Do Videos Confuse Crediting?

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Postby Matthew Field » 07/27/01 09:55 AM

Recently, on alt.magic, someone asked about Roy Walton's "Card Warp" and whether it was dirivitive of Bob McAllister's "GreenWarp," since the person had learned "GreenWarp" off a McAllister tape and had seen no credit of Walton.

Among others responding to this post was Peter Duffie, and I chimed in as follows:

>> One of the unfortunate things about videos, and people learning tricks from videos, is the matter of attribution. As one of the video reviewers for Genii magazine, I've thought a lot about this. (Maybe I'll start a thread on the Genii Forum board.)

Bob McAllister's "GreenWarp," from Richard's Almanac, credits Roy Walton's "Card Warp," but I'm not sure what Bob put on his video.

Many people associate Michael Ammar's name with everything from "MacDonald's Aces" to "Impossible" because of his videos.

The generosity of the great Roy Walton in allowing his great trick to be taught without compensation is rewarded with a diminished recognition for his having invented it. Of course, a trick can't be copyrighted, only the original language used to describe it can be so protected.

Our personal responsibilities in this regard is quite another matter and is something worthy of every magician's thought. <<

What do you think?

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/27/01 11:56 AM

Magic videotapes are a creeping disease that threatens everything from good magic to crediting. For some reason, crediting is always far from the mind of the performer at the moment the tape is shot. Excuses always follow.
The worst offenders sometimes have to have a PRINTED list of credits ammended to the end of their tapes.
Shame all around on this one. It's nice to know that most of the crappy videotapes from the last 20 years will vanish as a result of the dying format. It's too expensive to go back and put all those old tapes on DVD, and VHS players won't be around beyond another ten years or so.
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Postby Bob Tobias » 07/27/01 01:14 PM

It's nice to know that most of the crappy videotapes from the last 20 years will vanish as a result of the dying format. It's too expensive to go back and put all those old tapes on DVD, and VHS players won't be around beyond another ten years or so.

Granted, DVD is a better format than VHS for many reasons. However I suspect that VHS will be around longer than 10 years for the reasons you stated.

Now, when you consider monthly periodicals as compared to their electronic counterparts....
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/30/01 04:30 PM

This topic has run too far afield of the original thread, and this is not the place to spend time debating the technicalities of transferring material to DVDs on a home computer.
I've cleaned things up a bit and hope we can get back to the original thread about the problems of proper crediting on magic videotapes (and DVDs). :)
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Postby Eric DeCamps » 08/01/01 05:58 PM

I believe Richard has a very strong point here when he states:

"Magic videotapes are a creeping disease that threatens everything from good magic to crediting. For some reason, crediting is always far from the mind of the performer at the moment the tape is shot. Excuses always follow. The worst offenders sometimes have to have a PRINTED list of credits amended to the end of their tapes. Shame all around on this one."

Richard 100 % correct and the solution for this is a simple one. Just have the performer have the printed list of credits at the shooting of the video. Not only is that the proper thing but also it's also cheaper to do it then than have the hassle of doing it later.

As Matthew Field mentioned in his opening post:

"Many people associate Michael Ammar's name with everything from "MacDonald's Aces" to "Impossible" because of his videos."

It's a shame that this happens. It's a shame because it's the viewing public that is at fault here. It's been my experience that people tend to remember things with what they see rather than what they heard. Whether it be Michael Ammar or another performer the viewing public seems to have a tendency only to associate the routine with whom they saw perform the routine instead of who the performer (hopefully) credited it to.

Eric DeCamps

[ August 01, 2001: Message edited by: Eric DeCamps ]
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Postby Gordon Bean » 08/03/01 10:25 PM

This is a crucial issue. When I was reviewing for Genii, I got extremely tired of having to do someone else's research for them. And as Richard and Eric point out, the placement of a credit is almost as important as its accuracy. My opinion is that if you're lecturing in person, in print, or on video the FIRST thing you should do is make sure everyone understands the roots of your effect. A huge part of the problem is that a lot of magicians get used to gliding over sources when sessioning--and so those sources recede ever further in the group consciousness. If we all made an effort in informal circumstances to never perform something for another magician without crediting it--or to allow such an item to be performed for us--I think we'd be in a lot better shape. (And regarding the "I love Ammar's Further Than That" syndrome: I think there was a decent attempt to credit on those Easy to Master Tapes, but, as Eric points out, the image of the performer tends to blot out everything else. A solution? Have brief bios read over still photos of the inventors prior to their contributions.)

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