FORT GREENE — With days to spare on the Kickstarter campaign to fund his new film, filmmaker Spike Lee surpassed his $1.25 million goal.
"Thank you Jesus," Lee said in an online video when his goal was reached. "This is a historic moment."
Lee kept in daily contact with his supporters during the funding campaign, giving readers 57 updates during the month-long push for dollars, including the news that British actress Zaraah Abrahams of "Black Girl in Paris" was cast as the female lead, and Broadway stage actor Stephen Tyrone Williams was tapped as the male star.
Lee also named Michael K. Williams of "Boardwalk Empire" as an addition to the cast.
The famous director continued fundraising despite criticism from some film fans and media. Many said that the Oscar-nominated director was taking money away from lesser-known artists by using crowdfunding to finance his film.
But Lee maintained that he was raising awareness about Kickstarter and introducing young filmmakers to a new way of funding their projects.
"It is a fallacy that I am stopping young filmmakers from getting money," he told DNAinfo New York. "I am bringing people to Kickstarter that didn’t even know about it."
Lee was ultimately able to convince 6,350 supporters to donate $1,369,528 dollars toward his new film about "sexy bloodsuckers." Kickstarter allows artists to raise money online for creative projects, but donors' credit cards are only charged if the artist reaches their money goal by a set deadline. Lee surpassed his $1.25 million goal on Aug. 16, five days before his Aug. 21 deadline.
"They can throw brickbats, hurdles, whatever they can in our wake. We will do what needs to be done to make our stories and tell our stories," he said.