Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock

Spurlock at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Born Morgan Valentine Spurlock
November 7, 1970 (1970-11-07) (age 41)
Parkersburg, West Virginia, US
Occupation Filmmaker, television producer, screenwriter
Years active 2000–present
Spouse Alexandra Jamieson (2006–present; 1 child)

Morgan Valentine Spurlock (born November 7, 1970) is an American documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, screenwriter and journalist best known for the documentary film Super Size Me.[1] Spurlock was the executive producer and star of the reality television series 30 Days.



Spurlock attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, West Virginia, graduating in 1989. He graduated with a BFA in film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1993. Before making the 2004 Academy Award nominated Super Size Me, Spurlock was a playwright, winning awards for his play The Phoenix at both the New York International Fringe Festival in 1999 and the Route 66 American Playwriting Competition in 2000. He also created I Bet You Will for MTV. I Bet You Will began as a popular Internet webcast of five-minute episodes featuring ordinary people doing disgusting, unusual, or embarrassing stunts in exchange for money. Examples include eating a full jar of mayonnaise ($235USD), eating a "worm burrito" ($265USD), and taking shots of corn oil, Pepto-Bismol, lemon juice, hot sauce, cold chicken broth, and cod liver oil (US$450.00 for all nine shots). The webcast was a success, with over a million hits in the first five days.[citation needed] The show was later bought and aired by MTV.


Super Size Me

Spurlock's docudrama Super Size Me was released in the U.S. on May 7, 2004. This production was later nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary feature. He conceived the idea for the film when he was at his parents' house for Thanksgiving, and while watching TV saw a news story about a lawsuit brought against McDonald's by two teenage girls who blamed the fast food chain for their obesity. The film depicts an experiment he conducted in 2003, in which he ate three McDonald's meals a day every day (and nothing else) for 30 days, mandatory that he take the "super-size" option whenever it was offered and never take it when not offered, the end result he claims was a diet with twice the calories recommended by the USDA. Further, Spurlock attempted to curtail his physical activity to better match the exercise habits of the average American (he previously walked about 3 miles a day; whereas, the average American walks 1.5 miles).

He was of above average health and fitness when he started the project; he gained 25 pounds (11 kg), suffered liver dysfunction and depression by the end. Spurlock's supervising physicians noted the effects caused by his high-fat diet—one even comparing it to a case of severe binge alcoholism.

After the completion of the project, it took Spurlock fourteen months to return to his normal weight of 185 pounds (84 kg). His then-girlfriend (now wife), Alexandra Jamieson, took charge of his recovery with her "detox diet," which became the basis for her book The Great American Detox Diet.[2]

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?

Spurlock's second feature documentary, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008.

In the film, and in interviews, Spurlock explores the fight against terrorism and views the argument from both sides, in which he tries to find Osama Bin Laden.

The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!

Spurlock directed The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!.[3][4][5]


The documentary film is an adaptation of the book Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, which premiered in April 2010. Spurlock was at the helm of this project alongside five directors (Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Alex Gibney, Seth Gordon and Eugene Jarecki).[6]

Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope

In the summer of 2010, Spurlock was working with Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon, founder Harry Knowles, and comic book creator Stan Lee to create the documentary Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope to cover the stories of convention fans.[7][8] Whedon, Lee, and Knowles will executive produce. Legendary Pictures' Thomas Tull, who is independently financing the documentary, told Variety, ""We look forward to capturing the spirit, energy and people that Comic-Con has infused into legions of fans, bringing these audiences and projects out of the halls and onto a world stage."[9]

Committed: The Toronto International Film Festival

The one hour documentary Committed: The Toronto International Film Festival premiered on AMC on 12 October 2010.[10]

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

A documentary film about product placement, marketing and advertising which was reportedly itself financed through product placement,[11][12] The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.[13] It was released in the USA in April 2011. It screened in the New Zealand Film Festival in August 2011 together with an appearance by Spurlock to talk about the movie.

30 Days

In each episode, a person (which in some cases, is Spurlock himself) or a group of people spend 30 days immersing themselves in a mode of life markedly different from their norm (being in prison, a devout Christian living in a Muslim family, a homophobe staying with a homosexual person, etc.), while Spurlock discusses the relevant social issues involved. FX began airing the show on June 15, 2005. In the premiere episode of the first season, "Minimum Wage," Spurlock and his fiancée lived for 30 days in the Bottoms neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, earning minimum wage, with no access to outside funds.

In the second season finale, Spurlock spent 25 days locked in a Henrico County, Virginia (a county outside of Richmond) jail to experience life as an inmate.[14] He did not complete the entire 30 days in jail because the majority of inmates in the state of Virginia serve 85% of the sentence, so once Spurlock reached that benchmark, he was released.[15]

The third season of 30 Days premiered on June 3, 2008.[16] The first episode of the third season, titled "Working in a Coal Mine," was filmed in Bolt, West Virginia which is located roughly 18 miles from the city of Beckley, West Virginia, where Spurlock was raised prior to leaving for New York.[17]

In late 2008, FX announced they would not be renewing the 30 Days series, making the third season the last.

Other work

  • Spurlock optioned the rights for Chris Mooney's book The Republican War on Science in order to create another documentary film,[18] but in 2008 announced that he had released the option.[19]
  • Spurlock has a role in the film Drive Thru, a horror film about a fictional fast food restaurant that has its mascot come to life and start killing people.[20] It was released on DVD on May 29, 2007.
  • Spurlock currently presents 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die on Current TV. The show premiered on August 1, 2011.[21]
  • On May 28, 2011, Spurlock was the graduation commencement speaker for the MBA Business program at Sonoma State University.
  • Spurlock's half-hour documentary series "A Day in the Life" was to debut on Hulu in mid-August 2011. It follows "incredibly focused" people such as Richard Branson and for a full day. The series is exclusive to Hulu, the streaming video site.[22]
  • Spurlock directed an additional episode of ESPN's 30 for 30 sports documentary series, titled "The Dotted Line". This documentary takes a look at the competitive world of sports agents. "The Dotted Line" premiered on ESPN October 11, 2011, one day following the premiere of a two-hour documentary entitled "I, Caveman" created and directed by Spurlock for the Science Channel series Curiosity, wherein a group of men and women including Spurlock try to survive in the wild using only Stone Age technology.
  • Spurlock has also appeared on TED talks and received a standing ovation

Personal life

Spurlock was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and was raised in Beckley, West Virginia. He was raised a Methodist.[23] He went to New York University and graduated in 1993 and is a member of the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta.[24] He currently lives in New York City. He married his long-time girlfriend, vegan chef Alexandra Jamieson, on May 3, 2006.[25] They have a son, Laken James Spurlock, born on December 9, 2006. His birth is depicted in Spurlock's documentary Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, which Spurlock dedicated to Laken. Spurlock is a fan of English Premier League team Stoke City. (Appearing as a guest on British show Soccer AM, he was given a club to support as he had no current loyalty to a club.)



  1. ^ "'Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?'". The Internet Movie Database. 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Great American Detox Diet on
  3. ^ The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!
  4. ^ Hulu, The Simpsons 20the Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! Title Details
  5. ^ TV Squad, Morgan Spurlock on The Simpsons Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! August 1, 2009.
  6. ^ Freakonomics profile at IMDb
  7. ^ Looking for people who love Comic-Con.
  8. ^ Action Flick Chick, Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope – Starring Yourself?. June 4, 2010.
  9. ^ Variety, Spurlock, Whedon eye 'Comic-Con' doc. May 20, 2010.
  10. ^ Peter Sciretta (Saturday, October 9, 2010). "Morgan Spurlock to Premiere ‘Committed’ on AMC". SlashFilm. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  11. ^ Morgan Spurlock Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
  12. ^ A video of Spurlock talking about The Greatest Movie Ever Sold at TED
  13. ^ Spurlock premieres 'Greatest Movie Ever Sold' at Sundance
  14. ^ Associated Press, "Spurlock to go behind bars". June 13, 2006.
  15. ^ FX "Thirty Days: Season 2 on the FX Network, Season Finale Episode.
  16. ^ Capone With Morgan Spurlock About WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? And More!!,, April 18, 2008
  17. ^ "Spurlock Supersizes West Virginia On The Map".
  18. ^ Spurlock filming "The Republican War on Science
  19. ^ The Intersection
  20. ^ Spurlock in Drive Thru
  21. ^
  22. ^ Spurlock sets Hulu series
  23. ^ Morgan Spurlock on Islam
  24. ^ "The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta"
  25. ^ Biography for Morgan Spurlock at the Internet Movie Database

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Morgan Spurlock — (* 7. November 1970 in Parkersburg, West Virginia) ist ein US amerikanischer Regisseur, Dokumentarfilmer und Drehbuchautor. Bekannt wurde Spurlock durch seinen Dokumentarfilm Super Size Me aus dem Jahr 2004. Spurlock lebt in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Morgan Spurlock — (né le 7 novembre 1970 à Parkersburg, Virginie Occidentale) est un réalisateur, un acteur et un scénariste américain, connu pour son film …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Morgan Spurlock — Este artículo o sección sobre biografías y cine necesita ser wikificado con un formato acorde a las convenciones de estilo. Por favor, edítalo para que las cumpla. Mientras tanto, no elimines este aviso puesto el 3 de junio de 2008. También… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Spurlock — Morgan Spurlock Morgan Spurlock (* 7. November 1970 in Parkersburg, West Virginia) ist ein US amerikanischer Regisseur, Dokumentarfilmer und Drehbuchautor. Bekannt wurde Spurlock durch seinen Dokumentarfilm Super Size Me aus dem Jahr 2004.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Morgan (Name) — Morgan ist im angelsächsischen Sprachraum, besonders in Wales, Name verschiedener Personen, Orte und Objekte. Er kommt bei Personen sowohl als Vor als auch als Nachname vor und stammt aus dem Walisischen, wo er „vom Meer“ bedeutet. Familienname… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Super Size Me — Theatrical release poster Directed by Morgan Spurlock Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Supersize Me — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Super Size Me Originaltitel: Super Size Me Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 2004 Länge: 100 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch Altersfreigabe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Super Size Me — Título Super Size Me (Estados Unidos, RU, España, Argentina) Súper engórdame (Hispanoamérica) Agrándame (Guatemala) Ficha técnica Dirección Morgan …   Wikipedia Español

  • Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? — Infobox Film name = Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? image size = caption = Promotional poster director = Morgan Spurlock producer = writer = Jeremy Chilnick Morgan Spurlock narrator = starring = Morgan Spurlock music = cinematography =… …   Wikipedia

  • Super Size Me — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Super Size Me Produktionsland USA …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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