The 99th Match is based on a true story of hope, determination and endurance in the face of insurmountable odds.
WRESTLING IS GOD’S FAVORITE SPORT
I’ve said that "Wrestling is God's favorite sport," hundreds of times to people with mixed reactions. Religionists would protest that I spoke for God or had some insight they did not, but most people get it when I simply ask, “What issues are you wrestling with today?”
In life, we are either wrestlers, cheerleaders, coaches, teammates, referees, sponsors or spectators. We can be playing all seven roles at the same time at work, play, with our family, in community and church activities or whatever we spend our time doing something we like with others.
THE 99TH MATCH
The 99th Match is based on a true story packed with simple but powerful, life changing perspectives for everyone facing personal trials, addictions, tragedy, loneliness or adversity of any kind. This story takes place at the legendary Brentwood High School on Long Island N.Y., when their six year historical record of undefeated wrestling team matches is caught in the balance between an unlikely third string wrestler and a decisively fierce match against insurmountable odds.
Guaranteed to inspire, motivate, and lift the human spirit. The 99th Match is a message of hope, determination, and endurance, where the application of timeless principles yields its promised fruit─courage, personal achievement, and insights into why things are the way they are. The school is real. The events are real. The odds are real. The 99th Match is about wrestling with real life. Now more than ever is the time to consider its universal messages.
Produce an independent feature film with an actual wrestling team competing for notoriety on Long Island's wrestling mats. Michael Stevens, a third string wrestler is invited to fill in a vacancy in the lineup when the team departs for an away match with a team they had defeated many times before.
This time however, the coaches selected the first string wrestlers to stay behind to wrestle the 100th undefeated match. What they didn't anticipate was that their team was not as strong as the opposing team for the away 99th match. One by one they begin to lose, until the decisive match falls on the unlikely shoulders of Michael Stevens.
It's not the match that is as important as the lessons learned (and taught) in the preceding weeks and what follows in the aftermath of victory and defeat. You'll have to read the story to know how things unfold, but the lessons are profound and something every young man and woman should know.
The story applies to adults too, especially those who know a little bit about adversity. It's a story that can be filmed to the quality of Fire Proof and Courageous on a small budget, using local talent and lots of student volunteers and donors.
And yes, there is a little romance central to the story. My wife read the first draft and said women wouldn't read it, so I hooked up Michael with an awesome Cheerleader, Danielle. The reviews of the story have been first rate. Apex Reviews awarded it Five Stars and the following commentary.
“With an unprecedented six-year streak of undefeated wrestling team matches, the legendary Brentwood High School in Long Island, New York, has more than enough reason to be proud. One day, though, both the pride and reputation of the school is suddenly placed on the line when young Michael, an unlikely third string wrestler, is faced with the nearly impossible task of defeating Elmer Franklin – a formidable opponent with considerable more skill.
"What Michael lacks in skill, though, he more than makes up for in heart, drive, and determination, all of which he’ll need to overcome what soon proves to be the greatest challenge of his young life…
“The 99th Match is a rich, rewarding, heart-warming tale sure to inspire readers of all ages. Coming in at just under 150 pages, author Vinny DiGirolamo’s compelling narrative provides the reader with a practical, tangible example of the success that awaits us all on the other side of life’s most difficult challenges. Based on true events, The 99th Match best serves as a testament to the virtues of perseverance and dedication, which is quite the timely lesson in this modern era of prolonged strain and difficulty. If we each embraced and embodied the core elements of young Michael’s irrepressible character, life would be a much more tolerable journey to endure for us all.
“A quick and easy – yet timeless read, The 99th Match is a highly invaluable motivational tool. Strongly recommended.”
Wrestling matches bring their own crowds, brand of enthusiasm, and excitement to the competition, and we anticipate that students will readily line up to participate in the scenes which will add to the fervor. The scenes are easily shot in about half a dozen settings readily available.
The video editing, motion graphics work, script writing and much of the stage design and background prep and costume will be accomplished by skilled and talented professionals known by the author and therefore will also willing participate in this project for the best rates on the market.
The balance of the funds not expended to produce and edit the film will be used to market and spread the DVD across several venues. See the rewards agreements and do your best to obtain a copy of the book and DVD. It is the author's goal to have a copy of this film (DVD) available in every High School library in the world.
The following represents an approximate summary of anticipated expenses.
• Transform Book to Script: $10K (if less, funds will be added to video editing)
• Film Crew and Equipment Rental: $60K
• Video Editing and Motion Graphics: $40K
• Casting, Actor and Grip Fees: $20K
• Marketing & Distribution: $20K
• Travel and Lodging Expenses: $10K
• Miscellaneous Expenses (i.e., Food for Student Participants): $9K
WHY THIS PROJECT WILL SUCCEED
Brentwood is still one of the leaders in wrestling on Long Island. I anticipate that the school will willingly participate in the production of this motivational and inspirational film. Brentwood is in a depressed area of Long Island and a film like this would boost the student spirit and show them even greater lessons while participating in the production. This will add an additional element of realism to the film.
What makes this flick any different than any other film on the topic where the underdog is put in a seemingly insurmountable situation? The secret is in the sauce. It teaches correct principles that every coach would want his team to know and internalize.
Wrestling is largely an individual sport where the wrestler competes against himself. As long as he does his best, Michael can't complain. But when his own reputation and his High School reputation is suddenly put in the spotlight with extremely unfavorable circumstances, he finds the internal resources to triumph in an unanticipated turn of events.
Unlike any film where the end of the film is the end of the match, this story continues and the lessons learned are cemented in the conversations between coach and wrestler that will bring tears to your eyes. The story alone has caused grown men to choke up.
WE ALL HAVE OUR 99th MATCH TO DEAL WITH
This story will undoubtedly touch the hearts of millions of people struggling with some type of adversity. It really doesn’t matter what issues you are facing today, the same principles apply. How do I know that? Because this particular lesson was taught to me early in my youth and has benefited me through grace divine throughout my life.
Many of our youth are losing sight of what is truly important and this story brings some fundamental truths back to center stage. It is nondenominational but it is a story worth sharing that will make a difference.
Note: All sketches in the video were drawn by the author. All story boards will be similarly drawn.
When I originally created this opportunity, I thought people would flock to it and fund, but that hasn't happened?I don't know why. This is a story that gets great reviews every time someone reads the book. I will include a 99th Match year book to the next 100 donations above $50.
pledged of $169,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on May 28, 2012.
Apr 13, 2012 - May 28, 2012 (45 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Join The 99th Match mailing list to receive updates as the project progresses. A comprehensive list of contributors will be posted on The 99th Match website.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $5 or more
All the above + Signed copy of the program by the author of the authentic wrestling team's line up used in the film.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
Pledge $10 or more
All the above + Personal email of thanks from the author with behind the scenes photos from The 99th Match taken by the film crew during production.Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Pledge $25 or more
All the above + Signed copy of The 99th Match book.Estimated delivery: Dec 2013
Pledge $50 or more
All of the above + Signed copy of The 99th Match script and a copy of the storyboard drawn by the author.Estimated delivery: Feb 2014
Pledge $100 or more
All the above + Signed 5x6 inch limited edition photograph of the wrestling team performers and production crew, and a copy of The 99th Match DVD.Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Pledge $250 or more
All of the above + an invitation to participate as a spectator in the filming of The 99th Match. If you participate in the actual filming, your name will be added to the credits.Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $500 or more
All the above + a signed video of The 99th Match and an opportunity to advertise your business as a banner in the background during the production. All business promotions must be approved beforehand and be deemed appropriate for advertising to youth and families.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
Pledge $1,000 or more
All the above + credit as a sponsor on the The 99th Match website and in the film credits. (You can choose to be an anonymous sponsor as well.)Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Pledge $2,000 or more
All of the above + 10 copies of the book and DVD and an invitation to attend the filming of the production and meeting with the actors and film crew. A signed photograph of you on the set during production.Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (50 of 50 left)
All of the above + a minimum 5 second speaking role in the film as part of The 99th Match script and audition for a larger role in the production of the film. Invitations to attend multiple activities during the prduction of the film. Corporate-level backers can get on board with this new addition. Your brand will be a co-sponsor on our website and during the end credits.Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $10,000 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
All of the above + the opportunity to advertise your product within the background of the set, but also the characters will interact where able with your product line. Products must be associated with health and fitness associated with High School related activities (i.e., Gatoraide or Poweraide would be excellent sponsor candidates). A plaque will be provided to your corporate office displaying your name and participation in the prduction of The 99th Match.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013