Bruce Cervon Video Notes

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Postby Alpen » 12/19/12 05:17 AM

I'm fortunate enough to be helping out with a project that I know many would be interested in, so I thought I'd mention it here. As most of you know, after years of taking his notes in written form, Bruce Cervon switched to recording his notes on video, and a project is currently underway to transcribe those notes into a new book. There is no publication date as of yet and there are other details that are still being worked out, but hopefully the book will be ready within the next year or so.

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Postby Marco Pusterla » 12/19/12 07:08 AM

That's great news: but why are the videos not made available, rather than having them transcribed? To see Bruce Cervon perform technically advanced sleight of hand it probably better than reading the description off a book, I think.
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Postby Doug Conn » 12/19/12 09:28 AM

To envision the magic (via the printed Page) and then bring it to life without the influence of Cervons video / performance is the main advantage of the written word... Just my opinion

Maybe the powers that be will see fit to release some sort of combo set

I know one thing: I'm looking forward to this either way ;)
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Postby PapaG » 12/19/12 10:26 AM

Marco Pusterla wrote:That's great news: but why are the videos not made available, rather than having them transcribed? To see Bruce Cervon perform technically advanced sleight of hand it probably better than reading the description off a book, I think.


Precisely. Why put all that effort in? You could get a major magic publisher to do a bulk VHS to VHS transfer of 500 copies, call them authentic replicas of the original material and charge $200 for each limited edition copy.
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Postby erdnasephile » 12/19/12 11:13 AM

Thanks, Alpen--interesting news!

As an owner of the Cervon Notebooks, I'm hoping that this time around the project will include judicious editing, annotations and clarifications by people familiar with Mr. Cervon's material.

Although I respect the purity of historical finds, I am more interested in the practical aspects of our art. I speak only for myself, but performing for real people is what motivates me. Therefore, whatever makes the material more accessible is a plus. I do not eschew hard work and study, but profiting from the wisdom of experts does not decrease the value of the material to me. Quite the opposite, in fact.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 12/19/12 02:10 PM

I hope the VHS material is being archived to DVD or bluray to preserve it.
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Postby Doug Thornton » 12/19/12 02:29 PM

Alpen wrote, "Bruce Cervon switched to recording his notes on video"...He didn't mention that Mr. Cervon taped performances / demonstrations. It certainly would be fantastic to see them.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/19/12 02:46 PM

My understanding is that there is an ENORMOUS amount of material. Let's hope that whoever is doing this has some sense about it all, and doesn't publish a lot of crap. It needs to be gone through carefully and winnowed down to the best material.

I would assume that the videos are, for the most part, not releasable in their current form or they would be digitizing and editing them, which is certainly far easier and less expensive than going to all the trouble of producing a book.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/19/12 03:28 PM

? I can see some text as helpful in explaining items not apparent from the videos and historical context on the material.

The videos are the primary item being published, right?
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Postby PapaG » 12/19/12 04:24 PM

Wrong.

Alpen wrote:a project is currently underway to transcribe those notes into a new book.

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/19/12 04:36 PM

PapaG wrote:Wrong.

Alpen wrote:a project is currently underway to transcribe those notes into a new book.

Alpen


They may as well publish a volume of poems written by guest authors who get to watch the tapes play then write something inspired by the experience. At least that would be "wrong" while having a shred of artistic merit.
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Postby PapaG » 12/19/12 04:41 PM

I was referring to your assumption, not the idea of a book based on video footage.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/19/12 04:56 PM

PapaG wrote:I was referring to your assumption, not the idea of a book based on video footage.


I was not making that assumption in the post.

The very notion of offering an interpretation rather than an available primary source seems ... well not really that strange in the magic shop community now that I think about it.

Thinking back to what's not in the Farelli writups on Ramsay's tricks... maybe it's better that way. :(
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/19/12 05:30 PM

Cervon never put his best stuff in print, so the possibility is there that a very good book could be made of his better material.

He also wasn't a particularly good writer, so having a good writer work from videos of his material is a better result than if Cervon had written the book himself. The big "if" is the identity of the writer.
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Postby Terry » 12/19/12 06:32 PM

I was told who has possession of the videos and doing the work.

If equal to previous efforts, it should be a very good project.
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Postby erdnasephile » 12/19/12 07:02 PM

If Cervon's Himber Ring routine is in there, it'll be well worth the purchase!
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Postby Jim Patton » 12/20/12 04:33 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote: "My understanding is that there is an ENORMOUS amount of material. Let's hope that whoever is doing this has some sense about it all, and doesn't publish a lot of crap. It needs to be gone through carefully and winnowed down to the best material. I would assume that the videos are, for the most part, not releasable in their current form or they would be digitizing and editing them, which is certainly far easier and less expensive than going to all the trouble of producing a book."

Richard is correct in his assessment of the physical recordings. I will add that there has been some discussion about including a DVD along with the book(s. The material selected for this disk will be select segments from the original video notes.
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Postby Jim Patton » 12/20/12 04:36 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Cervon never put his best stuff in print, so the possibility is there that a very good book could be made of his better material.

He also wasn't a particularly good writer, so having a good writer work from videos of his material is a better result than if Cervon had written the book himself. The big "if" is the identity of the writer.

Rest assured that the identity of the writer (incidentally, it's not me), is a well qualified practitioner, researcher and writer.
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Postby Jim Patton » 12/20/12 04:40 PM

Here's the post I made over on The Magic Pebble site:


It's still a bit early in the game but with any luck at all, the book(s)? will be ready by the end of 2013. Linda C. has made arrangements with a well known (certainly on this forum), practitioner, researcher and writer. The project is being overseen by myself and another member of The Pebble (well known in magic circles). The material is all top notch and includes some of my own ideas that Bruce worked on and to which he applied his unique "touch". The work will include the same comprehensive indexes as The Castle Notebooks.
Of interest to those who own the Notebooks, a portion of the material will be dedicated to expanding and elucidating some Notebook entries that were cursorily explained therein. Linda will be "self" publishing and the final product is destined to be a work of considerable importance.
The table of contents is formidable.......including Bruce's thoughts on executing a number of standard passes, including his very deceptive handling of the "Spring" pass. The bulk of the contents has not seen print.
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Postby Jim Patton » 12/20/12 04:53 PM

As to Bruce's Linking Finger Ring routine, there are plans to release this separately in a strictly limited edition. The complete set will include a set of the signet rings in 14kt. The rings will be engraved with a yet to be determined crest. Regrets for the mysterious sound of this but there are certain legal details which have yet to be worked out regarding the crest.
There will also be a DVD of the performance,one segment of which will be of Bruce, himself, performing it. The main segment of the disk will be a comprehensive explanation of the mechanics and performance of the effect as performed and explained by certain contemporary performers, who have already voiced an interest in the project.
Additionally, the set will include a completely redesigned pen, necessary in the performance of Bruces' routine.
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Postby Carl Seiger » 12/20/12 05:47 PM

Thanks Jim for the info regarding Bruce's Linking Finger Ring Routine. I, for one, am very interested.
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Postby erdnasephile » 12/20/12 06:00 PM

Thanks so much, Mr Patton!

WOW! This is all amazing news--can't wait!
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