FILM: Fans Unite for Comic-Con Episode IV
EVERYBODY NEEDS A (SUPER) HERO
Morgan Spurlock is an in-demand documentary filmmaker, producer and director, but don’t let an impressive resume blur the lines _ this guy relates to the geek in all of us. A chance meeting in 2009 with comic book icon Stan Lee set the wheels in motion to go behind-the-scenes at every fanboy’s (and girl’s) excellent adventure _ San Diego’s Comic-Con. “I am a fan and this is something that really spoke to me,” Spurlock said after the premiere of his uber-fun documentary, “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope,” at Village East Cinema in New York. “A lot of people love this … and not a lot understand it.”
Spurlock immediately stood out from the crowd with his first documentary, “Super Size Me,” and since followed with equal success as a fearless humorist who doesn’t miss a beat (i.e. “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” “Freakanomics” and the upcoming “Mansome,” premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival). Though his earlier films have been well-received, they weren’t widespread on the big screen. “Comic-Con Episode IV” takes a detour _ now showing in select theaters across the U.S. and digitally on demand. Spurlock took pride in knowing his family in West Virginia could finally see one of his movies when it opens nationally. He also took a backseat in this documentary, turning the focus not on his experience rather on the four-day adventures of a colorful handful of Comic-Con attendees.
PUTTING COMICS BACK IN THE ‘CON’
The documentary delves into a comic book convention which began modestly in 1970 with about 500 fans. Today, thousands flock to San Diego in full superhero regalia for what has become an A-list celebrity draw and entertainment industry free-for-all with dwindling attention to its namesake. Spurlock lets this unfold through the eyes of those most effected _ veteran comic book dealers, aspiring illustrators and quirky costume designers. Spoiler alert: the stories are compelling, funny and poignant with a romantic twist (go see for yourself). Not to be missed interviews with Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, Frank Miller, Kevin Smith, Matt Groening, Seth Rogen, Eli Roth and others round out the film. But, the takeaway stems from heartfelt devotion among fans and a genuine sense of belonging evident throughout the ‘Con.’
Spurlock also has produced “Failure Club,” a new docudrama Web show on Yahoo! which poses the question, “what would you do differently if you could remove the fear of failure from your life?” For many Comic-Con fans, at least once a year, the things they only dreamed of doing can become a reality when they trek to San Diego in July.
Comic-Con 2012 (San Diego): http://www.comic-con.org/
Comic-Con Episode IV: http://comicconmovie.com/
Morgan Spurlock: http://morganspurlock.com/
Stan Lee Foundation: http://www.stanleefoundation.org/
Failure Club on Yahoo!: http://screen.yahoo.com/lifestyle/failure-club/