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Jeb Sherrill
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OK, I realize this will be similar to the subject of books, but what about videos. The costs are high just to produce them. Will a nice, digital camcorder do the job, or must you use a broadcast quality 3-chip camera? How does distribution work with videos? Should I just give demonstrations of the effects, or should I have live performance footage? Does Michael Ammar have to make an appearance in order to sell?

Thanks in advance,

Sable
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Scott Wells
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Banachek and I put together a video in 1990 on bending cutlery. We used my personal video camera and had a neghbor come over to act as the "unsuspecting volunteer". We were just wanting to get some rough footage to see how a taping session might go and what it might look like on the monitor and how long it might take to tape. From there we also looked at tightening the script and outlining the flow.

I talked with several dealers about producing the tape including Joe Stevens who said he was not interested in having it as part of his video series because "mentalism just won't sell" but he would be glad to market the tapes if we produced it ourselves. Of course he was right for that point in time but mentalism has heated up during this past decade.

Anyway, I talked with Gary Kurtz, Joe Givan, Mike Ammar and others about how they went about doing their tapes and what kind of deal one can strike with a producer.

Basically it's like buying a car...it's all negotiable. You can sign away your rights for a one time flat fee, you can keep a percentage of gross sales, you can have back-in rights, you can have percentage ratchets based on sales or over a time period, and on and on.

But as to producing it, we would have never sold the "home" version of our video nor would we have even used our hand-held camera in front of a curtain in our garage. The quality of your equipment really shows through on the small box once it's in someone's home. I remember Bob Brown of "Bob Brown and Brenda" fame once saying, "it only costs about 10% more to go first class." Of course he was talking about promotional material, but it will definitely cost you more to have professional grade, studio quality video equipment...but it will be worth it. You don't want people to talk about the quality of your production value rather than the quality of the material on the tape.

I hope this helps.

yours,
Scott
"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

The Magic Word podcast: http://themagicwordpodcast.com Listen to convention coverage, interviews with magicians, pictures, videos and more.

Magic Inspirations website for all things Banachek: www.magicinspirations.net
Tom Cutts
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Here is what your tapes will be held up to in comparison.

Three digital professional cameras taking in the best angles.
A syncing program coordinating them.
Professional miking on the performer and audience.
Thousand of dollars worth of lighting equipment.
An enthusiastic live audience. Smile
Catering Smile
A Producer/Director Smile
And the list goes on...

Then again there was Showoff. If you are going to DIY, exploit the fact and make it an underground feel. Just make sure we can see and hear you.
Burt Yaroch
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What about enlisting novice videographers? They wouldn't have the experience but certainly would have the technical knowledge being right outta film school.

Perhaps checking out local colleges and getting some student to make you his project?

But I do have to agree with Tom (that's twice today Smile ) that even the most cheaply made videos can be successful if you have good material and a clear presentation.
Yakworld.
Scott Wells
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Tom,

I guess that would run more than 10% over doing it yourself Smile

yours,
Scott
"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

The Magic Word podcast: http://themagicwordpodcast.com Listen to convention coverage, interviews with magicians, pictures, videos and more.

Magic Inspirations website for all things Banachek: www.magicinspirations.net
RayBanks
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Quote:
On 2002-03-29 12:42, yakandjak wrote:
What about enlisting novice videographers? They wouldn't have the experience but certainly would have the technical knowledge being right outta film school.

Perhaps checking out local colleges and getting some student to make you his project?

But I do have to agree with Tom (that's twice today Smile ) that even the most cheaply made videos can be successful if you have good material and a clear presentation.


If you live near a college that has a film/TV program you can sometimes get some pretty good production for little or no funds.

It's been a while since I was on the faculty at the University of Texas but our students were always looking for projects to produce and direct for class assigments. Many of these were three camera switched in studio productions and turned out very well.

You might approach the head of the TV production program or the department chairperson and inquire. Tell them that you have a magic act and would be wiling to perform for a student project.

An agreement could be made which lets you retain some limited distribution rights--not network or broadcast rights but private viewing (i.e. clients).

Some of these kids are very talented. Chances are you will be able to get a very good product.

Just my $.02
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Joshua Quinn
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I knew a lot of Radio/TV/Film majors in college, and saw a lot of their video projects. The first time I saw a magic video, my immediate reaction was "This looks just like the college video projects I used to see" (not content-wise, of course, but as far as the "look" of the video). If you can get a student cinematographer from a school with moderately decent equipment, you should be able to put together something with production values comparable to the top videos on the market.

Quinn
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
Jeb Sherrill
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Thanks guys. For what I'm working on right now, Scotts idea of the underground look is probably the best. I'll just make sure to wear a mic. Smile

Sable
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r4bid
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Well let's see, to make a movie in your own home in the cheapest way that would still be consumer worthy would be..

One Digital Video Camera: around $1000

A couple Tapes: get a multiple tape pack for like $15

One Digital Editing rig (computer): $1500

Editing Software: $600 (premiere or one of the apple products)



Hmm...well that's over three grand and that's without paying any spectators and without paying for mass production of the video once you make a hard copy.

You could of course sell it as a CD or dvd, you could probably produce all the CDs in your own home if you burn night and day for a couple weeks and then do that again once your stock starts to get low. That would save you quite a bit and you wouldn't get trapped in a deal with a publisher. You could get a professional printing place to do up a cover and back for the CD case for pretty cheap.
Scott Wells
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Jeb,

If you want to see what an underground video looks like, you might view Lee Asher's "Well Done" tape that was done on a shoe-string many years ago just for the fun of it then updated with more stuff on it today.

yours,
Scott
"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

The Magic Word podcast: http://themagicwordpodcast.com Listen to convention coverage, interviews with magicians, pictures, videos and more.

Magic Inspirations website for all things Banachek: www.magicinspirations.net
Joshua Quinn
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Quote:
On 2002-03-31 09:34, r4bid wrote:
well lets see, to make a movie in your own home in the cheapest way that would still be consumer worthy would be

1 Digital Video Camera: around $1000

a couple Tapes: get a multiple tape pack for like $15

1 Digital Editing rig (computer): $1500

Editing Software: $600 (premiere or one of the apple products)


You forgot several hundred dollars for lighting. Unless you want to look like a drowned corpse or an alien, those flourescent bulbs in your basement aren't gonna cut it.

Of course you could also rent any of the above for cheaper than you could buy it.

Quinn
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
Brad Jeffers
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Or you could do like the producers of "The Blair Witch Project" did, buy an expensive digital camera from Circiut City, use it for 29 days and then return it for a refund!
Dr. TORA
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Being a Tv producer for nearly Ten years I can only suggest you rent everything, DO NOT buy them unless you want to use them for future recordings.

The investment will be very less if you rent them. BUT...BUT...rent everything with the highest quality possible. The lighting and the camera are the most important equipments but the camera-man is also another important point. He should not be some guy who can use it, he should know about the angles of recording and more...

Nowadays editing with computers is comperatively cheap and easy. So have some guy (the best you can afford) do the recording for you. The duplication is the easiest part. After having your master band ready, you may even do it yourself at home.

But please DO remember, a video is not pleasent with a low quality of recording even if it has the best tricks. People want to get the equivalance of the money they pay... The recording should be excellent.

P:S: JEB, please contact me on the subject.
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Sybilmagic
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I study media at uni and would be happy to film a magic video. We use high quality equipment ie Digital cameras, Reds and blonde lights, Primier editing and linear editing. Wireless mikes rifle mikes. Approach your local uni we once made a documnetry for a dance school manachester nice quality video.
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