Vancouver-based Make Believe Media is in the lucky position of capitalizing on the popularity of Oscar-nominated feature The Wrestler with its new docusoap This Wrestling Life. Lynn Booth, president of Make Believe Media and co-producer of the project, touts it as a ‘fun, feel-good doc about a group of people who have it rough.’
The docusoap is set in Surrey, British Columbia, where it’s not an easy place to grow up. A group of young people have enrolled in a wrestling training school called the Slam Academy, which, according to Booth, is basically a wrestling ring in the middle of a warehouse. Scotty Mac, a well-known wrestler in Western Canada, is the lead character; as a teacher at the Academy, his lessons include developing wrestling personas, training five days a week, and creating costumes. Five students are followed over the course of a year, sharing their dreams of entertaining and making it into the ring. Booth says the docusoap also deals with topics of bigotry and chauvinism in a humanistic environment.
‘The most exciting young person in the Academy is Travis, who is just turning 18 and graduating high school, ‘ she says. ‘His big struggle is giving up his job at A&W and committing to this wrestling life.’
The docusoap is directed by first-time helmer Stephen Gillis and is available in a 6 x 30-minute series or 1 x 90-minute feature, currently in post production and to be delivered in the fall. The feature has been pre-sold to Superchannel in Canada and both the feature and series of This Wrestling Life are going to MIPTV in April.