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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mclintock, Feb 5, 2016.
Thought you guys might like this. I have no idea how I even came across it...
Very important topic.
Dan's video, please?
I didn't know that Joshua is one of the founders of Vanishing INC.
Well, Theory11 absolutely do not need to clarify this kinda thing, their trailers are too honest even if the trailer didn't have much info you will definitely will find more in the description.
There is only one company that uses misleading trailers A LOT I don't want to mention names but it starts with an S.
It has a K in it, doesn't it?
I spent a while trying to find this video they talked about on Dan's FB account. but I couldn't find it. In case it was seen this way I did not make this to accuse T11, I just thought it was relevant to the magic community.
I didn't meant that you did accused them or anything at all, I'm sorry about that.
so, I guess there are more than one company does that LOL.
Sooo yeah here is the Dan video https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10156489244270268
Thanks a lot!
*Note* the following contains my opinions. If you do not want to be offended or butt heads, DO NOT read further.
Beside the strong language and the cheap plugs, Dan brings up a great point. As it is, most magic online is best used online. Very little can be presented without appearing too suspicious, and is essentially not practical. I've bought products from two companies over the past 1.25 years: theory11 and Ellusionist.
90% of all the things I've purchased during this time was from theory11 so I'll dissect my experience with them first. The very first theory11 product I bought was Decoy, the disappearing deck trick. Admittedly, the trick itself is not that great. Like Dan brings up, it isn't all that practical for any use outside of a camera. The trailer is well shot and appears to be too good. That said I've taken a liking to clean card stuff, no fancy gimmicks, no elaborate setup, no slim angles, just cards. I still consider tricks like Wayne Houchin's Counterfeit to be a decent, semi-practical trick that, if needed, I would use. It isn't perfect as there are a few (possible) angle issues and a slight setup, but I feel confident enough that I could use it without anyone questioning the methods. I've also been introduced to card gaffing (thanks to Blake Vogt's Split Session on the WIRE), and have compared my work with theory11's products (made by Jeremy Hanrahan). I've decided to move to card magic that requires only sleights, or a simple gaff that I can produce on my own (without paying tons of money on refills). As for theory11's cards, I agree that they are ornate and can be a little over the top. I won't say that's a bad thing though as I treat my cards as an "art collection on a budget", that I could also use for my gaffing mini-hobby. Why does embossing, debossing, and foiling make a difference? I take pictures every single day. If not of nature things, it's of cards. When cards have ornate detail they tend to look nicer (and photograph better), so I don't mind the cards produced, although they are getting a little too pricey.
Ellusionist was a late comer to my magic experience. My first trick I bought from them was Change. To be blunt, this was exactly the kind of magic that Dan felt strongest about. The gimmick looked and felt like something out of a cereal box. The only way you could get the angles right and get the presentation shown in the trailer was on a camera. When I tried to return it their customer support demanded I "give it a second chance" and refused to give me a return authorization that first time. After a couple days, I had to ask for an RMA again, after which I was luckily received by their warehouse supervisor who finally gave me a number. This was truly a polarizing event where I could see the cash grab that was online magic. Sad day.
Like Dan I hope there is change, less about the trailer and the money, more about the magic. Looking back, I remember that the initial plan for Sub Rosa's release was a no-trailer, word based description. I want more tricks that can be simple like this. Sub Rosa may not be perfect, but it's something that I can do right in front of a spectator, simple, clean, and fair.
I think the video is mainly addressing the state of the 'webcam magician'. In our current society, it's much faster and easier to perform a trick in our bedroom and offices than it is to organize a set, schedule a time to go out, and perform for a live audience.
This, I think what Dan Sperry is saying: this mentality has led up to a lot of tricks being made to accommodate webcam performances: super angle sensitive tricks that only work on camera.
I think that in today's day and age, it is beneficial to be able to perform on camera and broadcast it. Especially if you're looking for help from other magicians.
I do agree that does set a sort of precedent; if we aren't performing out of our rooms, how does the art advance? But if all we have are 'camera tricks', how do we perform out of our room?
I think what may help is if we WAIT for reviews of new magic tricks. If they are bad, they get called out immediately. And you get to know the flaws immediately.
Also, I think that a lot of us ambitious beginner types could benefit from the 'tattoo rule' when it comes to buying new magic:
Before you do something permanent (in this case, paying for new magic), wait for a few weeks to make sure you still like the idea instead of doing something spur of the moment.
This is why books get recommended instead of props. Instead of ONE trick, you have an array of them at your fingertips. Plus, even if you only get one trick you like out of a book, mission accomplished. Information will always carry more weight in the long run--and most books are cheaper. Plus, you'll learn principles that you may figure out how they get a particular trick to work in a trailer and thus, you can make an even BETTER informed descision to buy.
On the subject of the 'tattoo rule', when a new trick comes out that looks exciting, just wait. Here's the other reason to wait: does it fit your character, can it belong comfortably in your set or your repertoire, can you see yourself using it for a year, can I make a routine out of this that's NOT the stock presentation?
In this day and age, I don't think there's 'buyer beware'. It's lack of research. I think that if we are in the market for single tricks, we should wait for informed reviews and a lot of thought on our parts as to whether a particular piece is right for you.
A little thought can save you a lot of money.
And go out and perform for a live audience. There's no way around that one.
@Bryant_Tsu after what you said I realized something. One of the forum rules says "We understand that times are changing, but please try to keep profanity down to an absolute minimum. Certainly no S-Bombs. Definitely no F-Bombs.". If someone educated in the ways of this forums (a moderator or such) can answer: How does that apply to videos like this? Should they not be posted anymore? Or with a warning?
I think that this is a great video. However due to the excessive profanity I think a warning (on the video or the post that has the link) could be used to warn children and others who cannot stand it.
If I understood Dan's rant, there will be no flak for angle sensitive, or relatively unpractical tricks as the magic community has had their expectations lowered.
I hope I understood what you said correctly--here we go!
The tricks marketed towards webcam performances, in my opinion, is a bell that can't be unrung.
I think those sorts of tricks are marketed towards ambitious types who have no idea where to look and where to go in their magic journey.
I don't think that the magic community has 'lowered its standards'. In the past several years, magic has seen an incredible growth of folks who will carry the torch. Because of the overwhelming number of them, they are going to be the ones that get marketed towards. And magic is ALWAYS trying to adapt; case in point: webcam performances.
I think these webcam-only magicians need to realize that you need to be established before people start looking and taking your webcam magic seriously. Not the other way around
WOW, I never thought that I will ever be listening to Dan Sperry talking for like 20 minutes or something.
anyway, Dan's video actually cleared a lot of things for me I thought the whole thing is about trailers, that's what my last comment here was about that but, the topic is different now after watching the video.
here are some of my thoughts about it if you wanna hear my opinion
I totally agree with Dan on most of the points he made, I personally felt that the whole community is so much boring because everybody is doing the same thing.
It is about the views and the cash for a lot of people, it's sad but it's true. (I won't say I'm innocent from this, I do make videos sometimes in the intention for the views) but if I started and everybody starts to reconsider why I'm doing what I'm doing the community will get better, well that what individuals can do what about companies I can't say more than what Dan already said but yeah something needs to be changed.
we can't really blame companies for this, I mean there are people working and living just from what they make from this business, they can't just shut it down, yes the process is kinda wrong most of the tricks these days are gimmicks and then they throw a bunch of forces and controls to make it "performable" it's about that one second of magic and not about the entire thing.
the blame is actually on both sides if we didn't pay for these fake stuff they will stop making them, I mean come on if you purchased Decoy or Imprint What are you expecting? of course it's not good live I mean come on guys.
I am not a cards collector but with all these awesome cards out there everybody gets this feeling when you don't need a new deck but you would love to buy it because of that back design, the video really did change my view on this point, I mean what is the point of buying these decks especially those 15$ Kickstarter stuff.
Let's face it, magic is different now, is it getting better? or worse? I can't answer that because there is no right answer for it.
Finally, it's not only about the new generation, it's about everyone look at Jay Sankey for example, his magic was the best in the market at a point and all of his tricks are stuff you can perform live with a lot of confidence, look at him now the media changed him we reached a point where nobody cares about good routine but they care about super impossible seconds so, he gave people what they wanted he is selling a bunch of gimmicks now and running a youtube channel not because this is his style but because if he didn't do that, he will be in the back, which is unfortunate and a very sad thing.
I'm sorry for the long post but I had to say these stuff.
By "lowered standards" I am referring to a large amount of new magicians that are content with tricks that cannot be used off camera. If magicians are okay with only presenting on camera and there is not as many who want to perform live, that is a problem. You mentioned webcam magicians needing to establish themselves, and the point is most people on Instagram that post magic videos aren't doing that. The camera angles/lighting enable them to use really impractical tricks that don't really contribute to magic as a whole. Methods are evolving into really elaborate gimmicks and impractical routines that only work under increasingly specific angles and lighting, and cost lots of money to replenish.
I once saw a (literal) $600 deck of cards on Ellusionist. The cards had RFID chips manufactured in the cards and came with a wireless reader. The idea was a magician could place the reader under the table and check his phone in another room to see a selected card. Seriously, what the heck is happening here? This is a cash grab for (stupidly) elaborate "magic" that really isn't practical (for you as a magician or your wallet).
Even well received tricks like Angle-Z need company supplied refills to continue performing. Magicians are chained to companies with their wallets.
Finally, magic tricks will not be "weeded out and dissected" like you would expect them to. Trust me when I say Ellusionist's Change by Lloyd Barnes received flak for being really impractical. It was really only designed to be used on camera. However, as of now it has a whopping 4/5 stars, seeming to be a pretty good product. Standards (expectations) are being lowered (keep in mind the product is advertised to be used in live performances, it is not actually that workable).
I would go on, but I didn't want to throw shade at theory11's products on this forum (especially since there hasn't been anything this obnoxious that's made it on here). You've been relatively good, theory11. Only products I'd have issues with based on the above reasons of impracticality are possibly Break, and definitely Decoy.
I bought Decoy after watching this video:
Looks pretty good live, right? Not that easy.
Let me start off by saying I have a lot of respect for Dan Sperry but I both agree and disagree with him.
I agree that modern magic has become inflated with doctored up trailers to make really deceiving messages about the product you are potentially interested in buying. A prime example of this is Change by Lloyd Barnes. There is no way I'm going to perform it in the real world. It looks great on Instagram (in fact it was my most liked video on instagram) but I, believe it or not, love to perform live in front of real world audiences. Change simply would not do the trick for me (for lack of a better word.) I was also very disappointed in Cut by Ran P'ink as well as several others. But here is what I made my biggest mistake on, I did not research the effect for practical real world settings.
What Dan Sperry may not realize is that there is a wonderful group of YouTubers that review magic effects and will give an honest review of them. You really can't trust the reviews on the online magic retailer sites at all because they are often rigged and biased. But YouTubers will often show real world performances if they are any good. You don't really want to listen to YouTubers with a huge following because they typically have a bias in their review because they received their effect for free from a friend who created it. But you can certainly trust the reviews of the folks with the smaller followings such as Da'Mon, James Wise, and several others.
As for me on a personal level, I have made it my goal to not release any effect that I would not use in a real world setting myself. In fact, I will try to have a live performance of an effect in every trailer I release. I've been working on projects for about two years now that I have been refining in real world scenarios and once I feel that they are ready I will release them. I even have a free release planned of a practical effect that I use in the real world (both street and on-stage) for free since I'm not interested in making a buck off of the effect but rather having something that I hope will help beginners gain the confidence to go out and perform in front of live people.
I do love YouTube, Instagram, and other various media entertainment sites but I get just as much joy performing in the real world. Currently, I perform for children at a food pantry and during the summer I perform at a camp for children with special needs. I also like to perform quick sets on talent show nights at my university. I'm currently trying to volunteer doing magic shows at a children's hospital in my city and I have a big audience free show coming up in the summer months which I have been working hard on with getting preparation ready for it.
I just worry that people may view me as part of the problem since I did release an effect on three different websites, one of which was one that Dan Sperry mentioned. But I certainly do stand by my effect. Is it the greatest effect ever? No. Is it one I use while performing real street magic in front of actual strangers? Yes. In fact, I use it to open for many people that I was often intimidated by at first but was able to provide them with a sense of wonder and entertainment as I allow them to go through the trick with me. In fact, I uploaded a live performance compilation just to show that I do it live in front of strangers (which in hindsight was a bad idea because I did not know how to shoot it at the proper angle at the time but live and learn right?). I also use my gimmick to supplement effects such as The Invisible Card, Angle Z, and Electric Touch+ (allows for no need of reaching in the pockets for Invisible Card, allows for the spectator to shuffle the deck in Angle Z, and allows it to make it look like I "charged" myself with a battery for Electric Touch+). People that have bought the trick have told me they like and they will use it so I do not believe that my effect is part of the problem:
Dan Sperry also needs to realize that magic needs to evolve with society. We can't just solely rely on old mediums to present our art. Yes, there are magicians that can only do good performances on webcam or instagram but Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are all good mediums to help our medium grow. It has both pros and cons and we just need to learn how to adapt to it or magic will truly become irrelevant.
I could be wrong in this but it is just my viewpoint. I appreciate Dan Sperry's input and I hope many people will take his opinion into consideration.
The actual Angle-Z that is not from the Gaff System does not require any re-fills at all. It can be performed anywhere with any deck.
May I ask what is wrong with Break? I've been very interested in this effect but don't want to fork over $50 if I can't even use it.
Nothing is wrong with it, no angle issues, no sleights, no funny stuff. That said you do have to buy refills.