Phoenix kicked me in the arse, in a GOOD way.
This marks the latest collaboration between Phoenix Carnevale and myself for a UFC event based in NYC. Additionally, I learned some serious lessons during the entire process. Namely, to keep my funny bone. It becomes a bit difficult from time to time after creating dramatic works and serious documentaries, so jumping back on the improv foot took some getting used to once again. However, I definitely enjoyed the hell out of this project and I’m eager to have another go at it soon!
If you’ve been to one UFC presser, then you’re used to the process by now. I probably should’ve moved around a bit more, but with the security and the crowd, I worked around the small challenges presented. More lessons for the next time around!
The meat of this project came in the form of the interview with Zuffa Attorney, David Weinraub. Dave was kind enough to sit down (at a local Diner a few blocks away), talk and walk us through what was going on with MMA remaining under the ban-hammer of New York State (or as Phoenix put it, “City”). It’s an extensive explanation, but well worth it when you tune in.
Fast lighting, fast adaptation! In the vein of standard documentary filmmaking, I chose my best friend: the sun. Using the VisionColor picture style in this case, I had enough latitude to play with in-camera. Also the evening began to approach, so Magic Hour was at play finally. Later on in Davinci Resolve Lite, I color processes using the VisionColor LOG LUT and exported to DNxHD 10bit 422. Smooth as silk and ready for action.
Mr. Weinraub also sent us some step-by-step advice on how to make a conscious effort to get MMA legalized here in New York State. We’re officially the ONLY state that continues to have a ban on the sport, so if you want to see some action, here’s how you can go about doin’ it:
We are talking to New York residents.
1. You should go to the New York State Assembly website and follow the simple instructions to find out who your Assembly member is, if you don’t already know. If you know any of your elected officials, you can simply call their office and ask as well.
2. You can then go to your assembly member’s web page and get your district office number.
3. Call and ask for the Assembly member! Whoever answers will ask why you are calling. Say,” I am a mixed martial arts fan/student/ family member of a fighter, etc. I want the assembly member to know that I live in the district and want the MMA ban lifted.”
“MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world; it’s silly that we are the only state in the country where you cannot have live professional matches. The regulations provide safety for the fighters and our economy needs all the help we can get. I will be calling regularly until this is done. Thank you”
4. You should leave their contact information.
5. You should have your friends call too. The goal should be to call once a week. We can build momentum for when the Legislature reconvenes later in the year or in January.
A huge thanks goes out to our subject, David Weinraub for sitting down with us for the interview and of course, the man, Dana White from the UFC. I can’t wait to jump on another project unofficially with Zuffa *hint-hint* and I’m sure my partner in crime, Phoenix would say the same as well.