Must Watch Geek DocumentariesSeptember 30, 2014
While “geek movies” such as Avengers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy are destroying box office records, another form of geek entertainment has been slowly and subtly sneaking its way into our lives over the past few years in the form of documentaries with geeky subject matter. These documentaries give the fans an in depth look at the origins stories of some of their favourite things as well as how, when and who created them, the pitfalls they struggled through and how they became such a huge impact and cornerstone of our culture.
We have complied a list of 10 of these “geekumentaries” for you to check out for yourselves so you too can learn about how your favourite movies, television shows and comic books came to be. While we are only listing 10 of these gems, there are plenty more out there, so be sure to search for geek documentaries and check them all out.
Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fans Hope
Directed by: Morgan Spurlock
Everyone should know San Diego Comic-Con. It’s the biggest Comic book convention in the world and for good reason. It gets the best artists, celebrities and panels that show all the newest stuff for movies and televisions shows. This amazing documentary from the mind of Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) goes behind-the-scenes of the behemoth convention and follows around the different types of people you would see at the con. The artists looking to make it big, the collectors looking to score the next big piece to their collection, the salesman looking to make a quick buck and the cosplayer looking to be recognized. It houses a huge cast of celebrities and fans talking about their experiences at SDCC.
Turtle Power: The definitive history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Directed by: Randall Lobb
With the release of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot movie, Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a must watch. Whether you loved, hated or all together boycotted the new film, it’s important to look back and learn how one of the most well know franchises in history was born. From it’s humble beginnings in a dark, gritty, black and white comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, to cartoons, action figures and feature films, this documentary teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about those heroes in a half shell.
Empire of Dreams – The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy
Directed by: Edith Becker and Kevin Burns
Many might think they know everything about one of, if not the most iconic movie franchise is history, but until you sit and watch Empire of Dreams, you’ve only scraped the tip of the Hoth iceberg. This in depth documentary goes behind-the-scenes of the original Star Wars trilogy, looking at production of all 3 films from casting, filming, pit falls and set backs. You learn everything that made Star Wars what it is, as well as the immense impact it had on culture that continues today. The force is definitely strong with this one.
The People Vs. George Lucas
Directed by: Alexandre O. Philippe
Another Star Wars-related documentary, but it comes with a twist. This one doesn’t talk directly about the film, but to the director, George Lucas, mostly in a bad way of widespread fan disenchantment with the famous director. From anger about Lucas’ constant need to remaster and re-release the classic film, to the never-ending statement that Han indeed shot first and to the disgust of fans regarding the prequel trilogies, there’s nowhere poor George can run from angry fan boys in this documentary.
6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park
Directed by: Arthur Bradford
This is a short documentary (only 42 minutes) but it’s a fantastic look into the making of the animated show South Park. In less than a week, the show goes from concept to air and this documentary shows you the tiring process that creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone go through every week to make an episode. It’s a fantastic and in depth look that any South Park fan will enjoy.
I Know That Voice
Directed by: Lawrence Shapiro
Have you ever watched an animated movie, television show or played a video game and thought “Hey! I know that voice!”? Well, voice actor John DiMaggio decided he wanted a documentary that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of his fellow voice actors. To help, he assembled a whose-who of celebrities voice actors, most of who you’d only know by their voice such as Kevin Michael Richardson, Kevin Conroy, Nolan North and even the iconic Mark Hamill. All your favourites join together to discuss their art and their careers in the industry.
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle
Hosted and Narrated by: Liev Schreiber
This is the first documentary to examine the dawn of the comic book genre and its powerful legacy, as well as the evolution of the characters who jumped from the pages over the last 75 years and their ongoing worldwide cultural impact. Among the notable on-camera talents in the film; Stan Lee, Adam West and Lynda Carter to name a few. The history of comics is explored as well as interviews with late greats Joe Simon (co-creator of Captain America) and Jerry Robinson (who helped create the Joker). A must watch for any comic book fan, beginner to expert.
Look, Up In The Sky!: The Amazing Story of Superman
Directed by: Kevin Burns
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the amazing story of the first comic book superhero, Superman. From the comic book to the silver screen and beyond, few superheroes have left such a lasting impression on the fantasy-loving masses as mild-mannered “Daily Planet”-reporter-turned-high-flying-bulletproof-do-gooder, Superman. The exciting history of the Man of Steel is told through interviews and archival footage of past Superman films, television shows, and comics. Up, up and away!
Done the Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of ‘Firefly’ and ‘Serenity’
Directed by: Tony Hadlock, Jason Heppler, Jeremy Neish, Jared Nelson and Brian Wiser
Firefly and Serenity have grown beyond the genius of Joss Whedon. The words “Firefly” and “Browncoat” have come to symbolize a sense of community, family, and believing that the impossible can be accomplished. Adam Baldwin hosts the telling of this vivid Browncoat story that features interviews with Joss Whedon, the creator of Firefly and Serenity, the cast, crew, and most importantly, the fans themselves. The story chronicles the rise, fall, and rebirth of the cult TV show as told from the perspective of the fans who helped save it. Fans of the TV show and movie share what inspired them to become passionate about Firefly, to help save it, attend shindigs, participate in message boards, donate to charities, and become Serenity extras.
Directed by: William Shatner
Get ready to boldly go where no man has gone before! Now, I could have put the classic Star Trek documentary Trekkies on this list, but I believe The Captains is more of a modern look at the Star Trek franchise. The Captains is a feature length documentary film written and directed by Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. The film follows Shatner as he interviews the other actors whom have portrayed Starship captains within the illustrious science-fiction franchise.
What are some of your favorite “Geekumentaries”? Leave them in the comments below!