I know I’ve been a little quiet lately, and that’s because for a bit of a ramp up that’s been happening the last month. At the beginning of the year, I had the opprutunitiy to take over video production and DVD distribution from Digital Horizons for local wrestling groups International Wrestling Cartel and Renegade Wrestling Alliance. I’ve had the fortune to shoot ringside through the prior rigime, and owe a lot of what I’ve grown from working with Tony F and his company. It’s also great to be working with two organizations that I have some great friends also working for in some capacity. So we recorded shows for both in the last two weeks, and a the growing pains are definitly there. We’re doing everything we can to get up to the level of quality that Digital Horizons was delivering, and hope to take it a bit further. But first, we have to get my tech, and Chachi behind camera, up to speed… A few things we’ve learned:
Manage your cables: One of the items of knowledge my new ringside camera protoge had to learn the wrong way was caring for the video cord. Our first shoot we lost two of them, and no more backups, thanks to this after two matches. Thankfully, our redundancies worked out. I let the ringside cam record his stuff untethered the rest of the night, only to take the monotonous task of post editing later. Ouch. It was salvageable, but I think we could have the new guy a bit more up to speed if I could watch his shots live the rest of the night.
Prior knowledge helps. I’ve been developing a system for producing these DVDs as swiftly as I can. Thankfully, I’ve had some experience at my old employer filling in on vacation days for the front office and duplicating my own music CD back in 2007. Great start, but higher volume thanks to the groups’ already existing catalogues and audience.
Communication is key: This has been a pretty steady problem. We had to get a new set of headsets to try to communicate from my live switching station to the camera men. The first night, no one could adequately talk to me, mostly the second, we lost one of the headsets to battery issues. Thankfully, we realized we just needed some AAA’s to pick it up. We couldn’t get the cams lined up color wise, but the shots were so much better (that, plus ringside’s time taken to critique his previous week’s work).
Attention to merchandise pays off: Wife of the Sorg took over the merchandise booth side of our operations. In the past, it was always sort of a neglected side of the night’s activities. Someone not associated with the company would man the DVD table, or be unattended as we setup and do our business shooting the show. Missy offered to take over, and I’ve let her run with it and my thoughts for it. We started taking credit cards at the show with Square, which meant over 50% of our sales at IWC were via plastic. How many of those sales would have been non-existant or less due to the lack of access? We also started taking pre-orders going into the show and for the next show to make sure people got what they were looking for. We also took orders of that same night’s show, to be sent out later that week as the DVD was completed. There were few requests, but people were enthusiastic and it should grow as people see we continue doing these plans. The booth looked tremendous with the last show playing back to get peoples’ attention. Plus the advantage of putting a vendor of the fairer sex behind a booth at a wrestling show is invaluable.
I’ll miss ringside shooting, but it’s still great to be a part of it, and I truly enjoy switching. The video guys are getting up to speed, and we can only improve. Our first month out and our redundancy systems held (3 cameras recording to MiniDV and one record to a MacBook Pro). If that’s as bad as it gets, it’s only up from here. And the IWC setup at Court Time is the toughest shooting we will have all year for six total shows. So how did they turn out? Here are teasers for our first DVD releases of 2012 from Sorgatron Media.