True Stories

Director: Christopher Bell, 35, Venice, California


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Synopsis: A personal, Michael Moore–style take on America’s perception of and preoccupation with steroids.

The backstory: After a year of following the news about steroid use in competitive sports—as well as a lifetime of admiration for bodybuilders that he shared with his two brothers, both steroid users—Bell began filming in January 2005.

Budget: “Over a million, under $5 million,” Bell says.

Financed by: Independent investors. “During periods of filming, to save money, I lived on protein shakes,” Bell says. “They’re cheaper than meals. The best is chocolate Muscle Milk, and I’d have four or five a day.” Magnolia Pictures will release the film in late 2008.

Director’s next project: Pitching a television sitcom set in the fitness subculture of Muscle Beach.

Return to True Stories or read about other directors: Alex Gibney (Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson) James Marsh (Man on Wire) Nanette Burstein (American Teen ) Tia Lessin and Carl Deal (Trouble the Water) Marina ZenovichRoman Polanski: Wanted and Desired