The newest hottest Spike Lee Joint

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Official synopsis : A Spike Lee Joint, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a new kind of love story, one that centers on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe. When Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is introduced to a mysteriously cursed artifact by an art curator, Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), he is uncontrollably drawn into a newfound thirst for blood that overwhelms his soul. He however is not a vampire. Lafayette quickly succumbs to the ravenous nature of the infliction but leaves Hess a transformed man. Soon Lafayette’s wife, Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams), comes looking for her husband and becomes involved in a dangerous romance with Hess that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society. A reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film “Ganja & Hess”, which played as a Critics’ Choice at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee’s stylized thriller features an Original Score by Bruce Hornsby.

Campaign success

 This project was successfully funded on August 21, 2013.
 It had 6,421Backers. 
 They pledged $1,418,910 of $1,250,000 goal.

When Lee launched the campaign he received a lot of criticism for not knowing much about the community standards of the platform he was asking for money on and not saying nothing about the film except the short description. He also encountered the

  • "get celebrities off of Kickstarter" trend.

For people it was strange why someone as wealthy and connected as he was needs a Kickstarter to fund his projects.

  • First successful celebrity project on Kickstarter was the Veronica Mars. It was great, because it was obvious they had no choice than to search for a money and support from fans. The millions raised showed to the studio that there is enough enthusiasm behind the movie and that the movie is worthy of their distribution. That success motivated Zach Braff to lunch a project on Kickstarter to finance partially his movie Wish I Was Here. He couldn't secure traditional financing so he succeed with a help from fans to make the movie exactly as he wanted. But then complaints began: Why should the fans essentially provide free money to wealthy(or not?) filmmakers, and then pay again to see the movie? Then Spike Lee (another wealthy filmmaker, or not?) with all the connections lunched his Kickstarter project! The fact is that many of his donations came from the Kerry Washington, Steven Soderbergh, and other famous people. And that shows the problem with celebrity Kickstarters: It felt kind of like the Hollywood elite were exchanging money, instead of what Kickstarter was seemingly created to do: Support financially strapped folks with big ideas and small pocketbooks.

But than after critics he changed some stuff in his campaign and the result was great. His project was successfully funded.

Lee explained that he often has more trouble than you'd imagine producing the films he most wants to get made. Lee also appeared on Bloomberg News and got in a heated discussion with the host which had led to a big day of donations for his project. Good PR is very immportant, before and during the campaign.

He announced that Raphael Saadiq is composing music for the film. Next announcement was that British actress Zarrah Abrahams will play the lead female role in the film.

His campaign was constantly being updated and interacting with fans. Lee also changed the promotional video and the key art for campaign alluding on the style Do the Right Thing, classic examination of racial tension in Brooklyn. And that was much better. Also a hipster hangout party was organised in Brooklyn with a $25 cover at the door.

Rewards for donors

In campaign were planned very interresting, attractive awards for backers. Here are some.

Pledge $5 or more 

601 backers Special Thanks Tweet From Me and Access to Behind the Scenes Project Updates Estimated delivery: Sep 2014

Pledge $10 or more 

379 backers Autographed Postcard by Me. Only for the $10 pledges. Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge $10 or more 

72 backers Limited (28 left of 100) Badges (4" x 6") From Our Various Brooklyn Loves MJ Parties Signed By Me. Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge $20 or more 

591 backers Watch A Special Screening Online Opening Weekend plus Behind the Scenes Project Updates Estimated delivery: Sep 2014

Pledge $25 or more 

198 backers Limited (1 left of 199) From Our Vaults, Rare Poster of 40 Acres Institute Autographed By Me Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge $40 or more 

189 backers You will receive a T-shirt of "I backed The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint" Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge $75 or more 

77 backers You Will Receive An Autographed Limited Edition Poster of Our Film. Plus The Special Screening Online Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge $100 or more 

184 backers Autographed Crew T-shirt. Plus Autographed DVD And Special Online Screening Opening Weekend Of Our Film Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge $100 or more 

6 backers Limited (44 left of 50) The rare poster for our Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson Celebration that was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene in 2011. If you love MJ you should own this. Signed by renown underground artist Fuse and me. Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge $250 or more 

121 backers Limited (79 left of 200) Two Tickets To The World Premiere Of Our Film in New York City Estimated delivery: Sep 2014

Pledge $750 or more 

1 backer All gone! Abraham Lincoln High School Railsplitters Blue Away Jersey WORN in the Classic ball flick HE GOT GAME. Authentic Jersey Worn by: Number 4 – Travis Best Size 44. Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge $1,000 or more 

30 backers You Will Be An Extra In Our Film Estimated delivery: Sep 2014

Pledge $2,000 or more 

14 backers You Will Attend My Special Limited Master Filmmaker Class Which Will be An All-Day Seminar At My 40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks Building In Da Republic Of Brooklyn, New York. This Also Includes a Museum Like Tour. Estimated delivery: Sep 2014

Pledge $3,000 or more 

5 backers Join me in a memorable experience. I am inviting you to spend a full work day with me and the editor to observe the editing process. This day includes lunch. Acceptance of this reward, requires you to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Quantity of this reward is limited. Estimated delivery: Sep 2014

Pledge $10,000 

29 backers This Award Is For All Playa-Playas. For 10 Grand I'm Taking You to Dinner, Then You Will Have The Honor And Privilege To Sit Next To Me (in my wife's Tonya's seat)at the world's most famous arena Madison Square Garden to see our beloved New York Knickerbockers, orange and blue skies. If you don't know this is one of the true great sporting events today. You will remember this experience as long as you live. This is very limited item. You slow- you blow. This is big, big time. PS. Knicks will be great this coming new season. Estimated delivery: Sep 2014

Pledge $10,000 

0 backers Limited (1 left of 1) This Is A Rare Piece Of American Cinema History. This X American Flag Is From The Opening Credits Of The Epic MALCOLM X. There Are Only 4 That Exist. Denzel Has One, I Have One And You Can Own One Too. We Will Frame This X American Flag So You Will Have A Piece Of ART Hanging On Your Wall. The Pledge Is $10,000. To Me This Is The Best Reward We Have Had So Far. You Slow, You Blow. You Snooze, You Lose. Again Only 4 Exist In This World. Denzel And I Are Not Giving Ours Up. Thank You. Please Give This Serious Consideration. Estimated delivery: Sep 2014 Ships anywhere in the world

So There You Have It. The Awards Are Affordable To One And All We Need Everyone To Help This Cause.
Many Thanks In Advance. I Can't Do This Without You. This Will Truly Be A Community 
  Generated Spike Lee Joint. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF

Wrote Lee.

Project success

The campaign was a success but the movie itself not so successful as expected! Awards were original and motivational! Movie has been made and first shown on closing night at the American Black Film Festival, where it earned middling critics. Lee was in talks and had troubles to find the right distributor. After movie premiere it was still open the question where this horror comedy starring Stephen Tyrone Williams, Zaraah Abrahams, Rami Malek, and Elvis Nolasco is going to end up? The movie got ripped really hard by critics on Festival so there was some question whether the film would find distribution at all?

Latest informations are that Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights and that it should release the film theatrically and on video on demand on Februar 13, but still no word on when the home video release is coming. Hopefully this movie is going to find his way to the wider audience. So we can conclude that if project finds his way to be financed on Kickstarter there is no guarantee that he is going to be profitable, acknowledged. Some projects, like for example this one, have difficulties to find a way to success even after finding a way to be financed and supported. There is no recipe and no warranty.