Acme Hole

Sep 2, 2007
1,182
118
28
Houston, TX
I purchased this and didn't think it was that bad. It did need some adjustments, but i think it's very good. Good enough that the gimmick now lives in my wallet.

I think we're the only two. I don't plan on carrying it around with me but I can definitely see a place for this in my close up and parlor sets. I dig it.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,607
3,905
New Jersey
This is what happens when we make magic into sales instead of art.

I would phrase it, "this is what happens when we make magic about "easy-to-perform, hyper-visual, organic, mind-blowing, killer, how the $#!% did you do that" tricks rather than about knowledge and application of that knowledge to make your own magic." That's why I like books -- the material typically is tested and true. For the same price as a couple of downloads or a gimmick, you get 20 to 30 amazing effects. Plus, authors like Giobbi, Minch, Bannon and Steinmeyer write beautifully and the books are truly a joy to read.
 

obrienmagic

Elite Member
Nov 4, 2014
1,445
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Orange County, Ca
www.obrienmagic.com
Instead of putting out products that haven't even been tested for a few months, they should release your stuff! It's audience tested and works which is the deal breaker for me. I know I would buy it!:D

This isn't meant to sound like a hateful comment or like I'm complaining but I'm legitimately curious as to what factors go in to deciding what products a company will put their name and marketing team behind. I understand being marketable is the first thing but I wonder what other factors go into it. Jonathan Bayme tipped a little bit of a clue in his podcast with Blake Vogt about if the effect looks like fun for an audience (which is another deal breaker in my purchasing decisions). Would love to hear any insight on this!

You are too kind my friend! haha I would love my stuff to go to market, but as realityone said, it is about marketing easy to perform hyper visual stuff that doesn't require a lot of time and energy behind. Not to say that there is never anything good on the market, I just think that it is up to the consumer to not fall victim to slick marketing and do a bit of research before making a buy.

As for the thought process behind it? Im not marketing expert but if I put something out that will take years of time to master for a small payoff next to something that is easy to perform and super visual (even at the expense of the actual effect) that the latter would sell more. If something is easy, super visual and practical, then there is no issue with releasing it. Its when impractical "only for youtube/instagram" magic starts getting released that people start to feel ripped off.
 
Sep 2, 2007
1,182
118
28
Houston, TX
As for the thought process behind it? Im not marketing expert but if I put something out that will take years of time to master for a small payoff next to something that is easy to perform and super visual (even at the expense of the actual effect) that the latter would sell more. If something is easy, super visual and practical, then there is no issue with releasing it. Its when impractical "only for youtube/instagram" magic starts getting released that people start to feel ripped off.

I think there's room for all of it. Personally, if it's something that I KNOW is going to be a killer performance piece and well thought out, I wouldn't mind shelling out several hundred dollars. David Regal's Linking Finger Ring Project is a prime example. I also agree with RealityOne, books are definitely the best value for your dollars if you actually want to find workable material.

Acme Hole is definitely good on video and honestly, even if it didn't work at all in real life, I think it still has merit for another reason. The bulk of my material that I perform for real people I would most definitely not be comfortable putting on video and posting online. For one, the method might be able to be figured out easier (we all know you can't misdirect the camera). Another reason is that I REALLY don't want people to be able to see what I'm going to do before I do it. I would dread finally doing something for someone that hasn't seen me perform and their reaction be "wow, that's that video I watched on your Facebook the other day! Even worse (and more likely) someone adds me on social media after seeing me perform and find the video of me performing the trick they were so baffled by earlier that night. Now they have a physical replay until they figure it out or think they have. Instead, they should be able to hop online and take a look at my videos and see things they haven't seen. Acme is perfect for this, but in all honesty, this will probably be one of the very few that I'll perform live and on video.
 
Acme Hole is definitely good on video and honestly, even if it didn't work at all in real life, I think it still has merit for another reason. The bulk of my material that I perform for real people I would most definitely not be comfortable putting on video and posting online. For one, the method might be able to be figured out easier (we all know you can't misdirect the camera). Another reason is that I REALLY don't want people to be able to see what I'm going to do before I do it. I would dread finally doing something for someone that hasn't seen me perform and their reaction be "wow, that's that video I watched on your Facebook the other day! Even worse (and more likely) someone adds me on social media after seeing me perform and find the video of me performing the trick they were so baffled by earlier that night. Now they have a physical replay until they figure it out or think they have. Instead, they should be able to hop online and take a look at my videos and see things they haven't seen. Acme is perfect for this, but in all honesty, this will probably be one of the very few that I'll perform live and on video.
This is an interesting point of view that you raise. I'm in agreement with you on not posting performances to platforms where laymen can view them in an effort to avoid them recognizing the effect if I ever perform for them. That is why I quit posting my working material on Instagram and Facebook because I want my plots and presentations to be surprises. YouTube is a different platform since I cater to a specific audience which is magicians and none of the laymen in my immediate network watch my YouTube and I doubt they even know it exists.

To address your point about camera tricks having their merit, I'm actually in agreement with you on that as well. I know of some people that are physically disabled and do not have the opportunity to go out and perform live for people even though they have a big love for magic and entertaining people. We are fortunate to live in an age where entertainment can be shared on a mass media scale. Due to this, disabled people will be able to enjoy the pleasures of entertaining people with magic almost in the same way that live performers can. My issue with camera tricks is how they are marketed. A little bit more honesty can go along way with sales I believe. There is definitely a market for camera only tricks but I think it's anti-consumer to sell those kind of effects to workers instead of labeling it as a camera only trick. I hope one day this can Change....(sorry I had to put that in there).
 

obrienmagic

Elite Member
Nov 4, 2014
1,445
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Orange County, Ca
www.obrienmagic.com
Just for the record, I have not seen the explanation for "Acme Hole" and do not have any stance on whether or not it is a good effect. My comment was in regards to creating something then releasing it with a price tag 2 weeks later without testing it very much and having the ability to stand behind an abstract concept with confidence.

Hope that clears it up. Great convo guys! Glad to see so many of us with different POV coming together to make constructive feedback that we can all benefit from!
 
Sep 2, 2007
1,182
118
28
Houston, TX
My issue with camera tricks is how they are marketed. A little bit more honesty can go along way with sales I believe. There is definitely a market for camera only tricks but I think it's anti-consumer to sell those kind of effects to workers instead of labeling it as a camera only trick. I hope one day this can Change....(sorry I had to put that in there).

I agree 100% on this. I'm totally cool with paying for a camera trick but don't convince me that it's my next worker when you know damn well it isn't! lol

Just for the record, I have not seen the explanation for "Acme Hole" and do not have any stance on whether or not it is a good effect. My comment was in regards to creating something then releasing it with a price tag 2 weeks later without testing it very much and having the ability to stand behind an abstract concept with confidence.

Hope that clears it up. Great convo guys! Glad to see so many of us with different POV coming together to make constructive feedback that we can all benefit from!

Yeah, that is a bit iffy. I thought it was odd too and it definitely showed in the download. I don't think this is revealing anything, we all know there IS actually an inch wide hole in the card. He achieves this hole with a one inch circle punch. He then suggests that if you don't have a circle punch, you could do it with scissors and proceeds to demonstrate. The card looked completely horrendous when he did it and iirc, he even says that he never uses that method (so why even suggest it). I don't think anyone could do it this way and make it look good, but that definitely aids in the "instant gratification" department.

Oh and yeah! Theses convos are great! :D
 

JPS

Dec 21, 2016
75
43
I break it down like this.

Its like a flap card. Flapcard's are mostly good for instagram, but people make them work in real life.

The card looked completely horrendous when he did it and iirc, he even says that he never uses that method (so why even suggest it).

I also had trouble finding those circle stickers, and found the best method for construction was to take whatever sticker you were planning on using and simply tracing the shape of the sticker with a knife onto the card, which is something obvious you can do but i think he should have suggested the idea of using different materials in the video.

As for the ethical discussion;
If you're in it for the art, hey thats cool. I think money is important in the magic industry and it wouldn't be able to function without it. The paywall behind effects is the best way to both stop any odd person from figuring out the secrets of the trade, and providing funding to creators to make more. No one is going to pay to see how a trick is done, and no one is going to share their magic ideas without some form of compensation
 

timsilva

Elite Member
Nov 18, 2007
403
43
California
timsilva.com
Just to play the devil's advocate with the overall sentiments you've shared; many if not all of you have neglected to acknowledge that Lloyd clearly explained in the trailer that he decided to release the effect following an overwhelming demand from comments on his Instagram post.

Is it really fair to criticize someone for publishing something that was in such abnormally high demand? It's completely his choice and I trust in his character to only release something he felt was a nugget worth sharing. I get that maybe none of you were the ones directly asking for it, but at least be aware that it was sold because it was asked for by loads of new and existing customers.

With that said, I think you've made an excellent point Obrien... Two weeks isn't much time, and it contradicts what is often encouraged from successful magic creators; to always give an effect time to grow and mature through (ideally) years of refinement. But who knows, perhaps he's been working on this effect (or elements of it) for much longer than it appears.

As for the quality of the idea, I think its a brilliant and captivating effect. Simple, direct, and easy to mold to many performance styles. Not sure where all of the hate is coming from for this particular effect in comparison to everything else E has published in the last few years. Seems a bit random to be honest.
 
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Is it really fair to criticize someone for publishing something that was in such abnormally high demand? It's completely his choice and I trust in his character to only release something he felt was a nugget worth sharing. I get that maybe none of you were the ones directly asking for it, but at least be aware that it was sold because it was asked for by loads of new and existing customers.
I think it's fair to criticize when this so called "abnormally high demand" you mentioned isn't a good argument. Lloyd and other creators always use the pitch "Due to high demand I'm going to release this!" I just fact checked you on the Instagram post and four people on the original post actually asked him to release it. So you're telling me since four people specifically asked him to release it, it's unfair to criticize an effect that seems like an easy money grab? The rest of the comments are from the usual random compliments you always get on Instagram like how Erik Casey always leaves a "Nice job!" on all of posts when it almost seems like it's a bot.
Not sure where all of the hate is coming from for this particular effect in comparison to everything else E has published in the last few years. Seems a bit random to be honest.
There was a lot of backlash at least on YouTube to faulty Decibel gimmicks breaking after two uses as well as people being disappointed with Lloyd's other release Change. There are several other releases that got some backlash as well.

I don't think it's fair to say that our criticisms are considered hate. We as consumers just want to hold magic distributors up to a certain standard if they want to get our money. When several customers are disappointed time and time again with Mr. Barnes's releases I think it's time he starts reflecting on himself as a creator and start asking himself "What can I create that people will actually want to use?" Is that too much to ask or is that still considered "hate"?
 

obrienmagic

Elite Member
Nov 4, 2014
1,445
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Orange County, Ca
www.obrienmagic.com
Just to play the devil's advocate with the overall sentiments you've shared; many if not all of you have neglected to acknowledge that Lloyd clearly explained in the trailer that he decided to release the effect following an overwhelming demand from comments on his Instagram post.

Is it really fair to criticize someone for publishing something that was in such abnormally high demand? It's completely his choice and I trust in his character to only release something he felt was a nugget worth sharing. I get that maybe none of you were the ones directly asking for it, but at least be aware that it was sold because it was asked for by loads of new and existing customers.

With that said, I think you've made an excellent point Obrien... Two weeks isn't much time, and it contradicts what is often encouraged from successful magic creators; to always give an effect time to grow and mature through (ideally) years of refinement. But who knows, perhaps he's been working on this effect (or elements of it) for much longer than it appears.

As for the quality of the idea, I think its a brilliant and captivating effect. Simple, direct, and easy to mold to many performance styles. Not sure where all of the hate is coming from for this particular effect in comparison to everything else E has published in the last few years. Seems a bit random to be honest.

I agree to an extent. If I shared a fun idea I just came up with and people really REAAAALLY wanted me to teach it, then I would. The only difference is I would not sell it for $9.00. I would probably put it up for free knowing that it is in such an infant stage that it is virtually just that.. "an idea."

Again, I have no stake in whether it is a good effect. I just think from both a moral and business standpoint, I would not sell something like that for so much knowing that it may effect how people perceive my style. I like Lloyd as a person and have nothing against him. I just think that if he was truly "Giving Back" to the community who wanted so badly to learn this, then he would have done just that.. Give it away.... you know?

But again, great points made from all sides of the coin... er.... card in this instance ;) Keep it up guys and thanks for continuing to debate in a professional manner!
 

obrienmagic

Elite Member
Nov 4, 2014
1,445
1,418
Orange County, Ca
www.obrienmagic.com
I think it's fair to criticize when this so called "abnormally high demand" you mentioned isn't a good argument. Lloyd and other creators always use the pitch "Due to high demand I'm going to release this!" I just fact checked you on the Instagram post and four people on the original post actually asked him to release it. So you're telling me since four people specifically asked him to release it, it's unfair to criticize an effect that seems like an easy money grab? The rest of the comments are from the usual random compliments you always get on Instagram like how Erik Casey always leaves a "Nice job!" on all of posts when it almost seems like it's a bot.

There was a lot of backlash at least on YouTube to faulty Decibel gimmicks breaking after two uses as well as people being disappointed with Lloyd's other release Change. There are several other releases that got some backlash as well.

I don't think it's fair to say that our criticisms are considered hate. We as consumers just want to hold magic distributors up to a certain standard if they want to get our money. When several customers are disappointed time and time again with Mr. Barnes's releases I think it's time he starts reflecting on himself as a creator and start asking himself "What can I create that people will actually want to use?" Is that too much to ask or is that still considered "hate"?


I would not consider it hate. As long as we are remaining professional and not making any Ad Hominem (attacks on the creator themselves.) As for the business side of it, it is in his best interest to put out quality products. Thats how you get repeat customers. haha So yeah I would like feedback on any of my releases. If you guys think its a ripoff let me know! I will take it down if something I put out does not meet the quality standards of my company and my image :)
 

timsilva

Elite Member
Nov 18, 2007
403
43
California
timsilva.com
Just saw your responses!

II just fact checked you on the Instagram post and four people on the original post actually asked him to release it. So you're telling me since four people specifically asked him to release it, it's unfair to criticize an effect that seems like an easy money grab?

I hadn't done check this myself. If that's the case, then your point stands perfectly valid from where I'm standing. Perhaps there were more comments on his Facebook page, private messages (emails or IG DMs), tweets, and so on that we didn't consider? But yeah, if there were only four sincere requests, I agree that using that as a reason to sell something is certainly fishy. Maybe some combination of people from their creative team loved the idea and pushed for its release as well.

I would not consider it hate. As long as we are remaining professional and not making any Ad Hominem (attacks on the creator themselves.)

+1 on not using Ad Hominem attacks! That is a quick way to spiral into nonsensical attempts at arguments and not help anyone.

Fair point on releasing it for free; in retrospect I'm sure they'd wish they consider that more (or maybe even a lower price). That's always a tough decision, and to be fair, E has been releasing loads of free content on YouTube these last few weeks. Plus, although I didn't check, they had a pretty generous holiday gift this year. While I agree that this particular release looks bad, consider everything. Running a business is a complex dance.
 

obrienmagic

Elite Member
Nov 4, 2014
1,445
1,418
Orange County, Ca
www.obrienmagic.com
+1 on not using Ad Hominem attacks! That is a quick way to spiral into nonsensical attempts at arguments and not help anyone.

Fair point on releasing it for free; in retrospect I'm sure they'd wish they consider that more (or maybe even a lower price). That's always a tough decision, and to be fair, E has been releasing loads of free content on YouTube these last few weeks. Plus, although I didn't check, they had a pretty generous holiday gift this year. While I agree that this particular release looks bad, consider everything. Running a business is a complex dance.

I 100% agree. Seeing a bigger picture will always add to the context! As a whole E is not doing to bad with its pricing and what not. I think the criticism was directed towards Lloyd as a creator specifically. though to sure how much control he has over the pricing if it is an officially E release. None the less, great feedback for them. :)
 
Plus, although I didn't check, they had a pretty generous holiday gift this year. While I agree that this particular release looks bad, consider everything. Running a business is a complex dance.
Yeah I agree. I'm not trying to blow up Ellusionist's spot because I do respect the company and everything that Brad Christian has done for modern magic. What you just said hits the nail on the head. Running a business is so complex and stressful I couldn't even imagine what goes on the management's head from day to day. It is really hard unless you have a good public analysis team to find what is the right match of supply for demand and how to price it accordingly to meet equilibrium. It's like walking on a tightrope I would imagine.
 

timsilva

Elite Member
Nov 18, 2007
403
43
California
timsilva.com
You guys are totally right. It's a tiny community, I'm sure they are hearing these concerns and factoring them as they go (as they should). Selling magic, I'd imagine, comes with a thin line between manipulation and effective marketing. The nature of how blurry it is invites a wide range of interpretations on the integrity of a product or brand. The market is a two-way relationship; I'm just glad there is a healthy variety of companies and philosophies to choose from because people will ditch one choice if they blur that line too much or too often. Remember when card flourishing was confined to the XCM/De'Vo empire? That was not good for the growth of the artform or the broader community. Will eagerly look forward to Lloyd's next ideas. :)
 
Dec 5, 2014
59
15
Thanks for this review... I was so excited when I saw Lloyd's and Darcy Oake's instagram vids.
Sick effect, but seems hard to pull off 100% of the time
 
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