It’s a pretty good day when you get new tricks from Jason Lee and big smiles from Stephen Fuentes. What more could you possibly want?
Search Results for: Jason Lee
Jason Lee, arguably one of the greatest natural yoyo players who has ever lived, brings us more footage from his travels in Afghanistan. This video is absolutely beautiful, and I can’t thank Jason and Jeffrey Pang enough for bringing it to us.
Yoyo legend and former National Champion Jason Lee took to the stage at the recent Bill Liebowitz Classic contest in Los Angeles and reminded us all of two things:
1. Jason Lee is NSFW.
2. We will never be as creative as Jason Lee.
Jason Lee continues his adventures around the world! This short stop has Jason traveling through Tajikistan.
To explore past journeys with Jason, also check out his previous videos here:
To keep up with Jason, follow him on Instagram and YoYoNews.
Jason is throwing with Kitty String and is sponsored by YoYoFactory.
The song is Do You Remember by Ane Brun.
YoYoFactory is releasing a brand new version of their immensely popular new metal yoyo, the Shutter; and this one is just for Jason Lee. Here’s the info from YoYoFactory…no word on release date but looks like they should be hitting retailers soon! Expect these to retail for around $60 USD.
This is an extremely limited production item that will remain collectible for years to come. Taking influence from Jason’s other main hobby, photography, the Jason Lee Shutter comes designed similarly to Jason’s camera.
This limited edition features:
- All black anodizing
- Custom laser engravings on both sides
- Jason’s signature lasered on the yo-yo
- SPEC bearing stock installed
- Spare CTX bearing in the box
- Exclusive YoYoFactory branded lens cleaner
Less than 100 pieces of this amazing, one-time only special edition have been produced
Minor language warning.
Vimeo version found here.
Jason Lee extends his travels around the world, this time heading to Kyrgyzstan.
See the previous videos here:
Everyone’s favorite wanderer Jason Lee checks in with a cool bind for Terra YoYo Tutorials. We miss you, Jason!
He’s got some more tricks coming soon to 365yoyotricks.com, so keep an eye out for those.
Jason Lee is known for quite a few things in life… some of which we can mention here. US National Champion. Trick Innovator. Veteran. Yo-Yo Demonstrator. Photographer… and World Traveler. In the past few years Jason has been on many adventures, in many parts of the world. He’s beautifully documented his experiences in photography and descriptions on Facebook. From the Great Pyramids to the Eiffel Tower, Red Square to the markets of Vietnam and probably every country that ends in -stan. Through all his travels, he’s always carried a yo-yo. He has literally been around the world with it, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Check out this rare glimpse into his travels as Jason shows some tricks and answers some questions in the middle of the desert in China.
Jason Lee and Ann Connolly are two incredible YoYoFactory players that are traveling to far-away places and performing amazing tricks. This video showcases their trip across Cambodia and Thailand at the end of 2012. Although they have since parted ways, we hope that both of them will continue to chronicle their journeys across the world and continue to create new tricks and inspire new players across the globe.
Ernest Kahn gives us another tutorial for a beautifully smoothed-out original trick. If anyone has ever been close to hitting Jason Lee-level smoothness, it’s Ernest.
Yoyo used is the CLYW Igloo.
David Ung is kind of a genius when it comes to making up yoyo tricks and putting together great clip videos. For a while now, David’s been sharing his innovative tricks with the community and making a name for himself as an extremely creative yoyoer with a lot of talent. Sponsored by YoYoFactory, David recently released his new video, “Daydream” and is without a doubt maintaining his reputation as a force to reckoned with in regards to trick creation. His short, subtle tricks are amazing, and he is along the same lines of great, modern trick-creators like Adam Brewster and Guy Wright. I was really excited to interview David, and we talked tricks, his videos, and more! Enjoy!
David, you’re one of my favorite yoyoers and are, in my opinion, a master at coming up with super creative tricks. When did you first pick up a yoyo?
Thanks for the kind words, Matt! I think my story with yo-yos is pretty similar to most people’s my age. When there was the huge yo-yo boom in the late 1990s, I learned to throw a sleeper on a cheap transaxle yo-yo and that was pretty much the extent of my tricks. Then in middle school (around 2005), I saw a FAST 201 commercial on TV and thought it looked super cool. A friend of mine bought one at the store and started to learn, so I did some research online and came across JD’s Worlds 2003 freestyle. It blew my mind and I was hooked. I bought a Kickside shortly after (which I then broke–long story).
I remember those commercials! So, I’m guessing you learned most of your tricks back then online?
Yup! I learned most of my fundamentals from André’s old website, Mastermagic. I think I got stuck on the more advanced tricks (ie: Black Hops, Spirit Bomb, Superman, etc) so I started to watch clip videos and tried to come up with my own stuff.
Aside from JD’s stuff, what were some of your other favorite tricks and influences when you first started?
As a beginner, I really tried to absorb anything I could, so there is a lot of influence from pretty much all of the big names. I would probably say that Spencer Berry and Jason Lee were the biggest influences in my early style, you can see this in my older videos “Visage”, “Incidental”, and “To and Fro”. Actually, if you watch Spencer/Jason’s video “The Fidget” and watch my videos “Incidental” and “Broke,” you’ll see that my videos were actually a bit of a tribute. I think my yo-yoing is mainly focused on doing subtle moves rather than constructing whole tricks (which is why I started filming short moves on Instagram–which I think lead to #trickcircle), so I find a lot of inspiration from pretty much everyone.
I love a lot of your older videos, when I started making my own tricks they definitely inspired me because they seemed like something that I would come up with. As I went on though, my tricks kind of branched out into something more unique to me. I definitely see the Jason/Spencer influence! What was your method to making up your own stuff then?
Back then, I was a big proponent of learning on a responsive yo-yo to get proficient at yo-yo control. After I had a solid foundation (smooth yo-yo control + tricks like White Buddha, Skin the Gerbil, etc) I just sort of stumbled on things. I spent a LOT of time watching yo-yo videos back then, so sometimes I would see a trick and then think of my own variation and sort of keep it in the back of my mind until I had a chance to try it out.
That’s definitely a good method, it worked well because a lot of your older (and newer!) tricks are really good. How did you end up getting sponsored by YoYoFactory?
Ben used to run the “Project Red Alert” blog back in G5/GM2/888 era which was basically the YYF blog that had all of the info on new releases. He posted my video “Visage” and I was super excited about it. It was a really big deal for me at the time, so I sent him an email just saying thanks. He responded saying how he really enjoyed the video and he mentioned wanting to sponsor/support me somehow, but I wasn’t quite at the Contest Team level. After a couple of emails, he asked me if I would be interested in joining a YoYoFactory Junior Team if they started one. I said yes, and that’s how the Junior Team was started. We then had video “auditions” and ended up adding Paul Kerbel, Patrick Borgerding, John Chow, and Yuji Kelly to the team. Looking back, it was a really impressive line up.
That is an impressive line-up, that’s awesome! One of my favorite videos of yours is “Broke”, which is a straight up trick video that’s over 4 minutes long. How long does it take you to compile enough tricks for a video like that?
“Broke” is a good one, I was always a big fan of those pure trick videos. Four minutes of new tricks sounds impressive at first, but I think it’s important to note that it was released three years after my last video at the time, which was “Your Future’s With Us” (I’m not counting “Edit,” which was just a quick clip).
What do you do to stay creative?
I don’t really do anything in particular to stay creative, I have periods of highs and lows. Being invited to Steve’s 365 Yo-Yo Tricks project with Ed, Drew, Nate, and Guy (+ guests!) was a big help, though. That year was really good for me. Actually, a lot of the tricks in “Daydream” have moves that directly came from that project.
That’s true, I’m not sure if I could come up with that much great stuff even in 3 years. For those that can’t tell yet, you make a lot of good clip videos. Do you have any creative inspiration behind those? You have a good variety with your videos too which I like.
In high school I got really interested in film making after talking to Miggy and Spencer a lot. “PATH to Agartha” is a tribute to Miggy’s “Tunnels” video, while “Incidental” and “Broke” are a tribute to Spencer’s “The Fidget.” I also remember talking to Bergy about making yo-yo videos that are tributes to the music video of the song. I think he wanted to do a video to Lisztomania by Phoenix. I thought that was such a neat idea and was really into Tokyo Police Club at the time, so I tried to make “Your Future’s With Us” a tribute to the music video for “Your English Is Good.” I thought it did a great job of capturing the feeling of a bunch of friends relaxing and hanging out.
“Daydream” was made as a goodbye video to LA. I was born and raised in LA and I’m moving to Seattle soon, so I wanted to celebrate my time in the city with a video that incorporated beautiful LA scenery with a nostalgic vibe. I like to think that the most important thing in a yo-yo video is the quality of the tricks, but I try very hard to incorporate a theme to give my videos an extra oomph. That’s partly because I’m not a very competitive yo-yoer, so a lot of my presence in the community is through my videos.
So, what were the ideas and process behind your new video, “Daydream?”
“Your Future’s With Us” was my favorite video I’ve ever made. It was my first time shooting in HD video, I filmed it with the help of my friends, and I learned how to use some video editing software for it too. It had good vibes, music, and color. For years I wanted to make a sequel to it, but I felt a ton of pressure (mostly from myself). If I went through the work of making a sequel, I wanted it to be better.
It had to stay true to theme of “Your Future’s With Us,” it had to have better tricks, and it needed to feature some of my favorite places in Los Angeles.I have tried filming for a sequel for a couple of years now, and I’ve always scrapped the footage because the shots weren’t good enough, or the tricks weren’t good enough, or I couldn’t find the right music. But in late December 2013, I learned that I was accepted to the University of Washington for a graduate school program in Chemistry and I decided that I wanted to get a video out before I moved. I decided I wanted to use the song “40 Day Dream” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and I wanted it to be a goodbye video to the city I grew up in, Los Angeles. So I gathered up some friends, and we did a ton of filming in January 2014. I had just gotten a new camera (Canon Rebel T3i) and was learning how to use it. I had 32+ gigs of footage and I ended up sitting on it for the months because school started again and I was really busy. I eventually went back to look at the footage and scrapped almost all of it–it just didn’t look good. I was still learning how to use the camera at the time, and I wasn’t satisfied with the results.
I moved back to LA in June and I rounded up my friends again to do some more filming. We filmed a ton in the peak of the summer and it was HOT! Unfortunately, I wanted to keep my look consistent between the footage in January and now, so I wore my oxford shirt and long pants for continuity. Eventually we finished filming and I sat down to edit it. I went back and forth editing for about a week. The hardest part was getting the colors right, I ended up having to try a couple of different programs to get the color to look the way I wanted it to. There was a lot to do and learn, but I think it all paid off at the end. “Daydream” is a tribute to the city I grew up in, the people I’ve met, and the memories I’ve made. It sounds a little serious for a yo-yo video, but I love LA and all of my friends I’ve made, and I’m going to miss them a lot.
That’s so cool, the whole experience definitely paid off. I think yoyo videos with that kind of thought put into them are the ones that turn out the best. It was so nice to see fresh tricks and a fresh, great video from you! Nice work! I personally think that impressive tricks in impressive clip videos are just as impressive as impressive contests freestyles.
Have you ever thought of having your own signature yoyo? As much as I love competition-ready throws, I also like yoyos that have more of a laid back, steady feel to them which I could see a signature throw of your’s having.
Thanks Matt. I appreciate it! It’s funny, I think I’m actually one of the guys that have been on the YYF team for the longest and doesn’t have a signature yo-yo. I don’t really mind, though, my yo-yo preferences change pretty rapidly. There are days where I’ll want something solid like a Superstar, or something plastic like a Northstar, or something lighter like a Shutter. Maybe a signature colorway or something would be nice. We’ll see!
You’re welcome! My preferences change a lot too, so I know what you mean. I would really have to generalize everything I like best into one yoyo if I ever had my own signature throw. I’ve noticed in “Broke” that a ton of your tricks start with a simple trapeze and all transcend into something different. Do you have any favorite elements or mounts to work with, like the trapeze?
The start/end in trapeze was actually my shoutout to “The Fidget.” Each one of Jason’s tricks ends in a trapeze in that video, and I thought it was a neat way to add a recurring theme into a video. As far as favorite elements go, I really like Magic Drops.
Oh yeah, I never thought about that. You definitely have some of my favorite magic drop tricks. It’s cool how you were inspired by other yoyoers, and made the inspiration into your own thing. What kind of advantages do you think making shorter tricks has as opposed to making longer ones?
I’m not sure if it has any advantages/disadvantages… it’s just an individual style thing. Some people can come up with really long, cohesive tricks (ie: Yuuki, Zach, Ando)… but I can’t. I don’t think I have the trick vocabulary to make really dense, long tricks like those guys do. On the other hand, I can still come up with neat moves and put them in short, < 15 second, tricks. I think Drew (Tetz) and I are really similar in that regard. Short tricks por vida.
I don’t think longer tricks are “better,” but I do think that the players that can create long tricks have an incredibly impressive trick vocabulary and consistency. But I pride myself in making neat, subtle moves in my yo-yoing.
I never thought about that comparison between you and Drew, but that’s totally right. I definitely like your mindset when it comes to making tricks. What advice would you give anyone trying to make their own stuff?
Learn the trick history. There is a ton of gold that people were working on in the old-mid school era when the technology wasn’t as good. A lot of those ideas deserve a second look. Also, style is just as important as originality. If you’re having a hard time coming up with something new, work on being able to perform a trick in a specific way or with a specific look.
I totally agree with all of that! There really is a goldmine of elements from back in the day, and I also think that being able to do things stylishly is important too. Lastly, what can we expect to see from you in the future? Do you have anything yoyo-related planned for when you get to Seattle?
I’m not too sure! I’ll probably do more #trickcircle stuff, but I am pretty much tapped out on new content. I’d love to make a sequel to “Broke” or “Daydream.” I want to try to get Sterling back into yo-yos (maybe film a video!) and I’m hoping to compete at PNWR next year and to do well.
That sounds like a great plan, good luck David! Thanks for doing this!
No problem, Matt. Thanks for having me!
Adam Brewster is undoubtedly one of the most creative and influential yoyo players of the modern age. Alongside a laundry list of great tricks that he’s created, Adam Brewster can also boast a vast amount of videos that he has appeared in or created as a collaborative effort with his wife. In addition to winning several contests, Adam continues to be a very unique and stylish yoyoer that belongs on everyone’s list of favorites. I’ve had Adam in mind for an interview for quite a while, and was excited to talk to and learn more about him!
Adam, you’ve been a relevant name in yoyoing ever since I started throwing and actually much longer than that. How did you first get into yoyoing?
I was actually just thinking about this the other day, and there are two answers.
The first, is that I have been playing with yoyos, just doing gravity pulls and basic sleepers since I was about 8 years old (20 years ago, holy moly!)
But then, I really got into it around May of 2002 when my family moved from Australia back to the US. I found Yomega’s website, which at the time had was what’s probably best described as an early precursor to YoYoExpert’s trick list. It had Brett Outchcunis and Mark Montgomery doing tricks ranging from basics, to advanced, and then bronze, silver, and gold for the highest levels.
I got my first ball bearing yoyo around then and spammed the web boards looking for tips to learn all the tricks I could get my hands on
How would you describe yoyoing then?
It was a kind of strange time. The gigantic explosion in trick creativity from ’00 & ’01 was done. (Although people like Yuuki Spencer and Johnnie DelValle were still pushing the envelope quite a bit) Fh1s weren’t for sale anywhere so people went from having really good 1A yoyos easily available, to having to settle for something not-quite-as-good (or modding what they had), and I think unless you were in a city that had a decent pocket of yoyo players around you, the best you could do was tinker with the tricks on Sector-Y that were already a year or two old and try and come up with some kind of variation. Since I was in Oklahoma City with the closest players being 3 hours away in Dallas, I just spent hours and hours soaking up/learning all I could.
Wow, so that would be the period between when the Fh1 mold broke and it was discontinued and when the FHZ was released in 2004?
Yeah! That was exactly that period! Haha.
What were some of your favorite tricks early on?
Early on, tricks and trick creators were indelibly linked and any time I liked one person’s tricks, I liked them all.
Jason Lee, Spencer Berry, SAGE, and Paul Escolar WERE my trick influences back then.
Red Clover was probably the biggest non-Spencer trick to influence me… But I remember specifically bugging Spencer Berry more via AOL instant messenger about tricks than anyone else back then. Breath, Rancid Milk/Curdled Mayo, Cataclysm and Enigma were all watershed tricks for me.
I also had an annoying enough personality that since I always felt like I missed out on the trick hey-day of 2000-2001, I bugged people ALL the time to figure out if that ‘crazy new thing’ I tried was actually new or if Steve Brown and Chris Neff did it back in ’99… Haha.
All of the tricks that you mentioned are some of my favorites that I’ve discovered from the era, a lot of them are actually kind of crazy even by today’s standards.
Yeah! It still amazes me how some of those tricks came out so polished and clean from what were essentially very unrefined concepts.
So, back then you were heavily influenced by those tricks when creating your own tricks?
I think back then, as now, I really just played around with things. Taking the time to go, “now I know I’m supposed to ‘x’ but let’s see what happens if I do ‘y’.” Plus a lot of accidental discoveries.
Oh, and I always hated Green Triangles. Everyone kept ending tricks in GTs (’04-’07 was notably bad) so I never let myself finish a trick that landed in a GT, until I figured out a way to make it NOT land in a GT. I do a few nowadays, as I don’t see the need to feel animosity for any trick… but vestigially, you’ll see them few and far between with me.
Oh! And additionally, I always liked the idea of playing around with concepts in reverse. I’m still chasing after a ‘Magic Rise’ so I can go from Trapeze to Magic Rise to Magic Drop, over and over seamlessly.
So, at what period would you say you started to develop your own style? One of my favorite clip videos from you is your “Bend and Fold” video in which you threw a responsive FHZ and features a lot of your folds/gates style.
It was actually a Fh2, not that it matters! Haha.
I started to do a couple of things specifically:
#1. I wanted to go back to the most basic of tricks and see if there were elements there that had been missed out on. I figured, if grinds are basically a glorified, “Walk the Dog” what other fundamentals could be applied with a new viewpoint? (i.e. Rock the Baby/Elevator)
#2. I played a lot with posturing. I still think this is the key to just about any trick that looks good. There’s this old video from ’07 called Back and Forth- Fun in 3D where I played with moving the mount itself instead of moving the yoyo around (for the most part), and after that, I started to realize that a lot of how a trick looks is all in how your hands are held, and it wasn’t just “hitting the mount.” I think the best take on this I’ve seen since then, is Jason Lee’s “Wiggly Thing” where the yoyo is locked into the mount, and the whole difficulty of the trick is in how everything else is moved around to make the trick look good.
So, how did all of this transpire into you becoming sponsored by Caribou Lodge?
I guess there are a few ways to answer that…on one hand, 2008 was a pretty good year for me!
I won my first contest (SER 2008), I came up with a lot of my favorite tricks (most everything from Eleven still contains concepts is like to re-explore – too bad it’s hard to see anything haha), got 2nd in prelims at BAC, and even got to go out for Nationals. I also got to be in a lot of videos like Brandon’s Throw 2008 DVD, and I think the biggest factor though was that I had started to become good friends with Chris, and Boyd had been trying to convince him to give me a chance for quite a while.
I think all those things came together, and while on a trip to visit my family with my then fiancée, (now wife) and on Christmas Eve, I got a call from Chris asking if I wanted to join! It was the best gift I got that year!
You appeared in Save Deth Volume II with a pretty great part that kicks off the video, what was the process in filming for that like?
It was a lot of fun! I was living with Seth Peterson at the time, so I kind of had an ‘in’. Haha. Anyway, one day he and Dave scheduled it, we went downtown to Des Moines and shot it! Good times!
What would you say the biggest difference, if any, being a leftie makes in yoyoing? I’m left handed too and I always refer to my hands in tricks as my throw and non-throw hands as opposed to my right and left hands to avoid confusion.
Hey! A fellow southpaw! Alright! For me, being a lefty was weird at first, but when I clued in that I could treat just about every video like a mirror, it opened up a world of trick learning! Now I love it!
Yep, the “mirror” thing with tricks is what I’ve always done too, I don’t even realize I’m doing it anymore half the time. Despite being married and in the scene for so long, you still put out clip videos and new tricks on a pretty consistent basis. If you had to pick, what’s your favorite clip video that you’ve ever made?
All in all… it’s a tough call. Honestly, a lot of my videos aren’t that “good” as far as production quality, since I’ve always been more interested in just documenting the tricks (thank God for Instagram).
As far as videos for the sake of videos go, I’d have to say that I’m honestly partial to Pacific Bonfire, and Greetings from Lake Superior at the moment, just because the locations were so beautiful.
There’s also a Gnarwhal 2 promo vid I shot a couple of months ago that we’re keeping a tight lid on for now, but when the time’s right, we’ll release it and I had a ton of fun with that one.
I also feel like I need to mention this fun video that my buddy Bo-Jack made for me. Never really got the exposure I was hoping it would’ve, but there are a ton of tricks that I really enjoy in it.
So how’s that for a clear & concise answer? Haha.
To touch on something else that I’ve always been curious about, what’s the story behind the name of Spencer Berry’s combo, “Adam Brewster Won”? That’s a good combo that takes some getting used to due to the lack of hand movement.
Yeah, so ECC 2008 was my first time meeting Spencer Berry face-to-face, and even though we’d been long-time internet friends, we really hit it off in person. Well, I also practiced my ass off for that contest and got 3rd place, and was kinda bummed out, but Spencer said that I won in his heart, so he named that combo to cheer me up.
Ah, that’s awesome! Speaking of which, one of my favorite tricks of yours is Eureka, which is your answer to Spencer’s Enigma. I know this is probably impossible to answer, but if you had to pick what would your favorite trick that you’ve invented be?
Haha oh man… can I default to the always-lame answer of “whatever I’m working on at the moment?” Haha.
If I think about it, I’ve always like Shadowgraphs and Deep Dungeon, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t toot my horn also for, Gunshots, Tether, Tie Me Up! Untie Me!, and Elevators too.
Tether would have to be on my list of favorite tricks ever, that’s a cool one!
What would your advice be for any aspiring trick creator?
As far as advice, I’d say the 2nd best thing to do is learn a lot. The more of a library you have to reference and draw from, the more likely you’ll see or understand something in a new way.
The best thing I can say is to just try to be open to being creative. Creativity is in how you talk to people, in making sure you take the time to read good books that challenge you, or listening to music that inspires you, or even the food you eat and how you work your day job (or schoolwork). I say it over and over again, but I believe it wholeheartedly.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Hmm… well, I was just at Triple Crown this past weekend and then there’s the Iowa State contest which will be sometime in September, but after that, things will wind down for me for a little bit ’til contest season starts up again next year. So maybe another video or two? (I hope so!) Thanks so much for the opportunity Matt, I really appreciate it! 🙂