FISM Day 5

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Joe Mckay
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Joe Mckay » July 12th, 2015, 10:12 pm

Dustin was referring to a one day convention.

And not a 6 day day convention (like FISM).

Personally - I don't see the appeal of FISM. I can't take that much magic. And stuff always seems to go wrong.

And I think you have to be insane to sit through those lengthy magic competitions.

Brad Henderson
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Brad Henderson » July 12th, 2015, 10:28 pm

he mentioned 1800 for one day convention attendance expenses. the 1200 was not for one day event I didn't think. but I could be wrong

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 12th, 2015, 10:39 pm

Tim, you weren't in Rimini as far as I know, so without actually seeing what was going on (just relying on second-hand information) you really don't have any right to compare what Derek Lever did in Blackpool to what Walter Rolfo did in Rimini.
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Dustin Stinett
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 12th, 2015, 10:44 pm

Brad, read my post again. $1,200 is the baseline. The conferences were usually four days/three night max: the usual being three days/two nights. They sold one-day registrations, but at premium prices.

Now, tack on additional per lecture costs of anywhere from $50 to $150 each (with scheduling conflicts that make it impossible to go to all of them in one day, so all they do is repeat them all each day).

Yes, the conference had free events, but they were always ... always ... advertisements in the guise of learning opportunities* ("you too can do this if you buy our software" being the most common). The "dealers' room" ("vendors") was usually just a preview of what to expect in the free sessions.

*Yes, I know many magic lectures can seem this way, but not all of them.

These, both the free and paid sessions, were scheduled for the mornings. After a period set aside for lunch, a panel of two or three speakers each afternoon, usually of the "motivational" type, is what made up the conference. Except when a social event took place (usually for an extra cost) the evenings were open. (This is what allowed me to go to Malone's every night I was in Boca Raton.)

In short, a couple hundred bucks extra would not cut it. And I suspect that, in five years, those costs have gone up a tad as well. So again, this is not a model for a magic convention. If it was, don't you think someone would have tried it at least once over all these years?

I don't think it's a matter of magicians thinking they can do something they can't, it's a matter of them having to do something--for free--that is out of their wheelhouse.

The issue is what I brought up first: new people every year. The best conventions have the same people running them from year to year.

And Tim Ellis hit the nail on the head: magic conventions are held primarily for hobbyists. Hobbyists cannot write off conference costs on their taxes. My old companies could, otherwise they would not have sent me to any of them.

John McDonald
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby John McDonald » July 12th, 2015, 10:50 pm

Barack
Best John

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Tim Ellis
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Tim Ellis » July 13th, 2015, 4:27 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Tim, you weren't in Rimini as far as I know, so without actually seeing what was going on (just relying on second-hand information) you really don't have any right to compare what Derek Lever did in Blackpool to what Walter Rolfo did in Rimini.


There were definitely differences but my comparison begins, and ends, with the fact that neither were events created specifically as "FISMS" but were more or less already established conventions (Blackpool and Masters of Magic) with a FISM branding added.

There is also a good chance that Korea could be a BIMF with FISM branding too.

(And just for the record, I LOVE both FISM and BIMF, but they are two very different events with unique identities).

Brad Henderson
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Brad Henderson » July 13th, 2015, 8:50 am

perhaps then FISM needs to scale back and do what they can do well

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Q. Kumber
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Q. Kumber » July 13th, 2015, 9:03 am

So Tim wasn't there (nor was I) but Ian Rowland was and has posted on his Facebook page:

It's over. Lots of effort, lots of top talent, but an event marred by some instances of very poor organisation. I only want to make one point, for the record. Some attempts were made to paint all those who expressed their dismay at various aspects of the event as ungrateful traitors to magic and to FISM who didn't appreciate all the effort involved. Not true. Everyone knows it's a massive undertaking. It was also suggested that people were mostly complaining about things that went wrong. Again, not true. We all know things can and do go wrong. No... the complainers were mostly referring NOT to things that went wrong but to things that went AS PLANNED, but were planned very badly, and in a way that left many people feeling insulted by their hosts. This is an important distinction. People don't mind when good intentions get derailed by technical glitches. They do mind when they have gone a long way, and paid a lot of money, to support FISM, and FISM doesn't treat them well.


and…

The 'organisers' did a deal with a TV company. This meant there was no theatre as such. Instead, they built what was essentially a very sophisticated TV studio performance area, and then put 2000 seats in front of it. Because it suited the TV people, the 2000 seats were laid out almost perfectly flat, with no raking. For the vast majority of us, the only way to see anything was to watch the big screens hung overhead. The rush for seats at the start of each show became a race to get a good view of a screen. In simple terms, we paid £460 (+ air fare and accommodation) for the privilege of being a TV studio audience, and not very well treated ones at that.
Note 1: tickets for TV shows are normally free, the deal being 'you get a free show and endure the compromises of a TV recording, we get a free audience'.
Note 2: we were not told of any of this before we booked; we assumed we'd get a theatre (magic is a performing art) and the chance to watch some performers (not a telly screen).
Note 3: even some people much further forward, in the 'VIP' seats, told us they got a poor view and ended up trying to see the screens.
Note 4: the video coverage was hi-def and very good, and some people said they didn't mind this arrangement.


Pardon my cynicism but if all this had happened at the Blackpool FISM, Richard would not, I suspect, be telling the contestants they should be lucky to appear on TV and get exposure, nor would he be praising the organiser.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 13th, 2015, 12:51 pm

The design of the theater was pretty much what was shown to us in the ICC Committee in our first meeting. Walter's desire was to produce a theatrical event whose technical level was comparable to that of a Broadway show. All of the multimedia screens and other fancy stuff was explained to us early on, long before he had any TV deal in place. So the stage was not designed solely for a TV shoot.

Regarding the fact that there was no raking for the seats: were the seats on risers from the mid point of the room toward the rear? Thought I saw that. This is what we do at the Genii convention.
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Ted M
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Ted M » July 14th, 2015, 12:02 am

In a Broadway theater, everyone can see the stage directly.

This photo is making the rounds showing the audience view from farther back.

Image

There seems to be a disconnect between planners' and regular attendees' experiences of the event. The Paul Daniels video shows a strong divide in audience reaction between folks in the first several rows as compared to the rest of the theater:

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

Perhaps future planning committee members might consider assigning themselves seats distributed all around the venue and rotating through them during the course of the week to experience the event from all people's perspectives?
Last edited by Ted M on July 14th, 2015, 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 14th, 2015, 12:35 am

From the photo you've posted, it doesn't appear that the people seated in the rear were on risers--it would be nice if someone can confirm that. As I said earlier, even though I was a member of the ICC, we were not consulted on many things. This might have been one of them, in which case I can sympathize with those sitting from the midpoint of the room to the rear.

As to Quentin's remarks, I really won't dignify them with a response. Anyone who defends Derek Lever is pretty much always going to be on the wrong side of the discussion.
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Marco Pusterla
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Re: FISM Day 5

Postby Marco Pusterla » July 14th, 2015, 3:09 am

Richard,

Seats behind the middle of the auditorium WERE on risers, I believe two levels up. I've been sitting at the back (last row or thereabouts) for most of the events in the "Piazza" and I can confirm there were risers.

I think that the issue had more to do with the width of the auditorium and the placement of the screens. In the auditorium, there were only three large screens: two at the side of the stage (which were covered by the lighting scaffolding, if you were sitting at the end of the rows) and another in the centre, right behind the huge "Masters of Magic" banner, which was invisible if you were - again - sitting at the edges.

The close-up theatre, on the other hand, had five or six screens, allowing every act to be seen up close from any seat in the house. Except, of course, for the Fat Brothers who decided to perform (in the close-up gala) on the parterre and the cameras could not show their magic to the "cheap seats" at the back (and of course they didn't even consider there was no light on the parterre, so the three large gentlemen dressed in black performed invisible card magic in a dark area only for the closest audience...).
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