My name is Anthony Bruno, I am a filmmaker, located in Philadelphia PA. After cancer, I realized that I wanted to do a project that I felt would reach people, touch people, and maybe make people stop and think about what little they know about Wrestling. Before I could get to this point I had to cement myself in to filmmaking. So I hopped on to help out a local filmmaker create his project. Before you know it, I became the Editor of Celluloid Bloodbath: More Prevues From Hell.
Then I moved on to other projects, such as the short film "The Fay" still in Post Production and some projects still in Pre-Production. But, I knew it was time to make my film. I started to ask around and talk to people in the Wrestling industry, and eventually the documentary began to grow. Now we are in the process of getting close to production and we need to raise a few funds to help set this off.
Wrestling with Disaster is a feature-length documentary exploring the physical and psychological challenges and tragedies involved in professional wrestling. Through personal interviews, anecdotal stories, existing footage, original footage, and/or possible reenactments, the documentary will shed light on the incredible stresses effecting the bodies, lives, and relationships of some of the most famous and best-loved wrestling stars. It will also recall and celebrate the many lives lost in the business, and expose the real causes behind their deaths. Our film will seek to answer the much-debated question of whether the wrestling industry puts too much stress on the professional wrestler, or if the professional wrestler puts too much stress on himself (or herself). Our film will also serve to inform and warn future / prospective professionals of what may lie ahead for them, and how they might avoid unnecessary injury and tragedy, as they strive to become a wrestling superstar.
By helping fund this film, you are going to get a down to earth, but gritty documentary and possibly the door to open for more to come. We believe in our product and so have the wrestlers that have already joined us. With more wrestlers staring to communicate with us every day, eventually the list will be too long, and we will need to create more than the one documentary we are currently working on. Hypothetically, of course, but everyone is gaining interest in this project, and we would like you to help us accomplish it.
What We Need & What You Get
We have a team that is working hard on putting together this project. Long hours, little to no pay, and believe in the project enough to make it happen, no matter what it causes us to go through. We believe in achieving success.
However, their does come a cost with what we are trying to accomplish, i.e. equipment expenses, traveling expenses, and the obvious, giving a little to our subject so they will give us the dirt we are looking for.
While this is a positive documentary, we also believe that with more funding, we can make this as edgy as we need to make it, to build the audiences interest. Edgy with, well hopefully, a positive outcome. It is a documentary afterall.
For your funding help, we plan to get you some posters, T-Shirts, a copy of the DVD, Premiere Screening tickets, and the best part CREDIT! You have a chance to be a part of this documentary revolution. We believe in it, and hope you will too.
Obviously we run the risk of not reaching out goal. If this becomes the case, while it will be disappointing, your funds will impact us no matter what. Every little bit helps, especially in the documentary world.
Background and Need: Several generations of wrestlers have contended with drug abuse, impossible schedules, unreasonably low pay, a total lack of health care, and overall exploitation by the wrestling industry. Often, these and other factors have led to untimely deaths, due to heart failure, drug overdoses, and even suicide. Incredibly, from only the early 1990’s, over 123 wrestling stars have passed away long before their time. Wrestling-related injuries, such as concussions, torn muscles, and shattered bones have of course plagued wrestlers since the birth of the sport. But, with the need to be a larger, more physical version of themselves, and the potential of displaying greater power and agility, it seems as if far more wrestlers suffer far more serious physical and psychological damage –damage often leading to death, and shocking both their industry peers and the fans who admire them. The surviving stars are left to wonder who will be the next to die; and it is time the public at large is made totally aware of this very serious issue. Meanwhile, the wrestlers who are still here to tell there story are looking for their chance of REDEMPTION, and we will stop at nothing to help them get their story out!
Approach: Our story will principally be told by the professionals themselves (and their friends and families), who lived, and are living, the life of a pro wrestler; and who, through introspective, on-camera interviews, will be given the chance to speak their minds and not hold back. They will also serve as the voices of those who are no longer here to speak for themselves --the deceased wrestling stars, who paid the ultimate price for success in the industry. We hope and plan to document the inner workings of an independent wrestling organization, as it prepares and conducts a live event, giving our audience a unique, behind-the-scenes understanding of the incredible physical (and mental) demands that wrestlers must meet before, during, and after a night of entertaining the fans. We will also seek insights from wrestling executives, sponsors, researchers, and physicians, such as The Sports Legacy Institute with Chris Nowinski, Dr. James Andrews (Birmingham, AL), and Dr. Lloyd Youngblood (San Antonio, TX)
Audience: The immense number of professional wrestling fans and other sports enthusiasts, plus anyone who is prepared to hear the truths about the darker side of the industry (e.g. the “E True Hollywood Story” audience). Our audience, especially, includes those fans who love, and want to remember, the great wrestling stars who left us much too soon. Our documentary will serve as a celebration of their lives and a testimony to their memories. And the audience will, also of course, include, and appeal to, the future generations of professional wrestlers –those who aspire to succeed in the business and attain the prize of wrestling stardom.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you know a wrestler or are a wrestler who has an intriguing story feel free to contact us. We want to hear how you feel, the things you went through, and what it means to be a professional or independent wrestler. This is your or their opportunity to tell it all.