November 7, 1970 (age 46)
New York City
Filmmaker, television producer, screenwriter
Morgan Valentine Spurlock (born November 7, 1970) is an American documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, screenwriter, and political activist, best known for the documentary films Super Size Me and This Is Us.
Spurlock was the executive producer and star of the reality television series 30 Days. He also hosted, and produces, CNN's Inside Man, and is the co-founder of short-film content marketing company Cinelan, which produced the Focus Forward campaign for GE.
Spurlock was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and was raised in Beckley, West Virginia. He was raised a Methodist. He went to New York University and graduated in 1993 and is a member of the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. Spurlock has stated that he is of Scottish, English, and Irish descent. He performed stand-up in both New York and Los Angeles. 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 Artsin 1993.
Before making the 2004 Academy Award nominated documentary Super Size Me, Spurlock was a playwright, winning awards for his play The Phoenix at both the New YorkInternational Fringe Festival in 1999, and the Route 66 American Playwriting Competition in 2000. Super Size Me launched Spurlock into the mainstream spotlight, after the documentary allegedly showed frightening and damaging effects fast food had on health, the economy and wildlife. The backlash aimed at fast food restaurant McDonalds was so immense the company was forced to make significant changes to how their products were advertised and distributed to customers. Since the documentary's release, many counter arguments have been made, questioning the validity of Spurlock's claims and experiments. In 2013, Spurlock created the series I Bet You Will for MTV, which began as a popular Internet webcast of five-minute episodes featuring ordinary people doing stunts in exchange for money. The webcast was a success, with over a million hits in the first five days. MTV later bought and aired the show. Spurlock helped distribute A Brony Tale, a documentary directed by Brent Hodge on the brony phenomenon and on the musician and voice acting career of Ashleigh Ball. The film was selected for theatrical distribution under the label Morgan Spurlock Presents. The film is premeired July 8, 2014. Spurlock collaborated with Hodgee Films on the 2015 series Consider the Source, in association with Disney's Maker Studios. In 2016, he was the executive producer of the Kazakh-language British-Mongolian-American documentary film The Eagle Huntress.
This Is Us
In 2012, Spurlock was originally approached by Paramount Pictures to produce a documentary film about Justin Bieber. He was unable to participate due to his involvement in another project, and also turned down an offer to produce the Katy Perry docu-film for similar reasons. Finally, he was offered the chance to produce a One Direction documentary and accepted the offer. Spurlock said his aim was to stick to the documentary format in order to provide more viewer accessibility, stating the Perry and Bieber films felt too much like movies. Spurlock explained it took a while for One Direction to warm up to him, stating: "All the guys were reluctant in the beginning. When I had my very first meeting with them, I told them, “Here’s what I expect and want from this movie…for it to be successful, we have to have access of your lives, families, things you may not want to show. What we don’t want to do is edit ourselves while we’re shooting – let’s just go for it!” I asked them what they personally wanted out of this film and they said that they want the “fans to understand how we work and all that goes into it. We want fans to see us for who we are. You see their humble beginnings and their supportive families." Spurlock stated the reason no girlfriends are included in the film was because a break-up occurred during filming, and he didn't want to document relationships that may not last. Filming took place in late 2012 and early 2013, in locations such as Japan, England, Ireland, Scotland and New York.
Spurlock has two children. Laken James Spurlock was 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 married his longtime girlfriend Sara Bernstein in May 2016. She gave birth to their first son, Kallen Marcus Spurlock, later that month.
Although he was raised Methodist, Spurlock stated in an interview with TV Guide in 2014 that he is agnostic.
- This Is Us — direction, production
- @morganspurlock — Twitter