Chapter 7 of 19 from Spike Lee

Importance of Casting

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“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.

Topics include: Take Your Time: Casting Halle Berry • Chemistry Is Important • Seek Out New Talent • Casting Rosie Perez • Don’t Be Shy • Casting in BlacKkKlansman • Casting Topher Grace • Casting John David Washington

“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.

Topics include: Take Your Time: Casting Halle Berry • Chemistry Is Important • Seek Out New Talent • Casting Rosie Perez • Don’t Be Shy • Casting in BlacKkKlansman • Casting Topher Grace • Casting John David Washington

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.

Reviews

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

Spike Lee's lessons were highly entertaining and highlighted some great points.

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.

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

MasterClass is fantastic. There is direct learning, technique, strategy, artist though, etc. And, maybe even more important is the indirect learning that comes from time spent with a master. This teaches orientation, how to be an artist, how to separate one's identity from one's art, and the freedom of expression that brings. I have taken several classes, and am grateful for them! Thank you.

Comments

ELANA D.

Simpatico!! Gelling is important. 5 Stars (again, just documenting since the icon for the 5th star is the only one that won't initiate. 5 Stars + ! Thanks Spike!!

Tino T.

Sometimes, casting can be a pain in the a.. Because they Actor/Actress you want to have, dont exists :p And sometimes you must rewrite attributes to fit in the Story. And that hurts especially if you are the writer from the Story :p

R.G. R.

Regarding his idea of casting new talent--he's done it often, and it's paid off! Great advice

A fellow student

I love this dude and how he articulates his style of creativity. Appreciate all the jewels. Great Gift

A fellow student

Yeah. Casting can make it or break a film. I had the opportunity to cast unknown talent and it's wonderful when they pull a great performance.

Michael D.

Again, the way Spike teaches is succinct, practical, and real. NO bullshit. That's why this is my favorite master class.

Aja

I've always thought that casting new talent would be a good way to go, especially since so many actors of color rarely get to play roles that aren't based on stereotypes. I would love to be a part of opening the doors for more actors to get roles in the industry.

Jennifer P.

Wow. Even if you cast two great people...if they lack chemistry....#itsawrap! I love the reminder to have people come in for 3-4 callbacks. Don't just give an actor a role right after the first meet & greet. I loved watching this because his passion for this stuff bleeds through the screen. I'm excited just seeing him be soooooo happy!!! #joyunspeakablejoy

Deborah R.

So glad Spike confirmed some intuitive feelings I have about casting. Chemistry is key. I casted and directed a short based on a table read which really was an audition. I went with my gut and the rehearsal and shoot were seamless. Trust your gut. Its also similar to being a chef tasting the ingredients of a great dish and knowing the ingredients taste good together.

T'Shombi B.

Great story Spike. :) Please guys check out my short film. The screenplay was honorable mention in NY Film Festival. It first premiered at the Louisville International Festival of Film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeoR0JloGkw&t=167s