Presenting Magic through Ideas

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Rneogy, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Hi guys!

    When making a recent magic video, I decided to move in a slightly different direction by making a story through the presentation. Not patter (there's no dialogue), but cinematic ideas. I've always been fascinated with the art of video-making along with my passion for magic, and I like to advance both at the same time.

    I guess what I really wanted from this post is feedback. Any comments, suggestions, ideas for future videos would be wonderful. Before anyone calls me out on "blatant self-promotion," I'd just like to remind everyone that the only way to get people to see videos is to share them. If you don't want to watch, then don't. I don't mind.

    For everyone else, I hope you enjoy :)
    dbmagic and Josh Burch like this.
  2. I enjoyed watching your clip and it was interesting to me.

    My feedback is that it wasn't extremely entertaining. I like the cinematic approach a great deal. Paul Wilson did a great job of it with "The Magic Box" short. I think you did a great job of making the magic look good, which is very important, don't get me wrong, but your character kept me from really getting reeled in. It didn't feel like there was a hook, whether it be a magic hook, a story hook, or an interesting protagonist. I didn't feel pulled in and I didn't feel like I had a reason to keep watching the video, except for the effects and the purpose of this thread. I would have liked to see a little more reaction out of the character (you) when these things are occurring. Situational magic can be extremely entertaining and beautiful, if it's performed well. Remember, this is a video and it's yours to do whatever you want with it. Don't be afraid to get wild and find your "inner stupid".

    When you're performing, keep your hands in the shot if they are supposed to be viewed. It hinders the performance value when you are doing something I should obviously be focusing on and the hands go out of view. That is a distraction for the viewer, and it could give them a false solution to your effect (Well maybe he got rid of it when I couldn't see his hands). Whether the solution to your effect is true or not, we should attempt to guide them away from those ideas if we can.

    Also, I'd like to address the story part of it. What is the story that is being portrayed, and will the audience be able to understand the plot and relate in some way? For me watching this video, all I got from it was a guy who wanted some tea and happened to do some magic tricks while drinking it. While that is fine and dandy, there is no story there. A story should have some sort of plot line. Most stories out there usually also need conflict to be interesting. I didn't really feel like I picked up on any sort of conflict during the video. With situational magic, a common conflict you'll see is the "things are happening to the magician and he can't handle it", for example. That use is usually a lot easier to create, but at the same time, your "frustration" needs to look believable, which for some can be difficult. Maybe you should try to look for ways to include conflict in the videos in some way. With this one, maybe you couldn't locate the tea, or maybe the tea wasn't hot enough so you used magic to heat it (there's an idea for the notebook). Just a couple thoughts.

    Finally, all the magic tricks you performed were related in some way to the tea theme because of the props that were used, BUT, they had nothing to do with each other beyond that. Don't get me wrong, all these tricks can be done separately and can be fantastic, but together in this format, they were just a few tricks, and that's how it came off to me, rather than a story. Coming up with routines that flow into each other smoothly is really tough sometimes, but it challenges you to think creatively. Maybe you could think of tricks that would go right into each other. I'll make an example: The magician goes to get a mug for tea, but they are all gone, so he produces one. Next, he makes it, but it's cold, so he heats it magically. Finally, he finishes the cup, and decides he wants another, so then he covers the top with his hand, and he refills the cup with liquid.

    I'll stop ranting now. I hope this was any sort of assistance!
  3. I wouldn't worry about shameless self promotion. We are practicing an entertainment art. If you don't share, then your doing it wrong ;)
    DanielO23 and dbmagic like this.
  4. Thanks dbmagic for all the advice! I'll definitely keep the story-side of it into account. I guess what I was trying to get at was my approach to practicing magic. Basically, as a student, people ask when I have time to practice my skills. This video was made as a response - basically in the middle of work, when I'm feeling frustrated, I just start finding inspiration from things around me. That was the idea I was trying to get at, but I see how it was unclear.

    Justin, I understand haha. Sometimes, though, I find people to be aggressive when it comes to promotion, and I'm sure no one wants that.
  5. I really liked that you did this. The above comments have some validity, however I am impressed that you did something different. Nice work. Do more.

    From a theatrical standpoint I didn't like when you smiled at the camera. It broke the 4th wall. It was like I was a silent observer until that moment. Also, it would be interesting to see something similar where the magician uses magic to aid his normal routines. So rather than quarter to sugar, perhaps a levitation of a sugar cube into the tea, and after the tea has brewed, the filter removed and the leaves are still dry and put away (Sands of the Desert idea). Or perhaps your magic is hindering your routine, like you stir the tea and the spoon comes out bent etc. - integrating the tricks even more than the great context you put them in. Keep it up.
    dbmagic likes this.
  6. Thanks Justin! I really like some of these ideas you guys are bringing up. So much creativity and so many possibilities to be had when creating videos like this. That's why I love making these story driven videos.
    dbmagic likes this.

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