Fake Sports by Tony Pezzo – Review & Interview

Tony Pezzo has recently released Fake Sports, a 25 minute, pay for download video. I have been requested by him and eJuggle to review it for you!

You might know Tony from his various videos on YouTube, or some of his longer video projects which you can watch for free as an IJA member!

Like his previous films, Fake Sports contains loads of new tricks! Divided in three sections, tony plays with regular juggling rings, nets and balls, and color changing rings. Have a look at the trailer below!

Though juggling is better to be seen than to be written about, I’ll try to give a short description of the video and my opinion about it.

The first part with the rings is very resemblant of some of his older YouTube videos. All new tricks, but regular props and filmed in a calm environment. Each shot shows another short repeating pattern.

In the second part, Tony shows off his nets. I had seen him playing with them on stage, but this is the first time any of his research got on video! The amount of possibilities with this new prop is huge, and while watching I wished that I had a set too.

The last part is also the best part. Playing with the classic color changing trick, Tony has researched so many clever ways to achieve this effect in unusual ways! With a well structured video, brilliant tricks and some fun foolery, this last chapter leaves you wishing for more.

To grow and expand the juggling world, I fully support all kinds of video projects. They provide vocabulary and inspiration for their audiences. If you like watching juggling, and you wish to support Tony Pezzo, I recommend buying Fake Sports at TonyPezzo.com.

 

Interview

I’ve talked to Tony over skype about his project, which resulted in these comments. My questions are edited out, and the answers rearranged to match the chronology of the video. Many of his explanations make more sense after watching the video, so be sure to pick it up and read this again once you’ve done so!

Tony:

The first ring section is just kind of… tricks.  A lot of new multiplexes and showers. There are a couple different themes in there; like I have this thing where I have two or three rings in one hand and I throw a ring, as I slide another ring back, drop it down and catch it with the other hand. Super hard to explain! This ring section was the last section I made for the video.  It was inspired from a few key tricks I had in my notebook for a while, but didn’t know how to fit them into anything. I tried to make all the tricks have the same vibe, by using some of the same base techniques throughout the section. They are all in the same family.

I think when you watch a juggling video, it’s fun to see a specific technique or theme, and then watch it develop and grow throughout the video!  As the viewer, you are sort of learning the mechanics of the technique, and understanding it more as you see the progressions. If you’re watching a video, and each new clip is a completely new and unrelated concept, I think it can be hard over the course of a 5, 10, 15 minute video, to stay interested.

I picked up the nets a couple years ago from a shop in Sweden.  They are one of the props I’ve had the most fun researching with.  They seem to function really well for catching, throwing, and bouncing balls out of them, and make some techniques very easy.  I’ve performed at a few different conventions with them, but this is my fist time making a video with them. The net section is set up as one long routine. One big difference when you make a routine for a video vs. stage, is that you don’t always have to worry, or even be aware of where people are going to be watching it from. This is something that can be worked out during the filming process. If you’re filming from an angle where something doesn’t look good, you can just cut to another angle, that better fits the juggling.  Also if you have a big trick, with also small details, you can show a wide angle, and then go in for a detailed close up, so that you make sure the viewer understands everything that’s happening.

This whole idea of adding in non juggling, video and audio samples, was something Wes first did when he made my video Pearls! I think the idea was to give the viewer a little mental break, even if only for a couple seconds, and charge them back up to watch some more juggling. The samples can also be related to the juggling in some way, or be completely the opposite.  In Pearls it was a bit ironic and funny, showing me nail a trick, and then cutting to someone going crazy with excitement, because they just won a car.  The people going crazy with excitement, represented almost the exact opposite of my reaction.  The samples can also be directly in line with the juggling, like in Wes’ video Salt.  The pictures he shows of arms, hands, and angles, fit so perfectly with the tricks he’s showing.

The color change section is my favorite part! I am also working on a two sided rings piece for the stage, but it was fun to make tricks for a video, again because you can show just the right angle to get the good effect, which is crucial for two sided rings.

I had two different main themes in this part: The first half started somewhat more traditional.  All the tricks started with one color, and ended with another color. In the second half, however, it was focusing on tricks where sometimes nothing ‘changed,’ but instead you see flickers and flashes of color.  An example of this is – I have some tricks where I catch the ring on the thumb, and flip it over.  The ring does a full rotation, so the ring will remain on, lets say the white side, and you just see a flash of pink for a fraction of a second.

It’s fun to take a classic prop, or old school technique, that people don’t really think of as modern, or fun, or cool, and try to develop it.  I think there’s a lot of things like this, that people might miss, because there are so caught up in the hip and cool new wrist trap of today.

Daniel Simu

I am a juggler and circus performer from the Netherlands. I travel all over Europe to learn, create, discuss, perform and organise, and I am always looking for fun projects to join! Feel free to contact me about anything :)

Leave a Reply