The Fine Art of Being Superman

California Is a Place is back with a portrait of Hollywood Superman impersonator, Christopher Dennis. 

"That's pretty much what superheroes are: a symbol of hope for society," Christopher Dennis says. "When I'm out there on Hollywood, I'm portraying the character of Superman ... that's kind of what our job is -- to get out of ourselves and become someone else. And you know, I love doing that." 

Just in time for Halloween, California Is a Place is back with a documentary about the power of a costume: Superman, a portrait of Dennis, who has been impersonating Christopher Reeves in his most iconic role for 19 years. The series has been on hiatus while its creators, Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari, work on a documentary feature about Claressa "T-Rex" Shields, the teen boxing champion who won gold in London this summer. Dennis, who also appears in the longer documentary Confessions of a Superhero (on Hulu), and his wife share intimate details of their lives, from the story of how they met to their ruinous obsession with buying Superman stuff on eBay. The atmospheric style of California Is a Place is especially perfect for this story, creating an immersive day-in-the-life portrait of a complex character.

Canepari, a photographer, discussed the making of the series in an interview with the Atlantic Video channel last year. "For me, it's really a great model of storytelling. The work is really fun and I am generally excited about the stories we are telling," he said. Hopefully they'll continue to make time to produce California Is a Place in between their feature and commercial projects!

Watch more episodes from California Is a Place on the Atlantic Video channel or at http://californiaisaplace.com/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Video

Just In