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reedrc
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Hehe ooooooh yaaaaaaaaah
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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The Mirror Images
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I like topas illusion with the foam and I also don't like it. It is obvious where the girl comes from. I think if he had two motors instead of one creating the foam this can be mask this motion then it would win me over. But still a fun illusion all together.

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Steven and Michael, The Mirror Images
The MOST Identical Twin Illusionist
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reese
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Quote:
On 2009-10-15 20:13, Jay Mahon wrote:
Silly or not this is largely due to the HUGE percentage Magic middlemen take.
Here is how it breaks down roughly.

Writer/Producer 10%
to
Murphies 40%
to
Magic Shop 50%
to
You!

So, on a 100 dollar book the creator can make a measly 10 bucks or 20 bucks. OR! You can get the FULL value per book. Producers aren't getting rich, magic shop owners aren't getting rich... but Murphy's... they are making a fortune. So it's become a bit of a movement for people to produce and distribute themselves. The convenience is not worth the cut these days. Especially with the economy being the way it is.

Also some shops discount and that upsets many producers or work. Caveney comes to mind.

J


that's exactly right... most magic books of real value ( priced high-end to keep out of common paws ) should only be sold direct to the consumer. It's the only way the creator can gain some benefit for their creative efforts. And be encouraged by their success to share their future discoveries. And so... we high-end consumers need to encourage that behavior.
Tim Trono
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Hi Jay (from page 1). I would hope that in trying to represent a business you at least get the facts correct or do SOME homework- otherwise your post really does a disservice. First of all your margins are incorrect. There are essentially 3 main pricing margins typically. The first is the retail price. This is what customers pay for a product (ex. $35 DVD). Second, is the wholesale price. This is for any dealer/shop that resells to the end consumer. This is typically 40% off of the retail price. Third is the distributor or jobber rate which is typically around 60% off of the retail price of a product. You inaccurate picture fails to mention or consider many many factors. In an operation like Murphy's (or really ANY business including ALL magic shops on line or brick and mortar) one has to factor in overhead... we have approximately 45 employees we have to pay, cover benefits, pay payroll tax, etc.; phone lines; advertising; a 40,000 square footage warehouse; dealer and vendor visits; conventions; computers; software systems; etc. These all cost a LOT of money. Then there is the inventory we have to buy and house. Again this is very expensive. So the FACT is that, despite your inaccurate assessment, distributors such as Murphy's actually work on a very small margin which is deeply impacted by overhead, inventory, and a number of other factors. We actually work on a very SLIM margin and rely on moving a large number of units. Most dealers order pretty much to demand and rely on distributors like Murphy's to find and maintain inventory to supply them. Such inventory can cost a distributor millions of dollars. Sometimes items move and sometimes they are considerably slower sellers. What we do is make it possible for some of the top creators in magic to put out releases. We do this in a number of ways. We work VERY closely with top producers such as Mark Mason, Paul Harris, Andrew Mayne, Stephen Minch. Richard Sanders, etc. to analyze what they put out and TRY to make it the best it can be. We supply lots of valuable input. I might suggest asking some of these artists instead of taking my word for it or just assuming otherwise. We also often front production and make productions that might not be possible possible. Lastly we have one of the most far reaching arms magic through a dedicated team and through a tremendous amount of hard work moving more product for a creator than really any other means. Before you make such inaccurate posts why would you not want to talk to many of the top artists in the world who work with/through us and are VERY happy... Paul Harris, Stephen Minch, Louis Falanga, Mark Mason, Andrew Mayne, Peter Nardi, Bill Abbott, Martin Lewis, Richard Sanders, Joshua Jay & Andi Gladwin, and many many others. Many producers simply cannot afford to publish a book or produce a DVD. We work very clsoely with producers to MAKE it possible. So before you make assumptions on an area that you apprently know little about I would hope you would look into some facts and do some homework before posting as if you did know what you were talking about. I TALK to the top artists and producers in magic almost every day and am very confient that they are happy, that we help make it posisble for them to release their creations in the optimal way for THEM We are produd of teh work we do, who we represnt, and always trying to get better. If you do have concerns I am always open to having one on one discussion with anyone... feel free to e-mail me.

Tim Trono
Jay Mahon
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Tim,
A one on one discussion or email seems rather out of place considering your very public response.

Let's continue shall we?
My margins are clearly ballparked, your costs are just that YOUR costs. The cost of actual production is nowhere NEAR the cost of housing it, especially if we consider the ratio of profit to cost. I've spoken to and know many artists who do not work with Murphy's; "creators" who have chosen to distribute individually and exclusively for the sole reason of so many hands taking a piece of the pie. I'm sure it costs you a lot of money to warehouse magic, I don't doubt that for a second. But at the end of the day, the producer of the work who soaks up the production cost (in most cases) and spends countless hours (years even!) working on a book (after all that is what my post was referring to) ends up with a very small percentage.

Some simple calculus can show you based on creators profit per unit and volume moved through Murphy's and by themselves, that an in demand producer/performer of magic can make more distributing himself with less work, less volume, overhead, etc. They will incur the cost of warehousing of course but take the full 100 percent of the pie.

Now I speak from personal experiences and will not give names but there are a few common ones.

Todd Karr at the Miracle Factory. Everything direct.
John Carney (sometimes in conjunction with Steinmeyer)
Lee Asher, available from his site only.
Jim Steinmeyer, also from his site only.
Mike Caveney, only to specific magic shops in good standing.

You know, a few of those artists you mention happen to be friends of mine. I'll have to ask them about their relationship with Murphy's. Tim I am sure you are aware of this creator movement, moving towards self-distribution. If not you need to get your fingers back on the pulse. With self-publishing so easy these days, and the print-on-demand available through Lulu, and Amazon, etc. I'm sure we will see more artists releasing direct to the magic public. I for one look forward to supporting the creators directly as can be seen by an extensive library of Caveney's books, Steinmeyer's books, Karr's books, and even L and L books that are exclusive to them...

Paul Harris is taking a cut to endorse products these days. "Paul Harris Presents" so surely he is happy moving more product. He has impeccable taste in magic, that's for certain. I have a great deal of respect for him.

Tim, I'd love to hear what Murphy's Gross and Net profits were over the last 5 years. Just to put those millions of dollars of overhead in perspective. While it appears that Murphy's gets the smallest piece of the pie I'd wager that a small piece of the pie for nearly every magic shop in North America comes to a lot of pie! Considering that Murphy's makes money off of thousands of products vs. someone who has spent years on ONE product and receives monies from that product alone.

My numbers are not exact, and I am willing to bet that Murphy's has a large variance in profit margins for each product and the relationship with the creator. Brick and Mortar's are just trying to float. Creators, a labor of love. Murphy's? ____________.

Well, you can fill in your own blanks there.

Tim, if YOU would like to continue this conversation in a one on one situation please feel free to PM me and I will be happy to discuss through less public means.

J
jimbomona
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Can I get back the 7 minutes I just wasted reading both of your posts?

PM each other will ya!
Jay Mahon
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Those 7 minutes are non-refundable.

But Jim thank you for the note. This topic should be back on track.

So I will bring up Pandora's Box. I'm a bit perplexed by the workings of it from Jim's description. Anyone know if this has been built yet? Or possibly built before?

J
Tim Trono
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Jay my post was to correct your inaccuracies as I think such inaccuracies can be taken as fact by readers and that is not healthy. I am a big advocate of what works best for the person is what is best. For many people distributors are the best option –simply look at what many of the top producers in magic are doing - L&L, Hermetic Press, Vanishing Inc., Paul Harris, Andrew Mayne, Richard Osterlind, Big Blind Media, Bob Kohler, Daryl, David Forrst, David Regal, Mark Mason, Kozmo, Bill Abbott, Masuda, Mikame, Richard Sanders, Richard Turner, World Magic Shop, Jerry O’Connell, etc. – if all of these guys were not working on a long term and continued basis with Murphy’s as their exclusive distributor I’d assume maybe you might have a point. But obviously something IS working for them. But a small minority do not believe in distributors and opt to go direct and I appreciate that. There is no right or wrong here. At the end of the day though I KNOW our model works very well for many of the top producers and artists noted as I see the numbers, I know the FACTS, and I talk to them. To state otherwise without doing some homework or having some FACTS does a disservice especially when you are apparently trying to represent it as factual.

It’s interesting that you include in your list Todd Karr and Jim Steinmeyer as they DO distribute many of their releases through Murphy’s. I might suggest looking through our site. Actually Todd just opened up a number of additional products to us.

I would guess that I have my fingers on the pulse more than you with all due respect. Quite frankly I cannot name names but more and more we are seeing many creators who were distributing direct coming to us. You will see a number of these coming to fruition over the months. They are seeing that this may be a more viable and profitable model for them. Also, you have obviously NOT checked into the print on demand companies but the cost of these makes it not a wise choice even if going direct- the per unit cost is crazy.

Obviously I am not going to share gross and net profits…. The fact that you ask is ludicrous. Would I ask you how much you make per year in your job? Would I ask you to let me look at your taxes? We are very successful but that comes from a lot of hard work, lots of investing back into our company and our vendors, and making a lot of top producers such as those mentioned above successful. Again, I say this not out of speculation like you but from SEEING it. If you are concerned about them then ask THEM.

I can assure you many many of the creators we work with do not do this as a labor of love and we try to ensure that is the case. It has to be a win win. One does not get far by just worrying and carrying about oneself.

Even on the Paul Harris perspective you are simply wrong. You make it sound like Paul just throws his name on an item and makes profit. That is simply NOT the case. Paul is approached by people that would never be able to put out items on their own. He careful selects items that he enjoys. He works very closely with them and helps make the effect better. He spends considerable time on this. I have SEEN effects presented to him and what comes out in the end and they are day and night. He then pays for production and is very actively involved in every respect from the production to the ad copy, to the images, etc. I have seen where he has spent thousands (off of his profits) to redo and redo something until it is at the highest standard possible as he cares what goes with his name. He also ensures that everyone he works with is taken great care of (financially) – sometimes even to his own expense. We in turn work very closely with Paul. I talk to Paul almost daily and sometimes multiple times per day. I see many items early on and give Paul and the artists intensive feedback from method to production to marketing. I do this with many many other artists and producers. If we work together as a TEAM it gives the best product, it makes everyone (hopefully) a winner in it being more successful, and it gives the magic community a better item. I am actively involved in this all day so bring some of the knowledge I have attained to the table. I work with artists from morning to night.

Again, if someone decides to go direct that is their prerogative and it may be what seems best for them. I am very confident of the distributor model and am not comfortable with your assessment that it is some mean giant that strips artists of their creations and leaves them on the street... that is simply not the case. Again, talk to them, do your homework, and I think you might see a very different picture than what you are so concerned about.

Tim
Jay Mahon
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I've sent you a PM Tim to free up this thread from our squabbles.

I apologize to anyone who feels there time was wasted.

Pandora's Box illusions anyone? I'm blown away by this surrounded tip over trunk principle.

Anyone know if Jim actually builds all the illusions he designs? I assume mock ups perhaps?

J
MagicErik
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Quote:
On 2009-10-17 12:05, Craig Dickens wrote:
MagicErik--Just a small correction. The final clip you list of Seigfreid and Roy is not a a Steinmeyer optical table and is not in his book. That concept belongs to Peter Marvey.


Thank you Craig for the correction. And now that I can remember it also uses a different principle. I am intrigued by the 'see through' principles.

EVI
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Now I could sound a bit rude but couldn't you guys make another topic about who gets the most profit from a book and keep this topic about Steinmeyers latest book?

What works very well for me is making 3D drawing of illusions. I made some of the Osborne plans. For instance yesterday I was drawing a firecage from his plans, and I found a couple of 'mistakes' in them. When I have done that I could place some pictures of the creations...

EVI
Jay Mahon
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That's really cool Erik! Can you post some pictures of the 3d illusions?

J
Oliver Ross
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Since a few of you have already the book, would it be possible to list the summery of the book and maybe a short description of each effect ?
Hope not to offend anybody by asking this.

I just think it would be nice to know.

Thank you.

Oliver.
ClintonMagus
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Copy from Jim Steinmeyer's site:

"Jim Steinmeyer’s highly-anticipated new book on illusions is an exploration of practical methods and new approaches. It contains some of his most-treasured secrets, including effects that are already being used by professional magicians in their performances—innovative illusions that will become important parts of your arsenal. The book includes four lectures on stage magic, eight stand-up routines with full patter, and sixteen illusions. The contents include: The New Orleans Formula; Nowhere, The Shadow Play Solution, The Fabric Cabinet Solution, The Cocoon Redux, The Unexpcted Illusion, The Travel, The Paranormal Levitation, The Four-Fold Screen and Platform, The Infinity Cabinet, Trouble, Cube-ism, Pandora’s Box, Toccata for Light Bulb & Paper Bag. ...And finally, Jim explains new principles in stage magic, ingenious new designs that you might find hard to believe, concealing a person in a three-inch table. To illustrate the technique and further your understanding, the principles are used in two amazing new effects, Long Division and Quantum Mechanics. ...It’s a book that will make you think differently about magic, and creatively about illusions. 300 pages, over 200 illustrations, hardbound, with explanations and dimensions of every effect."
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
blackandwhiteillusions
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I just ordered my copy! Ill be back soon to discuss! I'm stoked!

=D
Christian Ford
Jay Mahon
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Oliver,

The book is quite large and has over 300 pages in it. Describing each effect would be another small book or set of lecture notes. If you have an interest in Jim Steinmeyer's thinking buy the book. If you plan to buy it because of a certain effect that might be in a list of them then I'd suggest you pass or contact Jim directly regarding that effect.

On that happy note, anyone with questions can PM me for shorter specifics and I am happy to help.

J
James FX
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Hi Jay, like you I am also VERY intrigued by Jim's "Pandora's Box"- brilliantly designed and quite compact as well, very nice! Although I'm very handy around the workshop, this one might be too complicated to build (the whole floor/back wedge apparatus, yikes!). I really like this one though so I may just take a "stab" at it (lol) Smile

I really like "Trouble" too, and the build seems less complicated. In my book they're both equally remarkable, but which would you choose to have first and why?

James
blackandwhiteillusions
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The book arrived and I can't believe my eyes! painstakingly thought out is an understatement!

I'm thrilled!

Christian
Jay Mahon
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James FX,

Of the two I would have to say Trouble would be my first choice. I simply visualize it to be a more interesting illusion and quite frankly the concept just comes across as more fun. I am very intrigued by the growing impossibility of the pieces being cut and moved. Not to mention the hand popping out AND it is completely surroundable. I look forward to seeing the first of these built to see if the picture in my head and the finished prop resemble one another. I believe Craig Dickens is working on one as a matter of fact.

The book is full of brilliant commerical material. The new principles and concepts are devastating. I'm hoping to have 1-3 things added to my show from the book within the next 10 months. Fingers crossed of course.

J
James FX
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Jay,

I'm leaning the same way- towards Trouble Smile Yah I read previously that Craig was working on it, so you know it's going to look fantastic. Can't wait.

James
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