Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Filmmaker lives a miner's life in '30 Days' on FX

Morgan Spurlock, the writer, producer and director of the Academy Award-nominated film "Super Size Me", returns to his native West Virginia to work as an apprentice coal miner to kick off FX's "30 Days," a reality television show that starts tonight at 10 p.m. (Photo of Spurlock by Ray Mickshaw for FX)

In "30 Days," an individual or group is immersed in a lifestyle for that time period while discussing related social issues. The first episode of the show's third season features Spurlock living with Dale Lusk, who has mined coal for 35 years, and his wife in Bolt, W. Va. Lusk, the supervisor of the mine in which Spurlock works, "introduced Morgan to a miner's way of life, gaining an understanding of the financial benefits that draw miners and the dangers they face daily," Dave Lavender writes for The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, W. Va.

Spurlock trained for 80 hours to become a "red hat," the term for a rookie apprentice, and enter the mine. "As a new miner, Spurlock was assigned much of the grunt work, including plastering, building wooden roof supports, shoveling coal and hauling heavy equipment,' Lavender writes. "On his days off, Spurlock put a face on the other problems with coal as energy -- from the aftermath of families dealing with mining deaths, as well as witnessing the mountains being permanently destroyed to get at the coal seams through mountaintop removal" in surface mines much different from the underground workplace.

"It makes you realize how many people are affected by coal," Spurlock said. "Coal has one foot in the past and one foot in the future. We can't wait 'till it disappears to do something. We can only chose progress." Read more about "30 Days" here.

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