I get many emails praising my bodybuilding documentaries Raising the Bar and Raising the Bar 2. I never get tired of hearing how much people enjoy my work! Today I received a review that I felt I must share with you. It's from a Natural Pro bodybuilder that I met at the NGA Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia competition. Joanne was one of the judges at the show. It was very nice to speak with her that day and it is clear from her email that she is a good judge of documentary films as well!! ;-)
Hi Mike, It's Joanne.,
It was a pleasure to meet you at the Mr/Ms Phila show. I don't know how to even begin to put into words what you have managed to create in the two documentaries about your brother Dave. The documentaries are the best that I have ever seen. I have Pumping Iron I and II, and they don't capture the real "behind the scenes" of what bodybuilder's lives are all about. I felt that somehow you took my life and put in into this film but just changed the actors so to speak.
There were moments where I laughed (the food scenes in part I) and your brother's sense of humor, I became nervous for your brother when he was cramping (I have experienced this too), sadness, excitement and exhaustion. I can relate to the family functions that you can't take part in, how your family doesn't understand why you do what you do, the training, long days preparing, all the sacrifices made, etc..
You have captured what most people, other than a bodybuilder, will never see or experience. Sure most people see the glory of the end result when the competitors are on stage, but to live with a bodybuilder or to be one, well it's a very different life style we live "all year" round. I was also born in 1964 so I understand the joint pains, injuries, etc that Dave has experienced. I have watched both DVDs twice already and they are truly motivating. I will watch them over and over as I prepare for my upcoming shows.
Mike, your commentary, interviews, music selection, and how you put the film together is truly amazing and done very professionally. I would recommend that anyone who is a bodybuilder, lives with one, or knows of a bodybuilder should see this video to truly understand "our" lifestyle and the rigorous months, weeks, days, hours we go through to prepare for shows.
I hope some day I get an opportunity to meet your brother. Dave is an inspiration and it's obvious he lives for the sport and to keep his physique in top condition. I have my pro card with a natural organization but have never competed nationally. I did qualify for nationals, but may see what I can do in 2009. I'm anxious to see your next documentary.
I'm so glad that I ran into you at the show and that I purchased the documentaries. Mike, you have done an incredible job and you should be very proud of your work.
IPFA Professional Bodybuilder