Sports or Entertainment: Final Thoughts…

This project has truly been my favourite to work on and I feel that after these long months I can look back on my final piece work and say that I have truely made a piece of work that I can be proud of. The blue poster was the final choice made by James, and the reason why I made the poster was originally I was just going to use it for my display at our exhibit in London in July. After talking to James though, after the event in March, since I filmed some of it for my documentary I said I would make a DVD of the show and he would let me sell it at the next show in June. As well as that he gave me the option to see if I would like to sell the documentary at his show in June in which case I may print of some of the posters as well to sell. So in the end the reason I made them is because of marketing to see if I could get my documentary and my work noticed, possibly by magazines such as FSM (Fighting Spirit Magazine) which is a wrestling/mma magazine that runs out of Poole.

Editing, Audio and Structuring

The editing itself proved not to be as worrying as I thought it would be, because around mid way through the project my concern was that I wasn’t going to have enough footage. At this point I had filmed all my interviews with James but it was the rest of the filming that was worrying me, wondering if I’d have enough to cut away to whilst James was talking. I had planned the structure of exactly what I wanted him to talk about because, if anything, unlike ‘Hard Knocks’, which seemed to give away the secrets of pro wrestling so to speak, I wanted mine to be specifically about James because I thought he had an interesting story to tell, then including the most common topics brought up in pro wrestling i.e. ‘its fake?’

So my basic structure was, introducing himself, how and why he got into pro wrestling, talking about the start of his training, whilst he was doing karate, moving into college and doing performance arts whilst he was still training, working in the holiday parks, and leading into how these forms of sport and entertainment  have helped his wrestling career, as well as what aspects are important to utilize to be a good wrestler. This would lead into why he decide to run his own events in Ferndown, and then mentioning the event on 29th March, where I would have clips through the documentary playing over the top from this event.

What would follow would be strangers opinions about pro wrestling as a whole and then James and his Mum’s reactions. He would then explain why he enjoys wrestling and why he thinks others enjoy it. The final part would follow up with an interview with a fan after the event about James, and then James’ final thought about how the show went and his future aspirations for where he wants his wrestling career to go. Once I had the structure the editing was fairly simple because I knew where I wanted what bits where, the problem was unlike before now I had to0 much footage and I needed to condense it down and be brutal with my editing.

Today more or less finished with no real problems there were slight changes that needed to be made to the audio because the bass was very overpowering when it was played back on some large speakers. After I had recorded the first set of interviews I realised that the audio was to quiet, and to rectify the problem and make it louder I increased the bass, which at the time seemed to work, but on some speakers it cracked even though the levels were ok. So today I went about turning down the bass and adjusting the audio gain so that most of the interview track was at least in the -6db to 0db. Plus this made the music track run a lot smoother I think.

Colour Correction

Here are just a few examples of some colour correction I did for the documentary. Originally the footage looked quite bland, but I decided to give it a slight blue tint to make with the colour scheme that I had set up for the designs for the DVD covers and posters etc…

At the end of the project like I said I think I have created something that I can really be proud, and hopefully something that will get my foot in the door for a future job with a wrestling company in the future. As a starting point I’m hoping that my documentary will get me a job or at the very least work experience with Fighting Spirit Magazine. In the future I will be filming more of James’ events with the possibility of selling the DVD’s made at his event, as well as the documentary. I think for my personal development I would love to carry on adding to the documentary to make it a full feature length documentary or even turn it in to a mini series, following James’s journey to make it to the WWE or TNA. He mentioned he wanted to travel around Europe and wrestle on the independent circuit, and the plan would be for me to follow him around Europe with my equipment and document everything that happens. The every now and then post 10 minute episodes on my account, or make it in to one hour and a half documentary. It would take a lot of funding and planning but it would be one of the best experiences of my life along side actually making this wrestling documentary.

In conclusion, it was never my plan to expect people to watch my work and instantly or even at all become wrestling fans, I just wanted to show off the industry in a new light and have it perceived not just as entertainment, but as an art form and more importantly a sport. My hope is that when people watch my documentary, they will possibly respect it more and be more understanding of the business as apposed to judge it straight away with their preconceived stereotypes of what they think the business is about. E.g. the stereotype that because a lot of wrestlers are the size of bodybuilders that they are automatically stupid. TNA Wrestler, Matt Morgan,¬† graduated top of his class at Harvard University, he’s 300 pounds and 7 foot tall, this is a prime example. My final point is that I hope the documentary interests a wide audience and that by the end of it, their opinions may of changed for the better about what they think they know about pro wrestling, and possibly even respect.

Published in: on April 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

BritWres-Fest 2011…

BritWres-Fest is something that was started this year by some of the top companies in british wrestling today. A way of showcasing new talent and athhletes so that they may have a chance at getting into the bigger companies someday. The guy who was filming this event is Arthur Cauty who directed the award winning documentary ‘Hard Knocks’. The event was very well filmed and Arthur has his own company called ‘De Cauze Films’ which film quite a lot of wrestling events around the UK. VPW being one of the companies that he films, and used quite a lot of footage from VPW for his documentary. Here is a trailer of his upcoming work.

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Waver Release Form…

After showing edited versions of the documentary to James I got him to sign my waver release form and I know traditionally this is done before filming but after James was involved in a previous documentary and how the previous director to advantage of a situation is the only polite way I can put it, I thought it was only fair that since the documentary was about him that he should have as much input as me about what goes into it, and instead once he was happy with it he would sign the release form. I now have the tapes of him dancing from college so hopefully in the next couple of days I can finally complete the documentary, and this archive footage I think will make my documentary stand out that much more, like the WWE documentaries that inspired me to make it.

Published in: on April 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

WWE Documentaries…

I had looked at a few trailers from WWE documentaries about certain wrestlers at the beginning of the project as well as having a vast selection of DVD’s myself I realised that I loved the style that they had used to tell their stories. No matter what type footage was included i.e. the format, it was included but, molded to the structure of the documentary without damaging the quality of the documentary or the footage that was used. For example,¬† Ric Flair has been in the wrestling industry for close to 35 years, so of course a lot of his earlier matches where shot on VHS, 4:3, etc… instead 16:9. Most of the documentary if not all is shot in HD, but for these matches instead of stretching the clip to widescreen, they either created side banners to maybe the DVD menu/cover, or the duplicated the clip, made it larger in the background to fill the spaces and then blur it out. These techniques I really enjoy, and its something I am using for my own documentary. I plan to use old footage of James dancing from university from one of the courses he did, but instead of stretching the footage, I’m going to deliberately make the footage look dated to and a nice effect to the documentary. Here are a few examples of documentaries about specific wrestlers.

My personal favourite, Shawn Michaels

‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair

Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage

All of these wrestlers wrestled through the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s etc… to the present day were all have retired and most at in the WWE Hall Of Fame.

Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 8:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Updated DVD Cover…

After showing people and having a closer look at other DVD’s, I had left off a few details, such as copyright, contact details, DVD logo, and a film rating logo. These are all things that I hadn’t considered because I had no plans to sell the documentary, but I was told it was ok for me to sell it at James’ next event. The only thing I haven’t included is a barcode as I saw no need to.

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Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Adding a Soundtrack…

Today I spent some time adding the following tracks that my friend Chris made for the documentary for me. These first two are recorded by him, and are quite mellow and give a very laid back feel to the documentary.

Back when Chris was my age he was part of a band called, The Knives, playing bass in Los Angeles. We thought these two tracks would be be perfect for the documentary, and would be a nice contrast to the tracks that he had made, which are fairly chilled.

Here are some development pictures of me adding the tracks to the documentary. You can see for a specific part of the documentary I tried to loop the drum beat from Loaded Gun, which worked quite well. At the moment the current plan is that the video is rendering but I will have to leave it over night as its going to take 6 – 7 hours, and I was ready to render at 7 o clock this evening, so I would have been thrown out anyway. So I will go in early Tuesday next week and upload it to youtube, trim my posters and DVD cover, make any changes to the documentary and re- render and if I have enough time I’ll make the DVD menu. Also I’m hoping to get the tapes of James dancing so hopefully I can capture some clips and add them in as well.

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Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Updated Posters…

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Colour Correction Tests…

Today I did a little more colour correction and tried to do more across the main storyline of the documentary to make it look a bit more interesting and give it a bit of depth. So here are some test shots with a split screen to show a comparison.

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Here are some screenshots of different experimentation I did with different tints and shades. In the end I preferred a dark navy, or dark blue to match the colours that I had used for the posters, motion graphics etc…

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

2nd Edit…

Here is a 2nd edit of my documentary, I managed to do some more changes to the documentary today, but I will render that out when I have the music on Monday.

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Posters and DVD Cover…

Here are some test print outs I got today of my posters and DVD cover. The posters are on 160gsm and the DVD cover is on 100gsm.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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