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"Wrestling with Life" portrays the trials and tribulations of independent professional wrestlers on the California Central Coast.

The PROJECT

"Wrestling with Life" is a unique and ambitious portrayal of the real-life struggles and triumphs of independent wrestlers on the Central Coast of California. This innovative film documentary will showcase the dedication and passion of independent pro wrestlers in the Vendetta Pro Wrestling circuit who are willing to make tremendous sacrifices for a chance to live out their dreams. Featuring candid interviews and biographical portrayals of approximately 7 independent wrestlers (of diverse backgrounds and at different stages of their professional careers), the film will challenge viewer's misconceptions about professional wrestling and the men and women who seek to make a career out of it. 

WHY THIS PROJECT IS IMPORTANT

The filmmakers seek to explore the psychological dynamics of independent wrestlers, including what drives them to participate in the sport, how they balance their "9 to 5" lives with their wrestling careers and how they define "success" in the industry. The documentary also seeks to portray how family oriented the independent wrestling circuit often is (both in terms of the participants themselves and the surrogate family that often arises with colleagues in the business) as well as the socioeconomically diverse fan base that continues to come out to support the sport.  

While there have been some previous documentaries discussing independent professional wrestling on the East Coast independent circuits, none have adequately explored the complex "real lives" of these professional athletes to any great degree. Particularly in the dynamic and competitive independent circuit on the West Coast of the U.S., many wrestlers may devote their entire lives to becoming successful as wrestlers often at the expensive of making sacrifices concerning their family, health and financial status.

Likewise, despite their exhibitionism in the ring, many wrestlers are very private people who are hesitant to share their personal lives with fans. Luckily, the filmmakers have secured participants who are willing to be "open books" for the project, providing the filmmakers with a "bird's eye view" on their day-to-day struggles and triumphs.       

WHAT WILL BE PRODUCED

The feature-length documentary is estimated to be approximately 75 minutes in length. It will be made available in DVD, Blur-Ray disc (and possibly at a later time, hi-definition digital download) formats and will also contain "behind the scenes" footage from the production of the film and interviews with fans. The documentary will be submitted to numerous film festivals. A world premier screening is anticipated to take place in December of 2012 (specific day/time to be determined) at a location in San Luis Obispo or Northern Santa Barbara counties on the Central Coast of California. Further public screenings in other counties are also anticipated to occur. Additionally, a website (www.wrestlingwithlife.net), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wrestlingwithlife) and Twitter account will be created to share information and increase awareness about the documentary. The filmmakers ultimate goal is to create an award-winning documentary that will eventually be made available online for digital viewing through Netflix, Hulu,  etc., thus ensuring the widest possible audience. This is your chance to help make that dream a reality!

HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTRIBUTE? 

There are many ways to contribute financially to make sure that this project gets completed.  On the "Rewards" column to your right you'll see some of the many benefits that are available for supporters who contribute $5, $25, $50, $75, $200, $500 or $1,000. The benefits associated with each giving level increases accordingly. The following items/benefits options are available:

(1) Receive a personalized "thank you" note from the filmmakers and be officially added to the documentary's mailing list to receive exclusive updates and "behind the scenes" content from the film and subsequent film screenings. Plus, you can legitimately brag to your friends that you were a "financial contributor" to a (potentially award-winning) documentary! 

(2) Receive a limited edition copy of the "Wrestling with Life" DVD or Blu-Ray disc (your choice), signed by the filmmakers, before it is made available to the general public. Includes shipping/handling costs to anywhere in the continental U.S.A. (International orders may incur an added fee). 

(3) Receive a complimentary VIP pass to the world premier screening of the documentary slated for December of 2012. The screening will take place in the City of San Luis Obispo or Santa Maria and will likely feature many of the wrestlers featured in the film.

(4) Be listed in the credits of the documentary as well as on the website (www.wrestlingwithlife.net) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wrestlingwithlife) as a major contributor to the project

(5) Be interviewed for the "Behind the Scenes" video segment of the completed movie (to be included on the DVD and Blu-Ray releases as well as posted on the official film website. Or if you would prefer, you can have a friend, family member or other person of your choosing. The intention of this service is to allow fans and wrestlers' friends and family members to give viewers their candid thoughts and feelings. This also allows contributors to say that they were "featured" in the documentary! 

(6) Become an Associate Producer of the film. You will be credited as the Associate Producer during the opening credits of the film as well as in any and in all associated marketing materials. You will be listed on the film's official Internet Movie Database (IMDB) page. You will be given the opportunity to view and provide editorial feedback during a private screening of the final cut of the film (before it is screened publicly). 

(7) Become an Executive Producer of the film. You will be credited as the Executive Producer during the opening credits of the film as well as in any and all associated marketing materials. You will be listed on the film's official Internet Movie Database (IMDB) page. You will be invited to view and provide editorial feedback during both the initial editing of a rough cut of the film as well as during the editing of the final cut (before it is screened publicly). You will be invited to participate in any and all press and media events to promote the film and will be introduced alongside the Director, Editor and cast as part of the "production team".  This is your "once in a lifetime" chance to be the executive producer of a (potentially award-winning) documentary!  

WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BEING USED FOR?         

Highlight Media (award winning filmmakers Jason Reed and Christina Bearce) are seeking to raise $3,000 in capital to pay for needed equipment upgrades and production costs. The filmmakers view this project as a "labor of love" and are NOT seeking to be paid for their investment of time and energy in the project, only hard costs associated with the filming. Specifically, the filmmakers are needing to raise $1,500 for a portion of the cost of purchasing an additional hard-drive based, 1080p hi-definition camera. Likewise, the filmmakers are in need of a new lighting kit and wireless microphone kit (estimated to be $600 in value). The filmmakers will also spend approximately $600 to have the finalized DVD and Blu-Ray discs professionally duplicated and mastered (in color slipcases). Lastly, the filmmakers are seeking to raise $300 to pay for gas, hotel and related travel expenses associated with shooting at different locations throughout the Central Coast. The filmmakers anticipate that they will be contributing over $9,000 of their own time to see the project through (at a modest rate of $15/hour each X 300 hrs). Likewise, the filmmakers have secured the assistance of local musical performers willing to donate their time and music to create a dynamic, original soundtrack (valued at $2,000 in studio recording time and songwriting expenses). As such, by taking a collaborative approach and pooling the talents of various skilled creative professionals, "Wrestling with Life" will stay true to its DIY ("Do It Yourself"),  "labor of love" roots. 

Based on cost estimates, $3,000 is the bare minimum amount needed to carry out the project. In the event that more funds are contributed, the filmmakers will seek additional services/resources to increase the quality and visibility of the product including, but not limited to,: (1) procuring the services of a professional graphic designer to create needed promotional materials (including creating a 11 X 18 poster, glossy cards to distribute at screenings and festivals and other materials), (2) paying for the rights for additional royalty music from well-known musical performers to include in the film, (3) travel expenses and costs associated with entering/screening the film at film festivals across State of California and possibly in other states as well, depending on how much is raised. As such, any money raised over the initial $3,000 will go a long way to increase the quality and public visibility of the final product.

HOW WILL I KNOW THE MONEY WAS USED FOR THE INTENDED PURPOSE?

The filmmakers promise that every dollar raised will be used to directly support the documentary project. Highlight Media has an established track record of carrying out film and video projects, often contributing their own pro-bono volunteer time in the process. They devote the majority of their professional work  to charitable causes and maintain the highest ethical standards in conducting their business. As referenced previously, it is estimated that the filmmakers will contribute approximately $9,000 of their own resources into the project. As an added assurance, Highlight Media will produce an accounting statement showing how every dollar raised was ultimately used. This spreadsheet will be made available on the project's website (www.wrestlingwithlife.net) for financial supporters to review. 

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Note: The video at the top of the page is in standard definition due to upload file size restrictions. To see the hi-definition version of the video trailer, please click here

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    Receive a personalized "thank you" note from the filmmakers and be officially added to the documentary's mailing list to receive exclusive updates and "behind the scenes" content from the film and subsequent film screenings. Most importantly, you can play an active role in ensuring that the film project gets carried out and legitimately boast to your friends and family that you were a "financial backer" of a (hopefully "award winning") documentary! :)

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    Contributors of $25 will: (1) receive a limited edition, signed copy of the "Wrestling with Life" DVD (includes shipping/handling to anywhere in the U.S.A.)

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    Contributors of $50 will: (1) receive a limited edition, signed copy of the "Wrestling with Life" DVD or Blu-Ray Disc, (2) RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY VIP PASS TO THE WORLD PREMIER SCREENING OF THE DOCUMENTARY (ANTICIPATED TO BE IN DECEMBER OF 2012).

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    Contributors of $75 will: (1) receive a limited edition, signed copy of the "Wrestling with Life" DVD or Blu-Ray Disc, (2) receive a complimentary VIP pass to the world premier screening of the documentary (anticipated to be in December of 2012), (3) BE LISTED IN THE FILM CREDITS OF THE DOCUMENTARY AS WELL AS ON THE WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE AS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO THE PROJECT.

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    Contributors of $200 will: (1) receive a limited edition, signed copy of the "Wrestling with Life" DVD or Blu-Ray Disc, (2) receive a complimentary VIP pass to the world premier screening of the documentary (anticipated to be in December of 2012), (3) be listed in the credits of the documentary as well as on the website and Facebook page as a major contributor to the project, (4) BE INTERVIEWED (OR HAVE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER OF YOUR DESIGNATION BE INTERVIEWED) FOR THE ‘BEHIND THE SCENES” CLIPS TO BE INCLUDED ON THE OFFICIAL DVD AND BLU-RAY RELEASES AS WELL AS POSTED ON THE OFFICIAL FILM WEBSITE.

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    Contributors of $500 will: (1) receive a limited edition, signed copy of the "Wrestling with Life" DVD or Blu-Ray Disc, (2) receive a complimentary VIP pass to the world premier screening of the documentary (anticipated to be in December of 2012), (3) be listed in the credits of the documentary as well as on the website and Facebook page as a major contributor to the project, (4) be interviewed (or have a friend or family member of your designation be interviewed) for the "behind the scenes" clips to be included on the official DVD and Blu-Ray as well as posted on the website. (5) CONTRIBUTORS OF $500 WILL BE CREDITED AS ASSOCIATE PRODUCER(S) OF THE FILM AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FILM AND IN ALL ASSOCIATED MARKETING MATERIALS. YOU WILL ALSO BE LISTED ON THE FILM’S OFFICIAL INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE (IMDB) PAGE. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER(S) WILL ALSO BE INVITED TO VIEW AND PROVIDE EDITORIAL FEEDBACK DURING A PRIVATE SCREENING OF THE FINAL CUT OF THE FILM.

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    Contributors of $1,000 will: (1) receive a limited edition, signed copy of the "Wrestling with Life" DVD or Blu-Ray Disc, (2) receive a complimentary VIP pass to the world premier screening of the documentary (anticipated to be in November of 2012), (3) be listed in the credits of the documentary as well as on the website and Facebook page as a major contributor to the project, (4) be interviewed (or have a friend or family member of your designation be interviewed) for the "behind the scenes" clips to be included on the official DVD and Blu-Ray as well as posted on the website. (5) CONTRIBUTORS OF $1,000 WILL BE CREDITED AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER(S) OF THE FILM AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FILM AND IN ALL ASSOCIATED MARKETING MATERIALS. YOU WILL ALSO BE LISTED ON THE FILM’S OFFICIAL INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE (IMDB) PAGE. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER(S) WILL ALSO BE INVITED TO VIEW AND PROVIDE EDITORIAL FEEDBACK DURING THE EDITING OF A ROUGH CUT OF THE FILM AS WELL AS DURING THE EDITING OF THE FINAL CUT. YOU WILL ALSO BE INVITED TO ANY AND ALL PRESS OR MEDIA EVENTS TO PROMOTE THE FILM AND WILL BE INTRODUCED AS A KEY MEMBER OF THE PRODUCTION TEAM (ALONGSIDE THE DIRECTOR, EDITOR, WRITER AND CAST).

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