There is nothing greater than playing Superman and being able to spread his positive message on a grand scale.
For eight years, I flew from Los Angeles to Metropolis to portray the Man of Steel for the annual Superman Celebration.
The city of Metropolis, Illinois holds the title of being the official city of Superman and has been celebrating the Man of Steel annually for 32 years. Heroic Ambition is the story of ambition of the city and the people involved with the Superman Celebration.
Portraying the world's greatest hero for the city was a dream come true. I've made lifelong friends, met thousands of superman fans, worked with many of my boyhood heroes and traveled the world -- thanks to "the world's first and greatest superhero."
Since the first year I portrayed Superman, I wanted to make a documentary. However, I didn't feel it was appropriate to be making a movie while doing my job. Asking a kid to redo a high five just didn't seem cool.
I managed to piece together footage over the years of my Superhero related experiences thanks to Jeff Cranford, scOtt summitt, Steve Stanley, Jamie Reigle, and my wife Marcella Cranford.
A month before my last year playing Superman, I felt it was the right time to pursue the documentary.
Supermanhomepage.com posted a story that I was looking for footage for a documentary I was making. I was contacted by Kevin James, a Boston film student and Superman fan. He and fellow film students and Superman enthusiasts Craig Schaffer and Matt Sinclair drove out from Boston, Massachusetts to Metropolis, Illinois and shot most of what is Heroic Ambition.
Upon returning to Los Angeles, I had 32 hours of footage to piece together in addition to the footage I had already.
To my good fortune, my brother is an editor who has edited for Tony Hawk and has done music videos for Blink 182. He is currently in sound editing on the Emmy Award winning show "Breaking Bad." He oversaw the project from the start and was instrumental in this project becoming completed.
I have always loved superheroes and Superman. Since childhood, I felt a responsibility to inspire young people on a grand scale.
My goal breaking into Hollywood was to play Superman in the movies or on TV. I always believed the Man of Steel would help me introduce a universe of socially conscious superheroes. I spent years working behind the scenes in Hollywood, writing and drawing and creating superheroes waiting for the next Superman role to come up.
I really got a behind the scenes look at the Entertainment Industry while working as a stand in and double for Arnold Schwarzenneger, Ron Pearlman and Christopher Walken. I had also worked as an actor in some of the biggest pictures and the very smallest indie films. I learned that if you want to control your career, you have to take charge. That is what made me interested in directing.
This documentary is my Superman film. From the onset, my goal was not necessarily to make a great documentary but to make a great Superman movie and I feel I have achieved this.
I focused on archetypes of characters within the Superman Universe. Throughout my Metropolis adventure, I had noticed that there were many Clark Kent types, Lois Lane types, and Jimmy Olsen types. There were even Lex Luthor types. I feel fortunate that everybody very generously lent their time and talent to this project.
Although there are celebrities in it, my focus was the people involved, the passionate Superman enthusiasts and the people involved in putting together the Superman Celebration.