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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Ganson films in digital format (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Anatole
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I have just discovered that some of the 8mm films that Lewis Ganson made for Harry Stanley's Unique Studios are available in wmf format from lybrary.com
http://www.lybrary.com/lewis-ganson-mani......061.html
Other Unique Studios films have also been transferred to digital video, including
Slydini
Ganson's Cups and Balls
Marconick in Silken Sorcery

The Ganson video is a bargain at $6.00
It is essentially a performance-only video, but anyone reading this forum probably knows all the moves anyway!

These films are a great tribute to Ganson and the legacy of Harry Stanley's Unique Studios and a great companion to the Ganson and Marconick books.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Bill Hegbli
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That is a really great find, thanks, I have the Multiplying Lighters and have studied Lewis Ganson material for years. Without him, we would not know how to fan a deck of Cards. When studying, one often wonders how good the author is, now we can all get of taste of an expert in his prime years. Actually seeing his material on video, is a great learning experience as well. At least Lybrary.com has a reasonable price for the download.

If anyone has Routine Manipulation book 1 and 2 or the complete combined books, along with Lewis Ganson's original book "Expert Manipulation of Playing Cards" 1945 publication or the republish of this book in 2003, owners will gain some insight into who Lewis Ganson was, and his style of performance.
Bill Hegbli
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I just finished downloading and watching these film to video segments of Lewis Ganson. Finally, after all these years I could see what the author was explaining. I see, many details in the handling were not detailed enough with just the use of words and a couple photos. It all makes sense now, and looks better then it reads.

Ganson's fans are perfect and shows his great skill, if anyone has attempted to learn from these famous publications, you should appreciate the little maneuvers and gestures that make the tricks stand out.

His ball vanishes for the Cups and Balls fooled even me, as there is a little method to his handling that makes one believe. Is it the low French drop type vanish or is the little quick gesture of the hands, or just the left hand moving at a very important time.

Seeing his process to remove is gloves and steal a load is more clear now then ever before. Most who use it try to over prove the fairness and openness of the moves. When in fact it is much more casual then described in the books.

The most exciting was the Fred Kaps Coins and Glass routine. Seeing it performed makes it all come together. His handling of the glass is different then anyone has interpreted it thus far. Nice flourish.

The classic silks and glasses is another interesting trick, I have never seen performed but only read. It is very unique and different.

Viewer's have to take into account that film back in the 1940's, were very short segments. Only 15 minutes in most cases. So this made the people being filmed rush a little so it all gets in without running out of film. I am sure that is what the editing spots was for, or as many of the poses looked exactly like in the books, they may have removed a clip to have a print made for the books.

Thanks for the post, it is exciting to see a trick or routine after 50+ years.
Anatole
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I remember when I contacted Martin Breese about transferring the Ganson films to digital video that he told me he didn't think anyone would be interested in them what with more detailed and current videos like Jeff McBride's series. I told Martin at the time that a lot of magicians today would As I pointed out, these seem to be performance-only videos so far, but back in the 70's I saw some poorly transferred video clips from the instructional 8mm films that showed Ganson preparing the cards with fanning powder just like he described in _Card Magic by Manipulation_.

A few years back someone posted links to what were thought to be video of Ganson
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......start=60
but Levent pointed out that they were actually films of Arthur Buckley. So it's nice to have these archival clips of Ganson. I also suggested to Martin that if the instructional videos were released that some of today's stars of card manipulation like Levent or Jeff McBride would likely be delighted to provide narration to accompany the instruction on split fan technique, etc.

You may recall that Ganson himself participated in the updating of his book _Expert Manipulation of Playing Cards_ with a republication of that ground-breaking treatise
http://www.davenportsmagic.co.uk/acatalog/info-312.html
that had not only the original text--and photos in amazing clarity--but totally new photos that incorporated ideas from Goodlette Dodson's _Exhibition Card Fans_. So obviously Ganson was in favor of revising some of the material he previously published to make it more complete and more useful to people who wanted to learn the classic moves of card manipulation.

I and I'm sure many others in the international magic community thank and applaud the decision of Martin Breese's family to release this material.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Bill Hegbli
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Just watched the videos 10 more times. I have to say that Ganson's Split Fans are superior. His deep Downs Palm that I commented on in another topic, is very magical.
Anatole
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A couple of more comments/observations about the Ganson films at lybrary.com

1) As noted, this is a performance-only video of Lew's card manipulations. Back in the 70's my friend Jim Temple (of "Color Monte" fame)who lived in Europe for some time had some of the 8mm films that Unique Studios produced. I remember that the Ganson 8mm films that Unique Studios produced also included instruction on how to prepare the cards, powder them, and split the fans. The films were silent, but as I recall, the technique was pretty clear.
2) The split fans are "traditional" split fans, meaning that when the films were made, Ganson had apparently not yet implemented the recommendation he made in _Card Magic by Manipulation_ to produce a fan of only 6 to 8 cards rather than the full fan. Lew developed the modified production because he felt that it was obvious that as each successive fan was made that the number of the cards in each fan gradually diminished. The only magician I can remember who used Lew's modification was Sakoh. (I think magicians noticed the discrepancy more than lay audiences did.
3) Bill commented on how the Ganson video helped to clarify some details of the removal of the white gloves. Bill, if you compare Ganson's technique with Johnny Hart's technique at around 0:24 into this youtube clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tnlopTpbF8
does it look like Johnny uses the same basic moves that Ganson used? Thanks for any commentary.

I haven't ordered the Marconick digital video from lybrary.com yet. If anyone does, can you report on whether the Marconick video includes his presentation of The Prisoner Silks (called "And Yet Another Twentieth Century" on page 128 of _Marconick's Original Magic_ or his Cocktail Shaker Finale from page 162?) Thanks!

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Bill Hegbli
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Bojan Barisic posted a Marconic film some time back that had Prisoner Silk on it. Check in the Silk section of the Café.

Ganson split fans in the section with gloves looks just like he is producing the same amount of cards with each production. That is what impressed me so, with which the speed the did the split fan.

I see no point in comparing Ganson moves or his removal of his gloves to Johnny Hart or anyone else. If the point is, that Johnny Hart may have had personalized instruction from Ganson, he could very well have done so. Hart was overseas a lot back when he was working.
Anatole
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From an historical perspective it is often illuminating to compare techniques employed by different performers
--like comparing the Great Tomsoni's Double Dove Production with Channing Pollock's. The two dove workers came up with their methods independently, as did Shimada, I think. Among card manipulators I find it interesting that Lance Burton, Johnny Hart, and Joseph all three produce single cards in the left hand in their acts, but they use three different methods. A student of card manipulation looking to add that feature to his/her act might want to study video of the three to help him decide which particular method he wants to learn.

In the world of stage illusion, it's illuminating from an historical perspective to compare the levitation illusion as presented by Kellar, Thurston, Blackstone, Copperfield and others. I find it particularly interesting that Kellar gave both Thurston and Blackstone permission to present the Levitation of Princess Karnac--but the version he gave to Blackstone was, IIRC, a "new improved version." I would have loved to see Blackstone present the Karnac illusion. But I think all three illusionists would have been blown away by David Copperfield's levitation that I've mentioned on the Café before:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOK7aA7kpCo

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Bill Hegbli
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I see, although I would not consider comparing one performers handling against another's. Instead, I would examine the movements and holds and see if I can incorporate into the way I handle a prop. I anyone would note, some of my most exciting discoveries was something as simple as holding a fan in each hand, and when presented to the audience, make sure the right forearm is over the left forearm. This permits the faces of the cards to be parallel with the audience.

Watched the video 10 more times, nothing on television this weekend. Study, study, study!
Anatole
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I understand your point, Bill. I remember watching Shimada on NBC's "International Showtime" back in the 60's and by making a one-hand fan in each hand he made a figure "S"--which on the Stevens manipulation video he jokingly said was "S--for Shimada." I thought it was such a nice flourish that I incorporated it into my manipulation act. We are fortunate that we now have digital video to study, learn from and be inspired by some of the legends in magic. In my collection of magic videos, most of my favorites are performance-only videos that were recorded from TV broadcasts.

And I wish Andrew Solt's SOFA company would release a second volume of "Amazing Stars of Magic" from the Sullivan show. There were some great magicians on "Hoillywood Palace" as well, among them Silvan, Channing Pollock, Milo and Roger, Mac Ronay, Kirk Kirkham and Ralph Adams. Clips of ome of the Hollywood Palace magicians are available on youtube, like:
Ralph Adams
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR7bafRqFm8
and Silvan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWEnofZKJps

I'm pretty sure that Hollywood Palace was broadcast in color, but for some reason most of the clips on youtube are black-and-white.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
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