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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » The high price of DVD's (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alel
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Well, I much prefer books myself, but there are certain cases where DVDs are more practical, though.

Take Bill Goodwin's 'Reflections' for example. He is known for just publishing a trick just once, and never again.

Yet the DVD offered the chance for us to enjoy some of his best works in one purchase, and at much lower price than tracking down copies of his out-of-print lecture notes which only comes up rather rarely.

Sure hunting down and acquiring your own copy of the printed material would be MUCH better, for the same reason why we love books over DVDs. But again, buying the DVD is easily the most practical route. Pros and cons.

Simply, there ARE stuff that are easier to get hold of in the form of DVDs than in printed paper.

Yet, +1 for books! (And I agree 'Focus' is amazing)
scott0819
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Quote:
On 2011-06-27 15:02, Harry Lorayne wrote:
I probably did something wrong!! Just checked Vol. 1 of my 4-vol. "Best Ever" DVD set, and - there are over 30 items, plus - "Over 40 sleights fully exlained!" it says on the cover. Cost to the retail buyer is much less that $1 an item. The cover of Vol. 4 says "30 Routines! 14 Sleights Fully Explained" (and there's an hour of me doing memory stuff in front of a lay audience. I did SOMETHING wrong! HL.

PS: Is Splice serious or is he joking?


Yes Harry, but I'd rather read your books instead!
Spackle666
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Books inspire variation, because each reader can digest the material differently. DVDs inspire imitation, as there is less subjectivity in the content. That in a nutshell is the pros and cons if each format. More mechanical clarity can be found in a DVD, but more subtext can be found in a book (or print).

Personally, I prefer books both from a content perspective and an intrinsic value perspective. With that said, seeing a performance of an effect can make all the difference in the world. I wish more folks would bundle performance disks with their written tomes. Just so we all could have a visual record of how the originator intended for his effects to appear.
"it's bad luck to be superstitious."
Vlad_77
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I have a select few DVD video sets. They are well produced and I have learned from them. However, books are my thing. I love to engage and be engaged by the author and the text and I would contend that the best authors can teach even the most byzantine moves far more effectively in a book than any DVD. I am not a neo-Luddite. As a musician, my music production stations and studio equipment are bleeding edge technology. My attitude toward video DVDs stems from the fact that I learn best, i.e, more efficiently by reading and doing. I do however recognize that we all learn differently.

But Bill's point in terms of value for money is spot on and not just in terms of quantity of effects. Videos are constrained by the tyranny of the clock and as such there is a lot the author cannot talk about due to time constraints. Books afford the author and the reader - the partnership in a mini constructivist learning environment - the chance to have a dialog about theory, about the "why" of an effect as opposed to just the how.

Spackle, while your idea IDEALLY is ideal (:P) on a more prosaic level we need to bear in mind that producing a quality magic book is costly in itself. Bundling a well shot DVD would be IMHO quite prohibitive cost wise. Authors of magic books do not reap the gazillions of bucks that J.K. Rowling or Stephen King harvest. Put into perspective, a best seller in the magic world is approximately 1000 copies.

Swann, I applaud your desire to keep our secrets but selling magic books and DVDs at an extremely high price would actually HURT magic. We know that many brick and mortar shops have gone under with the explosion of the Internet. However, even the Internet folk aren't becoming wealthy from selling either even though their operating costs are MUCH lower than a brick and mortar. I know that the subtext of your argument is that if magic media were sold at a higher price then our secrets would be out of the hands of the merely curious. In practicality that doesn't work. As was mentioned earlier, books - and I mean HUGE books are now being scanned and put on torrent sites and other P2P services. DVDs are everywhere on usenet which is MUCH harder to police. If you can imagine the topic you WILL find it on usenet and as I am sure you know, most people are not as aware of usenet or how to use it.

However there IS one type of DVD that offers even more bang for the buck than even books: compilation DVDs! Chris Wasshuber, Martin Breese, and Todd Karr have scanned and sell complete runs of some of the legendary magic periodicals. These periodicals are absolute treasures for the serious student and the advantages of these are that the cost is realistic and perhaps more importantly the digital compilation will not suffer from acid degradation that the vast majority of periodicals do. I want to LEARN and EXPLORE these great periodicals but I do not want to have to wear archiver's gloves to do so. Imagine wanting to read the very first issue of The Sphinx. Periodicals from 1902 do not age well.

Splice: WONDERFUL sarcasm!! The subtext is a great, excoriating assessment of the "I want it now" mindset. Kudos.

Before this gets buried elsewhere I think I should say something about card effects Smile

In the New Tops DVD compilation you get GREAT card magic from Nick Trost as well as the complete M.I.N.T. and L.I.N.T. [N.B. This of course is true of the other compilations as well. I just wanted to insert a card bit and The New Tops popped to mind.]

Finally, why is the name Lorayne red underlined as misspelled on The Café. I think that the coders need to add the names of our V.I.P.s to the system parser!!

Ahimsa,
Vlad
fonda57
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One reason I think dvd's are so popular now is that it doesn't take much to watch a dvd, whereas reading a book takes time and thought and you need to be able to see in your mind what the effect should be and how to approach it and make it your own and to carry the creativity into your own work.

I also like books because you can simply carry one around and read it anytime. Sure, some of them are no good, but you have to be thoughtfull in what you purchase. For example, chances are extremely high that if you were to purchase a Harry Lorayne book that it would be great. The books I've purchased of Richard Kaufman's have all been good. I'm fully expecting the upcoming Al Schneider book to be a good one.

I don't really need to say anything after Vlad's great post, but I thought I'd weigh in on this, for what it's worth.
I j
Leland
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With DVD's you get to see the performer in action. Not sure that's a good thing. When I perform the effect that I learned from a DVD, I have a tendency to have that performer performance in my head. So as I’m going through the routine I tend to take on that performer actions and style.

When I learn from a book I only learn the trick. Now it’s up to me to make the routine my own.

That having been said, I do own lots of DVD’s because it’s easy to sit down view them and learn it. I know I’m lazy. There's good DVD's and some bad one's. I own both types.
Life of Magic!
lynnef
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I own some DVD's with tricks I don't even plan on performing. But I love to watch the performance, anyway. The patter, the back and forth, etc. Yeah, the effects are in the books, but I love the way Juan Tamariz says "NO NO NO WAIT WAIT" as he enhances cards across or how Harry Lorayne says "Now were coming in to miracle territory folks" in one of his HaLo effects. But I do feel Bill's frustration with some DVD's, esp when you might buy it for only one effect; and don't really care for the performance all that much. Lynn
R.E. Byrnes
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The idea that essentially applying an "exposure tax" on DVDs and books would somehow "protect secrets" is patently absurd, not least because those whose interest is solely to find out secrets will disproportionately obtain them through the illicit downloads that are available for everything that can be converted to a digital format, which is to say everything. There are few more futile expenditures of energy than lamenting exposure that is incapable of being contained.
TomasB
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Bill, I'm also curious about the name of the DVD.

Thanks,

/Tomas
TomasB
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Bill? Or does anyone else know which DVD he was talking about?

Yes, I've PMed him the question and he read it several days ago.

/Tomas
Vlad_77
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I wrote about DVD compilations and wanted to comment that I just received The Goldston Journals today from Todd Karr. 9000 pages of magic wonderfulness are aching to be browsed. I know that in my life +10 more that I will never get through my library. That said, there is a joy in not only randomly browsing monster compilations like the above, or The Gen, Magic Wand, The Sphinx, etc., but also, when I see something referenced in the literature, I like to go back and read the effect before the improvement.

As far as video DVDs, I am having a BLAST with Malone Meets Marlo. This is truly worth the money. Like lyneff I also like to watch the performances as entertainment. Still, nothing will ever replace printed magic for me - analog or digital. Smile
Josh Chaikin
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DVD compilations are amazing, when I was in Vegas a friend advised I pick up The Jinx & The Phoenix at Houdini's, which I did - $20 apiece. Holy crap! A wealth of information, DECADES worth of articles, essays and effects, for a little more than the cost of a one trick DVD.

It's amazing to see that even in the 50's magicians were quibbling about the same sort of malfeasance in the art that we are today. (Not to mention the patent misogony in some of the descriptions).
Hugokhf
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That's why it is better to choose DVD's with entertaining performance (love bill malone, LMAO every time I watch it)
IllusionsMichael
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As someone without a natural gift for presentation and performance, I can say that if it weren't for DVDs, I would get caught twice as often, and my effects would be half as entertaining.

DVDs are great for getting a feel for how body relaxation works to misdirect, and how looking up at an audience works, and of course: angles! Books are great for getting in-depth descriptions of positioning and timing, for encouraging creativity, and for getting more material per dollar. They each have their pros and cons.
Michael Bluth: "So this is the magic trick, huh?"

Gob: "Illusion, Michael. Tricks are something a **** does for money."
JoeHohman
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Josh, I believe you meant to say "CD ROM compilations," right?

I agree with you totally, I just don't want students unfamiliar with Jinx or Phoenix be confused....
MagiCol
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Vlad wrote: the digital compilation will not suffer from acid degradation that the vast majority of periodicals do.
True. But DVD formats change and in 10 years may be as dated as video tapes -VHS and Beta versions - have become. So, video must be updated in its format [anyone got an 8mm film machine and using it nowadays - ha!].
On the other hand, while print media can suffer degradation, paper quality can/is being improved, and reprints of classics happen from time to time.

Anyway, its not a case of DVDs or Books, really. They both have their uses.
I find books a lot easy to transcribe from than DVDs when I am writing up the personalised routines that I develop. '
Somewhat strangely, by the time I have worked on mastering a trick and working out the routine I will use the written record is somewhat un-needed. Still, I like to go back and read my routine, correct it. And for sharing with others, the subtle instructions, can be conveyed easily in a computer file - but again, these need to be updated as the years go by, or they will become unreadable.
One thing about books, we can still "read" books that are hundreds of years old. I doubt that any computerised files - written, audio, or video - will be in 'readable' -as in format, rather than the content of them - even 20 years later.
The presentation makes the magic.
R.E. Byrnes
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I can't say that I've found "acid degeneration" to be an actual problem with any book I've owned, ever. and at least the books I own are constrained by the same "tyranny" of having to end at some point, just as DVDs are.
Cain
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Book snobs.

DVDs are superior to books because magic is a visual medium. The most important part is not the explanation but the performance, which is loaded with subtext.

The thing about books is they have a mystique. Take for instance the Bible. Most influential book in history. I guarantee you that if God ever put
out the DVD (or the Blu-Ray!) we'd see either see a lot of disappointment (no chops) or an unholy number of converts.

Books leave more to the imagination, allowing room for us to romanticize what could have been.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
1tepa1
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Quote:
On 2011-08-02 17:55, Cain wrote:
Book snobs.

DVDs are superior to books because magic is a visual medium. The most important part is not the explanation but the performance, which is loaded with subtext.

The thing about books is they have a mystique. Take for instance the Bible. Most influential book in history. I guarantee you that if God ever put
out the DVD (or the Blu-Ray!) we'd see either see a lot of disappointment (no chops) or an unholy number of converts.

Books leave more to the imagination, allowing room for us to romanticize what could have been.


I am afraid we would see some absolutely horrible stuff in there.
bobn3
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I am enough of an "old fart" that I remember back when magic VHS tapes first came out. They sold in the $80 to $90 range (and some even higher). I find it difficult crying the blues about $30 to $40 on DVDs.

Bob Phillips
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