Q&A: Filmmaker Erik Angra Talks State Of Chyna Documentary (Part 1)

The documentary filmmaker talks about the current state of the film.
Documentary filmmaker Erik Angra (left), poses with Chyna,
Documentary filmmaker Erik Angra (left), poses with Chyna, "Brady Bunch" star Barry Williams, and producer Rob Potylo. (Credit: Erik Angra's Facebook)

Documentary filmmaker Erik Angra spoke with Wrestledelphia’s Mark Whited about the future of “The Reconstruction of Chyna” documentary. In part one of their Q&A, Angra talks about where his team is at with the film and what voices he hopes to add.

Among those voices are Triple H and The Rock. Angra recently reached out to the two on Twitter:

Angra’s work has appeared on the Discovery Channel, HBO, PBS, VICE, BBC, and more. He is an award-winning director, cinematographer, and film editor.In 2014, Angra won an Emmy for Outstanding Editing in a Non-Fiction Program (“The Folklorist”).

Visit his website, erikangra.com, and follow him on Twitter for updates on the upcoming film.

Mark Whited: What’s the current state of the upcoming film?

Erik Angra: “The documentary has pretty much completed production. We’ve got a few more interviews left to do. I really wanted to get some interviews with Mick Foley and some other people who knew her during her wrestling career, and possibly someone from the WWE. But it won’t be to start any beef or anything. I know the fans have a lot of opinions, but as a documentarian, I am staying objective and I just want to talk about her life and what she did in her career.”

MW: Has anyone reached and agreed to be part of the footage since Chyna’s passing?

EA: “There have been some people that we have lined up. No one from my recent tweet or WWE—nothing from Hunter or possibly Vince [McMahon]—but we did get some interviews with people who knew her. I can’t really say who we have involved. That’ll come out when the documentary does and in the trailer.”

MW: I know you’ve already mentioned that the documentary was in its final stages, but were there any sites or places that you, Chyna, and the rest of the team planned to go that you cannot now due to her passing?

EA: “No, I think I got everything in terms of the documentary that I wanted with her. I’m not sure that’s how she felt, but I know we covered a lot of her life. A lot of it was already in the public eye. I only knew her for this past year, but her life was very long and she had a very interesting career. So there is a lot out there already with interviews she has done, knowledge of where she has been. So I wasn’t too concerned with having a very lengthy sit down.

I will say that we had a lot of talks about going to India. She was always very interested in that country and the people there were big fans of her. On a personal note, and not even for the documentary, I wanted to travel there with her and bring Rob [Potylo] and the rest of the team. I think that would have been a great experience for us. But in terms of the documentary, we have much of what we need.”

MW: In your recent tweet, you reach out to The Rock, Triple H, and the WWE regarding an interview. What about those three voices are so important to the film?

EA: “Just talking to Chyna made it obvious that Triple H was an important part of her life. He brought her into wrestling, more or less, and helped her become a star. People don’t do these things on their own and Chyna was an amazing female and broke barriers, but she didn’t do it alone. People gave her chances, especially at the WWE. I would love to hear what it was like when she was there, what they thought of her, and get their side of the story about someone who was able to break those barriers.

When it comes to Dwayne [The Rock], I heard from her that she knew him well when he was starting out as a wrestler. She may have even given him some advice, I’m not sure, but I’d love to hear from him and get his take on her at that time.

I just want to know their viewpoints and I think it’s important that we capture that period of time, because that’s her heyday. Those people are the ones who could really tell us what happened in terms of her day-to-day routine and what it was like and the challenges they saw her overcome.”

Chyna being filmed for

Chyna being filmed for “The Reconstruction of Chyna” documentary (Credit: Erik Angra’s Facebook)

MW: Having known her for the past year, what do you think her reaction would have been to the kind words sent out by colleagues and fans in the wake of her passing?

EA: “I think she would have loved it. She loved it when she was alive and the fans were talking about her. In regards to the WWE, there may have been some issues contractually or otherwise, but she always talked about wanting to make amends and that the people there were her ‘brothers and sisters.’ She always said that about them. These were the people she came up with and she missed them. Almost like her real family in a way.

I do know that, during her life, she’d read comments that people and fans would leave. She was a human being like all of us, and at times, she was hurt by what she read online, and at other times, the comments would leave her very happy and glad that she was able to help others.”

Check back tomorrow for part two of our Q&A with documentary filmmaker Erik Angra. In part two, Angra talks about misconceptions regarding Chyna and her passing, how her death effected him and his team, and what fans can expect from the film.

Mark Whited
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Mark Whited

Founder / Editor-In-Chief at Wrestledelphia.com
An avid writer and fan of wrestling since he was eight years old, Mark Whited founded Wrestledelphia.com in May 2014. While hoping to one day step foot in a wrestling ring, he also writes for a number of outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mark Whited
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  • Q&A: Filmmaker Erik Angra Talks State Of Chyna Documentary (Part 2) | Wrestledelphia
    30 April 2016 at 9:25 PM
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    […] Mark Whited about the future of “The Reconstruction of Chyna” documentary. In part one of their Q&A, Angra talked about where his team is at with the film and what voices he hopes to […]

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