Royal Road on DVD???

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 12/29/05 01:03 PM

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this but has anyone heard about a "royal road" on DVD? Is there such a thing, if so, who is the magician performing...
thanx
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Postby Guest » 12/29/05 01:16 PM

a couple years ago there was rumor of a Paul Wilson / Royal Road project

I think the footage was shot...
guess the thing never made it to market
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/29/05 03:22 PM

The project will be brought to market by L&L Publishing. I know that Paul was recently reviewing the edited tapes.
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Postby Kurt Ruckman » 12/29/05 05:30 PM

There's a set of 4 DVDs on Royal Road to Card Magic advertised on Penguin's site right now, featuring Marty Grams and Rudy Hunter (http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1221). This appears to be a Magic Maker's product.

Not sure how, if at all, this relates to the R. Paul Wilson project that's been mentioned in the past.
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Postby Guest » 12/29/05 07:02 PM

Greetings; I have been getting a few calls asking what part of the book I am teaching on the dvds, and was referred to the above post mentioning Penguin Magics listing. While I was in the studio during the shooting and my hands were used in a few frames to pick cards, I do not teach or perform anything on this set. I have sent an e-mail to Penguin Magic to inform them of this as well. Just thought this should be cleared up before more people ask.
Marty
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Postby Guest » 12/29/05 11:36 PM

So who is the magician that is "teaching" on the DVDs. Marty...were your hands used for insert shots only?
a 4 DVD set sounds like a great deal...and the price was around $70?? hmmmm....I will do some research and post anything I find out...
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Postby Charlie Chang » 12/30/05 03:00 AM

Royal Road was shot in 2002 and has been delayed until this year when it was finished by L&L Publishing to their excellent standards. We have spent the last six months getting it into shape and it is common knowledge on the net that this project is pending.

When we shot this I, Tim Trono, Mark Murphy and our crew went to great lenghts to produce a quality product that would teach the student how to be an excellent card magician.

We followed the format of the course, taught the material but I also addressed the problems that I felt dated the course and added ideas that greatly improved the material. We added three effects - one of my own (using a Pass, a Top Change and a Palm under misdirection), one of Dai Vernon's (one of the best Card Tricks ever invented) and a Roy Walton trick that helps teach the Pass beautifully (none of the tricks in the book really utilize the pass properly, IMO).

Many of today's finest magicians added words of advice to the course so students would understand something more about card magic than just moves and tricks. It's been a hard path but it's paying off with a course that WILL teach you how to perform excellent sleight of hand card magic.

The fact that Magic Makers has come up with one on the eve of our release is sad but when I look at their footage I am not too worried.

We shot with multiple cameras and a studio audience. After hours of discussion we settled on a "dinner party feel" to the audience. Partly because they would be watching so many tricks and we didn't want it to be too formal for them but MOSTLY because it closely emulated the environment that the student would first perform in. We thought every little detail out and ironed out every wrinkle in the book.

We were not simply trying to "do the stuff" on DVD but were translating the best single volume course ever written to the video format AND updating it.

Word of this project has been out since we shot it. It has been discussed online many times. Whether or not Magic Makers knew about it isn't for me to decide.

What is interesting is that this is an opportunity for the magic stores (on the street and on the net) to make a choice. Choose to sell a well produced interpretation of the Royal Road by the person who originated the idea or the "other one" because it's cheaper.

Since this is a "gateway" product to new magicians and new customers for those stores, it would seem to me that selling them the best instructional material is the only way to ensure they come back for more...

P.
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Postby CHRIS » 12/30/05 03:33 AM

Paul,

how long (how many hours) will your DVD or set of DVDs be? How much of what is written in The Royal Road To Card Magic is actually mentioned explicitely on the DVDs? Are all moves and tricks explained in detail? I am just trying to get a sense of how much this is a replacement for the book versus an addition to the book.

Best,
Chris....
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Postby Charlie Chang » 12/30/05 04:07 AM

Chris - I teach most of the tricks in the book. I miss some out because I felt they were poor tricks but most are taught.

I demonstrate and teach everything in the book but I stress from the outset that the student should try to learn from the book too.

The idea was that, while the DVDs could stand alone as a complete course, the student could use them to accompany the book and thereby coach him or herself with BOTH sources. They could read the book, try it, then assess their progress with the DVD.

Before setting out, I learned that a calm, steady presentation, without hyperbole, makes for the most productive style of video instruction so I applied this to Royal Road. I sincerely believe that if the student watches each lesson and learns the material before moving on (without skipping ahead) they will develop a much better understanding of card magic.

The also included words of advice from some of the biggest names in magic. We weren't just "putting the book on video" but really trying to create a home-study course that would really deliver.

The idea was to apply my knowledge and experience to the course and act as a guide to the student, helping them avoid the pitfalls and offering improvements where necessary.

P.
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Postby Kurt Ruckman » 12/30/05 05:04 AM

Having viewed the sample videos for the MagicMakers product (http://www.magicmakersinc.com/ROYALROADTOCARDMAGIC.html) I will certainly not be buying their product. If these clips were chosen to show their product in the best light then I can only assume these DVDs are horrible. I'll wait for the L&L DVDs.
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 12/30/05 07:43 AM

I would be willing to bet MM threw this together knowing Mr. Wilson and L&L where working on the same thing and are trying to get unsuspecting people to think it is the same project.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/30/05 10:44 AM

I fear it's a losing battle for Paul (although I'm sure he's up for a battle).

I don't think it was rushed out; news of Paul's initial taping was out years ago, but this is the first I've heard about L&L picking up the project (wasn't it A1 at first?). To me it seems that coincidence is at foot (how long before the L&L project comes to market?)

The other hurdle is the intended audience for this kind of set; the beginner magicians, many of whom will be young and perhaps not have a huge disposable income. They are also, as luck would have it, the target demographic for MM and Penguin (a quick check of the Cafe's thread on this subject will back this up). The problem is that if they watch only one of the sets, they will have no way of knowing that the other may or may not be better for them. And as we have seen in the last couple of years, the cheaper price point is often a deciding factor in the purchasing decision.

Yet another problem is getting the word out; if Paul appears on various fora asking people to buy his version over MM because it's better he risks coming across as bitter that a rival has come to market first. If he does nothing his intended audience are likely to buy what is available and cheaper, and not have the cash to buy the second set.

I'm glad I'm not involved...

Take care, Ian
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Postby Bill Mullins » 12/30/05 10:58 AM

Originally posted by Ian Kendall:
Yet another problem is getting the word out; if Paul appears on various fora asking people to buy his version over MM because it's better he risks coming across as bitter that a rival has come to market first. If he does nothing his intended audience are likely to buy what is available and cheaper, and not have the cash to buy the second set.
I hope this won't turn out to be the case. Paul's reputation speaks for itself, as does Magic Makers (unfortunately, some might say). The decision of which to buy is a no-brainer for me. Where do I send the check, Paul?

(And I'd add that I don't see Paul's version as being useful only to beginners. When someone with his chops and background wants to teach even beginner's material (an assessment which sells Royal Road very short), I'm sure a card worker of any level of development will learn something.)
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/30/05 11:22 AM

That's a fair point, but for the most part, this is going to be a beginner's resource, and many beginners wouldn't know Paul from the next man.

As for MM's reputation, the fact that they have customers shows that not everyone pays attention to such things. Unfortunately.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 12/30/05 12:51 PM

hmmmm...well I am going to get a sample of the MM version of the Royal Road. Does anyone know if the MM version or the L&L version is "approved" by the Hugard/Braue families or is the book a public domain item?
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Postby CHRIS » 12/30/05 12:55 PM

Paul,

it is good to hear that you stress that the DVD is a complement to the book. It has been my experience working with Roberto Giobbi shooting videos for Card College, that it simply is not possible to include all the details and nuances a textual description can convey. Each medium has its strenght and they should ideally be used in conjunction, particularly when we talk about introductory material. If students are not capable of deriving knowledge from (e)books, then they will miss out a tremendous amount of wisdom.

You might want to bundle your DVD with the book or ebook.

Best,
Chris....
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Postby Tom Ladshaw » 12/30/05 09:27 PM

I just watched the "Everywhere and Nowhere" segment from the MM "Royal Road" DVD's (see link above). If the odd framing (the set of cups in the center of the picture seem to be more important than the cards in the magician's hands) and the apparent lack of knowledge on the part of the magician as to where the camera is (the cards repeatedly go out of frame when he displays them) doesn't put you off, you might be amused to hear the magician clearly state in his opening patter, "I'm going to do this the cheap and easy way...." Hmmmm....
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Postby Marshall Petersen » 12/30/05 10:16 PM

I have to say. I don't post much, but I was struck by this thread. I have checked out the MM website and I find it funny that the two people who made the video are the ones who "recommend" the set. I am a huge fan of Paul Wilson. He doesn't know me from Adam, but I have enjoyed going through his notes and his videos. He's entertaining and extremely knowledgeable. I can't wait for his DVDs to be released. MM has obviously tried to beat Paul to the market (I don't even keep up with the latest magic rumors and I knew that Paul was working on a Royal Road DVD set). I wish Paul the best in his endeavor. You surely have my support.
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 12/31/05 06:19 PM

I know this is a little off subject, but MM should be releasing a DVD featuring Steve Ehlers, I think in January. Steve is an excellent card man and his stuff is quite good. I would recommend it to everyone and even if you are not a MM fan I still think you should buy it. You should be pleased.
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Postby David Alexander » 12/31/05 08:29 PM

Went to Penguin's site....looked at two examples of headless people performing card tricks before a static camera, mounted on a tripod. Obviously a rush job without style or consideration of the buyer and what they need.

I don't need to see R.P.W's version, because it can only be better than what I saw, so the decision on which version to buy is easy.

Looking at what's being offered by Penguin I'm reminded of John Ruskin's famous quote,

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey."
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Postby Guest » 01/14/06 03:21 AM

You just have to make a choice, at some point. Is it about the art or the money.
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Postby ehands » 02/11/06 04:02 PM

Originally posted by T.C. Blalock:
You just have to make a choice, at some point. Is it about the art or the money.
Another choice is "Now or later?" Has L&L announced a release date?
No problem?
Look harder.
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Postby Guest » 02/13/06 10:37 AM

I will wait for Paul Wilson's series on Royal road through L&L. Paul has a passion for this book and I am certain he will do it the justice it deserves. I don't know Rudy Hunter and I have no idea how long Mr. Hunter had been planning on doing these DVD's, but there has been talk about Paul putting this together ever since I got back into magic.

The magic community has waited this long, so another couple of weeks for a quality product will be worth the wait.
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Postby Temperance » 02/13/06 11:12 AM

Is Rudy Hunter the same guy who renamed the Zarrow Shuffle to 'The Hunter Shuffle'?

Euan
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Postby Charlie Chang » 02/13/06 11:53 AM

I just spoke to Louis - the videos are about two weeks out. Expect them around the end of the month.

P.
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Postby David Acer » 02/13/06 04:37 PM

Paul is a scholar, a gentleman and one of my favourite people in magic. I have absolutely no doubt that his Royal Road course will be among the very few DVDs ever released that will qualify as required viewing for any serious student.
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Postby Guest » 02/15/06 04:46 AM

P.

Do you speak with a Scottish accent or an American one on the DVDs?

L.
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Postby Guest » 02/17/06 12:10 PM

The 5 DVD box set is available from L&L as of today.
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Postby Guest » 02/18/06 12:34 AM

5 discs $79.95...

well worth it....
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Postby Charlie Chang » 02/18/06 03:03 AM

I got a couple of emails recently, asking about Royal Road and the Platform Magic section. I thought it best to answer them here.

When I sat down and laid out the video course I went through the entire book many times assessing all of the material.

My primary goal was to shoot a course for beginners with material they will actually try in the real world.

After watching video courses on NON-magic subjects I learned that a calm, steady delivery is the best way to teach something like Royal Road so, rather than hurry anything, it became necessary to cut a few items from the book.

Naturally, all the sleights had to stay. Many of the tricks are quite repetitvie as far as effect goes but, while I cut one or two for this reason, the most important aspect of the tricks is that they allow the student to use different sleights. So while a card may be selected and found with a particular sleight in one chapter, in another chapter a card is found using a different sleight later in the book. Not a lot of difference in effect but for the student they both have value.

How the tricks were performed was another key decision. If we used the traditional "magician in front of audience" set-up it would not work for the course. We decided to sit several people at a table and perform for them in a more informal setting because this was much closer to how a beginner would first perform for people - at home, in a restaurant, a bar or at a party.

The idea was to simply show the effect in action, with an audience interacting. The audience were not asked to applaud, just have a good time. Throughout the day they watched every trick in the course!

I also decided not to make changes to the material in the book unless it was for the student's benefit. The double lift is taught as described in the book but an improved method is given because the method in the book is simply not natural.

With the effects I kept it simple, in keeping with the book, but made a few changes where I felt necessary. In a couple of cases, the handlings are quite different but mostly I keep to the book and leave room for the student to apply his own approach.

One of the main reasons I regard this book so highly is that I remember coming up with my own ideas while I originally read the book. While I felt it necessary to update or vary several handlings, it was important not to close off any avenues for creativity on the student's part.

After analysing the essentials of the course, I realized that something needed to go.

In my opinion, most (perhaps all) students of card magic do not find themselves on stage with nothing but a deck of cards until they have progressed further than Royal Road. For this reason I felt my time would be better spent concentrating on sleights and close up effects (the course is already almost nine hours long).

It is also important to remember that I am trying to encourage the student to follow the book and video together so that, by the end of the course, they have all the skills needed to read and learn from the Platform chapter. For the same reason, one or two effects in the course are performed without explanation, not to save time, but so the viewer also refers to the book.

All that being said, I could not complete the project without including two effects from the platform section: Ladies Looking Glass and Three Cards Across. I chose these because they are two of my all-time favourite effects and they can both be performed while seated as well as standing.

Royal Road was a fascinating project for me. As I unraveled the book I found a great deal that I had forgotten or simply missed first time around. Amazingly, when I reviewed the footage last year (three years after taping) I saw other ideas that caught my eye!

Royal Road To Card Magic is a complete course for beginners but it's also a reference - an opportunity to walk back down that road and see what you missed.

It might interest you to know that I have used several effects from Royal Road while performing at the Magic Castle. One effect that I had completely missed first time around is now one of my favourite bar/close up effects - and it's a real fooler. Because of the prop involved I decided to perform another effect in Royal Road using the same prop - and it gets gasps every time! Who knew....

Best,

P
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Postby John Carey » 02/18/06 03:53 AM

Excellent posting Paul!

Will I be able to pick up a set directly from you at Blackpool next week?

Cheers

John
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Postby Guest » 02/28/06 09:14 AM

For those of you who are interested in this set of DVDs, yesterday I added 2 demo videos to the L&L Publishing site. They are R. Paul Wilson's Introduction which really explains what this set of DVDs is all about and how to use the book & DVD together. Also I put up a demo of 3 Cards Across.

The demos are available at www.llpub.com

I chose those two clips so you can compare them to what Magic Makers put out with their set.

You can see similar clips from Magic Makers here

The first thing you will notice with the 3 Cards Across clips are that on the Magic Makers' version, there is only one camera used and all you ever see are hands. With R. Paul Wilson's set, it's a multi-camera shoot with edits to provide the best coverage.

Truly there is no comparison between the two sets. The L&L set is by far the better value, from the packaging to the production. It's worth the small extra cost for a superior production.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 02/28/06 01:01 PM

If the rest of the course is as good as the introduction I'll be impressed.

I like the tone established at the outset and the emphasis on scholarship and history that it implies.
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Postby David Alexander » 02/28/06 06:39 PM

For $80 you get RPW in your living room, teaching classic material...in a format that shows care in production and planning...respect for the material and the potential purchaser. There is a small audience to show actual performance, good editing to show the effect as opposed to a camera on a tripod and headless performers and an anonymous spectator as is the case with the offering from Magic Makers. Plus there's RPW's insights on the material. I wish I had this 50 years ago....

What a bargain!
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Postby Guest » 02/28/06 07:14 PM

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
If the rest of the course is as good as the introduction I'll be impressed.

I like the tone established at the outset and the emphasis on scholarship and history that it implies.
For anyone who has doubts about putting a classic book to DVD, the introduction will put those doubts to rest. You are encouraged to pick up the book and the DVD is meant as a compliment to the book, not a replacement.

Another interesting point is at the end of DVDs, he recommends more books and points you into the direction.

Originally posted by David Alexander:
For $80 you get RPW in your living room, teaching classic material...in a format that shows care in production and planning...respect for the material and the potential purchaser.
Something else that reflects the care in production is the running time. You're getting 5 DVDs that run almost 9 hours. From what I understand about the MM version, it's only about 4 hours. I don't think that RPW is an unusually slow talker, so the extra hours are taken up with quality instruction.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/06 09:32 AM

Hi Steve-
This may have been addressed somewhere else...so please excuse me if I am repeating these questions...but I am fascinated with the process L&L had to go through to get the rights to produce this DVD based on the book. What is involved in getting the rights to take the info and bring it to the DVD format? Who did you speak with? There are many other books out there that may make great DVDs. This could be the wave of the future. Thanks in advance.
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Postby Guest » 06/05/06 12:38 PM

Originally posted by P.T. Murphy:
Hi Steve-
This may have been addressed somewhere else...so please excuse me if I am repeating these questions...but I am fascinated with the process L&L had to go through to get the rights to produce this DVD based on the book. What is involved in getting the rights to take the info and bring it to the DVD format? Who did you speak with? There are many other books out there that may make great DVDs. This could be the wave of the future. Thanks in advance.
The short answer is that these are in the public domain, so there\'s no one whose permission you need for this. That's why there are TWO sets of Royal Road DVDS.

It might be worthwhile to see a DVD set of either The Expert At The Card Table, or Expert Card Technique, but the question is, who's going to do it?
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Postby Guest » 06/05/06 12:54 PM

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Postby Guest » 06/06/06 05:21 AM

Originally posted by James in Toronto:
The short answer is that these are in the public domain, so there\'s no one whose permission you need for this. That's why there are TWO sets of Royal Road DVDS.

It might be worthwhile to see a DVD set of either The Expert At The Card Table, or Expert Card Technique, but the question is, who's going to do it?
P.T.,

James is correct with his reply. Just a quick note - originally these were produced and shot by Murphy's Magic several years ago. Last year L&L bought the rights to it, edited the set and created the packaging.

James,

Regarding Expert at the Card Table, the link provided in the previous post will show that Geno Munari is doing this set with Allan Ackerman, however there is also another set being produced from Magic Makers with Wesley James, so as with Royal Road, we're going to see two sets of Expert at the Card Table.

Magic Makers has also produced a DVD set of Modern Coin Magic -
which you can see a demo for and read about here. Another headless body teaching magic.

Turning these classic books into DVD has been talked about for several years and for better or worse, it's starting to happen.
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Postby Guest » 06/06/06 08:24 AM

Does anyone know whose hands are performing in the "Modern Coin Magic" video?

Gord
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