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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Stay with Books or move with the times and get DVD's (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Donnay
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Just wanted to start a debate to ask if people think that magic text books should still be bought or should we move on now and rely on DVD/vhs for learning. I personally have a few books and no dvd's but that's because I am always recommended books and very rarely dvd's. Is there still room for Text Book magic? Smile
r4bid
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This topic has been covered numerous times already in the forums, do a quick search and you will find pages upon pages of insight into your question.

With that said I think you really can use both.

Videos are good to quickly get the idea behind an effect or to see some knuckle busting sleight performed slowly so that you don't have to read 10 pages of text while dropping your cards and coins all over the floor.

Books are good because there are many things that can't be shown on video easily (exact finger placement, moves that have to be performed quickly). Also, books often contain more effects for a lower price. Let's not forget that you can always read a book but in twenty years when there are no DVD players or VCRs what are you going to do with your videos?
Kathryn Novak
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It depends on your learning style and on what you're willing to pay for. Some DVD's offer only a few effects, while most books will offer you the best for your buck.
If anyone sees my sanity, please return it to

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cmwalden
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You'll get two different things from books and DVDs. You will never find a video which puts as much material as you will find in any one of the classic books of magic. Also you will not usually find much in the way of philosophy or stories about magician's experiences in videos. This type of material doesn't play well, and would not suit the market for videos who are mostly looking for performance and moves.

However, for perfecting a move taught by a master, DVD is awsome. I especially like the practice sessions that are becoming common. With DVD I can set it on chapter repeat and just let the move repeat while I work on it. I can always look up at a trouble spot and wait for the moment to come around again.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

- William Shakespeare
Dennis Michael
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Both are equally important!
Dennis Michael
Darren Roberts
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I'm new to magic and have found both to be equally valuable. I enjoy learning out of books, but with DVD's...well, sometimes it's just helpful to "see" what the effect is supposed to look like.

So, yes, both are very valid in these "times".
secondbaseman
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I prefer dvds and vids, because for me, it's hard to learn from a book. They are all in english, which is not my native language but I am trying to learn more and more from books

NIels
debaser
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I like videos in the sense that you get to see the performers style and delivery. It's like learning to play guitar from a book; you get all the important information and usually more history on the subject, however you lose the feel.

So I do think videos are important.

However, I would rather have videos that performed all the tricks in the book, but with no explanations.

Matt
khuber
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In my opinion, both are good but books provide more material. Smile
peng
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Darwin Ortiz gave a very accurate view on this. Books always contain more materials than videos. They are intellectual learning tools, while videos are visual learning tools. It's so much easier to learn a move by watching videos, but videos can never convey theories like books.
Peng
debaser
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Videos could convey just as much if not more than books about theories, its just that they don't.

Most videos are an hour to 11/2 hours long when they could easily be 2 hours long.

It's just that the market has been set up in such a way that everyone thinks they need to make 3 videos instead of 1.

Not to mention that even though most books provide more material, usually half of that material at least is just filler at best.

Matt
bilz
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Just my thoughts on what I found has worked...

I first started with card magic about 7 months ago when a friend loaned me a copy of 'Royal Road' which I found really useful. But I found it much more useful after watching Richard Kaufman's 'Basic card techniques'. It wasn't until after seeing some of the sleights that I really started to understand not only those I saw but how others were being described.

I have now just purchased Ammar's introduction to coin magic DVD for the same reason after reading Bobo for quite a while - I guess everyone learns differently but I really find reading - then watching - then re-reading is the best way for me!
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Payne
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DVD's, in my opinion impart information instead of knowledge and create vast numbers of mimics who replicate what they have seen instead of seeking out their own voice.

Fifty Years from now the books in my library will still be quite readable. The information they contain easily and readily obtainable. Even the most obscure tome or pamphlet will still be able to impart it's knowlege to a new generation of Magicians.
The information locked away on magnetic tape or laser etched disks will be all but unaccessable. Video and DVD players will be obsolete curiousities relegated to museums and collecters of esotaria.
Jamy Ian Swiss touches on this topic in his newest book "Shattering Illusions".
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Terry
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There is alot to be said for sitting down and thinking. A book allows you do this. In order to use a book you must read and process the information.
A video simply pours it all over you, you watch, and in an instant you are able to ape the moves depicted. Even without some of the necessary practice.

With a book, you will not be able to ape moves, but, you will internalize the material and interpret the moves through your own experiences and capabilities.

Think of a film, have you ever, ever, ever heard anybody say the movie was better than the book? I bet not. This is because you became engaged with the book - you used an active imagination to develop the storyline an possibilities. With a video instead of using your imaginiation, you rely on someone elses interpretation of the events.

I say that with magic, music, or anything else that can be taught by multimedia: you can become proficient with video - its a fine introduction, but your learning and skill will be of a surface level and meager kind. It's kind of like Cliff Notes.

Use a book if you want to really understand and learn.

Additionally, it is a proven fact that the longer you are exposed to something the more entrenched in your mind it will become.
A book will expose you to ideas over a longer period of time, AND, at your rate of induction.
You say you have watched some DVD's already - I bet you don't remember half of the moves you've seen!
I bet you remember the first book you've ever read, or be best, or favorite characters and adventures!!!
Why do you think this is?
This is called Critical Thinking and only a book makes you do this.
Donnay
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A lot of replies coming from the older generation are saying books are best. Yet the younger crowd go with DVD. See I would agree with the old timers in saying that with books you use your head more and absorb the information, but my problem with books is.....there are none for the left handed magician(which I hope to sort out). So while the average guy just has to sit there and follow the instructions, us leftys have to process even more. Every time the word right is mentioned we have to re-read then perhaps we have already made a wrong move in our practice and it's right back to the start. With dvd watching it in mirror image can be replicated much easier and thus giving the underdogged left handed community that little extra help. Smile
jgeist1
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I love watching videos and DVDS, and I also enjoy reading magic books. I would just like to comment on a few things.

Quote:
On 2003-01-28 19:04, Terry wrote:
Think of a film, have you ever, ever, ever heard anybody say the movie was better than the book? I bet not.

I think this is an unfair analogy. I believe that often times people say that the book is better than the movie, because it is incredibly difficult to include all the character development and plot lines that the book contains. I believe that a fairer survey would be asking people whether they enjoy reading or watching movies more.

Quote:
I say that with magic, music, or anything else that can be taught by multimedia: you can become proficient with video - its a fine introduction, but your learning and skill will be of a surface level and meager kind. It's kind of like Cliff Notes.

I believe that the results you get are comparable to the effort that you put in. I would not agree that you could only have meager skill by watching videos. Daryl's EoCS helped me develop my skill in a wide range of sleights. I put forth a lot of effort and would not consider myself a meager magician. I'm not a Xerox of the tapes either, I can watch the videos and my brain goes all creative and strings together sleights to come up with some great effects.

Quote:
... you have watched some DVD's already - I bet you don't remember half of the moves you've seen!

Just as people read books more than once, people can also watch videos more than once. I don't think that anyone can sit and read a book, then be able to rememeber all of the moves or routines they have seen. As for me, I remember the good stuff and also go back and watch my videos after becoming more confident with sleights I'm working on.
Quote:
This is called Critical Thinking and only a book makes you do this.

I think you can use your brain equally well while watching a video. If you choose to turn off your brain while watching a video, it only hurts yourself.

-Jason
tedski
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I agree with the music analogy - I've studied music at the graduate level and played for over 25 years. Oddly, I learned by ear and watching others to great success, but eventually, there was no getting around it FOR ME...I had to study formally with books.

I use both video and books - I think video helps with initial understanding, but eventually you will learn more by books

regards
Terry
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Jason,
You make some good points.
But - you mentioned Daryls EoCT - I have the entire set and I go through them routinely. They serve as a quick visual to illustrate the fluidity of the trick. These help in learning the basic manuvers. In essence - to be able to ape the trick. I think you see my point! Then I bet you read Ortiz Scams & Fantasies for the high-power effects!
Emily Belleranti
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[quote]On 2003-01-28 20:09, Donnay wrote:
A lot of replies coming from the older generation are saying books are best. Yet the younger crowd go with DVD.
[quote]

I'm definitely in the younger crowd, and I prefer books to videos/DVDs. (Though it is true that I'm different from the typical member of the younger crowd in a lot of ways.) Smile

I've always had a knack for learning things from books, and I've also always loved reading. I suppose I'm lucky that way.

I agree with some advice I heard here in the Café; that learning magic from books is a developed skill. But, once the skill is developed, it will certainly be a valuable one.
"If you achieve success, you will get applause, and if you get applause, you will hear it. My advice to you concerning applause is this: Enjoy it, but never quite believe it."



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Peter Marucci
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DVDs, tapes, etc. are fine for learning moves and routines -- IF you just want to "do tricks".

If you are after more depth, more background, more principles -- more "magic", in short, then books are the only -- repeat, ONLY -- way to go.

Sure, the younger crowd will go with DVDs; you will always go with what you are most familiar with.

But that doesn't make them better -- or even good!
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