Earlier this week, word got around that Spike Lee snapped off on Chris Rock for asking a question about working with movie executives during a Sundance Film Festival Q&A session, following the screening of Lee’s latest film, Red Hook Summer.
Toward the end of the 20-minute session, Rock simply asked, “What would you had done differently if you had actually gotten a bunch of studio money? I just want to know.” Spike Lee immediately responded to the question and couldn’t help but raise his voice and blurt out profanity while expressing his frustration with waiting on major film companies:
“We never went to the studios with this film. I told you. I bought a camera and we said we’re gonna do this motherf***ing film ourselves. We weren’t going to go to the studios. The plan was to make the film, bring it to Sundance – I didn’t need a motherf***ing studio telling me something about Red Hook! They know nothing about black people. Nothing. And they’re gonna give me notes about what a young 13-year-old black boy and girl do in ‘Red Hook’? F**k no!”
So we made the film ourselves so we wouldn’t have any notes, because we feel there’s a motherf***ing audience for this film – excuse my profanity, my wife is looking at me like I’m crazy – but I don’t know what else we can do. We had to do it ourselves. We shot motherf***ing ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ in twelve days back in 1986. And when I was waiting for Universal [Pictures] to do the sequel to ‘Inside Man,’ my biggest endeavor, I couldn’t wait any longer! We had to do it ourselves! [...] Can we have more questions for the kids? Imma get off the stage. Please. Sorry for that motherf**king tyrant.
Like George Lucas, Lee ended up made the film with his own time, money, cast and crew. Now THAT’s what you call passion for the art! So much for everyone making it more dramatic that it really was. Peep the entire clip below. His rant starts after the 15:15 mark.