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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Steve Ehlers - Arizona Card Expert DVD (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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steve ehlers
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Steve,

This was my first experience with the DVD process and believe me it has certainly proven enlightening. When the DVD came out I was obviously disappointed with the aspects of the editing that were already mentioned. However; my biggest concern was if people would like the material. So outside of the production issues I would be interested in your thoughts on the material.

Warmest Regards,

Steve
fasr eddie
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Steve,
I thought that the material was excellent I especially like the travelers routine and the collectors routine.
My previous post was a dig at the editing of dvd not your material,i already do cascade control so I was particularly interested in your handling and please do not think I am rude but I only knew your name from the shift as described in Jack Carpenter book so was looking forward to that as well.So hope this clears up why I personally was disappointed with EDITING.
NeoMagic
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Just ordered my copy! Smile
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David Nelson
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Quote:
On 2006-03-05 13:48, S.Segal wrote:
On the "Rat Pack" DVD, I was disappointed that the performance of the routine was not re-shot. I love the actual routine, and am a HUGE fan of Curtis, but when the trap does not go off in the "live" performance, why wasn't it re-shot? Would you consider this a "blunder" as well? Obviously, in a "live" performance anywhere else, Curtis would be S.O.L. But, when you are shooting a DVD, and you have the opportunity to "get it right," why not take advantage of that luxury and re-shot at least the final part of the performance?


I figured I'd answer this one since it's been answered elsewhere but I can't recall exactly where. This was a conscious decision to show how the trick plays when the trap doesn't go off. From what I've seen, the trap goes off about 75% of the time. Consequently, it's not a necessary part of the routine. It adds to the dramatic moment and is desirable when it occurs but, in the interest of showing a real world performance Steve and Curtis decided that including the performance as it happened, in which the trap didn't go off, would be better because you could see how Curtis handles the less dramatic finale. The only additional value that would have been gained by including a performance in which the trap goes off would be for showing off Curtis' performance to others because, admittedly, it's more dramatic but it doesn't add anything to the educational value of the video.

I could have sworn this was explained on the video but perhaps it was only explained in the thread regarding The Rat Trap DVD.

Now that I've answered an off topic question I thought I'd bring us back on topic by stating that I received The Arizona Card Expert while I was at the World Magic Seminar. I haven't had the opportunity to watch any of the teaching portion yet but I watched most of the performances and I really enjoyed them. Steve's performance didn't come across on the DVD as intense as I remember him live -while Steve is a quiet guy in real life he has a passion for the pasteboards that shows up in his performance- but that could be just the way the performance went that day.

Dave
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I like the dvd. but too bad the Ehlers shift isn't explained. I had to rewind it several times to see it performed. it certainly fooled me, even though I have read the descriptions from Jack Carpenters book Modus Operandi.

my favorites are Motor Ace Production, Dream Catcher, The Mysterious Kid, Stacking, Pseudo Muck and Three Card Location.
Steve Brooks
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Okay, I should have been a little more specific in my statements regarding some of the things I mentioned about DVD production. It would also probably help matters if I gave a brief insight as to why I feel the way I do about certain aspects as it relates to magic instruction.

If I purchase a book or DVD that is teaching or discussing advanced card magic, I realize that the author/teacher may not necessarily explain each and every sleight. For instance, if during a routine a Jordan count is used, I have no problem if the count is not explained. Because the book or DVD is targeted towards those with more advanced card skills, knowing such a count is a given and I accept that.
If however, a new move or sleight is introduced, shown and mentioned but not explained - then I have a problem.

steve ehlers said; "...in some cases, like the Cascade Control, the editor used a bad angle in which to see the sleight"

First, the editor chose to use footage that showcased the sleight from a bad angle. Either we have a bad editor, whose choice of footage was poor (in which case I stand by what I said), or we have a bad camera operator who did not leave the editor any choice (and I still stand by my previous statements). Either way, the producer or director should have caught the problem and made the correction.

steve ehlers said; " Regarding the shift I explained it during the taping and it is seen on the DVD but the editor, for what ever reason, did not include the explanation on the DVD"

Second, an explanation was shot, but never placed on the DVD. Why? Clearly Steve wanted folks to understand the shift and went thru the trouble of teaching it. Again, this goof should have been caught during post production. Again, the final responsibility rests with the producer of the project, and again I stand by my previous statements.

Finally, I have no hesitation in answering the fair question that Mr. Segal has asked.

S.Segal said; "On the "Rat Pack" DVD, I was disappointed that the performance of the routine was not re-shot. I love the actual routine, and am a HUGE fan of Curtis, but when the trap does not go off in the "live" performance, why wasn't it re-shot? Would you consider this a "blunder" as well? Obviously, in a "live" performance anywhere else, Curtis would be S.O.L. But, when you are shooting a DVD, and you have the opportunity to "get it right," why not take advantage of that luxury and re-shot at least the final part of the performance?"

First, David Nelson was correct in his statements regarding The Rat Pack DVD. Knowing that the trap does go off about 99% of the time, we made the decision to show footage of a performance where the trap did not snap as planned. This was not a blunder, this was something we elected to do (as opposed to forgetting to include footage that was actually shot).

Second, we felt it important that the viewer understand what to do when things don't work as planned. So many times we purchase DVDs where the tricks always work perfectly. In the real world that does not occur. Since the trap usually does go off (very sensitive those darn traps), it was not necessary to show the viewer something that normally happens. We wanted people to see something that is rare, but could happen to them during performance. The way I see it, re-shooting the ending so it looked perfect would not only be cheating the viewer, but taking the easy way out. In addition, Curtis addresses this issue on the DVD.

Bottom line: We made certain artistic decisions that folks may or may not agree with, which is totally different than bad camera work, poor editing and lack of proper supervision during post production.


steve ehlers said; "Steve, This was my first experience with the DVD process and believe me it has certainly proven enlightening. When the DVD came out I was obviously disappointed with the aspects of the editing that were already mentioned. However; my biggest concern was if people would like the material. So outside of the production issues I would be interested in your thoughts on the material"

That's easy Steve! Outside the poor video production I mentioned, the material presented is outstanding and I would recommend any lover of the pasteboards to give this a look. My negative comments concerned things that were not your fault and out of your control. At the risk of sounding arrogant, the next time you find yourself ready to make a DVD, PLEASE do not hesitate to contact me, I would be very interested and guarantee that your disc would be produced professionally. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Review King
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I LOVED that The Rat Pack DVD showed what happed when the trap didn't go.

Ever see a DVD where even a TOP guy goofs? They show it in the outakes, which I appreciate. But..it also shows that things don't always work. The creators of The Rat Pack let us see what happens and what to do.

That kind of info is gold in my opinion.

Just my take on things.

Chris
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the saddest are, "It might have been"

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NeoMagic
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Daryl goofed - not in a big way but kinda obvious (almost glaring) to another magician - during the opening live routine on his ACR DVD. I think he noticed what he'd done, but it was kept in.

Coming back to some of the earlier comments about editors using bad angles etc... does not the artist/performer share some of the responsibility? If I was being filmed for a commercial DVD I'd want full editorial control and at least review and approve the final edit before it goes public. My line of work occasionaly requires me to arrange TV interviews for colleagues and we ALWAYS insist on approving the final version before it is aired. That's the time to correct any errors.
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David Nelson
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Quote:
On 2006-03-06 18:55, NeoMagic wrote:
Coming back to some of the earlier comments about editors using bad angles etc... does not the artist/performer share some of the responsibility? If I was being filmed for a commercial DVD I'd want full editorial control and at least review and approve the final edit before it goes public. My line of work occasionaly requires me to arrange TV interviews for colleagues and we ALWAYS insist on approving the final version before it is aired. That's the time to correct any errors.


It all depends on who produces the video and who is performing. I sat through most of the early A-1 video shoots and many L&L video shoots so I've seen both Mike Maxwell and Louis Falanga deal with numerous performers. Some performers were very media savvy, Mike Close and Mike Ammar both did an excellent job of ensuring that their performances looked good on video. Other performers needed Louis or Mike to give them explicit direction or moved around so much during live performances that they camera couldn't follow them. Neither Mike nor Louis is a big fan of reshooting a segment because they are paying good money for every second of the camera men's time so they would often say whatever they got was good enough and leave it at that.

In this case, I think Steve was flattered to be offered the opportunity to make a DVD and just wanted to perform his stuff for the camera. I'm sure that he expected the producers, who have made DVDs in the past, to know how to film a professional quality magic DVD.

Dave
steve ehlers
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David, you are correct regarding the editing.

Regards,

Steve
doug brewer
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Actually it wasn't so much the editing, as the directing that was incorrect. The editor can only use the raw material filmed. If the angles are all wrong, then no amount of editing is going to fix it. That said, I found Steve to be a sincere and thoroughly enjoyable performer. The performances were excellently performed and the two spectators seemed to be charmed (and fooled) by Steve's effects. I really liked this DVD.
NeoMagic
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I have now seen the Steve Ehlers Arizona Card Expert DVD and wanted to offer the following comments and mini-review to add to what's already been said. I won't repeat the description of the tricks that are taught as that has been covered in an earlier post.

----------------

This is my first exposure to Steve's card work and I should say from the outset, I didn't care for all the effects on the DVD. But isn't that often the case generally? How many times do we find ourselves liking every item we read about in a book or see on tape/DVD? That being said, I thought Dream Catcher, The Mysterious Kid, and Pseudo Muck were excellent routines. Having only watched the DVD a couple of times so far, I'm sure some of the other tricks will grow on me too over time. Overall, I'm quite happy with the purchase. And I have to agree with the earlier comment about Steve being a "sincere and thoroughly enjoyable performer". His performance and teaching style is immediately likeable.

There are twelve effects on the DVD, but it feels like a lot more for some reason, probably because Steve's explanations are so thorough and lucid and that there are a good number of shuffles/changes/switches/controls covered in the process. The DVD is over two and a half hours long!

During the explanations, Steve also teaches some really great sleights/utility moves, all of which are worthy of inclusion in anyone's arsenal. Here are the ones I was able to pick out:

- Ken Krenzel's Mechanical Reverse

- Jack Carpenter's Impulse Change

- Hofzinser Spread Cull (quick overview)

- Jack Carpenter's Outjog Insertion

- Harry Levine's Hurricane Change

- Charlie Miller's Cascade Control (you can still learn it despite the poor filming angle)

- Loewy/Hugard Palm

- Steve's own card fold (for Card in the Mouth)

- Dad Stevens Control

- Up the Ladder False Cut

- Benzais Bewilderment Move (card revelation)

- Zarrow Shuffle (performance only really, including during the explanations)

- Jack Carpenter's Hundred Year (?) Switch

- Black Jack Card Switch (you might prefer this to the Paul Curry Turnover Change)

- George Joseph Action Palm (card palmed during an overhand shuffle)

- Neal Elias Multiple Shift

- Chop Shuffle (false shuffle)

Steve performs these very well. But more importantly for the viewer, he explains them well too.

It is a shame the Shift was omitted. Other things appear to be omitted too: For example, Steve refers to a deck switch during the explanation of Three Card Location, mentioning that he will "show [us] that later on"; and during the explanation of Third Times A Charm Steve executes the Diagonal Palm Shift, adding, "I'll explain that in a second"; and finally during the explanation of Almost Johnson Steve indicates he will offer an alternate handling that precludes the need for the Stevens Control - in all cases these things are not included on the DVD or just weren't explained during the shooting. But this doesn't detract from the quality and entertainment value of the product as it is. You can see from the above list of sleights that a lot of good stuff is covered, let alone the effects themselves.

The DVD will appeal to cardicians and pseudo-gamblers alike.
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NeoMagic
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^ Correction: For Almost Johnson an alternate handling is in fact given using the Faro Shuffle instead of the Stevens Control. Not sure how I missed that earlier... Must have been practicing the Cascade Control! Smile
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Review King
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I guess what I would ask is this, being it's 2006, is there anything here that is earth shatteringand makes it a must have?
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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Does anyone know where to find a wind up like his frog...I have several that hop around but I really liked the way the frog moved... sideways...
Magically,

Mike King - Sho-Me Magic

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NeoMagic
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^ Not sure, but your hopping frog would work great too. Instead of spreading the cards in a line as Steve does why not spread them out haphazardly mentioning that the frog will hop from card to card until it lands on the selection? Assuming you aren't already doing this.
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Yes the hopping works fine like that I just liked the way his frog moved sideways.
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Mike King - Sho-Me Magic

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Check this frog out:
http://www.etacuisenaire.com/catalog/pro......=froogle
Not what you are looking for but has potential.
Guilt will betray you before technique betrays you!
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Is enough of the shift shown that it can be learned in conjunction with the write up in the Jack Carpenter book?

Fatts
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^ The shift is performance-only... it is not taught.
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