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February 17 2010

Joss to team up with Morgan Spurlock for Comic-Con documentary? Um... so claims E! Online. What? Neither Spurlock nor Whedon have commented on this, so I doubt the truth of it, but... well, here's the article.

Well that's different.
Hey new category!
I've seen several documentaries that center on "superfans" and they almost always leave a negative impression. By focusing on the most extreme elements within the population, you get the most extreme behavior, and leave the impression that that's the norm.

If Joss is indeed working on a documentary, I'd like to think he groks (and appreciates) his fans enough to concentrate on the variety and ubiquity amongst them. Not the extreme stereotypes living in their mother's basements, but the people who make the tech and entertainment industries tick, who lead normal everyday lives, but just happen to love their genre entertainment.

Done The Impossible is one of the few documentaries that has done a really good job of this. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.
So...is this the next thing?

I'm obviously not a "superfan" because I haven't a clue what they would do for three months before the con.

"Need we say more?" Yes.
I hope Joss isn't directing, as he won't be able to run things at Comic-Con without being asked to autograph people every few minutes.

I actually struggle to explain to people why Comic-Con is cool. And it is. So, challenge accepted?
The item is up at Spurlock's website but I think it may have been automatically added as a result of some sort of Google RSS feed thingy.

http://morganspurlock.com/news/
Very interesting. He's done the internet supervillain musical, so this is clearly the next logical step. I'd watch it.
Well, its intriguing and I did find Supersize Me a bit enjoyable. I'm curious to see how this unfolds.

[ edited by Jaymii on 2010-02-17 14:25 ]
Do people really prepare for these events 3 months in advance?

Interesting. Not what I would expect from Joss. I would certainly watch it though. Obviously, anything with the Whedon touch would get a viewing from me and I also quite enjoyed Spurlock's Supersize Me (even if it was a slight silly and predictable premise.) I'm not usually that interested in things about fandoms, as they are usually depicted as fairly creepy. I'm sure if Whedon was involved it wouldn't head down that route though.

Of course, it could just be him being interviewed for the film.
Joss working on a documentary about Comic-Con? All I can say is: anyone who was planning to go to Comic-Con dressed in a red Star Trek shirt may want to rethink their plans.
Oh, Red-Shirt jokes, you never get old... Even though I thought that Done the Impossible handled the subject well, I was still a bit cringe-y about some of the over-the-top (to me anyway) fan behavior. Of course, I get embarrassed when anyone starts singing in a movie theater or whatnot, so your mileage may vary.
"Comic-Con Me!"

Or would it be one where a die-hard anti-nerd jock has to live 30 days as a comic/sci-fi geek?

Joss would kill someone off even if they didn't wear a red shirt. Perhaps Morgan Spurlock will have a deadly run-in with Wesley's talking hamburger.
The concept sounds too reality television. But if the project were a fictionalized version of reality television, told Blair Witch- or Cloverfield-style through footage shot by the fictional participants, it could be a very low-cost movie that expands some of the fandom/hero worship/identification themes Joss has been exploring from Buffy through Dollhouse.
It sounds unlikely because it risks hurting our feelings as fans.

But I could see him making fun of himself as a superfan. He could do a Hitchcock-style double chase -- while obsessed fans stalk a famous geek guru (played by Patton Oswalt?), the geek guru himself is stalking the actor who starred in a show created by his own geek guru (Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Pryde :).
So the reality television crew that is following the fans to Comic Con records their encounter with Patton Oswalt . . . and inadvertently observes his proto-scandalous interaction with Sarah Michelle, and realizes that they may have the beginnings of a much more marketable reality drama. Quandary: do they try to head him off as he commits a gradually escalating series of stalker offenses . . . or do they hope it will make a much more marketable drama if they simply observe and record?
Take it away, Big Purple Dude! You could shoot the whole thing on digital and cast your friends!
I hope this doesn't happen. I want more stories from Joss, not him telling other people's stories. My humble opinion, obviously.

That being said, I'd watch anything he does, and I'd rather have this than nothing.
That's pretty much where I stand, guidedby. I'm not wild for Spurlock, either, based on what I've seen of him (Super Size Me and commercials for that show he did/does--maybe not the fairest of sources to draw from, but it's what I got).
We had Morgan Spurlock here on our campus last year to be the main speaker at a nutritional conference, and he was both engaging in his presentation, and friendly in his private conversations with the organizers and some of our faculty, notably our PhD nutrition instructors. I think he has a lot on the ball, so if this is true, Joss is working with someone who will treat people fairly- and I cannot imagine Joss making fun of fans who are his lifeblood.

http://www.chiroeco.com/chiropractic/news/5066/52/Spurlock-to-speak-at-free-Palmer-event/
Morgan Spurlock is the anti-Joss. I would pass on this.
I've been preparing for Comic-Con this year for a while now. Flying from the UK, and all.
So, are you saying that you have a camara crew with you atm Gossi? Is THAT why I didn't get my visit? ;)

I too wonder what the angle will be. Unless, of course, it's actually groupie number one, two and three following Nathan about....
Sigh. Comic-Con.

I need a miracle.
I've never been to Comic-Con, I may have to make the trip at some point. PAX is nice though.
I wouldn't be opposed to a collaboration between the two. I hope, though, this isn't what Joss was meeting with the guy from FX is/was about.
Ugh, one more reason to mourn not being able to go to Comic-Con.

I'd watch this if it were true.
Documentaries aren't usually my cup of tea. However I always find Comic Con exciting, and of course I love Joss Whedon. So I think it would be worth seeing.
Hmmm, didn't see this coming, but I will definitely watch it if Joss is involved...I'm also still waiting to hopefully hear more about the FX meeting.
I'm also still waiting to hopefully hear more about the FX meeting.


Heheh, we SO called this; Joss will forever be fielding questions about lunches.
Huh, indeed, if true.

I hope it is true, if only because Our Jossir likes to try new stuff, and this would certainly be a departure. I love a Jossian tale, and this would be a new way for him to storytell. (Documentaries are stories, in fact...)

I'm so not a SuperFan, so I'm safe from the prying cameras. ; > In fact, I'm kindof a SuckyFanTM - behind on the comic books, haven't even watched the last Dollhouse episode, and withstanding ComicCon mainly because I can see my fandom friends - but I certainly know some Super Fans and I'd love to see a Spurlock/Whedon collaboration.

Joss has often said he's a fangeek himself, so I can't imagine him coming at this from some detached or superior position. In fact, given anything we know about Joss, it isn't likely that he'd tolerate such an approach. He may, in fact, be interested in counteracting that mainstream kindof mocking anti-geek stance.

One thing he has said is that he's fascinated with questions of faith, devotion and loyalty, and SuperFandom is, in many ways, a variety of religious faith.

Oh, I can see this - just wonder if it's true.


ETF: typo

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2010-02-17 20:51 ]
Didn't Patton Oswalt already star in a movie about super-fans? Can't remember the name, but the trailer actually looked wonderful.
jubal lives
"Morgan Spurlock is the anti-Joss. I would pass on this."

Dude, where'd that come from ? I imagine Spurlock and Whedon would find a lot of common ground both creatively and political-opinion-wise, plus they're both family men, so...your statement not lining up with reality, in my mind ?

Always interested in seeing something different from Joss (and Spurlock--though I wasn't crazy about Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, SuperSizeMe was fun, if obvious in its message. But our overall unhealthy society needs reminding, and if it's done in a funny/informative way, what did it harm to have that movie come into being ?), so I'd watch this. I love documentaries.
Hey First post here ! ;)

I so miss Joss that I can take everything.
Didn't Patton Oswalt already star in a movie about super-fans? Can't remember the name, but the trailer actually looked wonderful.

It was called Big Fan and was so awful that my husband and I turned it off after less than half an hour. And we do like Patton Oswalt a lot.
gossi, comic-con is cool? I'd really love to hear why.

IMHO, comic shows are cool. Comic books are cool. Even comic pro's are cool. But I was under the impression that since Comic-Con was co-opted by big business, it has become a 5 day commercial for movies and toys featuring lots of Princess Leia bronze bikini's. Nevermind, I answered my own question.
Not sure how I feel about this. Joss is a glorified geek so I don't think he would sign on to something that pokes fun of Comic-Con goers. Still, I just don't know about this project. Interested to learn more.
Gossi, if Mark Hamill can direct a mockumentary at ComicCon without the fame getting in the way too much, I think anyone can. You have seen Comic Book: The Movie, right?

Pointy, what you're describing IS Comic Book: The Movie. Hamill's character is trying to save his favorite comic book character from being butchered in a movie remake. Hilarity ensues, starring some of the most famous people you've never heard of (ie, a who's who of voice acting talent), and interviewing some of the biggest names in comics.

It's genius!
It was called Big Fan and was so awful that my husband and I turned it off after less than half an hour. And we do like Patton Oswalt a lot.

Big Fan was one of the best movies of 2009! I have no idea why you would say it's terrible. Critics loved it too. It was a truly deft examination of obsession and how being a superfan can be either balm or poison. Just brilliant. Patton did a fantastic job acting in it as well. Agree to disagree, I guess.

For wiesengrund, the movie is about an obsessive Sports fan, not a supergeek.
As for the documentary news, I would be disappointed to see Joss--one of the best writers currently alive--to spend much time doing something that, presumably, involves no writing. That said, I'm sure it would be about as great as a superfan doc can be.
Big Fan was one of the best movies of 2009! I have no idea why you would say it's terrible. Critics loved it too. It was a truly deft examination of obsession and how being a superfan can be either balm or poison. Just brilliant. Patton did a fantastic job acting in it as well. Agree to disagree, I guess.

Agreed. :-) One of my personal favorites is Death to Smoochy and I'm always amused to watch Jon Stewart apologizing on The Daily Show for his participation in what I think may be his best work.
Ooh, maybe Joss & Morg could do a feature on how Lioness and I took unsanctioned pictures of the backs of (and feet of) Joss, Eliza, Dichen, Fran, and Enver last year at the frenzied Dollhouse signing and barely escaped with our lives!
I think Morgan Spurlock can do a good job on the obsessed fan front. Maybe I was the only person who watched the Simpsons 20th Anniversary documentary thing (okay, I only watched the first hour because Chuck was on), but I thought he did a good job highlighting the obsession without being disrespectful.
There are a lot of celebrities at Comic-Con, a world of LARP. I'm intrigued by the idea there could be some guerilla storytelling? Perhaps Dr. Horrible and the ELE could take over (and finally do something about those impossible lines and concurrent events?)

I could go with this.
Big Fan was so good! It was very slow, so it definitely wasn't or everyone, but I thought it was a very memorable dark comedy.
"IMHO, comic shows are cool. Comic books are cool. Even comic pro's are cool. But I was under the impression that since Comic-Con was co-opted by big business, it has become a 5 day commercial for movies and toys featuring lots of Princess Leia bronze bikini's. Nevermind, I answered my own question."

@alexreager- To me it's not about the big-business takeover of comics and films we love. It's about being in a hall of 3000 of my peeps sharing the same love. It's about being there for things that are "premiered" before anyone else gets to see it. It's about hanging out at the California's Browncoats booth and hoping to meet Joss. Who CARES what the suits are doing?! They're not having as much fun as we are.

Oh, and did I mention the costumes? And the after-parties....I am so there. It will be my first time going and I have no doubt I will squeee with joy. Is it July yet?

Joss, if it's true, you can follow me around for three months. No problem.
As for the documentary news, I would be disappointed to see Joss--one of the best writers currently alive--to spend much time doing something that, presumably, involves no writing. That said, I'm sure it would be about as great as a superfan doc can be.


Documentaries don't write themselves. You need a good writer to organize and narrate (whether there is spoken or implied narration) a well-done documentary.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2010-02-18 03:51 ]
You also need a good producer. Which, if Joss is involved in this, I would guess could be his role.
More wild and uninformed speculation: Not too far back, Tubefilter reported that Joss was shopping a digital studio to money people, with a plan to produce four projects, two of which would directly be his, two of which would not directly be his. I wonder if this project, if accurately scooped by E!, came out of that.

End my wild and uninformed speculation.
Not to say been there done that but, been there done that. You need to check out a movie called Hobocon. Screenhead did a great review of it and they are just now making some noise with it. Their version may not be the same premise and definitely not the same budget, but I bet the same story comes out of it.
Reading the description, I really don't think we're looking at the same story.
I am hoping this is bogus, but only for the fact that I long for a new and exciting joss story. Yes, I too would take anything I could get but I don't find this to be a story he could really shine with. I am holding out for a new great show from our master, plus DRH2 :)
Spurlock's "30 Days" had some pretty amazing stuff in it. But as we're still confirmation-less, I'm still dubious.
I don't really see what the appeal would be behind this, for anyone. The film makers could portray the 'fans' as just normal everyday peoples who like comic books - which would be utterly boring to watch... or they go in the other direction and show the more 'intense/kinda scary fans' - which you'd think will upset a lot of the target audience.

But if its true I'll still see it I guess. Cause its Joss ya know.
zeitgeist, I was present at one of the Los Angeles "test screenings" of "Serenity" (at the Chinese 6 -- hey to those who were there). The whole audience started singing the "Firefly" theme while waiting for the film to start, and the look of absolute astonishment -- not horror, not contempt -- on the faces of the Universal publicity people was lovely to see. Maybe they were all horrified later, who knows, or maybe I was misreading it, but they really looked like they were flatly amazed that everybody in this packed theatre (except them) loved this thing enough to spontaneously burst into song together. I've been in the middle of groups doing embarrassing things, but that wasn't one of those times. I thought it was great. YMMV :)

Edited to change "he" to "hey" ...

[ edited by Shapenew on 2010-02-19 18:00 ]
Personally I think this is an awesome idea. I also hope to God that it happens so the world gets to see the sub nerd culture that thrives at conventions such as CCI. Joss Whedon is a huge nerd, a great story teller and Spurlock knows his way around a documentary, its a dream team for this kind of film. I cant wait to hear more, and hopefully get involved, since Im already going to Comic Con being apart of this would be amazing.
I would not say I am a superfan, but I have been slowly planning for comic con since last summer with a few friends. So Joss, we are totally available to be filmed. ;)
I would be really curious to see something like this, but unless Joss would be the main interview-ee and explain his experiences, which would lead into the other fans, I don't see this happening. But I could be wrong.

Also: I GOT A WHEDONESQUE ACCOUNT! GLORY BE TO THE PURPLE!!
Shapenew - I hear you, I was at several of the early screenings (lucky me!) and I would not disagree that the Universal folks loved it: this type of devotion takes a money-losing picture and makes it a break even or profitable venture. Not to say that some of the 'Versal people weren't flans as well, but you see what I'm saying. Non-flans in attendance (yes, there were folks with tickets given away by radio stations/Universal reps and whatnot, though more so after general release) seemed a little put off/left out by it, but that's life. My ill-ease towards the sing-alongs is probably focused by/on that and really the more uncomfortable experience of that was not at test/advance screenings, but at public screenings where there were ten people dressed up, speaking in 'Verse-speak and trying repeatedly to get a sing-along going when there were far fewer folks in attendance who knew the show. It's really sort of an empathetic embarassment on their behalf and not a case of being annoyed with them or anything of that nature. In any case, what always bothered me far more was the truly overzealous cornering folks who obviously had no interest and trying to make them flans and the over-explainy flans trying to map out every single shoutout/reference or connected point of lore to their non-flan friends in attendance and thus talking over the flick (knowing full well what our goodly Shepherd said about doing so!). I was thinking about coining a new term for these actions, but I can't think of anything non-offensive at the moment :).

In any case, back on topic, it would be interesting to see, I guess, but I am not buying that this rumor isn't the result of a game of telephone at this point.

Welcome new folks!
In any case, back on topic, it would be interesting to see, I guess, but I am not buying that this rumor isn't the result of a game of telephone at this point.

Which was my initial reaction. Something along the lines of "there's going to be a documentary about Comic-Con, and it's going to be talking to Joss".
zeitgeist, ah, gotcha. I think cornering an uninitiated person and proselytizing at them about *anything* is generally not a good idea. If someone is going to come to something, be it fandom or faith, they'll do it on their own, not because a stranger browbeat them into it. And talking in theatres, as Book says, reserves one a place in Special Hell (ah, the irony of "Firefly" fans knowing this and still talking in theatres).

As for the documentary, I agree with you and b!X that this could certainly be a garbled report of Joss Whedon being *in* a documentary. I guess at some point either an interviewer will ask directly about this and/or there will be a Big Purple clarification, and then we will know.
zeitgeist, i would have been so embarrassed by that behavior it would have ruined the movie for me. le sigh.
Joss once thought about Comic-Con you say?

This is all very well, but was there lunch?
Ah, bubblecat arrives to ask the important question. Also, was there pizza and was it any gouda? :)
Hey RayHill, the New York Times quoted you.
Zeitgeist, if there was a Pun-Con I would meet you there and buy you a beer ;).

Also, I feel it necessary to apologise for being completely off-topic all the time.
:) If there was a Pun-Con, I would definitely go! Congrats on your newly en-quoted-ness, RayHill.
Well, I like the idea. :)

But that means I really have to pay 1200$ for a flight around that time to get to San Diego. Why does CC have to be in July? lol.

Last year was my first CC and it rocked. :)

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