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Arts & Entertainment

Importance of Casting

Spike Lee

Lesson time 20:37 min

“The wrong actors, the wrong roles could turn out the wrong movie.” Spike shares his tips for successful casting and his experiences casting some of his most infamous roles.

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.


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

Good to hear his experience it help us lot to improve our film making process thank you

As I dabble with the film making medium, I found this to be very insightful. I admired Spike Lee prior, now I admire him more.

An amazing sharing from a Master! Thank you Spike you have both educated and inspired me on my road this year to make my first documentary and movie. Invaluable learning. Thank you

This is one class that I really wanted to do. I knew this one would be very interesting. Above all, Spike says it like it really is, which I liked. There was some good advice about music.


Charlene R.

It's awesome to see how many people's career was jump started by your vision. Great info!!

Mike E.

I like this video, because Spike's comments about making the audience believe your characters speaks to the idea that the audience enjoys seeing things they can relate to. This point is very important to me, because that's what a lot of my content is based on; depicting a narrative that the targeted audience can relate to and see themselves in.

Patrick B.

Amazing to find out that Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan helped finance Malcolm X. It's beautiful to see black folks coming together like that.


I recommend taking Samuel L. Jackson's Masterclass first before taking Spike's Masterclass, because of this segment connects to what both instructors are saying about "casting" and collaboration.

anouk I.

i liked that he touched on the notion on seeking out new talent when casting. i think making an effort to give an otherwise nameless actor you see something special in an opportunity over a bigger name that will sell is something more filmmakers should take into consideration.

Maxim O.

I did not know Jungle Fever was Halle Berry's first film prior to watching this. Amazing how much talent Spike has had the opportunity to work with.

Chava G.

Let things turn out for the better, you do the and let others even the players do the research. Let every voice be heard at least once. Works for a united, simpatico, cohesive empowering film.

Chava G.

Wow, I see the trend and the flow, stick together and stay that way! I want to work with this in the best way possible, and by any means for real!

Kenyon B.

I know this is a Spike lovefest, but does anyone else think that Laura Harrier as Patrice in Black KKKlansman was horrendous? It would have been cool for him to acknowledge some casting choices that didn't pan out.


20:29 I can't stop playing it! Then the way the guy in the blue leans back and puts is hand out. Oh, so funny.