Jay's Blog.

Keep a diary of what you're hitting, what's frustrating you, and your goals.
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DTank126
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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by DTank126 » 11 Feb 2014 04:11

I pictured it as a blink starting and ending on inside stall.

That last trick is such a mouthful, and for what? A 2 add trick? That's hilarious. I'm gonna try that next time I kick. Good to hear life's goin well, Jay. Hope to see u at a random jam soon.
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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 18 Feb 2014 00:02

Good news everyone!

I am in Finland yet again. Home and native motherland, home of all things rye and beautiful. Skipping through the streets of turku , blowing bubbles and footbag with the accelerator.

In a few days time, before I go up to Lapland with Juho, I will be releasing a venture of Daniel Boyle. Michelle and I have worked for months on it, with much more to come. It will involve many if not all of your favourite players, and ideally a lot of interaction from you. Michelle will be in charge of keeping you guys well informed throughout the venture,, and hopefully her slightly separated from footbag mind will be an interesting perspective for you folk. I put great importance on all of your feedback. Whether it be the joulukalenteri, or a blog post your feedback is entirely my basis for how good or bad I am doing. That being said, an e-cookie will be given to all who comment on the release and the rest of the content..

Back to clicking, researching and editing. Juho here I come.
Jay Boychuk

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by Asmus » 18 Feb 2014 00:49

You are a champion in the footbag community. Looking forward to see this project unfold.

Give Juho a hug from me.

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 27 Feb 2014 23:03

So, here I am. My last full day with the Yksisarvinen, in Salla Finland. We came here for Northern Lights, and they cooperated, above the supermassive thick layer of clouds. Balls. I did a bit of an interview with Juho the whole time I have spent with him, unofficial interview that is, just because I realize how little the world really knows about him. Here we have this super majestic player, who knows the Easter bunny's uncle, and frequents the cafe run by the tooth fairy, and sometime attends a tournament. He sometimes competes (and gets Bronze at worlds), he sometimes shows up and just hangs out... He sometimes makes the best video ever, but, not too often. Sometimes he goes to New Zealand to film snowboarding, sometimes he stays at home processing wife requests from Swedish royalty. I think this 'sometimes' nature is precisely what gives Juho his flair. After a week, filled with talking and interviewing, there were still questions unanswered. I will still lay in my bed, my eyebrows furrowed, perhaps shedding a tear wondering some of the answers for the questions that were left to the test of time. That all being said, I do think it is my duty to shed some light on the Yksisarvinen. I will take this next 7 hour car drive through his home and native land, and jot down the stories which I think are the best to hear... However, I think something which I learned this week was definitely, that some things are simply better left to the imagination. Sometimes, this week, the cold hard truth behind this man was simply too overwhelmingly sense-overloadingly, with a pinch of regality, awesome for me to comprehend.

I did take some video, and audio recordings from the week to make a snazzy video for you all to enjoy. However, it wont be a shred video, but a small pinhole peak into the life of our world's most necessary hero. I feel like a better person after this week, and think that there is a chance I might have the capacity to respect many of the smaller things in life.. Sometimes you forget how lucky we are to get the slivers of life that we do, and nothing puts that into perspective like a slice of life spent alone with Jupe. I could have been finding out what really goes into finnish Makkara for a week, or, been in Canada with my thumb lodged very deep into my boredom, but I was here.. Life is good.

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Jay Boychuk

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by Asmus » 27 Feb 2014 23:54

I can't wait to see and read this Jay. Also convince him to give you some of the old secret footage he has laying around.
I have a sense he have a lair with it and a shackled up pixie that pours dex dust on him.

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 05 Mar 2014 00:40

Howdy Party People.

So, I've been staying with Felix Zenger for a few days. And yes, it is just as awesome as you think it it would be. He is pretty much a real life Wizard, in my opinion. Seeing that man operate in the kitchen is unreal. Seeing that man operate in any scenario is unreal. Just another reminder of how completely special this community really is. Tomorrow we are going to his friend's shop, and printing some tour shirts... Ourselves! This will be a cool experience for sure. As an owner, his friend naturally has lots of experience, so I hope we can make something really, really simply great. I would like for the players to be able to wear these shirts on the tour, and have all the kids at all the schools just look and have that "These guys are some elite group" feeling. Having Felix's style on a shirt, is what I imagine is our best option. For those of you who don't know, he now runs a chocolate factory, goodiogoods.com, and the chocolate is something I've been nibbling for days. It is the expensive little bars that you see in health food stores, and pretty much only found in Finland..So it is likely that you'll have to take my word on the chocolate fountain of love that your tongue prays for on cold lonely nights when it starts melting.

I'm here in the Fineland in order to do the "go expo" http://www.messukeskus.com/Sites3/GoExp ... fault.aspx with the Finns. It is seriously legit, with like, hundreds of Sport vendors. Basically, our job is to promote footbag in front of (2!) booths, by playing, giving out flyers, mini lessons, and I think there is a children "mini Olympics" which we will coach through. This should be great practice, and good experience for everyone in preparation for April.

I've been having private sessions with Felix in Kisahalli, (The gym where worlds was in 2011), playing footbag. I remember back when, in Helsinki, I'd pretty much sell the nearest man's left earlobe to even see Felix, let alone have super duper secret society sessions with him. I mean, on the Finnish forum Felix often openly asks people if they want to play, but since he lives by his own rules, he often plays when everyone is working, avoiding the huge crowds at the gym. So here you get some legendary player, kicking alone, in some corner of some gym in Helsinki, very frequently. When I asked him what his goals are, his only response was his style. He wants to keep improving his style. Not run length, not fearless contacts or something.. But, he wants to take one of the best styles ever, and keep improving it, in the pursuit of style itself, not that he cares to make videos or something like that. Goodness gosh.

I made a S/L video of myself, in Juho's basement. Somehow it seems like you folks really are liking it. Big thanks for letting me know, since I can now try and make more videos in that direction, instead of like, hiring bunnies to be in the background or something. Actually, that would be a great idea, what have I been thinking. Buckets of bunnies in shred videos would be the new butter on sliced toasted bread. Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen it, http://sportslashlife.com/player-teaser-jay-boychuk/ . My approach to filming footbag for this tour, has been to tell people "Dont' try too hard. Just hit good looking stuff, that wont take you very long". The idea being that, if they focus on style and not difficulty, they are more likely to look good doing what they do, and that should come across. It also limits the massive amount of gigabytes accumulating on my computer, and how much footage I will have to sort through. That being said, I feel like having (basically) the best players in the world keeps the technicality very high, since all of these players are so good. So far it has definitely made me not dread life, and I'm loving it.

I want to find a scene of a show, which should outline what it has been like to be with Juho and Felix. For those of you following the recent upward trend in Pokemon due to twich plays pokemon, I suppose it would be like explaining how cool it is to hang out with Mewtwo in his cave, before you're allowed in.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbFKSdAxQZA[/youtube]
Jay Boychuk

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 10 Mar 2014 07:39

Ahoy.

So, the GO EXPO has come and gone. Four days of going to a fair and showing kids how to kick, filming,, video editing, eating free yogurt, and hang out with footbaggers for twelve hours a day. While in my opinion the expo went very well, it almost worries me. This next tour month, starting in April, will be much like this expo, but for a month. Sure, it will be in many locations, with new challenges and successes, but I almost fear it will be over too fast. If the pace of this weekend shows what the first twenty days of April will be like, I fear I won't have enough time to soak it all in. After months of emailing and organisation, idea generation, etc, when it goes by in a flash I wonder if it will be like a wedding... All that planning for nearly one great moment... But like the wedding, there will indeed be "that great moment".

I am back in turkuland, and played with Anssi just now. For some reason my right knee, completely separate from footbag, feels odd when I twist it, so I did very straight dexes. After a bit of boredom, I for some reason decided to do a few symp tricks on my flip side. My word. The easiest, most fluid, magical movements of life lie in symp. Sure, it can ruin the career of the healthiest of players, but god, it is like the most fun you can have in footbag. Total freedom. Tis a pity I don't want to really risk my health anymore. I suppose it is, in a backasswards way, kind of like someone with a drug habit. Anyway, stuff like flail, symp eggbeater, superfly, pixie dolomite swirl, and superduperfly felt easier than a sidewalk. How did I get those movements so into my spine, but, not like, sidewalk? Hitting flip pixie dolomite swirl second try, clean as by anssi's definition, just, felt hysterical.

Onto Gdansk to meet Caroline in two days! I am excited to meet her on her first day in Poland, as a footbagger. She is risking her... Well... Entire life by going there, and since a part of it is for footbag, I hope the symbolism of me there helps her confidence.. I obviously don't know how she feels about it, but I know I would be second guessing/paranoid, and any reassurance would be heavily appreciated. I truly hope it all succeeds, and as the number one hostel in Gdansk, I think she has the right ingredients. I certainly know within one day of being there, I knew why she would choose this hostel.

I will make a video for all of you interested in dzem jam, from my first visit and the next one. To be honest, the first time I was there the weather was quite grey and, I didn't exactly want to use that as the "welcome to this super awesome place!!!" Video, so I hope the weather is better now. Plus, you will get to see Caroline :D

Anyway, keep on shredding. Thanks for the feedback you guys have been giving me.
Jay Boychuk

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 17 Mar 2014 23:34

Seasons greetings.

So, lots has happened in just a week! I have finished a few more sport/life videos, which I am most excited about. After doing a bunch of Google analytics on all my previous videos, I have found that people don't watch videos all the way through, basically, ever.. Unless they are thirty seconds / under.. Finland and the USA are the worst, which is annoying since they are target audiences. Japan rocks the house, and pretty much watches my videos twice all the way through, and Canada doesn't give a shit about watching my videos. I find Finland amusing, since most of my videos have Finnish people in it, meaning, they either are bored of their own players, or have massive ADHD problems. You know that juho video I uploaded in December? The statistics were off the chart, with most people watching like, twice, everywhere. Finland? Like 70% watch through rate. Germany, even though they have a pretty quiet scene, puts Canada to shame in terms of views, and how long they watch. I guess I am not surprised, as my personal knowledge of the German friends I have, is to not connect with the scene, but lots of lurking happens. If you are a hardcore jay's blog fan you'll remember a guy who can hit nemesis, be clown, double spinning, etc, who you have never heard of, seen, or witnessed at any tournament. Anyway, I guess it is people like that guy who make germany shine in the video analytics.

So anyway, for sport/life I am really concentrating on a few things. One, is badass music. I want all the single ladies to put their hands up, for the music alone. I am using creative commons music for the most part, because I really want the videos to be unique.. But you can imagine how hard it is to find the perfect song for a video, let alone the perfect song which specifically hasn't been listened to by anyone before. Next up, is the shred. I specifically want things to stand out, and am asking the players (or myself...) To only hit things which aren't going to take many tries, but look cool. Footbag all too often "looks" the same, and I imagine that this goes for players too, in their subconscious. After like, two years of video watching, most everyone but erik chan seems to start skipping videos, or skimming, I figure if all the combos are very unique, and really fit the player's style (ensured by "hit something without too many tries"), each should be very custom tailored.

I am also putting significant effort into the name titles, in the videos. You'll notice that they all have the same theme, are completely custom, and unlike any other I have seen... Ever..the one I did for the upcoming Anssi video took like three hours on the train, and another hour once I saw it in 1080p. Although they are only there for a moment, I want it to add to the professional element of it all.

I am paying close attention to the camera angle, and location as well.I actually shot Juho's video prior to the inception of the teaser series, so I made due with what I had, but I still told him to just hit what was easy for him. But in general, I want footbag in these videos to look cool. Zero tripod, upward angles, fish eye, no shirtless play, colour Editting, and most of all variety of shots and angles. I want for someone to watch these, and think "cool" and professional. I am glad to have the sport/life thing at the end, because if anyone sees that, immediately their brain can go to, like, "wow, footbag is cool enough to have a European tour". Which, it is :p .

I also want to give people one channel, where they can look up videos, and be able to consistently get awesome. If I want to promote footbag in the future, or use these on a resume/for a portfolio, I don't want to have to be scared of accidentally showing some hairy shirtless dude dropping legovers.

Safe to say, I am happy with the work I am putting into them, the thought, the editing/camera skill,player abilities, and everything, but, clearly I am doing something wrong. Juho's video has 100 views. The analytics show whoever is watching it, liked it, as they watched it all the way through. The comments say that people liked it, and I am happy with it. But, not even a fraction of the community actually saw it in the first place. It was spammed on facebook , with the title "juho video", under sport/life, but I guess no one is clicking on it? Do people dislike the tour? I don't know. Maybe the videos suck, but no one is telling me? Even my video, which everyone seemed to really like verbally, got 250 views only, until my sister put it on her Facebook and it spiked 50 views. Like, my sister puts a video up, to her limited friends, and 50 people see it in a few hours. A 1000 member Facebook group, over a week, gets 250 views. I want to edit the videos properly, and with good effort for the sake of the community, as well as any future employment, but somehow it is disheartening to not even have footbaggers watch them.

Enough on that I guess. More about Gdansk, and Swiss jam next time.
Jay Boychuk

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by C-Fan » 18 Mar 2014 06:51

I think the videos look really good. I'm not sure why they aren't getting a ton of views, but here are a couple possibilities:

:arrow: It's the off-season for most players, so they may be less hungry for footbag in general
:arrow: They may not be appearing in places where footbaggers tend to see them. For example, there is no thread in the videos section of modified collecting them. That'd be the first place for somebody like me to see them. I know I've seen a few through the footbag group on facebook, but with facebook there's always a million other stories going on, so it's easy for them to get drowned out. I love new footbag footage (especially of the tour players), but if a friend of mine just had a baby, another friend posts some good music, and there are some funny posts by other friends on the same day...it can be really easy to not click through.

The other thing about footbag, is that even if you get 100% participation from the community, it's still a small community. Maybe that's a defeatist attitude, but that's kind of the way I see it. If every active footbagger in the world watches a video once, how many views is that? 2000? 3000? And that kind of brings us to the root question: who is the target audience for the videos? If the target audience is people who already play footbag, then maybe they aren't re-watching the videos because they are only 30 seconds and don't have insane level shred. If the target audience is people who we want to get into footbag (but don't play yet), then 30 seconds is good, but maybe the level is too high. I think it's very hard to hit the sweet spot where both experienced footbaggers and non-footbaggers alike both enjoy a video.

Don't get discouraged. I think the tour will be a success, and I know you will make it into a good life experience.

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 24 Mar 2014 00:48

Thanks for the reply Ken. No one has watched them on modified either, so, I have no idea. If it was about video length, or shred level, neither of those variables are included in a link, and given the names of the players you would figure a click of interest would at least be given. I guess the newest most successful video out, is the hot links video from nasty Nate, which only has 350 views, even though it has 102 'likes'. So, I shouldn't be expecting more views than that for mine at the moment. As for your comment about "what is the true point of the videos?", I really just want to provide cool looking videos for all skill levels to watch. If Timmy from the village well wants to see something cool, or if nick landes' is trying to recruit a yoga player to play, or if the old BAP era of players want to cruise through some shred, I want to have them see where footbag has went. If they see some tripod video in a basement, with raw audio and no edit, I don't think that would give off the impression that the sport has advanced in any direction. If they see sexy Anssi in slow mo with dexes flying and graphics, they could see "cool, footbag is keeping up with the rest of YouTube". I, ideally, want to give material that just, fives off the idea that footbag is as badass as I see it. When I want to show footbag at an expo to catch the eyes of an onlooker, I thought "which videos can I choose from?", and well, everything cool is farrrrr outdated. Sick 03 and all that on an HD TV look like nes Mario in a movie theatre, there hasn't been worlds footage since the dawn of time that looks professional (filming someone's ass for the majority of the shot, shirtless and short shorts, the weakest crowd since show and tell), people who film themselves often have poor framing which doesnt show the best angles of what is going on (and also tripod footage typically doesn't ooze professional, nor does the stagnant background d grip people's subconscious). I found at the Helsinki expo, we primarily had made hole footage, which was great, but much of it wasn't HD, and I don't want to have 2011 stamped on videos we're promoting with in 2014, 15 or 16. Since he has retired, same with Jere before him, I want to try and provide people with professional/fun/cool footage. My high speed video is even quite outdated now,and showing anyone on an HD screen really looks unimpressive.

That all being said, I wish I could go to Euros or worlds this year, but both are out. I have the time and money, but not the legal requirements. I can't stay in Europe past June 24, and the tour is done in may... As I have been running around Europe for almost a year, with no job in sight, I have to head home to Canada... Until michelle becomes Irish, that is. So, unless someone changes their mentality, worlds will be just like 2012 and 2013, with basically no sideline footage.. Ivan did the best job this year, and his videos actually looked pretty decent, but I am going to guess he isn't going.. Even still, at worlds 07 like 10 different editors made videos, 2008 like 12, 2009 like 8, 2010 there was a bloody DVD filmed, and 2011 had multiple mads hole videos, mine, and more.. I know I could do decently well if I either shot video, or competed, but it is a pity I won't do either.

The tour is still going strong though, which is nice. We got a nice reliever of funds, as Milan Benda decided to bail on it a week and a half before it started. Shirts were made, budgets and obviously planning, and i even cancelled the trip I was going to take to his hometown to shoot his video, resulting in me wasting a bunch of money going to Italy(not that I can complain).. Because he just bailed, for no reason, nothing more than a "I am sorry". Funnier still, because Honza was the one who told me Milan bailed, and Milan wouldn't talk to me about it, nor did he tell me himself, prior to going to switzereland and physically asking him about it. When he told me "this is exactly the kind of thing footbag needs. I support it one hundred percent", and every email/Facebook chat being super excited, interested and happy, I was absolutely bummed out that he a) cancelled at all and b) cancelled in about the least professional way possible. I had planned,and made it known, that we would use his massive busking expertise to film a "how to busk" tutorial for footbag, and test it all around europe for real data and whatnot.. As well, he is fucking cool, has great stories, is great at footbag, and lord knows the world needs more footage of him. The tour would have much merrier with a Milan, and I am just sad he cancelled so late, so we can't even replace him, and it fucks our Czech tour up because now Honza is going to be the only Czech speaker with hundreds of kids at schools. I am torn. On the one hand he is a god, and on the other this. Disheartened. But! We save a bunch of money, so, that is a silver lining.

Anyway, Swiss jam was really unique, because I got to hang out with Tina aeberli quite a bit, and her family. That was definitely awesome, and I wouldn't trade that for anything. The intermediate scene is also encouraging, because they have so many twelve year olds. One kid was a bit taller, and stood out skill wise, I made a point to shred with him and the other kids, because I can dream that in like, 5 years, he will remember that session. I felt really sad for the intermediates. When I was an intermediate, tournaments and jams has tons of circles, really pumped atmosphere, excited players and non stop shred for like 4 hours in a row in some gym. For some reason we went outside in the cold, in a no tpedestrian traffic alley beside a skate shop, and stood outside for four hours. I think we were supposed to kick, or maybe bring traffic to the store, but, all that happened was cold wind, and five intermediates I shorts using their enthusiasm to try tricks, while all the experienced players tried to stay warm and not shred because they were competing later. No one showed up on time, to the standing outside event, which made it seem even weirder to all the intermediates who were told to be there early, and were. Eventually michelle, Tina, her baby and Mario went back to her house to get warm and stop standing for no reason. We were all frustrated, as these kids have probably looked forward to this jam, and, this was what they got. When we showed up the the proper event site, the kids went to play again, and were impressively good now that they were warm. I wanted to encourage this, and try to bring up the mood, so I started shredding with them. No one else but Andreas, me and the intermediates were playing. I have no idea why. Rene, Milan and Aleksi were just standing, sleeping, or sitting around, even though there was music going, seven people shredding, and it was also a footbag tournament or something? I just wanted more than anything to have them play, so they kids would have any evidence that a jam wasn't just standing around, and having people show up late, and then in the end no one plays with you anyway. When Jim penske came to my circle the first time, I think I could feel myself become a man. It fucking changed my life. The intermediates of this sport are few, and our only future. If we bore them to death, or are too cool to play with them, they might as well just go play soccer. I honestly felt like I was dreaming.. My knee wasn't feeling perfect, rather, around my knee (no idea why, it started in Helsinki), and between Milan dropping out, having bicycled around Zurich all day, standing outside in the cold for five inexplicable hours to do nothing, and all the "cool kids" just sitting around, I just didn't want to compete. I would either nemesis their faces into oblivion and rage shred my knee into the pits of hell or, more likely, suck and feel even more frustrated with footbag. Andreas was a fucking champ though,and I salute that man. His routine was also insane. I have it filmed, and you will see it soon. I will be surprised if those kids will bother going to a tournament again. Tina mentioned their parents gave permission to go to worlds, and good god I hope that keeps them in footbag.

The actual competition wasn't bad. Milan obviously won routines, ending with three spinning swirls I think, and rene had a great fist three quarters. Aleksi did great in circle, and re e was almost tied to milan with every judge. I was hoping he would win, since I am sure that would be Rene's first time beating milan. Not many people have, but, Aleksi beat him by a big margin. However, the minute competition was over they all put on jeans, and there was no sideline shred. The event just stopped. I asked what we were doing Sunday, and, apparently there was no shred, and we might go watch someone buy a bike. So there was no sideline to film , ever, I didn't have a plan for after Switzerland because milan bailed, and I didn't want to mooch off of Tina's fouton space while she has so much to deal with, so michelle and I went home to book a trip to italy,. I regret not staying in Gdansk with Caroline, as it would have saved a lot of money, and I could have helped her with anything and everything.


Negative Nancy out. For now, I am shredding with an old friend Christoph in Austria, we had a fantastic session yesterday. Great vibes, lots of cool stuff, and this area is beautiful. Tonight I am going to Prague again to stay with Honza, and hopefully i will edit a lot of footage. Christoph was an exchange student in Canada, and like, three years ago I got to play with him every few days. Revisiting that was great, and introducing michelle to him is great too, as they both know the same school, they already had a bit in common. Plus he is just a boss, so it has been a lot of fun. I love footbag for this, more than anything. Hanging out with great people, really fun shred, and new experiences and travel. The italy trip was amazing, but, nothing compares to traveling to a locals place, and seeing the real city. I think I might be getting into miraging pickups, too. Kind of unexplored territory, anyway, ciao! Thanks for reading! Although it wasn't roses and puppy dogs.
Jay Boychuk

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by isirc10 » 24 Mar 2014 09:59

Jay, I know how discouraging it can be to pour your heart and soul into a video and then get a "meh" response from the view counter. Don't mistaken that for a "meh" response from the community though. I know me saying this won't change the numbers of views or likes you see, but I am really enjoying the videos you put out and they are making me rethink the way I am making my own videos. My latest video, the Jamps trailer, is at 355 views and 8 likes. It has beaten most of my worlds sideline shred videos having been released for only a month. I actually thought about the shots in that one, story boarded the sequences, had multiple takes and secondary shots. For crying out loud, I had a horse! I had a girl on a horse! It was an interesting experiment though - there was very little shred in that one - mostly a story and some amateurish action shots. This video did well outside of the footbag demographic. Maybe we should be thinking less shred and more story elements in some of our videos? Not all, but the ones we want to reach out to the public with. We can still have 4 minute shred reels of Honza and Dave for ourselves, with half decent framing and a pumping soundtrack. I honestly don't know Jay. I don't know what we are doing wrong... and to be honest, I am a bit tired of making the same format, boring shred videos. At this point, I think I am just going to have some fun and experiment with different approaches and audiences. After all, if any of my videos flop, I'm only wasting 3 minutes of 350 people's lives, as opposed to the pop music videos doing the same to 15 million viewers.

I agree that we need more coverage at events - almost everyone I know has a cell phone capable of shooting 720p and up, and even that would be better than nothing. I was rather discouraged when I showed up at worlds and saw two other gopros besides my point and shoot. Guys, a gopro, set up correctly is a $200 camera that will give you hassle free footage. Film in 1080, batch process the raw footage to remove lens distortion, crop to 720 to fix poor composition and provide panning. At this point, I don't think it is the lack of cameras at events, but the lack of people willing to put the time into filming, editing, and posting stuff, which is disheartening. I think a reason for that is people see really nice videos like yours and mads and think "I can't do that, *insert excuse here*" instead of "whoah, that was freaking amazing, I want to make something like that!". Worlds is out of the question for me this year, unfortunately. I would have loved to go, but the late announcement coupled with everything I have going on this summer is prohibitive. If I learned anything by doing film coverage of Worlds is that two or three cameras run by one person isn't enough to get decent footage. You either have to make this your full time commitment and run around with one nice camera, or plaster the area with gopros and then deal with the crappy shots in post production (incredibly time consuming). It was my first effort at filming an event, and I learned so much from it, I would really recommend someone else try even if they know nothing about filming. Actually, two or three people should do it. That way you don't have to stress out about not having enough space on your hard drives to dump the previous day's 64 gb of footage. And even if your stuff isn't great (looking back at mine, I wish I had done so many things differently), people will still love it because it means they get a window into an event they could not attend. Even if it is sideways iphone footage.

Thanks for writing about Swiss jam, even though it might not have turned out as you had hoped. It provides people with certain do's and don'ts so that mistakes are not repeated. Part of me wishes you could have come to Jamps instead, but being half a world away, those are silly thoughts. Thanks for all you do for footbag, and I hope the tour goes well. If you manage to find the secret recipe to youtube success, please post it here. In the meantime, keep posting in your blog - it gives me a lot to think about.
Ivan Iakimenko

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by C-Fan » 24 Mar 2014 11:00

jay7 wrote:footage, which was great, but much of it wasn't HD, and I don't want to have 2011 stamped on videos we're promoting with in 2014, 15 or 16.I want to try and provide people with professional/fun/cool footage. My high speed video is even quite outdated now,and showing anyone on an HD screen really looks unimpressive.
That's a great point. Most of the well-edited footage out there was shot pre-HD, and that's a vacuum that certainly needs to be filled. I think that may be one of the reasons I was so excited when Joulu Jupe 3 came out. It was filling a need I hadn't even identified.
jay7 wrote:as Milan Benda decided to bail on it a week and a half before it started.
:( That's a bummer. Dealing with footbaggers on big/important projects can be tricky. I learned this the hard way myself when Jeremy invited me to Australia for the Nestle tour. On one hand, if you're even discussing a big project like this with a footbagger, it probably means that you are friends and that you like and trust them. On the other hand, if its important and there's money involved, you should also set up a contract. 9 times out of 10 things probably go fine and you wouldn't have needed a contract. But when things go south that 1 time out of 10, you'll both be glad you had it set up. I don't know what happened with Milan specifically, but most footbaggers are young people who lack experience in business, and there can be reliability issues when that happens. That goes for both sides of project: both the performers and the organizers can be new to pulling off a complex project, and that's why I think it's a good idea for both parties to set out expectations in writing. It was a tough learning experience for me, and it sounds like it wasn't fun for you either, but hopefully future footbag promoters/performers can learn from it.
jay7 wrote: five intermediates I shorts using their enthusiasm to try tricks, while all the experienced players tried to stay warm and not shred because they were competing later.


Again, this sounds like the tour members may not have had the same understanding of expectations as you did. Are they on the tour to compete? To perform? To encourage participation with intermediates? If they have a different understanding of their duties than you do, then that's a discussion that needs to occur. And maybe even get those expectations down in writing. If they thought they were there for competing, then I understand why they'd want to conserve their energy for comp. Why risk injury or use energy when it can only hurt them in comp? As an old competitor, I've found myself in that position many times in recent years. I want to play with intermediates and encourage them, but I also want to compete at my best. The compromise I usually strike is to warm up with the intermediates, compete, and then play with everybody once comp is over (if I still have energy). Last spring/summer I did some footbag demos at an outdoor festival, and there I spent 98% of my time throwing 4 panel sandman bags at 5 year olds. 2% of the time I did my routines. I was fine with that distribution though, since I understood the main reason I was asked to help at the festival.
jay7 wrote: The intermediates of this sport are few, and our only future. If we bore them to death, or are too cool to play with them, they might as well just go play soccer.


Great point. I've been thinking about that for a while myself...the sport needs a better strategy for investing in these intermediates, since they ARE our future. Something to discuss in more depth elsewhere.
jay7 wrote: Negative Nancy out.Although it wasn't roses and puppy dogs.
I appreciated your post a lot for its honesty. I like that your blog so often contains roses and puppy dogs. It's great to see your enthusiasm and love of the sport come out in your writing. But I don't come here because I expect you to always be happy. I come here because I expect you to always be passionate about footbag. Sometimes that'll mean a brutally honest post about what you see going wrong in the sport. And that's fine. That's good actually. In my own blog I strive to always say whats on my mind. When I'm excited about something, I try and have that come through in the words. When I'm frustrated, I try and document that too. I try and be as real as possible, and I think that's the only way I could have kept my blog going for 10+ years. I'd love to keep reading your blog for another 10 years. Do what you need to do to make that happen. I'll be here reading.

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by boyle » 24 Mar 2014 11:52

Just a quick note that the Swiss Jam was not apart of the tour, even though there were some "tourists" there in the action. You make some very good points on the different things Ken, there are some things that we have done, some things not.

Good post Jay, needs more pictures...Definitely some interesting comments on the "state of the scene", and how things operate all around the place. What would be really great would be to see more writeups from comps, good or bad, from everybody. Of course more video would be even better too.

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 03 Apr 2014 01:41

Wow - great responses everyone. Immediate thoughts: Yeah, the Swiss Jam wasn't part of the tour. So, I have no right to ask anything of anyone, but, one would just think future concern for the sport would be a compass for people. Having people say "It wasn't worth traveling to that event, because no one was shredding" is something that will make me think twice before going to any event, (Berlin and Swiss Jam both..) and I am sure anyone else..

As for the videos + PSU business: Agree with everything there. I also, in a way, wish I was there. I've loved State College every time I've went, and especially insomnia cookies. Once I am back in the land near Murica, I might consider going. Although not having a car anymore, we'll have to get creative to see how I can get to the middle of PA.

The tour has begun, and, needless to say I am pleased. We don't necessarily have background dancers and free ankle crank, but, the kids seem to be loving it. We spent like 30 minutes yesterday autographing things for kids, teachers, etc. While we may have dropped a few times, somehow our presence/tricks/Honza's AMAZING ability to speak to a crowd, made them not care. I think something that does work really well, is in the event that someone does drop, we immediately smile at the crowd, wave, and then a new player immediately starts shredding. I think this gives an image of confidence, and not the "oh no, I dropped. My life is over".. But seriously, these kids fucking eat footbag up. We've got great prizes, the best speaker, and also surprisingly great crowd music. I feel good about everything thus far.

For all who want pictures, EllenFrancis has a twitter up, which is loaded with them. I'm not sure how the twittermachine works, but, I'm pretty sure it is very easy to follow her. https://twitter.com/FootbagTour . I think it would be more current and up to date to follow that, as I can't be sure when I get time to blog.

My first two demos were dropless, and that was pretty cool. Playing with a demo bag I stitched myself, made that feel slightly sweeter. Lets see how today goes, our last student demos in Czech.

Unbelievable, that before I know it this Czech chapter will be over. Lets see what Todexon has in store for us. Honza isn't competing, apparently, meaning that the Tour members have to beat Jindra and Milan. Fingers crossed ;) By sheer numbers alone, we have a chance :P
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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 08 Apr 2014 01:11

So, Todexon has come and gone, and with that so has the “first” (as in, first full group on the run) tour stop. Michelle and I had spent a week or so with Honza again, repeating the flow of our first in January, which was preparation for the tour. If anyone gets results out of Footbag, I figure it is Honza, so I wasn’t shy to ask him for help, even though it was obvious that to live up to Honza’s standards is not an easy task. After a few days of video editing, photo shopping, DVD burning and lots of cooking, we had our tour stop set up for Czech. We had hundreds of kids waiting to see some Footbag, and these would be my first school demos, other than the schools I went to already. I feel to best explain the approach of the demos, it might be better to shed some light on the tour.

While the tour is organized to the day, it is also chaotic in nature. Our biggest goal is to show footbag to the masses, and ideally create some future for the sport, we also want this to be a repeatable process. While it is unlikely that Footbag will get a Daniel Boyle who has obtained money, AND wants to promote Footbag again, we can take steps to make that not a necessity. No one has proven one way to promote Footbag is the best, and often success stories, when repeated, don’t yield results. There are simply a gigantic amount of variables involved with getting a scene going, but one thing that is for sure is that the saying goes “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. When designing the tour, we didn’t want a single approach, but rather many logical approaches, to gather results and data. As a former Engineering student it is painfully obvious to me that you can’t do an experiment once and deduce a single conclusion based on our subjects, however, we can put ourselves through many scenarios and deduce what we feel.

When planning something for Footbag, I usually hear people disagree and end up saying ~“Your idea is wrong. My idea is right”, and then neither party actually does something to prove it. Having taken in those ideas, I have tried to make a tour where multiple of those scenarios will be run. An important part of this process though, is to figure out what us Footbaggers are actually capable of doing, prior to talking about what should be done. For example, public speaking is a skill. Simply put. Honza, is good at public speaking. For that reason, with his demos, we can see what it takes to truly group kids together. Fortunately, we already have positive and negative data on the schools we did with Honza. If I am ever to do a demo on my own, I know what elements I will, and will not take. Explaining those now, would, be premature however since I want to write about that after I run all the scenarios here. That being said, not everyone is a public speaker, even in their own tongue… But, I don’t want this to stop people from showing off Footbag, especially when they are talented enough, and have the motivation to. As with anything, only a percentage desire to promote, but given the numbers of footbaggers I want to investigate methods of promotion which can be attacked from any skill set. And hell, perhaps after this tour, we will find out that it is best to let our feet do the talking and not even speak :P We will see, and not speculate. That is the idea.

So, with Honza we had the “cool badass superstar approach”. We made DVD’s (ONLY in Czech) with How To Play, what is, competition, Footbag on TV, etc, videos. We had Honza Weber brand bags, with Czech Footbag shirts, with Honza signature cards and (most importantly) free tickets to go to the Todexon Expo, to further compete in Footbag. Ideally I hoped that if the kids got multiple exposures to Footbag, and trained in between, this might fuel them to keep on playing. The data covered from this, in my mind, is lovely. The experiment is neat, because, we were showing Footbag as if everything was as cool as Honza is. To test what people say about “Is Footbag cool”, we went up, rocked it, and had the best Footbag public speaker of Czech (and, hell, probably the world) show that national champions from other countries were flown out to try and beat him, really cool prizes, great music, etc etc. If the “Footbag needs to look cool approach” argument is made, we can look upon that for our findings. What ended up happening, was flocks of children running toward us players after the demo, making us sign stuff.. Hell, even the teachers did. We all even signed one teacher’s jersey, on multiple spots, because he thought we were gangster. 500 kids thinking we were cool looking pimposaurouses happened. Well, I think so, it was all in Czech.

So, with days to practice, the kids who participated in the “kicks” contests of the shows and won something, were able to come to Todexon to compete for a Czech national soccer team jersey, which is absurdly valued at like, 100 euros. I looked it up, after Honza told me the cost, and, sheesh. Football in Europe. Anyway, they were to come to compete for this, as well as Footbag prizes, after repeating the most kicks, and ideally, seeing a badass competition like Todexon. The turnout, was like, 10 kids, 4 of which competed. It was really weird, when one of the girls from the schools came, just to take a picture with me... Buuut, I guess we got the cool thing across? So, ok, 50 tickets given to 500 kids, and, 10 came. Not horrible for 10->15 year olds. But what was most interesting, was that some kids who couldn’t kick like the stars in their classes (6/10 of them) definitely thought Footbag was cool enough to come and see with their parents. Since I have a picture with the kids who kicked, it will be interesting if say, in 2 years, one of them keeps kicking.. Or, if perhaps one of the sideline kids will eventually be in the new school of Czech.

Wrapping up: The Czech tour covered what one could consider is the most expensive, and planning intensive way to do a school that is feasible without a giant sponsor. Get a world-class team, prizes, big speakers/speaking/music, invite them to a big event with international players for free, etc. If we find that, in say, a year that 15 new intermediates play at Todexon 2015, then mission total success. If more likely, like, 1 player from the schools show up, we can deduce that perhaps all the money and effort wasn't necessary. Worthy to see, as we went to 3 schools with totally different age groups / types of kids. Anyway, that is a lot of typing and the cross of Czech and Austrian sun is beating down on Evan and I, and my neck is super sore from last-minute-site-seeing around Prague with the team today. Turns out I have been to Prague 4 times, which, made me sort of the guide. I’ll write more later, but, if any of you find this interesting (at any time in the future) please do message me and ask me about specifics or something. This tour is very much only for the benefit of the community, so feel free to send me a message / comment.

https://twitter.com/FootbagTour/status/ ... 28/photo/1
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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by dasreen » 08 Apr 2014 04:40

Dear Jay,
let me take the opposite position as the event organiser. First of all I really feel bad that you had such a horrible time, and I can understand when Milan also dropped the bomb when we were outside, that everything just sucked for you. We were too optimistic with the weather on saturday afternoon and we were all happy to finally move to the indoor event side. I originally believed that there would be more space inside the skate shop so that we can play there (I was told that they move out some stuff, which didn't happen...). So yeah, bummer that we were "stuck" outside.

I agree that we don't do it in that fashion anymore, but the basic frame will probably be kept: As you mentioned in Berlin were you had a gym all day - not shred either, eh. People socialize (that's somehow the reason for existence of the swiss jam anyhow as there are no active freestylers but for me and maybe Tina), eat sth. and play a tiny bit of footbag in terms of foursquare maybe. I definitely disagree that the kids had such a horrible time as you are trying to depict here. Feel sorry for them, but I don't think you do us justice by comparing a footbag '14 tournament to one where the sport was still alive and intermediates had enough people to look up to.

Anyhow, we had more luck with the weather on sunday, and the session we had (we only consisting of me and Aleksi since everybody had left) was the one I was looking for all weekend (and it is stupid to say this as an answer to your post now as it is utterly subjective but it was also my favorite footbag moment this year so far), so yeah, too bad we made you ran away so quickly.

We have a big Zurich-wide event tomorrow where all the kids here come to try different sports, we're also representing (i.e. me and the kids). While we will make 1000 children do a toe stall, I know that not a single one will pick up footbag. I envy you for your optimism!
rene

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 08 Apr 2014 12:42

Hey Rene - really glad you responded.

I think that the main point I wanted to make about the intermediates, was that other players, (I will write an example of--Aleksi and Milan) had zero interaction with them, for example. The kids certainly looked like they had fun competing in intermediate. However, I know at tournaments in the early days of my career, what made me want to go to the next one was the dinner I had with David Clavens, the props from Penske, or the tips I got on swirl from Jorden. Getting a piece of the "gods" was so thrilling it kept me awake at night. Aleksi and Milan were both there (Sleeping or just sitting down in the other 'room'/behind counter area) and what makes me sad is that they didn't get any interaction, with the exception of me kicking with some of them / handing out props. The weather / lack of cooperation from the shop is, something that happens, but when all the right ingredients are there, to not bake the cake is just a shame. Also, that sucks I missed the Aleksi session.. Shitty that it wasn't preplanned, or, if it was, that no one told me about it when I asked.

I have optimism, but I also have, say... Depression. I really think the expression in my head truly is "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink". I know when I saw the 'water', I thirsted for it and drank. I know my friends, who were subject to 98% of the same conditions as me, did not. My optimism is for the 2% (Or whatever number that is) to pick it up. If I show 1000 kids Footbag (in a good way) and no one picks it up, they might link a video on Facebook, or something, and perhaps the extra 200 kids we reach through that might pluck the heart strings of one bored kid tired of picking his nose and watching TV. One Vasek inspired the world, and one Asmus organized a tournament which hosted ~30(?) people who already loved the sport. Both vital accomplishments for the sport, but both completely different, from very different people. Whichever kid I might inspire, I want to take the chance for, as each and every one of us can be so unique and important to this sport. That being said, yeah, I hope I get a Johnny Suderman.

8:00 am has a platter of supple minds to show Footbag to. Hoorah Sleep!
Last edited by jay7 on 08 Apr 2014 20:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by Cass » 08 Apr 2014 17:17

jay7 wrote:Once I am back in the land near Murica, I might consider going. Although not having a car anymore, we'll have to get creative to see how I can get to the middle of PA.
So what you're saying is we're going on a road trip when you get back to Canadia :D


Sorry to hear that Swiss jam was kind of a bust. You'll be happy to know that the North American scene is on an upswing :)


Good luck with the rest of the tour!

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by Air » 09 Apr 2014 02:07

Jay, when I first read your thoughts on Swiss Jam, I felt a bit irritated. Now that my name was mentioned as well, I felt obliged to comment. What struct me as odd was that you told me at the tournament that your back hurt and you weren't competing because of that. Then you come on Modified and write that you didn't compete because of other reasons, one of them being us not playing before competition. I took a nap, sure, and then played very well at circle because of that. I also chatted with the kids on multiple occasions asking them about their goals in footbag and such, and complementing all of them for playing good routines. If you wanted all of us to play for the kids, why didn't you say so at the event? Besides, the kids saw some top level play in routines and in circle. Like Rene said, I strongly disagree that they didn't have a good time or were disappointed.

Maybe a bit off point, but I did spend 8 hours on Friday at an elementary school in Zürich showing kids footbag. I had a great time at Swiss Jam, thanks once more Rene.

No hard feelings Jay, I do understand how you felt after the tournament :) Also, this is the best blog on Modified.

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Re: Jay's Blog.

Post by jay7 » 09 Apr 2014 08:46

Aleksi - I'll quote myself a few times, from this very blog.

My knee wasn't feeling perfect, rather, around my knee (no idea why, it started in Helsinki), and between Milan dropping out, having bicycled around Zurich all day, standing outside in the cold for five inexplicable hours to do nothing, and all the "cool kids" just sitting around, I just didn't want to compete. - So, not my back. My back has been fine for, many months, which I mentioned to everyone, including you, at the event. I'm oddly proud of my back, since not doing any symposium has halted the back pain. I had vented to you that day already a bunch about Milan, and one thing I'm trying to take from the Finns is to not belabor complaining, and just move on. I didn't want to just keep telling people/complaining "My knee is testy, and I know Milan cancelling is still fucking with my head, so I'd do horrible in circle anyway", so I kept the mind-game business to myself, since I didn't want to keep going on about it. Also, to help me just move on. I hope that clears up the oddness about this.

However, the minute competition was over they all put on jeans, and there was no sideline shred. The event just stopped
and
I have no idea why Rene, Milan and Aleksi were just standing, sleeping, or sitting around, even though there was music going, seven people shredding,

It isn't exclusively that I wanted you guys to play with the kids. Literally any experience level of player, wants to go to an event and see some sideline insanity. Some people only go for this, because routines are 'boring', circle is 'safe', etc. However, I especially feel like intermediates are very impressionable, want to watch footbag for hours, etc.. For them to see people sideline kicking, especially when gods like Milan and Aleksi are out to play, would probably make their year. Playing with the kids themselves, is, good, but I know also isn't necessarily 'fun'. Which is why, when I decided to not compete due to my knee, I played with them because I realized that it is rarer for a more experienced player to spend circle time with kids, and I could easily do that even with a weak knee. I didn't say anything about it, because as above - I *didn't* know why you guys weren't playing, and, I definitely didn't feel like it was my place to say anything, especially before competition, and also when I knew my head wasn't screwed on straight. However, now with a slightly straighter head, I still don't know why everyone stopped playing after. Sure, you played 8 hours with kids in Zurich, so, you had a reason, but, *everyone* stopped playing. This majority is what gets me, I guess. Not everyone could have an excuse.

Lastly, I have no idea where anyone got the idea that I said the kids DID have a bad time. I, never said that, but only

We were all frustrated, as these kids have probably looked forward to this jam, and, this was what they got
I felt really sad for the intermediates.
I just wanted more than anything to have them play, so they kids would have any evidence that a jam wasn't just standing around, and having people show up late, and then in the end no one plays with you anyway.

They might have loved it, and I guess did. However, they certainly didn't share most of the aspects of what I loved as an intermediate, as well as the fellow intermediates I chatted/played with. Sure, the kids got to see some routines, and some circle... But I know the meat and potatoes of a jam for me, now and 5 years ago, was seeing the nasty sideline shit go down. That, and reiterating the idea that Footbag jams are cold, not on time, and have no sideline, isn't a best case scenario.

I was wrong though, you did interact with them verbally. That is, awesome, and I'm glad they get to tell their mom's that they spoke to Aleksi Airinen.

--

Cassy: Yes. Yes indeed. ;) I've been missing the fruits of the Canadian/East Coast scene.

--

Anyway, two schools with 6 hours of Footbag has got me beat, and I have to edit videos, tweet, photoshop, figure out tomorrow, feed myself, shower, eat, buy tickets back to Canada, drink enough tea to sink a ship and to cure the 3 day lagging remnants of a fever/full body inflammation that kept me up for two nights, and not be a horrible house guest and ignore Klemens/Christa in 3 hours. Shit. Why did I just spend an hour blog posting about Swiss jam, I should have done something way less involved. God, I also scheduled a hair cut today. Grundle Bunnies to you clocks, stop staring at me.

Anyway, I'm really glad Aleksi even reads my blog. Means I'm doing something right I guess :D

Ciao Folks. I do indeed love you all, literally, like family. I hope you guys enjoy the results of the work/time I spend on everything :)
Jay Boychuk

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