Morgan Spurlock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Spurlock at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival world premiere of Mansome
Born Morgan Valentine Spurlock
(1970-11-07) November 7, 1970 (age 44)
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Residence New York City
Occupation Filmmaker, television producer, screenwriter
Years active 2000–present
Spouse(s) Alexandra Jamieson (divorced;[1] 1 child)
Website MorganSpurlock.com

Morgan Valentine Spurlock[2] (born November 7, 1970)[2] is an American documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, screenwriter, and political activist, best known for the documentary films Super Size Me, Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope and One Direction: This Is Us. Spurlock was the executive producer and star of the reality television series 30 Days. On June 2013, he became host and producer of the CNN show Inside Man. He is also the co-founder of short-film content marketing company cinelan, which produced the Focus Forward campaign for GE.[3]

Early life[edit]

Spurlock was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia,[2] but was raised in Beckley, West Virginia. His parents, Phyllis and Ben Spurlock,[4] raised him as a Methodist. He graduated from New York University in 1993 and is a member of the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta.[5]

Spurlock has said he is of Scots-Irish and English descent.[6]

Career[edit]

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.[7] 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.[citation needed] MTV later bought and aired the show.

Film[edit]

Super Size Me[edit]

Main article: 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.[8]

Other[edit]

External video
Morgan Spurlock Shankbone Metropolitan Opera 2009.jpg
Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold, TED Talks[9]

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!.[10][11][12]

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 one hour documentary Committed: The Toronto International Film Festival premiered on AMC on 12 October 2010.[13]

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a 2011 documentary film about product placement, marketing and advertising which was reportedly itself financed through product placement.[9][14] The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.[15] 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 the summer of 2010, Spurlock worked with Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon, AintItCool.com 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.[16][17] 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."[18] On April 6, 2012, Spurlock released the film to selected theaters in the United States, as well as video on demand outlets.

Spurlock hosts and produces a new CNN series Inside Man, which first aired in June 2013.[19]

A Brony Tale[edit]

Spurlock is helping 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. Bronies are the male teenage and adult fans of the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Deadline Hollywood announced that the companies Warrior Poets, Virgil Films and Abramorama picked up the film for theatrical distribution under the label Morgan Spurlock Presents. The film is slated for a July 8, 2014 theater release.[20]

30 Days[edit]

Main article: 30 Days (TV series)

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.[21] 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.[22]

The third season of 30 Days premiered on June 3, 2008.[23] 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.[24]

In late 2008, FX announced they would not renew the 30 Days series, making the third season the last.

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
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
2003 Overnight none Special thanks
2004 Super Size Me Himself Director, Writer, Stars
2004 The Future of Food none Executive producer
2004 Czech Dream none Executive producer
2005 Film Geek none Special thanks
2006 Chalk none Executive producer
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, Stars
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
2009 Abraham Obama Himself
2010 Freakonomics Himself Director, Writer (segment "A Roshanda by Any Other Name"), Narrator
2010 GasLand none Special thanks
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 Kingdom Come Himself Cancelled
2011 How We Covered It Himself
2011 The Unauthorized Documentary, Hangover Part II Himself
2012 Mansome Himself Director, Writer, Producer
2012 Knuckleball! none Executive producer
2012 Glue Man Himself Stars
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 Man Under none Executive producer
2014 That Film About Money none Executive producer
2015 Censored Voices none Executive producer
2015 Made in Japan none Executive producer
2015 I am Dale Earnhardt Himself
2015 Crafted none Director
2015 The Princess of North Sudan none Producer, in production
2015 Rats NYC none Producer, in production[25]

Television[edit]

Year Show Role Notes
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

Other work[edit]

Morgan Spurlock with Highland Titles in Scotland during filming Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia
  • Spurlock optioned the rights for Chris Mooney's book The Republican War on Science in order to create another documentary film,[26] but in 2008 announced that he had released the option.[27]
  • 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.[28]
  • 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.[29]
  • 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.[30]
  • 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.[31]
  • 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.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Spurlock has a son, Laken James Spurlock, 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.

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alexandra Jamieson (December 21, 2011). "Learning From Divorce About Detox". Delicious Vitality. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Morgan Spurlock Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  3. ^ Fera, Rae Ann (2013-04-26). "GE Tells the Stories of the World's Innovators with 'Focus Forward'". Fast Co.Create. 
  4. ^ http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/morgan-spurlock/bio/167210
  5. ^ "The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta"
  6. ^ Smith, Patrick (March 30, 2012). "New Britannia: Morgan Spurlock's latest exposé - delving into 'real Britain'". The Daily Telegraph. 
  7. ^ Roberts, Genevieve. "Morgan Spurlock: 'I was doing funny walks around the house aged six'". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Great American Detox Diet on Amazon.com
  9. ^ a b A video of Spurlock talking about The Greatest Movie Ever Sold at TED
  10. ^ The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!
  11. ^ Hulu, The Simpsons 20the Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! Title Details
  12. ^ TV Squad, Morgan Spurlock on The Simpsons Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! August 1, 2009.
  13. ^ Peter Sciretta (October 9, 2010). "Morgan Spurlock to Premiere 'Committed' on AMC". SlashFilm. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Morgan Spurlock Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
  15. ^ Spurlock premieres 'Greatest Movie Ever Sold' at Sundance
  16. ^ Looking for people who love Comic-Con. MorganSpurlock.com
  17. ^ Action Flick Chick, Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope – Starring Yourself?. June 4, 2010.
  18. ^ Variety, Spurlock, Whedon eye 'Comic-Con' doc. May 20, 2010.
  19. ^ Molloy, Tim. "Morgan Spurlock joins CNN". Yahoo News. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  20. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/morgan-spurlock-presents-label-brony-tale-virgil-films-abramorama/
  21. ^ Associated Press, "Spurlock to go behind bars". June 13, 2006.
  22. ^ FX "Thirty Days: Season 2 on the FX Network, Season Finale Episode.
  23. ^ Capone With Morgan Spurlock About WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? And More!!, www.aintitcool.com, April 18, 2008
  24. ^ "Spurlock Supersizes West Virginia On The Map".
  25. ^ "Morgan Spurlock". IMDb. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "'Science' Scooped Up". The Washington Post. December 17, 2005
  27. ^ The Intersection
  28. ^ "Current TV Launches Original Series "50 Documentaries to See Before You Die" Premiering on Monday, August 1". The Futon Critic. May 24, 2011
  29. ^ Spurlock sets Hulu series
  30. ^ "'Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia'"
  31. ^ "TFF 2012: Spotlight"
  32. ^ "Sony Sets Release Date for One Direction Concert Movie - ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2012-11-15. 

External links[edit]