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Arts & Entertainment

Spike's Film 101s Pt. 1

Spike Lee

Lesson time 07:36 min

Learn Spike’s tips for creating realistic budgets and shooting schedules (and sticking to them), working on location, and how to make your crew feel appreciated.

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.

I was inspired and wholeheartedly appreciated his transparency. Spike Lee's examples were great as well. It proved the notion of practice what you preach. To sum it up, very encouraging.

It's helping me to advance my knowledge on filmmaking.

I was never going to take this class until I stumbled upon it's trailer! It intrigued me and things only went uphill from there! Mr. Spike Lee is an institution of inspiration and knowledge. Simply put, this was one the best film making class I've found on the mighty internet.

A passionate storyteller, Spike dives into his bag of classics to provide the backbone of independent filmmaking. Great class!


Howard T.

I love his authentic voice and style, and the "Do or Die" attitude. The lesson was right on point!

Mike E.

I love how Spike is basically talking about being resourceful. This could help young filmmakers to understand how much is actually possible without money.

Maxim O.

I find this lesson really helpful because we all have big dreams as filmmakers and to know that he had to shelf one of his projects for later on is very relatable.

Ben W.

I get the real feeling that Spike Lee is doing his best to level with us, to say it like it is, to bring us along as fellow filmmakers. I like that.

Chava G.

Good home training, thanks Master Class, Baba Teacher Spike for raising us right!!

George B.

Great lesson! Although I am having difficulty finding the Variety synopsis in the workbook, I can't find it when i click the link...

Carolyn S.

Pure genius - what an honor to be able to listen to Spike describe his process, concepts, inspiration and his storytelling approach. Bravo Spike! BRAVO!!!

Michael U.

Spike Lee brings up a great point. On the shoots, I have been involved in the technical and support staff talked more about the catering provided than the actual scenes, acting or anything else associated with the movie.

Terrence E.

Filmmakers, let's connect. Add me on Instagram or e-mail me. IG: TerrenceTEdwards Email: Based in Los Angeles.

John G.

Spike, I love you, man! I’ve been a big fan of yours for many years. Your movies are amazing. You have a very intelligent way to get your point across in your films. I especially love “Do The Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever.” What I especially liked was watching your “Table Read” for Do The Right Thing, and how you selected Rosie Perez, Martin Lawrence, and Roger Guenveur Smith as Smiley. Watching your master class has been a truly revealing experience for me. Your presentation was very easy to understand, I could feel your honesty throughout. I also love your humor.. the financing of Malcolm X. You made me laugh until I cried when you talked about Magic & MJ. I also liked your section about “On The Waterfront” and it’s similarly to the Colin Kaepernick situation. You hit that one right on the mark! Spike, I’ve watched a few other Master Classes and yours is my #1 favorite! Thank you so much!