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Back to Spike Lee's 1996 talk
on his work as an independent filmmaker

Spike Lee
Biography and Jointography
(up to 1996)

The following biography was made available to In Motion Magazine by Capretta Communications in connection with the Imagination Conference in San Francisco, June 8, 1996. (Publisher's note: Please note we have no connection to Spike Lee and emails to our magazine will not reach Spike Lee. Thank you.)



S
pike Lee has established himself as one of Hollywood's most important and influential filmmakers in the past decade. Spike has now completed his ninth film Girl 6 released in Spring of 1996. The Jackie Robinson Saga is to come in 1997. These movies follow his critically-acclaimed films Malcolm X and Clockers.

In 1986, his debut film, the independently produced comedy, She's Gotta Have It, earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes Film festival and set him at the forefront of the Black Wave in American Cinema.

School Daze, his second feature, not only proved highly profitable, but also launched the careers of several young Black actors. Spike's timely 1989 film, Do The Right Thing, garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film & Director awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Lee's Jungle Fever and Mo' Better Blues were also critically well received.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Spike returned South from Brooklyn to attended Morehouse College. Spike coontinued his education at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in film production. Lee then founded 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks and Musicworks. In addition. he has created two retail companies, Spike's Joint, based in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, where he has resided since childhood, and Spike's Joint West in Los Angeles.

In addition to his achievements in feature films, Lee has produced had directed numerous music videos for such diverse artists as Miles Davis, Tracy Chapman, Anita Baker, Public Enemy and Bruce Hornsby. His other music videos include work for Phyliss Hyman, Naughty by Nature, and Arrested Development.

Lee's commercial work began in 1988 with his Nike Air Jordan campaign. Collaborating with basketball great Michael Jordan on seven commercials, Lee resurrected his popular character, Mars Blackmon from She's Gotta Have It. Lee is also well-known for his Levi's Button-Fly 501, AT&T, and ESPN television commercials. His latest venture is a Ben & Jerry commercial which features commercials. Spike has also directed several Art Spot Shorts for MTV and a short
film featuring Branford Marsalis and Diahane Abbott for Saturday Night Live. Additionally, Spike has authored six books on the making of his films; the fifth book, Five For Five, served as a pictorial reflection of his first five features.



Spike Lee Jointography
(up to 1996)


Feature Films

  • Jackie Robinson Saga: In pre-porduction -- 1997
  • Girl 6 -- 1996
  • Clockers -- 1995
  • Crooklyn -- 1994
  • Malcolm X -- 1992
  • Jungle Fever -- 1991
  • Mo' Better Blues -- 1990
  • Do The Right Thing -- 1989
  • School Daze -- 1988
  • She's Gotta Have It -- 1986

Executive Producer

  • Tales From The Hood -- 1995
  • New Jersey Drive -- 1995
  • Drop Squad -- 1994

Music Videos

  • Chaka Khan: Love Me Still -- 1995
  • Bruce Hornsby: Swing Street -- 1995
  • Crooklyn Dodgers: Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers -- 1995
  • MCAT: Oh My Precious -- 1994
  • Branford Marsalis: Breakfast At Denny's -- 1994
  • Marc Dorsey: People Make The World Go Around -- 1994
  • Crooklyn Dodgers: Crooklyn -- 1994
  • Eros Ramizotti: Cose Della Vita -- 1993
  • Guru: Loungin -- 1993
  • Bruce Hornsby: Talk Of The Town -- 1993
  • Naughty By Nature: Hip Hop Hurray -- 1992
  • Arrested Development: Revolution -- 1992
  • State Of Art: Beating Heart -- 1992
  • State Of Art: Laughing At The Years -- 1992
  • Prince: Money Don't Matter -- 1992
  • Stevie Wonder: Make Sure You're Sure -- 1992
  • Stevie Wonder: Gotta Have You -- 1991
  • Stevie Wonder: Jungle Fever -- 1991
  • The Home Boy Project: Do Your Dance -- 1991
  • Fishbone: Sunless Saturday -- 1991
  • Cynda Williams: Harlem Blues -- 1990
  • Gangstarr: Jazz Thing -- 1990
  • E.U.: Buck Wild -- 1989
  • Public Enemy: Fight The Power -- 1989
  • Perri Sisters: Feel So Good -- 1989
  • E.U.: Da Butt -- 1988
  • The Rays: Be Alone Tonight -- 1988
  • Phyliss Hyman: Be One -- 1988
  • Keith John: I Can Only Be Me -- 1988
  • Steel Pulse: Reachin Out -- 1988
  • Anita Baker: No One In The World -- 1987
  • She's Gotta Have It: 'Nola -- 1986
  • Miles Davis: Tutu Meledy -- 1986
  • Branford Marsalis: Royal Gardens -- 1986

Short Films

  • HBO: Real Sports "John Thompson" Coach -- 1995\
  • HBO: Iron Mike Tyson -- 1991
  • MTV: Five One Minute Spots -- 1989
  • Horn Of Plenty: Saturday Night Live -- 1986

Student Films (New York University)

  • Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads -- 1982
  • Sarah -- 1981
  • The Answer -- 1980

Commercials

  • NY Times -- 1995
  • Nike: Pick-Up Game -- 1995
  • Taco Bell: Shaquille O'Neal & Hakeem Olajowon -- 1995
  • Nike: Mike & Spike -- 1995
  • American Express: Charge Against Hunger -- 1995
  • Smooth Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry's -- 1994
  • Mascot: ESPN 2 -- 1993
  • Tucked -- ESPN -- 1993
  • 3 Point Line: ESPN 2 -- 1993
  • DORM 1-800-OPERATOR: AT&T -- 1993
  • Girls Night Out: AT&T -- 1993
  • Urban Jungle Gym: Nike -- 1992
  • Is It Da' Shoes Air Jordan: Nike -- 1991
  • Levi's 501: Butterfly Jeans Series -- 1991
  • En Vogue: DIET COKE -- 1991
  • Genie/ Air Jordan: Nike -- 1991
  • Stay In School/ Air Jordan: Nike -- 1991
  • Flight School/ Air Jordan: Nike -- 1991
  • Levi's Button Fly Jeans Series: Levi's -- 1990
  • Opinions/ Air Jordan: Nike -- 1990
  • Rappin/Air Jordan: Nike -- 1989
  • Can...Can't /Air Jordan: Nike -- 1989
  • Nola Air Jordan: Nike -- 1989
  • Hang Time/ Air Jordan: Nike -- 1988
  • Cover/ Air Jordan: Nike -- 1988
  • Charles Barkely: Nike -- 1988
  • Jesse Jackson Drugs: New York State Primary -- 1988

Books

  • By Any Means Necessary: The Trials And Tribulations Of Making Malcolm X -- 1993
  • 5 For 5 -- 1992
  • Mo' Better Blues -- 1991
  • Do The Right Thing: A Spike Lee Joint -- 1990
  • Uplift the Race: The Construction Of School Daze -- 1989
  • Spike Lee's Gotta Have It: Inside Guerrilla Filmmaking -- 1988


Published in In Motion Magazine July 13, 1996.

Publisher's note.
Thank you for visiting In Motion Magazine,
but please note we have no connection to Spike Lee
and emails to our magazine will not reach Spike Lee.


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