Raf's Recollection | What do you do when your co-host is unavailable during a week when you have an interview with Stuart Cooper and need to review what took place at this year's Worlds?
Well, naturally you carry on without the guy and replace him.
Don't worry, Kev isn't going anywhere. He just was out of town for the week (and will be back with us next week).
In the meantime: We landed a whale of an interview with Stu (We've been truly anxious to hear about his legendary filmmaking process for some time now).
If for some reason you're unfamiliar with Stuart Cooper, you would be well served to check out the documentary about him below.
And if that's not enough to help you understand the the man behind the camera, why not take a look at a few samples of his work.
We've had the pleasure of being in contact with Stuart Cooper for some time now, but we've long been fans of his work.
His documentaries do a superb job of filling in the metaphorical and narrative ellipses for the avid BJJ enthusiast. The stories behind many of our favorite BJJ athletes often extend further than what we see on the mats during tournaments. When you watch a Stuart Cooper film, you get more than just why a match or a tournament is important. We get a rare insight into the philosophy, the psyche, and even the small nuances of the fighter's personal lives (try telling me any two Stuart Cooper documentaries are alike).
For me, his films aren't just comparable to quality found on the big budget, fight countdown shows (similar to the ones produced for the UFC and Bellator), the creativity exhibited in many of these vignettes stand up against a number of documentaries period. They strive for uniqueness in an industry where narratives are often uniform and bland.
On the podcast, we talk about his filmmaking process, some of the crazier experiences he's faced, and his new Indiegogo campaign he's mounted (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stuart-cooper-films) to help off-set the costs of making these films.
While the notion of traveling around the world, training BJJ, and making films sounds like a dream, the cost of making multiple, high quality videos on a regular basis basis is anything but glamorous. As a man who's portfolio has been a free and open book for the past several years (and who's films have often showcased the sport in an entirely different light), we highly implore you to donate to his Indiegogo.
Believe us, we know no one likes taking out their wallet when they don't have to. But the breakdown of his production costs is a mere fraction of what other places would charge for a comparable product-- and a loss of films like his would be a huge setback for a sport we all love.
Verbal Tap Goes to Worlds
This was my first time attending a Worlds competition. While I've been a number of tournaments over the past year and a half, I learned a lot from my experience down in Long Beach last week.
For example, Worlds is loud (http://instagram.com/p/oorT9Wj6rD/).
And there's a lot of matches that happen all at once.
(#TwoEyesTwelveMats was a personal favorite hashtag to use).
And it's a lot to take in all at once.
But it was a great experience and I got to see a ton of great matches and friends.
(I didn't get the chance to mention it on the podcast, but I really do believe this: Much in the same way they have warm up mats for the competitors, they should also have mats designated just for spectators who want to start drilling something they learned and thought was cool during the competition.
Hell, I should get some perk for my spectator fee, right?).
But, I did go at it alone. I had back up at the event to help me better understand all of the action taking place.
Yep, that's right. Our good pal, BJJ Breakdown's John Evans (seen in the accompanying picture looking more bad ass than ever thanks to me, #streetcred) was there to help explain all of the moves that blew my mind.
John not only covered the event with me, but he also shows up on this podcast to walk us through some of the highlights.
All this plus we get in a One Minute Review of The Ultimate Fighter (!!!).
What are you waiting for, listen in now!