Sundance Video Interview: Morgan Spurlock

By Katey Rich 2011-01-26 14:04:42discussion comments
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OK, bear with me for a second while I tell you a confusing story. Morgan Spurlock, the documentarian behind Super Size Me, decided to make a documentary about product placement, and to explain how the product placement system worked, he decided to fund the documentary entirely through product placement. That means that in the movie POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, you see him pitching companies to feature their products in his next movie… the very movie he is filming as he talks to them. If he's meeting with a company and they have their company logo prominently displayed in the meeting room, the product placement has already begun.

The premise is twisty and unusual and, as Spurlock admits, didn't even seem all that possible for the first several months of shooting. But the resulting movie, which premiered here at Sundance and will open in theaters this spring through Sony Pictures Classics, is riotously entertaining and also informative as a journey through all the ways major corporations can influence what we see at the movies, and how we come to understand their products (you can read my review here). As he promotes the movie Spurlock, as promised, is keeping his sponsors front and center, mentioning them when applicable and even wearing a suit, inspired by NASCAR drivers, bearing all of their logos. He was wearing the suit when I sat down to interview him earlier this week, and since the vast majority of the world has yet to get a look at his film, explain for everyone else how this entirely meta movie is working.

He also talked about his concerns about being labeled a sellout based on all the product placement, the immortal line uttered by director Brett Ratner ("Artistic integrity? Whatever") and why the movie isn't really the anti-advertising polemic you might expect. Check out our twelve-minute interview below, and look for The Greatest Movie Ever Sold in April.


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