James Munton wrote:Now you are shifting the goalposts. We were talking about one-trick DVDs.
And again, there is the cynical, negative attitude.
I have no idea about Brad Christian's bank balance. If he is doing well for himself, that's wonderful.
I hear Rocco did alright for himself selling D-Lites.
Is it the one trick DVD you object to, or simply people making money for providing goods or services?
I'm happy to discuss either with you, but can we stick with one topic?
In this case, the medium is not the message, it's the content that counts, an the value for that content. Selling "one trick" for $20 or $35, whether it's via a download or a DVD, when a book contains hundreds of effects, plus ample crediting, is bordering on criminal to new magicians. Pardon my cynical negative attitude -- it's a byproduct of seeing people get ripped off far more than I was in my youth buying lame single-off tricks when dealers could have steered me toward books and pamphlets just as easily.
As for Brad Christian, I can let Jamy Swiss's essay in Antinomy say it far better than I could:
The general impression one gets of Mr. Christian on his videos is that of a bland, middle-aged, white-bread guy, with little performance ability, and sleight-of-hand skills at about the level of an amateur hobbyist with, by contemporary standards, perhaps one or two years of experience. As a street magician he is purely a creation of the camera, but even more important, his standing lies solely within a community that lacks any basis for comparison ... Then there are the issues of Mr. Christians failure to credit originators for the material he exploits; his failure to obtain appropriate permission to use that material; and his habit of renaming well-known tricks in order to further obscure their origins.
I don't consider it "wonderful" when someone appropriates material, renames it, performs it poorly for video, and then sells it on the Internet. But perhaps we have different standards.
I have no problem with Rocco's D-Lite. It was a trick that provided value for the money. He created it, he created effects to go with it, and he deserves the profits he gets. What Rocco did has no bearing on this discussion.
I think one-trick DVDs are ripoffs. I think one-trick video downloads are even worse, since the offenders aren't even fronting the costs of DVD production and duplication. If someone sold one crappy trick in a booklet for $35, he'd be laughed out of the business after long. If it's a great trick, with great instructions, method, crediting, hell -- I'll even throw in pictures, even if they're not necessary -- I'd go for it, for far more than thirty five bucks. But that better be a great trick, and come with some pretty good recommendations by some serious thinkers or working pros. I have friends who have paid more for one trick or method -- how much would you pay to have had personal instructions on Steve Spill's Bill in Lemon or Eddie Fields's code act?
But one trick? On a DVD or download from someone you never heard of before?
Yeah, call me cynical, negative even.