Morgan Spurlock is the director of many documentary films, such as Super Size Me, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, and the new films Comic-Con, Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope and Mansome. He’s also produced documentaries for television and the web, such as 30 Days, A Day in the Life, and Failure Club.
This interview first appeared in Wired.com’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, which is hosted by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley. Visit geeksguideshow.com to listen to the entire interview and the rest of the show, in which the hosts discuss various geeky topics.
How did the idea for your new movie, Comic-Con, Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, come about?
The whole concept behind Comic-Con, Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope came from the first visit that I ever paid to Comic-Con. I’d wanted to go for years. I’d always wanted to go. I’d seen it in the news and heard people talk about it, and I’d never, for one reason or another, been able to attend. Then in 2009 I was approached by FOX to do the Simpsons 20th-anniversary special for them. And so the minute I got that phone call from FOX, I was like, “We’re going to Comic-Con! We’re going to go there, we’re going to find Simpsons super-fans, we’re going to have like an American Idol casting, we’re going to find these people who love The Simpsons more than anything.”
And while we were there shooting, I was like, “This place is like a movie. This is a place where we can make a great film about the characters, the people.” And then later on that night I met Stan Lee for the first time. And I went over to introduce myself, to kiss the ring, you know, and I was like, “Mr. Lee, as a kid growing up in West Virginia reading your comic books, I just want you to know you changed my life. Your stories encouraged me, and gave me the drive to want to go out and tell my own stories.” And he’s like, “Oh, Morgan, thanks! I really appreciate that. Wow, I don’t even know what to say. You know what we should do? We should make a movie together. We should make a documentary. We should make a documentary about Comic-Con!” And I was like, “That’s a great idea, Mr. Lee! Thank you so much!”
And I literally turned around, and right after I met him, I turned around—this is a party for CAA. Like, his agency is CAA and so is mine. This is such this crazy, weird Hollywood moment. I turned around and Peter Micelli, who’s an agent at CAA, was standing right behind me, and he goes, “How was it meeting Stan?” And I was like, “It was amazing. We want to make a movie about Comic-Con.” And he’s like, “That’s a great idea. You should meet my client who’s coming into town tomorrow.” Cut to tomorrow, as I was having breakfast with Joss Whedon at his hotel, told him the whole idea—“We want to make a film, follow people into Comic-Con.” And Joss was like, “I love it. I’m in.” So literally in like 48 hours we had Joss and Stan on board to make this movie, which a year later we were shooting. It was crazy.
Would you consider yourself a comic book geek currently?
Yeah, I buy and read probably more comics now than I did as a kid. You know, people say, “The comic book business is dying.” And I’m like, “No, the book business is dying.” I mean, I don’t know many people who go and buy physical paper comic books anymore, but since I got my iPad and got turned on to Comixology, I buy more stuff at Comixology than I ever did as a kid, just because it’s so much more accessible. So for me I think that it’s so alive and well, and it’s reaching a very different generation. I just think that people buying physical paper comics isn’t happening.
What are some of your favorites that you’re reading right now?
I loved Irredeemable and Incorruptible, which was the amazing Mark Waid series. I’m catching up on that, because I got behind—while we were in production and shooting—on that whole series, so I’ve got the last batch of that to get through. DMZ. I got lost in that series while we were shooting the film, so I’m catching up on DMZ. Those are probably the biggest two. And I just started rereading, once I heard they were starting production on the film of it, was Y: The Last Man. So I just started rereading that again. I loved that the first time, and the idea of them making that into one movie I’m so distraught over, but we’ll see what happens.
Unlike your previous movies, you don’t appear in this one at all. Why did you decide to take that route?
Comic books succeed—and have succeeded for decades—because of fans, because of people who love them. Big, giant Hollywood genre movies succeed because of fans. Video games have become more popular over the years because of fans. So for me this is a film that was very much rooted in those people—in their passions, in their desire, their obsessions. And so I really wanted to tell the story through these people that make Comic-Con what it is, and as much as I am a fan, I don’t go to Comic-Con every year. The first time I went was for work, so for me making a movie about me making a movie about Comic-Con just didn’t make sense. It needed to be about these people. And when we first started going out and pitching the film to the investors, we were going to investors saying, “Here’s what the film is, here’s who we’re going to tell the stories about.” And they were like, “Yeah, we love it, this is great. We’ll give you the money, but we want you to be in the film.” And I was like, “Well, then we’ll find the money somewhere else, we’ll find a different investor, because that’s just not what the movie is.” And it was the best choice, because ultimately it’s a movie about those people, and I meet people all the time who are like, “Yeah, I haven’t really liked any of your films.” And I’m like, “Well you’re going to love this one. You’re going to love this movie, because I’m not in one frame of the whole thing!”
How did you go about selecting the people who actually do appear in the movie?
We were trying to figure out, “Who are the archetype characters that we want to follow? Who are we going to chase after?” Stan I think was the first person to suggest focusing on the portfolio review, telling that story, which was a great idea. Joss brought up the masquerade, saying, “Have you ever seen that?” He said the costumes that people make are amazing. Harry Knowles was the one who suggested Chuck Rozanski, because Harry Knowles’ father had a comic book shop and was one of the people who was instrumental in creating the Texas Comic-Con, and so he’s known Chuck for years. So he says, “Oh my gosh, if you want somebody who knows everything there is to know about the comic book business, you’ve got to get Chuck.”
Then what we did is we created this kind of casting call that we sent out to comic book shops, that we sent out to fan sites, that Harry blasted out through Ain’t It Cool News, and we ended up getting about 2,000 submissions from people all around the world. These are emails, videos, a lot of whom were like, “Yeah, get me a ticket, I’ll come.” Which is not what the movie is, we didn’t get any of these people tickets. The only people we wanted to follow were people who were already coming. Like, if you’re already coming, we want to hear your story. What is your story? Tell us why you think you should be a part of the film, and then we just started whittling it down. Holly Conrad was the very first person that we cast in the film. We got her video, and I was blown away. She represented for me kind of the litmus test, the bar that we should be measuring all the rest of our submissions by, and she’s amazing.
She’s “The Designer”?
She’s the costume designer, yeah. She’s the girl who’s preparing for the masquerade and making the costumes from Mass Effect out of her garage—her and her friends. It’s her third masquerade. You’re only allowed to compete in the masquerade at Comic-Con three times, and then after that you’re considered a professional costume designer, so this is kind of her swan song competing as an amateur. So she really wanted to win. She was really going at it to make sure that she could give it her all and use this as her final calling card to try to break into the costume business in Hollywood.
Her costumes were absolutely amazing, all the animatronics that she’s doing in her garage. Did you get any sense of how she was able to do that?
Well, she’d worked at costume shops, and worked with other designers before. And her friends, the people that are building this stuff with her, had also been people who’d worked at, like, Henson, and a couple of the other animatronic places that design stuff for theme parks, so they are this incredible group of creative friends that had been doing this for a while. They just all come together to realize her vision for this game and these characters, and, I mean, it’s remarkable. They are super-talented.
“The Soldier,” too, was definitely not your stereotypical idea of a comic book artist. How did he get involved?
The soldier, yeah. Eric heard about the submissions, he’d sent us his video, said he wanted to go to Comic-Con, and what was interesting about Eric was he didn’t even want to go to Comic-Con. He has a friend on the army base with him who’s a professional power lifter. This is a guy who trains and competes in power lifting competitions, and years ago, this power lifter friend of his, who was getting bigger, getting stronger, but would never enter a competition, a friend of his said, “You know what? You just need to do it. You just need to take this chance.” So his friend bought him an entry and a plane ticket to a power lifting competition and made him go.
So the power lifter friend said to Eric, “You’ve been drawing for years. I’ve seen your stuff, you’re amazing. You have to do this.” So his friend bought him a ticket and a pass to Comic-Con, and that’s the only reason Eric was going. Eric never would have forced himself to do it had the friend not done that. So as soon as his video told the story, we saw his work, and I was just like . . . the story of Eric, with his wife and his kids, and he’s in the Air Force, I mean, there was just something amazing about him, and the guy is an incredible talent. And now since the film has gone on to do multiple covers for Arch Enemy Comics and a few other places. I mean, the guy is really talented.
When the movie eventually comes out on DVD, are those videos that the people submitted actually going to be on there, available as extras?
They won’t be in the first pass of the DVD, because we could only find one or two. Holly’s is actually online. If you do a search on YouTube for “Holly Conrad Comic-Con submission video,” you’ll see her video on the Internet. When she submitted it to us, there were no hits on it, and literally within the first day it had gone over a thousands hits. It was amazing how many people had watched it.
What were the logistics like for making this movie? How many people were involved, cameras, stuff like that?
Yeah, it was massive. It was the biggest movie I’ve ever made. There’s so much to manage, because how do you capture Comic-Con? How do you capture that huge event? So we were following basically 10 characters into Comic-Con, and so we had 15 film crews, one camera for each one of those crews, and an additional five crews that were shooting panels or signings or B roll at any given moment. Within each of those crews, there was a second camera that can either be taken to a different location or used within that shoot. So during the shoot, there were usually anywhere between 15 and 28 cameras that were shooting over the course of the five days of Comic-Con. There was a crew of 150 people that we had working on the film, everything from the sound and camera crews to production assistants, to location assistants, to talent scouts, people who are going around the floor trying to basically find people, publicists that were helping to arrange the interviews that were shooting on the sites. You know, gaffers, grips, electrics, it was huge.
And data wranglers. The thing is we were shooting about 100 hours of footage a day, so we’re having to wrangle all that footage at the same time so we can watch it every night. So every night, when we were done shooting, I would go down with the data wranglers, we would watch footage from select cameras—basically the ones that were following our characters. We weren’t even watching B roll, we were literally just watching everything that was surrounding all the characters, making sure that whatever key story points there were, the key things that happened that day, we followed up on the next day, we knew what was happening when. I mean, it was a massive, massive undertaking.
So you ended up with something like 300 hours of footage then?
We ended up with about 650 hours over the course of the week.
So what was it like trying to cut that down to an hour and a half?
You start separating things into kind of pods when you do that. So first off you edit each character’s story—it’s kind of its own little short film, starting off at their home, here they are at the con, then they go home—beginning, middle, and end of everybody’s journey along the way. Then we go through all the celebrity interviews—the directors, the actors, the comic book creators, the people who work for the Dark Horses of the world. We start going through there and mining for the best sound bites that deal with different types of story points along the way, whether it’s about Comic-Con itself, it’s about fans, it’s about the future. You start breaking them into categories. Same thing with the fans. We do the same thing with all of their site footage, and then you put all the B roll in a bin. You know, where all the B roll shots, daytime, nighttime, transitional, character shots, panel shots, all that stuff that will start to fill things in. Then you start to weave it together with your editors, and we had an amazing editorial team. You make a longer cut that’s like three hours, you whittle that down to about two and a half, and you whittle that down to two. Then we just start knocking it down to 150, 145, until we got around where we are, where we’re looking at about an hour and a half movie.
Do you want to mention some of those celebrity interviews that you did?
You know, Stan Lee and Joss Whedon were in the film, because these guys are very much the quintessential idea of who’s at Comic-Con. They are like the old and new guard of that place. Then you have folks like Guillermo Del Toro, Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen, Olivia Wilde, Seth Green, Matt Fraction, Joe Quesada. The list goes on and on. It’s huge. I think we interviewed 85 people, and that’s just people who work in the comic book world. Kenneth Branagh we interviewed, because he was there launching Thor at the time.
Did you have a standard set of questions you asked them all?
Yeah, we asked them all about why do they come here? What do they think of it? What was their first experience like? What’s the craziest thing they ever saw? Eli Roth talks about the first time he ever took a pee next to a stormtrooper and a Klingon, you know, that’s something you can only ever see at Comic-Con. There’s something amazing about a lot of these stories that came out, and that’s the thing is all these interviews . . . you were talking about the DVD. Each interview with each one of these people was like 20 minutes long. Kevin Smith’s interview is I think even longer, we might have even talked to him for half an hour, which you then cut down to ultimately being about a minute of the movie, sometimes less. So there’s all of this great footage that also will be expanded into the DVD, because it’s amazing.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the documentary Trekkies, but that’s gotten a lot of criticism for coming across as mean-spirited toward Star Trek fans. Was that something that concerned you making this movie, how to walk that line?
What Trekkies didn’t do, which I think this film does a really good job of, is humanizing everybody that’s in the movie. You know, we could have done these asides with people, like, “Oh, here’s Skip Harvey, and look, there’s his pillow shaped like Superman,” but what we wanted to make sure was that you understood why, the why behind their passion. Why does it matter to them? What drives them? Why do they care? And by doing that you really start to get invested in them and their stories, and I think that you care what happens to Skip, you want Skip to succeed, you want Eric to succeed because you’ve seen him with his family and talking about why he loves comics so much. You want James Darling and Se Young—the couple where he’s going to propose to his girlfriend during the Kevin Smith panel—you’re riding along with him, you’re nervous with him. You’re nervous with Holly as she’s competing in the masquerade to see if she’s going to win. Because by giving you entrée to these people, where you see them as real people, suddenly you are passionate about their stories, and you are going on this vicarious journey with them, and you are there with the ebb and flow of emotion, and I think that makes a big, big difference, and Trekkies didn’t really do that.
The other thing that starts to set up our film differently is it’s not just people as, “Oh, look, I’m a weirdo, and look at where I sleep.” I feel like what we do with this film is everybody in this movie has a purpose. Anthony Calderon, who has a room filled with toys, he’s a toy collector, he makes his own toys, if we’d have just left it with him with his toy collection it’s one thing, but he’s on a mission when he goes to Comic-Con to get an 18-inch Galactus. He’s so passionate about it. He is not leaving without that action figure. And even somebody like an Anthony, who’s got a wife and a kid . . . his wife doesn’t really understand his collecting, but it’s his thing. You see the passion behind him as he goes on this mission to get that one last toy, and you care, you actually care that he’s there and chasing after it, because you see that he’s actually somebody who’s grounded in reality with his family, but at the same time he’s somebody who just has real passion.
And I think that with all the characters in the film, they have a goal. Chuck, here he is trying to make a certain amount of money to keep his company open, Mile High Comics. He wants to make sure it’s going to run, he wants to make sure people can have comics forever, he wants to make sure they’re going to be able to experience them like he experienced them. That’s something you’re rooting for, you’re rooting for that guy. And I think the more you can really give people a purpose, again, that makes them real, and they’re not just spectacle.
We noticed with both the toy collector and the comic book dealer that they both seem to have spouses who weren’t 100% on board with their passion for comics. Is that something you saw a lot?
There are plenty of women at Comic-Con, there are plenty of women that are supportive of their boyfriends. I loved the couple that were like, “Yeah, we’re on our honeymoon at Comic-Con, this is what we both love.” There are plenty of people that love it and embrace it, and you’ve got to think that [Anthony’s wife] embraces it. She may not understand why he likes to collect toys, but the guy still has a room in their house called “The Room of Doom” that’s covered in toys, that he makes his own action figures in, so she’s incredibly understanding, because she’s basically let him take over a whole room of the house to put his toys in. And I think that Chuck’s wife, while she may not agree with some of his business choices, again, she’s supportive, she’s behind him, she goes, “You know what? I may not get it, but I love you, and if this is a part of you, then I love it all.”
Have you ever encountered a couple where the wife is really into comics and the husband just kind of humors her?
I think now you’re starting to see more of that, but I don’t just think it’s comics. There’s a huge female gamer culture right now. Holly I think is very representative of that, Holly and her friends. You know, Holly said something to me while we were filming with her which I thought was pretty great. She said, “You’ve got to understand, Mass Effect is to me and my generation what Star Wars was to you. These games are our trilogies, these are the games that are shaping us just like those movies shaped you as a kid.” And I think that what you’re seeing now is this generation of gamer girls like her who are incredibly good and gifted at all of these games, and are really inspired by them, even more so I think than some of the guys that they’re with, that was something that we saw. We did see a lot of gamer girls, and while their boyfriends may be into something else, they may not be gamers.
So do you think the creators of Mass Effect will ever make a prequel series that will retroactively taint the entire product?
[Laughs] Yeah, and instead of putting animated characters in, they’re actually going to put live action characters in it. And we’re going to go, “I can’t believe they put live-action characters in it!”
One thing that’s presented in the film is this idea that the actual comic book creators and dealers are starting to feel marginalized at Comic-Con. What’s your take on that?
Well, I think that it’s the reality of the business. I feel like if you sell comic books, you’re selling a business that is basically folding all around you. You know, people aren’t buying books as much as they used to. People are still buying and reading comics, but I just don’t think they’re buying physical paper comics. I’d be curious to know how many kids are actually collecting comics. Think about that. I had a closetful as a kid, kept them way into my adulthood, as did a lot of friends of mine. But is any of that being passed down? I can’t imagine that it is unless your father or mom is a super-dedicated collector. It’s just something that I feel has kind of passed. Books in general, they’re kind of going the way of the dodo. So I think they’re feeling marginalized simply because that whole side of the publishing business is vanishing.
Although in the movie, Chuck, the dealer, is really concerned the whole movie, but it all turns out well in the end . . .
Yeah, Chuck makes his money. There are still plenty of people who go there and buy books. I mean, I have yet to go to a Comic-Con and not leave with some sort of a book, because there’s always something that you want to buy, that you pick up a book and you’re like, “Wow, this is pretty amazing.” Whether somebody made some sort of limited edition graphic novel or whatever, but I always buy something. And yeah, so at the end of the day he made enough money to cover the whole trip to Comic-Con, they made a big profit, so everything was good. And Chuck is like a cat, he will always land on his feet, he will always find a way. What’s happened since the film is he has sold some of his big, high-dollar comics to continue to pay off some corporate debt, to expand the company. He’s bought a couple million more comics. He’s already bought another gigantic collection of comics from somebody. It’s amazing.
How did he end up with all those comics in the first place?
Well, the story of Chuck is interesting. He was the very first comic book millionaire. He bought this really famous collection of comics. I can’t remember the guy’s name who had it, but it had literally all of these old Action Comics, like the original Superman, all of these comics that he bought and then was able to resell, that basically made millions of dollars. So he was the poster child for the “comic book millionaire,” the guy who basically bought these books, turned them around, and made a huge profit. And then out of that he just started buying more comics, and turned that into a real, legitimate business. And I think he became the first comic book millionaire at like 19 or 20, he was really young. And then basically from there just took off and said, “This is what I’m going to do, being this intermediary for what I love, which is comic books.”
You made a whole documentary, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, about the influence of advertising in the mass media. How do you think that affects the comic book industry in particular?
The thing about the comic book industry is it’s a very niche business, still. And I think that if you’re somebody who’s not into comic books, you’re not going to get advertised to or want to buy a comic book. I think that’s just something that has to be part of your upbringing, part of your “kid DNA,” that even infects you as an adult. So if they had more advertising or more marketing, would more people read comics? Do big movies make people want to read an Avengers comic? I don’t know. That’s something I would love to have an answer to.
Are you bothered by the product placement in those superhero movies?
Well, it depends on what it is. In movies like the last Iron Man, where it felt like every other scene there was product placement, or the new James Bond film that they’re making right now, where a third of that movie—a hundred and fifty million dollar budget, fifty million dollars of that movie came from product placement—so I’m dying to see what that film looks like. Yeah, at times it can be very, very distracting.
I mean, I understand the reasoning behind it, especially after making Greatest Movie, you have to get an understanding of how all of these studios want to offset some of their risk in this gigantic investment they’re making. You know, if you’re making a $200 million movie and somebody says, “Listen, we’ll give you $40 million if you have a scene in it where you blow up a 7-11, we’ll put all those cups in our stores.” You know, you start to see why they want to do it. I don’t have a problem usually when certain things exist in the story, it’s when they literally turn them into commercials. You know, you live in the real world. People do wear jeans, they drink Coke, they drive Camaros. It’s when the scene literally turns into a commercial for said product. That takes me out of the narrative in a second.
In Iron Man 2, what were some of the most egregious ones?
Was it the first one or second one where there’s the whole Whopper scene? It was the second one where he was walking out of the Fair Grounds eating the Whopper. And then in the first one he’s eating Burger King sitting at the podium as he comes back. The second one he’s doing it again as he comes walking out, he does that right where Stan Lee’s cameo is, right where he walks by him. He’s walking out eating a Whopper right there or something. I mean, things like that just drive me crazy.
Two of the characters you follow are this guy and his girlfriend, and the guy is planning to propose to his girlfriend at the convention. I found those scenes just so awkward, and I was grimacing and squirming through so much of what happens. Did the film crew have any trouble not reacting, knowing how high the stakes were, and not giving away what was going on?
I mean, it’s one of those things when you’re in it, you’re basically doing everything you can to make sure the train stays on the rails at that moment. You don’t want to give anything away, you never want to talk about it. We never would talk about anything anywhere near or around Se Young. But that was the hard part. A lot of the movie he couldn’t even get away from her to go get the ring. He was trying to go get the wedding ring, and she wouldn’t even let him go. He was like, “I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” and she was like, “I’ll wait outside.” He was freaking out, and literally it was hours before he was able to get the ring. It was amazing.
Was there any material that you filmed that didn’t make it into the movie that you think is worth mentioning?
Oh, there’s so much stuff we shot. There are so many interviews with people that didn’t even make it in. Like Felicia Day, I love Felicia Day. The interview with her we tried to cut into different places, and it just didn’t fit with the other interviews that we had. Nathan Fillion was in the final cut up until right before the premiere at Toronto last year.
We took him right out of the opening. He had an amazing line. His interview had so many good things, but the one line that we took out was where he says, “Comic-Con is like a giant orgasm. You prepare the whole year, the whole year is just the buildup, and then Comic-Con is the release.” It was such a good line. And we had tons of those, we had tons of great moments, and interviews with people like Jerry Robinson, which was such a bittersweet interview with him. He created The Joker, and just passed away last year. There was great stuff that we had, and I think that when we start figuring out the best way to put this out on DVD, or in an expanded Blu-ray DVD, it’s just going to be a wealth of riches.
So do you think you might release a 600-hour extended edition?
[Laughs] If anybody would buy it, absolutely.
Hey, if there’s a fan base that would buy something like that, it’s comic book fans, right?
Are there any other documentaries that you think fantasy and science fiction fans should check out?
I love Darkon. I don’t know if you guys have ever seen that movie? It’s fantastic. It’s this great film about all these guys who do live-action role-playing, and it’s this amazing documentary that I think is just genius. I love that film. We talked about Trekkies. I still like Trekkies, because I love the characters that are in that film.
There are docs that I talk about all the time that are “gateway docs.” I love to clue people into gateway docs, if they haven’t seen certain movies, if they’re like, “Docs are boring, I don’t like to watch those.” You know, movies like Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Hands on a Hard Body, American Movie. These are great docs that people should watch. If you like great, funny documentaries, those are just great docs that people should check out because they’re really smart, they’re really fun. They play more like comedies than they do docs. You know, King of Kong, one of the greatest documentaries ever made. There are so many films like that that I think people should get into. And for people who like sci-fi, A Brief History of Time, the Errol Morris doc, the one that has Steven Hawking in it, is an amazing film. That’s like the über end-all of sci-fi, that doc.
One location featured in the movie is a geek-themed bar that the character The Geek works at . . .
Yeah, in Columbia, Missouri.
So what sort of geeky stuff do they have in there?
On Geek Night, they have people come there and play video games or Magic: The Gathering or whatever card games they play. They have geek-themed drinks named after characters that are in Star Trek, or Battlestar Galactica, or Star Wars. They have all kinds of different character drink names, like a Boba Fett or a Greedo, it’s awesome. And Skip still bartends on Geek Night. So, if you find yourself in Columbia, Missouri on a Monday, you have to go to his bar for Geek Night.
Is that the only geek-themed bar you know of?
It’s the only one that I know of, and it’s not every day, so it’s not geek-themed everyday, it’s just one night a week that it’s geek-themed.
Oh. We’ll have to work on that.
[Laughs] Exactly. I think there’s an H.R. Giger bar. I think it’s in Switzerland or Germany. I think that’s probably the greatest, most twisted geek bar I can think of. All the furniture, it looks like it’s straight out of the movie Alien. So you go in there and the entire bar feels like you’re in the middle of an Alien set. He designed this entire creepy bar, it’s just fantastic. So if you want to feel like you’re in the middle of a Cronenberg film as well as a Giger painting, that’s probably about as geeky as it gets.
I’ve always had this dream of actually having a geek-themed bar called “Geektopia.” The problem is, I don’t want to operate and run it, I just want to go to it.
[Laughs] I just want to drink in it. Can I do that? I just want to stop by.
Are there any updates you want to give us about what the characters featured in the film are up to currently?
Well, Holly Conrad, who is in the film, she was basically hired as a wardrobe consultant for the Mass Effect film. They’re apparently doing a rewrite on that script now, so hopefully she will be engaged in that full time. She continues to make costumes. She was hired after the scene you see in the film where she made these Mass Effect costumes, she was hired by BioWare, the company that makes Mass Effect, to make costumes for Mass Effect 1 and 2, as well to create costumes for the launch of Mass Effect 3, which was pretty amazing. James Darling and Se Young did get married. They are happily married. He’s working in film, and she’s getting ready to go back to graduate school.
Was Kevin Smith involved in their wedding?
Kevin Smith did not officiate their wedding. They did ask, but he was unavailable, apparently. Eric Henson has gone on to do multiple covers for comic books post-film, which is amazing. And Skip is still working on his own graphic novel. Probably the biggest story that’s happened since then is that Chuck has sold some of his big, high-dollar comics. I think that’s probably the bigger story that isn’t talked about in the movie.
We were really intrigued by Eric’s work. Does he have a website?
I don’t think he has a website yet. I’m going to see him at the premiere, because he’s stationed in Germany right now, he’s still in the Air Force. He’s coming to the premiere in Los Angeles, which is April 4th, and when he comes I just want to ask him if he’s started to put up a website, where’s he putting his work right now. I think that he was dealing exclusively with Arch Enemy for a while, but now he’s working with other folks. I’m curious if he’s had anybody help him establish himself on a greater level.
Are there any other recent or upcoming projects that you’d like to mention?
Probably the next thing that’s going to be coming up for me is I’ve got a film that I’m finishing right now that’s going to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21st. It’s a movie that we made with Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, and it looks at the magical world of male grooming. It’s called Mansome.
What does that mean? What is “the magical world of male grooming?”
Well, I am one of the many people who have been personally involved in male grooming for the past eight years, as I’ve shaved around a ridiculous mustache on my face. So it’s me, along with other people who deal with lots of body shaving, or guys who get plastic surgery, or guys who deal with other types of perfection, if you will, in their own grooming day, people who take hours to get ready before they go outside. I’ve got two words for you for a product that you’ll see in the film, a spectacular product, and that product’s name is Fresh Balls. And the name pretty much says it all.
So this is like the “Mane and Tail” of your new movie?
I would say it’s more like the “Tail and Tail” [Laughs]
Spread the word!