Mission: Impossible?

Documentary Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock Tries to Succeed Where the Administration Failed

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Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock garnered international acclaim for his 2004 film "Supersize Me," in which Spurlock uncovers the vices of fast food by subjecting himself to a McDonald'- only diet. Aside from working on his critically-lauded TV show, "30 Days," Spurlock recently completed another documentary, "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?" set to open April 18. This time, Spurlock journeys to the Middle East to track down Osama Bin Laden. The Daily Californian caught up with Spurlock to discuss his new movie, the Middle East, and filmmaking in general.

The Daily Californian: What do you make of the rumors that flew around before the release of the film saying that you had actually found Bin Laden?

Morgan Spurlock: It was really a great way to look at how the media steamrolls things. It was from an interview for a magazine with [a cinematographer] and they asked him, "So how was it, how was it shooting over there?" and he was all like, "Oh we had this really nice HD camera … the things we captured are absolutely incredible, we got the Holy Grail." So then somebody steals that last line, puts it in another article, next thing you know we've got people thinking we've found Bin Laden .… It's out now: I did not find him., but we found out a lot of great stuff along the way.

DC: Did you initially believe that you could find Bin Laden?

MS: I thought we had as good a shot as anyone…Why not, why couldn't we go in there and find this guy?

DC: How did it feel knowing you were seeing something that most people here will never experience?

MS: Well I think for me that is one of the things I really try to do with a film and I try to take you on a journey that 99 percent of us won't get to go on. The film is a great kind of doorway into these worlds and into people's lives and what people face on a daily basis. This whole idea of so long as I can be honest with myself I can be honest with you…and that will come across on screen so that when I'm learning something, you're learning something.

DC: Why do you choose to make yourself the guinea pig in your projects?

MS: When I first got the idea for "Supersize Me," I was going to try and find somebody else to be the guinea pig, and I would just focus on making the movie. But the more I started thinking about it the more I realized that I couldn't really trust that other person. If the cameras were off they might be sneaking broccoli, or having a carrot on the side! The only way that I could make sure was to do it myself.

DC: So, do you think that after actually making this movie that your view of the world changed?

MS: The thing that really impacted me was the incredible amount of commonality that we have with people .... One of the things that the film does really well is show people things that they don't get to see on the news, and it's really a beautiful thing just to see these people leading there lives, and they have the same hopes and concerns that we do. To hear that we all want the same things is really an important message.

MS: Any idea what your next project will be?

DC: Well, "30 Days" comes back on June 3 .... I was also approached to direct a movie version of "Freakanomics" … and do a full doc. I would get to work with a lot of filmmakers that I really admire … that would be a real thrill.


Uncover Arielle at [email protected]

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