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|Born||Morgan Valentine Spurlock
November 7, 1970
Parkersburg, West Virginia, United States
|Residence||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Occupation||Film director, television producer, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Alexandra Jamieson (divorced; 1 child)
Sara Bernstein (m. 2016; 1 child)
Morgan Valentine Spurlock (born November 7, 1970) is an American documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, screenwriter, and political activist, best known for the documentary film Super Size Me (2004), which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film was his directorial debut, following his contributions as a production assistant on the features Bullets over Broadway (1994), Léon: The Professional (1994) and Kiss of Death (1995).
Spurlock's other notable films include Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden? (2008), POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011), Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope (2011) and One Direction: This Is Us (2013). He was the executive producer and star of the reality television series 30 Days (2005-2008). In June 2013, Spurlock became host and producer of the CNN show Morgan Spurlock Inside Man (2013—). He is also the co-founder of short-film content marketing company Cinelan, which produced the Focus Forward campaign for GE.
Spurlock was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, but was raised in Beckley, West Virginia. His parents, Phyllis and Ben Spurlock, raised him as a Methodist. He has said he is of Scots-Irish and English descent.
Spurlock was educated at Woodrow Wilson High School, a public high school in the city of Beckley, West Virginia, followed by New York University, from which he graduated in 1993. He is a member of the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta.
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Spurlock attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, West Virginia, graduating in 1989. He graduated with a BFA in film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1993. Before making the 2004 Academy Award nominated Super Size Me, Spurlock was a playwright, winning awards for his play The Phoenix at both the New York International Fringe Festival in 1999 and the Route 66 American Playwriting Competition in 2000. He also created I Bet You Will for MTV. I Bet You Will began as a popular Internet webcast of five-minute episodes featuring ordinary people doing stunts in exchange for money. Examples include eating a full jar of mayonnaise ($235USD), eating a "worm burrito" ($265USD), and taking shots of corn oil, Pepto-Bismol, lemon juice, hot sauce, cold chicken broth, and cod liver oil (US$450.00 for all nine shots). The webcast was a success, with over a million hits in the first five days. MTV later bought and aired the show. The list of documentary films that inspired Spurlock includes Brother's Keeper, Hoop Dreams, The Thin Blue Line, Roger and Me, Harlan County USA, and The Last Waltz. He considers Brother's Keeper the greatest documentary of all time.
Super Size Me
Spurlock's docudrama Super Size Me was released in the U.S. on May 7, 2004. This production was later nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary feature. He conceived the idea for the film when he was at his parents' house for Thanksgiving, and while watching TV saw a news story about a lawsuit brought against McDonald's by two teenage girls who blamed the fast food chain for their obesity.
The film depicts an experiment he conducted in 2003, in which he ate three McDonald's meals a day every day (and nothing else) for 30 days. The film's title derives from one of the rules of Spurlock's experiment: he would not refuse the "super-size" option whenever it was offered to him and would never ask for it himself. The result, according to Spurlock, was a diet with twice the calories recommended by the USDA. Further, Spurlock attempted to curtail his physical activity to better match the exercise habits of the average American (he previously walked about 3 miles a day, whereas the average American walks 1.5 miles).
He was of above average health and fitness when he started the project; he gained 25 pounds (11 kg), became quite puffy, suffered liver dysfunction and depression by the end. Spurlock's supervising physicians noted the effects caused by his high-calorie diet—once even comparing it to a case of severe binge alcoholism.
After the completion of the project, it took Spurlock fourteen months to return to his normal weight of 185 pounds (84 kg). His then-girlfriend (now ex-wife), Alexandra Jamieson, took charge of his recovery with her "detox diet", which became the basis for her book, The Great American Detox Diet.
|Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold, TED Talks|
Spurlock's second feature documentary, Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008. In the film, and in interviews, Spurlock explores the fight against terrorism and views the argument from both sides, in which he tries to find Osama Bin Laden.
Spurlock directed The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!.
Freakonomics is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, which premiered in April 2010. Spurlock was at the helm of this project alongside five directors (Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon and Eugene Jarecki).
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a 2011 documentary film about product placement, marketing and advertising which was reportedly itself financed through product placement. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011. It was released in the USA in April 2011. It screened in the New Zealand Film Festival in August 2011 together with an appearance by Spurlock to talk about the movie.
In mid-2010, Spurlock worked with Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon, Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles, and comic book creator Stan Lee to create the documentary Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope, to cover the stories of convention fans. Whedon, Lee, and Knowles served as executive producers. Legendary Pictures' Thomas Tull, who independently financed the documentary, told Variety, ""We look forward to capturing the spirit, energy and people that Comic-Con has infused into legions of fans, bringing these audiences and projects out of the halls and onto a world stage." On April 6, 2012, Spurlock released the film to selected theaters in the United States, as well as video on demand outlets.
Spurlock helped distribute A Brony Tale, a documentary directed by Brent Hodge on the brony phenomenon and on the musician and voice acting career of Ashleigh Ball. The film was selected for theatrical distribution under the label Morgan Spurlock Presents. The film is slated for a July 8, 2014 theater release.
In each episode, a person (who, in some cases, is Spurlock himself) or a group of people spend 30 days immersing themselves in a mode of life markedly different from their norm (being in prison, a devout Christian living in a Muslim family, a homophobe staying with a homosexual person, etc.), while Spurlock discusses the relevant social issues involved. FX began airing the show on June 15, 2005. In the premiere episode of the first season, "Minimum Wage," Spurlock and his fiancée lived for 30 days in the Bottoms neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, earning minimum wage, with no access to outside funds.
In the second season finale, Spurlock spent 25 days locked in a Henrico County, Virginia (a county outside of Richmond) jail to experience life as an inmate. He did not complete the entire 30 days in jail because the majority of inmates in the state of Virginia serve 85% of the sentence, so once Spurlock reached that benchmark, he was released from the prison.
The third season of 30 Days premiered on June 3, 2008. The first episode of the third season, titled "Working in a Coal Mine," was filmed in Bolt, West Virginia which is located roughly 18 miles from the city of Beckley, West Virginia, where Spurlock was raised before leaving for New York.
In late 2008, FX announced they would not renew the 30 Days series, making the third season the last.
|1994||Léon: The Professional||None||Production assistant: New York|
|1994||Bullets over Broadway||None||Production assistant: not credited|
|1995||Kiss of Death||None||Office production assistant|
|2004||Super Size Me||Himself||Director, Writer|
|2004||The Future of Food||None||Executive producer|
|2004||Czech Dream||None||Executive producer|
|2005||Film Geek||None||Special thanks|
|2006||Class Act||None||Executive producer|
|2007||Super High Me||None||Special thanks|
|2007||Drive Thru||Robbie, The Hella-Burger Manager|
|2007||The Third Wave||None||Executive producer|
|2007||What Would Jesus Buy?||None||Producer|
|2007||The Brothers Warner||None||Special thanks|
|2008||Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?||Himself||Director, Writer|
|2008||Last Cup: Road to the World Series of Beer Pong||None||Executive producer|
|2008||Split: A Divided America||None||Special thanks|
|2008||All Jacked Up||None||Special thanks|
|2009||The Entrepreneur||None||Executive producer|
|2009||Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days||Himself|
|2009||New Brow: Contemporary Underground Art||Himself|
|2010||Freakonomics||Himself||Director, Writer (segment "A Roshanda by Any Other Name"), Narrator|
|2010||Do It Again||None||Thanks|
|2010||Pool Party||None||Executive Producer|
|2011||The Greatest Movie Ever Sold||Himself||Director, Executive producer, Writer|
|2011||Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope||None||Director, Writer, Producer|
|2011||The Other F Word||None||Executive producer|
|2011||How We Covered It||Himself|
|2011||The Unauthorized Documentary, Hangover Part II||Himself|
|2012||Mansome||Himself||Director, Writer, Producer|
|2012||Miracle Boy||None||Special thanks|
|2013||One Direction: This Is Us||None||Director, Producer|
|2013||Web Junkie||None||Executive producer|
|2013||Dancing in Jaffa||None||Executive producer|
|2013||Waiting for Mamu||None||Executive producer|
|2013||Chronic-Con, Episode 420: A New Dope||Himself|
|2013||You Don't Know Jack||None||Director, Writer|
|2013||Misfire: The Rise and Fall of the Shooting Gallery||Himself|
|2014||21 Years: Richard Linklater||None||Special Thanks|
|2014||A Brony Tale||None||Executive producer|
|2014||I Am Santa Claus||None||Executive producer|
|2014||We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss||None||Director, Producer|
|2014||Sex and Broadcasting||None||Special thanks|
|2014||That Film About Money||None||Executive producer|
|2014||Meet the Hitlers||None||Distributed under Morgan Spurlock Presents banner|
|2015||Man Under (2015 film)||None||Executive producer|
|2015||Censored Voices||None||Executive producer|
|2015||Made in Japan||None||Executive producer|
|2015||I Am Dale Earnhardt||Himself|
|2015||The Princess of North Sudan (film)||None||Producer, in production|
|2015||Rats NYC||None||Producer, in production|
|2004||Last Laugh '04||Himself||not credited, TV movie|
|2004||Know Your Enemy: Al Qaeda's Third Wave||none||Executive producer, TV movie|
|2005||The 50 Greatest Documentaries||Himself||TV movie|
|2005||Merry F %$in' Christmas||Himself||TV movie|
|2005||The 10th Annual Critics' Choice Awards||Himself||TV movie|
|2005||30 Days||Himself||Creator, Executive producer|
|2011||A Day in the Life||none||Director, Executive producer|
|2013||Morgan Spurlock Inside Man||Himself||Director, Writer, Executive producer|
- Spurlock optioned the rights for Chris Mooney's book The Republican War on Science in order to create another documentary film, but in 2008 announced that he had released the option.
- Spurlock has a role in the film Drive Thru, a horror film about a fictional fast food restaurant that has its mascot come to life and start killing people. It was released on DVD on May 29, 2007.
- Spurlock presented 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die on Current TV. The show premiered on August 1, 2011.
- On May 28, 2011, Spurlock was the graduation commencement speaker for the MBA Business program at Sonoma State University.
- Spurlock's half-hour documentary series A Day in the Life was to debut on Hulu in mid-August 2011. It follows "incredibly focused" people such as Richard Branson and will.i.am for a full day. The series is exclusive to Hulu.
- Spurlock directed an additional episode of ESPN's 30 for 30 sports documentary series, entitled "The Dotted Line". This documentary takes a look at the competitive world of sports agents. "The Dotted Line" premiered on ESPN October 11, 2011, one day following the premiere of a two-hour documentary, I, Caveman, created and directed by Spurlock for the Science Channel series Curiosity. In it, a group of men and women including Spurlock try to survive in the wild using only Stone Age technology.
- Spurlock is the presenter of a new show in the UK on Sky Atlantic entitled Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia. The show is a comedy based around the differences between the UK and the US.
- Spurlock contributed a brief Foreword to Martin Lindstrom's 2011 book Brandwashed.
- Spurlock's documentary Mansome was announced on March 8, 2012 as a Spotlight selection for the Tribeca Film Festival. The film takes a comedic look at male identity as defined through men's grooming habits featuring celebrity and expert commentary.
- Spurlock directed the 3D concert film One Direction: This Is Us, starring the English-Irish boy band One Direction, and released August 30, 2013 by TriStar Pictures.
Spurlock has two sons. The oldest, Laken James Spurlock, was born on December 9, 2006. His birth is depicted in Spurlock's documentary Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?, which Spurlock dedicated to Laken. The youngest, Kallen Marcus Spurlock, was born on May 22, 2016.
- Spurlock, Morgan (2005). Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0-399-15260-1.
- Spurlock, Morgan (2008). Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?. New York, NY: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6652-2.
- Spurlock, Morgan (2011). Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. DK. p. 192. ISBN 0756683424.
- Alexandra Jamieson (December 21, 2011). "Learning From Divorce About Detox". Delicious Vitality. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- Naja Rayne (May 5, 2016). "Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock Marries Girlfriend of 8 Years". People.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
- "Morgan Spurlock Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
- Fera, Rae Ann (2013-04-26). "GE Tells the Stories of the World's Innovators with 'Focus Forward'". Fast Co.Create.
- "Morgan Spurlock". TV Guide.
- Smith, Patrick (March 30, 2012). "New Britannia: Morgan Spurlock's latest exposé - delving into 'real Britain'". The Daily Telegraph.
- "The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta"
- Roberts, Genevieve. "Morgan Spurlock: 'I was doing funny walks around the house aged six'". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- Gibb, Lindsay (March 2008). "The everyman Morgan Spurlock talks about the state of documentaries, not finding Osama bin Laden, and why listening to voices is a good thing.". RealScreen: 58.
- Schuker, Lauren A.E. (2 February 2008). "Hit List: Morgan Spurlock" (Weekend Journal). Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "The Great American Detox Diet: The Proven 8-week Programme for Weight Loss, Good Health and Well Being - As Featured in the Hit Movie "Super Size Me": Amazon.co.uk: Alex Jamieson: 9781405077712: Books".
- A video of Spurlock talking about The Greatest Movie Ever Sold at TED
- The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!
- Hulu, The Simpsons 20the Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! Title Details
- TV Squad, Morgan Spurlock on The Simpsons Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! August 1, 2009.
- Peter Sciretta (October 9, 2010). "Morgan Spurlock to Premiere 'Committed' on AMC". SlashFilm. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold -- A SONY PICTURES CLASSICS RELEASE". POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.
- "Spurlock premieres 'Greatest Movie Ever Sold' at Sundance - USATODAY.com".
- Spurlock, Morgan (2010). "Looking for people who love Comic-Con". morganspurlock.com.[dead link]
- "Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope – Starring Yourself?". Action Flick Chick. June 4, 2010.
- Graser, Marc (May 20, 2010). "Spurlock, Whedon eye 'Comic-Con' doc". Variety.
- Molloy, Tim. "Morgan Spurlock joins CNN". Yahoo News. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Mike Fleming Jr. "'Morgan Spurlock Presents' Label Hatched To Release Indie Movies - Deadline". Deadline.
- Associated Press, "Spurlock to go behind bars". June 13, 2006.
- FX "Thirty Days: Season 2 on the FX Network, Season Finale Episode.
- Capone With Morgan Spurlock About WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? And More!!, www.aintitcool.com, April 18, 2008
- "Spurlock Supersizes West Virginia On The Map".
- "Morgan Spurlock". IMDb. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "'Science' Scooped Up". The Washington Post. December 17, 2005
- The Intersection
- "Current TV Launches Original Series "50 Documentaries to See Before You Die" Premiering on Monday, August 1". The Futon Critic. May 24, 2011
- Staffers. "Morgan Spurlock doing exclusive Hulu documentary series - Screen & Stream".
- Highland Titles with Lord Morgan Spurlock of Glencoe. 17 April 2012 – via YouTube.
- "TFF 2012: Spotlight"
- "Sony Sets Release Date for One Direction Concert Movie - ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Spurlock, Morgan. "Untitled". WhoSay.
- Logan, Michael (April 11, 2014). "Morgan Spurlock is CNN's Inside Man, Tracking Kardashians, UFOs and More". TV Guide. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
Spurlock: I was raised Methodist but as I grew up and traveled the world and met more and more people from various religions, I have become much more of an agnostic.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Morgan Spurlock.|
- Official website
- Morgan Spurlock at the Internet Movie Database
- Morgan Spurlock on Twitter
- 10 Questions for Morgan Spurlock at Time
- Morgan Spurlock judged The Film of the Month competition in February 2009 on the independent filmmakers networking site Shooting People.
- Morgan Spurlock talks The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Sundance 2011 – interview conducted by indieWIRE
- Theodora & Callum Interview with Morgan Spurlock