Film & TV

Spike's Film 101s Pt. 2

Spike Lee

Lesson time 08:18 min

For Spike, the take is a sacred moment. Learn his rules for managing your crew and running a set effectively in order to deliver the best possible takes.

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.

Spike Lee has been the best teacher so far. Thank you so much for all the tools!!!

Great class. Thank you Mr Lee for showing us how it is done.

Loved the tech lessons about camera positions and colors. It’s surreal to have this opportunity. I can’t wait to watch your most recent movie!

I felt inspired by his personal words, specially about the use of art on social political activism. Art is a fantastic tool to permeate minds, dissuade prejudices and invite for reflection on new ideas.


Chava G.

Need the crew, can't do it alone. Arrive too early, stay to late. Communicate with the crew! Know what we are doing, Know what works. No trucks in the shot, but not too far away. "I don't know' is not acceptable. You got to know what is going on; phones off, action means silence for every one but the actors. Battling Unions (Teamsters) to utilize diversity in the crew - lol talk to the Fruit of Islam. Spike Lee, King Warrior Activist Film Mutha Freaking Filmaker! Love Him!

Matt H.

This was the b-side shot. I still thinc' Spike Lee would love this photo since I am an abstract artist. The painting is the star, no, I don't know what that is in the upper left hand corner of the photo. This picture has many levels to his abstractness... the music//: ~~~ <3 ~~ = !!!epicJusticeNOW!!

Matt H.

paused at 4:34 my homework. Photo where I am looking up, at the star character, for power.

Matthew B.

Best AD I have worked with had us all on walkie, just the ear piece, so he could update us. We had like over 10 company moves in downtown LA, huge gang of skateboarders and a decent size crew and a couple pass vans, walkie's are a must imo… just asking for meal penalties or laggard crew without them

Matthew B.

One time... I was the assistant camera on a music video shoot in, coney island, and the director decided to save money and check out the camera himself, day of production... and dude forgot the lens, and asked the DP, "we can still shoot though, right?" and the DP was so confused and panic'd, "no....! what?" cut to; 4 hour later, we have 45 minutes of shootable light and we throw the camera on the steady cam, and just tell him to do some "cool shit" while we walked with the singer down the boardwalk to a pier, and the video went on to win some latin America music video award in 2011 getting the guy got signed to Warner Bros or something.. things can work out even if you do everything wrong sometimes, just to keep in mind since, weird shit happens, even if you plan well. Director had everything planned really well, just didn't know how to check out a camera..


It is very important to me to have a crew that represents my target audience and the stories I tell. I won't hesitate to uplift and support other black, female filmmakers.

Michael O.

When the camera's rolling, that to me, is a sacred moment. Yes. For me, the process leading up to the take is sacred as well.

E T.

Nah Son! Make things happen....when you are in a position of power use it wisely. Love him!

Tino T.

In Production I was always very good because I anticipated things, i am very pessimistic during the preproductions thats why later everything is full of plan Bs :D lol and it works...

Gwendolyn C.

The union being Local 802 Motion picture and film union??? There was also another union I heard about is it 306. My dad was in the industry--worked at Park Avenue screening room. He and DollThomas integrated the production crew at the Apollo. Oh