The SHOOT Project Style Guide
So the time has finally come, and you’ve joined the SHOOT Project. Little did you know, of course, that we have all sorts of random little things that we ask of our handlers, to make our lives, and your lives, much easier. For a long time, we’ve had a smattering of rules and regulations for all things that pertain to the inner-workings of the SHOOT Project, but until now, all of that information was scattered around on our OOC board, making it a kind of difficult and daunting task to become acclimated to your new surroundings.
If you’re reading this, obviously you’ve been accepted, and if you’re like the rest of us, you want to do things the right way, so having all of this knowledge in one place is really really going to help you.
Plus, if you make a mistake, I have a singular place to point you, rather than saying “Find that thread about this on the OOC board.”
Is there anything you need to know in the e-mail?
Yes, there is.
I have a format request for both the attachment name, and the actual e-mail itself. It is as follows.
Anything else you want to know in the e-mail?
Of course! In the body of the e-mail, if you would include whereabouts in the show that you’d like this segment to take place, it makes it extremely easy for me to make the show flow, in the best possible way. Remember, of course, that we’re doing the best we can to simulate a television show, so try to plan some segment things out with the people you’re working with, or want to work with.
And what about segment length?
The basic template we’re using for matches is 100 words of action equals one minute of real time. This is a pretty good, basic figure for segment length as well. I don’t want to see big long twenty minute backstage segments that are pointless and go nowhere.
Things like that should be reserved for big pivotal moments in feuds and the like. In general, we’re cool with segments that are ten or so minutes long, but once you go past that, you run the risk of turning people off.
Is there any limit to the number of segments I can be in on a show?
Technically speaking, no. You could theoretically be in every single segment of the show if you wanted to, but I’ve got to be honest… if you do that, the feedback will be harsh, and you will be one of those people who really likes oversaturating the shows with your character, and that’s never good.
A good number to SHOOT for, if you’re looking for good exposure without overdoing it, is two to three segments on a show. Three is a stretch for me, but some people make it work. Use discretion.
A source of confusion regarding how we format our segments has been a topic of discussion since the dawn of the SHOOT Project. So, this will be the official “how we format things” sub-section of our little FAQ/Primer.
We have a few different segment settings. In the ring, Backstage, Previously Recorded, and Promotional Video. Most people love using the Backstage one, but some people also get out into the ring and cut promos and the like. We are of course open to other segment settings, but these are the ones that get used the most here, and so here’s how we format them.
Keep in mind that ALL formatting for the shows is done in HTML. This is different from the formatting on the web forums, which is done in BB Code.
Backstage: Nothing really out of the ordinary here. Typical narrative stuff, but what you need to be mindful of, is how you identify/organize the people who speak. As such, we’ve implemented rules for bolding the names of the speaker, to set their name apart from the rest of the text, and make it easier on the eyes.
Ex. Real Deal: If you don’t bold JUST the name in your segments, you didn’t read this part of the FAQ.
In-Ring: Same sort of deal here, except for in-ring segments, you bold the entire spoken line. Quotation marks need not be used for this or any segment unless you desire them, but overall they are not often used. They will not be used whatsoever for the announcers.
Ex. Real Deal: If you bold the entire spoken line, you are a hero among millions.
Previously Recorded: This is kind of a hodge podge of both the in ring and backstage formatting, since if you’re working with something previously recorded, obviously it could be some sort of video on the video wall, or what have you. At that point, your judgment comes into play. If this IS a video wall type thing, then obviously you need to go with bolding the whole spoken line. If it’s some kind of noir-esque segment, you’ll probably want to go with just bolding the speaker name.
Promotional Video: Many of these very rarely have speaking in them, but in the event that they do, go with bolding the entire line. We’re the most loose with our promotional video formatting, since you can get a little creative here, with images, center lines, and the like. Ironically, this is the least used of all of our choices, which is sort of a shame. Promotional videos are a great way to remind the fans and everyone that you’re still around, or a great way to hype a debut.
The seating is handled in a way that is similar to stadium seating in a movie theater. It’s considered a state of the art facility in this way. Plenty of room, plenty of standing room, and the like. It’ll seat between 8000 and 10000 people. Seating is added or taken away based on buys. The seating arrangement is meant to resemble more of a “coliseum” than an “arena.” Everyone who comes to a show should be able to see pretty well, no matter their seat.
The arena has a pretty typical WWE style layout. There’s a video wall that essentially takes up about half of the “back” of the arena, the logo for the show is usually above the structure. The wrestlers come from there, along with all the entrance shenanigans (pyro and such.) There’s a ramp they walk down. The ramp is NOT level to the ring, it is similar to the ramp used by the WWE.
The guardrail situation is the same as WWE’s. Black barricades, as opposed to metal guardrails.
The commentary team has a “pod” that sits out at ringside, sort of like how the WWE does it, but they’re enclosed rather than open. There’s a SHOOT Project banner that basically denotes where they are.
Hope that answers those questions well enough.
In the past, we did the fully detailed, fully formed results thing. I’d imagine that as we explore this newer format, we’ll still stick to that but the focus will definitely be on streamlining things so that we don’t all burn out and this goes up in flames. Regardless, as a handler the most important thing you can do when you’re booked is to submit a strat to your matchwriter whose name will be made available to you as soon as possible.
I’m going to outline some important things that you will need to know to make your matches as good as you possibly can.
A brief note before I go on with the official strat format.
Strats operate a bit differently than segments. You don’t send them to the SHOOTrevolution/SHOOTdominion e-mail. In fact, unless I personally am writing your match, I don’t see them at all. What we do, is we put up a planning thread on the OOC board, where people volunteer to write those matches. When that’s done, it’s asked that you PM your strats to your matchwriter, as opposed to sending an e-mail.
Also, sometimes a writer might post in the planning thread that they only require certain things from you in your strat. In that situation, you may be able to deviate as per their request. Keep in mind, they are there to help make YOU look good, so help them however they need.
Moving on from that, here’s the official strat format.
This will be anything from what you want as your entrance, music, mannerisms, whatever. Typically, this is what you see when someone comes down to the ring, but it’s not limited to that. If you have a special request for something specific (I had Kenshin ask me to have his character wipe his feet on the mat, for example) that can go here too.
This’ll be your wrestler’s basic disposition going into the match. Anything from happy to sad to angry to whatever, you’ll put here. You’ll want to mention how your wrestler is looking at the match, and things like that.
This is your general catch all for how you want your character to handle this match, physically. If your guy is a technical guy, you’d mention what body part he’s going to be focusing on, or things of that nature. Pretty self explanatory.
This should go hand in hand with the in-ring strategy. Something basic like 5-10 moves you want to see your wrestler do, but aren’t terribly upset if you don’t see them. With technical wrestlers, again, it’d be stuff that focuses on the certain body part.
This should be 1-3 actual “spots” you want to see your wrestler do in a given match. This gives the matchwriter something to build towards, and can be anything as simple as a boot to the gut and a spike DDT, or more elaborate like, a great visual (the german suplexes from the Irish Table Dance.)
This is where the optimist in you comes into play. What you’ll do here, is suggest an ending, should your wrestler be the one that comes through with the victory. Like the requested spots, it can be elaborate, or simple. All you’re really trying to do is give your matchwriter something to work towards. You also might consider throwing in an ending, should you lose. It’s been said that losing is ‘easier to swallow’ if you do this.
We love strats in this company. If we don’t get them, it’s a lot more trouble to put together a match. We like it when things are easier, because it makes you as a reader happy, and it makes us as the writer happy. Strats do not have to be really super long or elaborate. Just enough to get your idea across, and if it’s something that requires more thought, most matchwriters will get up with you and ask you.
Most of the people who write matches are familiar with the following information, however should we get some new people writing, it will be important to have this info available.
Time: In the past, we used 100 words = 1 minute of action which I think is still probably a good guideline, but this is going to be somewhat in flux as we iron out the format and structure of the shows. Less is more, essentially.
Announcers: For Revolution and PPVs, we use a two person announce team. They are Eryk Masters, and Other Guy. Each have their own distinct personality and history with the company. They will not require quotation marks and will only have their names bolded, as they are talking to the viewer only, not on a loudspeaker. They are also not going to go on a cursing fit, as keep in mind this is a show and is going to be presented as professionally as possible. With any abnormal usage of any of these NPCs (Non-Player Characters), please request from Josh, Brandon, or Will prior to utilizing them in your segments or roleplays beyond their listed roles.
Note: When we announce new show staff for Dominion, this will be updated to reflect that.
Eryk Masters: Former wrestler, turned announcer, turned backstage interviewer, turned announcer once more. He will be your “straight” commentary man. Or try to be, at least. He wants very badly to keep his job, so he’s going to be the one to keep the team focused on what’s going on, rather than bickering and fighting amongst each other. Since OG is the tweener color commentator, Eryk Masters will err on the side of the faces, but not in a ridiculous way.
Other Guy: He is the tweener color commentator. He is essentially Eryk’s foil. They will bicker occasionally. Other Guy leans towards the tweener side and uses slang, but he does so tastefully. He will pull for anybody, but leans towards the newer and younger talent with the exception of a few Hall of Famers. He is also the one you can insult and joke on the most, as he puts himself out there the most.
Ringside Personnel: Pretty basic. We have a timekeeper and a ringside announcer.
Ringside Announcer: Samantha Coil. Coil is our longtime announcer that introduces any and all talent to the ring. She doesn’t have much in the way of a personality, and she is going to remain at ringside pretty much at all times.
Timekeeper: Mark Kendrick. Kendrick is something of an enigma. Very upbeat, very friendly, and a rather unique and odd individual. His personality doesn’t shine through and he is rarely used, as he is just there to ring the bell.
Referees: We have a team of referees that we cycle through. They are Head Referee Tony Lorenzo, Austin Linam, Willie Dean, Dennis Heflin, and Scott Kamura. We may add more, but their personalities aren’t going to specific or unique, per se. Lorenzo will be the referee for most of the major matches, as is his stature as Head Referee.
Interviewers: Mary Kelly and Abigail Chase. Both have been around SHOOT for a long time now and should for the most part be treated with respect. Disrespecting them is a total heel move.
NOWwrestling – “Tabloid” style wrestling site. Not necessarily the most reliable “news” site, but reports on rumors and offers more “opinion” pieces. Sort of an homage to the 90s sites that would swear ULTIMATE WARRIOR was played by multiple people and tell us THE NEXT BIG NAME to jump ship!! Usually unreliable, but every now and then gets something right.
CACC Weekly – (I think that’s what it is?) Just your run of the mill, wrestling website. Show reviews, injury reports, limited speculation, emphasis on “facts”. if they report it, it’s more than likely, AT LEAST, coming from a reliable source. The TRUE 3rd party.
SP Backstage Pass – A “subscription” service for HARDCORE~! SHOOT Project fans. It’s facilitated by SHOOT, but kind of in the way WWE tried to do with their “news” section for a while. The idea being “if it’s being reported anyway, we may as well do the same to keep traffic on the site”. They’d do more focused stories, blending fact and fiction and catering to SHOOT’s “smart” fans. This would be the place to work on maybe telling your character’s “behind the scenes”, out of the ring/OOC stories.
SHOOT Informant – Purely for the advancement of storylines. Stories that go here should be true and should be used for the advancement of new or in progress stories.
They ALL share the same password: SHOOTproject