Fism day 6 and off to Korea

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CraigMitchell
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Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby CraigMitchell » July 11th, 2015, 6:40 am

FISM Day 6

First news of the day - FISM 2018 goes to Busan, South Korea - beating rival Helsinki, Finland.

Many thought that Helsinki had the bid well secured ... but they appear to have underestimated the General Assembly - especially in light of the current 'loss of control' being experienced by FISM - and convention organisers doing as they wish.

In Helsinki's case - they had decided to shorten the convention to 5 days from 6 .... and then the death knell, unilaterally deciding to change the competitor ratio between stage and close-up to fit in with their shorter format - without consultation.



In the end - South Korea took the vote and 3 years from now we'll be assembling in Busan.



AWARDS SHOW

Will we never learn.

What an utter embarrassment for FISM... Instead of the FISM World Championships of Magic - our organization is renamed the Masters of Magic TV awards show - and not a mention of FISM in sight. And then to add further insult to injury - we must have the ceremony in Italian with Non-Italian speakers supposed to magically guess that translation headphones are available for our use.

In a follow-on from the opening speech unhappiness - Domenico Dante and Walter Rolfo are called on stage again and again for the benefit of the cameras after each and every category.

The audience responded with boos and jeers.

Max Maven - co presenter between categories - was undoubtedly a "king amongst men" as Shawn Farquhar so eloquently put it and helped hold together what could have turned into a most unpleasant experience.

We must ask how we have learnt nothing since the Stockholm fiasco of 2006 ?

Why did we not have a normal live FISM awards show - give the organization the respect it deserves and thereafter follow with a separate "made for TV" awards event ... I have no doubt that the audience would have happily obliged and clapped and cheered a second time round.

Instead we have zero communication and FISM is relegated to being a second class citizen at our own event.

Many are blaming Walter Rolfo ... That is grossly unfair. He was given the television rights for free by FISM without any strings attached ... And did what any television producer does - exploit them for maximum value.

The issue rests solely within and we need to ensure that this never happens again. FISM deserves to come first.

RESULTS

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2uucu3lv12j0d ... y.pdf?dl=0


Micro Magic

originality award - DK
Invention - Daniel collado
3rd - seol park
2nd - Mario Lopez
2nd - David Pricking
1st - Not awarded


Parlour

Innovation - Antonio Romero
Invention - Semba
3rd - Henry harrius
3rd - Magic Bros
2nd - Wolfgang Moser
1st - Pierric


Manipulation

3rd - Lee Chang Min
2nd - Lukas
1st - hector mancha

Stage illusions

3rd - Jakob Mathias
3rd - Tim trust and diamond
2nd - Alexis arts
1st - not awarded

Mental magic
3rd - Simon Thomas
2nd - anca and lucca
1st - Thommy ten and Amelie

Comedy
3rd - hakan berg
2nd - Vladimir volkoff
1st - not awarded
Special award - yann Frisch

Card Magic
3rd - kelvin chow
2nd - freytag and noguera
1st - Horret Wu and Shin lim

General Magic
3rd - Hun Lee
2nd - Miguel Munoz
1st - Kim young min

Grand Prix Stage Hector Mancha
Grand Prix Close-up Pierric

TBC
Last edited by CraigMitchell on July 11th, 2015, 8:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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AJM
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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby AJM » July 11th, 2015, 9:56 am

South Korea I hope...
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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby IrishMagicNews » July 11th, 2015, 12:17 pm

Well it seem that was all a load of balls. Not surprised
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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » July 12th, 2015, 6:08 am

Max Maven is a god.

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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby peterdin » July 12th, 2015, 11:12 am

Award Ceremony : Good TV show.
But where is FISM? (but perhaps, I have no right to ask this question).
Last edited by peterdin on July 20th, 2015, 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby CraigMitchell » July 13th, 2015, 3:58 pm

GRAND PRIX SHOW

After the bitter-sweet feeling of the awards ceremony – the FISM insignia magically returned for the Grand Prix show featuring the 1st place winners in all the respective categories.

Hosting was expertly handled by Max Maven who brought the necessary dignity back to the show. Unfortunately the minute the TV cameras came on for the Grand Prix announcement it was back to Masters of Magic mode … goodbye FISM logo … good bye Max – sell out FISM and welcome Italian TV show presenter. Embarrassing.

The most comical moment of all – came at the end. Grand Prix winners were announced … confetti cannons launched and end of show. Or so we thought.

Turns out no one bothered to rehearse the full awards ceremony – or once the Masters of Magic crew got the footage they needed, they didn’t care any longer ( I’m leaning towards the latter )

They forgot an award! So whilst the crowds are filtering out … Domenico Dante walks on stage and attempts to bring on Danillin to present his sponsored prize of $12 500 to each of the winners ( seems if you want to buy facetime at FISM – it’s a simple case of sponsoring a cash prize ) No one had thought of a microphone for his translator – Danillin is rambling on – and the crowds are filtering out … amateur hour once again – a stark reminder that if it didn’t interest the TV special – it wasn’t of consequence at FISM Italy 2015.

The final punch – an announcement that if anyone wants to stay behind – they would be filming another TV special unrelated to the FISM awards ceremony (!). They really don’t know when to stop.

And so drew to a close FISM Italy 2015.

As with all FISMs – there are always ‘disagreements’

In terms of the results – I firmly believe that the best acts won. Both Pierric and Hector Mancha were worthy Grand Prix winners. Congratulations to them both. Many, however, had strong feelings otherwise … such is the international mix of cultures and perspectives that attend a FISM.

In the cards category - Woody Aragon did a superb act– but was clearly overtime and as such disqualified. The protests are already doing the rounds online that magic is an art and should not be constrained by mere “time limits” …. along with rumours of the jury wanting to ignore the time limit and still award him first place. Thankfully the contest rules were applied without fear or favour and the disqualification was upheld. I truly feel sorry for Woody – but to make an exception for one would be unfair to all.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As I reflect back on the last week – I am constantly reminded of how fortunate we are to be a part of this family of magic. FISM is like no other event in the world. And I would never miss it.

It is, however, important that we continually push ourselves to do better. And analyse what worked and where we fell short.

Identifying areas of weakness is not showing lack of support, it shows we care. The World Championships of Magic deserves nothing less. The challenge is not just to have a good FISM but to make it great …

And with that – some closing thoughts before we commit FISM Italy 2015 to the history books

The Good

*Destination: Rimini was a beautiful town. Picturesque, laid back – it was a slice of the good life in Italy.

*Design & promotion: the quality of the marketing was of the highest order. FISM has not had this quality marketing and design before – ever.

*Convention program: a beautiful booklet that was the nicest I have seen.

*White gala dinner: feeding 2500+ magicians is a recipe for disaster. The Italians did it with aplomb …

*Incredible talent: FISM Italy had an amazing line-up of artists – quite the easily the most number of performers that I can recall. Nearly anyone who was someone in magic was there.

*Lecture variety: no matter your tastes – there was a lecture for you.

*Contest standards: Overall – the contest was one of the strongest in a long time thanks to the preliminary continental events.

*AV technology: from Ultra HD screens to one of the most sophisticated lighting rigs ever – FISM Italy took available technology to a whole new level

*Free wifi: a must-have at any event.

*Close-up auditorium: despite being poorly setup for the contest– the auditorium itself was ideal complete with USB charging points !

*Free stuff: Hanky Panky magic set & Card Shark deck are always a treat in the delegates bag.

*Dealers positioning: some hated it, others enjoyed it. Having the dealers throughout the venue personally allowed me to see more of them than I normally would have

*iPhone App: the FISM Italy app was a great and useful resource.

*Outdoor late night area: thanks to glorious summer weather – the outdoor session area proved to be a hit.

*Gay Ljungberg: the master of backstage contest management. A true miracle worker.

*Max Maven: a “King amongst men” … there are very few who can so easily read a crowd and turn an event around.

*David Williamson video: small touches like this are truly appreciated. They tap into the ‘zeitgeist’ of an event and give expression to what an audience is feeling

The bad

*Unrealistic expectations: calling yourself the “best FISM ever” is setting yourself up for disappointment.

*Travel: the FISM experience needs to start at the airport on arrival ... I never forget the welcoming at Dresden airport in 1997. Organisers must put themselves in the shoes of an attendee arriving in a foreign country for the very first time.

*Hotels: The official hotel agency was charging more than booking through Expedia or dealing directly with the hotel. When you are booking 1000+ rooms – you should be wielding significant purchasing power. Don’t rip the delegates off before they even arrive

*Host city support: there was no visible evidence of any support from the city of Rimini itself. The FISM event pumped millions into the local economy – and no discernable contribution from the city itself.

*Location and transport: the convention centre was in an isolated part of town with no nearby amenities – and the promise of hotels within easy walking distance was a downright fabrication. Getting to and from your hotel was inconvenient & expensive … so easily remedied by the provision of a complimentary shuttle service that did the hotel loop throughout the day.

*Convention centre: the PalaCongressi was woefully ill-equipped to deal with the number of people in terms of food & drinks. Staff were slow and inefficient, queues everywhere and trying to get something on the run next to impossible. The convention centre needs multiple restaurants, quick & easy food options and better still – bring the refreshments to the attendees … why not be offering snacks for purchase right in the theatre itself between acts ?

*Punctuality: punctuality is non-negotiable for an event of this scale. If you are starting events 90 minutes late – then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong in your planning.

*Registration: registration was an unmitigated disaster. Simply unforgiveable. This is the one element of a convention which can be prepared and ready to go months in advance. Registrations were missing, bookings could not be found and bag distribution resembled rugby scrums. You need a strong administrator to be managing this aspect from day one – and better still professional convention organisers.

*Reserved seating: it really is not that difficult to offer reserved seating for theatre shows. Ticketing companies manage to ticket entire stadiums without hassle – why can we not do 3000 seats ? Writing ticket numbers by hand may be an indication that you’re going about things the wrong way. Due to the complete breakdown in administration, reserved seating was quickly forgotten.

*Lack of tiered seating: 2500+ seats on a flat surface is not ideal. The back section of a venue needs to be tiered.

*Televison: this wasn’t a FISM event … this was a Masters of Magic made for TV show. The blame for this falls squarely on the FISM executive for simply handing over the rights with no control and for zero remuneration.

*Contestants: they needed to be afforded VIP status. They are the heroes of the event.Treating them with disdain results in animosity.

*Lack of communication: this was a hallmark of FISM Italy 2015. There was no newsletter. No one welcoming anyone. No one telling the audience what was happening. Give the event a face – and simply talk to people. If an event runs late – communicate. The contest jury also need a clear communication system with backstage … and please can we give our MCs ear pieces. This business of “are you ready yet” is a bit much after every act.

*Attitude: ‘ushers’ and ‘security staff’ more closely resembled Mafioso and towards the end of the event, full on bouncers were brought in. This resulted in a very clear antagonistic “us vs them” approach. The Help Desk was generally anything but … and as problems mounted, they literally went into full defensive shut down mode. A smile goes a long way.

*Ushering & theatre logistics: Mafioso security had the delightful desire to lock down all theatre doors and heard 3000 people through a single entrance for shows.

*Security bracelet: this was a ridiculous and unnecessary requirement. How many people do you possibly believe flew all the way to Rimini and attempted to sneak into FISM without paying ? I guarantee no more than a handful … far outweighed by the cost, aggravation and expense incurred to everyone else.

*Name badges: forget about legible names - just having a name on a badge would be nice 

*Timing lights: let’s find the biggest and largest timing light possible – so we don’t have contestants complaining after the fact that they couldn’t see the light.

*The budget airline approach: FISM Italy went the route of the airlines. New VIP category ( with non existent benefits ) and the removal of things that we previously took for granted. The delegates bag given to standard attendees was a real budget affair.

*Close-up: close-up was the poor cousin of stage at FISM Italy. Complete lack of production value and not even a backdrop for contestants.

*Monitors in the hallways: unlike previous FISMs there were no large screen monitors relaying events throughout the venue.

*Overscheduled: this was by far the most jam-packed FISM in recent history – to its detriment. And with the lack of punctuality, and lengthy events – the knock-on effects were severe. Wouldn’t it be great if we could start the contests at a more reasonable hour such as 10 am ?

*Lack of a personal touch: maestro Frank Wilson would have helped immensely – and given the event that much needed personal human connection.

*Awards show: lets make the awards show a strictly formal affair. Having contestants up on stage in jeans and t-shirt to receive their trophies is embarrassing. Ideally, let’s hand out all the awards in a single session and not leave any out ;-)

*Paul Daniels: his insulting the audience took FISM to a new low and lacked all professionalism. He lost the respect of thousands of his peers that night.



In closing, Walter Rolfo’s heart was squarely in the right place. He had a clear love of magic but unfortunately fell short of what he so obviously desired in attempting to make this the “best FISM ever.”

Despite the ‘issues’ – there are always the special things which happen irrespective – camaraderie, inspiration and friends from around the globe. I truly enjoyed my FISM Italy experience and will remember it for many years to come. For everyone who helped make that a reality, I thank you.

See you in Busan in 2018!

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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 13th, 2015, 5:41 pm

As always, Craig, thank you for your opinions and insights. We at The Genii Forum are happy that you choose our site for your terrific reporting.

Dustin

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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby IrishMagicNews » July 13th, 2015, 6:19 pm

Craig,

That was wonderful, thank you.

Couple of things that particularly resonated with me were

- Communication. Tell us if there is a problem and acknowledge the inconvenience it causes. Apologise and update on how you are trying to sort it.

- What's in it for the delegate - in my small experience in running a smallish (200 people) magic event, everything we did was punctuated with the question "Does this make the delegates experience better?"
Brendan

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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby John McDonald » July 13th, 2015, 6:48 pm

Thanks Craig. Have enjoyed your updates.
Best John

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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 14th, 2015, 12:54 am

I would have to agree with many of Craig's comments.

But I HATE Frank Wilson and never want to see or hear that dumb song again. EVER.

While people on Sunday had a terrible registration experience, I didn't show up at the convention center until Monday morning and literally walked right in. No lines at all.

I know Walter Rolfo and many members of his staff. I had the feeling they were quickly overwhelmed by thousands of small details that prevented them from dealing with larger issues more efficiently.

I don't know any of the details of the TV shows and how they seemed to overtake parts of the convention. There's no question it was intrusive, and I could somewhat understand it if the organizers were in danger of losing a huge amount of money and the TV contract was the only way to break even. But I don't even know if that's the case.

All in all, I still had a very good time. It was a wonderfully convivial convention. Craig complained about the food, but I ate lunch at noon and dinner between 5:30 and 7 pm every night without horrible waits. Sure: if you waited until the moment that everyone is running into the Bistro or Buffet to grab food, it's going to be crowded. Still, the venue should have had at least two more small restaurants. And waiting on one line to pay, and then a second line to pick up your food, is a stupid way to run a restaurant. At least the food was good and not terribly expensive.

I would much rather be going to Finland in three years, with a shorter convention and fewer contestants. But, Korea it will be.
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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby Marco Pusterla » July 14th, 2015, 3:24 am

Thank you, Craig, for your reports, which I thoroughly enjoyed also during the convention. As hard as I tried, I didn't spot you anywhere... I was looking for a leopard :D

However, there is one comment I would like to make:
CraigMitchell wrote:In the cards category - Woody Aragon did a superb act– but was clearly overtime and as such disqualified. The protests are already doing the rounds online that magic is an art and should not be constrained by mere “time limits” …. along with rumours of the jury wanting to ignore the time limit and still award him first place. Thankfully the contest rules were applied without fear or favour and the disqualification was upheld. I truly feel sorry for Woody – but to make an exception for one would be unfair to all.


Mr. Aragon was the last act of the close-up set and he followed the superb Shin Lim who, deservedly, won first prize in card magic. I don't think Mr. Aragon's act could be called "superb", as it was marred by technical errors (which he recovered, but that slowed him down) and it could be seen as material for an instructional DVD. Mr. Aragon performed a version of "Call to the Colors" but his choice to have a camera high up, above the table top, was a complete disaster: all his second deals were clearly visible on the screens. Mr. Aragon himself realized this, as he started to "necktie" the deck when dealing seconds, thus giving away what he was doing.

All these factors (that any mildly experienced magician who sat through his act has seen) would have prevented Mr. Aragon from getting a prize.

This doesn't want to be a criticism of Mr. Aragon: he's a brilliant performer and a very clever magician... sadly, his performance in the FISM close-up competition was not one of his finest: everybody may have a bad day, and this was one of his.
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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby Richard Hatch » July 14th, 2015, 1:17 pm

Is this the first FISM in recent memory where there were no winners from the USA in any category?
Here's a link to Wittus Witt's listing of the winners in each category, with nationalities:
http://www.magischewelt-plus.de/Plus/FI ... 202015.pdf

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Re: Fism day 6 and off to Korea

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 14th, 2015, 1:31 pm

There were no strong contestants except Shin Lim. Hannibal was not there for some reason.
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