Interview with Malcolm Lee (ML) conducted by Nasser Metcalfe (NM)
- How do you feel about the overwhelming response you've received during and after the special screening of your film?
- When people respond to your work with laughter and comments, it's always rewarding. The response has
been the best that I have had so far. The crowd is hyped up and ready to support
films. And I hope that they'll be able to do the same thing on November 22nd when it comes out.
- So what was it like bringing this project from your mind to the fruition of seeing it on the screen?
I imagine that it was a long journey.
- Well, it's a lot of perseverance that's involved with it. You've got to keep writing. Script writing is
about rewriting. So you can't fall in love with the first thing that you write. You've got to constantly
explore new things, bounce [ideas] off of other people. It's a hard thing. A lot of casting. You've got
to pick the right people to work with. You've got to pray a lot and hope that it all works out for you.
It's not an easy thing. But if your heart is in the right place and you want to do it, you'll try and
will it to happen.
- You went to Georgetown and majored in English. Then received a Masters from NYU film school. Along the
way you also did the Disney Fellowship in Los Angeles for screenwriting. You went the formal education route.
There are a lot of filmmakers out here trying to get their films made. What kind of advice would you
give someone who is just starting out and would like to get to where you've gotten so far?
- Well, it depends on what works for that individual.
For me I needed the structured environment of a film
school. That's what I wanted and that's what I [went] after. Spike [Lee] was a good model for me in that
he went to film school, but he said that he only went to film school so that he could get equipment to
make films. And that's basically how I felt about it as well. You've got to watch a lot of movies. You
have to analyze a lot of movies. You've got to do a lot of writing and be critical. Film is such a
powerful medium that you just can't put anything out there. It's influencing society and it also shapes
the world's view of us.
- You mentioned your cousin, Spike Lee. He helped you bring this project to reality by being executive
producer and actually bringing it to the people at Universal. With him serving as executive producer on
the film and you serving as director, what was it like having a working relationship with a family
- I've worked with Spike for a number of years. It's going on 11 years now working with Spike in
different capacities. Now it's in the capacity that I want it to be where he is producer and I'm director
of my own thing. It's good, actually it's great because he is a very respectful filmmaker. He gives you
support and advice when you ask for it and at times when you don't ask for it. But, it's always coming
from the right place because he wants to see the best possible film happen by all means. I am truly
indebted to Spike. From the very beginning I saw how he could do it and it inspired me.
See The Best Man Review.