Monday, April 13, 2009

The Grant Morrison Documentary

I haven’t posted in a while, but fear not, the examination of important issues in comics and culture has not stopped! The reason for the hiatus has been that I’ve been out in L.A. working on what’s pretty much my dream project, a documentary about Grant Morrison. So, over the last week, we shot three days with Grant, talking with him during an interview that he called the longest interview he’d ever done. That interview will form the base of the documentary, which will also include some footage of stuff that I shoot as subjective interpretation of the stuff he’s saying, images from the comics, and hopefully some additional interviews with his collaborators and things like that.

It’s a pretty strange thing to meet the guy who’s pretty much been my idol since I first read The Invisibles seven years ago. How can the reality of the man possibly live up to the image I’ve built up in my head? To some extent, the answer to that question is the core of the documentary. There’s been so much written about what Morrison was going through during The Invisibles, but I had very little sense of the life he’d been living since the series ended, and I think we found out the answer to that. He’s not the crazy drug taking magician of the 90s, he’s a different guy now, and finding out who that person is is a big part of what the doc is about.

I don’t want to go too in depth about what we talked about, since that’s what the documentary is for, but I can say that the interview process was pretty interesting. I would ask a question, and he’d typically talk for five to ten minutes, then we sort of organically moved to the next topic. He answered a lot of questions I’d been wondering about, including such random current ones as the purported 80 page Seven Soldiers script and the exact identity of Doctor Hurt to more general stuff like a look inside his much vaunted notebooks.

I had a great time doing the filming, and I think the man lived up to the image I had of him in my head. He wasn’t exactly as I imagined, but in the transition from myth to human being, the magic lingered on. Anyone who can talk for six hours and leave you wanting more has a way about him. And, between a literal translation of his work like Key 23 and work inspired by his like Universal Traveler and The Third Age, I think I can make some really interesting visuals to match his words.

The documentary’s going into the editing room now, and I’d expect to see it released sometime in 2010. I’m really happy with the way everything we shot turned out, and am looking forward to getting in there and cutting it up and making something as challenging and exciting as one of his comics.

4 comments:

Robert said...

Wow! Congrats on the project. A book and a documentary on your passions. You're having quite the year. I'll definitely be interested in seeing the doc, though I need to finally find the time to read The Invisibles.

Mercer Finn said...

Hey. Amazing. How are you going to introduce the documentary to the wider world? And when can we expect to meet it?

nicholas reed said...

awesome. I hope it's finished sooner rather than later, as I really would like to see it.

Patrick said...

It should be finished sometime in early 2010, and then hopefully screen at some festival, be it South by Southwest or the San Diego Comicon, and then get released on DVD shortly after that. So, it should be available for the general public in summer 2010.

I'm going to cut together a trailer for it shortly, I'll post that on here in the next couple of weeks so you can get an idea of how everything looks.