Jump to content
Frank Pizzo

Bending Steel Documentary Movie

Recommended Posts

Frank Pizzo

I came across this trailer today and this film looks very engaging from the trailer. If anyone knows anything about the film feel free to post!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anwnate

Pretty much a must see for anyone into bending.

Warning. Those who are not and watch it, may decide to get into bending.

It's a bit Rocky-esque

I had the opportunity to see the film and meet Chris "Wonder"Schoeck and Chris Rider after a screening at Coney Island.

Pretty much got to chat for nearly two hours...opportunity of a lifetime.

Both very free with their time and experiences.

chris nate chris anton bending steel.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bwwm

I was one of the folks that contributed $ for the making of the film. I got an advanced DVD copy of the film, as well as other paraphernalia. It was stylized and dramatized a bit to make it more intriguing for general audiences, but it has some great footage in there of many benders, and strongmen. The movie has been shown at a number of film festivals, but it never garnered the interest of the big movie houses to get a nation-wide release.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anton.Torrella

Yea thats me in the picture with Nate and the two Chrises. Both real nice guys and great benders. The movies great and definately worth a watch. Very motivational! I almost started bending the chair I was sitting on while watching it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anwnate

Yea thats me in the picture with Nate and the two Chrises. Both real nice guys and great benders. The movies great and definately worth a watch. Very motivational! I almost started bending the chair I was sitting on while watching it.

He speaks! Welcome friend.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EJ Livesey

I also met both the Chris' a couple years back where this doc was just a pipe-dream. Chris Rider was very talkative and social. A huge guy. I'm 6'3" at 250lbs and I was in his shadow. I'll post a pic when I get home. I always wondered what happened to this movie. I was looking for it to happen, then lost hope. Anyone know where I can pick up a copy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tommy J.

Nate and EJ, do they know of any of the online bending lists, certs (like FBBC, Ironmind, Wiggys horse shoe list, etc.) and do they seem interested in making a run at them? im interested to see where they stack up against some of the not-so on the tv steel benders. i.e. where that fall in line with many of us.

...not to come off as a pessimist or anything. but if i watch a steel bending vid, i want to see some stuff getting bent that i cant bend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IJames87

Man i have been waiting to get this when it comes to dvd. If it ever does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hubgeezer

Nate and EJ, do they know of any of the online bending lists, certs (like FBBC, Ironmind, Wiggys horse shoe list, etc.) and do they seem interested in making a run at them? im interested to see where they stack up against some of the not-so on the tv steel benders. i.e. where that fall in line with many of us.

...not to come off as a pessimist or anything. but if i watch a steel bending vid, i want to see some stuff getting bent that i cant bend.

Chris Rider is a member of this forum. He has been on the Red Nail list for a while. I have personally seen him bend a horseshoe with his hair, and bend a horseshoe across a guy's throat (the latter being a spontaneous feat inside a hotel lobby with a dozen guys looking on). Some of the things that "old time performers" do are, let's say, a bit unconventional, which is what their world is all about.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tommy J.

thanks Mike for the reply. i did see that Chris has bent a red after i made the post. (also found his vid) i also see he has bent a horse shoe for FBBC's site.

just out of curiosity Mike, do you you know what kind of horse shoe Chris bent across the guys neck?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike Sharkey

Nate and EJ, do they know of any of the online bending lists, certs (like FBBC, Ironmind, Wiggys horse shoe list, etc.) and do they seem interested in making a run at them? im interested to see where they stack up against some of the not-so on the tv steel benders. i.e. where that fall in line with many of us.

...not to come off as a pessimist or anything. but if i watch a steel bending vid, i want to see some stuff getting bent that i cant bend.

Chris Rider is a member of this forum. He has been on the Red Nail list for a while. I have personally seen him bend a horseshoe with his hair, and bend a horseshoe across a guy's throat (the latter being a spontaneous feat inside a hotel lobby with a dozen guys looking on). Some of the things that "old time performers" do are, let's say, a bit unconventional, which is what their world is all about.

Yeah, none of this is quantitative. Speaking as someone who trained for quite a while (years) to make it onto the Red Nail Roster, I can attest to it being the biggest non-feat-of-strength out there. Now that we have figured out the technique, guys like John Manna or Lucas, who are already very strong, can easily cert in 6 months.

Tommy's questions is an extremely valid one. He wants to know where these "legends" and "strongmen" stack up against the men who pursue strength in its purest form. Simply saying they are unconventional doesn't quite cut it. I don't know Chris, and I'm sure he's a great guy, but if you want to claim superhuman strength, you have to be willing to put that up against people who actually know difference in yield strength between a DS5 horseshoe and an AB6.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anwnate

Nate and EJ, do they know of any of the online bending lists, certs (like FBBC, Ironmind, Wiggys horse shoe list, etc.) and do they seem interested in making a run at them? im interested to see where they stack up against some of the not-so on the tv steel benders. i.e. where that fall in line with many of us.

...not to come off as a pessimist or anything. but if i watch a steel bending vid, i want to see some stuff getting bent that i cant bend.

What makes the movie so captivating isn't Schoeck's ability to bend steel that you and I can't, it's his ability to bend the steel he does, with his background, his slight frame...and the journey he takes to get there.

With the exception of Pat (who dominated the lists when it was a new "thing"), you won't find many names.

Most of the time, strongman types avoid such lists.

Basically each strongman type is on his own personal journey and they are not fond of being pigeonholed.

At this point Tommy...if you want to see some stuff bent that you can't bend...you need to meet up with Bergmann. ;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tom Scibelli

Yeah, I agree with Mike. I feel like the "old time strongman" is a lot about the show. At the Arnold this year JT bent a grade 8 bolt DU in a wash rag, you would be hard pressed to find any "old time strongman" that can do this, not saying they're not strong, but the crowd doesn't know how hard a grade 8 is compared to a grade 2. The best steel benders in the world are found on the FBBC site and they use to be found on the BB cert list. Wow, just thinking about it the FBBC list is the only list left, hopefully that site never goes down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hubgeezer

Nate and EJ, do they know of any of the online bending lists, certs (like FBBC, Ironmind, Wiggys horse shoe list, etc.) and do they seem interested in making a run at them? im interested to see where they stack up against some of the not-so on the tv steel benders. i.e. where that fall in line with many of us.

...not to come off as a pessimist or anything. but if i watch a steel bending vid, i want to see some stuff getting bent that i cant bend.

Chris Rider is a member of this forum. He has been on the Red Nail list for a while. I have personally seen him bend a horseshoe with his hair, and bend a horseshoe across a guy's throat (the latter being a spontaneous feat inside a hotel lobby with a dozen guys looking on). Some of the things that "old time performers" do are, let's say, a bit unconventional, which is what their world is all about.

Yeah, none of this is quantitative. Speaking as someone who trained for quite a while (years) to make it onto the Red Nail Roster, I can attest to it being the biggest non-feat-of-strength out there. Now that we have figured out the technique, guys like John Manna or Lucas, who are already very strong, can easily cert in 6 months.

Tommy's questions is an extremely valid one. He wants to know where these "legends" and "strongmen" stack up against the men who pursue strength in its purest form. Simply saying they are unconventional doesn't quite cut it. I don't know Chris, and I'm sure he's a great guy, but if you want to claim superhuman strength, you have to be willing to put that up against people who actually know difference in yield strength between a DS5 horseshoe and an AB6.

I agree with the two posts by anwnate and Tom S. And, I am absolutely saying "they are unconventional" does cut it. I don't really know any other way of explaining it. Is Chris claiming superhuman strength? I don't know that he is doing anything other than saying that he can do things with his hair that no one else in the world does, and quite frankly, I doubt if he is saying that. The need to compare is usually generated by people on the Internet who have their own way of going about doing things. Someone made a movie. The movie is apparently an art piece, I have not seen it.Is the star of the show, "Little Chris", as I will call him, proclaiming anything that would cause someone to call him out? I honestly do not understand the need to compare. Dennis Rogers can't close a 3. Does that make mean his other feats are less impressive? Don't think so.

That being said, here is a link to Mike the Machine Bruce's website, and there is a photo of a horseshoe on his neck. Apparently, this feat has been done more than once, maybe they work together:

https://www.youtube.com/user/machinelandtv

I know that the annual AOBS Dinner may not be everyone's cup of tea. Some time around 2007 or 2008, a growing group of guys that I call "Slim's Disciples" attend. That is my term, no one else's. These guys for the most part are really tight, have maybe a 40 year age range among them, seem to be committed to "Old Time" feats of strength, respect the heck out of Slim, and just sort of "hang out". There are at least a dozen sub cults and groups of enthusiasts that attend, but these guys, most of them living within a few hundred miles of New Jersey, are the most unique blend of all of them. I started going in 2005, and they just seemed to appear a few years after that. They talk and do stuff, and usually perform in a meeting room the afternoon of the banquet. Eventually, guys like Chris Rider end up performing at the banquet itself. I don't know too much about them, some have websites, some aren't on the Internet at all. One guy, Sonny Barry, is pushing 70, but he does not look like it. Honest to God, there is something about the guy that I think if someone were to physically threaten him, I think he would be capable of killing them, no matter who it is. Like a character out of some offbeat movie Yet, an absolute great guy. Saw him set some kind of world record in bottle cap bending. Afterwards, he was very generous showing me how his technique worked.

It's like you have to see this stuff with your own eyes and engage in human contact with them to really appreciate it. Like I said, AOBS is not for everyone, but I think the only way to "get" fellows like Rider is to personally talk with them and observe them. Youtube may be part of their lives, but Slim Farman is part of their spirit.

Tommy, I wouldn't know the difference between a horse shoe and a donkey slipper. I would tell you if I knew, but I don't have a clue, sorry.

I had forgotten about this movie, and want to see it. Stan and I met "Little Chris" in 2010, and he was complaining that he couldn't stand Stan's movie. I tried to explain it as an "Art House" piece. He said "why would anyone want to see something like that?". Stan agreed. Unknown to both Stan and I at the time, filming had already begun on his movie. I don't think it is about feats of strength per se, but is about the journey of a sort of odd man who is trying to be part of something, and finds his home doing it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EJ Livesey

What everyone here is overlooking is, THEY ARE PERFORMERS. They do this so they can feed their family and live comfortably. Dennis Rogers explained it to me like this. Him and Rider do enough to maintain. They are not interested in bending or gripping things that may cause catastrophic injuries. Why risk an injury getting on a list that doesn't pay, when next week they have a gig making thousands. Financially, it's irresponsible. They do however keep up with the bending, grip and strong-man world. They know of the lists and know who the top guys are.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anwnate

What everyone here is overlooking is, THEY ARE PERFORMERS. They do this so they can feed their family and live comfortably. Dennis Rogers explained it to me like this. Him and Rider do enough to maintain. They are not interested in bending or gripping things that may cause catastrophic injuries. Why risk an injury getting on a list that doesn't pay, when next week they have a gig making thousands. Financially, it's irresponsible. They do however keep up with the bending, grip and strong-man world. They know of the lists and know who the top guys are.

As part of everyone...I take umbrage to that. I did not overlook that. ;) However EJ's point is completely correct. They don't even do anywhere near their top range while performing in front of a crowd. It's not good business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike Sharkey

What everyone here is overlooking is, THEY ARE PERFORMERS. They do this so they can feed their family and live comfortably. Dennis Rogers explained it to me like this. Him and Rider do enough to maintain. They are not interested in bending or gripping things that may cause catastrophic injuries. Why risk an injury getting on a list that doesn't pay, when next week they have a gig making thousands. Financially, it's irresponsible. They do however keep up with the bending, grip and strong-man world. They know of the lists and know who the top guys are.

See this makes sense. There's absolutely no equivocation. They do it to earn a living, not for competition.

To say, however, the need to compare is generated by people on the Internet is a little confusing. Men have engaged in competitions of strength and skill since the beginning of time. That's why we have Olympic Lifting, Power Lifting, Strongman, Highland Games, etc. The FBBC lists and the now defunct Steelbender's lists are the closest thing we have to a Tour de France of steelbending, so I think for some of the people at the top of those lists to wonder at the level of people who use that skill professionally is a pretty natural thing. If I saw someone do an amazing hand balancing act at the circus, I might also wonder how they would fare or have fared in a more structured arena of competition such as gymnastics.

Edited by Mike Sharkey
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tommy J.

Thanks everyone for explaining.

I suppose that comparing what those guys do to what we do is a bit like comparing WSM to pro powerlifting in a sense.. While the WSM guys are busy lifting nominal weight for a crowd, and getting paid to do it, the powerlifters are strictly judged and overlooked while they lift the real weight, and do not get paid to do so.

Mike, the "looking like a killer" comment struck me as a bit odd. I cant say i have ever looked at someone and "thought" they were a killer. ..but i CAN say i have looked into the eyes of ACTUAL killers quite a few times.. Some of them maybe only 18 or 19 years old to boot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tommy J.

What everyone here is overlooking is, THEY ARE PERFORMERS. They do this so they can feed their family and live comfortably. Dennis Rogers explained it to me like this. Him and Rider do enough to maintain. They are not interested in bending or gripping things that may cause catastrophic injuries. Why risk an injury getting on a list that doesn't pay, when next week they have a gig making thousands. Financially, it's irresponsible. They do however keep up with the bending, grip and strong-man world. They know of the lists and know who the top guys are.

good post shark. In so many words, this is exactly how i feel. I just couldnt quite find the words. Lol

Thank you.

See this makes sense. There's absolutely no equivocation. They do it to earn a living, not for competition.

To say, however, the need to compare is generated by people on the Internet is a little confusing. Men have engaged in competitions of strength and skill since the beginning of time. That's why we have Olympic Lifting, Power Lifting, Strongman, Highland Games, etc. The FBBC lists and the now defunct Steelbender's lists are the closest thing we have to a Tour de France of steelbending, so I think for some of the people at the top of those lists to wonder at the level of people who use that skill professionally is a pretty natural thing. If I saw someone do an amazing hand balancing act at the circus, I might also wonder how they would fare or have fared in a more structured arena of competition such as gymnastics.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tommy J.

I dont know what happened to the post i just quoted, but somehow my response is directly in the middle of if..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike Sharkey

I dont know what happened to the post i just quoted, but somehow my response is directly in the middle of if..

The editor is being difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hubgeezer

I guess I like this thread because usually guys line up and start arguing about their way of thinking is better than others. Seems like everyone's working hard to figure out what makes the others tick, which is not something you see a lot of, anywhere!

Just yesterday I had to restrain myself from asking a niece 30 plus years my junior ago a question: "What is your best 10K?" She had run a marathon 6 weeks ago, something I have never done and never will and ought to simply be proud of her. Yet, I too, inside me, needed to ask her "What was your best 10K?", and glad I didn't. That is probably what prompted my "need to compare" comment, having just almost done it yesterday myself. Yeah, I agree that competition is part of the fabric of being human, especially a man, and not limited to the Internet. And my "killer" remarks on Sonny...I suppose I wanted to point out that some of these guys are just really intense and extreme (including Mike the Machine) that something about them is an "X Factor" that you have to see in person to truly experience. Traveling 1000 miles to chat with someone informally may sound crazy, but I still recommend it for the hard core.

I think the "movie" is about a guy overcoming things to reach a goal, and the audience, not just a "strength" audience, gets it. But, have not seen it yet, so can't say. Someone say something if it ever gets to DVD or Netflix stage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bwwm
I think the "movie" is about a guy overcoming things to reach a goal, and the audience, not just a "strength" audience, gets it. But, have not seen it yet, so can't say.

That's exactly how the movie is. It's a documentary of Chris's personal struggle to brace bend the next sized bar on his progression, but more importantly, it shows him coming to grips with doing strongman performances professionally. Things like what his family thinks, working the crowd, showmanship, etc. are all dealt with in the film. It also talks about the Mighty Atom, has a great segment where Chris visits with Slim, and also shows Chris visiting with other strongmen/benders/etc. The movie has a nice nostalgic feel to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3Crusher

There are not many guys making a living as performing strongmen. To the best of my knowledge, Dennis Rogers is probably the only one. He is a very strong man who has done some very impressive things. He certainly does not perform at his absolute limit during his shows. The venue and the type of audience may also have a great impact on what a performing strongman will do in a show. Performing well in front of a crowd is way harder than it looks. If you take two or three minutes to wrap up a bar or horseshoe before you bend it, you will lose your audience before you even start your bend, no matter how impressive the bend may be. If you are doing multiple shows in a day, you may have to preserve yourself as well as dial it down a bit to stave off potential injury.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to be in Bending Steel and I had a blast performiong at the Coney Island show back in August of 2011, part of which was used for the final parts of the movie. Were the feats that I performed at the top of my capabilities? No they were not, but they were not easy either.

The only times that I ever felt like I had to "let it all go" was when I was lucky enough to be asked to perform at the AOBS dinner in 2004 and 2012. Some of the feats that I did were risky and I have only performed them at the AOBS dinner. Here is an example of one of my own feats of strength that I dubbed the Frankenstein Farmer's Walk. This was done with 250 pounds in each hand and with 200 pounds hanging from my head. It was not the heaviest I have ever done, but for a good show, you must project complete mastery of your performance. Enjoy.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tim71

Chris Rider was on here back when I was coming up through the braced bending ranks. His name was cjsta I believe and if you look back through my gallery, you can see some of his posts.

He and I were good online pals at one time but once he got in with Dennis Rogers, he just kinda disappeared from here. We both tackled a lot of the same stuff and he always pushed me. He sent me my first 3/4 by 7/8 inch craftsman wrench because none of the top strongmen were bending those, they stopped at the popular 5/8 inch bend that they all do. He sent it with the message of "good luck my friend, nobody has done one". I bent it or broke it actually, and that was one of my proudest bends. Some time later he did finally bend that wrench. He or at least he was a great braced bender and was really good on the horse shoes.

Never met the other Chris.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×