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Raymond Singson
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Hey Guys...

RT here. I've been a moderator for the Ellusionist forums for about a year now, and upon seeing Brad's methods of doing business and services with the magic community, I believe I should share another angle to Kronos' point of view. Mind you, while I do play a minor role for Ellusionist's overall scheme, I am not defending nor bashing the company. I'm merely stating facts.

Ellusionist is changing their ways. Granted, as a young, inexperienced company, they made several amateur mistakes in the past that some people are just unwilling to forget. Upon realizing all the criticism they were receiving from the magic community (as well as myself), Ellusionist has since then digitally remastered all of their video products providing full credit to where credit is due. Brad Christian now realizes the great importance of proper crediting; after hearing some world wide complaints, I'm sure anyone would, LOL. Also, every recent addition to the site has been processed and approved by the creators of the effects. Whether it be sleights in a video or individual illusions, Ellusionist has not only credited their material, but also asked permission for it. Needless to say, this is a great advancement that people should welcome with open arms. Unfortunately, people dwell too much on the past.

So... why doesn't Brad Christian defend himself on these forums? Well, how would his word differ from Kronos', my own, or anyone else's? If my views are defamed along with any other 'employee' of Ellusionist, why would Brad's same exact thoughts be viewed in such a different light? The general magic community often lets title and reputation get in the way of what's really being offered. Besides, Ellusionist bashing happens in other places than here. Dealing with all the bickering and moaning can be quite exhausting just to read, let alone participate. I'm sure Brad has better things to do with his time. I know I do, but it's nearly midnight and I'm bored out of my mind.

So with that said... Ellusionist is genuinely trying to take the advice of the magic community to propel forward. They sell quality magic, and they're attempting to do it as ethically as they can to satisfy the morals of magicians world wide. Granted, it's still a very unorthodox company, and nobody is forced to like what they do. But why should people waste their energy constantly complaining about it? The more Ellusionist changes, the more the same old arguments become outdated... and yet people don't seem to realize that. Ellusionist isn't perfect... but then again, neither is L&L Publishing, A-1 Multimedia, or any other major magic corporation. It all comes down to free will and a choice of preference.

I hope I didn't offend anyone. God knows that Café Magicians are the last people I'd want to tick off, LOL.

“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.” -- James Arthur Baldwin
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RTShowman, that was a thoughtful post. You really cleared up a lot for me and other people. Thank you.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
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RT..stealthwizard87 here from the Ninja Forums back home at Ellusionist. I'm glad you cleared that up. While i was going through the first couple of pages my mouth hit the floor. You handled this beautifully. I see now why your a moderator back home at Ellusionist. Great job RT.
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Profile of ixnay66
Nice to see that Ellusionist is crediting. I'd still like to see the effects posted by the original names given them by the creators of the effects though. I guess by now most people refer to Fechter's trick as "2-Card Monte" but I still think it should be called by it's proper name. On their site they advertise this trick with a quote from a user that said:

I tried to find where else 2 Card Monte is taught. I looked in various books, Daryl's card videos, other videos, yet.....not one taught Blaine's 2 Card Monte. Because of this, I happily paid the $17 to learn it.

See what I mean? This guy couldn't find it because he doesn't know it's proper name. Ellusionist is using that as a selling point to seel their video of this classic as "Blaine's 2-Card Monte" at $17 a pop.

Kronos also mentioned "magicians who have easy to master teaching tapes out who have not credited."

I can think of only one series called "Easy to Master" (I could be wrong though) and those are the L&L tapes with Michael Ammar. They recieved permission from the creators for all of the effects and properly credited every trick on those tapes.

Anyway, it looks like they're changing their ways which is a good thing but I still think they have a ways to go.
Mike Walton
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OK, back to the topic.

My favorite Ellusionist video is Ninja 2. It has some length and some good content. Daryl's Ambitious Card is better than Brad's as Daryl pours on the content. Too bad he doesn't go slower, but that's just fine.

My two cents.
Steven Leung
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With the help of internet, the world's magic retail business seems to grow dramatically in the past serveral years. However, the year 2003 seems not following past business trend. We can see many magic web site closed down or change their way of doing business.

Are we losing our direction? Are there no good effect to release? Many questions arouse in my little mind, a seasonal card magician who practice for sometime about 2 years.

I have all videos from Ellusionist except the Ambitious Card 'cause I own Daryl's version. As a layman, Ellusionist do teach normal people how to do magic to impress their friends, family members, social occasions for ice-breaking. The mission statement is written on top of their web page. This is their business objectives and they succeed.

However, normal customer after spending some time with ellusionist will start finding more magic around the internet, like on-line retail stores to buy other effect, videos, DVDs that not release by them due to their increasing interest to learn more, stronger, even other magic they want to learn. Not to mention themagiccafe which provide a platform of 7000 memebers, globally to share ideas and information about the world of magic.

Talking about the price setting of Ellusionist, some place on Earth trully do not have magic retail stores to provide videos that we, magicians, lucky enough to buy from L&L, A-1, Meir Yedid... etc. It is the customers who decide whether the product deserve such a price offer by seller. So mature person may not debate on this issue, since it is just a matter of demand and supply.

So, it is good to hear that they are changing during the time that magic retail business on the net is gloomy...

I hope that my expression is clear since English is not my native language. I may open another thread and want to discuss with members on Café about my experience in magic learning and magic retail business. Thank you for time reading and constructive sharing welcome.
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag
Review King
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Crditing is important. But, Brad and his company are first rate in customer issues and have integrity. They've always done right by me!!

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

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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I recently bought/downloaded CRASH-2 AMBITIOUS CARD. I think it's great. I have all 8 Volumes of Daryl's Encyclopedia of Card Sleights too. I think Brad's explanation of the Double Lift is are his explanations of the the other moves.
I like the way he teaches on this video and the way he spends so much time performing and explaining moves.
For a beginner like me it's a great starting point. Sure there may be better videos around, but, the bottom line is this one is great!
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Can I just ask why the thread title specifies Ellusionist videos?

It sounds like you have decided to buy a video from Ellusionist but don't know which one to choose. That seems a strange way of working. - for when you fancy a debate or a quiet chat.
Evan Williams
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I think Ellusionist is the very BEST magic teacher of ALL TIME!!!

Haha I'm just kidding. YOu should have seen your faces!!! Smile

I agree with what people are saying. He is a business man. He has a crediting problem, and I think is losing many many customers because of it. He is heading away from what magic truely is, and is trying to make it a "chick magnet" and markets it that way. Although if you "play your cards right", any magician can get a date pretty easily without some cheesy advertisment. Smile

Anyways, I like Ninja 2 the best out of them all. I do not incredibly like any of his videos that much though...


Evan Smile
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WEll, this is my first post here, just to let ya know.

Jeez, this thread EXPLODED!

I admit that I am an active member in the Ellusionist Forums and I must say that I fully agree with Kronos and RT on this subject/mass argument. This type of arguing is not making this forum a better place by the way. It's just a bunch of bickering. I must say, this is actually the first thread I have viewed in the Magic Café since my registration, and my first impression of this forum is pretty bad. All this thread is, is fighting, when the ORIGINAL topic was, "Hey, whats your favorite Ellusionist video?" Jeez, you people need to either answer the man's question or don't post. This thread is just crazy. Smile

ANYWHO, back to the main point. I'd say my favorite Ellusionist video has to be Crash Course 2, because of the wealth of sleights it offered me, in such great detail. And NO, I am not trying to suck up to Ellusionist or any of that ****, because I know if I didn't state that now, I would get bombarded with insults and arguments.
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well said
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I also liked CC2 is was pretty good. Smile
The SnowMan Goose
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OK guys, I just read a few of the posts, and I am outraged. You think that E is devoted to laymen, and not magicians? Have you ever seen some of the videos poted on the forums there? Some of them are just AMAZING! They have a wealth of knowledge there and some amazing Magi's are on those forums (RTShowmann, JB, Corey King etc...) I suggest you guys check out Kard Klub when it comes out (very soon I think) and see some of the performances on there from E members. You will be blown away at some of those guys. I suggest you all check it out. Well, there my half-rant is done. G'day! Smile
The SnowMan Goose
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Profile of nappa
and Im on the new video kard klub so that makes it special and therefore impossible to not buy....yea
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As somebody who was recently one of those 'interested lay people' I found my copy of Crash Course in Card Magic vol. 1 to be a great starting point, very beginner friendly and Brad is a good teacher. As I've done more research I've moved on to other things (Royal Road & Ammar Vids) but ellusionist was where I started out
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Ah, the sickly sweet smell of controversy... Smile

Preliminaries: I am, by definition, an ellusiuonist customer. I own SMP, Ninja 1 & 2, IM, CC1 & CC2.

Some things I've liked, some I haven't. I thought that SMP was, overall, a dud. Not really because the effects were bad (what could be bad about Out of This World?!), but because I was led to believe that it would consist of "Blaine-style" strolling magic, yet most of the effects require a table. Now, I really only got this because it was part of a package with N1&2, but all the same, I felt a bit misled (yes, I know street magic has been performed for centuries on little tables). I also noticed that in early TV ads, Mark DeSouza's Shapeshifter was being demonstrated although it was not on the SMP video. I've since noticed that ads on the web sites for various videos sometimes include material from other videos. That kind of confusion can lead to hard feelings.

I actually thought Inside Magic was the video that How to Do Street Magic was supposed to be. It was pretty well taught, not just regarding technical sleight instruction, but in presentation. I thought the analysis of the French Drop was fairly cogent.

N1&2 had some nice, useful moves. I didn't care for the much-ballyhooed Las Vegas Card Cheat Routine, but again, that's not why I bought these videos anyway. N2 gave a useful tip about slower pacing that I thought was quite helpful. I did learn the Classic Pass from N1 (with the help and encouragement of some forum members) so there's a plus for me.

CC1 was oriented toward beginners and I bought it with CC2. It contained a couple of interesting effects along with some neat ideas for combining simple card control techniques. CC2 showed considerable improvement and more time was taken to analyse the fine points of technique. The tips on routining were fair, but in my opinion were not quite congruous with the hype given them.

All that said...

I think e products are considerably overhyped. For instance, N2 is supposed to tell you how to deal with tough customers. Now, the tip it gives is sensible, but hardly the intricate, revelatory battery of psychological techniques one might have expected on the basis of its advertised description.

Then, there was that topic in the Genii forums. Basically Brad appeared on the forums to defend himself on the issue, did not give satisfactory reply, and wound up challenging the "Genii boys" to a "trick-off". He came off as cavalier and cheeky in a rude way. He didn't cover himself with glory by suggesting the he and his could match chops with the likes of Richard Kaufman, John Racherbaumer, Peter Duffie, Kurtis Kam, Max Maven, etc.

Anent credits: It's not just that the mistake was made, it's what that mistake suggests. Analysed one way: if your target audience has some knowledge of magic scholarship, failure to credit can only be expected to damage your credibility. If you don't expect your students to have such knowledge, I consider it poor form, to say the least, not to introduce them to it. Let me suggest another angle. Say I'm doing a video in which I teach Leipzig's Slap Aces (I choose this effect precisely because I have no emotional attatchment to it; it's not my kid of thing). I would definitely tell people it was a Nate Leipzig effect if for no other reason than to introduce this great man to those who may (gasp!) never have heard of him. I would like to make the overall point that we can hardly expect magic to be considered a legitimate Art if we do not take proper account of its history. For the history of an Art is surely not merely the chronology of its activities but the ongoing story of its evolving self-understanding. Can we really understand magic as an art if we lose sight of its history?

But hey, it's just "tricks", right? Smile
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
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AmbitiousX is really good. The production is absolutely amazing. I wish more magic videos were like this. It makes it very easy to learn.

A little pricey though.
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