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Topic: Derren Brown copycat
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Jul 27, 2008 06:30AM)
I've found a video online of a performer local to my area that appears to be doing an act in his mentalism show straight out of a Derren Brown show. Is the act original to Mr. Brown? I don't know. I presume so. I doubt he or Andy Nyman are going to rip someone else act off and put it straight into their show. They've got too much at stake. I know there are a lot of mentalists about attempting to copy Derren's style and character, but using his script is probably going a bit far, isn't it? What should I do about this? Leave it be? Or consider reporting it to Derren's team?

-- Topher
Message: Posted by: R. Dunn (Jul 27, 2008 10:11AM)
Lets see the video.
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Jul 27, 2008 08:27PM)
I'm a little wary about posting it. I've recently discovered that the performer does post on this forum, and I don' want to be known as the guy that stirred the pot, so to speak.

-- Topher
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 27, 2008 08:29PM)
How about stating your concern and finding and letting the group ask questions when they come up?

Playing coy in this tiny world is simply not a way to show how forthright and honest you are.
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Jul 27, 2008 09:13PM)
Believe me Jonathan, I don't "do" coy. But I didn't want to start pointing fingers at people straight away. Yes, there is a magician/mentalist in my area, who is a member on this forum, who does a routine almost identical to a Derren Brown routine. It's on the "Something Wicked..." DVD, and it's at the start of the show. The routine where he gets the woman in the audience to name a "four legged land animal".

Should I publicly name this guy? I don't know, but at this stage I don't think so. I've already given enough info now that, if he reads this, he knows who he is. But, like I asked in my first post, I did want to find out what's considered (by the magic community) as an appropriate response. Should I leave him be? Or should I make it known to the person who's material he is using.

Cheers,

-- Topher
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 27, 2008 09:34PM)
Topher, wouldn't it have been effective to email the guy and ask him what's up?
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Jul 27, 2008 09:50PM)
Perhaps. Will it stop him doing the act, or will it just make him remove the video from his website, so that nobody else can see it? Who knows...

-- Topher
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 27, 2008 10:02PM)
Topher, if you have any doubt - name him to DBrown and let DBrown take any actions he deems fit. What would you like me or anyone here at the Café to do?
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Jul 27, 2008 10:10PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-27 23:02, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
What would you like me or anyone here at the Café to do?
[/quote]

Nothing. If you look back, you'll notice that my original post asks for everyones opinion, and I appreciate you providing yours. I've never been in this situation before, and whilst most people here are more than happy to whinge for pages and pages about someone exposing a thumb tip (sorry, "TT"), nobody seems to give a toss about the blatant theft of someone elses script? There is a guy, that lives in my town, that is going out of an evening and making money from someone elses work. Does anyone else see the problem with this? Before I went rushing off to Derren's website, I thought I'd ask the opinions of people who may have seen this kind of thing happen before, and what they would normally do about it. I don't see why that's such a big deal?

-- Topher
Message: Posted by: mclare (Jul 30, 2008 03:39AM)
Topher,

Pay no attention to one person being ungracious.

I think the best thing to do would be to simply send the link to Brown's management (contactable through his website). You could email the guy first and tell him what you're going to do, but you won't gain much from that apart from putting his back up.
I'm sure they'll deal with it in whatever way they're used to dealing with such things. Or they might choose to ignore it. Either way I imagine the matter should rest with them, and doing it in this way keeps you essentially uninvolved.

And, for what its worth, I thought your post made you sound a very nice chap. People are so quick to 'point fingers' all over the place: being happy to take advice on a potentially sensitive matter is sounding a small note of decency. (There will now follow 4 pages of exhausting discussion over dull opinions of morality).

MC
Message: Posted by: jstone (Jul 31, 2008 01:59AM)
Topher,

Is the effect one from a published Derren Brown product? If so, it's appropriate for him to use the exact effect and script in the product (assuming he purchased it).

It's not a smart move career-wise to copy, but it's certainly ethical and legal if it's in a product that Derren published and the copying magician purchased.
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Jul 31, 2008 09:00PM)
No, it's not a published routine. It's lifted straight out of Derren's show.

-- Topher
Message: Posted by: jstone (Jul 31, 2008 09:17PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-31 22:00, Topher Higgins wrote:
No, it's not a published routine. It's lifted straight out of Derren's show.

-- Topher
[/quote]
That's messed up... I would PM Derren...
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Jul 31, 2008 10:35PM)
I've e-mailed Coops (Derren's PA). I don't expect a reply, but I think we can assume that if the video disappears in the next couple of weeks, that Derren's team have been in contact with this guy.

Again, I won't post the website, but I'll let you all know the outcome. Thanks for your advice.

-- Topher
Message: Posted by: bubbleburst2004 (Aug 3, 2008 12:29AM)
I think he's using a blue sharpie, rather than the black sharpie that Derren uses


bb
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 3, 2008 02:41AM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-03 01:29, bubbleburst2004 wrote:
I think he's using a blue sharpie, rather than the black sharpie that Derren uses


bb
[/quote]
Oh... well then copy away. :)
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Aug 5, 2008 07:37PM)
Keep us posted on whether the video disappears off his website.
I'd be curious to know what comes out of the email you sent (if anything).
Message: Posted by: newmage (Aug 7, 2008 04:05AM)
?
Message: Posted by: Perl (Aug 15, 2008 07:24PM)
Maybe its just me, but I don't see a discrupancy here.
I have this feelings that it is just alright to copy someone you really admire, to fulfil the urge of wanting be like him. Just like a piano player, or a basketball player or a painting artist,we start out by copying, copying to the extend that we can do exactly what our idol can do, then, from there on, when we feel comfortable, we morph into another style which we realise it suits us best ultimately.

perhaps this guy here is still starting on his journey in magic. finding a gd example and copy him isn't a big problem at all. the big problem is if he chooses to become one of those chang ling su or ching ling su.

but I can see some arrogant in him, when he copied someone and put it on the web. that's a no!

perl
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 15, 2008 07:44PM)
Perl it's not about copying to learn - one does imitate one's teachers - it's about copying without permission when performing as a professional. That is disrespect for teacher and takes surprise away from audiences who have not seen the master.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Aug 19, 2008 10:33AM)
I guess for me the question would be, is he just copying the psychological principle or is he copying the act word for word? For years I've done a "guess a number" I learned from watching Kreskin as well as a "guess a card" I learned from a story about how Kreskin got his first Carson billing. I don't do it with his style though (he had far more flair then I'll ever have as a mentalist;) )

If its word for word it could be outright plagerism... or it could be that he doesn't really know what the "active ingredients" are and hes afraid to modify it...
Message: Posted by: Perl (Aug 20, 2008 11:59AM)
Yup. agree with you john :]
he shd not copy and perform the same act as a professional! no!

perl
Message: Posted by: Natanel (Aug 26, 2008 02:03PM)
It is really not that crazy that someone would try and copy the best magician out there. While it does not reflect entirely well on the performer in question, I think we all do a bit of stealing from our heroes when we begin.

My own act probably contains a good bit more Derren Brown influence then I would like to admit (Though my material is culled from his published works and videotapes).

Neither my act nor your local performer is doing anything that will really harm Derren Brown, and I'm sure if he does happen to come across this sort of thing, takes it as flattery as he should.

Mr. Brown is well aware that becoming highly successful means that some dilettante will botch your material, and I'm sure is perfectly content with this.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Aug 27, 2008 05:02AM)
Let's not presume to know what Derren Brown thinks about this... Only he knows what he feels...

This is actually very very common in Magic, look at the copies of Copperfield , Blaine and Angel out there....

Price it seems you pay when you put really good stuff out there nowadays...

Hmmm...
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Aug 27, 2008 02:33PM)
Topher Higgins wrote:
[quote]
Perhaps. Will it stop him doing the act, or will it just make him remove the video from his website, so that nobody else can see it? Who knows...

-- Topher
[/quote]
And, you can't know unless ask him.

In my opinion, asking him is the correct thing to do at first, not to blare it in public.

Maybe he has permission.

Maybe he was doing the act before (although, if it's the same script, that is a stretch).

Maybe Derren Brown paid him for his act.

Maybe Derren Brown copied him.

All of those seem unlikely, and the last two seem extremely unlikely. I believe Derren Brown would change the script if he bought an act, and I given what he wrote before, I can't imagine him taking an act unethically. I merely mention the possibility for completeness, as it could apply to other similar cases with other performers.

If you don't like the answer you get, you can contact Derren Brown and let him know what you saw.

Let him decide if he wants to go public about this.

This is really an issue between Derren Brown and the other performer. Making it public too early can actually be worse for Derren Brown in certain scenarios. It reduces his leverage, since after it's gone public, the other performers reputation is already damaged.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Aug 28, 2008 12:52AM)
That's sound advice there...
Message: Posted by: C.W.G. (Oct 15, 2008 05:39PM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-27 15:33, Bill Hallahan wrote:
Topher Higgins wrote:
[quote]
Perhaps. Will it stop him doing the act, or will it just make him remove the video from his website, so that nobody else can see it? Who knows...

-- Topher
[/quote]
And, you can't know unless ask him.

In my opinion, asking him is the correct thing to do at first, not to blare it in public.

Maybe he has permission.

Maybe he was doing the act before (although, if it's the same script, that is a stretch).

Maybe Derren Brown paid him for his act.

Maybe Derren Brown copied him.

All of those seem unlikely, and the last two seem extremely unlikely. I believe Derren Brown would change the script if he bought an act, and I given what he wrote before, I can't imagine him taking an act unethically. I merely mention the possibility for completeness, as it could apply to other similar cases with other performers.

If you don't like the answer you get, you can contact Derren Brown and let him know what you saw.

Let him decide if he wants to go public about this.

This is really an issue between Derren Brown and the other performer. Making it public too early can actually be worse for Derren Brown in certain scenarios. It reduces his leverage, since after it's gone public, the other performers reputation is already damaged.
[/quote]

Ladies and gentelmen!! The culprit has revealed himself!!!! Dun dun duuuuuuun! :jump:
Message: Posted by: bubbleburst2004 (Nov 14, 2008 12:15AM)
I don't see what all the mystery is here. Topher lives in Melbourne and he says its an online video of a local mentalist performer. A minute or so on Google gives a few mentalists in melbourne but only a couple with online video. A quick viewing of them gives a performer doing a routine where a woman is asked to name an animal. ( Top right video) Is it the same as a Derren Brown routine? I don't know, I haven't seen many of his videos.

http://www.christopherbisset.com.au/gallery.html
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Nov 14, 2008 02:04AM)
It seems to me that everybody here is taking for granted that an imitation could possibly be as good as the original just because it copies lavishly.

What about the talent? What about the performer's personality (even if the words are verbatim the same)? Genrally people copy because they have less personality...

Thus the imitator is always somehow butchering the original work, even with good intent. Thus yes this magician is creating dammage to Derren's work.

Even if he was performing the act better than Derren (which can be reasonably doubted), he would still create dammage to the original aspect of it: Derren would then appear as the poor imitator or people would get a feeling of "déjà vu".

In my opinion it's very wrong. However I don't get the reason why you are scared of other magicians asking this performer questions for him to make up his own mind as to how ethical (or unethical) his show is.

You would also give him a chance to state his case when, in the way you post it, we can criticize him but he doesn't have a chance to defend his point.

If you are the one, just say so and talk about your motivations. If you are not, give the guy a chance to do that.
Message: Posted by: Pauldela (Jan 25, 2009 04:13PM)
I am pretty sure I know who you are talking about... If it is his, he has here on the Café he's NEVER even seen the Browns show. He's seems like a great guy and great performer.
Message: Posted by: necro555 (Jun 18, 2009 01:22AM)
I think I know who you're talking about. I remember watching his show 3-4 months back...painful to watch.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jun 18, 2009 03:18AM)
Topher never did update us on this situation, did he?
He said he would, but he never did...

How could he let us all down like that? :(
Message: Posted by: necro555 (Jun 18, 2009 09:54AM)
The original post was made about a year ago and, if I'm thinking of the right person, not much has changed in terms of the Derren Brown's imitation.
Message: Posted by: MatthewBurr (Jun 24, 2009 10:23AM)
If someone wants to copy Derren Brown and do what he does, they must copy him exactly. He is a very smart man in his field. If you want to perform the same mentalism acts he does and pull those effects off buy create your own patter...it will take you a very very long time. Every single thing Derren Brown does and says in his acts are for a reason. If you have ever seen his tour "Something Wicked This Way Comes" you'll see what I'm getting at.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Jun 28, 2009 03:43PM)
Hmmm. Seems to me that if you take an act verbatim, you must pay for it, if the original performer is still around. I have two routines which I bought directly from the creator, and am therefore permitted to use the act exactly. What happens if just anyone can watch a routine on video or YouTube, then steal the routine? Before long, you end up with scores of "performers" who don't really have ANY original talent or creativity, and who will ultimately devalue the perception of entertainers in laymen's eyes.
IF this performance is, as was stated, a verbatim copy of Derren Brown, then I'd think Mr Brown would be pretty "browned off"! On the other hand, if the routine is the same, but the patter different - well, then it's altogether another matter.
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Jun 29, 2009 10:44PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-18 04:18, gaddy wrote:
Topher never did update us on this situation, did he?
He said he would, but he never did...

How could he let us all down like that? :(
[/quote]

Hiya. I did shoot an e-mail to Derren's website, but never heard anything back. And the video is still displayed on the performers website, so I presume nothing was done from their end either.

Cheers,

Chris
Message: Posted by: rebekahjoyce (Jun 15, 2010 09:36PM)
I found someone who recently posted on you tube a stage show they preformed and it is word for word from DB stage shows. In fact he referenced the fact that he is copying DB in his vid description. I don't know If this is the same guy or not, he is posting under the user name LightTakayama.

Should I contact DB's blog Team or his management? Would it do any good to report this?

I did comment on a few of his vids that he is coping DB hoping if people like this guy they will learn about the 'originator' of the act.

Rebekah