Wednesday, March 7, 2007

MIP to Wrestling Reality to Las Angeles to Vancouver

May 2007

Yes I’m on a plane again, currently flying over the snowy mountains of Colorado en-route to Las Angeles to shoot some interviews for the Coaches Documentary, and also to attend the Xtremey Awards banquet. ( From there I will be flying up to Vancouver and driving to the Sunshine Coast to interview Executive Coaching mogul, Alison Hendren.


Last week’s production for Wrestling Reality went without a hitch; I am so blessed to have had such a great team to work with. It is so satisfying seeing the fruits of your labor blossom, especially when such risk was involved. I still haven’t sealed the deal for the post production yet, but hopefully when I get home I can deal with that. I will give a day to day look at the last 2 weeks.


Sunday, April 29


Tidby, Andrew MacCormack (my new employee) and myself travel to Halifax to prep for the next day. We haven’t successfully sealed the deal with insurance yet all because of a stupid liquor license. Why do we need a liquor license? Because one of our gracious sponsors was kind enough to help our financial structure, in exchange for us to make sure their product (which is beer) was sold at all of our events. Plus its nice to have beer available where ever you go...right? ƒยบ


We stay the night at Cindy (our production manager) and Alistair’s (our Director of Photography) beautiful house and prepare for what could be a week from Hell.


Monday, April 30



We pull into the Kentville arena nice and early. The Savard brothers are there already with the 18 wheeled tractor trailer. They are setting up the huge lighting grid and sound system, everything looks great…its going to at the very least be a great looking show. As I mentioned earlier, I have never been a fan of wrestling, in fact the first time I ever watched wrestling was 2 nights earlier…now I am producing Wrestling TV and promoting Wrestling events. Too funny. I met all the wrestlers; the hierarchy of respect was very evident, Peter Smith, Gary Gallant and Mike Hughes being at the top of the chain as far as experience and leadership. The young wrestlers where very honored to be there, it was obvious. The project was coming together, BUT still no insurance, we should have had event insurance secured 3 weeks ago, but beurocracy and red tape made this process much more difficult than originally anticipated. If we didn’t get the insurance there would be no show…4:45pm I get the call from Cindy that we finally got approved! Talk about last minute and living on the edge. I feel this whole project to date has been the biggest risk I have ever taken, but it has worked so far. The doors opened and the crowds piled in, I had no idea there where so many die hard wrestling fans in the Maritimes, we had a real good turnout in Kentville, the show started and I was in shock, what these guys do in the ring is nothing short of amazing, I cant believe the athletic abilities of these wrestlers. The ring is made of steel and wood planks, its no pillow when they are body slammed onto the ring floor. I immediately realized the Reality of Wrestling. This stuff is crazy, my respect for what these guys do escalated tremendously after the first 5 minutes of the first match.


Tuesday, May 1



Moncton was very interesting; we shot in a bar called the O2 Night club. Much smaller venue then the arena shows that are typical. The fans that night where an off bunch, the wrestlers taught me about Marks and Smarks. Marks are fans that base their lives around wrestling. They know all the story lines, all the wrestlers, some believe that its all real, not predetermined. The Smarks are the internet geeks who spend all hours of the day studying, cutting up, and talking about wrestling online. Very interesting group of fans. They are a tough crowd as well because they are over critical of the matches and they like to throw the wrestlers off my cheering for the bad guy, and booing the good guy. One way or the other it made great TV!!!!


Wednesday, May 2

Saint John


My hometown show, Saint John. First thing in the morning we did an on air interview “in Character” at the Pirate radio station. It was really quite hilarious. John Polly who is a DJ at the Pirate lived in a wheel chair. After the interview he brought up the idea of getting one of the bad guys to throw him out of his chair at the match…brilliant! So un-politically correct, and brilliant at the same time. After the Pirate we did a Rogers TV spot and a CBC radio spot. Every day there was another media event to get to, this show generated so much media attention, and it was great, you couldn’t ask for better free publicity.


Saint John was a great match, we had a real strong turnout and the crowd was so into it. Grant Kerr from the Telegraph Journal was there doing a story for us, and a story he got!!! Not only was the wrestling outstanding that night and the crowd was electric, they where totally fooled by the wheel chair set up. When Mike Hughes and Steen came out as the bad guy, Mike picked poor John out of his wheel chair and through him to the ground. Steen then grabbed the guys chair and started wheeling it around and around making a full on mockery. The crowd was not impressed, they all thought it was real, they where in total shock…and that’s the story that the Telegraph got! After reading his article it was brought to my attention that a lot of people told Polly that he could probably sue us if he wanted, and Polly delivered! He had his hand on his hurt neck (all fake of course) and said that he probably won’t press charges! It was a fantastic set up.


Thursday May3

Saint John


Today was a day off from matches, BUT it was a full day of work because we had to got o Dooley’s and film what we call the “Shoot” Interviews. This is when all the wrestlers get to talk out of character about the truth of their lives. It was a very productive and busy day. One of the young guys Sidewinder had a few beers and was buzzed a bit when I interviewed him at 11:00 am…I thought nothing of it, why wouldn’t you drink beers if you where stuck in a pool hall all day? Anyhow as it turns out Peter found out that Sidewinder was drunk and mentioned to me that he was going to fire him from the tour…I felt bad for him, he is a cool kid…but I reminded myself that I cant get involved, I just have to observe and document, which I did. The next night in the locker room in front of everyone Peter fired him for being sloppy and for being unprofessional and drunk on the job, and we got it all on tape. I asked Sidewinder his thoughts, he said that he messed up and that he deserved it and that he learned his lesson. He sadly then went home after the Sussex show the next night.


Friday May 4th



All I can say about Sussex is that it was the lamest show we had, we didn’t end up getting the liquor license, we really should have just skipped over Sussex, but it was where we ended up. The crowd was thin, but appreciative. Our lights and sound actually killed the breaker in the arena twice forcing the wrestlers to battle in the dark, how embarrassing. Besides that and Sidewinder being fired, nothing too exciting actually happened. The after party at Dooley’s rocked though; we got a lot of great interviews etc.


Saturday May 5th



Bathurst was amazing. The KC Irving Center was beautiful, very new and very organized; it was a pleasure shooting there. The fans where very receptive and the night was a great success, the after party was at Ryan’s grill right across from the venue. That was the big night out for all of us…we rocked it till closing. Tidby brought his hula hoop into the bar, I saw one of our guys doing back flips off the bar…the ladies where all over most of the guys, it was a full on circus and I loved filming it, in fact Tidby and I had a break-dance worm competition in the middle of the floor as well!


Sunday, May 13



This was our last day fro production. The crowd was weird again, filled with geeky smart marks. Peter told me that most of these guys are in there upper 20’s and still live with their folks…you get the picture? Anyway a lot of these guys where pretty annoying, but funny at the same time. The show ended up pretty good actually and we ended up having some drinks afterwards, it wasn’t much of a wrap party for me, but it was nice to say bye to everyone. The next morning I needed to be at the Halifax airport VERY early to catch my LA flight.


Post Wrestling Reality

May 2007


The week on the road with the wrestlers was a wonderful one, I can honestly say it was the coolest thing I have ever shot, such interesting personalities and storylines. I have now officially hired Andrew MacCormack to help lighten the load. He has been preparing the tapes to ship to Manila. It will be an interesting experience editing this thing in 2 opposite sides of the Earth. I am also currently editing my Belize documentary together. This film documents a group from my church (Saint John Vineyard) as we traveled down to Belize to do some missionary work. My documentary was filmed as an attempt for me to better understand why outreach is so important to the Christian community.

Hawaii, Wrestling Reality

March 2007


Well here I am updating my journal again…on an airplane, what else am I going to do? Its been nice to reflect and write down the events of the last few months. Last night Tidby and two journalist friend’s of ours Mary Margaret and Dina from CBC and CTV road tripped to Halifax to go to a Moosehead’s game…in the Skybox…we felt like important people or something! Ha ha. Cindy Springer my production coordinator for the Wrestling Project joined us as we had a lot of paper work to go through, so we watched the hockey game, drank lots of beer and accomplished lots of business! Not a band night! We ended up at The Bitter End for Martinis, and I woke up a few hours later and trucked my new Subaru to the Park and Fly and here I am…somewhere over the Nevada desert writing this journal.


I am heading to Hawaii again…why and how? Well…its been like 5 days and I haven’t done anything but work so its time for a vacation…right? Jessica and I are going for vacation and work. Our main goal is to learn how to surf and do some great hikes


The how part? Yes I am BROKE, Revenue Canada is literally drowning me with tax screw ups that happened a few years ago, I am in no position to treat myself to a vacation right now…BUT I am. I bought my new Subaru Outback (which I love) before Christmas…I bought it on my credit card so I could get the points…so here I am, I have enough points now to go to Hawaii for free and to go to California in April fro the Xremey awards. Not only are we both not paying for a flight, the lovely people at Princeville Resort are letting us stay for free for a night because of my last TV series Planet Luxury experience there in October. We where there for the Martin Guitar episode, as mentioned earlier in my blog. Stephanie the marketing director there is so very generous. We are taking our surf school right by the resort. The rest of the nights we plan to camp, I brought a tent…oh shit…I just realized that I forgot to bring the tent! AHHHH looks like I’ll have to stop to buy one...I can’t believe I forgot the tent!


Anyhow the work part is that I need to interview surf coach Mitch Alapa. Mitch and his family are very well known and respected in the surf scene. Mitch is considered one of the best surf coaches in the world. They have an amazing beach where they conduct their lessons on the beautiful Hanalei Bay (very close to the Princeville Resort). The Alapa's have invited Jessica and I to set up tent on their beach for as many nights as we intend to camp, so nice of them!


Currently I am in a plane flying from Switzerland to Montreal…we recently flew over the beautiful Alps and then I was excited to see Paris perfectly in the cloudless sky. I am recalling my Hawaiian adventures on the SWISS airline, man my legs are way to long, I need to start investing in business class! Ha ha. Anyhow back to the story.


Hawaii was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! Jessica and I where so blessed that Stephanie from the Princeville not only gave us a free room for the first and last night, but it was the luxury sweet! This room had to have costed at least a couple thousand dollars. True honor and luxury. Jess and I enjoyed the much needed rest by the poolside and on the beach that the resort had to offer. Mai Tais in the hot tub and coconut rum drinks on the hammock between 2 palm trees, truly the life!!! Stephanie met us for lunch and we talked about a TV series idea that I am very excited to pursue. The Princeville will be renovation in the Fall of 2007. I can’t even imagine how they are going to make this already luxurious hotel even more beautiful…great documentary series however! Im not sure of the funding for this sort of work could come together so quickly but it is definitely an interesting project that I have in my development drawer!


Jess and I met with Mitch, his wife Lynn and son Mitch boy. We had a great day learning how to surf…all I can say is that Jessica is a great surfer! Ha ha. I thought that I would be the great one because admittedly I am a pretty good snowboarder, but Jess was pulling of switch foot tricks on her 5th wave! It is a real challenge keeping balance on the board, but Mitch really explained things clearly. He let us know that we as humans are majority water, not air…therefore the best trick to keeping balance is not to keep a breath in the lungs, but rather be one with the water…a very spiritual surfing philosophy but it worked! Mitch is a very spiritual man and I learned that his coaching style is to bring out the full potential of the spirit before the physical. Very interesting concept that Im sure I can apply to other aspects of my life, including my business. I filmed a great interview from Mitch and also from Lynn and Mitch boy for my Coaches documentary. I know that not only is this going to be a real cool and engaging documentary, the process is also going to help/ inspire me to reach my goals with more clarity, vision and confidence.


Jessica and I had a great time hiking the jungles, beaches and cliffs of Kauai. My lifetime accomplishment and goal was actually met when I was on top of a beautiful canyon over looking miles of beauty…it was here that I mustered the confidence to ask Jessica to marry me! I was extremely nervous, but it was a part of my life goals that I needed to accomplish, and well I did it. 2007 has started on a pretty good foot. It will only get better!


Sadly I had to say goodbye to Jess for a couple months, we wont be together again until the Fall. We both have a lot to accomplish before then, but at the very least we both know that we are committed to each other and will support each other as passionately as possible to get through the next few months.


Coaching at Home

After coming home, Dave and I dug deep into the bi-weekly coaching sessions. We filmed every one of them. The cool thing about being coached is that the coach doesn’t teach you new things (that’s what a teacher does), a coach brings out in you what you already know, he just helps you accomplish these things and holds you accountable to fulfill your goals and promises to yourself. This is what Dave has done for me so far. We have identified a few weaknesses (growth areas as Dave calls them).


  1. I need more time so I can give myself needed rest

  2. I need more time to focus on finer details to deliver a superior product

  3. I need more time to go drum up more business

  4. I need money to hire help, this will allow me to free up time to accomplish the above

  5. I need to build more confidence in my self and value

  6. I need to develop my professional image


So what we have concluded is that if I had some more money I could hire someone to help me run my business so that I can free up time to devote to personal life, to getting more projects, and to producing higher quality projects.


Dave asked me, “why don’t you have enough money?” The answer is I only have a few clients in a month and my daily rate is too low…so I have now raised my daily corporate rate from $950 to $1500 per day. This is interesting because in Saint John the average daily rate is still $950 / day, so I am taking a huge risk by raising it so much, BUT this is a question of confidence, If I believe in my products and talent enough, I can set my rate at whatever value I think the market can bare. I am now ready to take this leap of faith, I need to. This increase in pay will allow me to hire an employee starting May 1st. I am very excited to see where this opportunity will take my business; I am very excited to hire help to grow my business and to improve the quality of my product



As mentioned earlier in this Blog I have been developing a documentary series about Wrestling. I am currently flying home from Cannes, France (actually from Milan via Turin via Cannes). Twice a year Cannes is host to the world’s most important television market called MIPCOM. It has been an amazingly productive, yet exhausting week. To be honest, any sane producer 2 weeks before the camera date of their next under funded project WOULD NOT sneak away for a week…what was I thinking? Fortunately my team is on I trust and my production manager Cindy Springer is taking care of all producing roles for me as Im gone. Truly in the end it was very much worth the sacrifice for me to come. I really was unable to afford the flight and the registration but my trusty and almost maxed out line of credit make the trip possible. Another help is that Federica (My Italian co-producer for Weather Bomb and Cooking in the Past) picked my up in Milan, drove me to her and her husband Mauro’s incredible home in Turin Italy. What a wonderful home, they live on the top floor of a 17th century building and it has been red designed by Federica to be the coolest condo Ive ever been in, David Miller can agree with my Im sure! When he was there shooting the pilot for our cooking show he called me and told me how hip their pad was; now I got to see it with my own eyes! VERY COOL. Of course this saved a lot of money staying with her for a few days, they where so giving and hospitable…Italy is a wonderful country. I have become very fond of Limon-chiallo, Nepalese Pizza, Sardines and Gypsy’s! Italy is wonderful!


We drove Federica’s company’s vehicle to the coast of Southern France and up to Cannes to experience 3 days of fully booked meetings. We met with our distributors for Planet Luxury, Jenna and Natalie of BUZZ TAXI for dinner. They where very pleased with the interest in the series so far. We also met with many other producers, broadcasters and distributors. One of the main reasons I needed to come to MIPCOM was to find an emergency 11th hour investment of $30,000 for Wrestling Reality…as it stands right now I will be working for months on this project for free, we have no posy production budget. I know this business situation would make coach Dave cringe…but as stubborn as I am I am prepare to take the risk to deliver this show…and I think its going to work! I haven’t signed the agreements yet but:


  1. Singapore based Symbiosis Licensing / HUB Media via my friend Kevin who I created a relationship at the Banff festival a few years previous has agreed to partner in the project by providing all the post production and distribution. WOW, what a relief, I may not go bankrupt!

  2. A Spain based producer has agreed to invest $30,000 for the 6 episodes in exchange for giving him exclusive rights to his country of Spain, no problem!


So if these deals go down, which I hope Ill find out by end of week, then my investment and risk of going to Cannes was well worth it.


Im flying back home now, and it will be midnight Friday when I get in. Saturday I have 500 posters to put up around town to promote the Saint John live wrestling event (yes I’m not only a wrestling TV producer now, Im also a wrestling event promoter! Who would have though? Not me, I have never been interested in wrestling, but this is what makes my life so exciting! DIVERSITY!) The rest of the week I need to secure at least 30K, have a full technical prep, preproduction meetings, balance the new budget, follow up with all my MIP contacts, train my new employee, then go straight to production the following Monday. Its going to be a big week. We shoot for a week. One of our shoots will actually tale place at one of our Wrestler’s wrestling schools…Wildman Gary Williams actually coaches young wrestlers how to get into the industry, so yes I will certainly be filming him for the coaching documentary. Our last shoot night is Sunday May 6thm, the next morning I head to Los Angeles to go to the Xtremey Awards. I will also drive down to San Diego to interview Marty Smith about his coaching experiences as one of the motocross’ most notorious and respected coaches. I also have the opportunity to meet and interview Pamela Richarde, a past president of the International Coaching Federation….wow, what an opportunity. After that whirlwind tour of 3 days I fly up to Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast to interview Allison of the Coaching Group. Allison is actually Dave’s coach and instructor at Royal Roads University. We will also have an opportunity to shoot at Royal Roads. This will give me a great insight on the importance of coaches needing coaches.


The coolest part about my coaching experience so far is what was called the 360 Feedback Survey. This survey was presented to people I have worked with, worked for, employees of mine, peers, family, and customers. The purpose for the 360 is to get a good feedback from others about my strengths and my weaknesses. I gotta tell you it was a scary thing getting the results of the survey back. It was VERY revealing. The funny thing about this experiment is that I really desired to hear the truth, the good and the bad. I have recently realized that the only way for me to grow is to identify my weaknesses and grow from there.

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