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 Post subject: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Hey guys and small demographic of girls,

Recently, I read a thread on using gaffs and at which point the dealer should tell you which gaff the effect uses in order to save you from buying another of the same thing. Here is the link: Gaffed effects.

This got me thinking, If this is such a problem, then how is it fixed? At first, some people were stating that it was simply the "nature of the beast" and that sometimes you had to take chances with that sort of thing. But, I wanted to get to the root of the problem. So, first, why don't dealers simply tell you which gaff is used in the first place? I find this to be because there happen to be many laymen and other inexperienced, ergo untrustworthy, people who recreationally visit our websites. In order to protect the art, it is only commonplace to shield the untrustworthy from the secret via a price tag. But this goes deeper than protection, my personal question is Why do so many "inventors" publish effects with incredibly minuscule improvements, sell a well known gaff, and tout this effect as "new"? It doesn't seem to make any sense.

My stance is one of rationalism. If you have ever bought an effect only to discover that you own the method in The Tarbell 6, you are not alone. I believe that magic shouldn't feel like a way to "Get one over" on other magicians or to outrageously charge laymen for a Svengali Deck. I understand this is how the industry makes money, but at the same time I think there needs to be a call for change. In the world I live in and perform in, my aim is not to fool magicians, it is to change the lives of spectators. To have an effect so devastating that it truly transcends Art. My aim is to inspire irrational beliefs in my spectators that maybe the world is not simple; maybe the world is something that only a few very special people can harness and divine.

This call for change is one that involves the quality of magic and the quality of how each of us perform. Every magician knows that it is not the "trick" that makes the effect magical, it is the performance and the connection the magi builds with the spectator that makes something truly magical. I believe there should be more books and DVDs on how to connect and perform for your spectators. Not only that, but I think that there should be stricter quality control on what is published when it comes to reusing gimmicks and old gaffs. I believe we should be more of a family than a competitive community.

I would really like to hear what everyone else has to say.


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Interesting points. But could you provide specific examples? Yes, people sell gaffs and gimmicks with tricks that have been around a long time. But usually with new ideas, routines, handlings and thinking on the item. I'm not saying there aren't uninspired effects that are released. There are. But I have also seen many creators release some really good ideas using old gimmicks. Liam Montier recently released a lot of work using the Trilby Deck, an all but completely forgotten gaffed deck that would have been lost to the ages had Liam not resurrected it. It's a very cool deck. But not new. Obviously, people also put out effects based on more popular and well known gimmicks but these can also be very good effects. David Acer has an awesome trick that uses a very well know gimmicked deck. But it's his routine that makes it so great.

So I guess my question is, what brought this issue on for you?


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:53 pm 
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Last edited by akirafist on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:05 pm 
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cfrancis wrote:
Interesting points. But could you provide specific examples? Yes, people sell gaffs and gimmicks with tricks that have been around a long time. But usually with new ideas, routines, handlings and thinking on the item. I'm not saying there aren't uninspired effects that are released. There are. But I have also seen many creators release some really good ideas using old gimmicks. Liam Montier recently released a lot of work using the Trilby Deck, an all but completely forgotten gaffed deck that would have been lost to the ages had Liam not resurrected it. It's a very cool deck. But not new. Obviously, people also put out effects based on more popular and well known gimmicks but these can also be very good effects. David Acer has an awesome trick that uses a very well know gimmicked deck. But it's his routine that makes it so great.

So I guess my question is, what brought this issue on for you?


I can do that. If you've ever bought the old "5 to 500" dollar bill effect, and the title wasn't "Easy Money", You've bought one of the several (I'm talking six or seven) re creations of the original effect first published by Patrick Paige. These "re inspired effects" simply are a different handling of the exact same gimmick first published. But lets be real here and talk names of effects: Prophet, Heiny 500, Hundy 500, Fast Cash, Extreme Burn and Extreme burn 2.0 use the same gimmick with either/ or a different handling/ slightly modified gimmick. To me, that just seems a little ridiculous to "re invent the wheel" over and over again. Another example would be any expanded shell coin. Right now, T11 is selling "Digital Dissolve", a copper/ silver transposition that has been around for quite some time and if I'm not mistaken, is published in Bobo's "Modern Coin Magic". The effect was originally invented by Steve Dusheck quite a few years ago. It's not that I don't appreciate the re-exposure of these effects and gimmicks, but I think that there needs to be a little more responsibility on the side of the common magician to make his own version of the effect he has purchased. I think it should be the purchaser's responsibility to adapt an effect to make it truly his own.

The experience that brought this issue to my doorstep was simply buying an effect only to find out that I already owned the gimmick or I had the effect in another form somewhere among my collection of books.

Does that answer your questions?


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:17 pm 
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This, I think, is the pivotal and fundamental problem in magic today. Much like any other art form (music, film, television), capitalism is at the core and thus releases are prioritized by profit and marketability, resulting in sub-par material - and an excess of it at that.

I don't think there is anything you can really do about this. It has been the case, from my experience anyway, since magic has hit the internet. I remember - in my early days - buying a $10 download ("mercury") from E and receiving essentially one sleight: the Ascenio (sp?) spread. It wasn't until later that I realized how much of a ripoff this was. The way the online magic industry is currently set-up, though, really caters to this kind of exploitation. People (usually younger kids) want lots of easy tricks, and it's easy enough for more experienced magicians to sift through their old magic books to find a wealth of material they can repackage. Add a useless DVD and you can charge upwards of $20 for one trick! Lather, rinse, repeat.

I think the real loss here is the collaborative possibilities the internet offers. While I recognize that secrets are valuable, as is the experience and patter of a pro, it is currently so that any discussion or deliberation with other magi requires some sort of monetary "buy-in". Money and magic now go hand-in-hand.

I'd love a serious forum where experienced magi could openly discuss gimmick development, audience management, etc. without being ostracized for it.

I know I kind of went off topic near the end so here are some relevant examples of what the OP is complaining about: the endless array of repackaged Sankey material, the dozen or so penguin magic IDs that can be found in Wilson's Complete Course, the individual sleight IDs on theory11, how to use a [invisible, rising card, svengali, stripper] deck DVDs, need I go on?


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:27 am 
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There has to be some way to communicate through the internet without the threat of exposure. Right now, I'm harboring some very industry changing material. The appalling part? I don't want to sell it. I want to share it with the true performers of the time. The underground. Perhaps we should all acquire a private chat room that is password protected so that only the trusted members of the community may visit and talk secrets and such private methods. I have a lot of web design experience and could most likely whip up a forum that is password protected/ protected from prying eyes. Would that be something that anyone is interested in. Some sort of private club?


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:49 pm 
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Sign me up. I'm much more interested in collaborating and producing a fine effect than penning my name onto something or making a few hundred bucks from some whiny preteens.

In the meantime, you should check out the subreddits about magic, r/magic and especially r/magicsecrets. Something along these lines is already stirring there, maybe we can all join together. (That's reddit.com/r/magicsecrets, you need to message the admin to prove you're a magi)


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:50 pm 
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elementblader10 wrote:
Sign me up. I'm much more interested in collaborating and producing a fine effect than penning my name onto something or making a few hundred bucks from some whiny preteens.

In the meantime, you should check out the subreddits about magic, r/magic and especially r/magicsecrets. Something along these lines is already stirring there, maybe we can all join together. (That's reddit.com/r/magicsecrets, you need to message the admin to prove you're a magi)


I took a look at reddit and decided it might be more secure to create our own domain name and domain forum that would have all the same password protection and administration. i don't want to do this all myself but I think I should do the prime designing on the site since I know HTML, CSS, Javascript, Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and PHP.

So here's what we'll do: If you're interested in being part of the development of the forum, being an administrator, have an exceptional amount of magical experience, or have a clear understanding on how you think the forum should work, Email me at Thomas.James.Grote@Gmail.com and I can put you on a list of people who are part of development. Sound good?


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Sure I'll send you an email. I'll message a few trustworthy guys over there anyway to get the ball moving.


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Sorry but Hundy, Extreme Burn and Heiny all added something to the Easy Money plot. As far as I'm concerned, they all had merit. When you take an old idea or plot and advance it in some significant way, then I believe it does warrant a release.

Digital Dissolve was independently created. But I believe Theory 11 cleared that up with Duschek.

And by the way, there are places on the internet where creators and performers share their ideas. And they don't cost a dime. Access to these places, though, is dependent upon knowing someone who is already a member and establishing yourself as a serious student of magic.


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Yeah I agree (regarding the bill change plots and DD, which was sweet), but you cannot argue that they all came out around the same time to take advantage of the market hype and general frenzy about bill changes as it was happening. As a working and creating pro yourself, Cameron, I'm interested in how you feel about the rest of what we've mentioned, though - the undeniably exploitative aspects of the commercial magic industry. The expensive one trick/sleight IDs, the re-releasing and repacking of tricks, the endless waves of "premium" decks, the excess of flashy editing, crappy trailers, and "for youtube" tricks that look like garbage from any other angle. One can argue that these are necessary evils, and minor ones at that, but I think it has grown from a marginal downside to the forefront of the industry.


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:25 pm 
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Well, there always have been and always will be guys who release rip offs of other tricks. Just the way the business is. Not much you can do about it except, well, don't buy the junk. :)

Re: One trick DVDs.

I'm not a huge fan of them. But, unfortunately, they are what the majority of the magic buying public wants. It astonishes me because I love multi trick DVDs. I like to get value for my money. But a lot of guys don't want that. They just want one trick. Why? Not sure. Maybe they feel overwhelmed with a collection of material and they just want to cut to the chase.

Case in point: I Hate David Copperfield by Geoff Williams. Great trick on a dvd of like 12 other tricks. Only $35. But a lot of people requested a single trick DVD of it. So one was produced. Cost like $15 or $20. And Kozmo has probably sold more of the single trick DVD than the full length DVD! That's insane to me! Especially since you get some many more tricks for only like $15 more!

But I think that might be the problem as well. Although they are expensive, sometimes one trick dvds are more appealing because they are "only" $20. As opposed to $30 or $35 for a multi trick DVD. Psychologically, this can be very appealing. If someone is looking at the Geoff Williams' DVDs and sees a collection for $35 or just the one really cool trick for $20, then he might be more inclined to buy the one trick DVD simply because he feels like it's more of a bargain. Even though it really might not be. Or it might be depending on how you value your tricks. $20 for a good trick really isn't a fortune. People have paid a lot more for a lot less.

I don't put out single trick DVDs. Well, I put out DVDs that look like single trick DVDs but then I pack it with material. It's so backwards. "You want less for your money, well I'm going to give you more, so there!" I do this because I don't want to short change anyone. But you can't market it that way.

It's the weirdest trend ever. But what are you going to do? If that's what people are buying then that's what producers will put out.


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:43 pm 
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Yeah that is quite bizarre. I didn't know that about Geoff Williams' trick, and I bet that happens all the time. I guess ultimately the responsibility lies with the consumer and where they put their money. But that is not to say there is no responsibility with the producer to believe in what they are selling instead of catering to the lowest common denominator - the same can be said of the American film and music industry. There is no artistic or even ethical spirit behind magic anymore. Like you said Mr. Francis, you are well aware of the "whatever makes money" ideologies (and of their successes!) but yet choose to release products you can be proud of: not just magic-wise, but morally. I just wish other, larger-scaled magic distributors would maintain similar sentiments and follow suit.


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:00 pm 
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There comes a point in which the "industry" side of the magical community has to become accountable of what it sells to the public. I think it's a little more than ridiculous that there are dozens of custom decks that don't have a legitimate footing on progress in regards to quality, durability, price competition, or even cause. to date, there has only been one custom deck of cards that has legitimately supported a cause (clean water in Africa, Theory11). At the same time, that deck was a whopping twice the price of these "professional" decks. In short, the modern design of how a playing card is constructed has n0t changed in over 50 years. Using an "Aristocrat Finish" simply does not do it for me; the build is the same: printed paper, stock, printed back and the dimpled finish. Period.

I think it's also a little unfair that these kids just getting into magic have absolutely no clue what this art is really about. There is a large demographic of kids and teenagers that think magic is some chick magnet making-television show dreaming-youtube video making-cool card handling-mystery man looking bulls**t that it never will be. No good magician does what he does to get the girl or to become some "man of mystery" to all who behold. The worst part of all of it is that there's no real base for new magicians to learn what this art is about, they go on E or T11 or even here and are led to believe that $20 will make you the most amazing man in the world. There is no filter that says the real secret of magic is showmanship and making a personal connection with your audience that changes them.

That's my rant, I just had to get that out.


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 Post subject: Re: Quality Control in Published Material
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:14 pm 
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Location: Ruby city next to the Emerald city. Bob is wearing the Emerald Sneakers.
DidymusJames wrote:
There comes a point in which the "industry" side of the magical community has to become accountable of what it sells to the public. I think it's a little more than ridiculous that there are dozens of custom decks that don't have a legitimate footing on progress in regards to quality, durability, price competition, or even cause. to date, there has only been one custom deck of cards that has legitimately supported a cause (clean water in Africa, Theory11). At the same time, that deck was a whopping twice the price of these "professional" decks. In short, the modern design of how a playing card is constructed has n0t changed in over 50 years. Using an "Aristocrat Finish" simply does not do it for me; the build is the same: printed paper, stock, printed back and the dimpled finish. Period.

I think it's also a little unfair that these kids just getting into magic have absolutely no clue what this art is really about. There is a large demographic of kids and teenagers that think magic is some chick magnet making-television show dreaming-youtube video making-cool card handling-mystery man looking bulls**t that it never will be. No good magician does what he does to get the girl or to become some "man of mystery" to all who behold. The worst part of all of it is that there's no real base for new magicians to learn what this art is about, they go on E or T11 or even here and are led to believe that $20 will make you the most amazing man in the world. There is no filter that says the real secret of magic is showmanship and making a personal connection with your audience that changes them.

That's my rant, I just had to get that out.

Pretty much sums up everything just wanted to QFE.


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