The Fine Art of Being Superman

More

"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/.

Jump to comments

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.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

Social Security is the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

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

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In