Tired of the magic industry?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fridoliina, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Hello everyone!

    Is it just me, or is the overall quality of the magic products being released lower and lower at the same time as their advertisment is getting better and better?

    Latley i have been getting some stuff that were promissed to be "Ultra practical,audience tested and extreamly vissual and easy to performe" and looked fantastic on the video. But when you get it you find out that it might be a neat and cool idea, but it is nothing you would use in the real world for various reasons. This seems to be happening more and more often.

    Am i the only one feeling this way?

    If you look back at older books, your actually getting the full reportoar from a professional magician that they had been working on their whole lives and used and perfected in their whole career, and not just some cool idea that wont work in the real world.
  2. well, what products have you purchased that you are unsatisfied with? what i tend to do is when im not 100% positive that i will love and use an effect, i will wait awhile, till enough people have purchased it that reviews start coming out, that way your not hearing the hype, your hearing what another magician with an unbiased opinion thinks of the product. There are a few members on here who never fail to give excellent and thorough reviews, Adjones comes to mind first, and Sean-Raf has an excellent thread compiling all the reviews so make sure to read up on what your fellow magicians think before going off the hype.

    and no matter what, your always going to have "better" stuff from the past. Its a generational thing, in a few decades the best effects that have been released in our day will have survived and all the crap will have been forgotten. You wait, when your fourty, Control or Exile will be the old stuff that is great and some new trick where your head explodes will be crap.
  3. sometimes yeah but not soo much causethe magic industry is not only t11 and E there is alot of other site we`re you can learn beatifuls effect but most of all don`t forget that has a magician YOU are the industry soo sometimes it will be YOUR turn to create effects and YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE SURE THEY`re partical enough.
    good luck
    make art not war :¸)
  4. I just posted this in another thread:

    I think that there is a new movement to move back to the roots in sleight of hand. I see this at Dan and Dave's website and I really think it should be embraced.

    Also, while the single trick DVDs are nice, there are very few that truly offer good magic. I don't mean to say that the effects are bad, because they're not, but most of them (with some clear exceptions) are more "stunts" and less routines. I think that when laymen see these tricks they don't experience astonishment, but rather shock. There is a clear delineation there. I think it's a problem when tricks only take 30 seconds to perform.
  5. Look at it this way: DVD's and PDF's are produced for money. books are produced to let people know routines that theyve been holding onto for YEARS. therefore: Book = always better
  6. Books are also produced for money. Or else they'd be free. Last time I checked, the Art of Astonishment was still 30-something bucks a pop.

    A more accurate statement would be, DVDs, instant downloads, and PDFs are put out to be accessible to buyers who shop through the computer. Some books are really good, and some DVDs are always good. We've had this long-standing debate about whether a movie or a book is the better format, but there's no real answer because it doesn't matter: whatever makes you learn best is better. There is no black and white absolute winner. It varies according to material, taste, production, and experience.

    It is true, however, that books are more likely to provide you with at least a little bit of usable material, whereas when you go for a DVD, you'd better like what you see beforehand. You don't get much else. So the statement then becomes, "between single trick DVDs and books with lots of varied material, the books tend to be better". You'll notice it's still not absolute, because it again depends upon material, taste, production, and experience.

    For the most part, this is true. Lots of crap and un-usable material, but with amazing production and hype to sell it. We see this same thing with most movies. (Side note, it's really uncanny how the magic industry compares to the movie industry in such ways). But I hazard to guess it's always been this way: we just weren't around to witness it in the 80's, 70's, whenever. You'll find lots of duds, and unfortunately, you really have to go by instinct and brand loyalty a lot of the time.

    A lot of magicians buy tricks for the method and not for the effect. They're half right. A few magicians tell you, you need to buy a trick for the effect and not the method - the cool visual or impact you saw when you first witnessed it. They're half right. You shouldn't discard something just because it's gimmicked, or uses a certain prop, or leaves us dirty, or whatever - but we can be disappointed with a method because it just will not work, hinders the rest of our performance, or causes itself to be performed in an awkward manner.

    You need to A) love what the trick does, and B) be able to work with the method. It's just that many people mistake that second part for meaning, "it has to be completely impromptu or else it's awful".

    You'll notice that a lot of videos also are misguiding, showing only some of the effect, or presenting a list of key points in a vague or misleading way ("YOU NEVER TOUCH THE CARDS!" and it turns out they mean you don't touch them during the performance ). That's why shopping for magic is so risky, because we can't discuss anything except what the video's already shown us. We can't discuss method to know if it will work with what we want to do.

    That's not because it's from a book (not that you're saying that), but because it's from the past. Creators today are able to get away with jacked-up prices for simple material. Sankey still releases a dozen or so things on some DVDs, and I'm sure some others do too, but for the most part, it's sell, sell, sell.

    And also, for some, it's just staying with the times. Some people produce DVDs and PDFs because that's what we use most. If you knew your target demographic had CD players, you'd put out CDs. Internet stores know we have computers, so they give us instant downloads and PDFs. It's part knowing your audience and part impulse shopping.

    Is it the industry's fault for releasing single-trick DVDs and letting physical books die, or is it our fault's for constantly buying it up? Do any of us say, No I won't buy that. Instead, I'll write the creator and demand a book of some of his material.

    Just like the "DVDs or Books?" debate, there's no black and white: sometimes the companies and creators just want money. Sometimes, they're using the given format because they want to teach that way. And sometimes, it's because we never complain or do anything about prices and content besides a few short-lived forum threads.
  7. Toy robot: books, you don't make much money. you're not making them to get alot of money. You make them to giv ewth secrets to a select few. You don;t always make profit, but the AOA books are REALLY famous.
  8. That depends on the book. Just because it's a book doesn't mean it's not going to make much money. If a current, popular magician released a book - say instead of a PDF, they just made it a physical book - it'd probably sell really well. Anything you charge money for, you're hoping to make money from - that's why you charge for it. And if you're looking to make money off of something, there's no sense in saying you don't want to make a lot of money - not only do fewer magicians get to learn what you want to share, but, well, your whole plan is ruined.

    Or did you mean, DVDs are there just to milk money, while books aren't? That depends on who's doing the selling. I'm sure there have been, and still are, overpriced books. Not everyone subscribes to a scrupulous business plan, and that's true no matter what you sell or how you sell it.

    Every point there can also apply to DVDs - some effects probably don't make much, and the creator didn't make it to hoard in the cash. And I'm sure every magician releasing an effect did so to provide secrets to a select few.
  9. I don't see how is this a "new movement" ... Magic shops have been always selling these books.

    @fridoliina, today's video editing can be the crappiest trick in the world look the best. Personally I think the quality of the material released has dramatically decreased, with very few exceptions. We live an age of magicians where when someone think of an idea, he immediately thinks that 1) Its good 2) Its original, mainly because s/he never saw it done before 3) Its ready to publish, which is why you have a market which is lettered with half-baked ideas.

    Of course, this was always the state of the magic market, its just increased even more and more, since anyone now can publish an ebook, or put out a DVD. Its not as difficult as in the past. Not to mention that alot of people want to be the next "big thing", believe it or not, some people actually create to sell, or create only to credit themselves with the idea before anyone does.

    As for older books and sources, I still can't believe people consider books from the 60s old, lol
  10. Toyrobot – it is clear you have an opinion, although, I am not sure how accurate it is.
    Books in magic are often sold in limited runs – for example 5000, much of the cost goes into production, as even if they made 10 of the 30 dollars on the book – 50 000 dollars for your life’s work is not that much. Think about the number of hours put into writing, editing, producing, marketing...and so on, a single book – if you worked it out per hour, MANY magicians would be better off just doing shows or lecturing. However, most put out books because they are leaving something permanent and classic behind in the work of magic. If Erdnase put out a “record” (remember, those round black things), as Expert at the Card Table – I am not sure we would consider it so classic, and at the very least, we may not be able to – as few have record players anymore (although, they are making a comeback).
    I think books are essential, but I don’t think they are the only medium to help – however, MUCH is lost from book to movie when it comes to the big screen, why would magic be any different? If anything, more would be lost in the way of technique and theory. I understand DVD’s and PDF’s, have their place – but I have never lost a book...I have lost a PDF when a computer crashed.

    “go by instinct and brand loyalty a lot of the time” – how can you say in an indirect way, we are in a technology era of magic, but then say “trust your gut and go with a name brand” type of response. Whatever happened to asking around, RESEARCHING by reading, and trial and error? I agree if you find someone’s stuff you like, look up the rest – but I feel your statement is limiting...like, Once you go Dan and Dave Buck...stick with em for life!
    To address your “magic dreams advertising” issues – where you are promised one thing and deliver another – this happens...to all of us at first. When you read, “no wires, magnets, strings, etc” you should be thinking – well...how could it be done then? Most times, you are usually right...and I guess the best bet is – don’t fall for advertising hype – as magicians, we are 100% certain there is a method, and when it looks or sounds too good to be true, it often is. To make safe purchases...read above paragraph again – ALSO, Ortiz talks about reasoning on how to and how NOT to pick effects.

    I do agree with some of your ending thoughts – good new magic is hard to come by – and many of the reasons listed, I can agree with by you and Medifro.

    There is an old saying – want NEW magic – go look at OLD magic – want to see OLD magic (done poorly, I might add) – look at NEW magic...it seems to apply to the general consensus of what was said.
  11. So it goes.

    Stick around long enough, and you'll get a hunch as to what's good for your performance. Learn more sleights and methods, and you start to see patterns. You build that instinct. Maybe "experience" is a better word.

    And I was saying that going with brand loyalty is often a safe way to go. Meaning, when you see a few Dan and Dave products, you get a feel for how they do things. And if you agree, then you know their next item will probably work for you. For example, I own a few of Madison's products, and I see a pattern - complex and tricky sleight of hand. And also his signature move. So when I'm looking at his stuff, I can't be 100% certain, but I have a good idea of what I'm in for if I buy it - complex and tricky sleight of hand.

    In the same way, I'm familiar with some of Jay Sankey's stuff, and I tend not to like how he does things. Therefore, I am biased towards not picking up one of his tricks.

    I don't want brand loyalty to be a valid avenue of purchase. I'm just saying it tends to be safe.

    I agree this is what people should do - but that it's hard to do. If we need to inquire about the method to a trick, we can only be answered in vague statements to avoid exposure. Our research and asking can only be answered in what ISN'T possible - no, you don't need a gimmick; no you don't need this or that; no, this can't be done - and your research can't tell you all that much about if it's right for you. It nudges you in the right direction. Trial and error is the only way you can really figure out what's right for you. It gets quite expensive.

    Either that or create your own stuff.

    I agree, but sometimes it's worded in a misleading way. It's not just process of elimination - sometimes advertisers will deliberately word things to deceive buyers. We've all seen reviewers upset because a product just flat out didn't mesh with what was promised - Bullet comes to mind. It's labeled as 100% impromptu and all that, but it's not really. You need a slight set-up, but that slight set-up make so much difference between impromptu or not. And while they do teach a way to get set-up in front of the spectator, it's not practical at all.

    It really does.

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