We are honored to have this beautiful collaboration as guest-post on Farang-Mag.
Thanks for the beautiful action Tim Shieff and big respect for the beautiful article and of course the photography go to Johnny Budden aka Sticky. Enjoy!
“Once your grown up, you cant come back.” Peter Pan.
Having recently brought to life my infantile dream of locating to New York, my life has become one supreme scouting mission, absorbing new surroundings to capture, train, run through, and kick back and appreciate. It’s become an obsession, which has ultimately led to the continuous mental note making of all the visually arresting spots I encounter on my commutes to and from work. I kind of stroll amongst the morning crowds across Manhattan with my music in and teleport myself in to some sort of music video of the mind. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean, the type of melody that slows down everything in a way that feels each individual has a role to play and knows their part inside out, the bus driver is doing his job exactly how it was written, the smiles of Cheshire cats can be made out through the smog of pretzel stands as they serve passers by, and the traffic policemen morph into landing signal officers working on a Navy aircraft carriers, directing burrito delivery men down the correct lanes as if the entire country depending on it.
Tim (Timothy Shieff), a lean agile long-haired figure whose silhouette on the skyline almost resembles that of a Peter Pan character that mischievously flies without wings with a life of its own as it finds its way up high but pauses for a moment as if to patronize you and say ‘You’re not coming up? Come on, your going to miss out on all the fun!…’. From onlookers he has a nonchalant, devil-may-care attitude and is fearless when it comes to putting himself in danger, however you couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s just got unending youth and been doing what he has for as long as he can remember.
Tim had just been to the Woodstock festival to get his Vegan fix and hit me up to see if he could crash at mine for a day or two.
Having known Tim since the beginning of both of our Parkour days in which we spent years on the most unforgettable nomadic exploits around the world, I was pumped to be seeing his face once again. The fascinating thing about our amity is that every time we met, it’s for a collaboration or project that we are both equally enthused by, and naturally after each one we are eager about what the next may be.
“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”
Tim arrived at mine late one night and after some hasty shits and giggles I told him I was down for heading out immediately to the Williamsburg bridge as I had some ideas for a shot, roughly an hour later Tim had both arms above his head, fingers clenching on to the edge of steel beam embedded with years of grit and dirt, eyes on his feet as he hung over the train tracks of Williamsburg bridge, not long before a couple of trains passed at a deadly speed right below him. He was as calm as a Hindu cow – in an almost meditative never-land state composed amongst the loud clamors of steel grinding upon more steel, the extra vibrations that made the metal almost hum, and the gasps of early morning onlookers trying to get any angle they could of for their instagram.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
After that first shot it dawned on us both that there was an entire metropolis for grabs for the next 48 hours. In the short time together we scaled rooftops that towered city streets, hid in places that only lonesome pigeons can retreat too, trained at calisthenics meccas like Tompkins Square Park, went through the motions in the oldest boxing gym in NY and scaled both Manhattan and Williamburg bridges, to name but a few.
The best thing is I wasn’t concerned whether I got great shots or not, I had no client to supply any images to or any deadline, nor did Tim need them for anything – in that way we were free of any restraints. Tim could do exactly what he wanted and we could both just act on impulse.
We never once repeated anything, it was all instant reportage. This way I find looking back at them has a more honest representation of the situation. I’m already looking forward to the next time, so in true Peter Pan form I’ll say “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
Egyptian heritage, but born and raised in Germany Ihab Yassin is 19 years old as we speak. We’ve known him for a while know and seeing him grow in the last 3 years we got excited and sent Jason out to take his photo and ask about his story.
How did you start with Freerunning?
Damien Walters video was my first contact. A friend showed it to me back in 7th grade. I thought it looked interesting, but health issues stopped me from starting then.
3 years later I had it in my mind again, looked up a jam online and just went there to try it. Even if it might not be the best thing for my health I still wanted to find out if I like it. And as you can tell: I loved it!
Why out of all sports did you choose Freerunning for yourself?
It’s my thing because you can choose your own way, there’s no better or worse than anybody else. I didn’t like all the competition in football for example, I never wanted to be better than anybody.
And even if you challenge yourself with friends in Freerunning it’s on a playful note. I wanted to be a football-player and all that, but when I found Freerunning it just wasn’t interesting anymore.
Where do you get your inspiration from before you go out and train? Do you watch any videos?
No, not at all. I just go out and see what happens, sometimes that means repeating old tricks for improvement other days I really like finding something new and work on it until it’s easy.
I still watch videos sometimes and they might motivate me to go out the next day, but usually I just need to go outside and let it happen.
What’s your advice for people that haven’t started Freerunning, really want to, but don’t know how?
Don’t start in the gym! It will give you the feeling of learning faster, but most of the time you’ll be to scared to do the same tricks outside.
Starting outside really helped me learn how to fight my fears and it got me further in the long run. I also feel like you lose the creative aspect of Freerunning, instead of exploring a spot and finding different jumps you can just build whatever you want, your head gets lazy after a while.
Now after a few years I go to the gym in winter, but most of my training is outside.
Also don’t start with Flips. Use the your first years to understand what you’re body can do already and slowly progress from the basics. After you’ve mastered the basics you can play around and combine them do so many different lines. Once you’ve done that and have a good feeling for your abilities you can move on to flips.
Awesome, thanks for your time!
Of course, thank you!
No camera thus far has changed the way action-sports are captured as the GoPro did, so naturally the anticipation for their new release is huge! You can’t imagine how excited I got when they invited me to shoot with their new camera before release! I won’t be giving you any tech-breakdowns just a little hands-on experience :)
view from the our artsy-fartsy hotel
After traveling to London I check into an artsy-fartsy Hotel in London, still wondering why they sell Marble Dumbbells in the Lobby I am already seated next to a select groups of Photographers, Bloggers, Designers and am happy to meet Danny Macaskill in the crowd. We get a quick breakdown of the new camera and minutes after we are sent out on a tour through Shoreditch to play!
photo by Little Shao
Shoreditch is the center of artsy-fartsyness and hipsters in London, it’s really really awesome! Walking around with open eyes you spot mind-blowing street art in every corner, even Banksy had his few pieces around here. We had great fun playing around and the results you can get with such a tiny camera is astounding. Here you can find a select of Little Shao‘s photos, a Paris based photographer who was joining us that day.
photo by Little Shao
My favorite functions of the GoPro are definitely the Burst-Mode for photos, reviewing and editing your photos straight on your phone and of course the video-function combined with all their mounts. If you have a GoPro already these are the biggest game-changers that mattered to me:
1. 4K video at 30frames
This just means the video-resolution is even more impressive and your shots will look better, that’s always nice :)
If you love adding color correction to your video this feature is awesome. It lets you record a super flat image, leaving you lots of possibilities in post.
Danny Macaskill busting out. Photo by Little Shao
3. Screen on the Silver-edition
A first for GoPro this years Silver edition comes with a screen on the back. For me it’s really important to see if I got the shot, because often I won’t be able to come back the next day to give it another go.
4. Manual-Settings and Night Timelapses
I really enjoy tweaking all the settings from ISO to exposure time and finally the GoPro let’s you do that. This means full control and the possibility to shoot beautiful night-time shots.
GoPro also just released their new video featuring solely GoPro4 Footage:
Team Jestion has been on the forefront of pushing Freerunning films to the next level and impressed us with their new edit “No Spain No Gain”. We had the chance to chat with the man behind the camera, Ricardo Chemello, who gave us some interesting insight on spain and traveling.
Spain is such a beautiful country! The culture and the colors their cities have are something really wonderful. Throughout out trips from Valencia to Granada and down south to Malaga we realized how perfect they are for Freerunning and for their Nightlife.
Many wonder how Freerunners manage to travel and how they pay for it and I feel like it’s a lot easier than they think it is. How do you guys manage to be on the road so much?
Nice question Jason. Traveling is one of the best and most beautiful things in the world and to do it a lot you have to be serious and professional about it. Before every departure we analyze all the costs we might have. Starting with the obvious flights, hotel, rentals all the way down to our alcohol so we know exactly what budget we need. A car is really important to us as well, to be independent.
After our Morocco video we got a lot of interest and after doing our Spain-Video on our own dime it looks like we have some sponsors supporting us. This means a bigger budget which we’ll use to go to more astounding places, which no Freerunners has ever touched.
So yeah, if anybody wants to know the numbers, this whole trip cost us 2000€ and we spent 10 days all around Spain!
That one spot looked crazy! Where is it and did you have any problems with the authorities while Freerunning?
Yes, it’s called Alahmbra and is in Granada, it’s one of the best cities we’ve ever been to! After finding Alahmbra on Google we decided to go there without realizing that it’s one of the most important historical places in spain.
You have no idea how difficult it was to shoot in there! It took us 2 hours to film 4 runs, which most of the time we just had to sit still and wait for the securities to pass through. And if there wasn’t any securities you’d have tourists and kids, which gather around if you just do a single trick. So yes, it was really hard and we had to be cautious not to draw any attention towards ourselves, mostly pretending we are just some landscape photographers.
I heard the Jambo is happening again this year, are you guys gonna be around for that?
– Yes man, the Jambo will be even more amazing this year. We are uniting the Krap Invaders Jam and the Jambo competition into one action-packed three day event. It’s going to be hectic and I’m excited to be part of it as the head of the video production. Also I’m very excited to hear that the whole Farang Team is going to be in Italy for it!
Ricardo, thank you so much for your interview and I can’t say how excited we are to see more from you guys and to meet up at the Jambo!
Storm Freerun just released an epic Barcelona edit showcasing the broad talent of their team once again. Enjoy the edit and scroll down for a few questions we asked the filmmaker Giles from Visive Productions.
1.Why did you guys decide to hit up Barcelona?
To my knowledge Barcelona was mainly Tim’s call but I think once he had come up with the idea, everyone was pretty set on it! We had all seen the Born To Trace videos that are filmed there which gave us a good taste for the place and I knew a lot of skaters travel there to shoot so I was keen to check it out! Its an amazing city with some really varied architecture which made it really interesting to film around.
2. How long did it take you to shoot the video and did you know any locations before you went there?
We were out there for 8 days and shooting every day. We had a couple of guides, the main one being Aral ‘Roca’ Gomez who on the first night turned up with a spreadsheet of locations that we could hit up so we were pretty well organised for the week. The city is actually really easy to get around so on the few occasions a location wouldn’t work out it didn’t take long to get to the next one on the list.
3. We loved seeing the whole Team back together in one video, is there more content to come?
To be honest I don’t know! I mean its not like the team was dragged back together just for the video, they have always been a team! Its just I’m not sure what the plans are in terms of creating another big project like that. I hope so! The entire thing was funded through Storm Clothing so I guess if more people keep supporting Storm, the quicker we can be creating new videos like this one!
If you have missed Part 1 of how to make that Freerunning cake you can go back to it here.
In Part 2 we will continue speaking about the different Archetypes of work within the world of Freerunning. Let’s get started!
Considering the diversity of skill you have as a Freerunner you can use that as a basis for stunt-career.
Working on big film-sets, being constantly challenged and seeing your work on the big screen are enticing and highly rewarding.
I myself have NO experience in Stunts at all, but I’ve listened to countless fascinating stories from the biggest name in Freerunning Stunts and straight out of Hollywood: Team Tempest. So I believe I can give you a quick introduction, from where you have to venture on by yourself.
William Spencer as Spiderman
Firstly, if you want to make a living as a Stuntman you won’t be going very far if all you do is Freerunning. You probably want to practice falling, fighting and possibly driving. Freerunning is a great talent to make you stand out between other contestants, but the well-rounded Stuntman gets hired more.
Secondly, it is very important that you are easy to work with and make people around you feel like you know what you are doing (even if sometimes you don’t) and keep it safe! If you enjoy being reckless or taking risks you might want to call Jackass instead.
Another thing you want to consider is your location, find out where movies get shoot and how the Stunt-Industry around them works. If you end up moving out to Holly- or Bolly-, Shaun- or whatever Wood they shoot movies in now, be aware how many people are chasing this dream and how hard you will have to work to even get a chance.
And since my expertise especially on where a stunt-career can lead in older age you will have to go and research more by yourself. If that seems to hard you can forget about being a Stuntman already.
Being The Athlete is probably the most sought after and the hardest position to achieve.
Why is it sought after? Because you get to spend as much time as you want Freerunning, being a good Freerunner is your number one responsibility and that’s all you need to care about.
Your sponsors take care about sending you to events and you get paid to represent a brand that you like. At the same time the path leading to this position is very unclear and even a person who made it there can’t replicate the same journey for somebody else.
Why is that? Because being sponsored is not about doing the craziest trick or the highest jump, it’s about being different, most of all it is about being YOU. Most people have trouble finding themselves all their life and it’s unique to everybody, so good luck! It will satisfy you beyond Freerunning!
Once you find who you are it’s all about making good content and putting your name out there, for people to find and share.
Make yourself recognizable and be consistent in what you do! Do what you do best for long enough and chances are somebody out there likes it and wants to support you.
I highly recommened getting on the social media grind to carry your awesomeness into the world. Another option to showcase who you are is by participating in one of many competitions happening all around the world.
The Creative is mostly part of a likeminded collective or a Team. I’m looking at Storm, Storror and the website you are on now. The creative is somebody that loves having an idea and making it a reality, wether that is a video, a design or a blogpost. He might consider himself an artist beyond the Art of Movement and if he believes in making money off his art he will do himself better listening to Warhol, who famously said: “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”
Applying the design work to garments.
Sending out clothing worldwide.
You don’t need to be the best Freerunner in order to succeed as an Entrepeneur. The most important skill to being a successful is DOING things. Not just having an idea but using your means to create and pulling together like-minded people that believe in the same vision.
Look around and you and try to see what’s missing in the world of Freerunning, what you could add to it or how to make it better. Wether that is clothing, a video-concept, Jesse LaFlair’s Tutorials, an app like PK Spotter or a Couchsurfing website for Freerunners. If you are making a person’s life better or easier most of the time they will be happy to pay you in exchange.
If you look back at the archetypes you will quickly realize how most of the jobs require less Freerunning than you originally think they would. For most of them Freerunning-experience serves as a stepping stone or provides the knowledge on how to create an event or coach a student. It enables them to stay within the Freerunning world and being close to what they love.
In the future I would love to see more Athletes, being sponsored to progress, to shoot videos and visit events to inspire others. The biggest part in making this possible are all the creative people building their own brands, gyms and companies. I believe that a business built and supported by Freerunners is in the best position to give back, to support athletes and will not fail to do so.
While we are all growing and Freerunning is just making it’s first baby-steps I am excited to see what the future has in store for us. There are already new ways of contributing to this society on the horizon and I will try and give a prognosis in Part 3:
The largest university of Portugal sent LineTeam to 18 different institutes and gave them full access to freerun all over them.
If you know the skill LineTeam posesses and how good universities tend to be for Freerunning you are probably still unprepared for the tricks in this video, with our favorite moment being Sérgio’s Double-Kong at 4:10.
Some people might not want me to write openly about this topic or give away this information, but I realize how many people want to chase this dream and I believe there should be guidance available to them! Some of the jobs in here don’t even require Freerunning, but simply keep you in this world of Freerunners. Some of them I don’t like doing or don’t do anymore. But for this article I want to step away from what’s real and what’s not and simply show the possibilities there are.
My name is Jason Paul, I’m 23 years old and you could call me successful or a sellout, but hey here I am after making and losing money in almost all spheres of Freerunning and I want to pass on some knowledge, for which I had to work hard for, so let’s go!
Interview in Kuwait
What are you getting yourself into?
First things first, this is a write-up of my opinion, based on my experiences. None of this knowledge is 100% accurate or the ultimate truth, there is a big chance of me being wrong, for the world we live in to change or simply failure. So don’t get mad at me when shit doesn’t work out!
Be aware, if you want regular money, a safe and steady income. If you want to save up for a house, provide for a family, drive a fancy car and so on. I suggest you doing something else, not saying you can’t do that but there are a million safer and easier ways to do that!
Sam Parham (3Run) with his new car.
The Freerunning world can change every second, it could blow up or die out. Company’s could decide that it’s not cool for their products anymore, the state could apply a new law against it, Youtube can change it’s guidelines, Justin Bieber decides to start Freerunning. There are a million things that could happen. If that makes you nervous this is not for you!
If you want to live as a Freerunner or in any Freelance job you need to have trust that everything is going to work out in the end, you have to stay calm in times of great uncertainty and you have to be willing to make decisions and take risks.
And if you think that being a Pro-Freerunner requires you to only do Freerunning you are mistaken. You will have to work, do stuff you don’t like, sit at a desk, buy expensive starbucks-coffee, all that job-stuff. Which means, maybe you will be more happy to just keep Freerunning as a hobby.
Tempest Athletes building their own gym.
Alright, if you are still here we can get serious! There are many different avenues to chase down and sometimes you have to do several at the same time! Some involve more Freerunning, some less. I categorize them in seven different Archetypes
Part 1 is about The Coach, The Performer and The Organizer.
Part 2 will feature The Stuntman, The Creative and The Athlete.
Part 3 will talk about up-and-coming Jobs, that aren’t quite relevant yet, but might be in the future.
Being a Freerunning Coach or Trainer is probably one of the more obvious choices, with the prime example being Parkour Generations and the many other classes and gyms all around the world.
If you can see yourself guiding newcomers into the world of Freerunning, working with kids and working out games and ways of making exercise and learning a fun experience this might be perfect for you!
Seeing the smiles on a face of somebody who just achieved something he never thought he could do or seeing the friendships grow between participants is very rewarding. You can have an influence on somebody life and see it instantly.
AirWipp Students at one of their classes.
Of course you want to be a good coach, which means educating yourself in methods of teaching and learning, understanding the human body, liability, nutrition and being ready for any questions your students might ask you.
You got all that down, but how do you get started?
If you are parts of a gymnastics or sports club you can ask them if you can use their facilities to give lessons, which a lot of them welcome. It is very likely that this requires a license to be liable when coaching people and setting up obstacles.
Most gyms will support you on your way of doing that! Especially if you want to teach kids a license is very helpful for proving your skill and gaining a parents trust.
Outdoor classes are a good alternative and more true to the roots of the sport. Make sure to inform yourself about liability in case somebody gets hurt, even if it’s not your fault.
After you set up a location and time you will have to promote your classes. Post it on Facebook, build a website, tell your friends, make a video, get creative! There are loads of people out there who want to learn and are willing to pay a good coach for his skill.
Don’t get discouraged if you are off to a slow start, if you are a good coach word of mouth will go around after time and you will be able to build a strong business.
Me giving outdoor classes in Germany
What’s next as a coach?
If you’re able to sustain yourself and you feel like you want to take another step ahead there are many possibilities. Such as seminars for teachers, who want to bring Freerunning classes into their schools, writing fitness-concepts for fitness-studios or even opening your own gym and employing a group of coaches and friends you trust.
Examples? The Airwipp Academy, Tempest and many more!
There are lots of companys out there that want to introduce a new product to their audience or promote what they already do in a different way. Today a lot of them want to use Freerunning for the many connotations that people build to it.
As a Performer you can spend a lot of time working on your skill, have chances of travelling for shows and commercials while being part of interesting choreographies with dancers and all kinds of athletes.
What skills are important as a performer? First things first, you will be on camera and on stage so make sure you look your best and are fit! Period.
As a Performer you want to be an outstanding Team-Player, have a strong stage-presence, be easy to work with, understand choreographies, build stamina and practice a good feeling for music, rhythm and timing. If you have problems with any of these you might want to invest in some dance- or even acting-classes.
Understand what is impressive to a normal person, not to you! For the normal person a standing back-tuck is way more impressive than a double-cork, keep that in mind and use it for your advantage!
You feel like you can do this, but you don’t know how to get work?
Understand that companys don’t like taking risks, thus they want a proof of your skill and expertise before hiring you. You can do this by editing a professional looking showreel, building a website that showcases your skill and by using correct language when answering their e-mails on time!
With this proof of skill you can contact other Freerunning Teams near you who give performances already and offer help or even acquire businesses near you and explain how you can help them.
Start small and trust that your contact will be handed on if you work professionally, are on time and pleasant to have around!
Me doing a rather questionable performance job
What’s next as a Performer?
Of course you won’t be able to be a Performer until the end of your days and one option of staying within the realm is by building an agency for Performances. Collect the contacts you gained throughout the years, collect a Team of trustworthy athletes and build a strong reputation. Becoming a choreographer is also possible!
Most Freerunners love Jams, Workshops, Events or pretty much every reason to get together and exchange about what they love. For every Jam there’s always somebody who organizes a venue, sends out invitations and takes care of the whole experience so you don’t have to worry about it. That guy could be you.
Creating a good event requires a lot of thought, practice and skill. People value a great event so they are willing to pay for the experience you create for them.
If you want to get a hold in this business I suggest visiting a lot of events while making notes of what you like and what you’d want to improve, talking to the organizers about what problems they faced and what to watch out for when organizing your own events.
Once you did this I suggest starting with small events and building from there. Value the customer-experience more than anything else and try to offer them a satisfying experience for their money!
What’s next as an Organizer?
As long as there is Freerunners they will always want to meet, jam and learn together. You can create this unique environment and progress to bigger or just simply better events. Get support from Sponsors and go from local Jams to international Events or Competitions that entertain hundreds of Freerunners or even thousands of spectators!
If you made it this far you either got some useful information or you haven’t found what you’ve been looking for yet. Either way you should stay tuned for Part 2 covering The Stuntman, The Creative and The Athlete!