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The Drake
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I'm not quite sure where to post this so if the Mods can think of which category fits it best maybe they can move it.

Hello All,

I thought you might be interested in knowing about a new project in the works to preserve some of Magics history. Its called the Preservation Project and will be a series of biographical DVD's on performers who have contributed so much to magic.
I just returned from Vegas where I assisted in the filming of some interview footage to be used in the first of the DVD series.

Here is a video teaser for the first biography. Hopefully many more will be produced in the near future to help document the greats. http://www.timothydrake.ca/StillZaney.wmv

Best,

Tim
JasonB
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Looks really well produced. What an awesome idea. Best of luck with it.
Bradacal
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That's great!
Spellbinder
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It's an ambitious project and I hope it succeeds in establishing a preservation archive of some sort so that on-going footage of today's promising young hopefuls will be as important as footage of those who have already made a name for themselves. These are the guys who are tomorrow's "greats" and about whom we will later be wishing we had been able to anticipate the "David Kotkins" who later turn into the "David Copperfields."
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

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Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
The Drake
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Spellbinder,

You can bet that these days with digital video being so cheap every young performer out there will have tons of footage of their own careers so documenting those that make it will be easy when it is there time.

Currently those younger performers are entering magic knowing very little of those who came before them and that is what this project is all about.

BTW... It was Seth Kotkin that turned into David Copperfield... not David Kotkin. LOL

Best,

Tim
Terry Owens
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Looked like a series I would want...looked great!
Stephen Williams
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This looks like it will be a fantastic DVD(s), do you know when they will become available?
John T. Sheets
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Hi Tim,

Looks awesome. I think magic needs something like this. Congrads on all of your success with this project.

Magically,
John
www.johnTsheets.com

See the "Quantum Bender 3.0" trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkTVw9FjonE

See my Dove Act here... https://youtu.be/Ms7_u46Qpp0

See the "Energy Bender" trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpJOfL0k8xA

See the "Table of Death" in Las Vegas trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YivizLAKD7I
mark2004
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Sounds like a commendable and long overdue project. I wish success to those involved.

How much archive/old footage will there be? It's enlightening to see interviews with performers as they are now but it's even better to be able to see them presenting their trademark illusions at the time when they made their names.

I've found that one of the great things about the internet in recent years is that (thanks to individuals' home video collections and to improved bandwidth) it's provided a chance to glimpse clips of performances that I thought had long ago been consigned to historical oblivion. However I would much prefer to see such performances in proper broadcast quality on DVDs that were released officially with royalties going to the performers or their estates. It seems there are always barriers to such things coming about - not the least of them being the task of locating original master tapes and the difficulties of negotiating rights. I hope the makers of these new DVDs have good luck in this field.
Allan Bright
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His name was David Seth Kotkin and not only Seth Kotkin or David Kotkin...

Allan
The Drake
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Allan,

I stand corrected. Forgive me but it was 3AM when I posted that name correction. Sorry about that Spellbinder as well. LOL

Mark,

There will be archived footage in this DVD. In addition to television performances there is a B&W home movie filmed at magic convention one of the first time Walter debuted the Ladder Levi.

Best,

Tim
Spellbinder
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Here in New Jersey, we just called him David Kotkin, that annoying kid from Metuchen who was moving so fast into the spotlights we could hardly keep up with him. But I stand semi-corrected: David Seth Kotkin is his full name. When he adopted David Copperfield as his stage name, we called him the "little Dickens."
Professor Spellbinder

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Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Michael Baker
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What a great idea, Tim!

Documenting the past greats is something I hope finds enthusiasm among the younger magicians. It surely will among guys like myself, who really enjoy this kind of thing.

The immediacy of video and YouTube has surely fostered plenty of documentation of "the next big thing"... whatever, or whoever that may be. The sheer volume of available "potentials" would make such an undertaking very difficult. Compilation of such, risks resulting in a watered down project. May be better to know that such footage exists for someone in the future to dig out once the lesser entries have fallen through the cracks. Cream rises to the top in its own time.

I will be interested to see your project results. Since the invention of television and video, footage of magicians is quite prevalent, even if some pieces have not been seen in a long time. I hope you are able to dig up some fun stuff.

Personally, I enjoy seeing (and reading) about magicians who may not have been at the top of the heap, but who certainly contributed to magic, at their own level. In the A&E documentary, "The Story of Magic" there were some truly fascinating segments about guys like John C. Green and others, the aptly-named, "tall grass" magicians. These were the guys who brought magic to many people on a scale much different than the greats we usually think about (Thurston, Houdini, etc.). Stories about guys like Gus Rapp, Willard, etc. are pure gold to me.

The past 50 years have been filled with some magic acts that barely, if at all achieved any prominence outside of their own tours (and among magic circles). They did not necessarily make it big on TV, and were not household names world-wide. But they were, in my opinion, the salt of the magic earth. Some of these names would be better known among magicians, but fall short of international prominence.

I could probably name several dozen magicians of this genre that I feel would be worthy of such recognition. Many of them would be names likely to be forgotten over time, if not archived with prominence.

Good luck with your project!

~michael
~michael baker
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The Drake
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Thanks Michael,

I should point out though that although I am involved it's really Ryan Joyce's project and not mine.

You make a great point though. Currently the focus is on those who have so much knowledge and history in magic but are not " current megastars" in laymens eyes. Its surprising how much rich knowledge and history is out there right under our noses. That is what we need to preserve while we can still capture their personality on video and not just do a biography after they are gone.

Many names have been suggested to Ryan. John Calvert is one we'd like to get on right away but we haven't gotten a green light yet. Norm Nielsen is another name I'd like to see done. There are currently too many great names and only so much time. The problem is that as Ryan digs deeper into one past he discovers several others just as rich.

Johnny and Pam Thomson ( The Great Tomsoni & Co.) are a perfect example. I thought I knew a lot about them but an afternoon in their home speaking to them about Walter burst open a treasure chest of history. They are indeed a couple of gems. You'll see what I mean when you see Johnnys participation in this DVD. Time will be limited but hopefully there will be an extra features section that will feature some of the off topic delights.

Best,

Tim
Michael Baker
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Funny you should mention John Calvert. I just got off the phone with him. It would be great if you could get him in an interview. His stories are worth gold to the ears that listen. Most of us could live twice and not do half of what he has.

In the case of magicians no longer with us, as A&E did with their segments, when film or video was not available, they managed to bring life to photos through some nice camera work and editing, along with the verbal stories, narration, and interviews of friends, historians, etc. that accompanied them. Ken Burns has made a nice living doing just that. Magic deserves such documentation.
~michael baker
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The Drake
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Quote:
On 2007-11-11 16:27, Michael Baker wrote:
Funny you should mention John Calvert. I just got off the phone with him. It would be great if you could get him in an interview. His stories are worth gold to the ears that listen. Most of us could live twice and not do half of what he has.



Ryan is flying back to Vegas on Dec 3rd for the Calvert Tribute. He hopes to interview John then regards Walter and then see if he is interested in being the subject of the second DVD.

Best,

Tim
Christopher Starr
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Hey Timothy Seth Drake - looks great!

Chris
Rudy Sanchez
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Speaking of John Calvert, well into his 90's John will be headlining at the Magic Castle the week of November 26 - December 2. He is the ultimate showman!

Rudy
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Johnnie Blaze
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Hey nice work Tim thanks for the sneek peek
all the best
John
Father Photius
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About time somebody got around to doing this. Wasn't a lot of video format info available on some of the past greats, but to be able to put together a video library of those later folks who we do have video on is a tremendous idea.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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