Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don't put off for tomorrow what you can attempt to smash through today.

Today's wrestling media production adventure consisted of a lot of data entry into a new google documents spread sheet.


Perhaps that's not the most exciting adventure to report about, from most readers' points of view, but it is these sorts of matters deserve to be discussed as much as others. Perhaps? Anyway.

Yesterday saw the official release of our "Amazon Annie vs Sherry Stunns" Showcase match from June 19. I'd placed that into the store before officially announcing it as released. Same with the "VeVe Lane vs Rachel Sinclair" match from June 20, which I will be officially announcing as released within the week.

Following the massive "video shoot fest" of the Showcase weekend, I immediately sat down and banged out all of the matches, processing them as fully as I could, as quickly as I could. I worked for 2 days straight, nose to the grind, and had a tremendous work turn over as a result. While I was working, I was also releasing matches according to my tentative schedule and sending e-copies of matches to participants.

That was last week.

At the start of this week, but 2 days ago, once all the dust had cleared, I looked at what I had on hand. And I realized why I like to get a ton done in one big push - everything was clearly laid out for me upon my return to work! I thanked my last-week-self for that.

For the last Showcase in January, instead of making a big push to do everything immediately, I made a work schedule to stretch the processing out over time. Not the best idea. The further away we got from the event, the less I found I had to say about the matches; the words to describe them were not immediately on the tip of my tongue, especially as I got caught up in later shoots, travel, and other work.

Now, about 6 months after that first trial, I had learned my lesson. Armed with some large USB storage drives, I ramped up and ran headlong into the pile of camera-generated AVI files.

And now, here I am, out on the other side of the storm. Coasting a bit, since most of the work just involves gentle organizing (as opposed to heavy editorial lifting).

Cleaning the queue. More like tidying, actually.

Cracking my knuckles to dig into managing a fairly heavy travel season coming up for the wrestlers. And I'm thankful the video file pile is well under control!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rules Variations for Video Matches

Recent e-mail discussions with a customer and then further discussions with VeVe have yielded a great point regarding "scoring" a wrestling video match:

Many viewers watching the matches think in terms of pin-to-win, especially since we are producing wrestling matches. And to many people the word "wrestling" implies that there should be some importance placed on pinning an opponent.

Now, we score our matches based on number of submissions attained. And sure, that makes perfect sense, since we are engaged in submission wrestling. However, what if we created a rules variation that allowed for scoring of dominant positions as "pins."

I am not talking about just implementing standard no-gi grappling scoring rules; such as 2 points for a dominant position, 2 points for a sweep, points for submission attempts. Of course, we are putting these no-gi scoring rules into effect when it comes to overtime, in order to prevent a tie.

But how about a match-long rule regarding "pins"?

How about a scoring rule that...
1. Gives viewers the satisfaction of seeing a successful pin rewarded
2. Prevents wrestlers from staling on the bottom
3. Pushes the pace of the fight
4. Does not straight outright penalize BJJ fighters who can score submissions from being on their backs during a match.

Here is the proposal:

Continue to score the matches based on number of submissions. However, also score the matches based on number of "pins" and stand those scores up side by side.

What is a "pin," though?

In our rules, we could say: if one wrestler keeps her opponent in a controlling position (aka "dominant position") where her back (both shoulders) is on the floor, such as side mount, mount, scarf hold, perhaps even half guard!, for 10 seconds, then the top player is awarded a "pin."

After a "pin" the match would be restarted from a neutral position (knees or standing).

Now, I don't think this rule would hurt BJJ fighters. First off, even though BJJ fighters can work from the ground or from their backs, none want to be flat on their backs when on the bottom. If the BJJ fighter cannot get at least one of her shoulders off the mat in 10 seconds, some sort of advantage should certainly go to the controlling player.

This would not apply to full guard, which, although one player is on the bottom, is a neutral position, not a "dominant position." However, if the bottom player using the guard cannot mount a successful attack, nor the top player pass the guard, within, say, 20 seconds, then the match will be restarted from a kneeling or standing position. There will be no scoring as a result of this restart.


The proposal here is just this: add a score for "pins" based on a top player effectively pinning her opponent flat for 10 seconds.


What about stalling?

What if the top player pins her opponent but does not attempt a submission? It's "safer" to pin and hold than to attempt a submission.

Here's a possible solution:

Score the pin at the 10 second mark. But do NOT stop the fight. Instead, award the pin and let the match continue.

If the top player does NOT attempt a submission or change position within 10 seconds AFTER the pin is awarded, then the top player will be warned and/or penalized for stalling.

This sort of mirrors the BJJ scoring, where a player will be warned for stalling after 20 seconds of "inactivity" while holding an opponent in a dominant position. In my proposed rules, the "stalling" player is awarded at the 10 second mark for her demonstration of control, but she will be penalized at the 20 second mark if she has not started working toward a submission.

You get the score for a "pin" and then you need to start working for a submission.

Again, this mirrors BJJ rules, which require a player control her opponent for 3 seconds in order to be awarded points for a dominant position.

I propose requiring 10 seconds. Will that be too long? Somehow, I don't believe that 3 seconds is enough time to convey the "pin"... but then again, it takes 3 seconds to gain a pin in Pro Wrestling.

So maybe 3 seconds to gain a "pin" point? The match would definitely not restart then. The point would just be awarded to the pinning player.

Actually, as I attempt to make the rules feel more satisfying to wrestling oriented people, they start to mirror BJJ rules even moreso.

Time to fish for feedback!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Report: VeVe vs Ginger (Hot Muscle Mom)

And what a GREAT and exciting match it was! Ginger Martin, the Hot Muscle Mom, is totally fit and explosive at 5'6" and 140 lbs. A totally athletic and dynamic wrestler with great muscle definition. She gave VeVe a run for her money.

They rolled for three 8-minute rounds and created such a sweaty mess on the mats that by the third round, it looked like they were oil wrestling - and at high speed! As a matter of fact, the pace of the match was outstanding from start to finish. I was amazed at the furious movement within the first few minutes of the fight, and I was impressed that they carried through and finished strong into the 24th minute.

Great fight, good submissions to be had, not a draw (no more draws allowed, anyway), tremendous energy. And we'll have the video ready very soon.

Here's a picture of the ladies after the match (VeVe needs a haircut at this point)

Ginger was an absolute pleasure to work with, and VeVe, as always, was on point and ready to roll.

Great job VeVe and Ginger. Tremendous work tonight, ladies. You really made me think "old school" competitive when I saw this one.
Added 7/7/10:
Here's a trailer from the full match of "VeVe Lane vs Ginger Martin"

Wrestling Filming Tonight with VeVe and Hot Muscle Mom

I'm here in the lobby of our Manhattan studio space, sweating in the NYC heat wave, about to go get the mats for a competitive female match I am shooting tonight. 6:40 pm, right now, Friday.

VeVe will be wrestling for 24 minutes against a figure contest competitor / wrestler by the professional name of "Hot Muscle Mom" from Houston, TX.

Here's her profile:

Hot Muscle Mom hit a bit of traffic on her way into Manhattan from her hotel in Newark, and that is why I have time now to write this note now.

We'll be setting up a 10' x 15' mat space for this match, which is a closed shoot. VeVe just ran down to get the mats (so industrious of her). She gave me no guilt trippin' for my staying here and blogging. What a trooper!

Here's hoping that Hot Muscle Mom gets here soon. And, while I'm at it, I wonder if the studio we're in tonight will have an air conditioner... and whether or not we will use it. Nothing like letting them get sweaty real fast in a non-A/C environment; that'll lead to some real hot muscle action, to be sure!