Video Critique

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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/17/05 10:41 AM

I have a video I would like critiqued. It is at

http://www.putfile.com/media.php?n=422163655

constructive critism welcomed.

Basic questions and feedback:

How's the handling?
What would you rate the quality of performance?

Suggestions to better the performance.

Thank you,

Bryan
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Postby Brian Morton » 08/17/05 10:52 AM

1. Slow down. You're obscuring the magic.

2. Who are you trying to be? What are you telling the audience about you?

3. Get your cameraman a tripod, and ease up on all the fancy transitions -- less is more.

That's just for starters....

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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/17/05 12:03 PM

Thank you for your response.

Can I ask you what you thought of the magic and how it was done?

Thanks again

Bryan
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Postby Brian Morton » 08/17/05 01:21 PM

Well, it's hard to giuve a full impression of your act via a web-transmitted video shot on the shoulder and full of too many transitions.

For starters, like I said -- who are you? What's with the mask? If you really are supposed to be some sort of "wizard," why are you messing around with rope tricks?

Do you talk at all, or is it all stuff set to music? If it is all to music, why are you doing that?

As for the magic itself, you obscure too much of it by swinging around and moving too fast. The first set of card productions are nice, if a bit short. The right-hand card manipulation -- well, it's impossible to tell what your effect was. Then the rope -- I'm not finding anything compelling about the knots-off rope effect.

Why do you go back to card manipulations again? You need to work on your blocking -- you shouldn't be stepping back and forth like that.

Why go from heavy thump-thump techno to semi-classical music?

And lastly (and I'm really not much of a fan of the classic manipulation school of magic, but I "get it" as Denny Haney says, "laypeople appreciate a demonstration of skill"), you need to routine that whole card manip thing a whole lot better -- you drop a load of cards into the box, followed by an obvious steal of more cards off the back of the table, spray them into your hat, only to use that as a way to facilitate stealing more into back-palm so to continue productions. Visually to a spectator, that entire sequence makes no sense whatsoever. Actions need to have their own logic -- look at each one as it connects to the other and say, "why am I doing this."

But before you get there, you need to figure out all those painful "who am I and what am I trying to say with my look, my act and my magic" questions first.

Does that help?

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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/17/05 04:40 PM

yes thanx
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/17/05 05:17 PM

You need a director. A camera operator that sees the cluttered backgrounds and moves and sets you up. Need to see some tight shots too.

You have learned how to do a lot of moves but need to find a presentation.

Again, what's the mask?

One of a performer's greatest selling point is the use of facial expressions... here you have NONE.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Jerry Harrell » 08/17/05 06:39 PM

Bryan,

You asked for suggestions to better the performance. I suggest you pick up a copy of the current (September) issue of Genii, turn to page 12 and read the first four paragraphs of Jon Racherbaumer's column. Heed his advice.
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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/17/05 07:22 PM

Jerry,

I don't subscribe to Geni...would it be possible to paraphase what is in the first four paragraphs?

Not that i want you to get into hot water for anything.

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Postby Steve Hook » 08/17/05 07:29 PM

And don't be discouraged by the replies.

Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.

Think about the responses. WRITE OUT YOUR RESPONSE IN YOUR PERSONAL JOURNAL. (YOU DO HAVE A JOURNAL, RIGHT?) WRITE MORE.

Redesign your set.

Practice / rehearse.

Refilm.

Resubmit the new vid here.

Repeat the above.

And again. Continue to show the guts you showed here this first time.

Discover where to go. Gain self-confidence.

Become respected for your flexibility, resilience, effort, thought, and continued hard work.

Now......you're The Man...
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Postby Guest » 08/17/05 07:58 PM

I watched the vid and agree with most of what has been said. You're not yet ready to produce a demo video, so forget all the fancy cuts and wipes and just focus on your magic. Make lots of these kinds of tapes and then look at them. Ultimately, your act will be a reflection of you. What do you like about the vid? What don't you like? Where is it boring? Where is it exciting? What's the absolutely best trick or effect you do? That's your ending... now how do you build up to it?

On stage... who are you? What is the character you are portraying?

There's nothing wrong with a silent act to music. Marvyn Roy, Neil Foster Shimada, and many others did it well. But ask yourself why you are working that way? After seeing this video, I could be in the same room with you and never know. I don't know what you look like, what you sound like, etc. This makes it hard to build a rapport with the audience.

You do some moves and flourishes quite well. You're obviously willing to practice. So, don't quit. Keep at it. You seem to be taking the criticism gracefully and it was courageous to ask for it. Now, use it to progress.

And... subscribe to Genii.

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Postby Dan Magyari » 08/18/05 08:37 AM

Bravo for having the balls to put yourself up for criticism on a board that so many respected magicians frequent - I'll give you a "10" for that alone.

One of my pet peeves is magicians who use music as background noise (most that I have experienced). If you use music, it should support your performance completely - not be one more added distraction. I got the feeling that the music was added in during the editing process.

If you use music to support your magical performance (and are not a musician also), please get a musical/choreagraphic director to help you understand how the two forms can coalesce.

Props to you again for putting it on the line in order to move forward with your performance!
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Postby Guest » 08/18/05 09:55 AM

If you were asking about the video itself it was dark, at least on my computer. If asking about the act all I can say that hasn't been said is the person isn't very graceful, his movements are clunky and froglike. The magic is okay, the mask I'm not sure about, but at least he never did that kissy face that manipulators like to do.
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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/18/05 05:17 PM

Well, The video isn't of me. I never said it was but I am grateful for the critique.

The fellow in question posted this (on a different forum) and asked for a critque. When I replied, in essence, the same as you, he flamed me badly and called me names. I just wanted to know that my assessment was correct. You helped to show me I'm still on the ball.

I thank you all.

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Postby Eric Rose » 08/18/05 08:14 PM

Thank goodness that wasn't you. I was trying to figure out what the heck you'd done to yourself -even though it had been a couple years, you didn't look like the same guy I'd met at Funtyme Magic.

As far as critique - I've found that taking a leak before the show drastically reduces the side to side dancing. I also noticed that he's enthralled with the trick and effect right up to the time he dumps the prop, then he treats it like a hot potato. It makes it look like "get rid of that thing - its over" and took away any appreciation I had for the trick.
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Postby EdAndres » 08/18/05 09:57 PM

when the song say's "F***-em and their laws!" I think it was refering to the laws of good magic....
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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/19/05 07:34 AM

OOPS, Ed I misread your post and replied incorrectly.

Ed,

I think (opinion coming) just as there are natural laws or rules like the sun coming up begins the day, the sun (seems) to move across the sky marks the timing of the day and the sun sets to end the day that there are laws and rules for an entertaining display of magic or almost any other kind (if not all) presentation.

I'll bet that the guy that you are quoting had to first learn to play an instrument, learn to write his lyricks to fit his style of music, present his act in a way that his audience enjoyed and then impress the money people to give him a contract (the impression can be part of the other two rules)or you wouldn't have heard him to quote him.

It sounds good to "F" the rules but in reality it doesnt fly.

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Postby Guest » 08/19/05 08:58 AM

Let me clear a bit of this up as there is more information needed. This link was originally posted on a group called Magic Time. There was a major lack of communication on the magician's part. His name is David Masters and has been into magic for six years. He did not tell anyone this. His message on the board para-phrased this is my work at two years. It was shot in a Karate Studio and he was actually testing out as new cam-corder. A child shot the video footage. One of my friends that knows David says he does pretty good work. Sadly the video footage that he chose to show, really did not make him look good at all, from a magic point and from a point of view of camera work. Bottom line he should have told the entire story. The information made those that watched think he had two years experience only. The footage was shot four years ago. He probably would have been better off not posting that link, or he should have explained all the details. That is my two cents worth. For what that might be worth. On another note I liked his manipulation work, I could never in a million years do those moves.
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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/19/05 09:27 AM

Actually Jerry all I commented on was the actual post, I copied and pasted the following (the complete post):

"The Magic of David Masters : This video was shto in Las Vegas NV. with only two year's experince in magic.Here is the Link http://www.putfile.com/media.php?n=422163655
"

That is/was the post.


Granted a bunch more onfo came to light after the fact. More info I found out when I folowed a link to his webpage and found he was for hire.

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Postby Guest » 08/19/05 09:44 AM

I knew it wasn't you Bryan, and we know Jerry is into masks! The dude still moves like a frog.
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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/19/05 04:24 PM

I figured you would spot that.

I am not that thin or that graceful except when I'm wheeling around in my wheelchair. I couldn't pass a drunk test even when not drinking anymore.

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Postby Guest » 08/21/05 10:00 AM

We could always get some jet engines and put them on your wheelchair.
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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/21/05 03:28 PM

My wheelchair has two 12 volt motors on it (one for each side) and it holds two gel batteries it moves fast enought to scare people out of my way in Walmart. I don't think I need faster.

Bryan (Get Out Of My Way) Dreyfus
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Postby Guest » 08/21/05 03:37 PM

Did you invite the video fellow to come see the comments?
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Postby Bryan Dreyfus » 08/21/05 07:38 PM

Yes, I posted on the board where he posted the original request.

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Postby Guest » 08/22/05 09:27 AM

We will have to get Bryan a wheelchair like that kid did in the movie Silver Bullet. :whack:
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Postby Andy Hurst » 08/23/05 02:25 AM

You can tell why the guy in the video wears a mask.

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