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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » YouTube Magic: Doing it right (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

rsylvester
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Even the mention of YouTube on this forum can ignite passions like flash paper. When I hear YouTube being called a magic killer, I remember reading about how the same sentiments erupted over on the decline of vaudeville and the rise of television. TV didn't kill magic. It brought it to new generations. The web can do that, too. I see YouTube as a great advantage for all levels of magicians. There are some fabulous examples of great YouTube magic here on this topic. On that same thread, you'll also find links to some of the worst.

As I said in in my introduction to the Café, social media experts don't exist. If anyone approaches you and claims to be an expert, run. They probably also have millions to give you in a bank account in Nigeria. But I have had some success in learning multimedia and social media. YouTube is both. So let’s start a positive conversation about how YouTube can be used to help magic.

I'll throw out some tips I’ve found valuable in producing videos for the web and hope crowd sourcing from the Café takes it from there. (Disclosure, I've made quite a few videos for the web, some of which have earned more tha a hundred thousand views. I have yet to make a magic video, but I plan to, and I promise to follow my own advice):


    * Don’t worry about fancy titles, music and mysterious setups. It may look cool, but no one will be watching your magic. Read this New York Times article and learn you've got about 12 seconds to hook your audience. Think about making a video as you would programming a magic show -- open with quick, eye-catching effect. Your title slide should be at the end, about 5 seconds long and have the url to your web site, an email or other contact information. Your goal: make the video compelling enough they'll see your advertising.

    * Music can add to the mood. But unless you're doing a silent act, don’t play it alone. Don't have music playing while you're lips are moving silently. Bring down the volume and let us here what you're saying. Even if it's only a "trailer" trying to sell your act, a couple of quips and sound bytes let people know how witty you will be if they hire you.

    * Keep it short. Most people are going to bail after a minute. If your performance is really compelling, you can get away with 3 minutes. But I wouldn't go longer.

    * Most magicians get upset about secrets divulged on YouTube. Well, duh. Don't do that. Still, video tutorials can be very useful. I learn more effectively by watching rather than reading. If you'd like to share a favorite move or teach an effect, try this: When you upload the video, you'll see a box that says "broadcasting and sharing options." Select "Private (only people you choose can view)." After your video uploads, you will get a link. Post that link on the private sections of this site, where people share secrets. Or show the effect publicly, and on the non-private Café forum, ask people to email you for the link. Have them include their username for the Café, and you can pick those you trust. This will provide valuable tutorials without giving away secrets to the world. Only people with the link can view a private video on YouTube.

    * The most important aspect of good video is good audio. People will watch poor video on YouTube. But most listen to videos with earbuds or headphones, and if they can't understand what you're saying or there's an annoying hum, they're going to click "stop" faster than a Pendragon sub trunk. Either have the person with the video camera get close enough to clearly pick up what you're saying, or invest in a good microphone and get a video camera with an audio input. Most microphones built into camcorders are inferior to the cheapest external mics. And even some small, inexpensive cameras have mic jacks.

    * Use a tripod. It will steady your shot and make it look more professional.

    * Think about other privacy settings, such as comments. If you want people to critique your performance, turn them on. But if you open them to everyone, expect Internet hecklers. You can set the videos to moderate all comments or only let those who connect with you as YouTube "friends" comment.

    * Other magicians also may get upset if the performance isn't polished. YouTube can help with that, too. Think of it as asking more then 46,000 members of your family, "Hey, wanna see my new trick?" If you don't think your performance is as good as it could be (and who does?) here's an idea: Set your video to "private." If you're not giving away secrets, post the link to the forum "You Outta Be in Pictures" in the Lounge. Listen to the comments. Work on it some more. When you get it as smooth as a Neil Foster Zombie routine, then go public with it.


You will amaze an audience which now includes the world, and your magician friends will respect you for respecting the art.

And the quality of magic on YouTube will rise like an ace out a deck.
Pakar Ilusi
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Speaking of that...

A shameless plug of my Demo Video... Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwp6YCgLDI0


Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
rsylvester
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Nice, TV-like style but I'm wondering how it works for YouTube? If you hadn't told me you were a hypnotist I'm not sure I'd know what you were doing. I'd love to see one of your effects, from start to finish. It would tell your target audience -- potential employers -- more about if they'd want to hire you. It would be a good vid to embed on your own web site where you have more information, but what about those who stumble across it in a Google search? I think videos should be able to stand alone.

Folks, Here's a guy] doing it right. I love Eric's 365 days of magic. He has 200,000 views and is very entertaining. There's a discussion on his project here. He does have a title frame but it's only a few seconds, and his personality and the settings he picks (such as doing magic in a snowstorm) are effective in keeping you past that first 12 seconds. He also cross promotes it on Facebook and Twitter. It's a good example for magicians wanting to use the web to its potential.
Pakar Ilusi
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I am in the midst of changing my Act to full on Mentalism...

That clip was just really a "test".

So I am not linking it to anything as yet.

Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
rsylvester
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Great. Hope you'll post some of your act on "You Outta Be in Pictures" so we can see what you do. Good luck!
Leland
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Wow that guy really does have a great site. I've wondered what can be done with todays tech and how best to use it to my advantage. I have a few ideas that I would like to try. Thanks for the post.
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rsylvester
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I think social media has great potential for magic. I'd still recommend getting to the tricks faster, because YouTube users are different from a live performance. They can always click you off. But I love Eric's jokes that he tags on at the end of the effect to give it a punch.
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