In an update on the progress of Nigel McGuinness' LA Fights project, an MMA influenced six-episode pro wrestling serial with gritty, reality based, storylines, which we profiled here at Cageside Seats just before Christmas, unfortunately the venture didn't get funded via Kickstarter, falling short of the ambitious target of collecting $370,000 in online donations.
That doesn't necessarily mean LA Fights will never see the light of day, just that this initial attempt to get the series off the ground has been thwarted. Indeed, Nigel McGuinness has issued a press release today vowing that despite this setback, his LA Fights show will eventually be produced, but the money will now be raised by more traditional means:
It's five past midnight; five minutes from the conclusion of the LA Fights Kickstarter project. I wanted to reach out to both interested and unfamiliar parties, in an effort to provide a summary of the initial effort, as well as insight into the next steps.
Firstly, I would like to sincerely thank all donors and media outlets for their support and interest in LA Fights. While it has only been public for the last forty-five days, the project is the culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work over the last eighteen months (from writing a script, to developing a hybrid in-ring style, to budgeting, to researching funding, and finally launching a crowdfunding effort.)
Though we fell short of the desired goal, 441 people, (even without a clear understanding of the final product,) pledged $76,163 because they so deeply desired something new in the industry we love. From all corners of the globe, donations ranging from $1 to $10,000, continued to pour in until the very last hour, amidst a continued sea of social media sharing and online discourse.
These actions reinforced what I've always felt: I'm on to something. There is both a need and a market for something exciting and evolutionary within the current wrestling landscape. And for that reason, this project will continue.
Unquestionably, $370,000 was an incredibly lofty goal. The challenge was magnified by my inability to provide a sizzle or pilot proof of concept for people to truly grasp, and get excited about, the final product.
In short, LA Fights was constructed as a series. I felt anything less would not adequately reflect my vision and, accordingly, had concerns that providing intricate details on storylines, camera angles and in-ring style may alienate casual fans, and provide a complete, working, blueprint for anyone with the means to simply take the idea for themselves. Both were tremendous risks. My best option was to sell it off the concept, hoping fans would rally around something that fulfills what they lack in the current mainstream product.
In trying to promote and address people's questions around LA Fights, I did nearly fifty interviews and podcasts, held two Reddit AMAs, devoted countless hours to social media promotion, relentlessly pursued entertainment connections, and continuously strived to build my knowledge of the industry.
But that doesn't mean my efforts were flawless.
The project was embraced by a portion of hardcore fans and independent wrestling insiders, but not close to enough. In many ways this ties back to the reality of social media in 2015 where posts disappear almost instantly into an exponential and unmanageable feed, and the passé nature of crowdfunding platforms in general to pro wrestling fans, where perhaps the sheer number of proposals, some unrealistic or disingenuous, overshadow and/or undermine legitimate projects.
So what, exactly, is next?
In the interim, LA Fights will be removed from the crowdfunding platform, and the project re-budgeted with an eye toward discussions with a number of private investors and agencies. While it may take longer for LA FIghts to come to fruition, it is imperative that the product is undertaken properly and with the total commitment of all concerned parties. You have my assurance that the LA Fights you see will reflect the product I've envisioned. That result unquestionably outweighs a slight delay.
Moreover, to the extent that I'm reasonably able, I will keep all current backers updated as to the status of the project, as their support make this project their project now too.
There is a sense of vulnerability that accompanies having a dream, busting your ass, and putting it out for the world to see. But, when people support and believe in you, it's tough to do anything else. I've put too much work into LA Fights, with too much faith, and too much support to step away now. Sometimes our dreams choose us.
We here at Cageside Seats would like to wish Nigel the best of luck in finding the right investor for LA Fights, so that his vision for an alternative presentation of pro wrestling can be seen by a mass audience and potentially inspire improvements in the currently conservative WWE product.