September 8, 2022

2004 CLASH Wrestling Event

Back in July of 2004, I attended CLASH in Atlanta, Georgia, to film some interviews and matches. It was held in what used to be an old department store. I used some of the old floor displays with faux brick walls as a backdrop to the interviews. Here is a funny video of me walking through and complaining about what I had to work with. Nevertheless, it ended up working out wonderfully and I captured some very memorable interviews.

And here is a time-lapse of the ring being set up by the pro wrestling aficionados.

I later made another trip to that state to film a spectator pro wrestling event in Rome, Georgia. Stay tuned for some upcoming background footage and stories on that too!

August 27, 2022

STRONGHOLD DVDs First Shipping

Here is a picture of the first orders I shipped of the STRONGHOLD documentary in July of 2009. I had a lot of pre-orders that I had to package up. The film cost me a lot of money to make. As a matter of fact, it depleted most of my savings. Nowadays, people are into streaming. Hell, a lot of people I know don't even own a DVD player. Anyways, the documentary lives on! You can watch it in its entirety on WatchFighters here.

August 24, 2022

I was Gay Bashed in a BJJ Forum

You might think making this documentary about wrestling was all fun and games. But that wasn't always the case. Back in 2008, two years into the making of the STRONGHOLD film, I began researching BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) as a form of wrestling that was growing in popularity. My focus was to interview some adult men who enjoyed this outlet. Because my teaser had a hint of the discussion of homoeroticism inherent in wrestling, I got some pretty intense gay bashing by an online BJJ forum that lasted for several weeks.

It started with this guy, who changed the title of the thread from "pornography" to "Controversy" when I called him out on it:

It reads:

"There is a man by the name of (me) who is claiming to be making a wrestling/grappling documentary and is looking for grapples of all sorts to be part of it. Beware, this movie is soft core pornography and has much to do with the 'erotic' aspect of grappling. He misrepresented himself in his first post on NHB gear and was quickly called out and exposed. I urge you to spread the word to all of your friends involved in any kind of grappling that if they are asked to participate in this documentary they should run."

Because they hadn't seen the documentary, as it wasn't even edited yet, I had to defend my decision to include not only the sport itself, in its many forms, but also the often-not-talked-about discussions of homophobia and homoeroticism. Luckily, I had a few defenders that came to the forum as well:

"Generally speaking:
1. Homophobia makes one a homophobe.
2. You have not seen the film.
3. You are assuming that the premise is all about the gay agenda.
4. His production methods are pretty much the standard in documentary film making.

See the film, don't see the film, I don't really care; just don't dis something that you haven't seen because you don't agree with something that was said."


"When I read danielson's initial post, I thought Victor was basically asking to film wrestling under the guise of documentary making and then marketing it as wrestling erotica. It's pretty clear that whatever the perspective of Victor's documentary, it's not erotica but is an attempt to document something. None of us have seen the movie to judge 'how gay' it is - so it seems to me what happened here is someone found out they gave an interview to a gay man who might make a film for and by gays and ran out to run it into the ground. Victor's movie may suck, it may misportray grappling, whatever, but I won't judge it till I see it."

Though the film does indeed talk about homoeroticism and homophobia, including an in-depth interview with a psychologist on why wrestling has imprinted on many men as a form of eroticism, the total time that is dedicated to that discussion is about 30 minutes of the 124-minute film.

Luckily, being bashed allowed me to cover that subject in the film as well. I eventually found a BJJ school way up in Michigan, a 10-hour drive for me, that would not only talk about the sport, but also address homophobia in the sport. One of the men, a straight married man in fact, later confided in me that he was not joking when he said that wrestling has a homoerotic appeal.

I believe that documentaries are not meant to take sides, but rather document "the reality of the world." What's actually going on. Removing or not including a discussion about the homoeroticism of wrestling would be just as bad as taking a side. Just because you don't agree with something does not mean it doesn't exist and should not be discussed.

It wasn't an easy road making this documentary, but as the years go by I am more and more proud of this film and the amazing candor of the men who participated in it.

August 23, 2022

STRONGHOLD "Hold on Me" Credits Song

The biggest single expense in making the STRONGHOLD film was the $2000 I paid to an artist, Justin Tanner, who sang the song I wrote for the credits. He did a great job. Here you can listen to a sample and read the full lyrics below.

The STRONGHOLD Script Board

STRONGHOLD was broken up into dozens of segments. Here you see me organizing the script narration on a large corkboard I purchased for $25 when CompUSA went out of business. This came in handy when I needed to see how everything was going to fit together, and in what order.

STRONGHOLD Documentary Gets New Website

To commemorate this important documentary, we have redesigned the site to have more functionality and features, like this blog. Below is how the site's main page used to look. Check our blog for all sorts of stories and pictures and videos from the Making of STRONGHOLD.