'BlackKklansman' Editor Shares Details Of New Film 'Son of the South' With Spike Lee
"When [Spike] read the script, he understood this is a story about a white person who gets affected. He doesn’t change the movement, the movement changes him," Brown said of his new film.
Barry Alexander Brown is a director, writer and editor who has worked with Spike Lee for more than 30 years, and lent his hand to a number of Lee's more memorable films, including Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X and Inside Man. Last month, he received an Academy Award nomination for best film editing for his work on BlackKklansman, while Lee was recognized for the first time in the best motion picture and best director categories.
"Most of the time, you don't think about any of these awards. They're great to have and it’s great to be honored, but I don't think any of the people that got nominated this year, or probably any year, thought about the awards because you got to do the work and that’s all you can concentrate [on]," Brown told The Hollywood Reporter. "I know every single nominee is that way. Every single one went out there to do their best work and every once in a while, everything smiles on you and you get nominated."
Brown shared Lee’s reaction to his Oscar recognition, saying, "He's fired up and he's excited."
"When we were first starting out, I remember Spike saying to me, 'They're never going to give me an Oscar. Never. They're going to roll me out some point, maybe they'll roll both of us out in our wheelchairs and give us some kind of honorary mention,'" he joked. "So here we are. It's always a surprise. We weren't making BlackKklansman with any idea of anything but this was another movie. We're making it as good as we can.”
As awards season comes to an end with the Oscars on Feb. 24th, Brown is gearing up to jump into his next project, Son of the South, the story of Bob Zellner, a white veteran of the Civil Rights movement, and the son and grandson of Ku Klux Klan members.
"There's lots of big stories, but I found it a very inspiring story. I'm from Alabama and I wanted to do something set in the South that I grew up in, and what really feels like the South," Brown told THR. "There's going to be a lot of humor in the film, much like BlackKklansman. Very dramatic story, but a lot of humor at the same time."
Lee, who will serve as executive producer on the film, was at first skeptical about telling the story of "the great white hope."
"When he read the script, he understood this is a story about a white person who gets affected. He's the one who changes. He doesn't change the movement, the movement changes him," he explained. “And it's a film about how you make these choices and how you make this change."
Watch the video above to hear Brown discuss the final Charlottesville scene in BlackKklansman, the reaction to the film and more.