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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » In the Beginning There Were Coins DVD Starring Jay Noblezada (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mc_magi
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Its never a good thing that people are getting lazier with learning of the arts.

What is going to be argued next, that ballet and oil painting is best learnt by copying someone from a edited video?

Give me a break.
truthteller
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DVDs that take advantage of the media in intelligent ways, that take advantage of what the media has to offer without sacrificing what the printed texts has to offer will always be praised. I think Michael Close succeeded on many levels with his CLosely Guarded Secrets e-book.

I also have no problem if someone wants to use video media intelligently as a teaching tool. I DO have a problem when people cry, "I have to use DVDs because I'm a visual learner" when it is clear they have no idea what they are talking about. Visual learners learn from books. These people are LAZY learners.

I also have issues with people teaching in DVD formats because they are simply too lazy to take the time to gather their thoughts coherently enough to be able to covey them with the written word.

Keeping astride with the latest in teaching technologies is a wonderful thing - take the easy route is not.
lumberjohn
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If you can learn something the easy way or the hard way, why would you take the hard way? And haven't you ever heard that a picture is worth a thousand words? That is more appropriate than ever when it comes to magic. Some moves are very difficult to convey through the written word. I can tell you that just by all the hours I've spent going through Erdnase. I've also found it helpful to see other people's performing styles and how the way certain effects play out in real performances. It is hard to convey timing and misdirection in a book. I do agree that books are better for some things, but generally, I believe that videos have made it easier to learn magic, and I don't think that is a bad thing.
Jonathan Townsend
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No criticism being offered of performance DVDs and even of performance plus demonstration DVDs as instructional material.

As to the general lowering of reading standards...

Those who want to get led out into the fields to chant 'four legs good...' are welcome to that path.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
truthteller
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Lumberjohn,

If someone is willing to say, "I choose to learn from DVDs because they are easier" they are being honest. When they say, "I choose to learn from DVDs because I am a visual learner" they are using an excuse that does not even hold true.

THAT is my problem.

However, I think the Osterlind DVDs are a great example of how DVDs fail - in spite of the performer/teacher. Osterlind issued a series of guidebooks following the DVDs. Why? In order to communicate essential concepts required for a thorough understanding of the material that was not adequately conveyed via the "thousand word picture." (And to comment on mistakes that were made in the filming of the material).

I do not feel that Osterlind was in error, I think he was smart enough to realize that the media of video is incapable of efficiently conveying all the information neccessary to truly understand - to truly LEARN - a piece of magic. He also realized that unlike a book, it is almost impossible to convey the ideal model that a trick should strive for.

Of course, videos can offer something we cannot get from books. I know that seeing a move performed properly can be a revelation. But it is clear that they are also incapable of offering everything one can get from books. If used intelligently, they could be a powerful educational media.

But compare the numbers of times they are used intelligently to the number of times we get someone who can barely put a sentence together engaging in nothing more than a game of show and tell - but at least there are cool graphics. Also, while I think there is value in seeing the moves in Bobo performed correctly, my question is "Has Noblezada spent the years studying, learning these moves that he is qualified to offer authoritatize performances thereof? What was his research proceedure? Which books did he consult? What approached to performance has he adopted?"

You know that Ackerman and JAmes have spent years of their lives uncovering everything they can concerning the Erdnase projects on which they are working. You know that if Roth were to undertake the Bobo project, that he would have not done so before exhausting the printed record.

Is Noblezada capable of offering an authoritative work AND what past project indicate that this will be an intelligent use of the DVD media and not merely a game of magic show and tell?
Joshua Barrett
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All ill say is that everytime I have had a routine/"move"/ect ect in both formats, dvd and book, the book is always more detailed
DJC
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Im not saying the written word is a bad thing. Actually a combination of written and demonstration with lecture would be far superior and always has. Before there were many books on the subject of magic one would have to know a superior magician or join a club of some sort. I wonder if those people had the same animosity towards books? Frankly speaking (as a professional trainer) a lot of books that Ive read on magic by some of the so called great magicians have failed miserably in teaching. Sometimes laziness or incompetence on the part of the author is just as bad as the same for the reader ( dvds no exception). People need to understand that great performers are not necessarily great teachers. Teaching is a completely different artform. As far as the Noblezada dvd. It is what it is. If bad then why? (not just because its a dvd) and if its good then also why? And to the comment by Mc magi, Try reading how to do balet without ever seeing it. Read for years if you want. Then lets put you on stage and read the reviews.

DC
lumberjohn
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Quote:
On 2007-02-23 12:06, truthteller wrote:

If someone is willing to say, "I choose to learn from DVDs because they are easier" they are being honest. When they say, "I choose to learn from DVDs because I am a visual learner" they are using an excuse that does not even hold true. THAT is my problem.

However, I think the Osterlind DVDs are a great example of how DVDs fail - in spite of the performer/teacher.. . .[Osterlind] was smart enough to realize that the media of video is incapable of efficiently conveying all the information neccessary to truly understand - to truly LEARN - a piece of magic. [I]t is clear that [videos] are also incapable of offering everything one can get from books.

[M]y question is "Has Noblezada spent the years studying, learning these moves that he is qualified to offer authoritatize performances thereof? What was his research proceedure? Which books did he consult? What approached to performance has he adopted?"


TT:
It is probably true that people who say they prefer DVDs to books because they are "visual learners" are guilty of a linguistic non-sequitur for the reasons you state. But I suspect what they really mean is that they prefer watching someone explain how an effect is done while demonstrating the moves as opposed to reading a description in a book. Rather than attacking these people as "lazy" learners, or saying that they are just resorting to an "excuse," I would grant them the benefit of the doubt that some people really do find video a more effective means of conveying information than books. This is simply a recognition of their learning style.

Also, I would not state categorically that as a rule, DVD's "fail" to convey information as well as books or that they are inferior to books. There are good and bad books just as there are good and bad videos. I can think of examples in which I have learned an effect better from video than book and vice-versa. It just depends on the effect in question and the quality of the book/video. Just because Osterlind thought it necessary to supplement his DVD series with written documentation, that does not suggest that such documentation is necessary, or even advisable, for all DVD releases.

You have asked legitimate questions about Noblezada, but these questions would be just as valid if Noblezada had published a book on the same subject. I would want to know who he is and what his qualifications are before I purchased any teaching material from him in any format.

I agree with you that there is much bad product out there in the DVD market, but that is no reason to slam the medium, or the people who legitimately find DVDs more effective than books in learning magic.
Cameron Francis
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I don't think Brad is slamming the medium as a whole. He has some very good points. I don't plan on buying this dvd but I would be curious to read an intelligent review as Noblezada does seem to be a pretty articulate guy who's got some chops and loves magic.
lumberjohn
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The fact is that books have no advantage over DVD's as a medium. Anything that books can do, DVD's can do better. Anything that can be written in a book can be said on a DVD, and with the words can be added so much more not possible with books. I will certainly agree that most DVD's on the market don't take full advantage of this potential, but it is absurd to cling to an old technology when a new, and much improved one, is available. I believe that the quality of the average magic book is higher than the quality of the average magic video today, but that is because books are more established and feature more experienced performers who have not yet made the switch to DVD. But as more and more people become comfortable with the medium, that will change and DVD's will replace books as the magic teaching medium of choice.
jimbowmanjr
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My biggest beef with visual learning is the clone effect that happens when watching someone perform an effect. I will freely admit that I suck completely at learning coin sleights from a book I need some visual aide to help but I will not ignore the subtleties that can be learned from a book. I have Bobo's and I have tried my very best to work on the sleights in there. After getting frustrated with a few things I went ahead and ordered David Roth's Expert Coin Magic set to help me along a bit.

Another prime example of this was when I bought R. Paul Wilson's RRTCM as well as the book itself. There were plenty of things that were not covered in the DVD volumes themselves and Wilson repeatedly asks you to follow along in the book throughout the DVD's.

I think DVD's have their place but that should not come at the expense of continuing to learn from books. A single 90-minute DVD is simply not going to encapsulate every possible aspect you could have learned from a 300-page book. I am not really sure why anyone would want one medium to completely replace the other. Both mediums can co-exist just fine and people make their own choice as to which they will learn from best, or just learn best from utilizing both mediums.

--Jim
Irishghost
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I always would rather have a book over a dvd anyday. The truth is, that most new releases are in dvd forum. I have always said that the main reason I perfer books is that I can find my own way of performing the effect. The moves are taught, and the basic patter is layed out for you in book form, but the little added touches are for you to put in the routine. I find that there are a lot of copy cat's out there, and I do not mean this as an insult. I can watch them perform silver dream, and then watch Justin Miller do it on the dvd and they are exactly the same, almost word for word. When learning from a dvd, you also pick up the instructors way he performs the trick, and more so then not, the way they perform, and the way I perform are not and same. I think dvd is an excellent way to learn the effect, but you should only use it to learn the effect, not the presentation. That should be left to you, and the way your perform.
edh
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I think DVD's are good for illustrating how a slieght/card effect should look like in realtime. Sometimes books do not convey how slieght should look like. The mechanics are in more detail in books. Once you have seen how a slieght/card effect should look like in realtime then you can tweak it to your personel style.
Magic is a vanishing art.
DJC
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I think each medium has advantages and disadvantages. Ive written incredibly detailed biomechanical anaylisis papers on specific athletic movements but if someone asked me what the best way to learn was I would take them to the field. Fact is, any good teacher would have many different mediums for his/her student to learn from. In magic why try to demonize or attack people for the use of newer learning methods. Frankly speaking, I feel someone devoted totally to books isn't any smarter than someone using just dvds or someone learning just from a magic club. I would encourage and hope that any passionate student would seek as many sources as possible to learn and become better. And get this. Even some value can be obtained from someone doing a poor job demonstrating or teaching. It shows the wise student what not to do which can be very beneficial.

DC
truthteller
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Quote:
On 2007-02-24 12:49, lumberjohn wrote:
The fact is that books have no advantage over DVD's as a medium.


Yes, they do. And DVDs have an advatage over books - on some ways.

DVDs are a linear media. Even though one can go back with the scan feature, the communication of information, non-visual information, is innefficient. Yes, you could have an 8 hour monologue of the performer going over the critical theoretical and philosphical issues surrounding a trick, but this information is best communicated through the printed text. (Hence the fact that Osterlind's guidebooks were a really smart addition to his DVDs - they communicated critical information that would be inefficiently communicated through a visual media.) No one is arguing that a visual media cannot convey visual information - just that MAGIC is more than juggling, it transcends technique.

As a student, I can skim a book. I can stop at an interesting paragraph and ponder over its implications. I can look through a chapter and know what type of information it has to offer, and choose to spend time there or not. With a DVD, I don't know if the best idea is going to be hidden in an hour long interview.

Now, I will say this, for AUDITORY learners, having access to theoretical information in an audible form IS a help. But you never here people say, "I like DVDs because I am an auditory learner."

Finally, no one is here to demonize DVDs. DVDs can do some things very well, but not everything. The same is true of books. My beef, is when people make excuses.
DJC
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I whole heartedly agree with you on not liking excuses. I do however get tired of the constant bickering over which one is better ( dvds or books ) They are all good if they convey knowledge well.
Jonathan Townsend
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I do my best learning MISreading text and sometimes just watching videos without the sound on.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Cameron Francis
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I know what you mean, Jonathan. I have misread sleights and actually made them work better for me in the long run. Turning the sound off is a great idea.
Ireland
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Since Truthteller accurately described one approach to learning styles....ie auditory, kinesthetic and visual..... if you ask any teacher what 'visual' learning applies to, they will tell you it refers to a learner watching someone DO something and then attempting to imitate those actions. It applies to reading only in the most general sense that one is using eyes....but this is not what is commonly referred to as a 'visual learner.' Many people find it much easier to learn the Slydini knots by watching them on dvd or learning a rope tie via dvd....they may not at all be able to learn this from the written word. So I wonder if what you refer to as 'lazy' is mostly people trying to avoid learning through those modes they have experienced as frustrating to them, taking an inordinate amount of time and makes relearning the same thing later almost as difficult. When we are learning magic we are mostly talking about learning a physical action, something many of us just find easier to learn watching dvd's... and I hope continue to do so without any guilt. So what if this information comes more quickly and easier to a younger generation via non-printed modes... in my view, in this context, the less dues paid the better! Now, if I wanted to learn the history of an effect or about the personal life of an inventor or performance theories, then certainly a book for most of us would be preferable... but for skill-building you can't top being shown by someone.
truthteller
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With all due respect, Ireland, the learning while "doing" makes one a kinesthetic learner. Do a quick google search on "visual learners" and you will see it all spelled out very clearly. Not only do the current google searches bear this out, it is also what I was taught when I was receiving my Master's degree in education.

http://www.readinginstruction.com/visuallearners.html http://www.nalandainstitute.org/aspfiles/visual.asp
http://www.learning-styles-online.com/style/visual-spatial/
http://parentcenter.babycenter.com/refca......824.html

The fact is, many magic books are hard to read. (On a personal note, it was because I learned how to read magic books that I was eventually able to decipher my math texts which were always completely incomprehensible to me. Learning how to read some magic books may even be harder than learning how to read a regular book.) Couple that with the fact that many people - especially young people today - have poor reading skills and you can see why DVDs are popular.

Demonstrations are EASIER to watch (for most) and take less time to view. Of course, visual learners can respond well to a demonstration (though in most of the literature, it is reading which is considered the stronger domain of the visual learner), but the two are not mutually exclusive. Meaning, if someone is a visual learner who responds well to a demonstration, then there is no reason they would also not respond well to printed instruction - unless the problem was not with the learning modality but with their ability to read and willingness to devote the time required to read. In short, the reason they prefer demonstrations to reading is not because they are a visual learner, it is because reading is simply harder for them. (or they are auditory or kinesthetic learners!)

DVDs convey visual information very well. However, there is more to learning a piece of magic than just mimicking technique. It is not my intent to say that books are BETTER than DVDs - but I will say that books are better than DVD's in a lot of respects. The converse is also true. In each case, though, the tools must be wielded effectively.

My issue in this thread was to comment that most people ARE visual learners (at least according to the research done when I was in school) and that visual learners learn well by reading. If you are a kinesthetic or auditory learner, then yes, books will prove challenging. But we don't see people writing, "I like DVDs because I am a kinesthetic learner." It seems that most people have glommed onto the "visual learner" concept because it sounds right, not because they understand what it truly means or know what modality in which they truly excel.
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