Why are Jason England's downloads so expensive?

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by JK HANSEN, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Overpriced? Brad Henderson hit the nail on the head. These videos are designed and created with unparalleled quality and attention to detail, and they're intended for those truly serious about learning, practicing, and perfecting this artform.

    Earlier in this thread, someone brought up the topic of the Zarrow Shuffle. The Zarrow Shuffle DVD (Herb's original video) goes for $35. Herb Zarrow's incredible book (A LifeTime of Magic - in which 40+ pages are devoted to the shuffle) goes for $125. Our 1-on-1 with Jason is one of the ONLY other authorized publications of the move, and it's $12.95. That's less than half of the other two instructional options, and is an amazing resource for those beginning to study the technique.

    I think there's two misconceptions here that should be addressed. Firstly, you are not paying for Jason to hold a deck in front of the camera and read to you, from the pages of Erdnase or otherwise, how to do a Pass. He could show you the basic technique in 30 seconds, and we could charge 99 cents for it. You're also not paying for instruction from someone unqualified to teach it - which is a trend ubiquitious on YouTube and several other instructional magic sites.

    What you're paying for is experience. You're a guitar player, and you're paying $10 for the opportunity to watch Van Halen tell you how to play that guitar properly. You're an artist, and you're listening to Rembrandt, Manet, or Monet tell you how to move that paint brush. Jason England probably sucks at guitar, and probably sucks at painting. But damn, he is one of the best card mechanics ALIVE. And he's one of the most well read in the world.

    When you watch his videos, you're getting the fruit of that labor. You're hearing him talk about the finer points of these moves. How they REALLY work - not the basic mechanics. How to make them deceptive. Alternative handlings. Additional applications only found in rare manuscripts that he - not you - has studied. He's done a lot of the legwork for you; he has that experience; he is - and this term is often overused - a true expert. Let that word sink in for a moment.

    This is a guy that is flown around the world to lecture on these techniques for thousands of dollars. Don't believe me? As I write this, he's in Tokyo lecturing right now. Soon, he'll be presenting at a conference in Italy with Steve Forte (his best friend and mentor), Bill Kalush (founder of the Conjuring Arts Research Center), and R. Paul Wilson.

    All of that stuff is built in. All of that knowledge is jammed into these videos packed with information in 30 to 35 minutes. And all of it's available for about the same price I just paid for a Mocha Latte at Starbucks about an hour ago. Expensive? No way. Bargain. And worth every penny.
  2. I know what you mean, but I have never really needed a video resource because I can understand so well with books.

    Hmmmm, I have a lot of thoughts on learning magic, ESSAY WRITING TIME!

    seriously the more resources the better, I think we should all be grateful to live in an age where you are just a mere click and credit card....and download time from so much sleight of hand and tricks.

    Willbots, no one is butt kissing or protecting Jason England, its a little thing called respect. JE has earned it through sharing his view and practicing and advancing the art as well as advancing a lot of the magicians of today.
  3. You can criticize Jason all you want.

    But if you are going to make a statement, like a lifetime's experience is overpriced, you need to be able to demonstrate that you have SOME idea of what is involved in making such a value judgment.

    When everything is handed to you at the click of a button or a swipe of a credit card, it's easy to dismiss it as being valueless.

    So, back up your statement - why are these overpriced? Please compare their value to other items taught by people of similar ability both now and in the past. Afterall, without that context, it's just someone's idle (and shall I say, worthless) rant based on nothing but a sense of entitlement and rooted in a position of ignorance.

    Why are these overpriced compared to all the other work on the bottom deal in print and recorded?
  4. Yes, Herb Zarrow's DVD went for $35. He created the damn move!
  5. Is that your rationale?

    Any idea when the zarrow shuffled first appeared in print and who taught it? Any idea what the cost of that item was in value adjusted for inflation?

    I presume then any instructional text on the pass or any false deal would automatically be considered overpriced. Erdnase did not invent the deals taught in his text. Is that overpriced as well? Now? Then?

    If value is solely determined by whether or not the actual inventor is teaching the material sold, how many of todays dvds are overpriced? Is anything in the ellusionist catalog priced fairly?

    You've made a claim. Please back it up. Demonstrating an understanding of the history of the marketing and sales of magical instructional material would be nice.

    You might want to mention a book or two.

    Not everything has always been a click away.
  6. I'll be honest, I don't know when the Zarrow shuffle first appeared in print. That doesn't affect the validity of my claim at all, thought you try to say it does, out of desperation for your argument.

    here's my opinion (remember, opinions are legal. I hope I don't get bashed by anyone for this. If the 1-on-1s were really that good, people would be glad I'm not buying them. Instead they feel some need to back everything up. Nevermind that, onto what I was going to say)

    The Zarrow Shuffle, the Pass, ect. are all great moves. Jason England is a great card handler. The problem is, the Zarrow shuffle, the pass, ect have been taught enough. Telling me to "mention a book or two" just shows that you realize it's been taught an abundance of times, and we really don't need another $10 download from a guy who can do them.

    And, yes, everything in the Ellusionist catalog is overpriced. Not for the reason you stated. They're just overpriced.
  7. Not to intervene or anything, but it is because that they are so good that people are defending them.

  8. Hahaha, this coming from the guy that was bashing Jason England, his pass, and the fact that Jason is making 1-on-1's.

    Not everyone has the luxury to have been taught the Zarrow Shuffle, or the pass by picking up a book. Most beginners don't go out and know every book to buy, or a way to find out which book has a specific move they're looking for.

    Theory11 has made it easier for the beginner, and everyone else, by having Jason do these videos, and then tell them how they can further their knowledge.

    For someone that doesn't purchase these 1-on-1's you sure do like to bash them.
  9. First of all, may I remind you who you are arguing with for a moment. Brad is a highly respected member of the magical community - heck he writes for Magic Magazine. While you're allowed your opinion, please do remember that it it is not always the most valid.

    Yes, I'm sure the Zarrow Shuffle has been taught in a variety of publications. However, you're paying for Jason England to teach you. Jason. England. The man is virtually a ninja with cards. You're paying money to learn from arguably the BEST source. With a higher production value than the original DVD, the download could be even more - and still be worth the money!
  10. Look. Back in the day, when there weren't instant downloads, DVDs, or even computers, people had to MEET these guys to get their opinions on these moves. They might have had to travel a few states to go to an expensive magic convention, just to meet them. If they didn't travel, they had to hope these guys would travel to their state for a convention. You were sometimes LUCKY to get to meet these guys. Now your telling me Jason England, one of the most experienced card mechanics of this day, has an instant download that anyone who has a computer can get, it's maybe ten dollars and it's OVERPRICED!?

  11. what the hell are you on about?

    I was responding to that. I said if he just wants technique, to download the EATCT, since he obviously doesn't care about nuances and subtleties.
  12. I don't see what the big deal is..

    The 1 on 1's are like 5 -10 bucks or more. Which to me is a great deal and is a helluva a lot cheaper than if you were to get the Books or other DVD's out there for such moves. PLUS, you are pretty much getting them handed to you for that price. You don't have to worry about shipping or anything else.

    It's either this or Jason could teach you in person and he would most likely charge you per hour and that would almost break the bank.
  13. Legally everyone is entitled to an opinion, but calling a statement an opinion neither makes it right, nor an opinion. (Having been sued - unsuccessfully, I might add - for libel, I can assure you this is true.)

    The reason I ask about the books is to establish context for your value judgement of something being overpriced. Without comparing it to other, similar offerings you are - as they say - merely pissing in the wind. If you can't place it into context, then your 'opinion' ceases to be valid as a statement of worth within our industry and becomes merely a matter of personal judgement. For all we know, you could be a birthday party clown for whom a bottom deal truly would be worthless and all versions of instruction thereby over priced.

    A smart birthday party clown could still compare it to other similar offerings and support their valuation.

    You can't.

    Finally, you write;

    ' The problem is, the Zarrow shuffle, the pass, ect have been taught enough.'

    If this were true, then why can I count the number of masters of these moves on a pair of hands?

    Clearly people have not managed to learn these moves from the many times they have appeared in print (I would love to see your bottom deal under fire or your pass while performing walk around). Part of this problem lies with the student and part with the teacher. As someone with a masters degree in education I can attest that different approaches to explaining information can result in different outcomes for the student.

    All one need do is look at a gaggle of magi, cards in hand, to realize people are still in need of improvement. Merely repeating the same thing hoping for different results is the sign of insanity.

    I have been performing magic since I was four years old. Rarely does anyone show me anything 'new' and when they do, it seldom makes me care.

    But when someone shares a touch, a thought, or a finesse that improves what I already do - that information is gold.

    Jason England has spent his lifetime mining gold.

    I wish you the best of luck in your quest for the new. I will happily choose to spend my time with those among us who seek - if not perfection, at least improvement.

    Those people know it's smart to listen to Jason - because Jason listened to many before.
  14. What I'm on about is that only a fool would skip over a resource like videos or personal instruction, just because something has been published in a book.

    I doubt that there's anything better for learning a physical skill, than having someone there to tell you, "No, don't do that. Do this." Or, "Okay, that's not working out right. Try this."

    The next best step is to have someone create a resource that gives a variety of these tips.

    That's what Jason's 1on1s are doing. They are providing the information that can only come with years (or in this case, decades) of experience.

    Also, I want to add this. The reason that people keep 'defending' Jason England is because he's been disrespected so much lately, and he is someone that deserves respect. I, personally, would be just as liable to back up anyone with his level of experience in the profession, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

    It's a matter of respect. Part of earning the respect of the industry is showing respect for the industry. By being disrespectful to people that are respected in the industry, you're basically showing that you don't deserve respect.
  15. Break out a DVD you already own at random. I picked one up myself--there are 4 effects on there. The DVD set me back $35.

    So breaking it down, that is roughly $8.75 per effect. Not far off from the price point of some of these 1on1s.

    The problem lies in the fact that we live in a society where everything is within our grasps. As stated before, legends of the past had to travel cross country just to learn a single sleight. Now we have little kids complaining that $10 is way too much for a 1on1 that teaches you YEARS of gathered information and knowledge.

    But no worries, soon enough, hair will start to grow in places you thought not possible. Your voice will suddenly crack and get deeper. Your face will break out with zits. And eventually, once that has all come and gone, you will have a better appreciation for magic and all of the greats of the past and the present to come.

  16. Oh, Mike Hankins is right. Knowledge is priceless, and to learn a move from Jason England is an honorable treat. What goes on behind-the-scenes (years of practice, gathered information, knowledge) is nothing compared to (just) $10.
  17. I'm completely lost now. When have I been disrepctful? My first post was to the OP.
  18. Apologies, I didn't mean 'you' as in 'TheatreHead' I meant 'you' in the generic sense.
  19. When your 12 it is hard to justify paying ten bucks for information. Once you are older and working a full time job you realize it is about the same price as a lunch at Subway. (and if you are in the industry, it's a tax break) EATCT would set you back, oh perhaps $7 from amazon (I picked up a copy of Bobo for $3 heh). But the reading isn't worth the effort. Effort often draws a line in the sand between the serious and the curious. Money does too, but I never thought I'd ever hear that for a mere $10.

    I like your post scarecrow, I was thinking the same thing.
  20. The issue is not about respecting Jason per se. It's too easy for people to dismiss the concerns as being friends looking out for other friends.

    The issue is respecting information and the work required in its acquisition, analysis, synthesis, and application.

    When you've never done any real work to learn something, when you've always had information handed to you, it's too easy to dismiss it as worthless.

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