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RayJ

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No big deal here, just venting a bit.  But what is with all of the intros on magic videos these days?  

Do we need to see a guy's feet as he walks up a hill, a view of the beach, a shot of his face as he contemplates the lint in his navel?  What drama!  Oh, and don't forget the music!

How about just getting to the magic?

Just saw an ad for a trick.  The first half minute was fluff, the next half minute showed the trick in the perfect conditions, already set up, no angle issues.  Then the last half minute was more fluff.

I guess this is what they think will help sell their product.

I'm sure some do like the format.  Not me.  

I want to see the effect from start to finish, including the sketchy set up that I'm sure many of these "modern-day marvels" require.  

If the trick only works in certain conditions, during certain times of day while wearing black and then only on even-numbered days, how about telling us?

I know, that is what magic reviews are for.  At least some of them are honest and point out the pitfalls of some of the junk circulating out there.

End of rant.  I feel better now.


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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
They're selling, as the maxim goes, "the sizzle, not the steak." The reason? It works.


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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
They're selling, as the maxim goes, "the sizzle, not the steak." The reason? It works.




Yep, I'm sure you're right.  Not unlike the videos (which I hope have stopped) that used to feature bathing beauties as spectators.  Giving young men the impression that if they do tricks they can attract women.  

Bathing beauties?  Man I'm old.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
They're selling, as the maxim goes, "the sizzle, not the steak." The reason? It works.



Not round here it don't. 

If I want "special "effects" I'll either buy the Curry book or watch Jurassic Umpteen or similar.

And maybe the sizzle is appealing in certain situations----food for example--- but this is just distraction. Irritation. Patronising.

To me it's a classic example of "We've got the gizmos and we're gonna use 'em".

Mentioning no names, but Vanishing Inc are prime culprits. I get emails every five minutes, but they go straight into the trash bin. If they want my money, get to the point.

Not a rant. When I RANT, it's loud and it shakes the windows and rattles the walls.
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arthur stead

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I too dislike those overproduced, low-on-essential-information videos.

As for my inbox/junk folder filling up with magic-related emails, I purposely unsubscribed myself from Vanishing Inc., Penguin, etc.  Hate being bombarded by ads featuring the latest irresistible “miracles.”  If I want something, I’ll go look for it myself, thank you very much.

Sure miss those days when you could watch live demos, peruse books, and have a discussion in an honest to goodness brick and mortar magic shop …


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RayJ

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The other thing is packaging.  I just love the reviews that go on and on about the packaging.  I understand, and I do like nice packaging, but what's inside is what I'm really interested in.  Most of the time, the item never makes it back into the packaging anyway.  Unless it really sucks and then it goes back in the box and into the drawer.
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Alan Smithee

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As long as whatever it is is packed securely to help keep the rabbit alive, that's the only package I'm interested in. Oh, and I do like packages to arrive fairly promptly.
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Mike Powers

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When I said, "It works" I'm not advocating for the high power approach or for the packaging. It's the business of magic catching up with the rest of the business world. I like the old days when the tricks mattered more than the production quality. Kaufman created a new standard for production quality way back when. Then the reviewers would comment on the production quality, making it a big deal. It never was to me. Give me some great tricks and I'm a happy camper.


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arthur stead

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I'm with you all the way there, Mike!
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Waterman

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The classic effects will never need a flashy ad campaign. No need for a hip millennial wearing a hoodie and thumb ring... strutting through an abandoned warehouse...camera angles constantly changing...locations switch from brooding millennial in warehouse to brooding millennial performing for drunk college girls on the Vegas Strip. However, I must admit to being taken in by some of these advertisements and more often than not have been disappointed.

The Cups and Balls, Egg Bag , and Professor's Nightmare ( not to mention a fistful of other effects magicians have traditionally performed since Tarbell was still in diapers) have entertained audiences for generations. 

I wonder how many generations will bare witness to this months newest releases....


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Mike Powers

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Quote:
No need for a hip millennial wearing a hoodie and thumb ring... strutting through an abandoned warehouse...camera angles constantly changing...locations switch from brooding millennial in warehouse to brooding millennial performing for drunk college girls on the Vegas Strip.


Perfect characterization!

It's distilled "sizzle" and, remember, this is advertising 101, now found on every magic website devoted to selling something.


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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterman
The classic effects will never need a flashy ad campaign. No need for a hip millennial wearing a hoodie and thumb ring... strutting through an abandoned warehouse...camera angles constantly changing...locations switch from brooding millennial in warehouse to brooding millennial performing for drunk college girls on the Vegas Strip. However, I must admit to being taken in by some of these advertisements and more often than not have been disappointed.

The Cups and Balls, Egg Bag , and Professor's Nightmare ( not to mention a fistful of other effects magicians have traditionally performed since Tarbell was still in diapers) have entertained audiences for generations. 

I wonder how many generations will bare witness to this months newest releases....




I haven't expressed this "fear" of mine, not in explicit terms, but here's what bothers me about this trend.  I'm afraid of what is not happening.  In my opinion, what is missing from the equation is roots.  

We always discuss the best way to build a house is on a strong foundation.  We know that trees are subject to withering and dying when their roots aren't deep enough.  

So what I see is many younger magicians leaning way too fast and they likely will burn out just as fast.  By learning too fast, what I mean is going from zero to performing Three-Fly or not being able to do a decent overhand shuffle but embarking on and Invisible Palm Assembly, or such.

I know there are exceptions, but I wonder how many of the "younger crowd" will still be interested in magic in 10, 20 or 30 years.

After all, many won't have an extensive library to dust.  They'll eventually forget about the downloads.  Soon, magic will be a memory.

I was watching Reel Magic Magazine recently and an interviewee commented on this trend.  He said what I indicated above, that newbies are doing very advanced work very quickly and the internet is the reason.

For anything to last, it has to have roots.  Fertile soil, like good books, clubs, forums and mentors helps too.  
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
When I said, "It works" I'm not advocating for the high power approach or for the packaging. It's the business of magic catching up with the rest of the business world. I like the old days when the tricks mattered more than the production quality. Kaufman created a new standard for production quality way back when. Then the reviewers would comment on the production quality, making it a big deal. It never was to me. Give me some great tricks and I'm a happy camper.




Point well made, Mister Powers, the packaging is neither here nor there. But having said that, it is. Unless a book is well packaged, it will arrive in less than reasonable condition.

As for the book itself, if it’s not well produced, or packaged, it will crumble. Glue dries, pages fall out.

I have more than several that started out looking beauteous and are now gasping a bit. My Fulves “Self-Working series has suffered a few casualties. Firm, soft-cover, if that’s not a contradiction, but the glue is showing its age. And the pages, whilst still in situ, are quite fatigues.

My 1962 edition of Close-Up Card Magic is wearing well.

Harry Stanley at the Unique Studio “set a new standard” with the original Vernon/Leipzig/Malini/Endfield/Ganson books, although things went downhill when he began, seemingly, to run out of money. And vanished down the tube when he retired and the Supreme editions came along.

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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #14 
Good points posted here.  I agree if I want to watch an effect or review, and suffer though a shiny, glossy intro, then 5-10 minutes of yabber, I'm usually done before they actually start.

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