Video Reviews By Dustin Stinett

Discuss the views of your favorite Genii columnists.

Postby Sam Kesler » 03/01/05 08:24 PM

I'd like to say how great I think the video reviews have been by Dustin Stinett. Dustin is certainly up to the daunting task of sharing the lamp in the usual wonderful tradition we're so used to by Joe Turner.

Dustin's reviews are inciteful, informative, and wonderful reads. I find myself nodding in agreement many times; it's uncanny how we seem to be on the same wavelength.

I enjoyed his comprehensive analysis of John Carney's Palming DVD and Andrew Galloway's John Ramsey magic in the January issue. I just received the March issue which features an outstanding review of Al Schneider Technique Volumes 1-4 (I bought volume 1 just for the magic theory as Dustin so ably points out) and Martin Nash Volumes 1-5, which I look forward to checking out. If you haven't read his review do yourself a favor and do so immediately.

Congratulations and heartfelt thanks, Dustin, for the wonerful reads. Keep up the good work!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/01/05 09:51 PM

Sam,

Thanks for the very kind words. I appreciate the encouragement.

Best,
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 03/02/05 12:45 AM

Since I generally do not purchase videos, I tend to skip the video reviews.
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Postby Matthew Field » 03/02/05 03:08 AM

I've got to agree that I think Dustin is doing a wonderful job with the video reviews. Way to go, Dustin!

For those who, like Chris Aguilar, skip the video reviews, you're missing being informed about what's going on in an important part of the magic scene.

Even those who eschew videos would benefit from investigating the Vernon, Don Alan, Blackstone Sr., Mike Skinner and Ross Bertram videos, to name just a handful.

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Postby Kevin Fox » 03/02/05 06:18 AM

I purchase books & dvds, my only comment is that the trend to produce sets of four is to much for most performers & doesnt do them any favors, I can think of two recently who could have put their four on to two and their reputation with me
would still be intact.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 03/02/05 09:21 AM

Originally posted by Kevin Fox:
I can think of two recently who could have put their four on to two and their reputation with me
would still be intact.
I get tired of saying it, but it's so true!

Sigh.

JMT
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Postby Kevin Fox » 03/02/05 01:29 PM

Its not just me then,See you @ FFFF Joe.
Kevin Fox.
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Postby Guest » 03/02/05 03:20 PM

Joe, are you going to the FFFF?
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Postby Randy » 03/02/05 03:58 PM

Just what exactly is a video ???

Sincerely,

DVD
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Postby Bill Duncan » 03/02/05 09:22 PM

Video is a type of data. It's what you put on a DVD, VCD, VHS or computer hard drive in RM, WMV, MOV or other propritary format.

As opposed to audio...

;)
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 03/03/05 03:43 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
For those who, like Chris Aguilar, skip the video reviews, you're missing being informed about what's going on in an important part of the magic scene.
If there is a particular "scene" that is reliant on being cognizant of the latest "important" videos, then I will gladly remain a non member. With a few rare exceptions (such as Youell's wonderful little CD's), I do not even watch the few videos I have.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/03/05 10:00 AM

I see no difference between making a statement like "I don't watch videos" and saying "I don't read books." For an educated magician who is interested in furthering his knowledge of the craft, both statements are silly.
There is much to be learned from watching videos. Even if you eliminate many of the DVDs that have been made, I would say that at least 25% of them demand to be watched.
Sure--you can make a statement like "I never watch videos," and then you can join the folks who still don't have indoor plumbing and poop in a pot.
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Postby Guest » 03/03/05 12:14 PM

I'm a book man. But I find video to an invaluable tool for capturing great artists who are no longer with us, or for studying timing and audience management.

Darwin Ortiz's recent DVD set Scams and Fantasies with Cards is an excellent supplement to, not a substitute for, his book, and makes the video arguement for me.

Dustin has been a wonderful addition to the Genii team of writers, not just for the video reviews.

If you're reading this without being a subscriber, then you are missing out on something very special. Every month is an improvement. Not just more of the same.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 03/03/05 09:33 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
[QB] I see no difference between making a statement like "I don't watch videos" and saying "I don't read books." For an educated magician who is interested in furthering his knowledge of the craft, both statements are silly.
Yep, I guess this "Textual learner" needs to be shown how he's missing out on being a part of a "scene" by watching all those "important" new videos.

That being said, I realize the video market is huge and having the reviews (however well they are or aren't written) caters to the mass demographic. Some might find that videos "demand to be watched", yet I feel it increasingly easy these days to spend my magical dollar elsewhere (books, re-subscribing to Genii, etc.)

There is plenty in Genii to make it well worth my while even if there are parts I do not enjoy or bother to read on a regular basis (the video reviews, Maven's page of filler, etc.) In fact, I just re-upped for another year and am glad to do so. (The recent Benatar cover issue was excellent by the way)

But I admit that you make a compelling (if fact free) case. So much so that I'm tempted to fish those videos out of the pot I've been using to piss in. ;)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/04/05 10:37 AM

There is no need for a recitation of facts when something is self evident.
And, I don't consider "Max Maven's Inquisition" to be "filler." It's amusing, and brings a slightly different note to the overall issue every month.
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Postby AMCabral » 03/04/05 12:11 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
There is no need for a recitation of facts when something is self evident.
How about something simple, like making an example of anything Larry Jennings did that needed to be seen to really get a sense of ("Dad Stevens's Other Shuffle", "Gambler's Aces", e.g.)? There, that wasn't very hard, was it?

And there's a world of difference between the neccessity of visual example in learning magic (which is not quite self-evident, but true), and the necessity of videos the way we know them. The only videos that "demand watching" are those that contain information that you can't get in a book. I will wait a good while to spend time with written information before I break down and need to 'see how it's done'. Magic videos, the way they exist now, are Happy Meal packaging for the instant gratification crowd.

-Tony
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Postby Sam Kesler » 03/04/05 05:08 PM

Attended Michael Close's lecture at the Magic Apple in Studio City Wednesday night. Michael pointed out that reading was an intellectual artform (i.e. active experience) and that watching a video was a passive experience. Not to suggest, of course, that it doesn't help to see a video presentation of how the sleight is supposed to look...

"Curl right middle finger at 90 degree angles while the thumb...say what!?!! :eek:
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Postby Bill Mullins » 03/04/05 09:27 PM

Close's statement is a generalization and is not always true. I can read at a passive level, and watch a video (or movie, or play, or tv show) at an intellectual level. Depends on the subject, its depth, and my level of interest.

Max Maven's Inquisition is not filler. I just wish that the answers were on a different page than the questions.

Yes, there are videos that are "fluff". But even they have value in that they provide a record of performance and style. Go through the cover subjects of Genii and Magic both, over the last couple of years. Most have a video record. Would that we had similar recordings of a couple of early years of Sphinx, or Stanyon's Magic, or any other group of magicians from years gone by.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 03/04/05 11:59 PM

Originally posted by Bill Mullins:

Max Maven's Inquisition is not filler.
Actually, I have nothing against filler as long as it's fun or entertaining. And I think it's great that some seem to enjoy Maven's monthly bit of fluff even though I personally do not.

Reasonable folks might disagree, but I guess it's possible that 15-20 short lines of text taking up a full magazine sized page could fulfill the following 'self evident' ;) definition of "filler".
filler (fĭl'ər) pronunciation
n.

One that fills, as:

A short item used to fill space in a publication.
I have nothing against Max and quite enjoy his other publications. (Especially his fine little book Focus) His work occupies a special place in my memories,especially his clever packet tricks from the 70's (such as the great little "pointer" effect) which inspired me as a boy.

There is much in Genii to enjoy every month (and indeed that is why I subscribe). I have sought out RK's back issues of Genii as I have found something to enjoy in every issue produced under his stewardship.

I doubt that every subscriber/reader of Genii uniformly likes every single article or column contained in each issue. As such, I have no reticence in expressing the occasional opinion in regard to my personal preferences. I expect folks to disagree and it frankly doesn't bother me.

I have scant interest in offering up my views as some sort of unimpeachable dogma. If one desires that sort of thing, there seems no shortage of folks here who will gladly provide it. ;)
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/05/05 12:41 AM

It seems to me that this thread is getting off-topic. I thought it was supposed to be how wonderful I am! :D :cool: :rolleyes: :whack:

Click here to see Mr. Wonderful and youll see that he had some pretty big shoes to fill.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 03/05/05 07:03 AM

Originally posted by Chris Aguilar:
Since I generally do not purchase videos, I tend to skip the video reviews.
Originally posted by Chris Aguilar: And I think it's great that some seem to enjoy Maven's monthly bit of fluff even though I personally do not.
Please rename this thread "Things Chris Aguilar Doesn't Like"
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Postby Matthew Field » 03/05/05 09:12 AM

Originally posted by Jeff Eline:
Please rename this thread "Things Chris Aguilar Doesn't Like"
That list would include me!

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Postby Ian Kendall » 03/05/05 10:37 AM

And me! (I've got a _long_ memory...)

Take care, Ian
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 03/05/05 12:04 PM

Originally posted by Jeff Eline:
Please rename this thread "Things Chris Aguilar Doesn't Like"
If I had such power, I would not hesitate to do so.

If we had a more robust forums system here, any perceived "off topic" commentary could easily be split off. I simply mentioned that I don't care much for the video reviews (assuredly on topic) nor a bit of other fluff. As a paying subscriber, I don't feel such comments to be out of line and they were assuredly not any sort of attack on folks that I respect (such as Maven). If others wish to upbraid me for that (and ironically take the thread further off topic themselves), I'll not hesitate to reply.

Genii remains an excellent value even if this "silly" "pot pooping" subscriber has the temerity to express a few personal preferences every now and then. And if folks disagree, that's expected and quite fine by me.

I won\'t be responsible for the bent feelings of those who cannot accept that the whole world does not necessarily share their personal tastes and preferences.


And to Matt and Ian,

I would never refer to you as "things I don't like".

I've never met either of you and frankly you fellows don't mean a thing to me. So it's quite easy to refrain from ever thinking of you at all.

If you feel you have something to say to me, my e-mail address is readily available. :sleep:

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Postby Guest » 04/21/05 07:41 PM

Dustin,

I enjoy your reviews in Genii very much. I recently purchased the Alex Elmsley 2 DVD set that you reviewed in the recent Genii(not because of your review - I knew it would be excellent). The material is excellent as all of Alex's material is. I just wanted to mention that I was a "little bit" disappointed :( when I got them and found that they were DVD-R and not silver glass mastered. Should a distinction be made whether dvd's are "home made" or glass mastered professional quality? I also bought a lecture dvd of Al Goshman this week only to find that it also was a DVD-R and not glass mastered.

PS...I would have bought them anyway!!!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/21/05 09:33 PM

Thanks for the kind words. I'm pleased you enjoyed the Elsmley disks as much as I.

Regarding the duplication process, I did a quick bit of research. The duplication company site I consulted leads me to think that there is no real reason to concern ourselves with which process is used to duplicate a DVD disk. To quote directly:

"THERE IS NO DATA DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROCESSED DUPLICATION AND A GLASS MASTERED REPLICATION DISC. In fact, both processes extract the information from your master source in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY." [Emphasis theirs.]

Their site and more information can be found here .

Given my predilection for over-writing, I need every single word Richard will allow me, so given the above bit of insight, I'm not sure making the distinction is completely necessary. Also, I'm an idiot. I'm not 100% certain how to really tell the difference, though I suspect that the rings on surface of the data side of a DVD-R disk vs. a mastered one are more visibleis that correct?

All that being said, Im also here to serve my readers: So if I hear from enough of you who feel strongly about this, I will work something out. So let's hear it readers! Tell me what you think, but please read the information at the site above.

Thanks!
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Postby Guest » 04/21/05 09:49 PM

Dustin,

Thanks for the reply. You can usually tell dvd-r from glass mastered dvds from the color...dvd-r is usually purple and the glass masters silver. They do make some silver dvd-r's and that can make it difficult to tell the difference. I am not so concerned about the info problem. The problem is that I believe the dvd-r can be damaged easier than the mastered dvds and then the dvd-r disc can become unreadable. I might be wrong on this, but I would like to hear from some "experts" on this topic.


Also, this page says that it is possible that the longevity of the glass masters may be twice as long as the dvd-r discs.


http://www.denoise.com/duprep_vs.cfm


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Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/21/05 10:17 PM

Thanks for that info Gary. If space allows, and I can definitely tell the difference, I will try to work it into the review in the future.

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Postby Temperance » 04/22/05 01:32 AM

Come, let us be pretentious in the drawing room!

*toasts you all with a glass of pretention*

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Postby Matthew Field » 04/22/05 07:42 AM

Originally posted by Euan:
*toasts you all with a glass of pretention*
What vintage?

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Postby Guest » 04/22/05 07:53 AM

Matt - if you can't discern the vintage from the bouquet, you shouldn't be drinking it at all.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 04/22/05 08:53 AM

Originally posted by DustinStinett:

Regarding the duplication process, I did a quick bit of research. The duplication company site I consulted leads me to think that there is no real reason to concern ourselves with which process is used to duplicate a DVD disk. To quote directly:

"THERE IS NO DATA DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROCESSED DUPLICATION AND A GLASS MASTERED REPLICATION DISC. In fact, both processes extract the information from your master source in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY." [Emphasis theirs.]
This statement could be from an ad for a magic trick. It is so specific about what it is saying, yet trying to imply so much more.

"There is no data difference" is true -- a stamped disc will have the same data as written disc. However, your player may have a problem reading the different types of disc. The reflectivity of the aluminum pits in a stamped disc is different than the reflectivity of the dye marks in a written disc, and some players (particularly ones more than a couple years old) may have trouble reading the written discs.
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Postby Temperance » 04/22/05 10:06 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Originally posted by Euan:
[b] *toasts you all with a glass of pretention*
What vintage?

Matt Field [/b]
An Aguilar 2005. Not a great vintage I'm afraid.

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Postby Jeff Pierce Magic » 07/07/05 03:26 PM

Originally posted by DustinStinett:

Regarding the duplication process, I did a quick bit of research. The duplication company site I consulted leads me to think that there is no real reason to concern ourselves with which process is used to duplicate a DVD disk. To quote directly:

"THERE IS NO DATA DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROCESSED DUPLICATION AND A GLASS MASTERED REPLICATION DISC. In fact, both processes extract the information from your master source in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY." [Emphasis theirs.]

Thanks!
Dustin
Dustin, this is correct, replicated disks last longer and stand up more to dust and scratches. Usablity is around 80% but you can raise that percentage by following a few rules during authoring. The big difference is replicated disks can include Macrovision copy protection where duplicated disks can't.

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www.jeffpiercemagic.com
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