Spike Lee has carved a niche for himself by directing the sort of movies that juxtapose issues of racism and elitism, as experienced by the black community, with some rather everyday situations. Be it ‘Do the Right Thing’ or ‘Bamboozled,’ the acclaimed director has put forth some rather burning questions about the privileges and prejudices associated with the color of one’s skin.
So it is no surprise that ‘School Daze’ also follows this trajectory. This musical features Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell-Martin, and it takes us on a journey to the historically black Mission College in Atlanta. The plot showcases how members of Greek Life on campus have an altercation with their classmates on Homecoming weekend. In case you’re wondering where the movie was shot, we have got you covered.
School Daze Filming Locations
The movie was primarily filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. Sharing what the whole experience meant to her, Campbell-Martin said, “Working on ‘School Daze’ made me understand the statement of the movie… the issues like apartheid, like education, like bettering yourself. I hope a lot of people in the movie got the same thing out of it that I did.” Here are the specific filming details!
America is a country that has a violent and disturbing history of racism. For this very reason, the historically black campuses became an important tool to further the narrative of ‘School Daze.’ Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University are the locations that were made use of for filming purposes. However, Lee was asked to cease shooting on campus as the Board of Directors were not too sure about how the movie would depict the historically black colleges on screen.
@msfrenchteach – I met Spike back in the day when he was filming "School Daze" at Morehouse. Still kicking myself for not being an extra.
— James Neal (@james3neal) May 9, 2009
So, the cast and crew then headed over to Morris Brown College to accomplish the task at hand. Interestingly, during the course of filming, the actors were given separate hotel accommodations. The ones who were the “wannabees” stayed in a more luxurious place than their counterparts from the “jigaboos.” This created an authentic tension on set, which was then employed on screen as well. In fact, the scene where the fight explodes between Dap’s crew and the Gamma Phi Gamma fraternity is not scripted.
It actually transpired in real life, and the director kept the cameras rolling. In another instance, the dance sequence in which the two groups yell racial slurs at each other is also unscripted. Speaking about the scene, the actress stated, “It was the first time we all worked together and the separation had caused this tension. We made up those rhymes and they made me feel a little hurt. I began to hate the Jigs, the Rays and myself.”
Read More: Is School Daze a True Story?