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Topic: My Presentation for The Observation Test (Trost) - Video
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 8, 2010 10:30PM)
Hey everybody. You are always so good at pointing out potential areas of improvement, I'd love some feedback. I made a special video of my performance of Nick Trost's "The Observation Test" on Vimeo (password protected so only your knowing eyes will see it). Jamie Grant mentioned that he opens all his gigs with it and I'm beginning to see why.

The video quality isn't superb and the physical handling is fairly simple so I'm not too worried about that yet, but I really want some thoughts on the presentation and patter. I'm working off of a psychological theme with some "pop" references. Do you think it is TOO long (I know it's a tad long)? Any suggested lines or areas to emphasize?

Link: http://vimeo.com/10793303
Password: nicktrost

Oh and please just keep these for our eyes. I don't think it exposes the effect or anything, but I do loath public "first tries" that are put up for all the world to see!
Message: Posted by: TAJ (Apr 8, 2010 11:35PM)
Looks good to me. If anything, I would eliminate the line 'this is not a trick'.
Message: Posted by: miker50 (Apr 8, 2010 11:37PM)
Great job Eagle. The patter had me intrigued and it flowed nicely. Are there a lot of great effects like this in his book?? I really enjoyed that one...thanks for sharing it. Not a clue how you did it...

Mike
Message: Posted by: TAJ (Apr 8, 2010 11:38PM)
Sorry, your line was 'there in no trickery going on' I failed the observation test!

Taj
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 8, 2010 11:42PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-09 00:37, miker50 wrote:
Great job Eagle. The patter had me intrigued and it flowed nicely. Are there a lot of great effects like this in his book?? I really enjoyed that one...thanks for sharing it. Not a clue how you did it...

Mike
[/quote]
The Card Magic of Nick Trost is a FANTASTIC book with a larger ratio of gems to chaff than any I've seen. The latter part of the book has a lot of "stacked/gimmicked" gambling tricks, but I'd say the first 2/3rds is simple, usable, and elegant tricks!

Oh and thanks for the nice comments. I agree with the "not a trick" line. I'm trying to train myself to not narrate my trick (I'm cutting the deck now) and not preemptively defending myself.
Message: Posted by: alibaba (Apr 9, 2010 01:28AM)
Very nice indeed, Nick. The patter might be tightened up a bit, but that's a small point and, I suspect, one of those things that will take care of itself as you perform the effect. -Al Izen
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Apr 9, 2010 05:43AM)
Just a few things...

I wouldn't tip the gorilla-basketball video. It's such a fun thing for people to be fooled by, and I'd bet most people still haven't experienced it yet, that I think you'd be doing them a favour by not letting them know what to expect if they actually saw it.

Also, I'd try to find a different way to reveal the 8 of clubs at the beginning. Slipping it out from the card case like that is an actual method for other tricks. I don't think there's any need to let people know we can do that, especially because you can kill several birds with one stone simply by removing it from a spread. (More on this in a sec.).

The handling of the cutting at the beginning is a bit heavy for my taste. The iddle grip is not the most open and casual way to hold a deck, and you're working it pretty hardcore there -- there's a feeling that you're being guarded. Since the only reason for doing the cutting is to give the opportunity to flash the occasional red back, consider that you've got the option for more natural displays, even from a hand-to-hand spread (there's such thing as a full deck Olram display that you might want to look into). Incidentally, since you're using a Hindu shuffle later on anyway, you can use that as a means to flash extra red backs at them -- just don't go overboard with it. You might want to consider even letting a spectator choose the placement of the 8 of clubs.

You might want to consider planting a couple of jokers in there. Removing them from a spread will give you two more opportunities to flash red backs. In fact, if you're really looking to mess with people's heads, you might want to look into having the card box (and the jokers' backs, if you use that strategy) both change colour. Trips to the pocket could be a rudimentary method for the time being.

Patter-wise, there's no need to say that all the cards are different, and there's REALLY no need to bring attention to the backs of the cards through your patter. Also, arguably, you could do this entire effect without specifically saying the colour of the 8 of clubs, only alluding to the fact that it's a different colour. A lot of the time, bold statements can basically tip the audience about what's to come. If you need to get agreement on anything, make the agreement about the difference in colour, not on the specific colours themselves.

Also, personally, I don't think the reference to the Prestige really contributes anything except for an arbitrary line. Really, it seems like a gratuitous reference for the sake of a reference, and it brings baggage with it -- the movie itself is all about trickery and deception, and yet you mention in your routine that there's no trickery going on. You could probably find a better line somewhere.

I'd avoid (or really tone down) the "unfortunately, you were not watching closely" slant, particularly if you named colours for them midway through the routine. It's a bit saucy to throw incorrect answers back in their face when you basically fed them incorrect answers earlier on.

You might want to consider doing a quick transcript of everything you said in the video. Look for all the "I'm gonna..." "I'm just gonna..." "What I want you to do is..." and cut them out ruthlessly. The "Um"s should take care of themselves when you've done the trick a whole bunch of times for people.
Message: Posted by: truesoldier (Apr 9, 2010 07:04AM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-09 06:43, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Just a few things...

I wouldn't tip the gorilla-basketball video. It's such a fun thing for people to be fooled by, and I'd bet most people still haven't experienced it yet, that I think you'd be doing them a favour by not letting them know what to expect if they actually saw it.
[/quote]
I have to agree as I haven't seen this and really would have enjoyed watching it, but now I know the secret, so it won't be as much fun. I guess I can always have fun showing others (LOL) But would have loved to have experienced it myself first.

[quote]
Also, I'd try to find a different way to reveal the 8 of clubs at the beginning. Slipping it out from the card case like that is an actual method for other tricks. I don't think there's any need to let people know we can do that, especially because you can kill several birds with one stone simply by removing it from a spread. (more on this in a sec)
[/quote]
Again, I agree to the point that I feel it would be better to just take it out of your wallet.

[quote]
The handling of the cutting at the beginning is a bit heavy for my taste. The Biddle grip is not the most open and casual way to hold a deck, and you're working it pretty hardcore there -- there's a feeling that you're being guarded. Since the only reason for doing the cutting is to give the opportunity to flash the occasional red back, consider that you've got the option for more natural displays, even from a hand-to-hand spread (there's such thing as a full deck Olram display that you might want to look into). Incidentally, since you're using a Hindu shuffle later on anyway, you can use that as a means to flash extra red backs at them -- just don't go overboard with it. You might want to consider even letting a spectator choose the placement of the 8 of clubs.
[/quote]
Some great advice hear that will help you get a smoother flow

Generally your patter flowed very smoothly but Andrew has suggested some good ideas that again will improve the effect many times over.

E.g. There's no need to say that all the cards are different, and there's [b]really[/b] no need to bring attention to the backs of the cards through your patter.

Overall I think your on the right track, and I bet that after you've practised and rehearsed this some more, you'll have a very strong and entertaining piece of magic on your hands.

All The Best.
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 9, 2010 08:35AM)
Hey Andrew and Truesoldier....

I get the impression that you really don't like the specific handling of the trick. While I agree that you could certainly do a lot of things differently, [b]most[/b] of your suggestions directly contradict the very specifics of Trost's effect. I actually [b]do[/b] want to do "The Observation Test," which I believe I'm doing directly from the book.

A couple things about "tipping." First, I'm sorry I ruined the Gorilla trick for you. To be honest, about half the people I know have actually seen that video themselves and most of the others have heard about it. It's been around [b]forever[/b] and is a staple of that field. I also don't really feel like it's something that people are ever directly exposed to if they [b]don't[/b] take a psych class. From an entertainment point of view, is it a good way to start the effect? Whenever I've told people about it in the past, they have always been interested to hear about it.

I sort of agree about the line from "The Prestige," but it feels like a really great line for this effect (and a lot of my crowd has seen the movie), so I wanted a way to tie it in. In most of the takes of that video, I just say, "Are you watching closely?" and then spread the cards at the end, instead of making a claim that the audience is wrong. I'll probably lean that way from now on.

In terms of the false displays, while making the video I played around with a couple different displays. The written word suggests the cut and the flash (with the "except on the backs" line), but I agree it's not amazing. The book also suggests a hindu, but I'm not a fan of starting with that shuffle, as it's still fairly weird to a lot of people. So I settled on swing cuts with a flash and then the hindu for "losing the card." Did anybody notice my little "pick up the blue card with the red-backed packet? I was hoping that would give some visual contrast...thoughts on that?

I don't think I would mind learning another deck display, but I'm not totally convinced that this way isn't already convincing enough. I do like the jokers idea and might start out by simply finding and removing them. That would take care of the face display. One downside is that I'd either have to pocket them or put them in the box, as the jokers would really stand out as a "I fooled you" reminder after the final display....

The "card in front of the flap" storage may be a tricky subtlety that some magicians use, but is it really exposure to put a card there and take it out (for the record, Nick Trost didn't apparently think so)? I don't work out of my pocket and the deck is obviously loaded, so it's very convenient to just keep the stranger right there.

Btw, I hate to be one of those guys who won't take any criticism. I definitely took in and heard what you had to say (and thanks for taking the time to write it). I'm primarily looking for help on the patter as I feel confident that the handling, while maybe not Class A, will still effectively entertain anyone who hasn't seen a lot of color-changing decks already.
Message: Posted by: truesoldier (Apr 9, 2010 09:54AM)
Hi Loyal Eagle

I hope I haven't offended you.

A couple of quick things:

1 Regarding Tipping The Gorilla theme. I can see how people would be drawn in to this as it is very interesting. I guess I was thinking of myself really, because it would have been great to experience it, that's all. (I'm sure most laypeople would not be thinking like this.)

2 I think the Hindu Shuffle as suggested by Nick Trost would work better for the false display. The key to this is to do it casually and not draw attention to it, as it will be the subconscious mind that will pick up on all the cards being red backed.

3 In regards to the Jokers you could put them in a Switch / Himber wallet, you could then show that the Jokers have changed to blue as well. I think that this would add a strong Kicker to the effect.

Just some suggestions for you to consider, I hope they help.

All The Best
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 9, 2010 10:54AM)
Don't worry, I'm not offended at all truesoldier...I think I just think and work things out best when I argue about them with somebody!

My parents are visiting today so I may debut this trick for them and see what they think!
Message: Posted by: Uli Weigel (Apr 9, 2010 12:39PM)
I agree with most of Andrew's remarks. There are better and more convincing ways to show that the deck is red.

The first thing thing I'd do right at the beginning is to take the deck out of the box und lay it face down on the table besides the red box. As you deliver your initial lines they have enough time to see the deck's color, while you don't have to do anything. Let the picture speak for itself. Then throw in a couple of convincers like the joker idea Andrew mentioned.

IMO the talk about the gorilla video and the movie is much too long for an opening trick. There's also no variation in tone, dynamic and tempo throughout the performance, which makes the thing a bit dreary. I guess, this will be different in a live situation, but I mention it anyway, because this (and generally too slow pacing)is a typical flaw in many amateur performances.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Apr 9, 2010 04:55PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-09 09:35, loyaleagle wrote:
I get the impression that you really don't like the specific handling of the trick.
While I agree that you could certainly do a lot of things differently, MOST of your suggestions directly contradict the very specifics of Trost's effect. I actually [b]do[/b] want to do "The Observation Test," which I believe I'm doing directly from the book.
[/quote]
If you can be specific about what contradicts what, and what Trost specifically says, I could try to explain my reasoning.

[quote]
A couple things about "tipping." First, I'm sorry I ruined the Gorilla trick for you. To be honest, about half the people I know have actually seen that video themselves and most of the others have heard about it. It's been around [b]forever[/b] and is a staple of that field. I also don't really feel like it's something that people are ever directly exposed to if they [b]don't[/b] take a psych class. From an entertainment point of view, is it a good way to start the effect? Whenever I've told people about it in the past, they have always been interested to hear about it.
[/quote]
They probably like it because the phenomenon that it illustrates is clever -- the idea that something as blatant as that can slip right by us, when we think we're paying rapt attention, is fascinating. The thing is, when you experience it for the first time, if you're fooled by it, you're properly blown away, rather than merely intrigued by an abstract concept. I wasn't fooled by the gorilla one because (unfortunately) somebody tipped the explanation to it before I got to see it, but I was fooled by a different video employing the same principle.

[quote]
I sort of agree about the line from "The Prestige," but it feels like a really great line for this effect (and a lot of my crowd has seen the movie), so I wanted a way to tie it in. In most of the takes of that video, I just say, "Are you watching closely?" and then spread the cards at the end, instead of making a claim that the audience is wrong. I'll probably lean that way from now on.
[/quote]
If you want the line to resonate, give it a delivery that will be remembered later on when you call back to it. Rather than say "Are you watching closely?" and waving the hand throughout the statement, say "Are you watching [i]closely[/i]?" and extend the hand slightly on the word "closely", punctuating it. Repeat that a second time. Finally, at the end, ask, "Were you watching? Were you watching... [i]closely[/i]?" with the same hand gesture.

[quote]
In terms of the false displays, while making the video I played around with a couple different displays. The written word suggests the cut and the flash (with the "except on the backs" line), but I agree it's not amazing. The book also suggests a Hindu, but I'm not a fan of starting with that shuffle, as it's still fairly weird to a lot of people. So I settled on swing cuts with a flash and then the Hindu for "losing the card." Did anybody notice my little "pick up the blue card with the red-backed packet? I was hoping that would give some visual contrast...thoughts on that?
[/quote]
Yes, that was visible. It's not bad, but it could be strengthened with the Hindu Shuffle display if the latter is used subtly.

[quote]
I don't think I would mind learning another deck display, but I'm not totally convinced that this way isn't already convincing enough. I do like the jokers idea and might start out by simply finding and removing them. That would take care of the face display. One downside is that I'd either have to pocket them or put them in the box, as the jokers would really stand out as a "I fooled you" reminder after the final display....
[/quote]
In all honesty, if you're really, really going to embrace this trick and what it's all about, then I think you ought to look into ways of switching the red card box (and the red jokers for blue, if you decide to use that strategy). Otherwise you're left with a blue deck that you pulled out of a red box, and have to put back into a red box, which isn't quite right, in my view. At the moment a pocket switch would suffice, but later on you could work in deck-switch techniques.

[quote]
The "card in front of the flap" storage may be a tricky subtlety that some magicians use, but is it really exposure to put a card there and take it out (for the record, Nick Trost didn't apparently think so)? I don't work out of my pocket and the deck is obviously loaded, so it's very convenient to just keep the stranger right there.
[/quote]
My issue is that it's unnecessary. If you're going for economy and trying to make this thing tight, removing it from the spread will allow you to produce the 8 of clubs in a less conspicuous way, bypass the patter about how all the cards are different (because the spread will make that obvious on its own), and offer you different ways to flash red backs at the audience, rather than the Biddle-grip heavy way that you're using right now.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Apr 9, 2010 05:00PM)
Now, for what it's worth, I just showed it to my girlfriend, and it fooled her, so there you go.
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 10, 2010 05:28PM)
Without doing a "quote by quote" response it's hard to hit everything you mentioned Andrew, but here's generally what I'm thinking...

First off, my only real plans for this effect are as an occasional opener to a "bit of magic" at a party. Essentially I'll wait for a nice break in the conversation and do short set of tricks. I like this as an opener because it's visual and leaves me essentially clean with a functional deck. The red box and stranger card don't really bother me too much because I can just set them aside. I don't think I actually want to introduce the idea that the deck WAS a different color in the beginning (this would require a blue box finish). I don't mind them realizing that the focus thing was really a ruse and not "actual magic."

In reference to "what are you disagreeing with Trost about:" Essentially my taped presentation (handling-wise anyway) is [b]handling[/b] the written handling. I don't want to repeat each step for you because it's not mine to repeat step for step (maybe a friend in magic somewhere can lend it to you). I can just tell you that based on your comments you do not agree with the actual handling.

I still don't love the Biddle display, but I'm not convinced that it won't work fine for my purposes. I'm going to try varying my usage of it and of the Hindu (one, the other, both) with different people and judging how well they are fooled.

Last night I performed this for my parents. My mom had seen the gorilla video before in her psych class and [b]really[/b] connected to the trick because it referenced something she knew. My dad had not seen it but he's slightly "knowledgeable" in magic so it's hard to judge him. I left out the "The Prestige" reference because it didn't fit at the time.

They really enjoyed the color change. They were definitely surprised by where the trick was going. My mom was totally fooled, but my dad got about 75% of the method. This, again, is because he knows a little bit about card magic already.

I fear the lack of sleights in this effect really make it possible for the "engineering" crowd to figure this trick out. Other effects that use a two color DBer would probably go over their heads, but this effect seems fairly reverse-engineerable. I don't think stranger jokers would necessarily solve this problem (though I think I may play with them a little on their own merit).

Anyway, that's the state of things so far...still a work in progress! I will say it flows into some other psychologically based plots I'm working on...
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Apr 10, 2010 05:54PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-09 09:35, loyaleagle wrote:
I get the impression that you really don't like the specific handling of the trick.
While I agree that you could certainly do a lot of things differently, [b]most[/b] of your suggestions directly contradict the very specifics of Trost's effect. I actually do want to do "The Observation Test," which I believe I'm doing directly from the book.
[/quote]
loyaleagle, with the exception of removing the card from the box, I agree with the criticisms Andrew Musgrave posted.

[i]Never have patter that draws attention to the discrepancies in a routine.[/i] I'll elaborate after mentioning the handling of the routine. You are not doing the handling correctly.

The method in the book uses swing cuts to perform something that might be described as, "a sideways Hindu shuffle," where the back of the right hand cards should be flashed after each packet is taken in the left hand, similar to a flustration count. You're just swing cutting packets into your left hand and your right hand doesn't flash the back each time you do a swing cut.

When done the way described in the book, the audience isn't thinking about seeing only one back because they're paying attention to the changing faces in the left hand. You should be looking at the faces too and ignoring your right hand as it flashes a back. This works for the same reason that the gorilla isn't seen in that video! However, if you draw attention to the back of the card, it will ruin the intended effect.

As it says in the book, "This emphasizes the back color without really directing attention to it." It's not just the color, you don't want to direct attention to the backs at all. The audience will notice it because it's there. They'll recall the repetition, but since they never thought about the number of backs they saw, they'll be left with the desired impression.

This should be done at a brisk pace, and only take a few seconds. The book even tells how many times to do this before reassembling the deck and putting it face down, thus showing a back yet again.

A Hindu shuffle would also work.


Get rid of comments like, "I'm going to put this 8 of clubs over to the side" and "I'm going to take these cards out." [i]Never say what you're obviously doing.[/i] If you write out the script for your routine, you can easily eliminate this type of filler comment.

Also, I expect that a lot of people have not seen the gorilla video, and you've already apologized to one person above for tipping the outcome. You should get rid of that, it's a spoiler. It's not necessary to use that to get across the plot. Just stating it's an observation test is sufficient. In addition, consider how the author of that video [i]might[/i] feel about giving the outcome away. In my opinion, spoilers should never be used in a presentation. Of course, if you happen to know that absolutely every person in the audience has seen the video, then it's not a spoiler, just don't ruin it for anyone. I know I'd resent it if someone had ruined it for me.

By the way, I like that routine, but I'm not fond of that plot unless it's delivered as a tongue-in-cheek plot. Otherwise, it become a "gotcha" routine. Relatively few people would believe their memory failed in such a short time, thus saying, "it's not a trick" ruins the presentation.

That is a great trick, and easily overlooked. I think it was put as the first trick in the book for a reason. I do like your video, it just could be better.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Apr 10, 2010 10:28PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-10 18:28, loyaleagle wrote:
First off, my only real plans for this effect are as an occasional opener to a "bit of magic" at a party.
[/quote]

They're going to love the mini-lecture at the start about gorilla video clips and The Prestige ... then there's more than three minutes before anything happens!

Plus the "you weren't watching carefully" is condescending.

Keep it simple, keep it entertaining.
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 10, 2010 10:57PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-10 23:28, Futureal wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-04-10 18:28, loyaleagle wrote:
First off, my only real plans for this effect are as an occasional opener to a "bit of magic" at a party.
[/quote]

They're going to love the mini-lecture at the start about gorilla video clips and The Prestige ... then there's more than three minutes before anything happens!

Plus the "you weren't watching carefully" is condescending.

Keep it simple, keep it entertaining.
[/quote]
I'm really quite surprised at the reactions to the gorilla story. Despite the reactions on here, I will be very surprised if it doesn't go over well "live." I don't know how to justify that other than I know the people I do magic for and they like things like that. Also, in relation to "how the authors feel," they have published numerous papers and currently sell a book all based on the premise of this well-known video. I think they are more interested in discussion of inattentional blindness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inattentional_blindness) than having an entertaining video.

In reference to the "three minutes before anything happens"...well there's a reason my friends call me "the professor" (not a reference to Vernon of course, but the fact that I lecture)! I think I'll generally just take out the movie reference, if only because it's hard to merge the two opening "ideas."

This is a very quick effect. Neither display takes much time so it really is about presentation. I could just "do it," but I'm not happy with how little it would actually engage the audience. Also, I want to "allude to a psych test" but I don't think I am actually going to SAY it is one. That way they won't expect a specific result from the test. Again, just trying to figure out how this is going to strike my audience.

Thanks for the lengthy input, Bill. You said a lot of things I either knew and didn't properly execute or agree with now. I don't really follow your mention of the swing cuts. As far as I'm aware, a swing cut breaks off a small packet with the right index finger, swings it over, and allows it to be trapped by the space between the left thumb and forefinger. How is that not "picking off packets?" You don't mean a swivel cut, do you? I don't have the book in front of me now because I'm out of town, but I'll review the text when I get a chance.

Thanks to everybody for your input so far. We'll see how this thing develops...
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Apr 11, 2010 01:58AM)
Loyaleagle wrote:
[quote]
As far as I'm aware, a swing cut breaks off a small packet with the right index finger, swings it over, and allows it to be trapped by the space between the left thumb and forefinger. How is that not "picking off packets?"
[/quote]
Shortly after I made my last post, I edited the comment about "picking off packets", you must have read that and remembered that or been writing your post while I was editing mine.

You are doing the swing cuts correctly, however, there is no reason to place the packet in your left hand immediately below the cards in your right hand for a prolonged period while you do each cut. You can start swing cutting cards as your hands approach, and then flash the back of the right hand cards as your hand separate. And, as I mentioned above, to the audience, you're just showing the faces, the backs are incidental.

The major omission is that you aren't not showing the back of the right-hand cards after each swing cut, and the pacing is way too slow. It shouldn't appear rushed, but it shouldn't be a prolonged display either.

The patter in the book does mention that the faces are different, and that the backs are all the same. Personally, I think the comment about the backs isn't desirable. It's obvious they're all the same, so there is no need to mention it. I think perhaps Nick Trost wanted to justify showing the backs, however, since the multiple displays are involve a discrepancy, I believe it's best not to draw attention to that aspect of the display.

If you fix that, and your patter, the routine will be greatly improved.

loyaleagle wrote:
[quote]
I'm really quite surprised at the reactions to the gorilla story. Despite the reactions on here, I will be very surprised if it doesn't go over well "live." I don't know how to justify that other than I know the people I do magic for and they like things like that. Also, in relation to "how the authors feel," they have published numerous papers and currently sell a book all based on the premise of this well-known video. I think they are more interested in discussion of inattentional blindness ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inattentional_blindness[/url]) than having an entertaining video.
[/quote]
loyaleagle, I made several points about this, and you only addressed one of them, and that point is the weakest argument I made. And, I'm not sure that your assumption regarding that argument is correct either. Have you contacted the people who made that video to ask them if your assumption is correct? (Don't bother though, even if you had done that, my other arguments are much stronger).

I'll repeat all the arguments regarding the gorilla video again and highlight the only argument you responded to by making it bold text:
[quote]
Also, I expect that a lot of people have not seen the gorilla video, and you've already apologized to one person above for tipping the outcome. You should get rid of that, it's a spoiler. It's not necessary to use that to get across the plot. Just stating it's an observation test is sufficient. [b]In addition, consider how the author of that video might feel about giving the outcome away.[/b] In my opinion, spoilers should never be used in a presentation. Of course, if you happen to know that absolutely every person in the audience has seen the video, then it's not a spoiler, just don't ruin it for anyone. I know I'd resent it if someone had ruined it for me.
[/quote]
My major point was listed first, i.e. that someone viewing your presentation has already complained to you right here in this topic and you apologized to them right here. This is important feedback! The final sentence in my quote is also unquestionably true, I hate spoilers. If you'd done that to me, I'd definitely be mildly annoyed at you.

And, you describe this as a "well-known" video. It doesn't matter if lots of people have seen it it if there are still lots of other people who haven't seen it yet. You are making an assumption that people have seen it, and that they won't care that you ruin it for them. I, and at least two other people, are telling you this is a false assumption. One person already complained. Is that clear?

Did you do a poll to determine that most people have seen this already, or are you assuming that? A link to this video was posted in the Magic Café, and at least one person in this topic hasn't seen it yet. That should tell you that it's quite likely that a great many people have never even heard of it.

I don't doubt that the gorilla presentation will go ever well with some people who have seen the video. To others, it will just be a spoiler, and lack emotional impact, although they might not realize the effect of your spoiling the surprise until they encounter the video.

I disagree that it's appropriate to give away fun surprises in other peoples presentations, whether the presentations are for science, or not.

My comments above seem harsh and argumentative, and I don't mean to seem that way. I like your video, and I won't dislike you regardless of what you decide to do. You have several people telling you the same thing. It's your choice.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Apr 15, 2010 12:01AM)
I have to agree with Andrew, Truesoldier,Uli,

It also seems that loyaleagle wasn't looking for a critique that didn't say how good he was. Saying someone is good just to make someone happy isn't a critique, by any stretch of the imagination. If your going to put up a video on here or anywhere else you have to be ready for the honest impressions of the vid from those that aren't afraid to speak the honest truth. If you can't handle that. Then show the vids to only family and close friends that are going to pat you on the back no matter what. In other words if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or learn to take the advise given. Change the bad parts and listen and learn from what others tell you.
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 15, 2010 12:19AM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-15 01:01, RS1963 wrote:
I have to agree with Andrew, Truesoldier,Uli,

It also seems that loyaleagle wasn't looking for a critique that didn't say how good he was. Saying someone is good just to make someone happy isn't a critique, by any stretch of the imagination. If your going to put up a video on here or anywhere else you have to be ready for the honest impressions of the vid from those that aren't afraid to speak the honest truth. If you can't handle that. Then show the vids to only family and close friends that are going to pat you on the back no matter what. Otherwise take the advise given. Change the bad parts and listen and learn from what others tell you.
[/quote]
I couldn't disagree with you more, RS. The feedback I've gotten on this thread has been very helpful in not only tweaking the handling, but also in the idea of the presentation at large. Since this was my first go at a color-changing deck I just wanted to see how my ideas flowed.

That being said, I always try to give as good as I get. Just because I welcome comments, that doesn't mean I won't try to defend my position. If I simply caved in to every suggestion (even the ones from good magicians on here), I might be doing good magic, but I wouldn't be doing MY magic. Sorry if my rebuttals got a bit heated...I admit I kind of fell in love with the IDEA of my first presentation...

Thanks to Bill, btw, that last post cleared up what you were saying. I've since fixed the display and it's been much more deceptive!

Due to the discussion and discourse, I have a second "draft" of the effect working in my mind. When I get a chance, I will post another video...

Essentially this is shaping up to be the opener in a small set of "psych" themed tricks. I'm thinking the intro will be slightly shorter, depending on the crowd. I don't think I want to try to pass off these effects as ACTUAL psych tricks (like maybe a mentalist would), but as magic that seems to play with the mind. So the full deck color inversion will still come across as a magical change, but leave the audience with an out that is psychological. I've never done this before, but people always seem to like it when I talk about psych phenomenon (real or not). I'm still not married to this new idea, so I welcome thoughts on the plot...

I'm not quite sure what else I'd like to put into the set, but it would be best if it could need only a standard deck.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Apr 15, 2010 02:06AM)
It doesn't make any sense to blow off others good ideas to make something much better and go ahead and do what is seen as so so or perhaps not that good at all. Just because you like something doesn't mean it should be done that way.
Doesn't sound like you are very open to ideas to me I'm sure the others may doubt that you are as well.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Apr 15, 2010 12:46PM)
RS1963, it doesn't follow that because someone doesn't take any specific advice that they aren't open to advice. Sometimes people just disagree.

However, in this case, loyaleagle clearly has changed his routine based upon advice given here. I'm quite sure his next video will show a somewhat different handling for the initial phase of the routine.

To get this back on topic; The three swing cuts happen, and then the fourth time the cards are placed underneath to reassemble the deck. It's a 4 count, with the 4th count having the right hand cards go underneath the left hand cards.

Also, make sure your hands are as relaxed as they can be when you practice and perform. Unjustified muscle tension gives a clue that something fishy is going on, and that can weaken the magic, even if the audience never sees any cause for the effect.

By the way, you'll notice the discrepancy in the handling in the first phase. For that reason, part of the method for routine can be reverse engineered if on seen repeatedly on video. I suspect the rest of the method is generally deceptive even upon repeated viewing.

I really like that routine. I look forward to the next video.
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 15, 2010 11:29PM)
[b]VIDEO UPDATE!!!![/b]

Ok, hopefully this handling and presentation will put many of the objections to rest. I have made a new video that neuters the gorilla video objections by keeping the principle, but eliminating the spoiler. The display is hopefully more deceptive (though there is a bit of that obnoxious camera shine that keeps the colors from standing out as much). Also, I tried to make the trick more upbeat and fun for the participant...."you've been had, but in a good way."

Here's the link:
http://vimeo.com/10970974
Password: nicktrost

Once again, this is still unpolished so please do not share this outside the fraternity (though the odd girlfriend/boyfriend or parent is understandable).
Message: Posted by: magicPhred (Apr 16, 2010 01:18PM)
Much better. Thanks for posting this
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Apr 16, 2010 11:29PM)
This is much, much, better.

I have minor points still, but they're no big deal, the routine will probably play great as is. Some of what I write below will sound wishy-washy, but it's only because I really don't know. I'll let you decide if the following comments have any merit.

Don't say, "A red deck of cards, right?" This will make a spectator question what they implicitly know before you do the revelation. Never ask if anything that is false is true. However, I expect you did that because you had no audience. And, even if you would say that with an audience, I might be wrong anyway; perhaps it's so bold that nobody would question that the deck is really red. It just seems risky to me.

I didn't understand why you used a Hindu shuffle to put the card in the middle of the deck. In the original routine, the card is just placed on the face-up deck and cut to the middle. It doesn't add anything to the routine to use the shuffle there. However, that's a really picayune point. I'm just a minimalist, or at least I want to be one; I've recorded some of my routines and I have plenty of fat to cut out of some of them.

There is one thing that I'm almost certain doesn't matter, and that is whether the deck is red or blue. You reversed the colors used in the published routine. I'm curious if this was a conscious decision for a reason, or it was just that you had a blue deck handy?

Since I posted above, I thought about why Nick Trost explicitly mentioned the backs once in his patter, and I realized that it might be possible for a spectator who was paying too much attention to the performer to miss the color of the flashed cards. That would ruin the effect of the routine. He might have added that comment because of a bad experience once. It's something to think about. It does sound unnatural to me to mention the backs though. I haven't performed this enough to have a strong opinion, and I expect Nick Trost performed it a lot. Keep that in mind!

I think the video is great now.
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 17, 2010 12:48AM)
@Bill

Yes, your assumption is right. With an audience present I'd hope that they would supply in their own words the things I said. I do think the recap is important, though, because if I just flip it over, there is some chance that they spectators will think that nothing changed because they will convince themselves they had the colors reversed. I want the expectation to be solidified.

I got the Hindu idea from Trost actually. He has it as a note in the text. Whenever I see a trick for the first time, I don't feel compelled to do it unless it fooled or entertained [b]me[/b]. If I had seen this one with nothing more than cuts, I wouldn't have been fooled because so many self-workers rely on cyclic or false cuts. I think a lot of card-interested people know this too. If those same kinds of people see a Hindu, I think that at least a few of them will be lost because it's not cyclic.

Also, I've considered having the spectator place the card in the middle position as I hold the two packets apart. I'll probably try a variation until I find the right fit.

Ya know, there [b]are[/b] instances where the color of the cards used is important in a mixed-back deck. For instance, a number of effects imply that you've "heated up the card" so you want the selection to turn red. Personally I've done red and blue stranger cards in blue and red decks, respectively, and never noticed a difference if the patter didn't require it. I think the thing to think about here is the final revelation. The first phase of the trick only needs two different colors. The second phase needs [b]one[/b] card to stand out from many. I feel like a red card does this pretty well among darker blue cards.

While Trost did mention that line (which is why I said it in my first video), I do tend to agree with you that it's not the best line out there. I feel that the red box and emphasis of the blue back being [b]different[/b] will lay enough foundation already. Again, I still plan to do the recap because it allows the group to confirm what they saw and gets everyone on the same page (so they can react the same way).

Do you like the "magician hardly notices the magic change but congratulates you on naming the right card" thing at the end? I wanted to kind of finish with a touch of humor so it doesn't come off as a "gotcha" trick.

Thanks for all the feedback everybody!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Apr 17, 2010 12:49PM)
Loyaleagle wrote:
[quote]
I got the Hindu idea from Trost actually. He has it as a note in the text.
[/quote]
Nick Trost was referring to replacing the early swing-cut displays with the Hindu shuffle, not the final cut. He wrote:
[quote]
[i]Notes:[/i] If you prefer, the Hindu Shuffle can be substituted for the series of swing cuts.
[/quote]

loyaleagle wrote:
[quote]
If I had seen this one with nothing more than cuts, I wouldn't have been fooled because so many self-workers rely on cyclic or false cuts.
[/quote]
Except, you only show the faces when you do the Hindu shuffle, so it proves nothing relevant to the trick's outcome.

If you think the Hindu is more effective, then I think you should replace the swing-cut display with a Hindu shuffle, not the final cut. It's only necessary to show the color of the cards a few times, and in this case, you aren't really [i]proving[/i] anything with your actions, rather you're letting the color of the card box and the few flashes of the backs let the audience's imagination lead them to a false conclusion. Later, I think the single wrong-colored card also serves as misdirection as to the method.

loyaleagle wrote:
[quote]
Do you like the "magician hardly notices the magic change but congratulates you on naming the right card" thing at the end? I wanted to kind of finish with a touch of humor so it doesn't come off as a "gotcha" trick.
[/quote]
I like the line.
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Apr 18, 2010 05:34PM)
Two quick things.

First, bring back the presentation regarding the gorilla video. It's true that some may have not seen it but you gain a wonderful hook- the trick has meaning and relevance. As it stands now I have some 'jerk' lecturing me on my inability to 'observe' things. Blech.

Second, move the card box of screen but allow the flap to remain seen. This will allow you to have the box change color with very little work (think about it). It doesn't need to be pointed out, but I think it'd be nice, at the end, if you put the blue deck back in a blue box. Trippy.

Love,
Ben
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 18, 2010 05:54PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-18 18:34, Ben Train wrote:
Two quick things.

First, bring back the presentation regarding the gorilla video. It's true that some may have not seen it but you gain a wonderful hook- the trick has meaning and relevance. As it stands now I have some 'dick' lecturing me my inability to 'observe' things. Blech.

Second, move the card box of screen but allow the flap to remain seen. This will allow you to have the box change color with very little work (think about it). It doesn't need to be pointed out, but I think it'd be nice, at the end, if you put the blue deck back in a blue box. Trippy.

Love,
Ben
[/quote]
On your first point, yes, that was pretty much my reasoning for using the example. That being said...I think most magic we do involves us being "dicks" and telling people they're not aware of the magical world around them. The objective is just to make them forget that point in light of the overall effect :P

I will probably keep the gorilla thing around for people who I think would enjoy that more than the pure principle.

I think I would do the latter...if I had any interest in making a video for the public to view. As it stands, I only made these videos to get some feedback from The Café. In "real life" the card box will probably be hanging around my work surface or potentially in a card box-sized pocket. I don't actually intend for them to think they made a mistake...I want them to realize that "magic" happened (or something that looks like it) and that what I'm saying is entertaining but also a load of bull (though if they realize that last part AFTER the trick is finished, but they were fooled for a short while, that would be ideal!).

Thanks for watching/posting!
Message: Posted by: leondo (Apr 18, 2010 09:05PM)
I LOVE this effect and the book from which it came!
I'm not even sure words are needed. Everything is obvious...beginning to end.
Why does EVERYTHING need explaining?
All it needs is presentention and the "right" music.
Disclaimer.....I've never done this professionally.
Ted L
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 18, 2010 10:04PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-18 22:05, leondo wrote:
I LOVE this effect and the book from which it came!
I'm not even sure words are needed. Everything is obvious...beginning to end.
Why does EVERYTHING need explaining?
All it needs is presentention and the "right" music.
Disclaimer.....I've never done this professionally.
Ted L
[/quote]
I totally agree that that would be feasible...if the magician in question (ME) wasn't such a garrulous person! If I stayed quiet for more than a minute they'd probably think I was hiding cards in my mouth!
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Apr 18, 2010 11:34PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-18 18:54, loyaleagle wrote:
I think most magic we do involves us being "dicks" and telling people they're not aware of the magical world around them.
[/quote]

You and I have very different views on what our objectives are!

If you are sharing something special with them, something interesting, and something welcomed and, hopefully, invited, then it's hard to see how we could be a dick (without trying hard). The problem is that we often take advantage of their casual interest and then 'hit them' with the surprise "observation test"- which DOES feel kinda dicky.

The nice thing about the Gorilla video was that it was a) authentic, b)interesting at the end and c)fun in application. Since your trick is like a card-version of that, aim to incorporate those components.

1. Is it interesting? Not really- we know it's ********. Why?
2. Because we know it isn't authentic. But it can be- and you're close.
3. Is the application, or test, fun? No, not really. It's watching you handle a deck. Check this out- let THEM do it! They can, right, so why not (or pick something else that makes it interesting, and stimulating)? **** emulating Trost- aim to be better. It's possible.

I dunno. Maybe I'm talking out of my ass.

Ben
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Apr 19, 2010 12:09AM)
I wish I could have edited that.

First: the first sentence (about objectives) was meant half-jokingly.

Second: The astrixed out word after "is it interesting?" was "baloney".

Love,
Ben
Message: Posted by: loyaleagle (Apr 19, 2010 12:14AM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-19 01:09, Ben Train wrote:
I wish I could have edited that.

First: the first sentence (about objectives) was meant half-jokingly.

Second: The astrixed out word after "is it interesting?" was "baloney".

Love,
Ben
[/quote]
Lol, no worries Ben. We could make a deli platter with all the baloney we toss around on here :P
Message: Posted by: ekgdoc (May 2, 2010 03:29PM)
I recently used this as an opener and it went well, though I definitely learned from the experience. I appreciate and will use many of the comments that have been given. I did regret specifying that "the backs are all the same" as I think that led one person (a true genius) to realize what I was doing. I also regretted telling the spectators that they were not paying attention (as per the Trost patter). Why make the specs feel bad? I think next time I'll tell the specs that they have excellent observation skills and when I turn over to reveal the color change, I will act startled/confused. "What the heck just happened? Didn't you just place a blue backed 8 in a red backed deck? That was weird."

Here are a couple of thoughts that may not have been mentioned by others. Instead of doing this as an opener, you could do it as a second trick. The first trick, a quickie, could be something like Card Warp (or maybe a TnR card) using red backed cards that are destroyed. This would would serve to lock in the color of the cards without directing attention to it. I would also point out that in The Observation Test it is easy to retain a stack on top. Since miracles can be done using stacks, a follow up trick could use this to advantage.

David M
Message: Posted by: miker50 (May 9, 2010 12:35AM)
I liked the first video better. I was interested in what you were saying and it just seemed more magical and entertaining to me. The second was a bit boring to me. I had never seen the gorilla video and it did not upset me that you spoke about it....I thought it was an intresting story and it made me want to search out the video. Just my thoughts for what it's worth...Great job in both though!!

Mike