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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In 2011 alone, 29 movies were made from scripts/writers found through InkTip!

Entertainment professionals, apply here.

Screenwriters, register here.

Over 150 films have been produced from scripts found through InkTip with a current average of 19 films produced per year.

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:

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Congratulations to Kevin Steen, World Champion

The Secret History of Kevin Steen's Quest for the ROH World Title

Kevin Steen won the Ring of Honor title last Saturday, beating Davey Richards in Toronto during Border Wars, much to Ring of Honor's very kayfabe dismay.

The funny thing is that Kevin has been fighting for the ROH title against the promotion's wishes since 2004, one year before his first official match with the company (Do or Die 4 - February 19th, 2005).

Pat Laprade, author of the upcoming book: Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs: The Untold Story of How Montreal Shaped the World of Wrestling asked me for some comments for his weekly RDS column.

Since Pat translated what I said into French and only used part of it (because Quelle Surprise! I wrote too much) I thought that I would post up my full original thoughts here:

The Champ is Here!

I am extremely happy that Kevin Steen has (finally) won the Ring of Honor title.

What may surprise many people is that Steen first fought for the ROH title waaaaaaay back on July 2, 2004 in Montreal against Samoa Joe during the Samoan Bulldozer's record-setting 21 month ROH title reign. (He also wrestled Austin Aries for the ROH title in Montreal 6 months later, wrestling twice for the ROH title before ever being on the ROH roster - which has to be some kind of record.)

Steen fought Samoa Joe to a draw during Midsummer Madness - a show promoted by respected wrestling trainer Mark le Grizzly - a show that brought together the best wrestlers in Montreal from all the local promotions, including the one that I was working for at the time: the International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS).

We had just made Kevin Steen our champion at our fifth Anniversary show "V", a show that got a lot of attention because it featured the return to wrestling of Sid Vicious, three years after shattering his leg during the WCW PPV Sin. The return was so unexpected that Dave Meltzer, publisher of the Wrestling Observer, woke his Quebec correspondant up in the middle of the night because he was convinced that the show report was a hoax.

Kevin with the ultimate wrestling accesory
In following up on that world-wide publicity, part of our strategy was to try and get IWS wrestlers on as many prestigious independent promotions as possible. Partly we did this to sell more IWS DVDs outside of Montreal, partly to sell more tickets in Montreal, partly because we hoped that our wrestlers would be loyal to the IWS because of our help, but mostly we did it because we believed that our guys were as good as anyone in the world and only needed a chance to prove it.

After Steen, Generico, Eddy and Excess69 tore the house down in an IWS Fatal Fourway Match during a CZW show, we set our sights on getting a carload of IWS wrestlers booked at Jersey All-Pro Wrestling. We had been pestering Fat Frank, the booker of JAPW, for a solid year without much success, but the combination of the Sid Vicious coup and the CZW four-way finally made him take us seriously. Frank only had one final hurdle for us before agreeing to book Steen and company - he wanted another wrestler to vouch for our guys. Knowing that Samoa Joe wrestled for Frank, we immediately pointed him in that direction, telling him that Steen and Joe had had an incredible brawl in Montreal. A half-hour later, Frank relayed to us the results of his conversation with Samoa Joe, "Steen is a cocky son-of-a-bitch, but he can back it up in the ring. Book him."

Many people point to the success of the CZW match as what broke Quebec wrestlers like Steen and Generico in the United States, but the JAPW match was almost more important. It proved that what happened in Philadelphia wasn't a fluke. And backstage, Steen and Generico met Super Dragon... who invited Steen and El Generico to join the roster of PWG, which in turn led eventually to both men joining ROH.

Eight years later, Steen is World Champion, joining a proud but small list of Quebeckers who could make that boast: Yvon Robert, Edouard Carpentier, Chris Benoit, Don Eagle, Mad Dog Vachon, Ron Garvin, Stan Stasiak and Rick Martel.

Kevin Steen with Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino
When Kevin Steen first wrestled in Japan (March 15, 2005), there were fans there with signs calling him "Mr. Wrestling". This got Steen some back-stage heat, first for his nick-name, second for having signs before his first Japanese match when wrestlers who had been coming to Japan for ten years had no signs. Steen didn't choose his nick-name and he didn't bring the signs, his fans did (the Japanese fans got the nickname from Kevin's deranged Montreal fans), but Kevin Steen has never apologized for being better than everyone else and inspiring those fans.

The difference between Kevin Steen and many other wrestlers in this province isn't that he was given opportunities. True, many people in Quebec gave Steen opportunities: Manny, Nightmare Manson (aka Eric Picard - the first guy to put a belt on Kevin) and Marc le Grizzly to name a few. But every time Steen was given an inch, he took a yard. Every time that someone opened the door a crack, he put his shoulder down and busted the door down. Every time we said that Kevin Steen was the best in the world, he went out and proved us right.

The champ is here... here, in Montreal and I'm proud as hell to say that I know him.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

YoungCuts Releases Free TextbookVideos Microeconomics Study Guide

YoungCuts Releases Free TextbookVideos Microeconomics Study Guide

Just in time for exams, YoungCuts Inc. releases a free Microeconomics study guide. The free guide, available on the TextbookVideos web-site, is based on a two year YoungCuts project that included the production of 150 short videos, featuring some of North America's best economics professors. Each video describes a key Economics concept. The videos use animation, graphics, b-roll, and special effects to help students quickly grasp the subject matter.

In preparing the project, YoungCuts interviewed more than 200 students, education experts, university administrators and professors who teach economics - including at least one from every U.S. state and Canadian province.

Company President and study guide author Jay Moulton explained the genesis of the study guide.

"After two years developing the Real World Economics video series, we found that written economics study guides existed, but most were hundreds of pages long.

There is a need for a notebook-type summary of key microeconomics concepts that students can use to study and prepare for classes, tests and exams.

We originally wrote this study guide to accompany the TextbookVideos microeconomics video series, but we decided to offer the text version of the study guide at no charge. If students like the study guide, they'll love the videos."

The video series is available by subscription for as little as $9.95 at

The study guide will also be available on the web-site with integrated videos.

McGill University Economics instructor Eesha Sen Choudhury, Ph.D., worked closely with the TextbookVideos team to develop the study guide, quizzes and videos.

The company's Real World Economics microeconomics series includes 60 core videos, each one averaging just over 4 minutes in length. TextbookVideos is releasing another 90 microeconomics videos at its web site in early May 2012.

The study guide's ISBN number is 978-1-927493-00-7. For further information, contact Jay Moulton at 514-846-3400, or

Download a copy of the TextbookVideos Microeconomics Study Guide - Text Version


YoungCuts Inc. produces short educational videos for governments, corporations, educational institutions and charities. The client list includes Pepsi, Air Canada, MTV, Astral Media, Cellfish, Concordia University, High Fidelity HDTV, and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Every year, YoungCuts presents the world's largest international film festival for "Great Short Films by the World's Best Young Filmmakers"

Monday, April 23, 2012

First Best of YoungCuts Broadcast on Television this Saturday!

First Best of YoungCuts Broadcast on Television this Saturday!
New 26 to 29 Year Old Category - Next Deadline April 30
Watch 150+ Short Films for $9.95! 
Late Fee Pricing Starts May 1

News and Notes from the YoungCuts Film Festival.

1. Best of YoungCuts on HIFI Television this Saturday!

On Saturday, April 28th, HIFI will air at Noon and 12:30 EST two Best of YoungCuts half hour TV episodes. The episodes include short films by YoungCuts filmmakers A.J. Korkidakis, Ben McKinnon, Jason Ambrus, Caroline de Koninck, Fanny Pascual, Francis Martineau, Sophie Choquette and Chris Diaz.

HIFI is owned and operated by High Fidelity HDTV™, a North American leader in HD broadcasting. With its suite of High Definition channels, Oasis HD™, HIFI™, eqhd™, and radX™, High Fidelity HDTV broadcasts some of the best non-fiction programming from around the world. To see what channel your TV provider carries the HIFI channel on go here:

The Best of YoungCuts TV episodes are another way that YoungCuts showcases great young filmmakers and another reason that you should submit your films. High Fidelity HDTV and Canadian Heritage helped fund these two episodes.


2. YoungCuts Responds to Popular Demand with New 29 and Under Category!
New YoungCuts MasterClass Section

In case you missed the announcement, YoungCuts has added a new category for filmmakers 26 to 29 years old.

The 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival is now accepting submissions to the YoungCuts MasterClass category for filmmakers 26 to 29 years old. This is a great opportunity for filmmakers 26 to 29 years old to submit their best work to the Festival. Next deadline for this category is April 30.

Our goal in introducing this new section is to throw a spotlight on filmmakers 26 to 29 (previously too old for the Festival) including many YoungCuts Alumni and to fulfil our mandate to present Great Films by the World's Best Young Filmmakers! To submit for consideration in this section, please go HERE!


3. Watch 150+ Short Films for $9.95!

Film submitters, subscribers, supporters and sponsors of the YoungCuts Film Festival can now watch more than 150 short films on the YoungCuts web-site. And we will be adding another 50 short films to the site in the next 30 days.

After watching the films, viewers are invited to vote on the films as part of our "People's Choice" voting to help pick twenty of our Top 100 films that we will present during the YoungCuts Film Festival, September 27th to 30th.

Normally subscribing to view and vote for films is $14.95 for 60 days, but subscribe before the end of May and use this coupon: YCNL4 to save $5. (The coupon will also reduce the cost of submitting a film before May 31st. Paid film submissions include access to view and vote for films until the end of September.)

OR to subscribe by PayPal:


4. Late Fee Pricing Starts May 1st!

Quick reminder that starting on May 1st, the submission fee for all films submitted will be $60 regardless of length, so submit today!

One quick suggestion: If you know that you will be submitting to the festival, but your film is not quite ready, submit now to take advantage of the reduced rate and reserve your film’s spot in the judge’s room! Remember the later your film is submitted (and the longer it is) the less chance there is of it being picked!

Submit your short film today!


Sponsored News and Notes from the International Screenwriter’s Association

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Join the International Screenwriter's Association - Membership is FREE!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

This Means... BattleWAR!

This Means... BattleWAR!

It's time that someone returned fun to wrestling in Montreal!

Like you, we have noticed that there has been a void in wrestling here in Montreal. We are not so dramatic as some wrestling fans as to call it "The Death of Wrestling in Montreal" but we have definitely noticed that you can't go to a bar, have a drink and watch the best wrestlers in Montreal, which is to say some of the best wrestlers in the world, best the ever-living holy shit out of each other while a bunch of drunken wrestling fans go nuts.

So we decided to decided to something about it.

On Sunday, April 22nd, 2102, we invite you to come Foufounes Electriques to watch great wrestling and drink cheap beer. The bell will ring to officially start the show at 8PM, but hell it's been so long since the last time that we have been able to get together, drink a beer and put on a wrestling show that chaos could erupt at any time that Sunday anywhere in Foufs.

Who's we? You might ask. Who has signed up to entertain you the way that only drunken Montreal wrestling can?

Well to start there's me. You know Llakor. The second best indy write-up guy in the world! (And modest too!)

Franky the Mobster has signed up! Twiggy has signed up! Stupefied has signed up! And celebrating a Decade of Generic Awesomeness, the greatest luchador ever to adopt Montreal as his home town - El Generico - has signed up! OLE! OLE! OLE!

And a bunch of other guys dedicated to beating the crap out of each other while you maniacs howl for more have signed up, but hey I need something to announce next week.

It's time to bring back the fun to wrestling!

And that means... BATTLEWAR!

For now that is all that you need to know, but - you know - since I like over-explaining things, every week over the next few weeks I will be announcing more wrestlers and - you know - matches, in inimitable Llakor style.




Did I say that was all you need to know? Oops. My Bad.

Tickets are $15. Buy a ticket in advance and you'll get a physical ticket, plus we'll bring you upstairs earlier and you can buy wrestling DVDs from me for $5. Contact me at for details with "BATTLEWAR Tickets" as the subject.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

YoungCuts Film Festival Poster and Contest

YoungCuts Film Festival Poster and Contest

Here is the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival Poster:

I guess we should say Posters, one in English and the other bilingual.

To mark the release of our Festival Poster, we are going to have a contest. The rules are simple. All you have to do is print out one of our posters, hang it up somewhere cool where young filmmakers can see it and send us a picture of the poster. It should be obvious from the picture in what city or country the poster is being displayed.

Here are some examples from last year.

We will feature the best pictures on our web-site, blog, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. The person who submits what we believe to be the best picture wins a free subscription to our web-site and we will waive the submission fee for a newly submitted film of the winner's choosing. We will announce the winner May 1st.

You can download a PDF of the English Poster from HERE or the Bilingual Poster from HERE.


The YoungCuts Film Festival presents Great Short Films by the World's Best Young Filmmakers 25 and under. If that sounds like your film, SUBMIT TODAY!

If you are an animator, you may be interested in our YoungCuts Animation Prize. This juried prize will award the winner a free spot in a one day Animation Masterclass being given in Montreal June 2nd by veteran Disney animator Andreas Deja.


Become A Judge!

For the first time this year, we invite the public to become a YoungCuts judge by subscribing to our site, for about the price of a movie ticket, to watch and vote for films submitted to the Festival. Based on this People's Choice voting we will announce 20 films selected to be included in our Top 100 films - announced in mid-July and played during the YoungCuts Film Festival September 28th and 29th.

Our subscribers can already watch a selection of films from the 2011 YoungCuts Film Festival, plus watch and vote for our Early Bird films as well as films that almost made it into last year's Festival in our Second Chance or Repechage Film Gallery. We will be adding new film galleries every two weeks until the end of June, so there will be plenty of great films to watch and vote for!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

C*4 Wrestling Violent Intentions - The Live Tweet Summary

C*4 Wrestling Violent Intentions
The Live Tweet Summary 

I was at the C*4 show put on during the weekend blizzard. (Those guys really need to invest in a mad scientist with a weather control machine.) Since I live-tweeted the show, freaking out my co-host on the Mousterpiece Cinema podcast, I thought that I should transcribe my tweets and add a few other random thoughts.

Live Tweet: Razen beats Ryan Rogan in 3:51 after Rogan whiffs on a top rope spinning moonsault. Not sure if it is significant that the best spots in the Dark Match were moves that hit nothing but mat.

C*4 Official Results: Razan pinned Ryan Rogan.

Random Thoughts: The second missed move was a sweet elbow drop also by Rogan. Mixing big whiffed spots into a dark match are a good idea. They emphasize that you are on the undercard, missing something that someone higher on the card would hit. They also allow you to show-off without stealing anyone's thunder.


LT: Jae Rukin beats MVP in 8:19 thanks to Prince Rahim Ali distraction from ringside.

C*4: Jae Rukin pinned Michael Von Payton in a competitive match. The end saw Rahim Ali emerge from the locker room, shouting at MVP, causing him to be distracted. Rukin took the opening, and managed to score the win.

RT: Jae Rukin has a great unique look, like an #OccupyWallStreet protestor crossed with a Ninja and interbred with a Chia Pet. He is also a hell of a wrestler. He does need to work at involving the crowd a bit more in his matches. He has a tendency to wrestle with his back to the audience.


LT: Twiggy beats Barely Legal Addy Starr by disqualification in 7:37. End sequence: Twiggy roll-up pulling tights gets two, Starr complains to ref, Twiggy swats her on the butt to get her attention, Starr snaps - starts killing Twiggy with kicks in corner, ref counts her to DQ.

C*4: Twiggy was victorious over Addy Starr via DQ, when she ignored the referee’s 5-count in the ropes. Addy lost her ‘cool’ following an ass-slap by Twiggy. Despite the disqualification victory, Twiggy celebrated it as a major win.

RT: This was so good. I could easily write 1,000 words just on this match and I may yet.


LT: 4 Way Tag Team Match: Afterparty vs the Hunks vs Hawke and Style vs Ryder and Lucky Sabiti. Winner: The Afterparty with double pin on Michael Styles 11:22.

C*4: In a wild and entertaining contest, The Afterparty of Cecil Nyx and Chaz Lovely overcame three other teams to claim the victory. The other participants in the match included the teams of Michael Style & “Superstar” Shayne Hawke, The Incredible Hunks, and the tandem of Lucky Sabiti and HC Ryder.

RT: The unlikley Cecil Nyx victory tour continues. Hawke was great, playing up the fact that Nyx was too damn fat for him to power-slam. Nyx is a case study on achieving more with less and slowing things down. Because Nyx completely involves the crowd, when he is able to string together three moves in a row without screwing up, the crowd celebrates like their baby son just took his first steps.


LT: Pat Skillz threatens to throw everyone out into the snow if he doesn't get a match Darkko answers. To the surprise of absolutely no one (except Pat Skillz) Darkko beats Pat Skillz in 3:13.

C*4: The debuting Darkko pinned Pat Skillz in an open challenge. Skillz came to the ring before the match and announced that he was angry with C*4 management not giving him a match on the event, and said that as one of the owners of CRW that he would shut the show down, if he did not get a match. A second later, Darkko walked out of the back and was happy to oblige Skillz’s wish.

RT: Darkko is awesome. Pat Skillz does a pretty good impression of road kill.


LT: Grudge Match - Mathieu St-Jacques beat Player UNO in 11:00 by submission. UNO wrestled one armed for most of the match.

C*4: In an extremely hard-hitting and competitive match, Mathieu St. Jacques forced Player Uno to submit to a cross-face armbar. Uno hurt his arm early in the match, and St. Jacques spend the majority of the contest focusing on the injured limb. Despite his best efforts, St. Jacques proved too much for Uno. Following the match, St. Jacques continued to pound on Uno, and to make matters worse, he was joined by Thomas Dubois in the assault. Both men celebrated following the beat down of Uno. The question now becomes, where does Thomas Dubois stand in relation to The Authority? It is well known that Dubois and St. Jacques are a well-known Quebec tandem. Has Dubois have found his way into the growing faction in C*4?

RT: UNO is (of course) fantastic and he found some innovative ways to fight Mathieu St-Jacques with just one arm.


LT: In a shocking upset Ronin Josh Alexander beat Textbook Tyson Dux in 12:31. That wasn't in the Textbook!

C*4: In a highly competitive and extremely hard hitting contest, “Ronin” Josh Alexander continued his winning streak by pinning “Textbook” Tyson Dux. Both men hit each other with everything that they had. The finish came after Alexander nailed Dux with a roaring elbow to the back of Dux’s head, and knocked him out.

RT: Hey! Marc P.! Invest in a thesaurus or find a new way to say "competitive." Unfortunately Ronin Josh Alexander does nothing for me. This was a match that the wrestlers liked because of its technical excellence, but the crowd basically shat on it, because it felt like the two men were ignoring the crowd for most of the match. The other problem is that both wrestlers make good straight men working against crazier wrestlers, but the put the two together and it is like beige fighting vanilla.


LT: Sebastian Suave vs Vuxx Vellmar. Vuxx Velmarr could best be described as a crazy Québécois homeless guy who somehow knows Muay Thai. You can call this match #OccupySebastianSuave. Sebastian Suave believes the ref is neither fair nor balanced. (It's Mitt Romney vs The Rent Is Too Damn High.) Your winner is Sebastian Suave in 12:01, but really in a match like that there are no losers.

C*4: In the “Authority Open Challenge”, Sebastian Suave, pinned the debuting Buxx Belmar, in a very exciting match-up. Suave’s victory came with the assistance of his manager, Selezya Sparx. Selezya helped distract Bellmar several times during the match, and in the end, the double team of Suave and Sparx proved too much for ‘Dirty’ Buxx.

RT: I misheard screwed up during the show, it is Buxx Belmar not Vuxx Velmar. Buxx is actually the former Busty Love, but he has had a complete personality transplant and it works so so well. Every move that he makes now is character based and if your wrestling comes from a character and a compelling one to boot than you can't possibly go wrong. Someone to watch.


LT: C4 Championship Triple XXX SeXXX XXXpress SeXXXy Eddy vs The Emperor Stu Grissom. Senior moment it's The Emperor Stu Grayson not Grissom. #MyBad. The Voice wimps out when announcing SeXXXy Eddy says Eddy has five pounds in his trunks. Makes it sound like Eddy took a dump in his thong. The correct announcement naturally is "Five pounds of pure cock-meat!"

The Emperor mocks Eddy by stripping sloooooowly but Eddy counters with the Testicular Claw. Eddy is rocking a great White Man Fro tonight btw. The winner by submission and still C4 Champion The Emperor Stu Grayson (in 11:08). The lesson, as always, when wrestling Sexxxy Eddy make sure your manager is a pretty red head with big tits and no morals.

C*4: C*4 Champion, “The Emperor” Stu Grayson forced Sexxxy Eddy to submit, using his patented Dragon Sleeper. Once again, Authority valet, Selezya Sparx used her assets to help distract Eddy at various times throughout the match. Eddy fought hard, but in the end fell to the Champ.

RT: Eddy literally got off a plane from Japan to wrestle in this match. He has every possible excuse to take the night off, but Eddy (as he so often does) brought it, rising to the level of his adversary and as Eddy does with his best opponents forcing Stu to step up his game as well. We too easily forget how much all of Quebec Canadian wrestling owes to Eddy. Without his gold lame thong, there is no Steenerico.


LT: Main Event Kevin Steen and Franky the Mobster vs Speedball Mike Bailey and RHINO! It is possible that my biggest contribution to independent wrestling may have been naming Mike Bailey "Speedball". Steen objects to Franky shaking hands with Speedball. Franky roars like a lion with a toothache "I'M NICE!!!" Steen does not object to Franky shaking hands with Rhino #HeMayBeLearning.

Steen kicks Speedball so hard that he scans the horizon afterwards #HA. Franky the Mobster makes for a very unusual and unlikely Jiminy Cricket #AlsoMoreTanned. Rhino makes the hot tag and Kevin Steen sprints out of the ring likely someone just announced the Crafts and Services tent was open. Speedball dodges a Kevin Steen snot rocket. Franky gets the loogie right in the face #OHOH. Speedball Mike Bailey pins Steen with a top rope floppy thing (Shooting Star Press?) after Franky kills Kevin 13:20.

C*4: In the Main Event, the team of “Speedball” Mike Bailey and Rhino claimed the win over “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen and Franky the Mobster. Throughout the match, Steen avoided Rhino, several times tagging out to Franky. The finish saw all four men going at it, when Steen accidentally spit on Franky. Finally having enough, Franky laid Steen out with a sit-out chokebomb. Franky stormed out of the ring, leaving Steen alone. After a moment, Kevin got back to his feet, only to find himself knocked flat by a huge Gore by Rhino. Bailey capatalized and delivered a sky-high shooting star press on to Steen, and scored the victory.

RT: I could nit-pick: Rhino could have been used a bit more in the match. It was a little weird that Kevin Steen was always running away from Mike Bailey.

But, again, that would be nit-picking. On a night when multiple other matches threatened to steal the show, the main-eventers stole it right back. The story that they told worked perfectly, with Kevin as the craven opportunist using Franky to give him opportunities to stomp on Bailey, and Franky as Kevin's friend, unwilling bodyguard, and strangely Kevin's conscience.

There are good silences in wrestling and there are poor silences in wrestling. When Kevin blew that snot-rocket and Bailey (incredibly) DODGED IT, the whole place went dead silent waiting to see what Franky would do. It was a fantastic Holy Shit! moment and based purely on character. Something that they had spent the whole match building up to.

This was a really, really great show. Even the match that felt to me the weakest (Josh Alexander/Tyson Dux) probably comes across better on DVD as a technical spectacle. Well worth buying when C*4 puts it together. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

YoungCuts Video of the Day: Haleiya

Video of the Day

Courtesy of the YoungCuts Film Festival

What's It Called?  Haleiya

Who Made It?  Written and Directed by A J Korkidakis

Where Is It From?   Canada (Quebec)

How Old Is the Director?  23 (22 at time of production)

Who Is the Director?  AJ Korkidakis is undoubtedly a product of the digital age - so much so that he rejects the title filmmaker in favour of the more contemporary "digital media artist". Though not the catchiest title, it's the only one that does justice to the variety of media he finds himself working in: AJ works professionally in film, video, motion graphics, animation, photography and design.

Ever since graduating from Concordia University with a degree in Communications in 2010, he has jumped head first into the Montreal media scene, refusing to pass up any opportunity to collaborate with others and learn new things. His clients have ranged from organizations like the Canadian government, the Montreal Police, various museums  and university organizations all the way to local musicians like Kid Koala, the Sevens Project and Lunice. He also has had a successful run at web commercial contests, having won honours from companies like Kraft, Doritos, TMZ and others.

AJ's short films and music videos have screened internationally at festivals and have been broadcast on television, and his work has received two awards from the YoungCuts film festival. He is also a founding member of the CEASE Art Collective in Montreal, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting local arts.

What Is It?  Animated Music Video Using Photo Collage

Who Did the Music?  Sevens Project (featuring Patrick Watson)

How Long Is It?  3:33

What Is It About?  Where do memories go when we don't want them anymore? The journey of an abandoned moment from the past, searching for a new home, told through a series of photographs and stop motion animation.

When Did YoungCuts Play It?  2011

Why Did YoungCuts Play It?  The amount of work necessary to create this film is staggering. At 24 frames per second, and with each character in the film requiring sequential photographs, this film probably required more than 6,000 photos which all had to be kept in the exact order. It doesn't hurt that the sweet, simple existential story that it tells perfectly fits the mournful song that it was written for.

What Awards Did It Win?  Top 100 Short Films YoungCuts Film Festival, Winner of the Virgin Radio 96 Award for Best Music Video

Filmmaker Statement This was a profoundly personal project - though incredibly time consuming, the scale of the film meant it could be created nearly entirely on my own (with help from my very patient girlfriend.) This allowed the entire process to be very contemplative, an experience that was of course aided by the beautiful music I had as inspiration. The project was a nice break from the standard big crew video set - and this music video also embodies the apex of my love/hate relationship with stop motion animation.


You can watch more videos HERE!


If you are a young filmmaker and would like to submit your short film to the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival, HERE'S HOW! We just announced a great Animation Prize which includes a free spot in a one day Animation Masterclass given by Disney animator Andreas Deja (designer of Scar from The Lion King amongst many other things.)


Video of the day is brought to you in part by Canadian Heritage.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

YoungCuts Film Festival News: Become a Judge! Animation Prize! Submit Your Film!

YoungCuts Film Festival News
Become a Judge! Animation Prize! Submit Your Film!

News and Notes from the 2012 YoungCuts Film Festival

If you like short films, support the YoungCuts Film Festival and watch some great ones! If you are a young animator, learn how you can meet and learn from a Disney animator! And if you are a young filmmaker, learn how to submit your short film to the Premiere Showcase for Great Short Films by the World's Best Young Filmmakers!

1. Become a Judge!

For the first time the YoungCuts Film Festival is allowing the public to watch films submitted to the festival and vote for their favourites. Based on this People's Choice voting, up to 20 films will be picked for our Top 100, with the remaining films picked by our traditional film juries.

For the price of a movie ticket, you can watch dozens of films and vote for your favourites!

Subscribers currently can watch films from the 2011 YoungCuts Film Festival. They can also watch and vote for films that were considered for last year's festival in our Repechage or Second Chance selection. And they can watch and vote for films that have already been submitted in our Early Bird selection. We will be adding new film galleries every two weeks from now until July, so subscribers will have plenty of films to watch!

Subscribe Today!

2. Animation Prize!
Meet and Learn from Andreas Deja!

Studio Technique Montreal and YoungCuts are pleased to offer the opportunity for a young animator to meet and learn from legendary Disney animator Andreas Deja!

About Andreas Deja

Andreas Deja has worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation for 30 years. He has created some of the most memorable characters animation has known, and has worked on several Academy Award winning films. He is also one of only a few animators the Disney Studio has authorized to draw Mickey Mouse.

Andreas is a recipient of the Winsor McCay Award for outstanding contribution to the art of animation, presented in 2006 at the 35th Annie Awards. He is responsible for many of animation’s famous characters, including Roger Rabbit, King Triton, Gaston, Scar, Jafar, Hercules, Lilo, and Mama Odie. He is also the creator of the world famous blog Deja View. Andreas is one of the industry’s leading animators, respected by his peers all over the world for his remarkable influence on the art form.


We will be featuring animated films submitted to the YoungCuts Film Festival on our web-site as part of our People's Choice voting. Based on that voting, YoungCuts will select ten films for our Animation jury to consider for a special Animation prize. The winner will have a free seat in a Shop Talk Masterclass given by Andreas Deja - a one-day Animation Intensive Seminar, held in downtown Montreal (June 2, 2012). (The prize does not include travel and/or lodgings in Montreal, but this a rare opportunity to learn from a 30 year award-winning Disney veteran, and well worth the trip for any serious student of animation.)

The Shop Talk Masterclass is not software specific and is accompanied by visual presentations. The class is suitable for animation industry professionals, students or animation enthusiasts. For more information on the class and how to sign up to meet and learn from Andreas Deja, click HERE!

And if you are a young animator (or know someone who is) keep reading on how to submit your film!


3. Submit Your Great Short Film Today!

So far this year, we have received submissions in more than ten languages, from more than twelve countries. Take advantage of our regular submission fees by submitting your short film for consideration before March 31st. We do accept films after our regular deadline, but the later your film is submitted (and the longer it is) the less chance there is of it being picked. Remember that even if your film is not completed, you can still take advantage of our lower submission fees by submitting your film and reserving your film's spot in front of our judges!

And for the next two weeks, until March 5th, take advantage of this coupon code YCNL2 for a $5 rebate on your submission fee when you submit your great short film!

Submit your short film today!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 YoungCuts Film Festival Call For Submissions

2012 YoungCuts Film Festival 
Call for Submissions and Participation
The YoungCuts Film Festival is looking for Great Short Films by the World's Best Young Filmmakers (25 and under).

Established in 2001, the YoungCuts Film Festival is the Premiere Showcase for young, emerging talent. Every year, the festival selects its Top 100 short films from more than a thousand films that come from more than 30 countries. 

We present awards in multiple categories including Best Picture, Best Animated Film, Best Documentary and Best Short Short Film (film under five minutes).

This year, for the first time, we will be providing an opportunity for filmmakers and the public to help us select winners by voting on film submissions by filmmakers who are participating in our 2012 People's Choice program. Anyone interested in watching or voting for great films will be able to do so, for the price of a theatre ticket. Every month, beginning in January, we will have a new slate of films to vote on and at the end of the month, based on public voting, we will announce one film pre-selected to the Festival.

To see how it will work, courtesy of Canadian Heritage, here are a selection of great films from the Festival that you can watch and vote on for free.

Filmmakers can submit their films online HERE

Our Early-Bird deadline is January 31st. It is cheaper to submit before January 31st and, as always, the earlier that you submit, the better your chance for your film to be accepted.

Our regular deadline for the Festival is March 31st, but we accept films until June 15th.

For more information on submitting your film go HERE

Or contact Michael Ryan: 514.285.4591

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

From the Cutting Room Floor: Jason Reitman's Anonymous Narcissists

From the Cutting Room Floor
Jason Reitman's Anonymous Narcissists

Rather than just giving you the link to my latest article on Sound on Sight, I thought that I would include a few snippets of what didn't make it into the article and how I came to write it.

I kept trying to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol before Christmas, largely to watch the extended preview of Christopher Nolan's next Batman film, but it was always sold out. The first time that I tried to get in and failed, I went Christmas shopping instead. The second time, I went to see Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and made it a double feature with Jason Reitman and Cody Diablo's follow-up to Juno: Young Adult.

Simon Howell beat me to the review with his excellent summary. Ricky and Simon never refuse second looks at films and many of my reviews are second takes on films already reviewed on the site including my reviews of Bellflower, The Innkeepers, The Devil's Double and The Adventures of Tintin. But, they don't exactly encourage the duplication either. Usually, if I am writing a second review, it is because I fundamentally disagreed with the first review (The Innkeepers) or I didn't know that it existed (The Devil's Double).

In the case of Simon's review (and Roger Ebert's excellent review that muses on Mavis' alcoholism) I didn't so much as disagree with the reviews as wonder at the notion that Young Adult was in some way a complete departure for Jason Reitman. Where others saw differences, I saw only similarities.

It was obviously a bit of a departure by Cody Diablo and, as she herself has admitted, a commentary and reaction to her previous scripts about young adults and the critical reaction to them. What was most interesting to me, is that in creating Mavis Gary, Cody created a character who was even more a Jason Reitman character than Juno MacGuff, or to put it another way, she shifted her focus from Juno to a secondary character from that film, the narcissistic Mark Loring.

But while Young Adult ended up being more similar to Thank You For Smoking and Up in the Air than to Juno, all of Jason Reitman's films struggle with the conflict between selfishness and selflessness, between narcissism and altruism.

It's not the only similarity between the four films. All of them have fantastic title sequences  - little short films that captivate and offer a miniature insight into the entire film.

All four films also have protagonists with an extraordinary facility for language. As Nick Naylor (without any humilty whatsoever) says, "Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk." Ryan Bingham talks people into believing that being fired is a good thing, telling them, "Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it's because they sat there that they were able to do it." Juno, while still only 16, is constantly playing with language with a facility beyond her years. While Mavis Gary is nowhere near as good as Nick, Ryan or Juno at talking, she is easily their equal at writing, completing her final Waverly Prep novel during the course of the film despite being on a Lost Weekend type bender from the opening frame to the last. (One of the reasons that Roger Ebert may have identified so closely with Mavis Gary is that he admits that early in his writing career he was an alcoholic. When Jian Ghomeshi asked him if his alcoholism affected his professional life, Ebert proudly told him that even at the worst of his drinking, he never missed a deadline.)

The one part of the article that I regret is that it may be so clinical in its analysis that it may hide how much I admire Jason Reitman's talents as a writer and director and how much I like all of his films. Suffice it to say that I wouldn't waste the effort on crappy films or a crappy director. (Next up Udo Kier!)

I also admit to being a bit nervous about throwing in Groundhog Day, and full confession here: I originally remembered Groundhog Day as having been written and directed by Ivan Reitman, Jason's Dad, not Harold Ramis, a friend and collaborator of Ivan Reitman, but I felt that the point was worth making and made for a natural conclusion to the article, so what the hell.


The final thing that I couldn't cram into the article is how much Mavis Gary seems motivated by a fear of failure, scarred perhaps by her miscarriage of Buddys baby and her failed marriage of the (unnamed?) husband that she married after her break-up with Buddy. This fear of failure seems to be what has been causing her writer's block as the film starts and the fact that the Waverly Prep series has been cancelled, that she is supposed to be writing the final volume in the series, can be seen as another failure. That Mavis is the ghost writer for someone else's series rather than the creator of her own and her reliance on eavesdopped conversations by teens for her dialogue are also signs of her fear of failure. Her compulsive preparations for her encounters with Buddy; her donning of the war paint points a kind of self-loathing that seems to say that she is afraid of simply being who she is. Mavis' narcissism is not so much self-love as love of herself as some imagined ideal; who seh becomes rather than who she is.

One of the other reasons that Mavis hates Beth Slade is that Beth has no fear of failure, playing drums for the local rock band Nipple Confusion with little real talent, but great enthusiasm.

Read my article about the tragic flaw that binds all the protagonists of Jason Reitman's funny tragedies.