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Discussion in 'The Sesh' started by Sbermea22, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Sbermea22

    Sbermea22 Member

    Oct 31, 2016
    -First off thank you for doing this. I'm pretty excited to be starting this up on Downspike.

    -Damon: Yea of course I mean I love how well put together Downspike is opposed to FKC, and I feel like it needs something like this, a series of some well done projects like this.

    -What does the title of the edit, What an Honor to be Mediocre, mean to you?

    -Damon: So over the past little while I've gone through my ups and downs with kendama. I mean I've recently left Roots, and it was different for me because I had to rewire my brain into thinking “I'm not sponsored” and it made me realized that you don't have to be sponsored to play kendama. Which is a bunch of kids’ mentality nowadays, and they think you have to get sponsored and they have on their bios “looking to be sponsored” “sponsor me if you can” and you know getting sponsored isn't what's important about playing kendama. Loving kendama and playing is what's important. You don't have to be sponsored to play and be really good. I needed to prove that even though you're not sponsored, you're not with a company, you're not repping, anyone can play and do their best without trying to impress anyone.

    -I getcha, so what lead to the decision to leave Roots.

    -Damon: it was just a bunch of stuff, some miscommunication, just some differences I had with the owners and whatnot, and recent team changes. And plus I had been with them for over 2 years and I just think it was time for change.

    -Yea I getcha 100% on that, well this edit is anything but mediocre, how much time did it take with filming and editing.

    -Damon: well, thank you by the way, I started, well I got the idea when I recently switched jobs and I got the idea when I got my new job because I had a lot of time to think and plan stuff out so I just had the idea in mind that I wanted to film an edit and I hit up my friend Sam Allgood, he's one of my buddies up here that helps me with the Tuesday jams. I've always known him for his photography skills and all that and he's always down to film whenever so I just hit him up and asked “hey do you wanna make an edit” and he was like sure. So I think that Tuesday, we got to filming and we started filming some of the first tricks and whatnot and then I realized that I had an idea in mind. I knew the song I wanted to use, like the vibe, but I had absolutely no idea how to edit. Cause I mean I've never worked on anything like this before so I downloaded Premier Pro and After Effects and while I was at work I had to teach myself those programs in the same time frame, like while filming. So by the time I got everything done I'd know my way around those programs pretty well, I just went to work. I think it was almost even on both parts, filming was about a month and a half to two months and the editing took about a month. So all and all about three months combined of constant work

    -Damn dude that's crazy that you actually took the time to learn editing because I'm in the same boat as you I'm decent at filming but I have no idea how to edit, luckily I have a couple of homies who are very good at it but I haven't even tried to dabble into learning how to do it.

    -Damon: yea it was just kind of a thing, because I had it, I mean I draw I'm and artist as well whenever I draw something or I see someone else draw some art I look at it, or I see something that inspires me it immediately goes into my mind what I need to do to convey what I felt at that exact moment. And no matter what I have to go through how much time it takes, I have to sit down and think about it and put on paper exactly what inspired me so that I can just convey that to other people and that was the same thing that I felt with this edit. I just sorta had to think about it, like I had an idea of what it would be from beginning to finish in my mind. And to start I needed to find a way that I could convey that to the best of my abilities

    -What a perfect transition to my next question. What other edits do you look to for inspiration. For me I absolutely loved Colin's edit 7 and Yourds 5 trick fix I loved the old edits like that.

    -Damon: yea for sure, that's always been my favorite thing about kendama is the editing for those edits and watching other people play. And I remember my first edit that I watched, I played kendama for about a year or less prior to seeing my first edit online and it was Hunter Bailey edit 3. I just remember being mesmerized, not only by the cleanliness of his style and everything about the play, but also the scenery, the music, everything about it was so perfect. Like without that song, without those shots everything wouldn't have been as good as it is but because all those element came together it was just so perfect. It's just my absolute favorite edit to watch. I can still just watch it every few months. I loved everything about Japan edit 2012 I loved just everything about it, but all of the cinematography that was done by KenUSA and all of the tricks and all the Japan vibes it displayed it so well and just made me so nostalgic every time I watch it. It just brings me back. Those have to be my main two. And of course Colin Sander edit 7 and all the edits leading up to it, just everything Colin Sander. Oh yea Papa Sanz is the inspiration on why I wanted to make an edit for the most part because just watching his edits. I sat down with Sam, my buddy who helps me film, and he said that he has the Colin's edit movie, like the whole DVD and I said “yea let's watch that to get some inspiration” to see how he progressed but I think it only goes up to edit 6 which is like the exclusive on that DVD

    -Yea because that one isn't out on YouTube

    -Damon: Yea, yea like the amount of progression not only kendama wise but film wise it's so fun to watch that I love just everything about it. It reminded me of what kendama was all about. Even though the editing is really good, it's the old stuff that just brings you back. Learning and landing new tricks and stuff like that, it's really my favorite part about kendama.

    -Oh defiantly, for sure I getcha on that. So when I started kendama about 4 years ago IG didn't have vids and Snapchat didn't even exist, the only way to watch someone was through a YouTube edit. Did you hope by doing this edit that other people would start doing this edit again or do you actually enjoy the small one minute videos of IG or the quick little Snapchats.

    -Damon: So using platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are are good because they're really quick ya know. You're able to put out content as fast as possible cause that's what I feel like that's what people online are looking for. They are trying to consume as much media as you can. I always go back and see these Instagram tricks that are insane, I mean completely nuts and I think to myself “why are you posting this here this is edit material”. Because I always thought tricks that are posted in IG are you messing around or something like that but in like this is edit good and I just kept thinking that every time I saw a clip like that and thought “why don't people make edits anymore” like people could have taken all these clips that they put on Instagram and made a super good edit but they just chose to throw it up and I kinda made me take a step back because I remember back in the day I use to post two pictures or a video and picture a day. Nowadays I only post every so often because it's a lot more fun making edits and now that's all I wanna do. It's kinda like, let's say like an album, every trick is a song and once you compile all the tricks together that's the album. And that's the outcome of a bunch of work and everything was put into it and I feel like Instagram is not as personal because not as much work goes into it as edits do. That was one of my main things because I hadn't put out an edit I realized that a bunch of people hadn't put out edits so I said well I'll go out and do the best that I can and I wanna do something just completely off the wall to get people's attention and to drive people to think “yea I wanna do something like that” because I just remember that feeling back in the day of watching all those old edits and thinking I want to do that. It was the best feeling remembering that. I started on the edit and that's how it all started that's how it happened.

    -Yea I completely agree with the whole album/song analogy that you just used. I loved watching old edits because it felt like a complete piece of work, opposed to IGs single trick.

    -Damon: yea, yea that's how I feel that's how I think I'm gonna go about it now. Like when I use to post twice a day ya know I felt like I was starting to annoy some people and I was annoying myself now that I think about it. When I put all that work into an edit them I finally released it it was so much more satisfying to get it out there and know all the work I put it was worth something because I came out with this huge thing that I had in mind and it's so much more satisfying than getting a couple hundred like on Instagram where you know, it's just watched, someone sees it, they scroll past it, then it's done. No one goes “oh did you see Chris June trick back in 2013 did you see that?” No you say did you see CJ and TJ, the edit that they put together no one brings up Instagram tricks unless it happened like that day. They bring up edits and they bring up big things like that because it a lot of work and it's a lot more entertaining.
    Nov 12, 2016
  2. Sbermea22

    Sbermea22 Member

    Oct 31, 2016
    -Yea that's actually a super great point. Like I said before this edit is anything but mediocre. What was the most grinded/difficult trick that you did on this one?

    -Damon: *deep ass sigh* ok I'm gonna be real here the most frustrating trick was the around the 1.5 candlestick trick. I don't know what it was, I was so just not honed, but I was like I have to land this trick. I went out to salt lake I love the spot and I was just like “I HAVE to get this”. I kept getting so frustrated, my string broke twice during filming, I was just about to huck my kendama into the street. I just had to jump through and finally get it. That one was probably the most frustrating, but the longest one was that last trick. The “around the bird” yea I don't know what to call it. Yea cause the post, a post I did on Instagram I don't know how long ago was my first film session attempt to get that, and I think that was about a year and a half ago. And I've literally been trying for at least a few time every few months, like grinding to get that trick. That film sesh, I think we were up there, it was so cold it was maybe around I don't know around 30°f and it was just freezing but the grind sesh was for about two hours. And it was just constant, trying to get it, trying to get it and the feeling of finally getting that double bird rotation after the 1.5, because I had never gotten to that point and I said “if I don't spike this I'm done with this trick”. I had to just completely focus, just calm down, and then I threw it and it was spinning just so slow, I had to wait for it then I finally grabbed it, spiked, then I hucked the dama I was so done with that trick. Ugh.

    -That's so dope, that was probably such a gratifying feeling.

    -Damon: oh yea, nothing feels better than that.

    -My favorite trick on that edit though, hands down, is that inward lun tré tap tré in.

    -Damon: that was, ugh, that was so weird because I had another trick in mind and it had to do with inward back tré to cushion inward lunar. But I was like, I'm better at taps back to inward lunar a for whatever reason, so that's how most of my tricks happen; I think of something I'm better at and try it. So I was like “well if I can do the inward tré and a full flip then try to tap it back then that could work”. I thought it was just gonna stall and do a full flip back but it kept the tré and I was like “woah that was a good trick”

    -Yea those are the best, the accidental trick that blow you away while you're holding them.

    -Damon: yea, I've done them before but they were just too handy, like slap then the ken would just rest on my hand and I was just like ugh, and I just kept looking at Sam and he just kept looking at me and we'd say “it was hand” and it didn't help that my eyes get super weird at night and I can't see very well and the light was going out, I was getting tired of this trick, it was getting cold. And by that time it was just a lot of luck because I really couldn't see it but I had just been doing it so much that i could just feel the motion of it and by that time I just thought “oh please I just have to land this” so I flipped it tapped it then it just stuck so I flipped it up and for whatever reason I knew it was going in so I just looked away and it went it. And again I was just done with that trick.

    -Haha well yea that was one of the most hands down best tricks i've ever seen. Period.

    -Damon: haha well thank you

    -What do you wanna say to the people that watch this edit. Such as people seeking inspiration from it, people seeing it for fun, and actual friends and family.

    -Damon: well first off shout out to (Kristian) Aynedter because I posted it on YouTube to get his feedback from it. And I was just working with him on it and asking him if he could give me any input and just seeing what he thought of it because he's always been one of the most stylish players to me so I thought if Kristian likes it it's gotta be good. And my friend Jacob Reese and Kris Cabal, I sent it over to them as well so that I could also get their input on it. They told me to put the animations in because I initially wasn't going to put them in at all, I had it uploaded without the little animations. I asked them if they think I should and they said yea so I went back and redid the whole thing and reuploaded it, so thanks to them on that. So then, this is kind of a funny story I posted it up on YouTube just to get their insight and I hadn't announced it yet. So I had my final poster/ final teaser thing done at home and I was gonna released it on the 26th, that's when I was gonna announce my final announcement. I was getting Aynedters input on it and we were thinking all strategically and we were thinking “everyone's going to MKO (Minnesota Kendama Open) and they're gonna need something to watch”. So when I was at work I got a notification from Facebook that said “Sweets Kendama has tagged you in a post” so I thought “what in the world?” so I open it up and saw that they posted my edit on their Facebook page and it was the most mixed emotions that I've ever felt in my life because I was nervous because I hadn't announced it yet, so I was wondering how he found it. I was happy because Sweets posted it, which is more publicity then I would have ever imagined it getting. I was just so confused and I sped home and let the last teaser out and said “well peep this out, I have an edit up”. Then I saw that I had a Snapchat from Max (Norcross) and he said that he found it. And someone Instagram messaged me and told me they say Norcross watching my edit. So I was just like what the hell? So Max Snapchatted me and said “yo just saw your edit online, about to put it on blast” so big shout out to Max for liking it and putting it up because I feel like that was a really big push for the amount of attention that it's gotten. And even now when I heck out the views that it's gotten, I never imagined it getting to where it is now. Yea so shoutout Sweets, shoutout REZ, shoutout RWB, just everyone, Sam Allgood mainly he's just the man that made it happen for the most part.

    - Ok and now I wanted to ask you a couple of questions that shy away from the edit, just kind of general questions. Do you have any hobbies besides Dama?

    -Damon: yea big ones drawing, I've been drawing and art basically my whole life. I like working with wood ya know just like little lathe projects. I like skiing and downhill mountain biking because here in Utah there isn't much to do besides that. More recently photography, and even more recently videography and editing and all that stuff. I don't know I'm a jack of all trades but a master to none. I just like to learn a bunch of new stuff that's always been fun, just learning something new.

    -Yea i'm with you, I learn a bunch of new stuff but never really master it, it's fun.

    -Damon: Yea it's fun, it keeps me happy just always learning something new. I just always think “that's cool that I can do this and I can do this” I don't I've always loved learning new things.

    -You and I both know that kendama cannot support a living so do you have a day job?

    -Damon: Yea, at the moment I work at a place called Captioncall. It's an almost call center, let's say you're deaf and I wanted to make a phone call to you. Someone would be listening to what I'm saying and they would say what I'm saying in a more monotone voice so that they can become text so that you could read it rather than listen to it. Yea and it a super good job because I can do that and simultaneously draw and play kendama and also I get off pretty early in the morning so I can go out and film and play and do whatever I want all day.
    Nov 12, 2016
  3. Sbermea22

    Sbermea22 Member

    Oct 31, 2016
    - Any kendama players that you look up to or seek inspiration from?

    -Damon: number one first and foremost Turner Thorne. Back on the day you know the Japan edit 2012, I just remember watching that edit over and over. So I'm a skier and I remember Turner Thorne and Saga, and he's inspired my style of play just because of his style. The lighthouse throw up to the back of the hand then to stunt, the hand roll flip the ken. Yea there's so much stuff I can go on about him and I got to meet him in Utah in 2013 and he's just the absolute nicest guy you'll ever meet, I never hear him say anything bad, he's super down to earth and insanely good at kendama and his just so consistent. His underearth is absolutely unmatched basically he's the coolest guy I've meet through kendama. And let's see uhh, because when someone asks who inspires me Turner is the automatic first person to come to mind. And then probably my buddy Brent Woodword, so on Utah everyone's lbs and you have to go on missions for 2 years and all my friends went to go on em and all my friends played kendama before they left and Brent is the only one that stuck through with it throughout his whole mission and he still plays with me til this day. He doesn't film much, he doesn't have a camera to post or anything and he doesn't care about social media too much but his tricks are just the most insane tricks. Those 2 years he was playing he was playing without any source of reference. He was just making up his own stuff and now I can't remember the last time I beat him in a game of ken because he's so good. He does weird funky tricks. So defiantly Brent. Then just a couple of quick ones here; Joey Swisher, EJ Williams, Ocean, George Marshal, Ryan and Kris Cabal, Kristian Aynedter and Stephanie and all the GT crew, I don't know I know I'm forgetting a lot of people.

    -Yea I know it's hard to remember when you're put on the spot, ok so MKO just passed, in a nutshell how was it?

    -Damon- it was so… I don't know, it's the best event of the year. I've been to KWC (Kendama World Cup) and it's a blast, it's super fun going to another country and the rn net is really well set up. But nothing beats MKO just because it's here it's in the US it's in the Mall of America everyone goes. The Sweets shop is just a cool place to go just because I've never seen so many kendamas at one spot, especially the museum of kendamas that are just super rare. The sweets crew is just always so hospitable. Just hanging out with everyone while we were there it was just so much fun. The events well put together like them setting it up and setting it up with the hotel and setting up the Mall of America and all the free stuff me get, the raffles. It's the best event it the US.

    Everyone NEEDS to peep the edit if you haven’t already. Damon exemplifies what kendama is about in his first ever edit going from super tech tricks to back to basic cupping flow, Damon absolutely kills it with “What an Honor to be Mediocre”.

    Nov 12, 2016
  4. Ben Lowe

    Ben Lowe Slayer

    Oct 11, 2016
    Port Angeles, WA
    Probably should just be in one thread instead of 3...?
    Nov 12, 2016
  5. Sbermea22

    Sbermea22 Member

    Oct 31, 2016
    @Ben Lowe i agree but downspike has a 10,000 character limit on posts so i had to break it up unfortunately
    Nov 12, 2016
  6. Cheech_Sander

    Cheech_Sander Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 19, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    This can be featured as a "news article" alongside Damon's awesome edit.

    Email me the transcript and we can get it up on the front page!
    Nov 14, 2016
  7. htimSxelA

    htimSxelA Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 29, 2016
    After some bumbling, I merged these three threads into one. Woo! Sorry if your notifications are getting crazy.

    Haven't actually read through this yet, will give it a look through soon though. Loved Damon's last edit, super good tricks, and editing.
    Nov 14, 2016
    Sbermea22 and Ben Lowe like this.
  8. Sbermea22

    Sbermea22 Member

    Oct 31, 2016
    thank you @htimSxelA !!! finally it looks nice and clean all in one place
    Nov 16, 2016