Interview with Daniel Griegg, Lights Camera Cubing
Daniel Griegg, Lights Camera Cubing, is a competitive speedcuber and content creator known for his educational unboxings and reviews and fun creative content. Besides crushing it on YouTube, Daniel is a student, athlete, and musician. Also you can use code "LCC" to get 5% off your order and a FREE Lights Camera Cubing logo! Here’s our interview with him!
Q1: Hey, welcome to the interview. How’s college going?
College has been going well so far! It feels unnatural to be going to all my classes on Zoom, but I've been making it work. I chose to live on campus even though all of my classes are online but it has still been fun to be around other college students so I can start meeting new people. Plus there's a pretty large cube club at the University of Maryland, and I think that will be a lot of fun once we can meet in person.
Q2: For sure. Good luck with the Zoom classes. What do you major in currently?
I'm majoring in marketing.
Q3: Awesome. That’s a pretty big part of what I do for a living. The UMD cube club is one of the best cube clubs I’ve ever been to. Who are some of your best friends at the club?
My friend Liam is in the same year as me, so we both joined the club this year. We've been very close friends ever since middle school, and cubing was the main thing that we connected over. He was the person who first introduced me to competitions and TheCubicle, and it's fun that we are both still avid cubers! This year I also started spending more time with Sean (UberCuber) since I see him quite often around campus. Keaton isn't on campus this year, but it's always fun to talk with him as well. I think the Slow N Steady competitions will be a blast once we are able to host them again!
Q4: For sure. We definitely appreciate you and Liam. Slow N Steady was like the mecca of 3x3 one-handed back in my day. There was an incredible amount of OH talent -- and general cubing talent there. Now, onto YouTube. We had a lot of fun watching your Rubik’s Cube Workout Tutorial. What inspired you to make that video? Will you do more videos like this in the future?
My first source of inspiration for the workout video was my 17x17, which is a very heavy puzzle. It felt like a "workout" just to hold it and solve it, so that gave me the idea to do an entire video around Rubik's Cube themed workouts. I didn't want every exercise to revolve around the 17x17 though, since not many people have one, so I made a list of different types of exercises that could be done with 3x3s, and compiled them into one video. I definitely want to do more entertaining videos like that in the future because they're fun to make and look back on!
Q5: Looking forward to more entertainment videos for sure. We recently watched your How I Film Videos in My College Dorm video and saw that you played piano! Outside of cubing and music, do you have any other cool hobbies?
My other big activity is swimming. I swam for my high school team as well as a club team all throughout my high school years, and now I am on the club team at UMD. We haven't been allowed to practice as a group, but I still like to go to the pool on campus every day to get some exercise in. Since there aren't any meets to train for currently, I've been using my pool time as a fun way to clear my mind and stay active.
Q6: Nice. Staying active is definitely important. Here’s an interesting question. Given your experience as a marketing student, what’s the most interesting marketing tactic you’ve seen so far in the speedcubing industry? What company’s marketing do you like the most?
Some of the most interesting tactics I've seen recently have been in the naming of certain puzzles. MoYu has been naming all their WCA cubes "WR", which initially stood for “without ridges” but has now seemed to morph into their general product line name. Seeing as it also conveniently stands for “world record”, I think using the acronym was a good way to capitalize on sales. GAN has also done a similar thing with their newest 3x3, calling it the 11 M Pro, which is reminiscent of Apple's iPhone names. This helps paint them as a more high-end brand, and that is certainly reflected in the price of their cubes! As for the marketing I like the most, my first thoughts go to social media, and the brand I see the most diverse content from on Facebook/Instagram is definitely QiYi. In addition to advertising their new products and sharing videos from their sponsorees like most other companies do, they also post funny cube-themed comics, as well as their "Fun Fact of Cubes" series. While these posts probably don't directly translate to sales, it certainly helps make customers think of them as a fun and interactive brand, which is a valuable trait.
Q7: Ah yes, their mascot GeGe is cute. Now, on the speedcubing side, what puzzles would you say are your favorite? Any events you’re looking to improve in?
Well, my favorite event has always been 3x3, and my main right now is the WR M 2020. I'm also hoping to improve in big cubes soon, mainly 5x5 and 6x6. I just got the X-Man Shadow V2 M and it has inspired me to practice 6x6 a lot more recently. Right now I'm averaging around 2:15, but my goal is to get my average under 2:00.
Q8: Awesome. Hope you can get to sub 2:00 soon. Here’s an interesting hardware question. To you, what makes the WeiLong WR M 2020 better than the original WeiLong WR M?
The main thing I prefer about the 2020 over the original is that it feels much more stable. Even at the highest spring compression, the original was still a bit floppy, but I've been able to use my 2020 version on the second highest spring compression and still have a comfortable level of stability. I think the magnets also contribute to the stable feel. On the original, the magnets felt mushy, but on the 2020 version, they are much more pronounced and snappy which I prefer. The WR M 2020 is also one of the smoothest and softest cubes I've ever tried, and I absolutely love the soft feeling. The only downside is that it doesn't work well for me for one-handed because it is a bit too fast and slippery because of the frosted plastic, so I actually prefer the original WR M for OH.
Q9: I see. Well, we’re glad that you have a cube you like and understand so much. We hope it helps score you some good times. This is one of those questions I ask everyone near the end. Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that you think most people don’t know?
Haha... normally when people ask me that I would tell them about cubing but I think everyone here already knows about that! Here's something new though: I'm a very tidy person in terms of keeping my living/working spaces organized. I appreciate having clean surfaces to work on and not a lot of clutter lying around, so I guess I would consider myself to be an aspiring minimalist.
Q10: Wow, that’s really interesting and a reminder for me to declutter a little. Now for the last question, if you had to describe your cubing style using only three words, what would they be?
Casual, controlled, consistent.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Your insight into cube marketing was really cool. Best of luck in school!