One Direction fans flocked the theaters this Labor Day weekend to catch the premiere of “One Direction: This Is Us.” A couple of weeks before the grand debut, director Morgan Spurlock stopped by Dallas to discuss the movie, his involvement, the guys, their girlfriends, and even Justin Bieber.
Tell us how you became involved in this project.
I was called by Paramount; they wanted me to meet with them about possibly doing the Justin Bieber film. At that time I was doing ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,’ so there was no way I could become involved. I was called by the studio again about the Katy Perry movie; at that point I was just wrapping up Comic-Con so I couldn’t. [Later on] I get a call from Sony asking, “You’ve ever heard of this band One Direction?” After missing the first two movies I was like, “absolutely,” to their offer.
How would you say this film differs from Justin Bieber’s and Katy Perry’s?
I think in a couple of ways. One is access. In this movie you have access to the guy in a very deep and personal level, much more than Katy’s and Justin’s. The 3D in this film is infinitely better. The engagement audiences have feels more electric. The concert and the documentary part of the film don’t feel like two movies. With the other two films [Justin and Katy] I felt like I was watching two movies, with this one [One Direction: This is Us] I don’t feel like that at all.
Were the guys a bit reluctant to open up and share?
All the guys were reluctant in the beginning. When I had my very first meeting with them, I told them, “Here’s what I expect and want from this movie…for it to be successful, we have to have access of your lives, families, things you may not want to show. What we don’t want to do is edit ourselves while we’re shooting – let’s just go for it!” I asked them what they personally wanted out of this film and they said that they want the “fans to understand how we work and all that goes into it. We want fans to see us for who we are.” You see their humble beginnings and their supportive families.
How the guys compare to Justin Bieber:
In the process, the five of them have become a family. They count on each other to bring one another back to earth and keep them real. I think one of the reasons these guys haven’t had a Bieber-episode is because they have each other. [It’s not security guards] Justin has security but that doesn’t stop him.
Was Simon Cowell involved?
Simon Cowell was very involved! He and I first talked about my vision for the film, and he added things that he thought were important. He wanted people to know that if it wasn't for all the fans pushing for this band, nobody would know who they are. The fans really do own the success of this band. That was one of his big pushes from the start.
On the bands third album:
I think that from the first album to the second the music matured more. And what's gonna happen now between the second and third album is that the music will mature even more. It will still have pop, I think it will have more rock.
Was there a reason no girlfriends were mentioned?
Two of them have girlfriends, like full-time girlfriends. One of them had a girlfriend when we started shooting and then broke up while we were filming, and that's part of the reason why I didn't want to put girlfriends in there. What if we start putting stories about girlfriends and they're not together anymore [by the time it's out]?
“One Direction: This Is Us” opened in theaters this past Friday, August 30. It successfully debuted in second place with an estimated $18 million. The production budget is a reported $10 million. Worldwide, the 1D film has collected $32.5 million.