Creativity can come in many formats and not just through the normal channels of painting, drawing, writing or making music. The mere act of gathering, editing and presenting ideas is an art form in itself and I am lucky enough to have had the chance to speak to someone who does it for a living and on a grand scale. All very cryptic I’m sure you’ll agree but it’ll all become obvious to you very shortly so stay with me. Welcome to another edition of SWN Behind the Art. Let’s begin…
Can you start by introducing yourself and what it is you do?
My name’s Scott Reid, and I’m one of the Creative Producers for ICW.
My job covers a lot of bases, but long story short, I work with Dallas to put together and book ICW shows, produce Fight Club episodes, work on our video content that the company puts out, and generally help drive the creative direction of the show. Basically, if you can see it live or on screen, I’ve probably got something to do with it!
When did you start and how did it all come about?
It’s been a bit of a long journey to where I’m at right now. I was at the first ICW show at The Garage in 2012, and was just blown away by what I was seeing. A few chance meetings and conversations later over the next year, I started writing and creating the official ICW magazine in 2013. From there, I just became more and more involved with the company, be that through editing videos, filming backstage, helping sell merch, but the whole time, I was also around booking meetings and creative sessions, just soaking up knowledge, and learning as much as i could about how and why things are done.
Dallas always welcomed my opinion on things, even as far back as 2014/15, but it was probably from around early 2016 that I started making any real major contributions creatively to the show. Now I’m a fully fledged writer on the show, which is a great job. Definitely worth the time it took to get there.
To many of us fans it would be considered one of the dream jobs in the wrestling business but I’m sure it’s got as many fulfilling moments to complete headaches and heartaches. What are the highs and lows of being a creative producer?
Its definitely a fulfilling job. It’s an incredible feeling when you’ve been working on a show like Fear & Loathing for months, and then it all comes together on the night. Not just from a perspective of everything going the way you hoped it would, but knowing that fans enjoyed themselves is a great feeling. It’s one thing to write something and think “I would love to see this”, but when you hear an audience react to something positively in the venue, you just can’t beat that. If people are paying their money to come to our show, I want to leave the venue that night knowing they had a good time.
On the flip side, there’s definitely hard times with the job, specifically with things that are just completely out of your control. When you’re writing a show, you have your plan for the matches, but there’s so many things that can cause a change to a match, or even a whole story line, that you can’t do anything about.
Wrestling’s very physical and dangerous, and with that comes injuries that can happen at any time. If someone gets injured the day before an ICW show, then we don’t have any other choice but to come up with an alternative. The show must go on, as they say! Learning to roll with the punches in a calm and logical way can be hard, but its just something that comes with the role.
In wrestling, I’m presuming, it’s easier to get a crazy angle or story line through than a tame one right? What is the craziest angle you’ve ever suggested?
We’ve had so many ridiculous conversations that I’ve probably forgotten most of them, but the most prominent one that springs to mind that actually happened was having Good Housekeeping III main event at Fear & Loathing. When Liam Thomson returned to ICW after his injury, there was initially very different ideas of what he would be doing. Fan outcry for a second Good Housekeeping Match was so loud though, so I went to Dallas, and suggested doing it, and building towards a third match at Fear & Loathing. The fact that we could even get a second match out of such a mental concept was amazing in itself, never mind doing another one a year later in the main event of the biggest show of the year! It’s a testament to how good Liam and Wolfgang are though. Those two made those matches really special.
I’m also responsible for the giant sponge in Good Housekeeping II. I didn’t really pitch that to anyone, I just showed up on the day of the show with a 6 foot tall sponge. I still don’t tell folk where it came from. I want it to become an urban legend of Scottish wrestling!
Haha I won’t persue that any further then, I like an urban myth too. With that being said what’s your favourite angle that you’ve created? Favourite people to work with?
It so hard to really appreciate how something’s going at the time, because so often, it’s over, and you just move onto the next thing.
That being said, i remember being really happy with the BT Gunn/Mikey Whiplash feud into Barramania 4, with the Death Match for the World Title. I was really heavily involved in that story, and the creativity from the others involved just made it all the better. The best stuff comes from collaboration, in my opinion. Ideas from one person building on the ideas of another can create gold.
There’s so many people that I enjoy working with. Coming up with ideas with The Kinky Party is always a lot of fun, as there’s very few things that are off the table with them. Wolfgang is another one who’s a lot of fun to work with, because despite having done this for 15+ years, he’s still got the same enthusiasm for wrestling. I say all the time, and i really mean it in the best way, he’s like a big kid who just loves wrestling, and it’s hard not to be drawn in by that type of love for what you’re doing. Kay Lee Ray’s always someone i look forward to working with as well, especially on a show day. Kay Lee’s someone I could probably say two words to, and I could trust that she’d still go out and absolutely nail it, but she’s a perfectionist, so it’s always good to be able to sit down and really flesh out ideas with her at a show.
I really enjoy writing some of the darker elements on the show, and when stuff like that is being put together, BT Gunn is someone who I
can really get on the same wavelength with. He’s fearless when it comes to trying out ideas, so when we’re trying to push the envelope, he and I really work well together. Mikey Whiplash is very much the same. Producing stuff with him has always been like a treat for me. There’s almost nothing that’s out of bounds with him, and that makes my job a lot more exciting.
Has lockdown been a blessing or a curse for you? Have you had more time to write new storyline’s or plan for future shows etc?
At the beginning of Lockdown, i was obviously really gutted. I felt like we had some really good stuff going on, so it was sad to see it come to a halt, plus i love the thrill of a show day, so not having that has been weird. That being said, I feel like lock down has allowed us to shift our focus and do some good stuff elsewhere. We’ve really worked hard to make ICW On Demand as accessible and interesting to people as possible during this time. People are bored, so we wanted to make sure we can still give them some entertainment! The ICW iPhone/Android App is something that we’ve spoken about for a while, so it was great to get that released, and we’ve even recently launched the ICW App on Amazon Fire TV. That’s something people have been asking about for a while, so hopefully a lot of people are happy with it.
As far as storylines go, there’s not a day goes by where I’m not writing ideas down, but it’s everything’s so up on the air at the minute, that everything we’re doing creatively has a bit of a question mark over it. Once we have a clearer idea of when we’ll be able to run shows again, we’ll be diving head first into things though.
Now that I’ve completely freaked you out about what you’ll have to go back to after lock down, all the stresses and strains of being a creative producer haha. Are you creative outside of wrestling as well? Do you draw, write, create music or anything?
I’m nowhere as creative elsewhere as I once was. As a young kid, I was never without a pen or pencil in my hand, drawing something, but then I got older, and wrestling caught me! haha!
I really engulf myself in work, so when i’m not doing that, I just try and relax where I can. Cinema and comic books are two of my biggest loves. I’m always watching or reading something, and even then, I’m usually working in the back of my head. I’m always watching something and thinking how I can draw influence from it in filming promos, or the how I can present something a specific way on a show. All my creativity goes to ICW!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just really want to thank all the fans who have continued to support ICW in the past few months. Means a lot that in such a difficult time, people are continuing to share our content, pick up merch, subscribe to On Demand, and engage with us on the lock down show on YouTube and Facebook each week. Hopefully we can get back to normal sooner rather than later, and see everyone! Until then, everyone stay safe!
Where can people contact you? Social media pages etc.
I’d like to thank Scott for taking the time to answer my questions and giving us all an insight into how the creative process works in the world of professional wrestling. An absolute pleasure to talk to him.
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