FISM Day 5

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CraigMitchell
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FISM Day 5

Postby CraigMitchell » July 10th, 2015, 6:25 am

FISM Day 5

Stage Contest

By the end of today we would have watched some 150 magic acts from around the world. An incredible magic overload that has made the lack of sleep all worth it.

Mikael Szanyiel – Switzerland – Comedy Magic
A new father nursing his infant – with appearing dolls, rivalry between father and baby – and a light up crib.

Lee Hyoung Woo – Korea – General Magic
A school student discovering a haunted book. Vanishing books, multiplying books and reappearing books. Slow opening and somewhat strange.

Vittorio Marino – Italy – Comedy Magic
A dated performance of a ‘little person’ magician who grows before us as he walks across the stage. Repeated ad nauseum. Also featuring zombie bunny and growing torn and restored newspaper.

Miguel Munoz – Spain – General Magic
A beautiful contact juggling act with touches of magic – as the balls vanish one by one coupled with a cascade of streaming water.

Max Muto – Germany – General Magic
A talking act – very wordy – with vanishing masks, disappearing book and a zombie at FISM ( it’s on the banned list for a reason, folks )

Los Taps – Spain – Comedy Magic
Another tedious comedy magic act – with quick changes - which only magicians will find funny. If only the audience realised that this is how most lay people perceive us.

Taijyu Fujiyama
Those seated next to me thought this act was a piece of theatrical beauty. I couldn’t wait for it to end. Masks, parasols, traditional Japanese costumes, color changing masks, mask from sleeve, more masks – and for good measure – appearing fans. We drowned under such acts in FISM 2009.


Kim Young-Min – Korea – General Magic
Glitter, sand, a beautiful suspended salt pour, rose petals to Rose – and a visual appearing / vanishing ring that had the eye-candy fundis clamouring for more.

Hakan Berg – Sweden – Comedy Magic
A parody of magician with enough smoke to hide an elephant, an opening sequence riding atop Segway style scooter, appearing flowers, water in news, repeated cut & restored rope with spectator and a dove magic sequence which had the audience on their feet.

Natalie & Eli – Switzerland – General magic
Please make it stop. Quick change combined with feather flowers. More flowers. Flowers – flowers and more feather flowers. Note to performers – feather flowers do not exist in the real world. They are a tragic mutation of our twisted magicians reality that need to be removed from existence.

Juan Mayoral – Spain – General Magic
Nothing like a bit of controversy. Juan Mayarol forfeited his act and instead spoke out ( rightly or wrongly ) about the general lack of respect being given to magic and the contestants with FISM taking place in a "TV studio" and not a professional theatre.

"Today I'm not a magician. Today I have lost my magical powers.
Today I feel very sad, because I cannot present my new routine for you.
I love magic, and I love FISM, but I don't feel comfortable in this huge TV show.
Magic, for me, is a lot more than a show for television.
I hope to see you again soon, when Magic and FISM return to a theatre."

Brave man. I don’t know whether I necessarily agree – and speaking to many behind the scenes it seems to be somewhat of an overreaction - but he clearly struck a nerve as he received a ‘hero’s welcome’ and a sustained 10 minute applause.

We cannot ignore TV … the benefits it provides far outweighs any negatives. The challenge – and what the FISM executives fails to grasp – is that it needs to be harnessed for the betterment of FISM – the organisation and its performers … and not for the benefit of a single organiser. The contestants are the most important people at this event – and they need to be treated as such. FISM has to come first.

We can only ensure that this happens when FISM itself ( emphasis on FISM central ) is an equal partner in the production. It’s somewhat akin to FISM giving the keys of their home away and the contractors arrive and redecorate everything without anyone asking.

With protests out the way … on to The Reed Sisters.

The Reed Sisters – USA – General Magic
I last saw this act at IBM SAM and predicted the train wreck then. Glistening white teeth, cheeks filled with way too much blush and appearing foil flowers. Thankfully we were spared the conclusion as the act was red lighted for being below FISM standard. Unfortunately for them they had to endure the embarrassment of having the curtains close in front of 2000+ magicians. I truly feel sorry for them – they should never have been endorsed to compete - but it is a clear result of a lack of honest feedback in our "buddy buddy" world of magic - where every act is "wonderful" and everyone did a "great job." The sheer look of disbelief on their faces said it all – and akin to that reality check moment when Simon Cowell delivers the death knell.

J Yang – Korea – Comedy Magic
A hyper-energetic performer who is clearly enjoyed himself with plenty of onstage antics, appearing lollipops and comedy dove productions.


Jofri Hilbert – Netherlands – General Magic
A duo act – with one of the members in a horribly overly tight waistcoat. A highlight – a full on rock band on stage accompanying the magic!


Jakob Matias – Germany – General Magic
A fun act set on the beach with appearing girls, floating on waves and a reappearance at the back of the theatre complete with portable shower.

CS Choi
Set in a haunted artists studio with animated hands, vanishing brushes and paint strokes that come to life. A beautiful concept but in need of further development to fully realise its potential.


Gwenaelle – France – General Magic
Kellar’s Golden Butterfly come to life. Card manipulation, butterfly thimbles and zombie caterpillar ending. A magician favourite.

Hun Lee – Korea – General Magic
Magicians love a gimmick. Card manipulation, card boxes, floating card case, color changing cards and then the highlight – the full 8 minute act is repeated again in rewind mode in the last 30 seconds.

Shezan – Italy – General Magic
Aladdin meets Raiders of the Lost Arc. Appearing lamps, appearing treasure, fans and more. A novel and light-hearted performance.




And so marks the end of the FISM Italy 2015 main contests. 150+ acts with every style under the sun. The good, a few bad and the somewhat ugly.

A special appreciation goes out to the jury who now have the most unenviable task of deciding the winners – and my sincere thanks to the backstage crew who make this all possible. Few people realise the impossible conditions under which the contest technical team operate – and the miracles that they have produced over the last week. Bravo!

Tonight's gala show starts in another hour. And plenty of events follow thereafter into the early hours of the morning.

FRIDAY GALA SHOW

--> quick update ... gala show just ended after about 2 1/2 hours.

Today seems to be drama day - with Paul Daniels alienating half the audience instantly by telling anyone who dares has the audacity to complain to not bother coming back to the next one ... half the crowd cheers and the other jeered and booed him ...

Paul should have been clever enough to stay well away from the subject especially when it appears to be such a sensitive issue amongst the audience and competitors in light of Juan Mayoral's concerns.

Video here:
https://www.facebook.com/fismmagic/vide ... 527458063/

He ends with: "you come here, you get lessons from us and you can make money"
Last edited by CraigMitchell on July 10th, 2015, 7:41 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby thecardman » July 10th, 2015, 6:32 am

Someone has posted footage of Juan Mayoral's speech at FISM onto Facebook. Here's the link, which I hope works for you - https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10206049184422472

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Bizzaro » July 10th, 2015, 6:59 am

I have some strong opinions about some of the acts from North America and how they got "allowed" into FISM. If you are at Magic Live find me ask me about it and I will give you an ear full.
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Will Jung » July 10th, 2015, 11:09 am

I am in awe.

Has this ever happened at FISM in the past?

I've read about the...rather unfortunate occurrences at FISM this year. I'm sure the staff in charge has been working hard and doing their best.

It can't be that bad, can it?

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Q. Kumber » July 10th, 2015, 11:54 am

Perhaps someone at FISM can fill us in.

Are the contests being video taped for a TV show?
If so, what if they don't want to be taped?
If they agree to be taped, are they being paid?

I will also add that FISM would not allow a TV program to be made at the Blackpool FISM.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby mr_goat » July 10th, 2015, 12:09 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:I will also add that FISM would not allow a TV program to be made at the Blackpool FISM.


Yeah, but because Derek only has an old betamax camcorder.
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby IrishMagicNews » July 10th, 2015, 12:45 pm

Nothing surprises me with FISM. Imo it's never about the talent. I bet any money the tea/coffee/drinks/refreshment room for FISM officers is the smoothest running thing there. From my limited brief experience in the whole FISM thing they were all much more conceded with their own hospitality area then anything else.
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Davide Brizio » July 10th, 2015, 1:42 pm

The acts are not recorded for the TV show during the competition; authors of the show are there to select what they think are the best acts for the TV show, and they then ask the performers if they want to appear in the show. If so, they will repeat the performance especially for the tv, on the same stage, but later when it is not used for any convention related events.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Ondrej Psenicka » July 10th, 2015, 2:35 pm

Hi, my friend is in the competition so let me give you some inside information. The situation here at FISM really is new regarding the TV situation. Every competitor has to sign a release form at the registration. Cameras are even backstage filming the performers preparing to go onstage and they run onstage immediately after the curtain closes to capture the first moments of happiness or dissapointment after the performance. They even do an interview with every performer immediately after the act is done. And since they are filming backstage everywhere, not only performers but all their assistants both onstage and offstage have to sign a release form. There will be a show from and about this years fism capturing the entire event inside out and the competition acts are not getting paid.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 10th, 2015, 2:51 pm

Hmmm ... interesting. This could explain why someone I know, a fulltime professional who was supposed to be competing there, is thus far a no-show. The thing is, I'm pretty sure he is in Rimini (thus not letting his expensive flight go to waste), but is not at the conference.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Q. Kumber » July 10th, 2015, 3:00 pm

So contestants travel from all over the world, I'm assuming they pay all their own expenses and registration (or have them paid by a sponsoring magic club) and when they arrive they have to fill in this release form, and if they don't they won't be allowed to enter the competition. Is that the case?

There is nothing more off putting than being harassed backstage before going on - especially in a competition.

A few years ago, some Irish magicians were planning on putting in a bid for FISM 2015. It was emphasised to them the importance of a proper theatre for the stage shows and competition.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Tim Ellis » July 10th, 2015, 6:45 pm

From what I have been told, and I'm sure I'll be corrected if I've been given the wrong information, unlike past years when NHKTV or other broadcasters pay FISM a fee for the rights to film (discretely) at FISM and make a TV special of the event (paying the artists who appear), this time the TV rights were given away at no charge for some reason.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 10th, 2015, 8:10 pm

Who knows what the hell Juan Mayoral was thinking. I've heard all kinds of second-hand reports.
The fact is that I have been told that this was in all competitors contracts BEFORE they got on the plane to Rimini. They could have chosen not to come and compete if they were that bothered about it. But if I were a pro and someone wanted to put my little act on TV, it sounds like a GOOD DEAL even if I don't get paid. Think of the exposure that you would never otherwise get?

As far as the comments that Mayoral didn't want to perform in a "real theater" ... well, I can imagine what he means. The theater built in the convention center is Broadway quality. It's amazing--never have we seen anything like this in a magic convention before. The close-up contest room has beautifully raked seating for 1,600. Full video on large screens, etc.
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 10th, 2015, 8:33 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:The theater built in the convention center is Broadway quality. It's amazing--never have we seen anything like this in a magic convention before.

I'm a tad confused: are they not using that theater? The video I am seeing doesn't look to be coming from a "theater."

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 10th, 2015, 8:52 pm

There is now video up on Facebook showing a displeased Paul Daniels criticizing those who have criticized, and getting as many jeers as cheers. Yikes.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Bizzaro » July 10th, 2015, 9:01 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:But if I were a pro and someone wanted to put my little act on TV, it sounds like a GOOD DEAL even if I don't get paid. Think of the exposure that you would never otherwise get?


Wait... did Richard just say he's not a pro? (grin)
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby John McDonald » July 11th, 2015, 2:31 am

How much control do FISM have over the TV rights?
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Tim Ellis » July 11th, 2015, 3:10 am

Juan was not upset because he was being filmed for TV, he was upset about the fact that it appears that the making of a TV program has become the main priority of this FISM.

The fact he got a ten minute standing ovation indicates that he is not alone in this thinking.

Many people are telling me they feel more like members of a studio audience than international delegates who've paid $700 to attend.

Of those competitors I've spoken to they have found the cameras backstage extremely disruptive in an already challenging environment,

I don't believe ANYONE is saying that Walter and his team haven't put hard work in planning this FISM (as Paul accused the delegates of dong) but they are instead saying that Walter's first allegiance is to producing a great TV show instead of producing a great convention.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » July 11th, 2015, 7:11 am

There has always been the hope that FISM well bring recognition to the winners. That's not what it's about.

I never competed, we're an art and not a sport: judgements are by the nature of our intellect, always subjective. That's not an aphorism to me. I competed at the University level in 4 sports, 3 of which were notorious for questionable judging: springboard diving, gymnastics, track and field and fencing. At the time my fencing weapon, saber, had no electronic scoring system like epee and foil. A judge decided if you made a "hit" or not. Only as a pole vaulter was my success or failure measured by an exact standard, so I am very familiar with athletic subjectivity. Artistic subjectivity is a different matter. How do you judge the invisible?

Greg Louganis and I dove for University of California at Irvine. I graduated in theater before he entered the school. We are the only two theater students I know who also dove for UCI. I always joke that he may be the greatest springboard diver who ever lived, but I am a better actor. Greg was a genius in the air for an attribute we praise in magic, he made it look so effortless... and in his mind perhaps it was. His technique was invisible and that has always been a fear of mine in magic competitions. The physicality of my work came from disciplines in both sports and theater. In my magic I have always tried for the invisible. I couldn't present my own broom suspension harness design and then say "forget that, it's all about the moves." I felt my hardest work would go un-noticed because our persona was... large?

My first FISM was Madrid, 1985. I carefully considered the question of competing, but I never answered my own question because I was contacted by FISM and was asked to perform in a gala. I did so again in Den Hague and Lausanne. By that time I was an established pro and no longer needed the recognition a win at FISM would bring me.

Years later I faced this conflict again. The perplexing behavior of our performance on AGT came from Charlotte's desire to do the show (no critique of her, I understood her reasoning) and my uncomfortable feelings about it because of my beliefs about art. I realized the format very quickly and was drawn into a very difficult problem. With several of the production crew I discussed the problem. They needed performers who could be "coached" to success. Who was going to tell Jonathan Pendragon how to do an illusions? So we agreed that our relationship should end with the performance of Metamorphosis. I thank AGT for that chance, to prove that I could survive the arrow in the heart accident and still perform the illusion I loved most. It has also helped a young illusionist I admire who has become a close friend, Michael Turco. So, I can't complain, AGT and the hunt for a FISM win has produced a lot of good with some bad.

Juan's words spoke to me in print and then on video from 6000 miles away.

Juan Mayoral and I go back a long time. I have always loved the "heart" in his work and the general ambiance of thought generated by the whole Madrid movement. Ricky Jay introduced me to Juan Tamariz at the Den Hague FISM, for which I am forever grateful. That school of thought was one of my greatest influences from then on. It's important to understand an aspect of FISM that is far better understood by Europeans. Since the beginning pros were established there and then they returned to compete again with new material. It's almost exactly my relationship with the Magic Castle, even before I met my beloved West (and yea, I always talk like that). Never to waste a metaphor, competing at FISM has always been more than a springboard to fame. There is a tradition and I am nobody to lecture anybody on that subject. Still in my three conventions I became well aware of it. The water balloon fights between Caveny and Steinmeyer in Switzerland and me and Rudy Coby swimming nearly naked in a fountain in the middle of town, epic. Sorry about the imagery. The dinner groups in Madrid where every night someone had to find a new and better place to eat, Patrick Martin won. Friendship, inspiration, the feeling that really, for one moment, we were a fraternity (archaic usage). I followed and I laughed at Otto's de facto improvisational theater and I wished I had been there to see it (MOI is relentless, thank God). And I know why Juan said what he did, and I wish I had been there to stand and applaud for my friend.

Vicarious existence is my worst nightmare: I must experience before I preach. Historian's remember what performers were like, performers who lived centuries ago, through the will of their performance. There is a tangible, quantifiable force that drives performers even when it is not in their best interest, but rather in the interest of their artistic soul, I can show you the scars to prove it. I am not there, I will make no judgements, but, a ten minute standing ovation? That's Pavarotti territory.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Steve Bryant » July 11th, 2015, 9:41 am

Great post, Jonathan. You may be interested to note (check Wikipedia) that Mysto Magic's A.C. Gilbert invented the pole vault box, held two world records in the sport, and tied for gold in the 1908 summer olympics.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby keeper » July 11th, 2015, 3:16 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Who knows what the hell Juan Mayoral was thinking. I've heard all kinds of second-hand reports.
But if I were a pro and someone wanted to put my little act on TV, it sounds like a GOOD DEAL even if I don't get paid. Think of the exposure that you would never otherwise get?



Not to discount this thought but to play devil's advocate....isn't this the same thing charities say to get a freebie performance out of an entertainer?
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby hugmagic » July 11th, 2015, 3:31 pm

Interesting on the Pole Vault. I do a lot of college track meets and in fact have the Number one male Division Vaulter in the Country that I officiate with all the time.
Jonathan well have to talk pole vault someday. Your post was right on target. I have never seem the appeal of FISM. Just seems like way too much money to spend a magic convention.
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Tom Stone » July 11th, 2015, 4:16 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Who knows what the hell Juan Mayoral was thinking. I've heard all kinds of second-hand reports.

Were all those awful LED screens a permanent fixture, or could they be moved out of sight for those who didn't want that kind of backlight in their acts?

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 11th, 2015, 5:56 pm

They are a permanent fixture, as they are in many large hi-tech performing venues. They worked great for the Gala Shows, but I think should have had a black curtain dropped in front of them for the competitions.
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby CraigMitchell » July 11th, 2015, 8:10 pm

Friday Gala Show - 10th July

Entitled the “World of Illusion” – Friday’s Gala show was mc’d by Debbie McGee - and the once likeable Paul Daniels who we would later discover would go from charming MC to instant stick-your-foot-in-it, target of audience derision. Oh the joy of magic.

Ya Ya Man- full on ballerina who did her near entire card manipulation act on her ‘tip toes’ Flying parasols, card spinning and more.

Otto Wessely – comedy is a peculiar thing and you either love this man or hate him. I find his humour puerile and insufferable – but am definitely in the minority, as the Chief Genii seated next to me was canning himself throughout ;-)

Marco Tempest treated us to one of his digital iphone segments followed by Michael Moschen – who for me was by the far the most disappointing juggler I have ever come across on a magic gala show. As anyone knows – the juggler is guaranteed to kill … but not in this case.

His performance lacked all energy – it was long and drawn out – and his contact ‘juggling’ bit with a steel rod looked more like interpretative dance gone wrong. He continually walked off stage at the end of each sequence ( what professional performer does this ? ) and he simply ended his act without so much as a bow or climax. Terrible.

By this stage, Paul Daniels’ MC segments became longer and longer – and he now committed the most cardinal of MC sins … your job is to keep the show moving, not hog the spotlight.

Cyril and Henry Evans tag teamed for a human card effect on stage with multiple spectators. Powerful effect – but a little too drawn out. Kudos to Cyril for reading the audience and speeding things up.

Eun Gyeol Lee presented a George Mielies ipad interactive effect as seen at the recent AMA Awards Show. Very creative but certainly not the most enjoyable of his vast amount of material. EG plays packed houses in South Korea – and it would have been great to see some of his other ‘non technology’ material.

Paul Daniels had by now quickly overstayed his welcome– humiliating Luis de Matos’ partner on stage with his demeaning sexist comments and behaviour. Anybody else would have slapped the man and walked off stage rather than sit through his chauvinistic attitude.

From 21st century ipads we dashed back to the ‘80s with Vito Lupo. Amongst billowing smoke – it was near impossible to see what on earth he was doing at the start. Cigarette manipulation in a horribly dated piece complete with sprinkle glitter, breakaway fans, streamers and my personal FISM favourite – snowstorm.

Paul wasn’t done yet and made the stupid mistake of taking it upon himself to insult the attendees … bursting the delicate bubble in place between performer and audience. The artists had already been warned to ‘tread carefully’ in light of the Juan Mayoral ‘protest’.

Paul’s diatribe instantly alienated half the audience by telling anyone who dares has the audacity to complain to not bother coming back to the next one ... and resulted in mass jeers and boos ( predominantly from the back of the audience where the general populous were seated )

And rightly so.

There seems to be this bizarre belief that any sort of criticism instantly makes you an enemy of the establishment. His side swipe comment that magicians should go join a golf club to see what is “expensive” – shows his complete detachment from reality … and as one so accurately put it “an embarrassing lack of class perspective”

Attendees had saved for months to attend what was one of the most expensive FISM registrations of recent times – only to be told "you come here, you get lessons from us and you can make money"

The arrogance defies belief.

Video here

By the end of the diatribe – he simply walked off stage with a cursory mention of Franz Harary as the next act.

The lack of professionalism displayed by Paul was unforgivable … effectively leaving Franz to play without so much as a build-up and to his detriment, a now hostile crowd.

What gave Paul the right to do this ?

We were by now at 2 ½ hours closing in at well-past midnight. And Franz suffered. He did his best under difficult circumstances – and having previously seen his full show, it was not a true reflection of his capabilities as a genuinely engaging performer.

The marathon show finally ended – delaying the late night lecture schedule even further. David Berglas I believe only got started well after 1 am …

Never a dull moment at FISM.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby IrishMagicNews » July 11th, 2015, 8:51 pm

Craig,

Thank you for taking the time to update everyone. It's difficult to piece everything together from Twitter and Fb so your lengthy updates are much appreciated.
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Will Jung » July 12th, 2015, 12:20 am

Wow.....

Paul's.....words leave me speechless. I simply do not know how to respond to that.

Yes, lots of people are working hard on this event. Anything can go wrong at any place, but professionals cannot have any excuses for any shortcomings. That's what I believe anyway.

Maybe these delays and..."unfortunate" events won't overshadow the convention as a whole. I hope I don't sound arrogant saying this, but I was really planning on attending FISM this year, but after reading about some of the things that has happened, I'm not as bummed out about not going anymore.

It would've been my first FISM. Not everything can be guaranteed perfect, but if I was in the audience heard Paul's words about "joining a golf club" to see what's expensive, I'd be pretty pissed.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby AJM » July 12th, 2015, 3:48 am

I wonder if Paul ventured out to the car park...
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Leo Garet » July 12th, 2015, 11:47 am

Daniels has used the “golf club analogy” before; at least once in print, back in Abra somewhere. The remark and the tone were offensive then and remain so.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Richard Stokes » July 12th, 2015, 12:58 pm

Paul is from Middlesbrough, so all is forgiven.

His local golf club, down south, charges £875 for yearly membership.
No northerner could cope with this amount.

Paul may be a spendthrift, but his collection of brass handle shovels from Boyes Dept Store is second to none.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 12th, 2015, 3:02 pm

Will Jung wrote:I hope I don't sound arrogant saying this, but I was really planning on attending FISM this year, but after reading about some of the things that has happened, I'm not as bummed out about not going anymore.

Not arrogant at all. I said--and still stand by saying--the same thing about the Blackpool event. But I feel quite different about this one: I wish I was there, even with the "controversy."

I could be wrong, but it seems to me, at least going back as far as I can recall, that there is always something that happens at FISM that attendees complain about. I think it's just a product of a HUGE event with, what, 3,000(?) attendees.

My complaint as an outside viewer is that--or so it seems to me--organizers appear not to learn from the past. So many mistakes can be avoided by looking at the past and not making them again. But, and this seems true of any event that has new people every time it is put on, they think that they can "do it [the same thing] better." That's just not the case.

People there this year have stuff to complain about. But I'll wager that a poll of the attendees would have the vast majority of them glad they were there.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby CraigMitchell » July 12th, 2015, 4:42 pm

My summary is still to follow in a later post ... but please make no mistake.

No matter where FISM is held ( besides Blackpool :-) ) it remains one of the most special events that you can ever hope to attend in magic.

It is a coming together of friends and lovers of the art - and there truly is nothing else like it - one of the key reasons why attendees religiously come back time and time again. FISM remains one of the things I most look forward to attending in magic ... and something which every magician should attend at least once in their life.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Brad Henderson » July 12th, 2015, 5:32 pm

many conventions for various profession pull similar numbers Without the controversies and logistical failures?

If this another case of magicians thinking they have skill sets they don't posses, and instead of hiring professional event production teams try to do this themselves?

TAOM has similar production problems albeit on a massively smaller scale. It's because different people are in charge each year. Have they thought of hiring a professional event firm to produce all of the fism's and allow the host groups to offer ideas and themes and suggestions but leave the real operations to trained professionals?

On the road and was just curious based on the comments. I will likely never be able to attend a FISM because of my schedule but hate seeing things that shouldn't fail, fail.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby IrishMagicNews » July 12th, 2015, 5:52 pm

I agree with Brad. The main problem is each FISM has a different producer and it seems no handover manual.
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 12th, 2015, 6:29 pm

Yes. The industry I spent most of my adult life in held several events per year (hosted by different industry giants), and they were always flawless. They were also incredibly expensive, with a base registration averaging $1,200, and that did not include many "breakout sessions" (or what we might call "lectures"): those were all extra cost. Oh, and then there was the cost of the (always) high-end resorts where these events were held (my favorite to this day being held at Boca when Bill Malone's place was still there and the keynote speaker was charging a low/mid-five digit fee plus first class only expenses).

I expect there is not a lot of difference between CPG industry events and other mainstream corporate events, particularly when it comes to cost.

To compare these models to magic's is a useless exercise. To expect magic to follow that model is the quickest way to forever end magic conventions--including FISM.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 12th, 2015, 7:09 pm

I dug out an old expense report for the last corporate event I went to (2010). It was held in the Chicago area. My expenses, which included the hotel, registration, one "session," food (a dinner was included in the registration fee), taxi, and my flights was just over $1,800. Not bad in the scheme of things.

Except I was only there for one night.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Brad Henderson » July 12th, 2015, 7:19 pm

wasnt fism 750 euros? wouldnt an extra 200 for a flawless event be worth it?

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 12th, 2015, 7:29 pm

Brad, if you think you can host a six day magic event--using professional event organizers to run every aspect of it--for just (about) $1,000 per person, please by all means do it.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Tim Ellis » July 12th, 2015, 7:52 pm

Several times we have been asked to look at the viability of holding a FISM here in Australia. Each time the various convention bureaus get very excited until the realise the $1000 registration is for the entire 6 days and not per day....

FISM will always be more akin to a hobbyists convention (like Star Trek fans or a dog fanciers event) than a professional business event for one main reason: registrants can claim business conferences as tax expenses PLUS they are usually paid for by their employers.

I do LOVE FISM and have been involved at various times on all sides of it, but the last to were NOT FISMs. Derek ran his usual Blackpool event with a FISM label stuck on it and set out to make as much money as he could for himself. Walter ran his Masters of Magic event and let the FISM label slip off when it came time to film his TV show. Both organisers saw an opportunity to make money from FISM and took advantage of that.

Eric Eswin had the right idea and was taking FISM in a good direction with clear directives and goals.

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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Brad Henderson » July 12th, 2015, 9:39 pm

Dustin, I was using your number of $1,200 which you mention as a baseline for a professionally run convention. FISM this year was about a grand US$ for registration, yes? What's a few hundred more bucks if it means all the problems disappear?


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