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MickeyPainless
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Quote:
On 2009-08-06 23:37, longhaired1 wrote:

I have absolutely no dog in this fight and have never seen either of these guys perform this or any other routine. I watched the two videos simultaneously with the sound off, and for the life of me I can't see any connection between the two other than cards, a stool and apparently the choice of music.

Two entirely different routines otherwise.

That's the opinion of someone who could not be more neutral on the subject.


DITTO!
silverking
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These two performances are so different as to render this entire discussion obsolete.

It would appear that the majority of folks at the Genii Forum would agree (well, at least those with more than "1" post!):
http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubbt......st200179
Stucky
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Quote:
On 2009-08-06 19:09, Donald Dunphy wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-08-06 17:53, magicnewswire wrote:
Maybe someone could post links to both videos for us to compare side by side instead of speculating on what "I remember" (or don''t) about a performance.


--> Here's one page with both videos.

- Donald


You know thru all of this silliness, I couldn't help but notice NEITHER OF THESE ACTS OVERLAP!! Apart from the song, and the jack of diamonds and queen of spades bit of course..

Shawn's is a close up routine with a camera so you can see what he is doing. Russ' is a manip bit where you can barely make out what cards he is using past the second row. (also is it just me or does Russ applaud for his own act at one point? I'm not sayin' I'm just sayin'....)

I don't know either guy personally, but really? This is what the magic community it going to focus on right now? They are two different bits structure and theme wise. Many magicians use the same songs as others. How many times have you heard Sing Sing Sing used by performers? Heck I have seen two rope routines done to the same Enya song. Inspiration I can understand. Theft... in this case I don't see it.

Of course, I am just a faceless bit of letters on your computer screen. I'm not going to change anyone's mind. That's up to you.
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magicnewswire
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Ok... I have watched the videos. Now I am convinced. They are totally different acts.
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russ stevens
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Put yourself in my shoes.

I am accused of stealing Shawn Farquhar’s routine.

I prove to Shawn that I didn’t.

He concedes.

We accept at that time that we both created similar routines by coincidence based on what he told me (which on reflection is ironic now).

Shawn told me he’d not seen my routine when he developed his. It now transpires that he had seen it. I quote:

“In 1994 I was in England with Francis Martineau and Russ gave us a copy of his promo tape It was in pal.The conversion to NTSC at that time was more than I wanted to pay. So at a meeting a few months later ( could have been early 1995) I asked Shawn if he wanted to pay half; and we both ended up with a viewable copy.It is possible he had forgotten.I mean 14 years has passed”.
Reg Donnelly (Reg Donenelly was traveling with magic illustrator Frank Martinaeu and I met them both in Blackpool in 1994).

Shawn Farquhar then enters the world’s most prestigious magic competition with a routine based on my routine (that he denied) and wins. It is simply unethical, that’s all.

Our routines (the ‘tricks’) aren’t the same, but owe their impact to the same staging and music. The music and staging accounts for 60% or 70% of the worth of the piece.

If I told you I was entering a silent dove/manipulation act into FISM and was going to use Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for backing would everyone not understand that that piece ‘belonged’ to Lance Burrton? Or that David Copperfield’s presentation of the Dancing Cane to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue made that piece of music ‘his’ when used in a Dancing Cane routine? Please understand that I don’t dare compare myself to these brilliant performers, but it’s exactly the same.

For me that’s what putting an act together is all about. You start with ‘you’ add the tricks and music and then random items become a ‘whole’, a ‘piece’, theatre… Look at Jeff McBride’s original card routine. Fantastic! Performed to Joe Sample’s Carmel. I wouldn’t have dreamt of taking that piece of music in a million years. Jeff had made it his. And I respected that.

I think Shawn Farquhar has behaved disgracefully.

If he’d said all along that he’d seen my act, and was going to rework it for himself by using a close-up card trick on stage instead of my card manipulation sequence that would have been one thing. But to have deceived me all along is really something else.

That is what has been hurtful the most.

He can keep his awards, as they really have no interest to me. This has not been a pleasurable experience and is something I would rather not have done. All I ever wanted was for people to know the truth and now you do. I stand by everything I wrote in the post that started this thread.

That’s all I wanted to say.
Best,
Russ
silverking
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Russ, you've stated your case multiple times for the record (here and on the Genii forum).

Your posts remain on the forums "forever", so the recrod is established and really the matter should conclude here.

If you're seeking agreement across the board, it's obviously not going to come.....but you've certainly stated your case.

It should probably end here as there's been no movement on the issue that would indicate it should keep going.......In other words there is no resolution to be had other than stating your case out loud.
mattjohnson
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Hi All,

I have been reading all of the threads & discussions with regards to this subject for some time now & feel I can keep myself out of this no longer.

As many of you know I also live in Vancouver & have known both Shawn & Reg for many years now. I have considered both to be friends over the years so I find this post very difficult to write.

About 2 years ago while building props for my act Reg shared with me the fact that he had a promo tape of Russ Stevens. This came about because we were discussing FISM acts & happened to talk about Shawn's act as he lives in the same town as us. I happened to mention that it was very similar to an act by Russ Stevens & as I was born & raised in the UK I had seen Russ's act on television many times as a teenager in the early 90's.

My jaw dropped that day when Reg shared the information with me that he has shared with you here. Please understand that he shared this with me in confidence & because Vancouver is a small town when it comes to magicians I chose to hold this in confidence. For years he has felt bad about the sharing of the tape in light of the fact that Shawn went on to develop his act. Please understand that at that time I had no reason to doubt Reg (& still do not) as those that know him, know him to be trust worthy & a kind, gentle sole that would not hurt a fly.

Now to the matter at hand.

I feel the point we are all missing here is not the fact that the routines are different (although staging similarities do exist) but the matter of ethics & integrity behind all of this.

As magicians ethics & integrity is one of the most important things we have. As many of you know, it is close to impossible in our art, craft & business to copyright an act, effect or idea simply because it is so darned expensive to do so. We therefore build our art on an unwritten code of ethics that we trust will protect us from situations like this. It is the same code of ethics we all swear to when joining our local magic clubs. We are asked to swear to this code of ethics when joining our magic clubs & societies because it is the very fiber with which our craft is held together.

It appears to me from the information I have from Reg & through the threads here on the Café that Shawn had a copy of Russ's act around 1995 - 14 years ago. I believe that Reg did give him a copy of the tape & that is why I find this so very hard to swallow. If Reg gave Shawn a copy of the tape 14 years ago that means that Shawn did know who Russ Stevens was & had seen his act before.

The bit that hurts the most for me (as a magician) is not whether or not it was directly based on Russ's act as we will never prove that. It is the fact that Shawn has denied publicly ever hearing of Russ up until a few years ago. If indeed Shawn did see a tape of Russ's act14 years ago then all of the interactions with Russ Stevens over the years have all been false. This boils down to the ethics & integrity I was referring to earlier. If we cannot hold onto the ethics & integrity of magic what is the point?

So in conclusion.

I am not going to sit here and argue whether or not the acts are the same (although I have my own opinions on that) & whether or not Shawn was inspired by Russ. However I do understand how Russ must feel. I do not believe that Russ brought this up simply because Shawn won FISM & has sour grapes. I believe that Russ brought this up because certain matters came to light that made all of his discussions with Shawn obsolete. I also believe that Russ has been put in a situation for many years that he should never have been in. He created an act to music we have all thought about using but never the less he created it 16 years ago (or more). I know because I saw it on TV with my own two eyes. He was then lead to believe that Shawn came up with his routine independently & had resided himself to that.

Imagine how Russ must feel now he knows different. Put yourself in Russ's shoes here for a second!

How would you feel? I know how I would feel!!!

Matthew Johnson
Marc Spelmann
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Brilliantly said.. Far to often we overlook what is right about magic, not the tricks but the brotherhood, the ethics.. I had an idea for a routine about five years ago and designed the whole thing, rehearsed it, honed it perfectly and thought of it as my own..

Then via email communicated with Max Maven and he told me I had recreated someone else's effect. I did what I believe to be the right thing and dropped it completely..

I could have stuck my head in the sand and claimed I knew nothing about the other routine but that would be dishonest, disrespectful and above all else I would be essentially stealing a premise. That IS an issue..

In our relatively small world of magic we have to try to respect each other. If we don't have truth what do we have? and I dread to think of the stealing, lies and backstabbing that would follow if we ignored such things..

MS
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Donald Dunphy
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I have a question, and maybe it's not my business to ask this.

Why did Reg not approach Shawn directly about his concern, and instead approach others? And then after speaking with others, why did he not approach Shawn directly before posting his concerns on the internet and / or taking his concerns to Russ?

I'm still confused about some things. Because we are hearing about Reg's recollection through other people, it's hard to fully understand what Reg actually said. Apparently, Reg said that he and Shawn split the cost of converting the tape. Also, without knowing who was making this recollection about Shawn allegedly seeing the video before creating his routine, Shawn stated that he didn't recall paying half to convert a video, because he already owned a machine to do it. The info about who said that this happened was told to Shawn after he was told about what apparently happened. It sure seems hard to recall a situation, if you don't aren't told who was involved. Really, Shawn and Reg should talk about it with one another, to see if they recall the same thing, before taking it public.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Ken Northridge
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Here is my question: Which one of these gentlemen asked for Sting’s permission to use his song? Why didn’t Shawn and Russ write their own song? Absurd questions to illustrate absurdity.

Beautiful music like this inspires creativity. I know there are others using this same piece of music for their original card routine. I know because I’ve seen them using it. So what! The music is just part of the framework, the backdrop, the setting if you will. How you tie everything together to evoke an emotional response is what makes a good performance. And I do think Shawn has succeeded at that and deserves to be FISM Champion.
Larry Barnowsky
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Congrats to both Shawn and Russ for their artistic creations. They are both champions in my mind.

Larry
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landmark
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Quote:
On 2009-08-07 13:30, Donald Dunphy wrote:


I'm still confused about some things. Because we are hearing about Reg's recollection through other people, it's hard to fully understand what Reg actually said. Apparently, Reg said that he and Shawn split the cost of converting the tape. Also, without knowing who was making this recollection about Shawn allegedly seeing the video before creating his routine, Shawn stated that he didn't recall paying half to convert a video, because he already owned a machine to do it. The info about who said that this happened was told to Shawn after he was told about what apparently happened. It sure seems hard to recall a situation, if you don't aren't told who was involved. Really, Shawn and Reg should talk about it with one another, to see if they recall the same thing, before taking it public.

- Donald


Donally's account is first hand on this very thread.
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Donald Dunphy
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You're right. I found the post after Shawn's.

Still, I think that it's odd that Shawn heard about Reg's concerns through others, rather than directly from him. Shawn was asked to respond, before he even heard it from Reg directly, and before he knew what in the world people were talking about.

I still think they should talk to one another, to see if their recollection of that is the same, and talk about specific details to jog one another's memory. We can't assume that one is 100% right, and the other 100% wrong.

- Donald

P.S. My position is that both routines seem pretty different, and they both seem to have been created independently of one another.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Stucky
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Quote:
On 2009-08-07 08:32, russ stevens wrote:
Put yourself in my shoes.

Do you wear a 10 1/2 wide? (Sorry I couldn't help it)

Quote:
The music and staging accounts for 60% or 70% of the worth of the piece.

I don't know if I agree with that entirely... I don't know how you do your routine now as I only have seen the one from the 90's, but you move quite fast for using such a slow song. Theatrically speaking it's a bit off. (Nothing against you mate, just something I have noticed.)

Quote:
If I told you I was entering a silent dove/manipulation act into FISM and was going to use Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for backing would everyone not understand that that piece ‘belonged’ to Lance Burrton? Or that David Copperfield’s presentation of the Dancing Cane to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue made that piece of music ‘his’ when used in a Dancing Cane routine? Please understand that I don’t dare compare myself to these brilliant performers, but it’s exactly the same.

So you feel you have what some refer to as "squatters rights" then? Such as Rocco doing water bowls when Jeff McBride has been doing them forever? I wouldn't say it's exactly the same in this case but...

Quote:
I think Shawn Farquhar has behaved disgracefully.

It's probably NOT the first time. He is Canadian you know? (Just playin' Shawn.)

Quote:
That’s all I wanted to say.

Again....

Yes this is a pooch screw of some large proportion. However, the damage is done. The cases have been stated. It's up to us who we believe and who we don't. Flog this dead horse no longer and move on. After all, we're just magicians. In the grand scheme of things, we're the only ones who care about such nonsense.
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I have a cousin visiting from out of town who doesn't know anything about magic. I showed him both videos. He thought both performers were excellent but they were obviously different acts.

Then I showed him another well known magician on YouTube and he said this looked like a closer copy of Russ.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEZ3TBmS_r0
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zerofire
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I have no idea how this can become an argument.

I believe any magician will easily come up similar routine if they happen to hear this song. The lyrics keep mentioning different suit of cards, as a magician, if you want to play along this song, you will sure produce a king of diamond if the lyrics mention it, you wouldn't produce ace of heart instead just to avoid other magician accuse you on copying his act right?

Look at their routine, what Shawn did? Card Control. What Russ did? Card manipulation and production.

Things are very clear. Does it really involve any ethical issue here? Or we are saying as soon as one is the first one who use the song for his act, everyone who use this song afterward will become a copycat?
Andi Peters
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I like both Russ and Shawn.

However, I don't like it when they fight.

Having weighed up the arguments both have put forward I declare the winner as.....

...wait for it......

RUSS STEVENS!

I think Shawn should keep his FISM trophy but at the same time I think he should write Russ a letter to thank him for the inspiration for the routine.

Come on Shawn, do the right thing, be a good lad now.
Lee_Hathaway
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How ridiculous, people arguing over something which doesn't belong to any of them. Shape of My Heart belongs to Sting and Dominic Miller who co-wrote it. Anyone else just fitted moves and flourishes around it. It doesn't take a big leap of the imagination to think that a well versed magician may hear some music about playing cards and think "hold on, I use music, I use playing cards"...Eureka!

Nobody other than Sting is entitled to claim ownership. If Shawn had ripped the routine performed to it, that's a different matter.

Interesting that a song which seeks to portray the utter pointlessness of war, disagreement, fighting and desire for wealth can in turn be the cause of such. Maybe if magicians spent more time listening to what Sting was trying to say, and less time throwing moves around HIS song to then claim as their own we wouldn't be in this situation.
Andi Peters
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Quote:
On 2009-08-08 04:33, Lee_Hathaway wrote:
Nobody other than Sting is entitled to claim ownership. If Shawn had ripped the routine performed to it, that's a different matter.

Now I'm confused. Are you saying Sting came up with the routine originally?
Futureal
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Sting does a great top-change.
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