Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

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erdnasephile
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Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby erdnasephile » December 29th, 2014, 1:16 pm

This looks like an interesting way to ring in the new year:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/5027

I've never done one of the penguin lectures live before--do ya'll out there find them worthwhile?

smerrill
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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby smerrill » December 29th, 2014, 1:44 pm

Darren

Eugene Burger was GREAT last night. The other lecturers were Michael Ammar, Rudy Coby, Cameron Francis, Shin Lim and many others

And Dan Harlan is a GREAT Host

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erdnasephile
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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby erdnasephile » December 29th, 2014, 2:44 pm

I thought it was spelled, "Derren" ;)

If one purchases the lecture, do you actually get to interact with the stars real time, or are these presentations of a previously taped lectures?

Ted M
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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Ted M » December 29th, 2014, 3:26 pm

The usual format is for the lecture to be streamed live as it's performed, with questions taken from the studio audience and a few questions selected and read out from the internet viewing audience by the host/moderator (usually Dan Harlan these days).

In November the Penguin crew flew to England and recorded lectures by Derren Brown, Luke Jermay, David Berglas, Andy Nyman and Dynamo. They had a live audience and some questions that had been pre-submitted to Penguin's website were selected and asked, so the format was kept the same, aside from being recorded before broadcast.

Derren's will be the first of this batch to be shown, on Jan 4. Since he and Dynamo are currently major figures on UK TV, they won't explain any effects, but will address other aspects of performance, theory, business, etc.

In my experience, the Penguin lectures run from good to stupendous. Both Dani DaOrtiz lectures are nonstop brilliant. David Williamson's lecture was 4 hours of hilarity. Peter Turner left me stunned. Bill Malone's lecture was a superb mix of routines, moves and cultural history. There are plenty more. Penguin has really done an impressive job with these.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby erdnasephile » December 29th, 2014, 6:49 pm

Thanks Ted and smerrill.

I just perused some of the previous lectures--some very big names there. It also appears that many of the lecture "attendees" are not shy about giving their honest perspectives, which is a plus.

May have to sample some of these.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Ted M » December 29th, 2014, 7:29 pm

Future lectures are $25 before they air.

Afterwards they cost $30. But they're all available in the 5-for-$99 deal, so if you want five they can be had for $20 apiece.

The subscription price of $50/30 days is an economical way to sample 5 for $10 apiece if you find the upcoming lecturers appealing. (It can also be an enjoyable way to discover new people one didn't previously know.)

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Scott M. » December 29th, 2014, 9:56 pm

Overall, the whole Penguin lecture thing is very good. And, yes, if there are at least two people out of the coming five you'd like to see, the $50 monthly pass is worth it. I've done this several times, the result being that I have a ton of unviewed ones on my hard drive. The thing is, the Penguin lectures are long... often really long. I believe the Greg Wilsons top out over five hours, as did the first Giobbi. Some people can handle the length well -- like David Williamson -- while others ramble. Some people whose works you've read and products you've bought wind up being perfectly charming people to spend an evening with... and others less so.

But if there's a performer you like, the Penguin format is really a great one. You get your money's worth, and there's something about the length and the live setting that brings something different to the table. Like I said, the Williamson is amazing. Daniel Garcia's is very good. I'm not a Sankey fan, but I liked that lecture. Perhaps my favorite of what I've seen might be the Paul Wilson, actually.

All of that said, I am probably going to skip the Derren Brown lecture because I'm less interested in the pure interview format.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Brad Henderson » December 30th, 2014, 3:13 pm

I am curious what affect these lectures will have on the traditional lecture circuit and the magicians ability to draw crowds at lectures and conventions.

Why put on pants and drive across town when you can get everything in your living room? (beyond being in the presence or someone considered a celebrity).

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Bill Mullins » December 30th, 2014, 5:34 pm

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but . . . .

I like live lectures. I'll happily drive two hours to Chattanooga, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Birmingham to see a magician lecture. Lectures are a good way to see magic live and to meet performers that I otherwise only know by reputation.

3-4 hour videos, not so much. Although I've got a number of lectures on tape and DVD, and have seen some of both the Penguin and the Murphy's streaming lectures, it's much more difficult to get engaged with what's going happening on a screen. On paper it would be a no-brainer (4 hours of David Williamson? Hell yeah!), but I often hit play and then find myself something else to do before they are over.

One big difference is that I find myself getting impatient with the amount of time that is spent on a given effect. It isn't unusual to take 10 - 15 minutes on an effect that is done in less than a minute, and that all the salient points can be explained in three or four. I don't know if magicians feel that they need to fill time, that they should lecture as if the audience brings no knowledge or background or skills to the lecture, or what, but a typical 3-1/2 hour Penguin lecture could be easily edited down to 1-1/2 - 2 hours and still contain all the good stuff.

I know from my notes at lectures I've attended in person that they can take just as long to go through an effect, but when the magician is right there, the experience draws an attendee in much deeper and it doesn't drag. Watching video, though, it sure can.

(And for that reason, I'm much more likely to get a DVD or download of these lectures after the fact rather than stream it live. Then I can use the FF button.)

Brad Henderson
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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Brad Henderson » December 30th, 2014, 6:15 pm

good thoughts bill

I wonder if this will encourage an even greater shift to the lecture as magic show where we peek behind the curtains.

lecture attendance has been on the decline for a while and I have no doubt online and easy accessibility to other recorded content has helped slow that attendance. Used to be the only way you could see any of this stuff is live. Used to be the cost of recorded media encouraged one to want to see it live before investing. Now - as far as access to educational content goes - one can have anything in front of their eyes without ever leaving their desk. As more people begin to prefer or at least become tolerant to viewing content on screens, one would think the appeal of lectures as educational endeavors might wane.

One still has the celebrity factor. And the joys of experiencing live performance.

it's an interesting thing these lectures. Penguin seems to have finally figured out how to make it work - so many tried and failed previously.

thanks for your thoughts

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Bill Mullins » December 30th, 2014, 9:32 pm

Brad Henderson wrote: it's an interesting thing these lectures. Penguin seems to have finally figured out how to make it work - so many tried and failed previously.


I think what Penguin (and more recently, Murphy's) have brought is the online/streaming distribution.

International Magic has been recording and selling tapes and DVDs of lectures for a long time, and much of what I said above applies to their product. Most of the ones I've seen were recorded as convention lectures, so they were much shorter than the 3-4 hour lectures that opened the discussion. (and being shorter, I'd be more likely to sit through one).

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Joe Mckay » December 31st, 2014, 1:33 pm

I really like these lectures.

I am not a big fan of magic DVDs - but for some reason I really enjoy the feel of these lectures.

Most DVDs have the same vibe but each one of the lectures has its own chemistry. It is just nice being able to check out the latest work from respected thinkers as opposed to having to wait 8-10 years for a new set of magic DVDs which may never be released.

I also enjoy the surprise factor in these lectures. It is interesting the little things you take away from them which would often end up on a cutting room floor of a DVD. The magicians seem much more relaxed in a lecture environment than they are on a DVD where they are probably worried about screwing up and having to do a reshoot.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Ian Richards » December 31st, 2014, 2:39 pm

The issue with regard to live versus recorded lectures is also of concern in education. With a hand held device you can access a lot of material relevant to your interest. So why would you want to go and listen or watch a lecture? For me it is the opportunity for personalization of the material, getting the lecturers thoughts that help clarify concepts and ideas.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Joe Mckay » December 31st, 2014, 2:58 pm

There is always email for that.

Often the best advice for a trick can only be given once you have spent a month or two trying to learn it. So - that delay in getting feedback can be useful.

Another thing is that 95% of magicians do not live near cities where the type of magic lectures they would most like to attend are available.

I live in the UK - so my perspective is pretty skewed. Most of the decent lectures you find over here are packaged up with magic conventions.

The biggest takeaway I often have are the little pieces of advice and wisdom which are dropped in during these lectures. I have another tricks already - so it is just fun to spend some time with these legends of magic.

It is rare that I feel a question needs to be asked after a trick has being taught. But as well as email - you also have the chance to text in questions during the broadcast.

Also - I hope that this vehicle helps the business side of things as well. I imagine there are lower overheads than would be involved in a magic DVD. Plus - the buzz around the live event should help discourage illegal downloads.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Brad Henderson » December 31st, 2014, 3:24 pm

is this really a live event? Maybe it's generational but to me the experience of watching a streaming lecture and a DVD are identical - except that i can't fast forward through the dull parts.

do people feel there is an advantage to watching the lecture stream live versus just watching it whenever they want?

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Joe Mckay » December 31st, 2014, 4:01 pm

I agree that usually there wouldn't be much difference.

But in this case - the lectures are 3-5 hours long - and as such they definitely have a different feel to your average magic DVD. They really are special events.

One of my favourites was with Harry Anderson. Who - by the way - doesn't have any magic DVDs available.

Indeed - one thing that is great about these lectures - is that there is usually an hour long interview in there as well. Which is something you hardly ever see on magic DVDs.

Lastly - Dan Harlan is the host for most of the lectures. And there is nobody better - since he is one of the most inventive people in magic (his Penguin Magic lectures were superb). And happens to be friends with a lot of the people giving lectures as well.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Clifford the Red » January 5th, 2015, 7:34 pm

The difference live is you can present questions to the host for asking.

observer
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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby observer » January 5th, 2015, 11:05 pm

The Penguin lecture format is very viewer-unfriendly.

Say you want to check out a lecture from a couple of months ago. You pay your money and then ... you sit there for (say) four hours and watch it unfold in real time. No FF, no RW, if you want to do those things you have to download the whole thing, which takes a long time and uses up a lot of memory.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Ted M » January 5th, 2015, 11:20 pm

You're correct as far as the Penguin streaming viewer not having Fast Forward or Rewind features.

However I'm usually able to download the entire lecture to my computer in 3-4 minutes and then watch it via whatever program I want or transfer it to whatever device I like. If Penguin closes up shop, the lecture I bought doesn't vanish.

I consider that freedom of usage to be extremely viewer-friendly.

If your download speeds are slower that's a limitation on your end, not Penguin's.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby observer » January 7th, 2015, 11:26 am

As an exampple: Rifftrax - movies with humorous commentary (by former Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast members). Send $9.99 (average, for a full length movie) via paypal and bang, it's yours. Go to the site, watch, FF, Rewind, instantly. Download in maybe five minutes. That's the standard for user-friendly as far as I'm concerned. Penguin falls short.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby mrgoat » January 7th, 2015, 1:56 pm

observer wrote:As an exampple: Rifftrax - movies with humorous commentary (by former Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast members). Send $9.99 (average, for a full length movie) via paypal and bang, it's yours. Go to the site, watch, FF, Rewind, instantly. Download in maybe five minutes. That's the standard for user-friendly as far as I'm concerned. Penguin falls short.


But you can download the file from Penguin and FF or RWD as much as your little heart desires.

The fact you can download the file keeps me very happy. I detest and loathe streaming only things. When that site goes out of business, your purchase is gone.

But, back to the topic, I watched the Derren thing. And to let people know, it is "just" an interview. not a lecture at all. In case anyone here cares about that. Lots of folk at the green place are up in arms about it. But that place is full of [censored].

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby Yann SICAMOIS » January 8th, 2015, 3:27 pm

Derren's Penguin LIVE is advertised as an interview, Dynamo's one too.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby CraigMitchell » January 8th, 2015, 4:24 pm

The download is well worth getting ... Some fascinating insights into the man and his current approach to magic / performance et al.

Derren did mention ( more than once ) that one of the most important things he has learnt is clarity of plot ... The audience must be able to sum up in a single sentence what has occurred.

I found this to be most interesting and somewhat a contradiction as his most recent stage show finales have certainly not been clear or succinct - generally a mental overload of mass action leading to a whirlwind of revelations and ultimately confusion on the part of the audience as to what exactly they just witnessed.

Congrats to the Penguin team for pulling this interview together.

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Re: Derren Brown - Penguin Live - Jan 4, 2015

Postby John McDonald » January 9th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Enigma finale was one of the best live magical experiences I have ever had. And Derren is correct people expect an amazing triple climax. I haven't been disappointed by any of his shows.
Best John


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