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's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


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

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

Just In