Choosing Effects for TV

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by m2fx, May 30, 2010.

  1. Hello,

    I got a call from a t.v. station, and they want me to come as a guest on one of their show.
    Now I don't know exactly when this is going to happen, but it will be during the summer.

    I though of effects I could do keeping in mind that there will be cameras and an audience:

    -A 4 of a kind production (one at a time) with a lot of false shuffles, and then a reveal of the pack beeing in order( a la Full Suit Production-Benjamin Earl)

    - Maybe Pressure

    - and maybe something like the spello change...

    I know that I need visual/easy to understand effects...
    Other that have crossed my mind are Static, Distortion, simple shooting card reveal...
    Can you give me other Ideas, or confirm that I am on the right track with the effects..

    Thoughts or advices are welcome :)
    Thank you .
  2. Distorion, Bottle Productions, Torn and restored (anything, bussines cards, newspaper, cards, u name it) Ashes in arm, French Kiss, SAW, and Gaffs work awesome in this situations
  3. I know it might sound petty but make sure you have performance rights on these effects especially the Spello Change as it has already been performed on TV. Try to use the host or one of the team and do stuff with them. Personal Connection is far greater than visual effects. Things you may want to consider are triumph with a cheek to cheek deck, or Syd Segils simple triumph. What a Pack is always good pressure may backfire on you as most of the hosts won't have a phone on them.
  4. If you are thinking about performing these effects on tv, the FIRST thing you have to do is to ask permission if you can perform.
  5. I don't understand why you need to ask permission. If you buy an effect it should be yours to perform anywhere.
  6. It's not. "All rights reserved" includes performance rights.
  7. so I have to ask the creators for each effect that I want to perform?
  8. #8 Mat La Vore, May 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2010
    Not true.

    This has been discussed extensively on the Magic Cafe'. If anyone remembers Chuck Leach trying to sue David Blaine for using the Raven on his first TV special, he pretty much embarrassed himself. Here's a link to a thread with some good discussion on the topic. I'll just pull out two posts from Doug McKenzie though: "FYI. If a trick is published or on the market in any way, shape, or form, it can be performed on TV without having to give credit or compensation. The only exception to this is if the creator reserves television rights explicitly... My response comes from lawyers that were asked to research this issue for magic that was performed on a TV show I was consulting for."

    Seeing as Doug McKenzie has actually worked on a network television special that I can't imagine was not done by the book, I think he's a qualified source to go with on this topic.

    Short answer: No.

    The gentlemanly and respectful thing to do, though, might be to email them and let them know you are going to perform their effect on your local TV station so as to give them the chance to say whatever it is they would like to before your performance. I have a feeling most will just wish you good luck.

    And with that, good luck! :)
  9. #9 chris17, May 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2010
    Arnt you basically asking permission when you buy the effect. I mean it's kinda stupid to say here's the secret For 30 bucks but you have to ask me personally if you intend to perform the damn thing. Besides what's the difference between doing it on tv and doing it for a large audiance.

    Sorry for getting off topic. Good effects I would perform on tv would Be extreme burn, ultimate transpo or stealth pen thru bill Anything quick and visual like that.
  10. #10 William Draven, May 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2010
    Be VERY Careful about engaging in this. TV is a dangerous media if you don't know who and what your dealing with. Remember it's THEIR show, so they can make you look however they want through the miracles of editing. Make sure the show wants to promote a good image of magic before committing. I've seen a few places that look at magicians as cheap, bottom rung entertainment acts and frequently attempt to put them down.

    With that being said, as to your effects I'd say go with what ever you can perform really well. I'd avoid pressure though. It's already been done recently on letterman and I highly doubt (no offense) that you're going to do it any better than that. Too soon.

    While I agree that most effects that you buy, you purchase the performance rights to. But there are some exceptions. Those few exceptions are usually well known though, so I don't think you have much to worry about.

    Is this a national TV show or a local one? This also would affect my choice in material, presentation, etc. I'd try to avoid anything already main stream, or anything done by Angel or Blaine. Same reasons as pressure, it's unlikely that you'll be able to hold a candle to them.

    Way to go on the booking! Break a leg. I want a full report on how it went.

    Now that I'm thinking about this, I'm going to consult one of my friends with the performance rights question. I'll post back what he advises.

    Just got off the skype with a friend of mine who works the TV end of show business. I figured if anyone would know the right answer to a media rights related question it would be someone who has experience producing media for magicians them self.

    I asked my friend "Do you have the performance rights of an effect you buy (to do on say local tv) or do you have to get the writen consent of the effect's creator?" Which led to the following discussion.

    My friend said: "no you have to get written or verbal consent from the creator. the legal right have to do with the allowance of who ever buys an effect to be able to perform it publicly as an artist, but when promoting ones self for the gain of pr in any media they must then get permission to use it becuase it represents anothers style and creative process and to not get permission can be adanger for the creator as they can then be grossly misrepresented by someone else. That is why us creators make that legal claim, to protect our creative and legal rights as creator and performer."

    Now that begs the question to whether gray area items such as McDonalds Aces, or cards across is fair game since they are public domain (or overdone to the point of being so.) The answer is still a technical "yes". You should attempt to get permission, but it can be a nightmare trying to figure out who to contact as multiple companies sometimes produces the same effects. Case in point with McDonalds Aces. You'd still be best advised to at the least send an email to the authoring company whose effect you are using, and advise them of your intent to perform it. Offer them a chance to interject a complaint. Give them a chance to respond to you before you do something like move forward with the performance, but only in the case of public domain or gray area items that have multiple publishers. If the item is specific, like Pressure, unless you get the permission, DON'T perform it.

    Performing in public is one thing, but going in front of a camera is a completely different animal. Proceed with care.
  11. You don't have to ask permission, when you buy the trick you get the right to perform it anywhere, wherever you like, what you cannot do is publish the method, but performing something cannot be prohibited by anyone, it is not as in the music industry where you are using the exact same lyric or music , in a performance unless someone has all the rights(a global patent) on how to move and what to do exactly, even if you differ slightly you can patent your own performance as a utility for the previous patent.

    so it is very difficult to get on one side, i mean the creator always wants to get the rights and credits, but lets face it, it is ridiculous asking for a chunk(of money) on everything, the creator gets its money from selling the effect, but there are a few that just want to live from one magic trick and make you ask for permission.
  12. I think it's an iffy topic. I've seen one trick where the buyer has to sign 10 page form where he agrees not to share the secret with any magician and he agrees not to perform the trick on television, film, or video. You can't even perform the trick for other magicians.
  13. it is indeed something quite complicated, but if you are going to perform anything, I'd say, do it!.

    you cannot have rights on something like an idea. so you are safe on this one
  14. Well yes, this is true. But there is also the ethical side to consider. I mean TECHNICALLY, you can also go onto youtube and expose magic. Doing so though is going to piss a lot of people off.
  15. Even HCE (that $1000 effect) has performance right issues.

    You can perform it all you like you cannot however broadcast it.
  16. I woud expect that from a $1000 'effect'.
  17. If I payed $1000 I would want to use it on TV if I wanted to.
  18. You can performe whatever you want, you dont need to have any "performance rights" to do so.

    And even IF they were, you could easily get around it by just changing it just a little little little little bit and it would not be the same. Copyright laws are very strict.

    There are like 100s off different kinds of soda with cola flavour that almost tastes and looks the same as coca cola, but thats fine because even if they taste almost the same, they are not really the same.
  19. #19 chris17, May 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2010
    Well imma tell you criss angel would have never got as far as he did being ethical. If you want to go far in show buisiness you got to being willing to $h&t on a few people. A prime example is jay leno.
  20. well...usually people say "better be sorry than ask for permission"

    I would perform them...that`s it

    basically you can only perform that trick in your room, to your best friends....and even that way you risk a lawsuit

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