Draven Reflects upon the Wire.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by William Draven, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. #1 William Draven, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
    First off I have to give the creative team at Theory11 a huge round of applause for their efforts at bringing into fruition the massive release last night that was "The Wire"; an event four years in the making.

    With that being said I've got some thoughts about this project that are both good, and concerned. Instead of posting this in the review section, I figured I'd put it here in general so we can all openly discuss, and debate these points of interest. I also encourage the Theory11 crew to get involved as well, as I'm not sure there is enough of us general users with solid experience using the wire to be able to provide constructive feedback to the inevitable questions that will get raised.

    I'd first like to start off this discussion by thanking Theory11 for giving a voice to those who would otherwise not get a chance to publish their creative works. This is something we see all the time on the forums, "Check out this new move that I created" but it usually ends there. Theory11, or any company for that matter, certainly can't move on every submission they receive so this surely means that there is material out there that doesn't get published because of getting lost in the project priority chain. With the Wire, now we can self publish our material, and further our magic's exposure on an international scale.

    Some concerns I have for the wire is the price tag for starters. 40% of your sales goes to Theory11, that's more than even some of the higher rated Hollywood talent managers that I've worked with. Usually 15% -25% is average, but anything above 30% is considered excessive- just to put it into perspective for you. So if you sell a video normally at 15$ bucks for a download, that means Theory11 is going to take 6$ from you off the top. So either you suffer the 6$ dollar loss and just pocket the 9$, or you raise your prices by 6$ and possibly cause everyone to get upset for over paying for a product they don't believe is worth the price.

    Next concern of mine goes to once the effect is published, who controls how your image and likeness is used? When I did the Expert Village videos I destroyed my reputation with the horrible videos, and magic tutorials that I filmed. The only thing that made it worse is once the videos were published I lost all the rights to control how my image, and likeness is used. I can't pull those videos down, I can't sue them for defamation of character because when they bought them, they bought EVERYTHING about them. So in turn if we get some young teenager who is so very excited to get his name out there, and get famous like Wayne Houchin, or Calin Morell; What happens if they foolishly publish a bad video (that somehow slips by the moderation team reviewing the submitted tricks) and they turn into the next Rebecca Black of magic? Can they have the video's pulled down, do they retain 100% ownership of all creative material even after publishing? I'd like to add for a whopping 40% they had better!

    Next concern I have is over the royalties, and rights. Lets say I publish a video edition of my "How to Keep Gigs, and Keep Clients" essay. Let's say it goes number 1 within a few days, and then Paper Crane approaches me about selling the product on their site. The deal the offer me is more profitable, as they won't charge me the 40% that Theory11 is, so I want to accept. The question then becomes CAN I? Or am I legally bound to Theory11? Who controls the distribution rights, and for how long? I'm guessing since there isn't any initial purchase of the product outright, and profit is limited to sales only, I can only assume then that we don't have to worry about Royalties, and kick backs?

    Next concern is charge backs. In high end sales, if a sold product is returned to the retailer for any reason, the salesman gets something called a "charge back." That basically means they now owe the company the price (usually wholesale) of the product that was returned. So my question is, who is responsible for refunding the money in the case of you getting an unhappy client? Are all sales final?

    What about adaptations to others moves, can we publish our own material or variations on others effects? What if we get their permission first? Example, I have performed an effect that Lee Asher has created for a number of years (hypothetical), and I've over the years developed my own handling, and expanded upon this effect. Can I publish my video on the wire explaining MY handling of Lee's effect, I assume after I get his permission, and credit him?

    What about gimmicks? If the effect requires a gimmick, I assume the end user (the buyer) will be on their own to create the gimmick for themselves?

    Since there isn't any restrictions on material that is public domain (and god there is a lot of public domain material. All of Expert at the Card Table for example), is there any flood control in place that will help prevent a wave of "double lift" tutorials, and other videos of public domain effects all because the end user is only interested in generating sales?

    These are just a few questions I've got rolling around in my head right now, as I sit here and meditate on the power this project has over our community. I believe this is going to be a powerful tool, once it gets going, and could probably make some people some nice dough in the process. There will be no doubt a sudden need for moderators to review the material that will get submitted, as you're no doubt going to get flooded in the weeks to come. Depending on who is in charge of reviewing the material, you may need to boaster your teams numbers so you can keep up with the video submissions, as well as the usual moderation on the forum boards. Of course, I know I'm preaching to the choir on this, but so long as it's said.

    I'm excited guys! This is really a good thing you've got here, and it will be something that will get talked about for many years to come. You may have just set the standard. Always good to be the first.

    I'll open this up to debate.
  2. Hey William,

    I read a post by JB that says we have full rights over anything we publish, we can take it down whenever we want and do what ever we want with it. I also read that we have full control over how our image is portrayed and can do with it what we want :)

  3. #3 HeCtic, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
    You bring up some good points that I hadn't quite considered. Obviously, I'm not qualified to answer any of them, but I think it's good that these questions arose. I think the Wire is huge, and potentially game changing like they said, but there are some details that seem to have been missed. Hopefully JB can answer some of these concerns, because it might ultimately change how this is being used.

    Also, I have to agree, 40% is a lot. Granted, it will get MUCH more publicity then if you sold it yourself, but still, it is a bit steep.

    Another question I have was about ownership. So obviously original content is required, but say I have a friend who made this awesome trick. Say he wants to sell it but doesn't have the equipment and wants me to produce it. If I film, shoot, and edit the video, and he isn't even in it, but it's used with permission from the creator, can it be submitted?
  4. I had some concerns as well.
    The ad said within 72 HOURS we would know if our trick was approved. In all likelihood, that is implausible. So many people are going to be submitting, and you're going to continually be doing research to see if it has been invented before. This takes time. Imagine having 1000 submissions a day. There is no possible way to go through that many tricks and still send everyone a notification that their trick has been denied or approved.
  5. #5 BlackQueen, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2011
    also, what if i create an original routine, but it uses published sleights? like say i have a routine, but one of the sleights involved is eclipse by eric jones? is it still original and can it be marketed?
  6. Jones maybe?

    I highly doubt that you can publish something like that.
  7. Someone please answer this: (Jonathan Bayme)

    Remember how the older version of the site had a "Tricks" section along with a "1 on 1" section which were inevitably fused together? Well won't The Wire put Theory11's Magic Tricks section out of business and inevitably having Theory11 become one giant Wire?

    Think about it. Even though they will get a profit from effects submitted on The Wire, why would anyone now try to submit a trick to be produced by them? Calen's effects on the Wire say theory11.com at the end, implying in my opinion that theory11 produced those videos for him.

    So why try to impress theory11 and aspire to become part of the crew when something like the Wire exists? And in the end won't there be less and less effects produced "uniquely" by theory11 and more and more on The Wire? And one day, boom, one giant Wire, where we sell - you sell - and theory 11 sells.

    So my point? If Andrei, Calen, and Kun are selling nicely edited effects and flourishes on The Wire, in the future what will be the answer to: Hey what's the difference between "Magic Tricks" and "The Wire" if these guys have effects in both places?

    Your thoughts please!
  8. Cesarmadera:

    Well this will cause you to put things into their proper perspective. Why would you want to become part of their team if you can now just self publish? Somehow I think that if you are good enough, word will get around, and you'll eventually network with them.

    Anddrei, Calen, and Kun are obviously seeding the Wire as examples to the level of quality Theory11 is trying to set in submissions. They are serving as guidelines, and inspiration. I suspect that as the Wire takes off you'll see less and less of their Artists submitting material.
  9. A lot of good auestions. I've only see the wire for 10minutes and I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but for now the only thing I would add i "all tricks" button. It's a pain to go through all these categories and artists seperately to see all the videos. So one button to show it ALL would be a lot of help.
  10. You asked many of the questions I had regarding content.

    I have a question regarding if content that has been previously published gets through on the wire, will there be some way to report it, and what does that process look like?
  11. Oh and if a video is submitted and denied, will a specific reason be given? Or just a vague "you are trying to publish material that has previously been published? "?
  12. Hey fellas...excellent questions and concerns. I can only answer one of them at this point in time and hopefully others will chime in as well.

    As far as Draven's question about Theory 11 getting 40%, that is actually a pretty fair rate. If any of you have gone to a company and tried to publish your own effect, using their camera crew, editor, etc. you are looking at around a few thousand dollars of your own money to produce a top notch DVD with artwork, advertising and everything else that goes into it. Most of us including myself do not have that kind of money up front to take a gamble. Other companies that I know of do not charge you anything up front, but will then tell you that the production value was like $4,000 and that you do not receive a dime until the profits have surpassed that amount. I know a few guys who haven't made a cent yet who have released material through Paper Crane because of issues like this. Not putting them down...that is just how business works sometimes. Most of the time you as the artist get a percentage of the profit, AFTER you have broken even with the company.

    This being said this is a win / win for amateurs to get "good quality material" out in the public for sale very easily without having to tread that path and being upset that they released something and have not even broken "even" yet for what they put into it.

    I'll chime in more later...have to run errands with the wife and kids right now...stop laughing.
  13. Those are some good points Rick. Having never published anything myself I freely admit I'm out of my element on how things worked. I thought 40% seemed steep, but since you put it that way it doesn't sound that bad now.

    I still agree that this Wire is a Win/Win. But because it's such a new uncharted concept there's naturally a lot of questions, and fears that must be addressed first.
  14. Yeah, but then again Theory11 isn't filming, editing, producing, covering any expenses at all for your publication. You're doing all the work here and T11 is providing you with a service and charging 40% for it. I don't know, I'm on the fence about this.
    It has potential to sell but even Ebay only charges you 9% for your product.
  15. Agreed.
    On the other hand, if the T11 website spaces out each product over a time span (eg. every 2 weeks they release one member-created effect), and provide all the hype & advertisement that comes with every typical T11 effect, then 40% is more than worth it. What used to happen was this; one of us would create an effect, submit it to the Theory11 "Submit a trick" section, and if they like it, they'll use one of their artists to film performances & explanations. Then the hype begins. Teasers, secret codes, countdowns, the works. Instead of amassing effects that will obviously shift the supply/demand balance, why not retain the signature Theory11 style of promoting and selling an effect? Sure, the hype can be downsized for smaller effects, but wouldn't that make the Wire that much more incredible? Each underground magician can have his/her chance in the limelight, knowing that somewhere, someone is being hyped up by a trick s/he created.
    I guess that makes "Theory11" more like "TheoryInfinity" or "TheoryContinuum".
  16. I think they should screen for overall value of the trick along with originality. I feel like there's going to be a ton of bad tricks released on the wire that definitely wouldn't have a fraction of a chance elsewhere. So if a trick is original, but isn't good at all, the theory11 crew should decline if for the purpose being that it just isn't evolved enough to sell on a platform as large as theory11.

    The Wire reminds me of the 1-on-1 section we had back in the day. Where the only effects possible to sell were downloads and tricks with very simple gimmicks that can be made at home. Which brings me to my next question: How are we going to deal with gimmicks? If there's some complicated gimmick that is too hard or too complex to be made by the consumer, will it be accepted through the wire? If so, who's going to handle the shipping, theory11 or the creator?

    Great discussion guys. I hope JB or anyone else stumbles upon this and answers these questions.
  17. I agree with almost all of these points, obviously 40% is a pretty decent kick in the pants, but for me at least, I would put my stuff out there for higher than that. I think that the idea of the.Wire is to promote new magicians, not to make people a quick buck. In my opinion getting paid would make all of a more incentive to add your ideas, to get your name out to the public. The price doesn't really bother me looking at things from that point of view.

    On gimmicks: If your gimmick is so difficult to explain or make, why would you put it on something like the Wire? If it is truly that important or worth while I would look at producing it through a company, or keeping it to yourself until you can, I can see a lot of people getting pretty peeved that they don't have the materials or methods to create a gimmick after purchasing. Maybe the gimmick isn't high quality and maintain, maybe the gimmick is impractical. I have seen many magicians purchasing effects over others being influenced by gimmicks. Gimmicks just look like a big Grey area, now I'm not saying gimmicks should be excluded, but that they should be addressed on how to promote them and what's acceptable.

    I also think that Theory11 should give their idea of pricing items, I know for myself that I wouldn't have the best idea on what makes most sense when putting a $ on my things. Who better to know how to work the market than a company who makes a living off of selling effects. I'm sure Theory11 would have a better idea on what is so highly priced it won't sell, or what's so low it won't bring in a decent profit. I think it would help a lot in moving magicians to a more professional spot knowing how to properly price and sell creations
  18. Paper Crane Charges 4000 bucks for them to film you? That is crap for what the artists paid for then. I'm a film student right now and I can produced much better quality video than Paper Crane, using no studio lights, Canon Rebel T1i, and FINAL CUT. not Sony Vegas. The final price included camera and software is 1700 dollars.
  19. I'm sort of sorry to make this my first post on the forums, as I've been creeping for months, and wanted to do a formal introduction of myself and ask all sorts of other questions-- but I'm super excited about The Wire. I appreciate this thread, but wanted to add another question:

    theory11 is great and I trust them, but the thought comes to mind that if they reject a submitted effect of mine, they still have the video-- which is an original effect, that I put hard work into producing...what happens then? I am sort of insinuating that theory11 could take the trick. I doubt this, since they're a great company and it would be unlike them, but I'm still curious as to what happens next, as they are holding onto a tutorial of a trick that might be released elsewhere in the future.

  20. I only have one complaint - I feel like I need to go out and buy another computer in order to access the Wire. I have a pretty cheap laptop and internet isn't the greatest through wi-fi. The minute I try to go on the Wire, my whole computer system slows WAY down, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to watch one of the video's seamlessly without it skipping, freezing or doing something crazy.

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