School Daze (1988)

R | 120 mins | Comedy, Musical, Drama | 12 February 1988

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Spike Lee

Producer:

Spike Lee

Cinematographer:

Ernest Dickerson

Production Designer:

Wynn Thomas

Production Company:

Forty Acres and a Mule
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HISTORY

After the Aug 1986 release of his first feature film, She’s Gotta Have It (see entry), writer-director Spike Lee began writing the screenplay for School Daze, according to production notes located in AMPAS library files. In a 25 Aug 1986 LAT article, Lee noted that he “got a $3-million budget.” However, distributor Island Pictures feared the picture’s budget would increase to approximately $5 million, and decided to drop their option. Columbia Pictures acquired the film in turnaround, as noted in the 4 Feb 1987 Var.
       While a 24 Mar 1987 HR production chart listed that principal photography began on 17 Mar 1987 in Atlanta, GA, production notes state that filming started on 9 Mar 1987. An item in the 27 Feb 1987 HR reported that Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived on set to bless production. Filming began on the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. However, the 8 May 1987 HR reported that Lee was informed by the Atlanta University Center that production could no longer due to “concern about the film’s portrayal of black colleges.” In addition to Morehouse College, filming was banned from the Atlanta-based campuses of Clark College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College. Production was shifted to Atlanta University.
       The 16 Mar 1987 DV announced that actress Vanessa Williams, cast as the character “Jane Toussaint,” was being replaced by actress Tisha Campbell.
       As reported in the 19 May 1987 DV, filming concluded on 4 May 1987, and the 13 Dec 1987 NYT listed a final ... More Less

After the Aug 1986 release of his first feature film, She’s Gotta Have It (see entry), writer-director Spike Lee began writing the screenplay for School Daze, according to production notes located in AMPAS library files. In a 25 Aug 1986 LAT article, Lee noted that he “got a $3-million budget.” However, distributor Island Pictures feared the picture’s budget would increase to approximately $5 million, and decided to drop their option. Columbia Pictures acquired the film in turnaround, as noted in the 4 Feb 1987 Var.
       While a 24 Mar 1987 HR production chart listed that principal photography began on 17 Mar 1987 in Atlanta, GA, production notes state that filming started on 9 Mar 1987. An item in the 27 Feb 1987 HR reported that Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived on set to bless production. Filming began on the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. However, the 8 May 1987 HR reported that Lee was informed by the Atlanta University Center that production could no longer due to “concern about the film’s portrayal of black colleges.” In addition to Morehouse College, filming was banned from the Atlanta-based campuses of Clark College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College. Production was shifted to Atlanta University.
       The 16 Mar 1987 DV announced that actress Vanessa Williams, cast as the character “Jane Toussaint,” was being replaced by actress Tisha Campbell.
       As reported in the 19 May 1987 DV, filming concluded on 4 May 1987, and the 13 Dec 1987 NYT listed a final budget of $6.1 million.
       After the picture’s limited release on 12 Feb 1988, the 17 Feb 1988 LAT stated that the picture grossed $1.5 million on 223 screens.
       A news item in the 24 Jun 1988 LAT reported that Tisha Campbell had filed a lawsuit against Spike Lee for $550,000. Campbell claimed Lee did not provide compensation “for her appearance on the sound-track and failed to give her credit for the song, “Be Alone Tonight.”
       The film concludes with the following memorial statement: “In memory of Kawme Olantunjo, Willi Smith, Harold Vick, Dr. Wendall P. Whalum.” End credits also state: “Thank You: Arena Swimwear; Miriam Haskell Jewels; Benetton; Street Scenes/Above The Belt; Adidas; Willi Wear/Willi Smith; Converse; L.A. Gear; The Chocolate Soup; Ivy Images; French Connection; Deerfoot by Omnisports; Marithé and Francois Girbaud; Giorgio de Sant’Angelo; Yvette Marie Enterprises; Eastern Airlines; Perry Ellis; Air Atlanta; Nike, Inc.; Regency Suites; Ranor; Ramada Inn; Romar Appeal Group.” End credits acknowledge: “Filmed in part on location at The Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, and in the great borough of Brooklyn, New York. Many thanks to Norman Bielowicz and The Georgia Film and Videotape Office.”
       Like many of Spike Lee’s films, end credits conclude with the tag: “Ya-Dig, Sho-Nuff, By Any Means Necessary.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Mar 1987
p. 6.
Daily Variety
19 May 1987
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 1988
p. 3, 12.
Los Angeles Times
25 Aug 1986
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
11 Feb 1988
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
17 Feb 1988
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jun 1988
Calendar, p. 2.
New York Times
13 Dec 1987
Section A, p. 14.
New York Times
12 Feb 1988
Section C, p. 11.
Variety
4 Feb 1987
p. 6.
Variety
17 Feb 1988
p. 22.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Players:
Larry Fishburne
and
as Coach Odom
Da Fellas:
Jigaboos:
Gamma Rays:
Half-Pint's Female Friends:
Girls In Window:
Local Yokels:
Miss Mission College Court:
Phyllis Hyman Quartet:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures presents
a Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks production
A Spike Lee Joint
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
Addl asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Still photog
2d cam op
2d cam op
1st asst cam (2d cam)
Addl 1st asst cam (2d cam)
2d cam asst (2d unit)
2d cam asst (2d unit)
Gaffer
Best boy
3d elec
4th elec
5th elec
Concert lighting des/Pre-rig gaffer
Pre-rig gaffer
Generator op
Key grip
Dolly grip
Pre-rig grip
Pre-rig grip
Pre-rig grip
Grip prod asst
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Prod asst - Art dept
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative matching
SET DECORATORS
Const coord
Scenic const
Best boy
Master carpenter
Crew chief
Const crew
Const crew
Const crew
Const crew
Const crew
Set dec
Lead person
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Prod asst - Prop
Scenic
Sculpture
Sculpture
Scenery built by
COSTUMES
Cost asst
Ward supv
Asst ward
Miss Mission College Court gowns
Phyllis Hyman's gown
Death March Gamma Ray cost
MUSIC
Orig mus score
Asst mus supv
Mus copyist
Mus score rec at
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, drums
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin/Contractor fo
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, violin
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, viola
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, viola
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, viola
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, viola
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, cello
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, cello
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, cello
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, cello
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, bass
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, flute (piccolo)
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, flute
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, flute
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, flute
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, saxophone (contracto
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, saxophone (solo)
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, saxophone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, saxophone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, saxophone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, saxophone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, saxophone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, saxophone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trumpet (solo)
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trumpet
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trumpet
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trumpet
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trumpet
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trombone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trombone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trombone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, trombone
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, tuba
“Straight & Nappy,” musician, piano
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cond
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, piano
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, piano
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, bass
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, bass
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, bass
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, drums and percuss
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, drums and percuss
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, drums and percuss
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, drums and percuss
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, drums and percuss
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, drums and percuss
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trumpet (first)
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trumpet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trumpet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trumpet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trumpet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trumpet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, saxophone (first)
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, saxophone
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, saxophone
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, saxophone
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, saxophone
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, flute
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, flute
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, flute
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, flute
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, clarinet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, clarinet (bass)
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, clarinet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, clarinet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, clarinet
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, french horn
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, french horn
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, french horn
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, french horn
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trombone (first)
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trombone
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trombone
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, trombone
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, violin
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, viola
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, viola
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, viola
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, viola
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, viola
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, viola
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, viola
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, viola
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cello
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cello
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cello
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cello
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cello
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cello
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cello
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, cello
The Natural Spiritual Orchestra, harp
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd ed
Sd ed
Looping ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Sd re-rec at
Dolby Stereo consultant
Sd equip
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main and end titles des and prod by
DANCE
Choreog
Asst choreog
MAKEUP
Hair and makeup
Asst hair and makeup
Hair cutter
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod office coord
Asst prod office coord
Prod scey
Asst auditor
Loc scout
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Casting asst (LA)
Casting asst
Piano tuner
Unit pub
Transportation coord
Fraternity life tech adv
Driver
Driver
Driver
Prod asst-Set
Prod asst-Set
Prod asst-Set
Prod asst-Office
Prod asst-Office
Intern
Intern
Intern
Intern
Intern
Intern
Intern
Intern
Asst to Spike Lee
New York office coord
Completion guarantee
Photo research
Historical consultant/Research
Historical consultant/Research
Photo researcher/Consultant
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
SONGS
“I’m Building Me A Home,” arranged by Dr. Uzee Brown
“Straight & Nappy,” music and lyrics by Bill Lee, performed by The Jigaboos and Wannabees, lead vocals by Kyme & Tisha Campbell, New Version Music (BMI)
“Be Alone Tonight,” music and lyrics by Raymond Jones, performed by The Rays, Tisha Campbell, Jasmine Guy, Paula Brown and Angela Ali, lead vocals by Tisha Campbell, produced by Raymond Jones, Zubaidah Music Inc./Warner Brothers Music (ASCAP)
+
SONGS
“I’m Building Me A Home,” arranged by Dr. Uzee Brown
“Straight & Nappy,” music and lyrics by Bill Lee, performed by The Jigaboos and Wannabees, lead vocals by Kyme & Tisha Campbell, New Version Music (BMI)
“Be Alone Tonight,” music and lyrics by Raymond Jones, performed by The Rays, Tisha Campbell, Jasmine Guy, Paula Brown and Angela Ali, lead vocals by Tisha Campbell, produced by Raymond Jones, Zubaidah Music Inc./Warner Brothers Music (ASCAP)
“I Can Only Be Me,” music and lyrics by Stevie Wonder, performed by Keith John, produced by Stevie Wonder, Jobete Music Co., Inc./Black Bull Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
“Perfect Match,” music and lyrics by Lenny White and Tina Harris, performed by TECH and The EFFX, produced by Lenny White, MCHOMA/Screen Gems (BMI) and AMH Kid Music (ASCAP)
“Kick Out the Tigers,” music and lyrics by Consuela Lee Morehead, SpringTree Music Company (BMI)
“Da Butt,” music and lyrics by Marcus Miller and Mark Stevens, performed by EU, produced by Marcus Miller, Sunset Burgundy Inc./Tootsie Songs/MCA Publishing, a Division of MCA Inc./(ASCAP)
“Be One,” music and lyrics by Bill Lee, performed by Phyllis Hyman, New Version Music (BMI), Phyllis Hyman appears courtesy of Philadelphia International Records, Inc.
“We’ve Already Said Goodbye (Before We Said Hello),” music and lyrics by Raymond Jones, string arrangements by Claire Fisher, performed by Pieces of Dream with Portia Griffin, James Lloyd--piano, Curtis Harmon--drums, Cedrick Napoleon--bass guitar, Branford Marsalis--tenor saxophone, Portia Griffin--vocals, produced by Raymond Jones, Zubaidah Music Inc. (ASCAP), Branford Marsalis appears courtesy of CBS Records, Inc.
“Wake Up Suite,” written by Bill Lee, performed by The Natural Spiritual Orchestra
“One Little Acorn,” written by Bill Lee, performed by Kenny Barron and Terence Blanchard, Terence Blanchard appears courtesy of Columbia Records, Inc.
“March of the Winkies,” written by Herbert Stothart, SBK Feist Catalog Inc.
“If I Didn't Care,” written by Jack Lawrence, Chappell & Co., Inc.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
School Days
Release Date:
12 February 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 February 1988
Production Date:
9 March--4 May 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
21 March 1988
Copyright Number:
PA364600
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Prints
Prints by De Luxe®
Duration(in mins):
120
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28941
SYNOPSIS

On Friday of homecoming weekend at the historical African-American college, Mission College, senior Vaughn “Dap” Dunlap leads a protest rally regarding the school’s involvement with apartheid in South Africa. However, the fraternity Gamma Phi Gamma and their pledge class, the Gammites, arrive to interrupt the demonstration. Julian “Big Brother Almighty” Eaves, Gamma leader and Dap’s former friend, informs Dap he does not agree with his protest. Upset, Dap and Julian began to fight, but Student Government Association president Virgil Cloyd breaks up the rally. At the administration building, Board of Trustees Chairman "Cedar Cloud" orders College President Harold McPherson to stop Dap from protesting. Later, Julian taunts Gammites pledge Darrell “Half-Pint,” saying he will drop out of pledging just as his cousin Dap did years earlier. In the evening, Dap asks his friends, Grady, Monroe, Jordan, Edge, and Booker T., to return with him to the administration building to protest. Although supporters of Dap’s cause, they want to complete their college education and get good jobs in the future. The following day, Dap is called into President McPherson’s office and informed by Cedar Cloud that if he continues with his protests he will be expelled. In the evening, Half-Pint and the Gammites complete their pledging and become fraternity brothers. During the celebration with the Gamma Ray sorority, Julian becomes annoyed with his girl friend, Jane Toussaint. Singling out Half-Pint, Julian orders him to sleep with Jane as a final test. Although Half-Pint is uncomfortable with Julian’s request, Jane insists she would do anything for Julian. Afterward, Julian accuses Jane of loving the fraternity and his position ... +


On Friday of homecoming weekend at the historical African-American college, Mission College, senior Vaughn “Dap” Dunlap leads a protest rally regarding the school’s involvement with apartheid in South Africa. However, the fraternity Gamma Phi Gamma and their pledge class, the Gammites, arrive to interrupt the demonstration. Julian “Big Brother Almighty” Eaves, Gamma leader and Dap’s former friend, informs Dap he does not agree with his protest. Upset, Dap and Julian began to fight, but Student Government Association president Virgil Cloyd breaks up the rally. At the administration building, Board of Trustees Chairman "Cedar Cloud" orders College President Harold McPherson to stop Dap from protesting. Later, Julian taunts Gammites pledge Darrell “Half-Pint,” saying he will drop out of pledging just as his cousin Dap did years earlier. In the evening, Dap asks his friends, Grady, Monroe, Jordan, Edge, and Booker T., to return with him to the administration building to protest. Although supporters of Dap’s cause, they want to complete their college education and get good jobs in the future. The following day, Dap is called into President McPherson’s office and informed by Cedar Cloud that if he continues with his protests he will be expelled. In the evening, Half-Pint and the Gammites complete their pledging and become fraternity brothers. During the celebration with the Gamma Ray sorority, Julian becomes annoyed with his girl friend, Jane Toussaint. Singling out Half-Pint, Julian orders him to sleep with Jane as a final test. Although Half-Pint is uncomfortable with Julian’s request, Jane insists she would do anything for Julian. Afterward, Julian accuses Jane of loving the fraternity and his position as leader “Big Brother Almighty” instead of him, and breaks up with her. Meanwhile, Half-Pint brags to Dap that he slept with Jane by Julian’s orders. Seeing his cousin turned into an entitled Gamma, Dap runs to the center of the campus quad. Ringing a bell, Dap awakens the student body and administration. As they gather, Julian, remorseful of his treatment of Half-Pint and Jane, joins Dap. Looking out to the gathered crowd, Dap tells them, “Wake up.” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.