore. It's not worth it. Doesn't matter if they are giving you money, look at what is happening to the USA's terrorists. It's not worth it. From terrorist to SAINT...for righteousness from now on. ~ All PEACE comes from Allah ~ ! 4TheNobelPEACEPRize. sidenote//: It was Jesus's Sermon On The MT. = WIN sidenote2//: **the unconditional surrender*** is a technique used by Winston Churchill and how they defeated the nazis and **** ****** in WW2. This really worked for Winston Churchill, and he won a Nobel Peace Prize for it ~ <3 = (((WORLD-PEACE)) !

Matt H.

first things first, make !!!epicJusticeNOW!! happen in real life right NOW. This one was edited differently, went out to the U.N. Nobel Peace Prize committees, Martin Luther King jr knew how to Unite everyone, he UNITED EVERYone. MLKjr had a natural and automatic talent for uniting people. Winston Churchill too, the same way, he knew how to Unite everyone The Alliance, that's how we won WW2. Winston Churchill & Martin Luther King jr would have united ancient Zen as a part of the newer bigger Alliance. Zen Master Dogen Zenji read Testament Of Hope and !!!never give in!! -speeches by Winston Churchill aka "How To Win A World War And Win A Nobel Peace Prize For It". We united Albert Einstein a long time ago. He's the one that pointed it out, "Martin Luther is a genius too, an even bigger genius than I ever was. He wrote everything down - the whole entire way, JUSTICE, he was really doing it too, just like Gandhi in a way...nobody believed him and they made it harder, the persuit of justice, never stopped, he kept writing, he knew it all along. Every single book talks about justice and how to obtain that, yes, this is how you really do it.... I sent this paper to the higher court systems, and this one to the U.N. ...just like it says in the writings he left behind!!! <3 !! Global justice everything, Martin Luther King jr knew how to really do it too, in real life. All4!!!epicJusticeNOW!! NobelWinner/St/Rev/Pastor, and Brother, Martin Luther King jr ~~~ <3 ~~ the case of all cases... 4!!!epicJusticeNOW!! ~ The Nobel Peace Prize X2 ~ Confirming that Martin Luther King jr is indeed a genius! ~~~ <3 ~~ This is the one that did it(A Testament Of Hope), proved his case and won it hands down, all the way across the board, if I was a lawyer reading this... ~~~ <3 ~~ I broke down and cried 3/4th way into the book. Thinc'ing, "My God this man needs JUSTICE!!! <3 !! !!!epicJusticeNOW!! *it's like winning it twice(4Martin Luther King jr)...this time beyond the grave - and he did it with all the books he wrote. Just in case something were to happen to him...Genius!!! <3 !! Let's just face it. Martin Luther King jr IS a genius. Yes, if God wanted to make a Black Man a genius, this is it. And they laugh and mock and scoff... trying to suppress the truth that Martin Luther King jr was a genius and then they all go to jail. For the criminally insane. All their writers have got to go too, not a letter, not a single word will be left of them. This will never happen again in History = !!!epicJusticeNOW!! = They were tried as a terrorist organization and lost. That was the end of the *** **** *****. JUSTICE for Brother Martin Luther King jr!!! <3 !! Amen, Ameen, and amiiiiin! 8.24.2019 ~~~ <3 ~~ ! And for the terrorist overseas, terrorism in The Middle East, this is a different country, a different religion, culture - everything, from the 3rd world. I can still prove them wrong, the very peaceful/righteous way. Simple. Through the eyes of a child. The innocent child-like 12-year-old-Jesus's eyes. To prove them all wrong, not very righteous at all, and very guilty, but! - Allah is oft forgiving and most merciful - this is it ~~~ <3 ~~ ! "All Peace Comes From Allah." ~ The Holy Quran. (towards the back, about 3/4ths) The "Unconditional Surrender" is different for everyone, they would be surrendering to Allah. Because they are not really Muslim...and they don't even know it. ...to be continued! Global Justice is for global terrorism. In our own country, it will be different for the USA's terrorists, they will all be burned alive in hell for the whole world to see. Makes all the terrorists in other countries not want to be terrorists anymore. It's not worth it. Doesn't matter if they are giving you money, look at what is happening to the USA's terrorists. It's not worth it. From terrorist to SAINT...for righteousness from now on. ~ All PEACE comes from Allah ~ ! 4TheNobelPEACEPRize. sidenote//: It was Jesus's Sermon On The MT. = WIN sidenote2//: **the unconditional surrender*** is a technique used by Winston Churchill and how they defeated the nazis and **** ****** in WW2. This really worked for Winston Churchill, and he won a Nobel Peace Prize for it ~ <3 = (((WORLD-PEACE)) !

Matt H.

4theNobel-Peace-Prize <3 This is the one that did it(A Testament Of Hope), proved his case and won it hands down, all the way across the board, if I was a lawyer reading this... ~~~ <3 ~~ I broke down and cried 3/4th way into the book. Thinc'ing, "My God this man needs JUSTICE!!! <3 !! !!!epicJusticeNOW!! *it's like winning it twice, this time beyond the grave - and he did it with all the books he wrote. Just incase something were to happen to him...Genius!!! <3 !! Let's just face it. Martin Luther King jr IS a genius. Yes, if God wanted to make a Black Man a genius, this is it. And they laugh and mock and scoff... trying to suppress the truth that Martin Luther King jr was a genius and then they all go to jail. For the criminally insane. All their writers have got to go too, not a letter, not a single word will be left of them. This will never happen again in History = !!!epicJusticeNOW!! = They were tried as a terrorist organization and lost. That was the end of the *** **** *****. JUSTICE for Brother Martin Luther King jr!!! <3 !! Amen, Ameen, and amiiiiin! 8.24.2019 ~~~ <3 ~~ ! And for the terrorist overseas, terrorism in The Middle East, this is a different country, a different religion, culture - everything, from the 3rd world. I can still prove them wrong, the very peaceful/righteous way. Simple. Through the eyes of a child. The innocent child-like 12-year-old-Jesus's eyes. To prove them all wrong, not very righteous at all, and very guilty, but! - Allah is oft forgiving and most merciful - this is it ~~~ <3 ~~ ! "All Peace Comes From Allah." ~ The Holy Quran. (towards the back, about 3/4ths) The "Unconditional Surrender" is different for everyone, they would be surrendering to Allah. Because they are not really Muslim...and they don't even know it. ...to be continued! Global Justice is for global terrorism. In our own country, it will be different for the USA's terrorists, they will all be burned alive in hell for the whole world to see. Makes all the terrorists in other countries not want to be terrorists anymore. It's not worth it. Doesn't matter if they are giving you money, look at what is happening to the USA's terrorists. It's not worth it. From terrorist to SAINT...for righteousness from now on. ~ All PEACE comes from Allah ~ ! 4TheNobelPEACEPRize. sidenote//: It was Jesus's Sermon On The MT. = WIN sidenote2//: **the unconditional surrender*** is a technique used by Winston Churchill and how they defeated the nazis and **** ****** in WW2. This really worked for Winston Churchill, and he won a Nobel Peace Prize for it ~ <3

Deborah R.

Spike, thanks for sharing your reaction to "Birth thof a Nation" I had a film history course in undergrad and saw the film. It's good your class had at least a film discussion. In my class there was no discusion other than the Instructor saying it was the greatest film of all time (WTF ??) I thought the film was horific and BORING. All the films shown in the course lacked positive images of people of color. I did not learn about film techniques etc. But what I did learn was I needed to be in the industry to counteract these horrific images.

Maria C.

I'm loving all of Spike Lee's lessons. I just have to comment that when he talked about the film, Birth of a Nation, I was thrilled that he said that the professors should discuss the sociopolitical impact the film had when it was released instead of just talking about the list of the innovative way he used editing and shots. I felt exactly the same way when I was in film school. I know the film is part of film history and D.W. Griffith contributions should be noted; however, there should be a discussion about the content. It was horrible. I turned in a paper saying that I found the content terribly offensive and that I couldn't watch the whole film. I still haven't watched it in it's entirety.

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.