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Spike Lee's Gotta Have It: Inside Guerrilla Filmmaking Paperback – October 15, 1987

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The focus here is Spike Lee, writer, director and star of the 1986 independent film She's Gotta Have It, which cost $175,000 to make, grossed $8 million and won the Prix de Jeunesse at Cannes. In an extended interview with George, Lee discusses his childhood, parents, film school, friends, influences, early films and She's Gotta Have It, about which he says, "We wanted to show some kind of black sensuality that I know people want to see, but for whatever reason don'tbecause white people don't know how to handle it." The centerpiece of the book is a journal Lee kept from 1984 to 1986. It traces the film from his earliest ideas ("Men . . . are encouraged to have and enjoy sex, while it's not so for women. Why this double standard?"), scriptwriting and revising, money-raising efforts, production crises, personal notes ("lost weight, down to 115 pounds"), deal-making and Hollywood interest. This diary communicates Lee's fierce drive and determination and is an engrossing document of the creative process. His fans oughtta get it.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In 1986, Lee's She's Gotta Have It exploded on the cinema world. This is his journal describing how the film came to be, beginning in October 1984, when he thought up the title. Lee's account of his seat-of-the-pants operation is a harrowing tale of the plight of the independent filmmakerespecially the endless scraping around for money (despite only $45,000 start-up costs, not millions.) The book is a vivid account of a talented filmmaker at work, and it is work: We see the project take shape, ideas discarded, others developed, unexpected inspirations, the shooting itself; and we witness Lee's optimism, energy, and faith in himself. Includes an interview and the screenplay. David Bartholomew,
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside Books (Simon & Schuster); 1st edition (October 15, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671644173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671644178
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Spikes Lee's gotta have it is an essential book for independent filmmakers. It's a book in three parts. The first part begins with an interview of Spike lee By Nelson George sometime after SGHI premiered and he became a big shot. But the second part is the most appealing. It is the production diary in which Spike goes into complete detail how he got she's gotta have it made. The Diary is from the intitla idea to postproduction. It's filled with loads of insights into the struggles he was up against. In fact it's so indepth he even mentiones when his heat and lights go out. Then finally theres the script, which is like the icing on the cake. Hard to find but worth it because you really get to understand how he works and how he got to where he is. Essential!
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Most film diaries go on about production. This one is nearly entirely about the concepts developing into creation, with a ton of focus on the journey of financing and finding time to write, edit, etc.. Not paying vendors, scary threats, cast & crew debts, and all the tribulations of going ahead anyways without all the $ in place. Plus a great insight on when distributors court filmmakers at fests, plus subtle race and gender issues from experiences.
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I rarely am so intrigued by a book that I can't put it down, but Spike Lee is such an amazing character, so dedicated to hi craft and his own soul. You will have a much better chance at happiness if you follow his lead.
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This is a easy to read book that allows us to insight into the mind of Mr. Lee as he journeyed to achieve his goal and fulfill his dream to getting She's Gotta Have It onto the big screen. I really enjoyed the book and I learned from his frank conversation with the interviewer.
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