My name is Lucas Young. I was born in Bromley, London but lived most of my life in New Zealand. I left New Zealand to explore Europe in 2016 and have now settled in the UK.
I’m a multipotentialite, I guess because I’ve yet to find a neat box or category into which I can be installed.
I grew up in a very small town (just a crossroads, really) called Otakeho on New Zealand’s west coast, under the shadow of Mount Taranaki, next to the sea. A relatively flat expanse of land where the primary industry is dairy farming.
As a child, the New Zealand Government sent people to test my I.Q. (because I kept reading books on lasers and holograms instead of playing rugby and being excited about cows) which was measured at 156. This made dealing with normality difficult but meant I was always interested in a huge variety of subjects.
At Auckland University, I studied astrophysics, quantum physics, electronics, computer science, philosophy, Russian and film.
After a few years post-Uni working night shifts at a gas station in Auckland, I decided to become involved in the film industry.
At South Seas Film & Television School, I graduated as a director / editor and went to work at Television New Zealand as an editor.
I went back to the school many times and taught classes in editing, DVD production, Flash animation and ActionScript.
I got very interested in hypnosis for a while, and considered studying to be a hypnotherapist. I spent a lot of time regressing my friends back to previous lives or making them believe water was vodka. During a seance in Masterton where I’d hypnotised one of the participants he became possessed by a 19th century magician called Ben Yun which was a lot of fun for all concerned.
During this period I fell off a cliff, and telling that that tale during an audition resulted in me winning a car on New Zealand’s version of Wheel of Fortune where I tried my best to make the host’s life difficult by using words like “erythrocyte” and “floccinaucinihilipilification”.
Being broke at the time I immediately sold the car (which was then deemed to be second hand so I got a lot less for it considering I’d only driven it for an hour). But that paid the bills for a while!
What an utter, utter geek.
Web Development - Digitalus Ltd
After film school I had started a video production company called Digital Motion with Daniel Crothers which didn’t go so well … so we pivoted into Web Design and started Digitalus Ltd which is still maintaining and developing websites for clients like Hasbro, Inc. to this day.
During this time Daniel and I were the business coaches and mentors for a number of high school business teams as part of New Zealand’s Young Enterprise Scheme. One team won the regional championships, the other (“Cool It”) won both the regional and national championships.
While web design was the “day job” I was still able to keep involved in the film industry. I wrote and directed a number of very bad short films as part of the annual “48 Hour Film Competition” in New Zealand. You’re given a random genre, character, line of dialogue and prop and you have 48 hours to write, shoot edit and deliver a short film…
Wu Shu is a Chinese martial art, it’s almost like their national sport, and it’s very common for Chinese kids to learn it.
I joined a Wu Shu club in Auckland along Daniel and some other friends and we had a lot of fun being the odd ones out in the class. I was never great at it compared to my friends but it was a good way to keep fit, make friends and learn a new culture.
Xena: Warrior Princess
I was registered with an acting agency as an extra (despite being in the industry to some extent being an extra allowed me to learn about how a set worked, as there was a lot of sitting around between takes.
I played the role of “Bearded Guard” role in Xena: Warrior Princess and they gave me a spoken line, I had about 15 minutes to learn a terrible American accent.(Season 2, Episode 9 “A Solstice Carol”)
Serial Slayer (originally called Claustrophobia) was an independent horror film written and directed by my friend Mark Tapio Kines in Los Angeles. I’d been visiting him and suggested that myself and a crew of Kiwis would help make his next film project. It was one of the first features to be shot in the new “DV” digital video format. It starred Melanie Lynskey, Mary-Lynn Rajskub and Sheeri Rappaport and had a guest appearance by Judith O’Dea from the 1968 George A. Romero film Night of the Living Dead.
I was 2nd Assistant Director.
Click to watch the trailer
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Stoners Cookbook / HERB
I was one of the founders and CTO of the web’s largest online cannabis community, HERB (formerly The Stoner’s Cookbook), which I started in 2006 along with a friend.
We originally created the site as a joke – a place for stoners to upload their favourite munchie food – and three years after we created it, The Stoner’s Cookbook became the number one cannabis recipe site on the net.
We re-branded it to HERB and aimed it at the U.S. market where legalization was taking off (advertisers in the U.S. didn’t like the word “stoner”) and it now has more than 11 million followers on Facebook.
The original website landing page for The Stoner’s Cookbook from 2006
In 2016 I decided it was time to explore Europe, find my roots, and learn some French (Mum’s French). I moved to Annecy, France and spent a lot of time with a beatboxing duo called Furiial, helping them with their social media presence and exploring France and the French culture at the same time. I made friends and spent a lot of time in Montpellier, Lyon and Paris as well.
While living in Annecy, France I spent some time in Switzerland and made a short documentary about my friend, Swiss contact juggler Joseph Viatte.
The video that made Joseph Viatte famous.
My first documentary
The Reel Scene Acting School in London
I finally realised my dream of getting back into the industry, this time as a writer/director/actor. I’m working at The Reel Scene as their digital manager as well as graduating from a number of their courses including the Screen Acting Year Course and Asa Butterfield Masterclass. I also write scripts for them and write/direct/shoot/edit a lot of the student scenes.
Ancora imparo! “Yet, I am learning.”
Life continues unabated!
In the last few years, I’ve lived and travelled in and around France. I’m studying and qualifying in machine learning, developing projects using TensorFlow and Python and learning about fun stuff like Convolutional Neural Networks and Generative Adversarial Networks. I built a library that’s currently analysing the Harry Potter books and trying to generate “new” stories (if you want to read “Harry Potter and the Order of the Pasinix” let me know!)
I have a YouTube Channel where I vlog and post videos – when I get time.
I’m involved in bitcoin and blockchain / cryptocurrency development and investment.
I recently played the part of Lenny in the feature film All Those Things. I have been 1st AD on another film, 2nd AD on an upcoming feature film and am developing a game with Asa Butterfield.
I’m also developing a number of other mobile apps, improving my beatbox and frequently travelling to France.
“Can a sea anemone see an enemy sea anemone?”
“I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”
– Robert Frost
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
– Saint Thomas Aquinas
“My New Year’s resolution is 1920 * 1280”
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”
– Dr Seuss
“It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.”
“Only a life lived for others is worth living”
– Albert Einstein
Interview at Startup Savant, 21 Nov 2016
Steam: pr0fess0r (http://steamcommunity.com/id/lucasjbyoung)
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110210691301036525608
Founder/CTO: HERB (formerly The Stoners Cookbook) (2006) http://herb.co
– Digitalus Ltd
– The Stoner’s Cookbook
– LYDC Ltd
– DSLE Ltd