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Discussion in 'Battles : Ready to Rumble' started by towtox, Oct 24, 2010.
yeah. so when do we find out who won? can i get someone to do it?
Can i help in deciding who is the winner? So i think the winner is ....... TOWTOX as i can't really see what TheIllusionistCasen is doing in TheIllusionistCasen's video. And the slight used in 2 videos is too obvious btw i am only 3 month magician and i am still learning fundamentals slights as these slights are the most important slights in magic.^^ I MIGHT POST A VIDEO OF ME DOING A DOUBLE LIFT AND PLEASE COMMENT ON MY DOUBLE LIFT AS I WANT TO IMPROVE^^
Haha Thanks And Sure Im an 8 month and if you want i can critique your d lift pm me on youtube =Towtoxgta
I hate to sound like a sore loser, but being as he's been doing magic for 3 months, can we get a proffessional in here please?
yup lol and no ur not a loser casen get a pro j.bayme?? lol
I PM'd William Draven, he was online and he's a proffessional, but he didn't respond.
Sorry, I was in the shower at the time of the message. I'll get a verdict up as quickly as possible. Please allow me 48 hours to reply with my verdict (although it's likely I'll get it up by tonight.) I've got 3 shows today in Virginia and a show + lecture tomorrow in Arkansas... so your understanding of my time is appreciated.
Ah, alright, thanks man! wish i had a gig!
I already know the winner but I'm going to give you both an indepth review so you can learn from this.
Haha Wow Will Draven Watching My Vid Thanks Hope Your Show Goes Well Tonight(well Your 3)
Draven - this was the same video towtox used in the other active battle thread. I just finished posting a pretty long review of it there, so give that a quick read-over before you post yours and see if you agree
WARNING: LONG WINDED REPLY FORTHCOMING.
Edit: Thanks Prae, I took a quick read of your post after the fact, and I think you'll see that I echo a lot of what you had to say below, without having read your post when I wrote this earlier.
I'm going to grade your videos on several points, and not just off whose I like better, since I feel that the success of a magic presentation depends on the whole package as opposed to just the effect that is being presented itself.
I'll use a system of grading similar to the one I use when I review products. The scale works on a grade given between 1 and 10. One being the absolute worst possible score possible, Ten being the best. Leaving a score of five to be dead average. I will warn you now, just as I don't give scores of one very often, I also don't give scores of ten either. I generally believe that nothing can truly be worthy of such low or high scores. I'll grade you on the following categories: Video & Sound Quality, Presentation, Technique, and Over All.
Before I even begin, if I may offer TowTox some informative critique non related to this battle for consideration.
The first thing I think you need to be more mindful of is how you communicate with others on this forum. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are very important things that you need to use to get anyone to take you serious. I understand that being 14, and in middle school (maybe High school?), this may seem like an alien concept to you, as I'm sure this is how your friends all talk. However- it is important to realize that not everyone else on this forum is 14. Most of the older people on the internet all consider run on sentences and leet speak/ lol speak to be highly annoying. You seem to favor throwing these one sentence posts out there that lack structure, form, or function. I'd consider this particular advice very carefully because choosing to ignore this will only complicate your interactions with others on this (or any) forum in the future.
With that being said, let's look at the Video & Sound Quality for the two videos. When I am grading for Video & Sound Quality, I'm asking myself the following questions: “Can I understand what is going on in the video based upon what I see? Can I understand what is being said? Can I comprehend an overall message through the course of the video? Is the video angles good, do things move in or out of frame, is the sound consistent, and is the camera work stable and easy to watch?”
Your video is very clean. The shot is steady, over the shoulder, and your cards never leave frame. This makes watching the effect and following along with it so much simpler. The focus isn't in watching a spectator enjoy the magic as it happens, the focus is placed on the at home viewer, and their personal experience. This kind of situation always has potential for wider appeal, as the viewer at home now has a personal reason to invest into your performance. Your sound is also good. I can hear you at all times, and I can understand what you are saying. I don't agree with the back ground music though. I don't know if it would have been better to edit in some soft playing music in post, or just not used music at all. This would have to be something you'd have to play around with in the editing process. The right music selection can either enhance or completely take away from the performance, depending on what kind of music you're using and for what trick.
Your video looks like it was shot on a cell phone. The image quality is a bit blurry, and the sound, especially with the back ground noise, makes it hard to focus on what you are doing and saying. I don't know if there's a better camera that you can use, or borrow from a friend, but (especially for battles) I would consider doing so, if you are going to continue posting videos online for others to enjoy.
Quick Review for Vide & Sound Quality:
Casen when compared next to TowTox's video, you video & sound quality pales in comparison. Round point goes to TowTox.
When I grade for presentation I'm asking myself a few simple questions: “Was I entertained by your video? Were you able to engage me as a viewer, draw and keep my attention for the duration of your video? Did you give reason to why you were doing what you were doing? Did it look like a well rehearsed performance, or did it feel like you were just making things up as you went?”
Your video had a few points in it where I felt disconnected from what you were doing. You attempt to do a fan at :15 seconds, which isn't that bad of a fan, and then proceed to apologize to your audience because you “suck at fanning.” Two things come to mind here. 1) Never apologize. And 2) if you suck at it, then why are you doing it in a performance piece? This is something you should be doing in practice, not when someone is watching you! At :42 seconds you begin telling me a series of “And now we're going to do … X thing.” This is a magic trick, not a cooking show. I can very well see what you're doing. You don't have to tell me every little thing. The ONLY reason why magicians do “cooking shows” is because they don't have a script. They have nothing prepared for what they are going to say, they know they need to say something, so they just describe in painful detail what it is that I can intuitively see you doing. Break yourself of this habit RIGHT now. Never do this again, your magic will instantly improve. :52 Why are you showing me the bottom card? Why should I care about it? The only card I care about is the one that was selected. I saw it get mixed into the deck, why should I now have to worry about some other card? 1:03 Why am I now seeing the top card? Again, why should I care about any card other than the one I selected? 1:11 Oh.. NOW you explain it. My card isn't on top or bottom. But you've not done anything to yet suggest this is a possibility. The only thing I've seen is the card get mixed into the deck. Also, again why are we taking the six from the bottom? What is the motivation for this? 2:03 we have a genuine moment of magic where something has happened that is amazing. There's a card in the deck that is backwards! ...and you completely miss the chance to expand upon this point. Instead, you just out-jog it, and finish spreading through the deck, which leaves the reveal a little lack luster. Final note, don't constantly riffle the deck, or spin the cards when you don't need to. It doesn't add anything to the presentation. In fact it actually gets a bit annoying and slightly distracting to watch.
Your biggest problem going for you is that your video takes 8 minutes and change to present material that should have been over with inside of three minutes. You lost a spectator because she “freaked out and left” and then at the end there's some weird guy doing a card trick that has nothing to do with the presentation. You either need to learn to edit your video's better, use better audience control, and management, or scrap the video, and reshoot a totally new video all together. Sure your subtitles during the frame brake helped me to understand what was about to happen, but it really disrupted my enjoyment of the film because it felt so sudden. May I remind you that this is a battle, and in such a competition? Although bragging rights are the only thing at stake, I'd expect you to be more focused on your material presented. If that means you have to go out and shoot new video specificity to fit the needed battle, then do it. While you had moments in your video that I truly was entertained watching you, you lost me in the over all. Further, I should disqualify you for using video footage of someone else performing during your submission. This is YOUR battle. Not your youth pastors. Last point: What the hell is up with the mini commercial at 4:33? Seriously you need to edit your videos better.
Quick Review for Presentation:
We've got a couple of glaring problems with both videos. TowTox failed to entertain me because there really wasn't any motivation behind what he was doing. I was left to watch a series of moves as he attempted to find my card, that really didn't make sense to me, meanwhile Casen took WAY to long to present an effect. I could have gone out, got a burger and fries, and been back before the video ended. This category is a wash.
When I grade for this category I'm simply looking for flashes, or anything that you could do as a magician that would expose or tip the effect. I'm also looking for how well you handle the cards, the props, your audience, and yourself. This category covers all technical aspects of your video.
TowTox: 1: FAIL for Flashing.
TowTox: You handle a deck of cards as if it was a fragile piece of glass. Your grip is so tight it doesn't look natural. Your double lift is obvious, your get ready's take way to long, and your movements are not fluid at all. It's obvious that you're trying to do a magic trick, but I don't feel like I'm seeing magic. I feel like I'm watching some kid bumble through a card trick rather clumsy mind you, and barely seems to get it right. You need to relax your grip on those cards. I'd also look into another turn over. I just don't like that one. Something looks off. Now, I'm going to tell you why you failed this category, and thus lost this contest. You flashed. Not once, but three times.
The first flash is of your pinky break below the second card from the top of the deck at :57 seconds. Even if this isn't critical to your trick, I still see a break, and as a spectator I immediately say AH-HAH! That's how it's done.
Next I can see the double under the ace at 1:01.
Lastly: I'm not sure if this is indeed a flash or your sloppy handling, either way it's something you need to look out for. At a 1:18 I can see the double under the six on the table. It's further obvious even before that, a few frames back, that you took a double and placed a stack on the table. It wasn't one card. I only say this because your patter leads me to assume you only put the six down. I can clearly see you dropped more cards than just that.
Casen you start out doing red hot moma, which is a separate effect and not in this battle. That could have been edited out. You then lose your first audience participant because she freaked out, and wouldn't come back. That too, could have been edited out. Lastly when we finally get down to you performing, you don't do too bad of a job. The video and sound quality is poor, but your presentation is good, and I was entertained. You handle the cards well, from what I can see anyways, and there were no flashes that I caught. With a little editing, this could have been a lot higher of a score.
Over All: I've taken the average of your scores for the first three categories and rounded up for your final over all scores.
Tow Tox: 4
Winner: (By Disqualification): TheIllusionistCasen. TowTox's video was disqualified after he flashed at least once during the video's presentation. Ignoring the disqualification, Casen still managed to beat TowTox by .6 of a point, which rounded his score up to a 5. There is clearly a lot of room for both of you to improve upon. I hope to see better in the future from the both of you.
Keep up the practice, keep performing in front of people, and never lose sight of your goals. If you don't have any goals, take a moment now to establish some. I'm sure you both are going to get a lot better!
Thank You very much! I will definitely try to get better quality film, and sound, as well as try to edit better.
as far as the mini commercial, i don't know why i left that in there.. haha, honestly, I'm not really sure!
Casen, I've seen your PM and I'll post up something for yours soon
thanks for the tips i will work on it im bringng a camera to school this week so you can see me preforming street!
Sorry I've taken so long to get back to this..
I'll start by reiterating pretty much what Draven said above me - his points were pretty much spot on and I agree with what he said. Especially the part about the camera being annoyingly hard to follow due to background noise, poor video quality and shakiness and so forth. But that's alright, it's not a big deal in my book, but it would be helpful for these sorts of videos to be presented a little better.
That said, I want to focus on one particular thing, something which Draven mentioned but didn't go into too much detail about: Your pacing.
Essentially, the timing of your effect I think is all wrong. As Draven pointed out - why this is an eight and a half minute video is beyond me, and it took concentration to sit through the whole thing. But it's not just too long, either. It's too long in certain parts, and too short in others.
I think that your reveals are really quick, for example. You go through the phases really quickly. By rushing through them, you give them very little importance, which in turn reduces the impact of each revelation that the card has come to the top - really, the first few just feel like throwaway gags. Because of the speed at which you go through them, it has no perceived importance. I don't know if you know the old magic adage, "If you want the spectator to look at something, look at it yourself." Well, the same applies to attention and importance. If you act like something's important, if you give it importance, then it will be treated as important.
Also, by moving too quickly, you don't really give the spectators a chance to react, which cuts it off. For example, just before the 6:00 mark, you hear one of the guys go "He's still going!" Whilst I don't think it was an indication that you were going for too long, I think it is a sign you could have drawn out the moment a bit more. "He's still going!" essentially served as a reminder to everyone else to stop reacting because you had continued with your trick. Naturally, you should try not to shut reactions down. Watch how long the cameraman stays on the reactions of the spectators when David Blaine or Criss Angel perform...
When you get down to it, your actual technique is decent, you pull it off fine, and it was certainly a lot better than towtox's handling. There were some little niggles (shuffling the deck for example), but mostly it looked fine, and it was hard to focus on sleights in the video anyway.
So yeah. I think that pacing is my key point to add. I won't go into detail about the stuff Draven mentioned to avoid redundancy, but that was the one thing I wanted to point out. I think you have a pretty good base of skills, and I think you're doing really well with your performances and getting good reactions. Next time you perform, stay aware of how fast you're going, look at the spectators (and not at the deck) as much as possible, and really try and get a feel of the rhythm of the group.