TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - He has been around since the 1940s, but there’s plenty of mystery behind one of college sports most recognizable mascots, Sparky the Sun Devil.
But a new documentary by ASU students is giving us a look behind the mask.
In an old brick building at ASU, under the hum of the air conditioner, Ben Ashby is going over the footage of one of the most famous people in Arizona.
“Pretty much everything in the movie was a surprise to me,” Ashby said.
He is one of three students working on a behind-the-scenes documentary of Sparky, the horned and tailed mascot of Arizona State University.
For a year they follow around one of the six Sparkys that work each year at a bunch of different ASU and community events.
“That weird dynamic of being sort of famous in a way in one persona, and then taking off that persona and then you are just like everyone else,” Ashby said.
Ashby said he has learned a lot of interesting things about Sparky making this film, like how demanding the mascot's schedule is.
And on an odder note, how Sparky is a sex symbol of sorts to some at the games. Ashby said some fans just cannot resist his devilish physique.
“A lot of butt grabs, and tongue-in-cheek jokes as he walks around,” he said. “He says it mostly comes from the middle-aged women.”
Elizabeth Baxter was the musical director for the film titled "Being Sparky. Forks up. Mask off."
She said being a mascot is not all fun and games and the Sparky they follow said the grind can be tough.
“They convey it really well, and talk about how difficult it was for them,” she said. “To sometimes separate that identity being sparky and who they were personally.”
Baxter said the film is a must-see for any ASU fan, and she’s happy to bring a view of this famous Sun Devil that most people have never seen before.
The film will premier at the Vista Del Sol Theater on April 8.
The director said "Being Sparky. Forks up. Mask off." will eventually be available on Amazon.