FISM 2018 - Day One

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
User avatar
CraigMitchell
Posts: 1519
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Magic
Contact:

FISM 2018 - Day One

Postby CraigMitchell » July 9th, 2018, 10:08 am

FISM Day One

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since the magicians of the world gathered in Rimini, Italy for the Masters of Magic – sorry – FISM convention ;-)

2018 brings us to Busan - a bustling metropolis in South Korea. The road from the airport is lined with banners & posters proclaiming Busan to be the City of Magic – and for the next 6 days home it shall be.

Day One, though, is off to a chequered start.

Rather than opening registration on the Sunday ( as is the norm for major conventions ) registration opened exclusively at 8 am on Monday ... and with the resultant long lines of 2000+ people attempting to register all at once. Not the smoothest of starts for many attendees who missed Richard Turner’s opening lecture due to the queues. The delegates “pack” is severely lacking – 1 x beautiful souvenir program / 1 x name badge and the return of the dreaded wrist band ( complete with the added complexity of a different color band per day ) Is there seriously that much of a blackmarket for convention registrations that we need a multi-colour wristband plus badge ? Sadly there is no delegates bag, souvenir cards, or anything else that we have come to expect from a FISM event ( unconfirmed reports say the bags aren’t ready yet... we wait and see if they appear later in the week )

Day One’s schedule is fairly empty ... no contests but single lectures by Richard Turner, Boris Wild and Flip. Along with a workshop by Mathieu Bich.

With Richard Turner effectively being the ‘opening’ event – and his lecture not repeated at all ... we have over a thousand people trying to squeeze into a room that seats 400 ... so the place is filled with people on the floor, standing in the back etc. Not exactly what you expect when spending $600+ for registration for what is supposed to be the ‘ultimate’ of magic events. The dealers room is somewhat disappointing and pales in comparison to past FISMs. Gone are the professional convention dealer booths – and we are back to flea market style tables in a relatively ‘compact’ hall. Many of the dealers had failed to setup by mid-morning leading to a depressing start to the day with empty tables and strewn chairs.

Up until now – this has very much been a case of “FISM Lite” ...

Lecture tech has been spot on thus far with crystal clear LCD screens ( bizarrely advertising Masters of Magic once again ) Richard Turner presented his Magic castle show whilst Boris Wild premiered his latest Sensations lecture to audible gasps of amazement. Again, very unusual that these are being presented as once-offs.

The Opening Ceremony was scheduled for 5 pm – and kicked off after a 15 minute delay. Our hosts included a local radio presenter who proudly welcomed us to the opening of the World Championships of Music ;-) FISM president, Domenico Dante kept his welcome short & sweet ( foregoing the marathon session of all 5 languages ) whilst the Mayor of Busan and a few other dignitaries did the obligatory speeches. After officially being welcomed – the lights came up ... momentum was killed ... and the stage was still to be set for the evening’s headline entertainment – “Lee Eun Gyeol’s Illusion” stage show.

It was worth the wait.

EG ( as he calls himself ) is a phenomenal performer with boundless energy ... his opening set merges full stage projection, rock concert music of epic proportions, appearing helicopter, sawing in eighths, spiker complete with audience run around and suspended animation. And that’s just the opening ... it’s exhausting to watch. But EG pulls it off with style.

He is incredibly creative with some fascinating ideas ... shrinking bird linked to a time machine as the bird morphs from full size to juvenile to egg ... or a roller skating Ghandi (!) doing the yo-yo produced from a Gemini cage. This is a man who is not afraid to go after the ‘different’.

Some of it hits – some of it doesn’t ... but he takes his audience on a whirlwind journey from the recurring motif of a bird in flight, the exploration of imagination to the boyhood dreams of taking to space ending with African shadowgraphy to the strains of the Lion King’s Circle of Life.

Throughout the show – EG exudes charisma and charm. But most of all he has an incredible understanding of the sheer power of music and how it elevates a performance. Every beat is accentuated, every note thought out – volume deafening when reaching crescendo, the energy pulsates. It’s beautiful to watch.

And by the end of the show ( some 2 hours later ) the auditorium erupts in a well-deserved standing ovation. The first for FISM 2018!

A short break allows those to grab a bite to eat before the evening choices of Shoot Ogawa & Simon Coronel, Tina Lenert & Mike Caveney or Juan Tamariz’ one man show. Tine & Mike covered their individual approaches to magic complete with standing ovation for Tina's mop act whilst Mike did his best not to spill his coffee ;-) I've heard great things about Shoot & Simon's one man show and am looking forward to seeing the repeat on Wed.

The stage contest kicks off tomorrow – Tuesday – at 8:30 am. I can’t wait. Let the competitions begin ...

--> Photo album available on FB here https://www.facebook.com/11620608509660 ... 3755785489

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24358
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: FISM 2018 - Day One

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 9th, 2018, 12:06 pm

Craig, someone from Italy was posting live on Facebook and said the line for registration on Monday morning was over three hours.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Ted M
Posts: 951
Joined: January 24th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dani DaOrtiz
Location: Madison, WI

Re: FISM 2018 - Day One

Postby Ted M » July 9th, 2018, 2:36 pm

Thanks for your honest writeups, Craig.

Every time FISM rolls around, I look forward to them.

observer
Posts: 342
Joined: August 31st, 2014, 5:32 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Kellar - Charlie Miller - Paul Rosini - Jay Marshall
Location: Chicago

Re: FISM 2018 - Day One

Postby observer » July 9th, 2018, 3:56 pm

I had totally forgotten that FISM was starting so soon so finding this post this morning came as a very pleasant surprise.

I love FISM reports, they are always such a combination of "The Wizard of Oz" and Shackleton's Endurance expedition.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 3795
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: FISM 2018 - Day One

Postby erdnasephile » July 9th, 2018, 4:20 pm

Ted M wrote:Thanks for your honest writeups, Craig.

Every time FISM rolls around, I look forward to them.


Ditto--appreciate the straight scoop, Craig.

PS: If you would please consider a request: would you please comment on what (if anything) emerges as a hit from the dealer's room as the convention progresses?

PPS: Given that it's run by understaffed volunteers who are working their tails off, it's hard to be too critical on the FISM organizers. However, it seems like registration is a perennial problem (and understandably so, given the numbers, a multitude of languages, etc.). To those of you who have been to FISM, has any particular host country done this better than the others? If so, what did they do to make registration run more smoothly?

User avatar
CraigMitchell
Posts: 1519
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Magic
Contact:

Re: FISM 2018 - Day One

Postby CraigMitchell » July 9th, 2018, 5:57 pm

“ Given that it's run by understaffed volunteers who are working their tails off, it's hard to be too critical on the FISM organizers. “

We are always appreciative of the volunteers - but lets not forget that FISM is big business charging top dollar ... and as with any business, it needs to deliver the goods otherwise your customers go elsewhere.

Up until six months ago - there wasnt a FISM convention until Casa quite literally stepped in to save the day. And everyone is very thankful for his efforts.

FISM though needs to professionalise and take ownership of its event. And this should be the function of the FISM Directors. At its heart ( good and bad ) FISM remains an amateur society.

In answer to your question: Registration is solved by having a professional convention organizing company assisting, lots and lots of staff, clear directions and signage, ensuring that all the necessary prep work is done in advance ( Casa quite literally had to start from scratch when taking over ... and this was probably the chief reason for delays as there were a large number of queries ) and most importantly open registration a day early to help to ease the bottleneck.

From my personal perspective - registration was not an issue. But I did see exceptionally long lines and can imagine the frustration. Compared to the unadulterated scrum that was Rimini - this was significantly better ;-)

Jeffrey Cowan
Posts: 213
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Contact:

Re: FISM 2018 - Day One

Postby Jeffrey Cowan » July 10th, 2018, 12:58 am

Craig, many thanks for your detailed, candid reviews. I always appreciate them when I'm unable to attend FISM (as is again the case this year).
-- Jeffrey Cowan
www.cowan-law.com

User avatar
CraigMitchell
Posts: 1519
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Magic
Contact:

Re: FISM 2018 - Day One

Postby CraigMitchell » July 13th, 2018, 10:39 pm



Return to “Buzz”