Morgan Spurlock Interview
Morgan Spurlock Interview
Did you have to cut anything out of the film that you hated to lose?

Morgan Spurlock

No. We made a made a really tight film. Oh there is one scene, which ended up on the DVD, which we loved, but couldn't find a way to put it in the movie. It's with Robert Weissman from Public Citizen, who talks about wanting to have arrows pointing everything out. I ask him about kids, and he says kids will buy anything. We talk about co-promotion, and he said 'If you put a character on things, they'll buy anything with Spongebob on it - you should try that.'

So I took a dozen five-year-olds shopping in a store, where I put characters on products kids would never buy. And so kids started going down the aisles with their shopping carts, buying what they would buy, but at the same time picking up things that they would never buy. For example, we had a can of motor oil that I put Iron Man on. There was a box of dog food I put Clifford the Big Red Dog on, I got a box of condoms that I put Spider-Man on. A box of Tampax that I put Spongebob on. There's a little boy holding a box of Tampax, as I'm saying, 'Why did you buy that?' 'Because it's got Spongebob!' The guy's holding Trojan condoms because he thinks they're vitamins, as they've got Spider-Man on them. I asked why he got those, and he said 'I think they make you shoot webs.' It's the most brilliant thing, but there's nowhere to put it in the movie, as it's so out of left field.
Do you have a favourite scene from the film?

Morgan Spurlock

I have so many favourite scenes ... I love when I'm on the phone with Mane & Tail. I'm talking to them on the phone, and telling them how you'll see them in the movie, and you're actually seeing that happen in real time. Every time I see the movie, I love that scene, it's great. I love the scene when I'm pitching to POM about their commercials, and they're shooting down my ideas in the room. I love the climax of the film - I love that we got OK Go to do the theme song to the movie. I love that everything we critique at the beginning is everything we use to sell you the movie at the end. All those things became part of the promotional campaign, and still are. I love that you see those things actually happen.
Do you feel in recent years documentaries have been forced to become more sensationalist to appeal to a mainstream audience?

Morgan Spurlock

No, I feel that documentaries have become more popular automatically, and have grown to be more attractive to a mainstream audience. I think that Michael Moore showed that documentaries can be entertaining, and post him making films, they have a broader acceptance. I think the death of investigative journalism has given documentaries a tremendous amount of credibility, and a leg-up of news reportage, as you can't get long-form reporting any more.
Was there any footage you wanted to use but couldn't get the rights to?

Morgan Spurlock

No, because most of the footage in the film is fair use. We didn't pay for Iron Man or the commercials. To tell this story there are things you need that no one is going to let you have anyway, so it's better to get the film bonded by insurance and claim fair use.
A box of dog food I put Clifford the Big Red Dog on, a box of condoms that I put Spider-Man on, a box of Tampax that I put Spongebob on...
What do you want the viewer to take away from the film?

Morgan Spurlock

One is, I would love for a city to stand up and do what Sao Paulo did. I would love for individuals to say how much is too much. Where do we draw the line? Where should there be places that are free from advertising? I don't think it's just schools - there are places I should be able to go outside where I'm not looking at a giant Citibank ad, or an Adidas logo. There should be parks and playgrounds that are free from this cacophony of marketing we get on a daily basis.
Can you tell us about Comic-Con?

Morgan Spurlock

My next movie, which we just premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, is a film that speaks very much to my inner geek. It's a movie called Comic-Con - Episode Four: A Fan's Hope, and it's all about the pop culture mecca that is San Diego Comic-Con. We follow seven people into this giant cultural phenomenon, and we tell the story of its impact, the passion people have for it, and how and why it's become so big. I'm not in one frame of that movie. I don't do the voiceover for the film. If anyone has hated any movie I've made up until now, then they're going to love Comic-Con Episode Four, yeah!

After that, not sure. We're finishing a movie right now that's all about male grooming, with Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, which is very funny. The film you see us talking about in [Greatest Movie Ever Sold], we've made that film. That will probably be the next movie.
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Content updated: 18/10/2019 23:05

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