Trick or Treat
Filmed, edited and directed by former UK National Champion and veteran kite trickster Richard Liddicott (aka "Bungle"), Trick or Treat is a freestyle frenzy featuring Tim Benson, Lars Fakkeldij, Jason Winter and myself, Andy Wardley.
The Treat of the video is a 45 minute freestyle frenzy featuring the four of us putting down some twisted tricks and mellow moves. There's no talking, just flying, some beautiful scenery and a great soundtrack. Lars cranks out some of the best Gemini flying that I've ever seen, Tim makes the insanely difficult look stupidly easy with some beautiful Deep Space sequences, Jason puts down some gnarly tricks (when he's not keeping angry golfers in check), and I crank out a bunch of crazy combos and pull some funny faces. There are also some great filler scenes, including shots from the Benson workshop and proof that we are not alone!
The Trick section is another 45 minutes of split-screen trick tutorials. Each of 16 tricks is covered in detail, starting with simple moves like the Axel and Fade, progressing through to seriously advanced tricks and combinations like the Jacob's Ladder, Comet and Yo-Fade. Both kite (Deep Space) and flier (Tim Benson) are shown side-by-side performing the trick at full speed and in slow-motion from both front and side views. Add to that a description of the trick and various hints and tips to help you master it, and you have one of the best trick tutorial videos that I've seen to date.
There's also a bonus section which is really sweet. Head east from the park to find it.
The main menu gives you four options: "play movie", "scene selection", "trick selection" and "play all tricks". The movie is comprised of 15 scenes.
- September Sessions: Lars flying a Gemini on a beach in Cornwall. I love watching Lars fly the Gemini. It was his freestyle movies that got me back into flying the Gem at the start of 2004. By chance I happened to take a video camera out with me on that day... Lovely flic-flacs.
- Polly Joke: Tim flying a red Deep Space on and around the beach. Lovely flowing flying from the man himself. See the guy who invented the Jacob's Ladder showing you how it should be done.
- Sunset Sessions: Me flying an Orange Deep Space in the early evening at Bristol Kite Festival 2005. The usual spinny-flippy combos and some nice multi-barrel rolls, aka Limey-Twists!
- Pitch and Putt: Jason cranking out some lovely tricks on the golf course at Bristol. Check out the sweet groundwork and the "Jason Specials". Is that a 720 Top Spin (or whatever it's called this week) I see before me?
- The Beach: Back to Lars with the Gemini. Lots of wrapped multi-tricks and some mad comet combos. Lars does things with the Gemini that I didn't think were possible. He has this great style which contrasts smooth flowing flying with hard and crisp precision. Very nice!
- James Bond: Me again, this time near the top of the "James Bond" run at one of our favourite mountain boarding spots in Aldershot. More tricks multiplexing flic-flacs, wraps and various spins, mixed up with a dose of groundwork and another slice of lime to finish.
- Fly, Pie and Pint: Tim's next section starts with comets, coin-tosses and some sweet combos. But the real highlights are the multi-wrap tricks including a 15 wrap monster!
- Flying High: Me again, flying at various locations in and around Guildford.
- Autumn Evenings: Lars on the beach once more, with the Gemini and some lovely Deep Space combinations.
- Stoked: Me going mad at Stoke Park.
- Workshop: See a Gemini being born. Every kite hand-made with love, affection and attention to detail!
- Autumn Evenings: More of Jason at Ashton Court. Wrappy goodness and multi-spin mayhem.
- The Old Skool: Some "Street Kiting" at Surrey University with me trying to drown a kite in a fountain. Also contains some secret footage of the Space Dome which controls Guildford's unique weather-controlling "BioDome" system.
- Holywell: A wonderful session of Tim putting down some beautiful flying on the beach with the Deep Space. Some amazing multi-wrap waps, multi-wrap multi-lazies, comets, combos and one of his trademark moves: the sharky. Lovely flying, lovely scenery, lovely filming. A great way to finish!
The Tricks section contains the following 16 trick tutorials.
- 540 Flat Spin
- Lazy Susan
- Axel Cascade
- Backspin Cascade
- Snap Lazy Landing
- Yo-Yo Lazy
- Wap Doo Wap
- Jacob's Ladder
- Yo Fade
I've been waiting for 12 years to see Tim Benson caught on camera and I'm sure I'm not the only one. He has been such an inspiration to me and so many other people, at least those who have been lucky enough to catch him live. Now everyone can see what the fuss is all about and understand why Tim Benson is recognised as one of the World's best trick and freestyle fliers as well as being one of the most highly regarded designers.
And the other guys on the film are pretty good too! Lars shows the Gemini at its best and reminds me why I dug out my Gemini at the start of 2004 and got back into flying again. Back then it was watching Lars on his self-shot videos that not only inspired me to get out flying seriously again, but also to start filming it to see what I came up with. Once again, watching Lars on Trick or Treat makes me want to get out and fly!
Jason also nails out some really nice tricks on the Deep Space. He's been around flying trick kites as long (or longer) than me and he knows a thing or two! Never happy to just bang out the tricks that everyone else is doing, he's always exploring the edges to see what else is possible.
That Wardley fella also puts in a decent performance. Certainly not my best flying, but not my worst either. The best thing about it was having a proper cameraman (i.e. not a tripod) that can not only follow the kite around, but also knows what he's doing in the first place. Bungle's done a fantastic job of making us all looker better than we really are.
Apart from Tim of course. He really is that good, better even! Without him I certainly wouldn't be on that film, and quite possibly not flying kites at all. This DVD is a great tribute to the style, the brand and the kites that are Benson, but above all it's a great tribute to the man himself, Tim Benson.
We've been waiting long enough for it, but I think it's been worth the wait.
Given that I appear in the film, it's kinda hard to heap praise on it without sounding like I'm blowing my own trumpet. But my part in the overall production of this DVD has been small. Other than being the bloke pulling the strings on the orange Deep Space, I feel like I'm more of a happy consumer than part of the production team. Credit is of course due to Tim and the other fliers for the great parts they played. But if real praise is to be heaped then it should be heaped on Richard. He's the one who turned some people flying kites into a first rate freestyle movie and top quality trick tutorial to boot.
Nevertheless, Richard is an old friend from the early days (and a great bloke too), it is my buddies and me in the video, we are all flying Benson kites that I've played some part in designing, and we did have a lot of fun along the way. So of course I'm going to be biased and look fondly upon this offering. Feel free to take it all with a pinch of salt or barbecue sauce if you prefer.