Friday, November 23, 2012

C*4 Wrestling: FIVE (Saturday, November 24th, 2013)

Assuming that my drive doesn't fall through, I will be at this and I would recommend it to anyone who loves wrestling (and to many who don't.) In fact, I would go so high as to say that this is likely to be the best Quebec wrestling show this year, even if it takes place in Ottawa. 

There is a certain amount of (paternal?) pride in this. Mark got his start promoting helping Manny and I put together 3 IWS shows in Ottawa in 2005 and 2006. There was even some discussion about giving him the rights to do "IWS Ottawa" which never really went anywhere because of issues of ego and control. (Honestly, I don't even know if anyone even talked to Mark about it which shows how much of the discussion was driven by ego.) 

Mark started Capital City Championship Combat (or C*4) in the fall of 2007 and it has consistently been my favourite wrestling promotion ever since. 

This isn't because Mark books the way that I do. (Or used to, I mainly kibitz and offer suggestions these days when I am asked my opinion at all.) But when chefs eat out, they don't go to restaurants that serve exactly the same food prepared the same way as in their restaurant and the same is true for me in wrestling. 

Mark does things that I actively hate (intermissions, too many matches) and somehow makes it work better than I ever would have thought. He also tries things that I never would have thought of, surprising and delighting me with his ingenuity.

If Mark's booking style has anything in common with the IWS style, it is his trust in the ideas that the wrestlers bring to the table and his ability to take those ideas and make them work, as well as his ability to seize something that happens by accident and turning into something that really pops the crowd and the gate. (The Hacker O'Shea vs Speedball Mike Bailey feud is the best current example.)

Mark has faced adversity and challenges as a promoter that Manny and I never had to face. We never lost half our card in a snow storm and put on a show anyway. 

More importantly and tragically, we never lost a wrestler and a friend to cancer. Mark's reaction to Phrank's death and the two "Fighting With Cancer" benefits that he staged are his finest moments as a promoter, both creatively and in terms of his ability to raise money (with a great deal of help obviously.) The two benefits raised more than $24,000 without any corporate sponsorships and that is something for anyone to be proud of. 

I am personally proud of what Mark has accomplished over five years, putting together the best regular indy wrestling roster in Canada and one of the best in the world, combining great wrestlers from Ontario, Quebec and guests from everywhere else to regularly put on the best wrestling shows that anyone, anywhere is doing. 

If you can make it, you should go. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wrestling is a Story-Telling Art: Tag Team Division

Wrestling is a Story-Telling Art: Tag Team Division

This Saturday, November 3rd at Mainline Theatre on St-Laurent, Montreal promotion will be telling a pack of stories in a one night Tag Team Tournament. Here is why you should care:

First of all, it's a great place to see some of Montreal's best indy wrestlers which is to say some of the best indy wrestlers in the world. But even if you have no interest in wrestling, it will be a great way to watch a different kind of story-telling art form in the context of a theatre that normally puts on plays.

And yes, wrestling is a story-telling art form...

When I was more heavily involved in promoting wrestling, I would talk my way on to CBC radio programs from time to time, usually by explaining that I was the promotion's writer. It was a delicate dance of peeling back Kay-Fabe, but restoring it at the same time - of insisting that the wrestlers deserved the same suspension of disbelief that you would give a film or stage actor.

It was the female interviewers who would push the hardest, wondering if the violent nature of wrestling didn't make for a limited canvas. My usual response to that was to point out that I had once booked a wrestling show as a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III to which there was no useful counter.

The next angle most would try would be to try and guilt me over the damage that wrestlers were doing to their bodies in the ring. My counter to that would be to ask if they had taken a look at a ballerina's feet lately, that the pressure of ballet was just as violent to dancer's bodies as wrestling was to my friends.

If wrestling is a story-telling art, as I believe it to be, the place with the best stories to tell is the tag team division. The reason is simple: in every match, you have allies and enemies, friends and opponents, love and hate.

Tag teams allow you to combine two men who are identical (brothers) or completely opposite. They can have styes that clash or complement. They can have personalities that work well together or that grate on each other's nerves. They can be a team that is just starting to gel, one that is firing on all cylinders or a team that is falling apart.

Even within one team there are a myriad of possibilities for telling stories. Throw two teams against one another and the story-telling possibilities are endless.

Even the ring itself works better in a tag team match, especially if there are tag ropes attached to two opposing posts. the idea being that the untagged wrestler holds onto the tag rope, waiting for his partner to tag him back into the match.

Tag ropes were, they are, a natural organic way of helping to tell the story that you are trying to tell in a tag team match. Start with how the two teams hold the tag ropes. The babyface team (the good guys) grips the rope as if it were a lifeline, gripping it in their fist, pulling on the rope as they lean away from the turn buckle. On the other hand, the heel team (the bad guys), if they bother to hold the tag ropes at all, do so nonchalantly and disdainfully. Sometimes they hold the rope in the palm of their hands, sometimes they merely grip it with their pinky finger, and sometimes they only pick it up just as a tag is made. Just by how they hold the tag ropes, the baby-faces communicate their commitment to the rules, how tightly they are bound to those rules, and how fiercely in turn those rules grip them. The baby-face can no more relinquish his hold on the tag ropes than he can relinquish his grip on the rules of fair play. He could let go of the tag ropes, but then he would no longer be a baby-face. By contrast, the heels demonstrate their disregard for the rules and how much they disdain them by how loosely they hold the tag ropes. In fact, their total disrespect for the rules is demonstrated by the way that they pervert the rules by using the tag ropes as a weapon.

Finally, the tag ropes give a dramatic demonstration of the dynamic inherent in most tag-team matches. As the frustrated babyface is straining away at the ropes, he is demonstrating a principle of physics known as potential energy. When you store a book on a shelf, the higher the shelf and the heavier the book, the more potential energy is stored in the book. When the book falls off the shelf that potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy. If a paperback novel is on the bottom shelf, you'll barely notice it when it hits your foot, but when the condensed Oxford English Dictionary falls off the top shelf, onto your foot, you might break a toe. This principle of physics is usually understood on a primal level by most people, even if they couldn't explain the math behind it. When the frustrated babyface strains at the tag rope, we, the audience, understand on a primal level, that potential energy is being stored and coiled up like a spring, and that this energy can only achieve its violent release as kinetic energy when his beaten and battered partner finally makes his way across the ring to make the tag. In the same way, our emotions are coiled up waiting for their violent release with that dramatic tag.

Come this Saturday and watch an incredibly talented group of performers wind you up into caring about the stories that they are telling. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So You Missed the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival Deadline

So you missed the deadline to submit to a film festival! Now what?
2012 YoungCuts Film Festival Edition

The following advice is specifically for the YoungCuts Film Festival, but much of the advice can be applied to other film festivals.

So you intended to submit to a film festival, but you weren't ready for their Early-bird deadline, you forgot to send your film for the regular deadline and now you have successfully procrastinated until you managed to miss their late. drop-dead, final deadline.

Giving up is certainly an option, but many Festivals like the YoungCuts Film Festival choose their deadlines so that they can be flexible enough to give filmmakers a break on missing the deadline. Before you ask for an extension or deadline waiver, take a look at when they announce their Festival selections.

In the case of the YoungCuts Film Festival, we intend to announce our Top 100 International Short Films the week of July 23rd.

The 23rd of July is twenty days away! There is obviously some wriggle room there! And saying that the notification date is "Approximately" July 23rd means that there is even more wriggle room. You can probably still get your film in. 

And to answer the next question, yes, you can get a deadline waiver for your film for the YoungCuts Film Festival.

Before you do though, a few pieces of advice.

The key to submitting your film to a Festival after the final deadline (assuming that you can get a waiver) is to imagine that you are running a race with a series of hurdles. These hurdle start out very low and easy to jump in the days after the final deadline has passed and grow increasingly taller - and harder to vault over - the closer to the Notification Date that you get.

The first hurdle is Getting the Festival a Screener Copy to Review.
Since speed is of the essence, we would suggest the following: Put your film on Vimeo with a password. Leave the download option turned on in the privacy settings and send us that link. DropBox and YouSendIt are also viable options.

Your second hurdle is Getting the Festival Physical Copies of Your Film.
Be sure that you understand exactly what the Festival wants. Be ready to ship them the material that they want, when they ask for it. Be extra careful to test what you are sending so that there are no errors or glitches. Try to ship it so that you can track your package and make sure that the Festival receives it. Be careful of special circumstances that could cause a delay. If you are shipping internationally, make sure to label your package: Cultural Material, No Commercial Value". This is so that your package is not stopped or slowed down by Customs.

In the specific case of the YoungCuts Film Festival, we require 2 DVD screeners, playable on any DVD player and a data DVD with highest-quality possible .MOV of your film to prepare material for projection and screening. We only need this for films that are picked, but once films are picked, we need that material as quickly as possible.

The third hurdle is Having Made a Great Film.
Keep in mind here that the Festival is in full swing watching and judging the Festival Submissions. In some categories, they may already be penciling in rough screenings of films. Before the final deadline, you just needed to get a Festival judge to fall in love with your film and champion it. Now you might need to convince a judge to fall out of love with another film so that you can take its spot. It is not going to happen if your film is as good as the films already submitted. It has to be better. And the closer to the Notification Date, the better that your film needs to be to be selected.

The fourth hurdle is the Length of Your Film
Again the Festival judges are already starting to pencil in rough screenings. If they are programming 100 minutes and they have 75 minutes penciled in, that leaves 25 minutes of film to program. If you have a 30 minute film, the judges either have to decide to make the screening longer or bump one of their rough picks to play your film. In either case, if they do pick your film it probably leaves them no room to program other films during that screening, which they may be reluctant to do. The closer to the Notification Date, the closer to being fixed the screenings will be and the harder that it will be to squeeze in a longer film. As a general rule, the closer to the Notification Date, the shorter that your film will need to be to be chosen.

The fifth and final hurdle is Responding Quickly to the Festival
As a Festival gets closer and closer to making its Selection, it sometimes needs information or material from a filmmaker. How quickly they can get that information or material can sometimes be a way that the Festival decides between two equally good films. If the jury is divided between two films and both films are missing information or material, the filmmaker who responds fastest and best to the Festival Director's requests is going to see their film get programmed.


So, again, yes, you can have a deadline waiver, but be sure that you are ready to run the race and vault every hurdle along the way before you start running.  

Yes, it says June 15th, but there is still time!
But SUBMIT NOW for your best chance!

Friday, June 29, 2012

LAST CHANCE to Submit to the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival

LAST CHANCE to Submit to the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival
News and Notes from the YoungCuts Film Festival

Last Chance to Submit!

The final deadline for the YoungCuts Film Festival is July 2nd. (In practice, Monday is a holiday in Canada and we are flexible, so you have plenty of time to sneak in your film at the wire.) But don't wait! Submit today!

Here is how to submit:

Remember that we have added a Master Class section this year for filmmakers 26-29, so we are accepting films from any young filmmaker 29 or under.

Watch the Best of YoungCuts TV Specials

Earlier this year, we were able to broadcast 10 short films from the YoungCuts Film Festival as 2 TV specials presented in High Definition on the HIFI channel.

Now, you can watch those two specials online for FREE!

Filmmaker Opportunity: ReelWorld Film Festival Indie Film Lounge

Each summer ReelWorld Film Festival and Foundation selects 20 diverse emerging producers, directors, screenwriters or actors to participate in our annual Indie Film Lounge happening September 12-13.  These E20 and are given the opportunity to meet, network and pitch at one-on-one meeting with established  producers, directors, writers, actors, funders, agents, broadcasters, distributors, and union reps.  If you are working on a project or want to move your career ahead in the right direction than apply now or e-mail

Application Deadline: July 20th, 2012

The YoungCuts Film Festival Facebook Page

Almost every day, we are featuring images from films submitted to this year's festival (or from previous festivals) along with discussions and advice inspired by those films.

Find Us and Like Us on Facebook:

And follow us on Twitter:!/YoungCuts


Friday, June 8, 2012

YoungCuts Film Festival Deadline Extension

YoungCuts Film Festival Deadline Extension
News and Notes from the YoungCuts Film Festival

At the request of many schools, institutions, students and young
filmmakers, we are extending the YoungCuts Film Festival deadline until July 2nd.

This year, the YoungCuts Film Festival (est 2001) celebrates 11 years of presenting Great Short Films by the World's Best Young Filmmakers. Every year, we watch more than 1,000 films from over 30 countries to pick our Top 100 International Short Films - which we present in Montreal at the end of September.

One of our key objectives is to help young filmmakers develop their filmmaking careers. In addition to showcasing their films at the YoungCuts Film Festival, we have helped place filmmakers with major studios and television broadcasters, landed them gigs filming major feature films, had their films broadcast on television (and on planes!), helped them get selected in partner film festivals, and engaged them to work in more than 500 film and television productions across North America.

If you need to jump start your filmmaking career, we are an excellent place for them to start. At the very least, since many festival professionals regard us as the source of the best short films by young filmmakers, submitting to the YoungCuts Film Festival often results in the films being selected by other international film festivals.

REMINDER: We added a "Masterclass" section this year for filmmakers 26-29, meaning that we program films by any young filmmaker 29 years old or under.

Contact us for more details at 514-285-4591 or

Here is information about how to submit individual films:


Sweet Tooth Wins the YoungCuts Film Festival Studio Technique Animation Prize

We are pleased to announce that Audrey Meubus, director of Sweet Tooth, has been chosen as the winner of the YoungCuts Film Festival Studio Technique Animation Prize. This means that Audrey won a free seat in the one day Studio Technique intensive animation course given by legendary Disney Animator Andreas Deja (designer of Scar amongst many other accomplishments).

Audrey (and her film) were chosen from amongst 50 short animated films submitted to the contest. We are also pleased to make Sweet Tooth the first film chosen to be amongst our Top 100 International Short Films at the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival.

The 50 short animated films (and more than 150 live action films) are available to watch on the YoungCuts web-site for subscribers (and film submitters)

Use YCNL5 as a coupon to get $5 off the cost of a subscription.

You can also use that coupon to reduce the cost when you submit your short film (animated or live action) to the YoungCuts Film Festival. SUBMIT TODAY!

You can watch Sweet Tooth for free on the YoungCuts web-site here:


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Entertainment professionals, apply here.

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To see our IMDb profile, click here or go to and search for ‘InkTip’.

Watch the InkTip Explained video: in less than 2 minutes, see how InkTip works for you.


On Saturday, September 22nd, InkTip is hosting the Pitch Networking Summit where you can pitch an average of 40 companies in a single day!

Early Bird Deadline is Friday, June 15

Register now:


Like the YoungCuts Film Festival on Facebook to get daily updates on some of the great short films that we are watching and suggesting that you watch.

And follow us on Twitter:!/YoungCuts


Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Champ Will Be Here: Kevin Steen Wrestles for BATTLEWAR this Sunday @ Foufs

The Champ Will Be Here: Kevin Steen Wrestles for BATTLEWAR this Sunday @ Foufs

Ring of Honor champion Kevin Steen will wrestle in his hometown Montreal for the first time since winning the ROH title, this Sunday, June 10th at Foufs Electronique for BATTLEWAR.

Come give the champ the respect that he deserves.

Steen will team with his frequent Quebec tag-team partner punching bag Speedball Mike Bailey to face off against the Super Smash Brothers, Stupefied and Player Uno. This is a match-up of four of the best wrestlers in Quebec Canada the World.

They can and they will tear the house down.

But even if Kevin wasn't going to be wrestling in Montreal this weekend, I would still be excited fro BATTLEWAR II. Why? Glad you asked.

Steen's other frequent punching bag tag team partner from Quebec, El Generico, will be wrestling in singles action in a match-up of Quebec Enmascarados. I would like to say that it is a dream match, but it's only a dream match if your dreams are booked by Freddy Krueger. Generico will be wrestling against the worst person in Quebec wrestling, Emperor Palpatine as played by Ron Jeremy, the one and Thank God the only, Giant Tiger.

Expect fireworks - that Giant Tiger will urinate on.


I am very excited to watch Shane Matthews and Jagged aka 3.0 fight the team I am calling "Les Maudites" Mathieu St-Jacques and Thomas "Pipes" Dubois.

Of course, the reason that I am excited is unlikely to fill Shane and Jagged with joy. Those two are ridiculously talented, but the danger of that is that they sometimes have a tendency to glide through matches because they can win - hell they can excel - at half speed. They are never better than when they are challenged - never better than when someone punches them in the mouth and forces them to pay attention.

I think St-Jacques and Dubois are smart enough to know that, cocky enough to want to prove they can beat the best at their best and tough enough to punch the champs in the mouth and to hell with the consequences.

Yes, Shane, I am cheering for you to get punched in the mouth. And I'm saying it will be good for you.


Former tag team partners (The Rock and Roid Express) Twiggy (the Rock) and Franky the Mobster (the Roid) are facing off against one another.

It's an interesting pairing. No one has ever achieved more with less than Twiggy, but on paper Franky the Mobster should be able to destroy Twiggy without breaking a sweat.

On the other hand, I don't want to call Franky an underachiever, but he is completely capable of underestimating Twiggy.

On the gripping hand, Twiggy is the smartest man in Quebec wrestling. It's easy to overlook this, but every-time that Twiggy wins, he does so by outthinking his opponent.

If Franky is reading this, I am not saying that you're dumb, but I am definitely, absolutely 100% saying that Twiggy is smarter than you are.


After watching the Green Phantom and Dirty Buxx Belmar tear each other to shreds in a dirty, dirty, violent hardcore wrestling match in the first BATTLEWAR show, I am excited to see them square off again. I am equally excited to see Heavy Maxx Fury and Superstar Shayne Hawke added to the mix.

Fury has known the Phantom for more than a decade and he is probably the most naturally talented guy in the match.  No one on this show wrestles less often than Maxx Fury or looks better when he does wrestle. Maxx is frighteningly good.

Superstar Shayne Hawke, on the other hand, is probably the most versatile wrestler in Quebec. It's easy to miss, but Shayne can wrestle anyone in the world, make them look good doing it, but also find a way to win.

Dirty Buxx Belmar used to wrestle under the name of Busty Love and when he did so, he was a frustratingly talented guy. He had all the tools, but no idea when or how to use them. Now as Buxx, everything that he does in the ring is rooted in who he is as a person. The missing ingredient for wrestling success for Buxx was finding who he was, retreating to the roots of his character. Of course, the guy who emerged from that inner search was a smelly, homeless drunk, who happens to know Muay Thai, but at least Buxx owns that inner odor.

Kicking all of their asses will be the Green Phantom, the uncrowned king of Montreal hardcore wrestling. No one's crazier, no one's a bigger bad-ass, no one's a better brawler.

Put those four together and I am excited to see what they can do.


One of the nice bonuses of BATTLEWAR is the return of Vanessa Kraven to wrestling. Best get to BATTLEWAR early to see her though. She is wrestling in a special preview match - a six person tag scramble match.

All of this will be announced by Iron Mike Paterson.

Tickets are just $15 at the door. Doors open at 7PM, preview match at 7:30PM, show starts at 8PM. Foufs is at 87 Ste-Catherine East, right by the St-Laurent metro.

Be there or miss the best wrestling in Quebec Canada the World!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sweet Tooth Wins the YoungCuts Film Festival Studio Technique Animation Prize

Sweet Tooth Wins the YoungCuts Film Festival Studio Technique Animation Prize

We are pleased to announce that Audrey Meubus, director of Sweet Tooth, has been chosen as the winner of the YoungCuts Film Festival Studio Technique Animation Prize. This means that Audrey will have a free seat in the one day Studio Technique intensive animation course being given by legendary Disney Animator Andreas Deja (designer of Scar amongst many other accomplishments).

Audrey (and her film) was chosen from amongst 50 short animated films submitted to the contest. We are also pleased to make Sweet Tooth the first film chosen to be amongst our Top 100 International Short Films at the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival.

The 50 short animated films (and more than 150 live action films) are available to watch on the YoungCuts web-site for subscribers (and film submitters):

Use YCNL5 as a coupon to get $5 off the cost of a subscription.

You can also use that coupon to reduce the cost when you submit your short film (animated or live action) to the YoungCuts Film Festival. We have extended our final deadline to July 2nd, but SUBMIT TODAY!

You can watch Sweet Tooth for free on the YoungCuts web-site here:

There are still seats available in the Studio Technique class - for details go here: