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Spike Lee's Tips on Making Controversial Films & Dealing With Haters (VIDEO)

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Famed filmmaker Spike Lee (Do The Right Thing, Red Hook Summer) kicks off "Dropping Knowledge," a brand new What's Trending segment, in which celebrities and YouTube stars offer their personal insights into the creative processes and advice on achieving success.

Spike Lee pulls from his wealth of experience to drop precious knowledge about directing, making controversial films, dealing with the haters, and getting attention for your work.

Lee admits that he starred in his first film, She's Gotta Have It, primarily because he couldn't afford another actor. But he stresses that if you're going to direct yourself, you should really have someone who you can trust as your eyes and ears behind the camera. For Lee, that was the great cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, whom he went to film school with at NYU.

In fact, the whole craft of filmmaking relies heavily on collaboration.

"If you want to be an artist, you have to have a tough skin," Lee says. "You have to have an inner circle of peers... who -- you respect their opinion and who respect you and know that they can tell you something honestly."

He goes on to emphasize the importance of sorting out the positive criticism that can advance your work from the negative criticism that's only trying to bring you down.

"Hopefully the people I'm speaking to... want to get attention because they have something to say that's substantial and they want to tell their story."

Go catch Spike Lee's latest film, Red Hook Summer, in theaters now, and follow the man on Twitter!

For more exclusive interviews with your favorite celebrities, subscribe to What's Trending and join us LIVE every weekday at noon PT as the one stop shop for the buzziest YouTube videos and personalities!