Some Questions...

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Rick Maue
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Some Questions...

Postby Rick Maue » August 8th, 2002, 12:31 pm

Greetings,

As we prepare to shoot our next video release, it appears that the time has come to get some input from all of you. So I have some questions:

1. Do you prefer DVD's or videotapes?

2. If you prefer DVD's, but a title is not released in that format, do you still purchase tapes? Or do you simply hope and wait for the DVD?

I appreciate any thoughts or comments. Thanks very much.

Rick Maue
Deceptions Unlimited

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 8th, 2002, 1:43 pm

Rick,
From what I hear DVDs are outselling videotapes, and when you consider the outstanding quality DVDs offer, you really must offer your product on DVD these days. I would if I were still making videos.
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Steve Snediker
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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Steve Snediker » August 8th, 2002, 2:21 pm

I will respond wearing two different hats -- my magic top hat and my video producer hat.

As a magician, I prefer DVDs when available. Although over 3/4's of my library is on VHS, all new releases I purchase are DVDs. It's quality, durability, and the extras that some savvy producers are including on their programs. Overall, the learning is fostered by instant access, easy review/rewind, etc.

I've even considered transfering some of my more well-viewed VHS programs to DVD-R just to have some more flexibility. (Don't worry -- I won't try to sell the VHS tapes. Like cassette copies of CDs when automobiles only had cassette players, these would fall into the category of "personal" copies. And no, I won't give or sell these "personal" copies to anyone.)

As a video producer (currently working on a Kenton Knepper/Docc Hilford project), I see such untapped potential in DVDs for both the magic fraternity AND the general public. David Blaine's "Fearless" DVD had some very nice DVD interface work, which points to a creative niche that magicians and producers really need to take advantage of.

Rick, I can see your finished goods simply "transferred" from the linear format of tape to DVD. Viewer hits play and the see the show front to back. Even add some chapters for quick access to this effect and that explanation. All that changes is a little post-production DVD programming and VOILA! -- A DVD RELEASE!

But what about producing the program to take advantage of the very medium itself. Interactive, multi-angle, Easter eggs, etc. What about an interface that is as magical as the material on your tape. Add production values, like location shooting, lighting, effects, original music production, and you would take "Deceptions Unlimited" material to a new level.

Eugene Berger's "Magical Voyages" (composed and directed by Max Maven -- composed is an excellent way to describe this process) is one of the more innovative teaching and entertaining DVD's I've seen. I believe that this is a next frontier for teaching and learning magic.

What do the rest of you think?

Sned

Bill Duncan
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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Bill Duncan » August 8th, 2002, 6:30 pm

When it comes to movies I'll walk past a row of video tapes and out of the store if the titles I want to rent are available on DVD. I'll gladly wait until the DVD version is available or give the movie a pass. The only video I've rented in almost a year is not available on DVD.

When it comes to magic I'd rather pay more and have DVD.

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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Guest » August 8th, 2002, 7:47 pm

I'd like to call for a revolt. There is no reason why the material from four VHS tapes has to require four DVDS. I know not everyone will get behind me on this. But everyone should. If we made our point of view clear to the folks who produce the tapes and DVDS, and made a statement with out wallets, we'd all be better off in the long run.

Mark Jensen
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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Mark Jensen » August 8th, 2002, 11:11 pm

DVDs are the way to go. The ability to "jump" exactly to the section(s) you want is a major feature.

However, if you are going to do a release on DVD, at least do it RIGHT!!! Poor navigation and poor video/sound quality is no longer acceptable.

Of course the one feature that hasn't been utilized on Magic DVDs and probably won't be in my lifetime is the multiple camera angles. Imagine watching the performance and explanations and being able to instantly switch from the audience view to the magicians view, etc.

Of course, I think too many magicians who produce product for the magic community don't believe in doing things right. Example: I received a trick I ordered today that the packaging said came with a nice wooden base. What did it come with...a plastic coaster.

But, back to the question at hand...release it on DVD and put the effort into solid production and quality.

Best,

Mark
That\'s Impossible

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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Guest » August 9th, 2002, 4:13 am

DVD's. No question about it. Tapes are on their way out.

Edwin Corrie
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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Edwin Corrie » August 9th, 2002, 2:59 pm

Just to say I agree with John Blaze about there being no reason to convert a 4-video set into a 4-DVD set when the material will easily fit on one DVD. The multi-volume video sets always did seem to be a sneaky way to get us to spend more, although admittedly the amount of space on a video is limited. But with DVDs it shouldn't be a problem.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 9th, 2002, 3:16 pm

There are various issues with putting multiple volume videotape sets onto a single DVD.
First, there is the matter of the cost of production. I'm not talking about the cost of pressing a single DVD, which is small, but the cost of actually producing six hours worth of material (which is about what's on a four VHS tape set). It's expensive to do that, expensive to edit all that material, and the artist needs to be paid a lot for all of this time and trouble.
Next there is the issue of compression. The less you put on a DVD the lower your compression rate and the better the thing looks. The more you put on a DVD the more expensive it is to compress. Then you get into dual layer DVDs and dual-sided DVDs and other assorted things that enable you to add more content.
If you look at most of the deluxe edition DVDs that are coming onto the mainstream market, where a film also has numerous supplements that add hours of content, it is usually a TWO DVD set, or a dual layer double sided DVD, or something along those lines, all of which add greatly to the expense.
So, while L&L could put all 4 Bill Malone videos onto a single dual Layer DVD, or make a double DVD set, you're still going to have to pay $100 because of all the reasons outlined above.
I believe the reason L&L is not doing that is because psychologically it's a lot easier to get you to fork over $120 for the material if you get four DVDs in four separate boxes, rather than one DVD in a single box.
I don't see a lot of people standing in line to buy $75 and $120 DVDs.
And, don't forget that in our little world of magic, we are talking about selling a meager 1000 copies of something. It's very expensive PER UNIT to produce something like that. Hollywood sells many tens of thousands of even the lowest selling DVDs, so their costs are much lower, and they have a lot more units on which to make a profit.
Believe me, the DVDs and books in our tiny tiny market are UNDER priced considering the cost and effort that goes into all aspects of producing them.
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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Guest » August 9th, 2002, 5:03 pm

Good points, Richard, about price sensitivity; as Aaron Shields said in a different thread, (and here I paraphrase) "magicians toss quarters around like they are manhole covers."

As you were around and in biz when magic videos first became available, didn't folks fork out the $50 to $70 back in the day? I always believe if you create a desirable product, price is no longer the primary purchase factor.

--Randy Campbell

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Re: Some Questions...

Postby Guest » August 12th, 2002, 4:42 am

I'm buying DVDs and only DVDs for all the reasons mentioned above.

There are many old titles that interest me (e.g. Vernon's "Revelations", Close's "Very, Very Close", ...), yet I'll wait until they are released on DVD. By the way L&L are going to publish all their videos on DVD.

So, DVD is the way to go.


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