You’ve probably seen one of Morgan Spurlock’s documentaries. Chances are, it was SuperSize Me, the 2004 adventure in overeating and the nasty side effects of fast food diets. Maybe you checked out his take on Freakonomics or you’ve read about Mansome , his soon-to-be-released Tribeca entry about male beauty.
For Spurlock, a 41-year-old West Virginia native, this was a movie saluting the flag of subculture and irony-free passion, not taping a “kick me” sign to the back of its collective Spider-Man T-shirt.
The subjects are five fans who travel to the convention looking for their own golden ticket — two want to score a career in the comics industry; another is a collectible-comics merchant desperate for a big profit weekend; the fourth is a costume designer who wants to win the “cosplay” tournament; and the last is a nervous man who wants to propose to his girlfriend in front of thousands of fans.
The flick is a passion project for Spurlock, and it turned out to be one hell of an undertaking:
“This big challenge,” Spurlock said, “was figuring out how you cover something as massive and as crowded as Comic-Con and tell a coherent story. And what is that story? We had a huge crew, 150 people and between 15 to 20 cameras that were rolling at any given moment. We shot about 650 hours in about six or seven days over the course of this … then when you’re done it’s all about trying to find the gold in there.”
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope (what a title!) is in limited release as of today, and I certainly hope it gets picked up for wider release. Or Netflix, where I’ve been nursing a renewed addiction to documentaries (there are so many!).
Of course, Comic-Con 2012 is coming up soon – though we’ll need to get through PAX East (this weekend) before we can start thinking about the pilgrimage to San Diego. So many nerdy conferences, so little time.