Morgan Valetine Spurlock
Though it took him months to recover from consistently eating McDonald's food while making his critically acclaimed documentary "Super Size Me" (2004), filmmaker Morgan Spurlock gained more than just 25 pounds in 30 days and a 40 percent increase in his cholesterol count - he earned critical kudos, comparisons to Michael Moore and an Oscar nomination. Prior to overnight fame, Spurlock's filmmaking pursuits led him from low-level production work, to a corporate spokesperson job, to televised sports announcing, before producing his Internet-born reality series "I Bet You Will" (MTV, 2002-03). Then, inspired by a bizarre lawsuit filed against America's fast food goliath, he helmed the hugely successful indie documentary "Super Size Me." While some debated the merits - and results - of his unorthodox experiment, there was no denying that it kicked off a nationwide debate about the causes of obesity like never before. Spurlock's sophomore project was the less successful "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?" (2008), followed by the playful examination of product placement, "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" (2011). In the following years, Spurlock began making a number of moves into digital platforms and television production in general, with projects such as "Inside Man" for CNN (2013- ) and "A Day in the Life" for Hulu. In August 2017, he also announced a follow-up to "Super Size Me" that would focus on Spurlock's attempts to open his own fast food restaurant. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September of that year, winning the People's Choice award. A master self-promoter, Spurlock became known for tackling prescient subjects - sometimes in an ill-fitting jocular manner, as his critics often claimed - but always with an eye toward both educating and entertaining his audience.