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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Michael Close Devious DVD set (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mentalist Sam
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Quote:
On 2010-05-17 17:38, Review King wrote:

I think for a learning student, Louis should take into account what Brad is saying.


I haven't been on these forums very long, but what I've seen looking at past posts over the years, people have been complaining about L&L audiences as long as The Café has been going. So I don't think L&L is going to be changing anything. Aside from that, who else is there to get on video? While I've heard they have projects shot and waiting to be released, what how many other people can they shoot?

So what I see happening, even if L&L wanted to take advice moving forward, they have back projects that will be released and will be criticized for those because they were shot several years ago. Basically, they can't win.

New guys coming up in magic today are at a bigger handicap than most of us (over 40 or 50) were when we started. I don't think that audience reactions on L&L videos is a problem. What we see here are new guys without teachers, asking for advice on a nameless, faceless discussion board. They are often given poor advice because no one has assessed their skill level and they are often pushed in the direction of products too advanced OR are the flavor of the week.
wsduncan
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On 2010-04-03 16:23, Joe Mauro wrote:
Quote:
If they aren't professionals, maybe they aren't familiar with the true story on how Dai Vernon fooled Harry Houdini with a DB'er, or DB'ers/Cheek to Cheek decks, etc.

Look, it's a fine routine, with a great story to sell it. Lay people would be fooled. I just can't believe someone that has some working knowledge of card magic wouldn't have a hint on how this is done.

Your assumption that all magicians have the same knowledge base is incorrect. Your are familiar with the method if the Vernon trick, were watching a trick which has a title that references the thing you know, and you are aware if the Cheek To Cheek desk. That gives you an advantage over folks who are seeing the effect outside of that context.

Your assumption that you understand the reaction of some you've seen on TV better than someone who spent the day in her presence and saw her reactions in person' may also be flawed.
wsduncan
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On 2010-04-05 10:20, truthteller wrote:
What happened at the shoot is irrelevant. What is perceived to have happened is the only thing that matters.

wow. Orwell would be proud.
wsduncan
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On 2010-04-10 15:21, Domino Magic wrote:
Geez Brad, I don't know what kind of falling out you had with L&L, but you sure are one bitter guy.

If you watched Brad's L&L video set* you would understand.





* -I know... that's a cheap shot, but you gotta admit you laughed.
truthteller
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I have worked with enough theater directors to know that it doesn't matter what I do, or what I think I am doing - what matters is what the audience perceives that I have done.

Hardly orwellian.

Case in point, a bbc special on ricky jay asked that he 'do' a real con. Ricky obliged and after the game discussed with the crew why he did what he did.

Of course, neither the context nor the conclusion aired. So many people left with the perception that ricky was a jerk.

Now, the full story circulated in our community - but for the viewer, would it be fair to shoot them down and tell them their perception was wrong?

The video is the document. It is the play. The picture.

You can't fault someone for what they see if it's there. You can't fault someone for not seeing something that isn't.

Hardly orwellian.

And no, I have no l and l dvds and do not intend on pursuing any, not have I.


Having said that, the notion that one must have done something in order to be allowed to criticize it is both theoretically and pragamatically ridiculous. Food critics are not always chefs and theater critics are seldom actors. So, its not just a cheap shot, Bill, but a stupid one.
Review King
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Bill, David Williamson doesn't have an L&L video set. Having an L&L shoot is not a litmus test for having a valid ( and helpful ) opinion.

I haven't found any of Brad's comments to be bitter. He's a professional entertainer that has an actual working knowledge of how shoots are constructed at L&L and he shared them. It wasn't conjecture on his part or a conspiracy theory.

Brad isn't taking cheap shots. The L&L projects aren't just performance only tapes for the general public, but tapes for students to learn from. Brad has a legitimate concern that it can affect a learning student. I would think most of us would support that.

It's been a great discussion that has been long overdue.

Chris
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Mentalist Sam
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Quote:
On 2010-05-20 10:58, Review King wrote:

It's been a great discussion that has been long overdue.



But essentially pointless because, as I stated previously, it's highly doubtful that L&L will be changing anything. Less products coming out every year and some of those were shot several years ago.
Lord Of The Horses
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Both Brad and Tom make some interesting points...

Nimrod's post, however, short and lapidary, in this instance, is more in line with my thoughts...

Quote:
On 2010-04-26 04:01, nimrod wrote:
L & L audience is miles far from being regular audience. It's halfway between the average person and a complete stooge.




Now... I hope to be "average" enough to have my opinion accepted as valid ... Smile


I love L&L DVDs and that's a fact.

But their audience, whether still chosen as Brad told us OR in some new way, has to be the most FORGIVING and UNBELIEVABLE audience one could ever find on this planet!
Then you'll rise right before my eyes, on wings that fill the sky, like a phoenix rising!
Cohiba
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Quote:
On 2010-05-20 12:12, Mentalist Sam wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-05-20 10:58, Review King wrote:

It's been a great discussion that has been long overdue.



But essentially pointless because, as I stated previously, it's highly doubtful that L&L will be changing anything. Less products coming out every year and some of those were shot several years ago.


Whether or not L & L changes how they do things does not determine the worth of this discussion. And if you use this line of logic, you could throw out half of the posts on the Magic Café.
Mentalist Sam
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I thought the point of the discussion was Michael Close's DVDs and a review of the material he performed, not a review of the audience. An audience, by the way, that will not be at any shows we do. So yeah, it seems kind of pointless to debate audience members in a setting that most of us will never encounter.
truthteller
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Or, perhaps, that is the reason we should debate this.

Many magicians (and you can look to posts here and on other forums) judge material based on audience reactions. I have seen people write that they did not buy a product because the reaction of the demo was not strong.

This of course is naivety and stupidity of thje highest order, but it's a prevalent world view.

So, for many, audience reactions factor into the decision making.

Further, and more relevant, is that one can learn a lot about the rhythm of a routine by watching and listening to an audience. Tamariz and I spoke about this in san diego. (Yes, that's name dropping, but I'm ok with it.)

A magic experience should have texture, focus, tension, relaxation ... When the model you are studying only has one volume - 11 - you miss the opportunity to analyze valuable information that can contribute to a students understanding of a trick and the performance thereof.

BECAUSE the l and l audience is something none of us is likely to encounter makes it a topic worthy of discussion.
rnaviaux
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On 2010-05-21 12:03, truthteller wrote:

BECAUSE the l and l audience is something none of us is likely to encounter makes it a topic worthy of discussion.


I performed a couple effects from this series last night in an impromptu performance of magic. I felt a little embarrassed because my audience was acting as enthusiastic as the L+L audience. (Dare I say even more so.)

Some people that were in attendance knew me, some did not.

Upon reflection I think that an enthusiastic response is what we should be shooting for. This thread had temporarily jaded me to getting such reactions. Just another by-product of the wonderful gifts the net has to offer us I guess.

Reminds me of the audience response to the movie "Life is Beautiful." Standing ovation for a couple minutes. Such audience responses are rare at the end of most movies.

Ortiz continually harps on this point of audience response as his gauge of an effective trick. If your not getting responses as great or better than LL audiences then there may be something wrong. At least its something to shoot for.
Mentalist Sam
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Quote:
On 2010-05-21 12:03, truthteller wrote:

BECAUSE the l and l audience is something none of us is likely to encounter makes it a topic worthy of discussion.


But no one is really "discussing". In fact when I see "discussions" about L&L audiences, it's all slams. How do you "discuss" an audience? Or does Brad have to go to every thread about and L&L product and talk about how much he doesn't like the audience and that's not what to expect? in your real performance. Basically I look at it this way - we get it. Brad Henderson doesn't like L&L audiences. Other magicians don't like L&L audiences. If the audiences bother you that much, then don't buy the DVDs. It's a simple solution.

So Brad you apparently has some inside connections with L&L. Why don't you talk to them directly about it? Maybe you've had some sort of falling out with them. I just see you beating up on L&L. Why is it that so many mentalism DVDs that come out of the UK are shot in castles? Is that where they do mentalism over there? What about all those really reactive people on Blaine specials or Ellusionist DVDs? Why aren't you talking about those? Why does Jay Sankey do his videos without an audience? Maybe magicians only like him?

Again, I go back to one of my original points which is L&L audiences aren't the problem and that young magicians these days have a harder time developing material because of places like this. Everything is over-hyped, must have and focused on the trick. Too much material coming out every week and recommendations by nameless, faceless people about what THE best is for them without determining the questioner's ability.

I mean why should anyone listen to Brad Henderson? From what I can tell you have a couple of products on the market which may or may not be good. You write for a magic magazine. None of that requires you to be a good performer. I've never seen you perform and would venture to guess most people here have never seen you perform. You may be awful and all the advice you're giving here is empty because your not applying it to your own act. We don't know how much you work or don't work or where what kind of audiences you're performing for.

Now I'm just using Brad as an example and the problem is many times worse with other members on this board who are positioned as "go to guys" based only on their posts. Again with zero verification as to their ability as performers.
Review King
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On 2010-05-21 14:34, Mentalist Sam wrote:

I mean why should anyone listen to Brad Henderson?



Great question. Michael Ammar ( and others ) have used Brad Henderson as a consultant on projects because of his expertise. Perhaps you can ask them?

Chris
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
crestfallenLyric
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Remember how this thread was meant to be about the new DVD set by Michael Close who had some very commercial and workable effects?

Those were the days...
"It is better for a man to honor his profession, than to be honored by it." - Robert-Houdin
Review King
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It still about the Michael Close DVD set. Someone made observations after watching set and was told they were wrong because they weren't at the shoot. Sort of like someone giving thoughts about a film they saw and stage hands telling them they are wrong because they weren't on the set during filming. The same people then made statements about the audience and Brad Henderson gave his input.

It's 2010 and folks still want to shoot the messenger.

Chris
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Mentalist Sam
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Chris,

It was a rhetorical question. Although he consulted with Ammar on L&L DVDs and Ammar typically makes DVDs with L&L, so I guess, well you can fill in the rest.

Quote:
On 2010-05-21 15:02, crestfallenLyric wrote:
Remember how this thread was meant to be about the new DVD set by Michael Close who had some very commercial and workable effects?

Those were the days...


I'm not much for card effects and don't perform close-up too much, but I really loved these DVDs. Michael's work with the Gary Plant's Magnetized card gaff is excellent. What a great effect for a magician or a mentalist. Takes the effect out of the "card trick" genre.
truthteller
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Sam,

The reason I posted on this thread was because a member raised issues about the dvds and was - in my mind - attacked by supporters of l and l (specifically people known to attend shootings).

Specifically these people made claims about both the l and l audience and the our industry's perception of them which I felt were self serving and out of touch with reality.

I did not think this 'gang up' game was fair so I jumped in.

I often do this when I see people who have contrary opinions on popular products creators who get attacked by the fawning masses.

I keep commenting because people fail to understand the issues at stake. Dennis, for example, tried (after I thought I clearly dismissed this as an issue) to establish that the l and l audience is not coached. I don't think they are and no one I know has claimed that to be the case. To let that comment go unchecked is to allow the issue, which I feel is important, to get lost.

Likewise, your post about the audience being atypical and that being a reason for irrelevance also missed the point - in my mind.

I would love to discuss the value of studying audience reactions as a learning tool - but we can't discuss it until people realize what page we are trying to be on.

My posts have not been to slam l and l, but to define that page.

When people start playing the 'where are your dvds' or 'you must have had a falling out' cards, they are merely serving to spill coffee on the page making content unreadable.

But to clarify, I have had no falling out with l and l. I buy their stuff and I genuinely like Louis.

You can be crticial of someones work and choices and not have an ulterior motive or superficial, self serving foundation.

As to my work, I do not know how that is relevant (in this case). The reason I have the moniker of truthteller stems from that belief. I signed up to the Café with the intention to be anonymous. It was an experiment. How would ideas divorced from personality and politics be evaluated?

Mike Rogers did this years ago on the geminii bbs. He had two names, one his, one fake.

He observed that the people treated his posts differently solely because of the name attached.

Seems a shame, no?

I think so.

Can't type any more. Waiting for my bag to come off the conveyor. Exhausted from a show a did last night at the bellagio for the worlds leading money managers and finaciers. Bill Clinton gave a great talk. Look for the new Oliver Stone movie on Wall Street coming out. It was a great time. Always more fun the second year working an event. Next year's promises to be even better.

(Is that honestly the kind of nonsense you think we need to know to be able to evaluate someone's ideas? I know tons of sucky magicians who work a lot. Heck, Steve Wyrick had his own show on the strip. Just because someone works, means nothing. I scored a great gig. So what. My ideas are either solid or not. I would hope we could evolve beyond games of personality and politics. I guess not.)
truthteller
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Quote:
On 2010-05-21 14:27, rnaviaux wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-05-21 12:03, truthteller wrote:

BECAUSE the l and l audience is something none of us is likely to encounter makes it a topic worthy of discussion.


I performed a couple effects from this series last night in an impromptu performance of magic. I felt a little embarrassed because my audience was acting as enthusiastic as the L+L audience. (Dare I say even more so.)

Some people that were in attendance knew me, some did not.

Upon reflection I think that an enthusiastic response is what we should be shooting for. This thread had temporarily jaded me to getting such reactions. Just another by-product of the wonderful gifts the net has to offer us I guess.

Reminds me of the audience response to the movie "Life is Beautiful." Standing ovation for a couple minutes. Such audience responses are rare at the end of most movies.

Ortiz continually harps on this point of audience response as his gauge of an effective trick. If your not getting responses as great or better than LL audiences then there may be something wrong. At least its something to shoot for.


Cute - but just more coffee.

Of course we should shoot for crazy reactions. Its great you can get them. Not everyone does. Its an art and a skill.

Watching a great performer lead his audience to the point of rapture us an extraordinarily powerful lesson. I have always said the art in magic is not doing your material well, but getting the audience to the point where you can do it well.

Reading a group, finding the right energy, molding and building that energy - I have seen some of the greats do this. Powerful stuff.

I would say - even more powerful than any single trick or move.

I would think we would want these lessons available to us and our peers. I would think these would be the lessons we would want our fellow performers to learn.

When your models are both skilled and unskilled PERFORMRERS who always and automatically elicit audience reactions of 11 - then you deny yourself those lessons.

No one is saying strong reactions are bad. (If I did, please point that out so I can correct it!)

Quite the contrary, I want people to get the strongest reactions possible. Learning to do so is far more important and relevant than adding a new variation of twisting the aces to your set.

Sadly, when fernado cheops, petrick and mia, and bill Malone all get the same results from the same audience, the student will never be able to parse out the performance techniques one can use in the real world to get one closer to the desired responses.

Hope that clears up the concern. (See Sam, people STILL aren't reading the same page. They don't have to agree with what's written there, I just want them to see the text that's printed)
wsduncan
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So, its not just a cheap shot, Bill, but a stupid one.

I love the Café.

People read stuff and then make up clever new meanings for words.
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