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Topic: Magic Effect Database?
Message: Posted by: mmreed (Feb 28, 2008 02:46PM)
Hello all,

If you could have a computer database to track your effects - what would you expect from it, or want to see as features in that database beyond just the normal here is the effect name, description, howto, etc...

I am making a database to archive my effects, and am running into "writers block" when trying to make sure I am covering what I should with it.

Any ideas or suggestions?

I have the effect, a rating, a category, how to do it, photos, and the source of the effect.

Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Feb 28, 2008 03:16PM)
Effect name.
Whether the routine requires a working surface or can be done in hands.
Category: Close up, parlor, etc.
The resource for the effect and/or a description.
Props you start with.
Approximate length of the routine.
Props you end with.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Feb 28, 2008 03:46PM)
Is it an opener, middle, or closer?
Does it use assistants? How many?
If for children, what age group?
Any performance requirements
-- space
-- angles
-- props
-- audience size or make-up
Date when you last performed this effect,
and a brief description of the event
Comments on the effect, such as
-- how you felt you handled it;
if negative, why and what are your corrections
-- how the sudience reacted;
if negative, why and what are your corrections
-- how the volunteer(s) reacted;
if negative, why and what are your corrections
-- any changes you want to implement next performance

Rating on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 for:
-- ease of set-up
-- ease of performance
-- ease of finishing clean
-- ease of reset
-- volunteer management required
-- performance impact

Ed
Message: Posted by: JasonbytheOcean (Feb 29, 2008 07:51AM)
I also annotate mine with story ideas, scripts, etc. that I might otherwise forget and want to use or develop later. I also include both the particular effect and the sleight or gimmick needed to do it (i.e., I have multiple entries based on what I do with a TT, etc.).

G'donya for developing this for your use, I know that mine has been a lifeline in quickly trying to put together shows, or trying to decide what to cut/add.

Regards,

Jason
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Feb 29, 2008 09:51AM)
I think it's too much to have that many parameters. Better to have just a few things like a good description, your own usefulness rating and where it can be looked up for further reference. And then just a field for comments where you could add whatever, such as "virtually identical move to the Blabla Pass by Whomever", or "works well with blabla" or "can be used as a force, see Forces chapter".

I have multiple Word documents, entitled for instance "Shuffles False" and "Shuffles Blind", etc. I used to have a few more flavors, like "shuffles, top retained", etc but they have merged into fewer files.

There are 16 different files at the moment, one of which is simply entitled "misc". I write out each sleight so that I can do it based only on my own description since after a year I may forget some necessary details.

I have printed all of these (many) pages and had them bound in a nice spiral binder with blank sheets for notes. I can take it anywhere and flop it open on the table in front of me. So one day you can sit down and look for a suitable force to go with your current project. Or practice different multiple shifts for a while just for the practice.

When there are too many notes, I will print an updated version and change the ratings according to what I have found less or more useful in real life than originally expected.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Mar 1, 2008 10:11AM)
Noobini - I was responding to the OP's desire to catalog his effects, not just his sleights. And depending on his type of show, much of this may not apply. I think in spreadsheets and databases, since that's my day job. And I've thought about something like this for myself.

I think it would be nice to be able to have a historical database like this. "Today is the day to work on what didn't work last time. Search the database and find last show, effects with poor ratings. Look at that effect - consistently poor ratings. Do I work on it or do I toss it?"

Some of the catagories I proposed would probably lend themselves more to my type of show, which is a small stage or parlor environment. Your type of list would probably be better for a close-up or walk-around artist.

Ed