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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » "Into The Abyss" by Oz Pearlman (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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teevtee
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Well I more or less agree with many of the comments concerning this DVD but I do have a few opposing thoughts as well.

First of all to touch on the most "controversial" point I do think it should be made more clear that a CT is the basis and at the heart of these routines. I think the description of the DVD could be considered misleading to someone just getting into mentalism or simply someone who assumed these were totally self contained. The bottom line is that to do these properly you need knowledge not presented on the DVD. While that might be fair (many other DVDs call for DL's or other basic techniques not taught on the actual DVD) I think it should be made more obvious in the description. I can easily see why people might be disappointed by this.

The routines themselves are strong with some good ideas. If you can do a good CT then you can perform these effects, however most people who do a great CT probably have similar routines they are already using. Nonetheless I would rate the actual routines highly.

I think the production values are lacking a bit as compared to the better DVDs being released these days. The DVD menus are nice and work well but the actual footage, both the performance and instructional sections could be better. The outdoor performances are fine, no issues but the indoor footage (which is most of the performance material) is technically not very good. Poor color balance and iffy audio. Now I understand that these are real world performances, not set ups in a studio or someplace, but it is simply not difficult to color balance a camera. A better quality microphone would also help a lot. These looks exactly like amateur with a consumer camcorder set to "auto" stood in the back of a room and filmed the situation. This is likely exactly what did happen but for a commercially released product it simply could be better. The instructional segments are filmed in a studio so they are better, however I found some things annoying like the massive color balance and exposure changes as they cut from one camera to the next. Now again, these are technical issues and have no bearing at all on the actual material or teaching but they are things that I (and I am sure) others notice. In todays world where it is so easy to have access to great video editing and quality equipment is cheap I would like to see higher production values.

So in the end I have mixed feelings. By no means am I saying this is a poor product but people need to go in with eyes open. The actual material and routines are strong but the final product could use more polish and you need to know and be able to perform a great CT or these routines won't do you much good.
ElliottB
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So far, I only saw five minutes of the DVD, but I was very impressed.

“What’s In a Name” reminds me little bit of “A Perfect Prediction,” but it’s certainly different enough…and I like it!!

Oz is an excellent performer and, in those five minutes, I noted all sorts of nice touches that come from real experience.

It’s really great to watch Oz doing mentalism, and I enjoyed his performances (at least the five minutes I saw) as much as I enjoy watching some of the top names in the business.

I also respect that Oz did not teach Richard’s tear. Some others would have just ripped it off (pun intended Smile )
teevtee
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I must add that I agre it is good that Oz did NOT rip off Osterlind's CT and teach it. THAT would of been very unethical, however I do think it could somehow be made more clear in the description that a CT is required to do these well.

This DVD could almost be sold as a companion to the Osterlind DVD, maybe Penguin should market them as a set as well as individually?
Ozer4
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Hey teevtee,
I really appreciate the feedback. A number of the items you mentioned I was already well aware of (complaints of my own in some cases), and others not as much. Audio issues when performing in the "real world" are harder to deal with than you would think, especially wearing a mic vs. not wearing one (to avoid interference if wireless, and a wired mic is a disaster waiting to happen). With the exception of one day of "street" performances shot in Central Park, the rest of the performances were shot at "real shows". Not street footage, but in corporate settings (offices, happy hours, and events) with actual people that I am meeting for the first time.

I was surprised that you didn't reference the Audio Commentary as I think it added tremendous value to the DVD. Aside from the entertainment value and witty banter, I think it's very helpful to hear real-time insights of why I'm doing what I do and handling certain situations. There is commentary for each of the 10 performances.

Regards,
Oz

PS. If you want to spend less to learn the PCT; Osterind offers an eBook on his website teaching it. You DO NOT need a PCT, any method will work (so Think Pink is fine).
Tony Iacoviello
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Thank's Oz, and all. The convincer for me to order this was the audio commentary on the performances.

Tony
teevtee
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Hi Oz:

I am sorry that I forgot to mention the audio commentary... YES, that is a GREAT feature. I found that to be fairly innovative as few magic DVDs employ this (another nice example is Nothing by Max Maven whose commentary is great). So absolutely I appreciate that.

I am happy that you are taking my comments in the spirit they are intended, CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. As more and more DVDs get released and some companies really up the ante in the production dept. I think everyone must keep pace. Your material is great so I hate to see it knocked down by the production values.

Now for everyone else who has NOT seen the DVD let me assure you that this is still a fine DVD, I don't want to give the impression that it is some cheaply done thing, it is perfectly serviceable and you WILL learn what you need to learn. It just could be polished more and perhaps edited more tightly (for example Oz, on the instructional section of Ultimate Vacation you start off by telling us what we need to prepare the props, then go over some of that same info (get a stapler, index cards etc.) when you get to the actual instructions. This is a super small thing but it seems repetetive and could have been cut.

I know that other methods can be used instead of the CT but the CT is what Oz is using in the performances and is really the best method for these effects and that is why I mention it. These are not really stand alone effects as you do need some know how not taught here.

ANYWAY, I do like the routines and I would recommend the DVD to those interested as long as they understand what they need to know. I also greatly appreciate Oz having such open communication with consumers and admire his professionalism, I wish him a lot of luck in the future.
Tony Iacoviello
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I am familiar with Oz's work and his thinking. Knowing that he has added additional thoughts and commentary on the routines and breaks down his thought process of the performance provides additional interest for me.



Tony
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I understand what Tony meant. Doc Eason's re-release of Rocky Mountain Magic in DVD had audio commentary by Doc and it made the DVD. Audio commentary by a creator
can give valuable insight into the thinking and routining behind an effect after a performance.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
teevtee
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I found nothing sarcastic about the commentary comment at all. MANY DVDs (talking mainstream) are worth owning SOLEY because of the commentary, why would magic DVDs be any different?

I give Oz credit for adding commentary and I hope we see a lot more of this type of thing in the future, it adds tremendous value.
daver
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I still have yet to receive mine, but quite frankly, my concern is the lack of not so much info, but completeness in the trailer, either the teaser or the real one. On many DVDs that I have, the performance is complete, as is the demo or trailer from where I bought it.

In this case, it appears as though there is conversation and a reveal. Nowhere, in any of the teaser or real trailer is there anyone tearing or writing (except Oz in one teaser I think, but if memory serves, it is before any spectator reveals info). Point is, the performance of the routines in the trailer and teaser (the ads, if you will) were misleading about the performance.

I (pre) ordered this based on, "wow, looks like no writing for peeks and stuff" Now to find out it is PCT and neat routines makes me upset as I was misled. I'm sure the disc has a lot of good info on it (I've not received mine yet), but I'm not happy about being misled like that. No, I'm not asking to have the trailer tell me how it is done, and of course ads are meant to sell, but that's like having an ad for a new type of stove with an ad showing it uses no gas or electricity, and you get the disc and it shows you campfire cooking techniques.

There should have been a more complete performance on the trailer - I'm sure it was purposely omitted because magii would immediately infer CT work, and I'd like to think that if it were my product I'd be more complete in the performance trailer, but if the real value here is great routining and reveal and audience engagement, then there should have been no reason to omit at least one complete performance in the trailer (rather than the chopped up clips) other than to mislead to get us to buy thinking it is something way more than it is.

Bottom line: should have had a complete demo of (at least) one routine on the trailer and let it sell on it's own merits. (see Heiny 500 for a great example of the RIGHT way to do it) But, caveat emptor. I hope the routines performance info on there are worth the $$
Dave



What's the difference between a magician and a deck of cards? A deck of cards has FOUR suits...
Piper1973
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Having watched the disc I can honestly say the DVD is worth the cost. As already stated, the three routines are great. It is true you need to have some other skills in order to do them, but that at least to me is not such a big issue. My biggest complaint is that the menus are hard to navigate. In fact, they annoyed me so much I had to break up the viewing into multiple sessions instead of watching it straight through (the first time) as I usually do.
teevtee
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Daver:

I agree with some of your points and that was part of my motivation to make my earlier comments (see above). I think the demo could at least show someone writing down something, then maybe another clip of Oz tearing a slip ofd paper. Now I would not want to give away the secrets but in the case of this video you are really buying a routine, not a method as much, and because of this I feel more forthright descriptions of what skills are required and NOT taught would have been nice and appreciated.

With that said I think it is obvious that the magician finds out the info somehow, it is not real mind reading and so we must assume some method is present to extract this info... unfortunately the chosen method in this case is not taught.

Again (not to be a broken record) I do like the DVD and I think it is worth it if you know the PCT and are proficient with it. If not I would recommend keeping the DVD sealed and returning it to Penguin for an exchange.
tian_ci
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Daver-If oz could really look someone in the eyes and tell them the name they were thinking of, I don't think he'd be selling the secret to you for $35. He would be all over TV and a millionaire.

Sorry to be blunt, but you gotta think like a magician sometimes.
daver
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Tian_ci,

I agree completely. My point really is not that I believe anyone can really reach into someone's mind, but the feeling that was portrayed in the teaser and trailer was that this was new methods. THAT is where my upset is. It implied that this is new groundbreaking stuff, which says new methods. I'm not saying it should have said "take your favorite p**k or CT and this is some great presentations around that", but if there was *real* presentation in the trailer, we'd have had a better idea that we were buying presentation/routining education. As it stands, it implied we are getting new methods, which is deceiving.

This is a fine line to walk, because how many less would be sold if it were that obvious? But how many of us feel misled (at best) thinking there was some new groundbreaking methodology?

As a seller? I can't said that I'd do it differently than Oz did. I'd like to think I would, but I can't say for sure. As a customer, I feel somewhat betrayed. Again, a fine line to walk. As the customer in this case though, I'd like to feel that I know what I'm buying before I bought it. Sure, caveat emptor, and I did hesitate a number of times to wait till the reviews were in, and figured that with the bonus Blindsided, heck; $35 ain't that much to blow, and I did indeed hope there was something revolutionary in there, so I can only blame me for not waiting, but I do feel duped, at least a little. Smile
Dave



What's the difference between a magician and a deck of cards? A deck of cards has FOUR suits...
smacks183
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Just viewed this DVD and Oz's other DVD, Perfection. Regardless of the CT debate, both of these DVDs are highly recommended. The routines are fantastic.
Alan Rorrison
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Ill be honest. I DID NOT learn anything new here effect wise at all. WHAT I did learn however and to me made the dvd worth more that the cost was the persoanl touches and finess in the routines. Some Grand touches that will make any pct routine amazing. I reccomend looking this one over. As oz would say "Highly reccomended"


Alan
Mind Guerrilla
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Quote:
On 2007-11-29 20:35, tian_ci wrote:
Sorry to be blunt, but you gotta think like a magician sometimes.


Oh, come on. Be honest. Magician or no, don't we all, deep down, hold out the hope that real mind reading is possible and that someone could teach it to us? Smile

That being said, I do take what I see in a trailer with a grain (if not a boulder) of salt. Once bitten, twice shy.
ksalaz1
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Most of the time when I see a DVD posted, I assume that I will already know the methods used/. I purchase the DVD's mostly for the creativity of the routines, new handlings, and new insights. Gregory Wilson in Pyrotechnic Pasteboards doesn't spend a whole lot of time teaching basics in the routines, and many things he completely leaves out, assuming the person watching has some handle on how to work with cards. People don't give him flack about it. I think Oz demonstrates some simple ways of gettin peaks and a simple centertear. It is enough.
"Master of the Obvious"
daver
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I actually look for new methods, or how to do something I've not yet learned (different pass handlings, EB's billet switching variants, etc). I don't wanna try to be an Oz (or Greg, or Sankey, or whoever) clone. I'm looking for innovative methods or new handlings where I can create what I want to create. Routining tips are good, but I don't want to do what someone else does. I want to see about new ways of doing things.
Dave



What's the difference between a magician and a deck of cards? A deck of cards has FOUR suits...
teevtee
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I think the real issue is simply in the advertising. Some people want handlings, others want routines, some may want actual methods... if s product is advertised to be something and turns out to be something else it is not to say that it is not good, simply not what was advertised.
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