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'Kayfabe' mockumentary now available on DVD
By Steve Wilson
Feb 20, 2009 - 4:23:32 PM
KAYFABE ENTERTAINMENT CORP. ANNOUNCES
DVD RELEASE OF ITS AWARD-WINNING FILM, KAYFABE
Vancouver, BC, February 19, 2009 - Kayfabe Entertainment Corp. (the “Company”) is pleased to announce the DVD release of its first feature length film, Kayfabe. The film is available for purchase through the Company’s website at www.kayfabemovie.com, which also includes clips from the movie, character bios, productions photos and much more.
Kayfabe is an award-winning “mockumentary” which follows a fictional independent wrestling federation (the “TCICWF”) and examines the numerous challenges faced by the wrestlers as they try to hold the final two shows of the promotion before it folds. Just as This is Spinal Tap lampooned the world of heavy metal music and Best in Show skewered the sub-culture of competitive dog-breeding, Kayfabe pulls no punches while revealing the absurdities of independent professional wrestling. In addition to the film itself, the DVD includes the film’s trailer, deleted scenes and a commentary by the film’s directors and producers during which they rib the film, the film-making process, the wrestling industry and themselves, often with hilarious results.
Until now, wrestling and film fans have only been able to see Kayfabe in Canada on SuperChannel (www.superchannel.ca) and in theatres at select film festivals. The film was an official selection of the Okanagan Film Festival, the Lakedance International Film Festival and the Eugene International Film Festival, winning the following awards:
• Okanagan Film Festival - Best Canadian Indie Feature
• Eugene International Film Festival – Audience Choice Award
• Lakedance Film Festival – Best Comedy and Best Mockumentary
Win a Free DVD of the Movie
The Company is giving wrestling fans a chance to win a free copy of the movie on DVD by getting a sign advertising the film’s website on camera during a broadcast of WWE’s Raw or Smackdown programs. To win a free DVD, fans should do the following:
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the air date of the show that they are attending, the color of the sign they will be holding and an identifying symbol (chosen by the fan) which will appear on the sign
• Make a sign which legibly advertises www.kayfabemovie.com and includes the identifying symbol
• During filming, hold up the sign so that it is legible on camera during broadcast for at least three seconds
• Upload proof of the sign’s appearance on the broadcast on YouTube and email the Company with the link
Upon verifying that the sign appeared on the broadcast, the Company will ship a copy of the DVD to the fan free of charge. The Company reserves the right to suspend or cancel this offer at any time and without notice.
Background Information about Kayfabe
People always told Pete Smith that his dual career of professional wrestler and lawyer was interesting. Pete graduated from law school at the top of his class and eventually practiced law at a prestigious New York City law firm. Simultaneously, he maintained an alter-ego, “The Rocket” Randy Tyler, a pro-wrestler who headlined indie wrestling shows in towns and cities throughout Canada, the United States and Japan. But for one of Pete’s legal colleagues, Mike Raven, the odd professional combination was more than just interesting – it was the stuff movies are made of.
For almost 10 years, Mike listened to Pete’s stories about wrestling shows, road trips, and locker-room antics. Eventually they decided to write a movie script with another friend, Vancouver Film School graduate Mike Scully, describing all of the humorous characters and events that Pete had encountered during his pro wrestling career. Eventually, they had a script for Kayfabe, a mockumentary that focuses on the absurd world of independent professional wrestling.
“Once we finished the script, it was just a matter of finding the time and money to roll up our sleeves and make the movie,” recalls Raven. Together, the three friends raised enough cash to shoot the film on a shoestring budget. “Our budget for the whole film was probably less than what Mickey Rourke’s hair extensions cost for The Wrestler,” recalls Scully. “We scheduled 11 days to shoot a feature length comedy, which is absolutely unheard of. Basically, every shot had to get done on the first or second take, our crew had to put in 16 hour days, and nothing could go terribly wrong, or the movie would have died right then and there.”
The 11 day shoot went off, not without a hitch, but well enough that the first-time filmmakers got all of their shots and the movie had a fighting chance to be completed. “It was honestly the most frantic 11 days of my life,” admits Smith, who plays “The Rocket” Randy Tyler in the movie. “I’d be simultaneously ordering the crew lunch, confirming our next location, and organizing 200 extras, and then someone would yell ‘Smith, you’re on!’ and I’d be thrust in front of the camera to shoot a scene.”
Finally, following hundreds of hours of post-production, the group’s hard work paid off and they had produced their first ever feature length motion picture, Kayfabe. The film tells the story of the fictional TCICWF wrestling promotion (representative of small market wrestling promotions all over the US and Canada), which is in dire financial difficulty and faces closing its doors forever. “In effect, the movie is like watching a low-budget version of Monday Night Raw from the dressing room,” says Scully.
The filmmakers also stress that you don’t have to be a fan of professional wrestling to find this movie funny and entertaining. In fact, as Smith explains, the movie humorously reveals certain aspects of the professional wrestling business that non-fans might find very interesting. “The word ‘kayfabe’ itself roughly translates to ‘maintain the illusion’, which is historically something that was very important to wrestlers when people still thought it was all real. Everyone now seems to know pro-wrestling is ‘fake’, but what we’ve done here is expose some of the interesting ways that wrestlers continue to ‘maintain the illusions’ about the business. And we throw in a bunch of jokes, too.”
Raven notes that Kayfabe covers a lot of the same ground as The Wrestler, the critically acclaimed film starring Mickey Rourke which is currently in theatres and nominated for several Academy Awards. “The Wrestler is absolutely fantastic. When I saw it I couldn’t believe how well they examined the world of indie wrestling from a dramatic standpoint. Having said that, I think we did a pretty good job of doing the same thing from a comedic angle.” And what about the timing of Kayfabe’s DVD release? “You know, it’s funny. Because The Wrestler has received so much publicity, some people may think that we copied their idea, but we actually filmed way before they did.” Raven laughs, “maybe we should re-name our film The Wrestlers and try to get it on DVD shelves next to an Oscar-nominated film.”
Background Information about the Filmmakers
The movie was written, produced and directed by Mike Raven, Mike Scully and Pete Smith.
Mike Raven has practiced law since graduating from the University of Victoria in 1999. Before starting his own business consulting and legal practice, Mr. Raven clerked at the BC Supreme Court and spent 6 years with one of the Country’s largest and most prestigious law firms, Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Since leaving Blakes, Mr. Raven has had time to pursue his other passion, film-making. Kayfabe represents his first foray into the movie making business.
Mike Scully received a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University and graduated from Vancouver Film School, one of the most prestigious film schools in North America. In addition to collaborating on Kayfabe, Mr. Scully has been a contributor for The Toque.com, a Canadian satirical news website, and has written feature length screenplays for Tipping Cows, a comedy set in the restaurant industry, and Sparrow, a comedy currently being developed by Deep Creek Films. In addition, he wrote the short film Jailhouse Love, which was a semi-finalist in the 2003 CBC Signature Shorts Screenwriting Competition.
Pete Smith graduated from UBC Law in 1999. After graduation, Mr. Smith clerked for Madam Justice Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada and practiced law in New York City at one of the world’s most prestigious law firms, Debevoise & Plimpton. Mr. Smith has been wrestling on the Greater Vancouver independent wrestling circuit since 1988, and his character, “The Rocket” Randy Tyler, has gained a reputation as one of British Columbia’s most entertaining “bad guys” of all time.
Additional information about the Company, the producers and the film (including production photos and film clips) can be found at www.kayfabemovie.com .