One Trick DVD Article by Richard Kaufman

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Postby Harry Lorayne » 06/22/08 02:38 PM

That goes without saying. According to the person who's doing the writing/teaching, I guess. HL (I believe the original of Paul Curry's Out Of This World was a couple of mimeographed pages. But that kind of thing was few and far between, more so today,in my opinionl.)
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Postby amp » 06/22/08 02:51 PM

Got me thinking. Stars of Magic began with one trick.However, it was done by great thinkers of magic. Do you think the one trick DVD is that they don't think?
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Postby JordanB » 06/22/08 03:33 PM

As a blanket rule, I wouldn't stop purchasing one trick DVD's. Some of them are horrific...in fact, many of them are horrific. But some are excellent. I'm a friend of Bob White's and I think his DVD's on the Malini Egg Bag, Cups and Balls, Linking Rings and Tissue Paper Tear are some of the best out there.

To be fair to Richard though, I don't believe he was talking about DVD's such as Bob's, where the nuances to complex and intricate routines are taught in great detail (though I could be wrong). For example, if Johnny Thompson put out a DVD on just the three ball transposition or egg bag, I would probably buy it.

Like many magicians, I base my purchases on a variety of factors including the great reviews in Genii. I know they have an influx of products to review, and a lot of times I appreciate the bad reviews as much (if not more) than the good ones.
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Postby Scott M. » 06/22/08 05:17 PM

I'm of two minds here. I took a very long hiatus from magic and picked it up again in adulthood. Discovering magic DVDs I picked up one by a well known and prolific creator. There were 30 or so effects on the disk and I currently use none. In fact, there was something about the multitude of effects on the disk that diminished the disk as a whole. On the other hand, Daryl's Ambitious Card DVD, which provides a lot of detail on one routine, is one of my favorites.

Last year on impulse I picked up Paul Vigil's "Diplopia," a PDF manuscript teaching one trick (a variation on Paul Cummins' "Tap-a-lac") for $20. I do it all the time, and I file it next to the little manuscripts for "Card Warp," which I bought as a kid for $2 and "Out of this World," which probably cost about $5 back in the '70s. So, in short, for me it's more about the quality and originality of the effect than the quantity of effects on the disk.

All of that said, given what's on the market these days, however, I mostly agree with you. I'm perfectly happy to buy a one-trick DVD if it's a complete, nuanced, well-taught, well-credited examination of a trick and various related routines or handlings. If it's just a home-shot 20-minute DVD teaching one trick which is just the creator's clever updating of an old principal, I'll skip it. (And that's what most DVDs on the market are these days.) In general, I am much happier buying books, not because you get so many tricks but because they usually provide more lasting pleasure and are, I think, easier to learn from.

But you've put your finger on something that I do think sucks -- one-trick DVDs that rely on gimmicks you have to make yourself. Not too long ago these things would be dealer items, and you'd get the gimmicks ready-made. That ready-made quality is presumably what would justify the price. I don't know the "Color Burn" gaff, but I think it's ridiculous you have to make it yourself. Another recent offender: Daniel Garcia's "Torn Too," which requires not only a card gaff but a gaff deck. For the $30 you should get all that you require to do the trick; as it stands, you have to assemble a bunch of materials and go out and buy the required deck as well. With these kinds of one-trick DVDs you get slickly shot demo performances and video recountings of arts and crafts sessions that would be much more concisely conveyed through printed instructions.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 06/22/08 07:11 PM

I find this kind of a conversation very funny. The reason I find it very funny because there are so many sides to this conversation.

The question of a one trick DVD and is it worth it? That depends on the DVD - who did it. And what is on it. And it depends on the person that may or may not buy it. Who are they? What are their goals?

People do magic for different reasons.

Yes there are books and other DVD products out there that have more tricks in them than a DVD with one trick. Some magicians are into collecting secrets so they collect books and DVD's so they can have a lot of secrets. I am not a magician that got into magic to find out or be able to do as many magic tricks as I can collect.

My interest in magic is finding good performance material that I can do for an audience. That fits in with the way that I like to perform for an audience.

If Jack Pyle were alive today and published his bridge deal on a DVD - and I did not know it. And I wanted to learn it. And if it had all the little bits of business. And I would be able to add his bridge deal to my act. Then in my opinion that DVD with that one trick on it would be worth it. I look at routines like that as if they are golden routines.

If my Dad published his rope tie - or his knotted silks or his misers dream - in my opinion that also would be gold. Most of the entertainers I have known over the years looked to find magic that fits in with what they do - so they need magic and use it to earn a living.

So if they find a magic trick that pays for itself over time - because they use it in a show - and it holds up to the grind - and the audience likes it. Then - it is worth the money that they "INVESTED" in it.

Magicians that do magic for a hobby. They don't need a trick that is audience tested. In my opinion they don't look at magic as if it is an investment that they must earn back what the trick cost them - by using it in a show. They seem to want to know as many tricks as they can. So in my opinion they look for magic products to give them a lot of bang for the buck.

So to answer the question that no one asked me. Are some one trick DVD's worth it? Yes - sometimes. And No - sometimes.

Because as I said in my opinion it depends on what is on the DVD and who is getting it. And for what reason. To use in his act and it is an investment? Or to add to his collection.

Just my opinion!
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Postby Rennie » 06/22/08 10:50 PM

Harry Lorayne wrote: That goes without saying. According to the person who's doing the writing/teaching, I guess. HL (I believe the original of Paul Curry's Out Of This World was a couple of mimeographed pages. But that kind of thing was few and far between, more so today,in my opinionl.)

Harry,
You are correct about the pages for Out of This World, however I recall seeing it listed for many years in various catalogs at a price of $1.00.
Even with inflation I do not believe it could sell on a DVD for $30.00 today, though it is a classic. Just my opinion.
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Postby Roger M. » 06/22/08 11:34 PM

Glenn Bishop wrote:If Jack Pyle were alive today and published his bridge deal on a DVD

Can you imagine if Jack had ANY amount of work on video?
I'd pretty much pay whatever the asking price was, one trick or not.

Jack teaching his bridge deal.......one of the GREAT "formal" close up routines I've ever seen........I'm in.

........BUT, most DVD's today sadly aren't by the likes of Jack Pyle, and I think Richard's article is dead on the money.

I'd feel exactly the same way I do about about Jack Pyle to be able to watch Harry teach "Out of This Universe"........so it appears if taught by one of the Masters, a "one trick" DVD might take on a different light.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 06/23/08 08:13 AM

I knew Jack Pyle Quite well. He was one of the first magicians that I ever saw do card sharp magic. He like most magicians of his time - did not lecture on magic. He performed magic shows for a living and did not lecture to magic groups.

Jack Pyle also came and went before the big video DVD age hit magic. My Dad the late Billy Bishop was against publishing his tricks because in his opinion more magicians would do them.

He did not publish his stuff - but that did not stop magicians from doing his stuff anyway. To me it has nothing to do with the "masters" and if "they did" a one trick DVD.

It has to do with "content".

Is the content worth the price of the investment? To me that is the question when I buy magic. One trick on a DVD or not.

Just my opinion.
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Postby Roger M. » 06/23/08 06:07 PM

Glenn Bishop wrote: To me it has nothing to do with the "masters" and if "they did" a one trick DVD.

Although we're both fans of Jack Pyle, in your quote above we will have to diverge in opinion.

For me, it has everything to do with it.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 06/23/08 07:11 PM

OK by me Roger M. If you would only buy a one trick DVD if it were done by some magic "master".

And my opinion of what a "master" in magic is most likely very different as well. From where I come from the "master's" of magic were "all" performers!

Few performers published what they did to put food on the table.

Good performance material is hard to find and in my opinion - most of the time - worth the money because the performer will earn back the investment by doing shows.

Not in the case of the magician that does it as a hobby - who will sell part of his collection after they get tired of it - to buy more magic that might be sold at a future time.

Just my opinion.
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Postby John Cox » 06/23/08 11:13 PM

I think that most one trick DVD's I have seen are not worth it. Heck I think that a lot of the 8 trick DVD's are overpriced too. Especially the way they package them. Being a coin magic man I would rather get all the coin tricks on one DVD and skip most of the card stuff. But...one DVD that taught one trick that I thought was fantastic was Warp One. That was worth being on a DVD by itself. Another was Chris Capeharts linking Rings. So, I agree that there are times when it may be worth it but most of the time I say no.
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Postby Brandon Hall » 06/25/08 04:27 PM

Every once in a while a "one trick DVD" comes out that is really worth it...the key is to wait out the initial hype. In one case people had talked so much about the effect, that eventually I figured out the handling and felt I HAD to purchase it out of guilt (Prohibition). For the most part, I think we're preaching to the choir with this thread. Someone should start a thread like this over at the "other" place.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 06/26/08 10:35 AM

Folks over at the "other" place are too busy creating their one-trick DVD's.

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Postby Scott Fridinger » 07/01/08 05:55 PM

I don't think that there is a cut and dry answer to this.

I have some books which I do not like, there is a great deal of stuff, but it taught nothing new.

I have a few DVD's with many effects, which were not good.

I have some one effect DVD's which I love.

What about a packet trick that comes with DVD instructions vs. written? Is this a one trick DVD? How is a one trick DVD any different than any other single item effect with written instructions, especially if the gaff or needed props is included?

There is a bunch of junk being release and there is some really good items as well. I don't think there is a clear line that can be made with a simple statement of 1 Trick DVD Bad, Books good.

How much do we pay for an effect we use and works well for us? If I spend $40 on a book and only get one usable piece of magic how is that any different? I agree with what others have said, it is the content as well as the intent and extra material that may be included.
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Postby Geoff Weber » 07/02/08 03:39 PM

I prefer to evaluate each product on its own individual merits. If it is a good trick and I am willing to pay the price they ask, then I will do so.
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Postby Alton » 07/04/08 01:51 PM

I have one of John Bannon's one trick dvd's (Royal Scam) and it just goes to show that you can indeed 1. produce a nice dvd 2. include all gaffs for said routine 3. also take the time to include a .pdf of the routine. All this for $15. Of course I don't know the profit margin on said dvd's.

As far as the Daryl 3 Card Monte and Ambitious Card dvd's go, you get so much information that they merit the price for them because of the depth he goes into on each. Man at the moves he provides for the Ambitious Card routine.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that most everyone is so eager to "have something published". Regardless of being time tested under performance conditions.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/04/08 08:50 PM

Sorry, Alton, but I think that's just baloney. I'd rather pay $5 or $7.50 for the trick with printed instructions like the old days. I don't need a DVD to learn a packet trick.
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Postby James Munton » 07/04/08 11:18 PM

Hmmm...

$7.50 in 1975 is equivalent to $30.20 in today's money according to http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

So it seems that $15 for the gimmicked cards PLUS a DVD is indeed a bargain!

By the way Happy Independence Day everyone! I've just got back from a very long day of shows where I must have performed Hundy 500 at least 500 times!

I would happily have paid five times the price for that particular One Trick DVD. At the end of the day, isn't it about quality more than quantity?

I have to admit I am biased since I have my own wonderful one trick DVD coming out soon - Three Card Bunny is on its way!!!

Best,
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Postby Alton » 07/04/08 11:53 PM

Oh i would also Richard. I loved the routines that have been put out in the past for under $10 that came with the gaffs and printed instructions. I also do not need a dvd to learn a packet trick.

I was just pointing out that $30 for a one trick dvd is wayyyyyy too high and find it funny that John is putting out a one trick dvd for half that price so you know it can be done.

For one, he does put together a .pdf (I don't think I have mentioned I hate .pdf e-books with a passion) which you don't see many taking the time to include with their one trick dvd's. For another, I think it wouldn't take much to include a printed copy along with the dvd for $15 considering that dvd's when bought in bulk are not but a couple of cents (I have a dvd burner and have bought blanks before).

I surely prefer books over dvd's myself. You know the old saying that in order to hide a routine, put it in a book? I saw where a manufacturer of dvd set ($35 and had 13 or 14 effects) released 1 routine from the set separately for $20 from the set, using the same footage and was getting hammered because he wasn't mentioning in the marketing blurb that said trick was included in the set(which is a separate issue all together).

Are we getting to the same point with dvd's now? If you want to hide a really good routine put it either in a book or on a dvd set? Are the consumers so lazy they have to have everything put on a silver platter for them? I think so. The sad part is there are a lot of good material that will be overlooked. Thats good for me though.

Here is a quote from Tim Trono from over at the other place regarding individual effect dvd's:
On 2008-03-26 17:50, Tim Trono wrote:
The trend seems to be more and more for single trick DVDs. Gone overall are the days of Joe Smith and his magic repertoire. I think people want the "editing" to be done for them- in other words they want someone to pick THE best item and put it on a DVD. They don't want to sit through 10 or 12 routines even if it is a better value. To some dealers the other material clouds the best material. It's a lot like what is happening with the music industry. It used to be a musician put out an album (I'm dating myself LOL) or CD and it contained a number of their releases with maybe one or two true highlights. Certainly the other music was not filler but maybe just not the shining star that one or sometimes two pieces were. This allowed them to get the other non highlights (but no doubt GREAT music) out as well. Those days are coming to an end with iTunes, downloads, etc. - people are ONLY buying the highlights. This is having a big effect on the music industry for artists as some of their non highlight music will not see the light of day.



Now I love dvd's/videos since they have allowed me to watch some of the greats in action, Harry Lorayne, Martin Nash, Michael Close, Bill Malone...but i buy the source books as well, if available, because I usually find nice things hidden within the pages usually weeks, months, and sometimes years later when I re-read them. So I think we as a society have just become extremely lazy.

AT
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Postby Ryan Matney » 07/05/08 04:03 AM

To comment on what Tim Trono said. I think what he says above is a resonable assumption to make. IE: Magicians want the editing done for them and want THE BEST trick made available.

However that's not what is happening at all. Most of the crap is not 'edited' for us at all. It's just the one thing Mr. Magic could think of and whack onto a dvd for $35. So, to my way of thinking, that's not a valid position.

I'd also like to add my two cents that Royal Magic is offering some very good deals on their newest releases. The Bannon tricks 'Royal Scam' and 'Duplicity' the David Solomon tricks 'Knaves gone Wild' and 'Thoughts Across' and the new dvd package on magic with an expanded shell. These are all great deals and teriffic tricks with bonus effects thrown in.

We might not need a dvd to learn a packet trick. Most of us here don't but in today's marketplace these are still good deals.
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Postby Alton » 07/05/08 08:15 AM

Ryan Matney wrote: To comment on what Tim Trono said. I think what he says above is a resonable assumption to make. IE: Magicians want the editing done for them and want THE BEST trick made available.


I put his quote in since he is a producer and makes his opinion known why. Rather it is right or wrong.

However that's not what is happening at all. Most of the crap is not 'edited' for us at all. It's just the one thing Mr. Magic could think of and whack onto a dvd for $35. So, to my way of thinking, that's not a valid position.


I agree thats why I made the statement that everyone seems to want to be published regardless of working experience with the released product.

As as side note, I am going to be releasing my version of Scarne's Drunken Poker entitled Dry Heaving. It has been honed to perfection over the last 15 years. It will be a home made single effect dvd of my performance during a recent party and it will be available with your choice of a case of beer or half gallon of liquor (please specify your type and brand of preference)and also be including a deck of cards (alcohol and cards aka the Dry Heaving kit). Price will be $70. There will also be a download version available for $35 minus the Dry Heaving kit. Hang over supplements sold seperately. :grin:

I'd also like to add my two cents that Royal Magic is offering some very good deals on their newest releases. The Bannon tricks 'Royal Scam' and 'Duplicity' the David Solomon tricks 'Knaves gone Wild' and 'Thoughts Across' and the new dvd package on magic with an expanded shell. These are all great deals and teriffic tricks with bonus effects thrown in.

We might not need a dvd to learn a packet trick. Most of us here don't but in today's marketplace these are still good deals.


Yep. I hope the marketplace changes soon and with gas prices as high as they are and still rising, it may change sooner than we think. Everyone is going to be bargain shopping (if they aren't already) since some of their expendable cash will be fading going toward $7 a gallon gas (man I hope it don't get there but it isn't going down).

BTW, great discussion guys.

AT
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/05/08 10:09 AM

Think how incredibly stupid and narrow-minded the buying public has become. Think of all the wonderful songs on albums (or CDs) that you discovered that were not the big hit, or the hit song that the record company wanted you to hear. All those other great songs.

Now you're treated like a [censored] brick--you get the one song, or the one trick, the manufacturer WANTS you to like. The hell with the "hidden gems." Think of all the great tricks in the big books I've published, not the famous ones, but the thousands of others that still create great magic in the hands of a magic in front of an audience, or have intellectually stimulated those who enjoy reading and practicing magic for its own sake.

I say to hell with all of the one-trick DVD jerks. Unless you're Rene Lavand, a dynamic performer who has something to offer me by watching him do a trick rather than merely reading about it, I don't need your damn one-trick DVD. You think you gain anything by watching someone do a packet trick on DVD? No. It's just [censored]. There are VERY few performers today whose visual presence in instructions adds anything to most of the crap that's put on the market.

Difficult sleights have a place on a DVD, because it's helpful to see them in order to understand them. But I want a full DVD of material if I'm going to spend any money.

I remember when all of this started: back when Dominique Duvivier's trick "Printing" came out for $25. There was no DVD back then, but I thought to myself, "What the hell is happening? Why would anyone pay $25 for packet trick?" Guess what ... you all bought it. Now you're paying the price.
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Postby Alton » 07/05/08 11:21 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Guess what ... you all bought it. Now you're paying the price.


I agree we have become a product of our own stupidity. Not just in magic either!

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Postby RogueMD » 07/05/08 11:34 AM

As a practical matter, books are MUCH more convenient as well. Using the proverbial "desert island" scenario...DVDs wont get you very far...one trick or not.

I happen to be a bibliophile and so am naturally prejudiced in such matters; non withstanding, magic "BOOKS" will always be in fashion and remain the standard of instruction for me.

Keep 'em coming Richard...keep 'em coming.

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Postby Eric Rose » 07/07/08 07:55 PM

James Munton wrote:Hmmm...

At the end of the day, isn't it about quality more than quantity?

I have to admit I am biased since I have my own wonderful one trick DVD coming out soon - Three Card Bunny is on its way!!!

Best,
James


I guess it is a question of quality, but if someone wants me to drop $25 for a version of Color Monte (gaffs included) then the quality of information in the ad had better be pretty high, too. Don't just tell me that the trick is used by "top magicians", tell me who they are. It's going to take a lot of convincing and more than self-praise to sway me. Maybe that's just the discretion that comes with experience. Yes, there are some tricks and magicians that warrant a single trick DVD release, but the list is very, very short and if you reduce it to packet tricks and their varients only, the list is nearly non-existent. The rest are simply the marketeers exploiting both the market and the marks.

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Postby James Munton » 07/07/08 11:07 PM

The rest are simply the marketeers exploiting both the market and the marks.


This is not just directed at you Eric, but there seems to be quite a bit of hostility in this thread towards producers and manufacturers.

I think the general quality of products - tricks, DVDS and books - is better now than it ever has been. It wasn't that long ago that magic videos cost as much as $75. Individual tricks were traded "underground" sometimes for ridiculous sums of money.

I think it was Michael Ammar who shared the story of paying $100 for a thumbtip.

Magicians have far greater access to routines than ever before. And the preponderance of magic fora such as this fine site enable people to easily share their opinions and reviews of products so that the purchaser can make an informed buying decision.

The marketplace ultimately decides whether $25 is an appropriate amount for a single trick with DVD. And it would seem that they sell quite well at that price point.

But just so you know, nobody gets rich from these types of releases. The wholesaler typically pays the manufacturer 40% of retail. The retailer pays the manufacturer 60%.

So on a $25 item, the creator will get $10 per unit. Out of that s/he has to pay for the production costs, marketing and advertising, etc. They'll be lucky to make about $6 for each unit sold.

And that is before you factor in the time and energy it takes to produce something like this.

No, I am not doing this to make lots of money and "exploit" people. I am doing it mainly for FUN. It is a vanity project. It's great to put something together, market and sell it.

Just like authors who self-publish, there is a desire to share one's work with others.

Later this week I am traveling back to my old home town of Washington, DC to do a bunch of shows. I've organized a lecture while I am there. I'll have a few products to sell at the end.

But I'm certainly not doing it for the money. I'll make far more from my shows.

The main reason is for the fun of hanging out with a roomful of magicians and showing them what I can do.

Nobody has to buy anything. But if everyone shared the rather mean-spirited attitude of some folks on this thread, nobody would go to the trouble of putting out products.

I think it is a ridiculous notion that people who take the time to put out a magic product do so out of a desire to exploit the customers.

And for those who actually perform for people instead of sitting at home watching magic DVDs all day or spouting nonsense in a magic chat room, $25 for a trick that you can regularly perform at your weekly restaurant gig is an absolute bargain!

But that's just my opinion.

Best,
James
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Postby Brian Morton » 07/07/08 11:51 PM

James Munton wrote:But just so you know, nobody gets rich from these types of releases. The wholesaler typically pays the manufacturer 40% of retail. The retailer pays the manufacturer 60%.


Really? I bet Brad Christian of E-llusionist is very amused at this. After all, when you don't have to worry about wholesalers and retailers, you have $100,000 to give away to "celebrities" to do magic on cable and expand your marketing base. Plus you don't even have to burn DVDs . And I'm sure he's not rich at all. Depending on your definition, of course.

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Postby James Munton » 07/08/08 12:26 AM

Brian,

Now you are shifting the goalposts. We were talking about one-trick DVDs.

And again, there is the cynical, negative attitude.

I have no idea about Brad Christian's bank balance. If he is doing well for himself, that's wonderful.

I hear Rocco did alright for himself selling D-Lites.

Is it the one trick DVD you object to, or simply people making money for providing goods or services?

I'm happy to discuss either with you, but can we stick with one topic?

James
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Postby Geoff Weber » 07/08/08 11:19 AM

From the creator's standpoint, if you've invented a trick that is worthy of being marketed, is there a better option than producing it as a DVD? I would submit that there is not. The only other options are magazine submissions, instant downloads, or booklets. Magazines are fine if you aren't interested in profiting from your work, downloads are too easy to steal, and one trick booklets/manuscripts are even more unpopular than one-trick DVDs... (while people moan about the one trick dvds, at least they buy them.)
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Postby Gord » 07/08/08 04:24 PM

I'm a little behind in my reading so I only read the column last night, and cannot agree with Richard more.
The only thing worse than offering a DVD with one lousy trick is buying a DVD with one lousy trick.

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Postby Brian Morton » 07/08/08 05:55 PM

James Munton wrote:Now you are shifting the goalposts. We were talking about one-trick DVDs.

And again, there is the cynical, negative attitude.

I have no idea about Brad Christian's bank balance. If he is doing well for himself, that's wonderful.

I hear Rocco did alright for himself selling D-Lites.

Is it the one trick DVD you object to, or simply people making money for providing goods or services?

I'm happy to discuss either with you, but can we stick with one topic?


James:

In this case, the medium is not the message, it's the content that counts, an the value for that content. Selling "one trick" for $20 or $35, whether it's via a download or a DVD, when a book contains hundreds of effects, plus ample crediting, is bordering on criminal to new magicians. Pardon my cynical negative attitude -- it's a byproduct of seeing people get ripped off far more than I was in my youth buying lame single-off tricks when dealers could have steered me toward books and pamphlets just as easily.

As for Brad Christian, I can let Jamy Swiss's essay in Antinomy say it far better than I could:
The general impression one gets of Mr. Christian on his videos is that of a bland, middle-aged, white-bread guy, with little performance ability, and sleight-of-hand skills at about the level of an amateur hobbyist with, by contemporary standards, perhaps one or two years of experience. As a street magician he is purely a creation of the camera, but even more important, his standing lies solely within a community that lacks any basis for comparison ... Then there are the issues of Mr. Christians failure to credit originators for the material he exploits; his failure to obtain appropriate permission to use that material; and his habit of renaming well-known tricks in order to further obscure their origins.


I don't consider it "wonderful" when someone appropriates material, renames it, performs it poorly for video, and then sells it on the Internet. But perhaps we have different standards.

I have no problem with Rocco's D-Lite. It was a trick that provided value for the money. He created it, he created effects to go with it, and he deserves the profits he gets. What Rocco did has no bearing on this discussion.

I think one-trick DVDs are ripoffs. I think one-trick video downloads are even worse, since the offenders aren't even fronting the costs of DVD production and duplication. If someone sold one crappy trick in a booklet for $35, he'd be laughed out of the business after long. If it's a great trick, with great instructions, method, crediting, hell -- I'll even throw in pictures, even if they're not necessary -- I'd go for it, for far more than thirty five bucks. But that better be a great trick, and come with some pretty good recommendations by some serious thinkers or working pros. I have friends who have paid more for one trick or method -- how much would you pay to have had personal instructions on Steve Spill's Bill in Lemon or Eddie Fields's code act?

But one trick? On a DVD or download from someone you never heard of before?

Yeah, call me cynical, negative even.

brian :(
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Postby James Munton » 07/08/08 07:30 PM

I don't consider it "wonderful" when someone appropriates material, renames it, performs it poorly for video, and then sells it on the Internet. But perhaps we have different standards.


Not only are you moving the goalposts again, you are accusing me of something I haven't even implied. That's not just proof of your inability to debate, it is downright rude.

But I see you are a journalist. That explains everything.
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Postby Brian Morton » 07/08/08 07:58 PM

James, instead of characterizing my arguments, perhaps you'd care to address their merits. Which is what I'd expect of someone who claims he knows who can and cannot understand how to debate. (They teach this in journalism schools, you know.)

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Postby James Munton » 07/08/08 08:59 PM

James, instead of characterizing my arguments, perhaps you'd care to address their merits.


If you had an actual argument, I'd be happy to respond. All I see is a list of disconnected gripes and lame straw man arguments (they did teach you about those in journalism school, didn't they?)
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/08/08 09:02 PM

[First, I have to say that I am getting really tired of the BS sniping thats been going on here lately. I had to delete almost a dozen posts in another thread as a result of this nonsense. If you have to yap at each other, please use the Private Message function. You can measure your weenies there. Thanks.]

As for the subject at hand, single trick DVDs, I understand Richards argument, but I also understand that there is a level of quality that can justify the practice. Its just very rare. For example, Bob Whites DVDs on the T&R Napkin, Egg Bag, Linking Rings, and Cups and Balls are all single trick DVDs if you stop and think about it. But the difference is that these discs offer complete lessons; a level of detail one would expect from one-on-one lessons. These DVDs are worth every penny of the $50 Mr. White asks for them (same with his palming DVD which is a single subject DVD I suppose).

I can think of others as well: Mike Caveneys Powers of Darkness comes immediately to mind. The price includes the props while the routine is explained on videoand exceptionally well at that. Again, its a lesson in performing the piece correctly.

And perhaps thats the difference; the depth of these projects makes them single subject DVDs with multiple lessons wrapped around a single trick. Compared to a DVD with a card trick explained on it and nothing else of substance, well thats apples and oranges I suppose. But the good ones are still one trick DVDs.

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Postby Steve Bryant » 07/08/08 10:29 PM

I just received Revelation today from Mike Caveney. This book is so beautifully executed and of such extraordinary content that it gives one goosebumps. It's nice, re this discussion of the glut of dvds, to see such a labor of love emerge.
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Postby The Magic Apple » 07/09/08 01:28 AM

Wow!! I can't wait to read this "one trick DVD" article...I am sorry to say that I haven't even picked up the July issue yet...

THere are VERY VERY few "one trick" DVDs that are any good and I hate to name names...so I won't but owning a magic shop and watching all the 'garbage' that is being released, I hope all the "KIDS" read this article.

If anyone is interested, I would GLADLY 'call out' the schmucks that have released TRASH in the past new months/years
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/09/08 01:45 AM

Don't be afraid to. Just do it in a professional manner (which doesn't always include using words like "Schmuck").

(No offesne intended, but...) That's one of the things I miss about David Malek's email ads: He used to slam stuff that deserved slamming.

By the way; it wasn't an article per se: It was Richard commenting in "The Genii Speaks."
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Postby The Magic Apple » 07/09/08 02:22 AM

If I go in to details about the various companies and 'magicians' that have been putting out these Gems, this post would be roughly seventeen pages long.
In MUM Magazine, Genii Magazine, and Magic Magazine (for starters), a particular DVD was reviewed and I can't tell you how badly it was talked about. This same company released a DVD that 'magically' turns water into beer. The so-called magic that this particular company releases is an embarassment to magic. There is also a 'magician' that has released some miracles: One of which is a torn corner of a card that apparently restores itself on the other side of a glass window and everything is examinable. Well - this effect is NOT EVEN PERFORMED on the 14 Minute DVD. He also has one in where the deck is CUT (not shuffled), a card is looked at and the magician tells the spectator what card is looked at. This friggin' miracle is a 10 minute DVD that uses a LOUSY effect, a LOUSY stack and a LOUSY routine.

Without boring you all with the other products..this is a small insight to what I am talking about...
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Postby James Munton » 07/09/08 10:10 AM

I think we have discovered the real issue!

It is not so much the format of the single trick DVD that is the problem, it is the fact that some manufacturers are releasing crappy products.

This is certainly nothing new in magic.

And it is helpful when dealers such as Magic Apple are honest and inform their customers which tricks to avoid.
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