The Known or the Unknown?

Discuss products and their reviews in Genii.

Postby Matthew Field » 03/05/02 07:37 AM

Writing about another topic in the "Light from the Lamp" Forum, David Oliver listed one of the criteria he uses to determine whether a trick will get a review:
"Has an item been heavily advertised in the industry? If so, I think the readers deserve to know if the item lives up to its' advertising, or if it's just hype."

So here's my quandry: I've made a determined effort to find videos for review which are "off the beaten path," including an anonymous video on the Bottom Deal, a self-made tape by the Buck twins on fancy cuts, a video of a cable show on "Tricks Old and Seldom Seen," and in the March issue a $60 video from a guy most of you have probably never heard of in England (Derren Brown). By the way, contrary to what you might think, I paid for that last one myself.

Does this make any sense? I try of course, as does Joe M. Turner, to cover the videos by "mainstream" publishers including L&L, A-1, Meir Yedid, Houdini Magic, Murphy, Joe Stevens and others. These are the videos which you see in the ads and, as David Oliver mentions, they are the videos about which readers probably want to read some opinions.

What do you think? Is it worthwhile taking precious column inches to review a video that's hard to obtain from someone you've probably never heard of?

Matthew Field

[ March 06, 2002: Message edited by: Matthew Field ]
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Postby Guest » 03/05/02 08:07 AM

I think it's a good idea. It is good publicity for some of the lesser known guys who really don't have the luxury (or contact) of being able to produce a fancy video of their pet tricks. Also, I have always been into things that are off the beaten path (like magic in general). Maybe I am just a fan of obscure stuff, but I would find it fascinating to read and (not that this is any consideration), if I were a new guy with a tape that got a favorable review in Genii, I would be grinning from ear to ear.

I say yes.

Postby Brad Jeffers » 03/05/02 03:15 PM

Matthew, follow this formula ... if you come across an obscure video that has something really good to offer, them by all means, yes - print a review of it! How else are people going to know about it. If on the other hand, it is both obscure and worthless, then no review is necessary. Merely let it languish in obscurity, where it belongs. As to "mainstream" videos, with high advertising budgets, just the opposite is true. If you come across one of these super hyped - must have - greatest thing since sliced bread videos, and it turns out to be garbage, then you must slam it, and slam it hard! Of course, if it really is the greatest thing since sliced bread, then its only fair to give it the good review that it deserves.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/05/02 10:20 PM

What Brad said.
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Postby Jeffrey Cowan » 03/05/02 11:02 PM

I'm with these guys. Danny Orleans' reviews were particularly interesting a few years ago when he was reviewing relatively unknown/unadvertised items like Mike Forbes' ringflight or Steve Draun's vanishing sharpie pen. To the extent you stumble across terrific unknown videos (e.g., someone's "homemade" lecture video), please do write about it.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 03/06/02 03:51 AM


So here's my quandry: I've made a determined effort to find videos for review which are "off the beaten path"....

Your approach to selecting videos for review is a wise approach. It's a balanced approach. The Taoist sages of yesteryear would be proud of you.

Speaking of videos that are 'off the beaten path', would you like me to send you a copy of my new video. It's titled "Riffling the G-Spot: Performing Card Tricks for Females".


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Postby Terry » 03/06/02 05:50 AM

It's titled "Riffling the G-Spot: Performing Card Tricks for Females".

What kind of "palm" or "grip" is required for the handling :D
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Postby walkinoats » 03/06/02 06:28 AM

Absolutely, I think the idea of Genii reviewing items that are not a part of the mainstream is an excellent idea. There are lots of gems out there in the magic underground. Personality, If I found an excellent video that no one has heard of, I'd be tempted to keep it for myself :)
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