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sb
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I just typed all of this for another post, then really realized that I was a bit off topic but didn't want my thoughts to be go to waste. So a new topic it is.


Authorized builders?
Knock offs?
Homemade props?
Cheap builders?

You get what you pay for...

As far as how the prop looks and works, there is a big difference in builders. I (all of us) have seen too many poorly built props. When you look at a prop, many times a homemade prop looks homemade. And remember, even though the main thing about performing magic is the entertainment value, if the audience looks at your "trick" and knows how it's done (weather they are right or wrong), because of a poorly built prop, then that ain't magic!

When you purchase a prop from a qualified and experienced builder. They should be taking into effect many small nuances that many other builders (including homemade props) overlook, or don't even know about. Heck, a performer doesn't necessarily know about these nuances either. Just because you are an illusionist, doesn't mean that you know how to build the thing. You may not fully (and probably don't) understand the relationship between width and height and long lines, and overall size of the prop, etc.

Look at Copperfield Death Saw. This is an amazing illusion! If you had permission to build the table for yourself, it would probably never look as good as the original. His table is massive. Why is it so big? to help make it look more deceptive! Recently I read a post here, about building an illusion for a larger assistant. Well, when that illusion is done, it won't be as deceptive as it should, just because he was hiding a 6'3" woman inside. I think The audience will know where she went. It was just a poor choice of illusion for that performing couple.

I think I have only seen origami performed twice live. The first one was by a "name" act, with an authorized builder. It was unbelievable! The second time I saw it, was at a school show, by a guy who tours around my state at Christmas time. His origami is clearly a cheap knock off. It didn't fool me. It didn't fool the blind lady sitting next to me. Nor did it fool her dog! It was a horribly built piece of junk. (btw, his entire show is like this Smile ). I am certain when he rehearses, he looks at it and says "well, I know what to look for. Of course I see "it", my audience won't see a thing". It's a pity, he is only fooling one person in the theater every time he performs, himself.

But you do get what you pay for! Buy from an authorized builder. Can't afford it? Then don't get it until you can.

Scott
Olle Tro.
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I have to repeat it to reinforce it - and that can't happen often enough:

>>> "Buy from an authorized builder. Can't afford it? Then don't get it until you can." <<<
Magicque
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Amen
Fábio DeRose
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Quote:
On 2011-02-07 12:35, Olle Tro. wrote:
I have to repeat it to reinforce it - and that can't happen often enough:

>>> "Buy from an authorized builder. Can't afford it? Then don't get it until you can." <<<

Not that I'm defending the usage of knock-offs, not at all.

But how about people who live in countries that don't have such builders? Oh, true. The Illusions can be shipped overseas! At what cost, you ask? Well, last year I was considering to import a nifty piece of magic from Europe. The price was okay, but only its shipping (The whole pack would weigh around 170+ kilos) would cost 1/5 of the illusion price itself!

Also, it is worth mentioning that over here in Brazil the customs charge a 60% tax for foreign products. Those 60% are calculated from the value of the product plus shipping. Imagine, for example, an illusion costing 10.000 USD plus 2.000 USD for shipping plus 60% of the aforementioned Taxes. The final price nearly doubles.

So, before complaining, said Builders should consider the idea of authorizing people (The good builders, that is) outside US / Europe to get their stuff properly made.

This "if you can't afford it" thing isn't necessarily a valid argument, since it's not that no one over here in South America can afford the good stuff. The problem is the pornographic taxes and shipping rates that are charged here and, as I've heard, in some other countries as well.
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ChadFindlay
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We have the same problem in South Africa. A ridiculously unfair exchange rate and massive shipping costs. I don't think it's an excuse for pirating illusions however. My feeling is that whatever you perform should be of the highest standard, if you can't get an origami or op-art, etc. then look at other options. I just received a copy of Steinmeyer's Technique & Understanding, and we're looking at building one of the concepts in there. We've looked at it from all angles. We can afford it, we can perform it, and it's achievable from a building point-of-view. Point is: always do your very best work. Using pirated illusions is never going to lead to that, so look for other options. There are always other options.
Fábio DeRose
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Hey, I do not defend the usage of rip-offs either. My point is that if the big guys don't want to see a plethora of fake Interludes and Origamis floating around they shouild stop complaining and start acting.
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Frank Simpson
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Have you considered that perhaps one of the reasons that builders are not licensed, either domestically or internationally, is to keep an illusion exclusive?

We've seen this in many industries; the "limited edition". They do this for a variety of reasons. Being one of the few to own an exclusive edition keeps it from being just another guy doing such-and-such an effect. It cans also be a means of regulating the quality of the prop.

It might also be an attempt to keep bad presentations from happening, further weakening the effect. (Origami could be used as an example. It is designed to be and is at its best as a talking trick. I think that Doug Henning is the only one I've ever seen perform it that way. So many bad "music video" approaches have been done to Origami that it has almost become a joke. And mostly because magicians are too lazy to do anything other than copy David Copperfield.)

The originator of an effect is under no obligation to license his creation to anyone. Just because there is a knock-off market is no justification for the knock-off, and does not negate his complaint that they are being stolen from.
Fábio DeRose
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Quote:
On 2011-02-09 08:54, Frank Simpson wrote:
Have you considered that perhaps one of the reasons that builders are not licensed, either domestically or internationally, is to keep an illusion exclusive?


Actually, I probably haven't. Still doesn't stop people from making knock-offs. Heck, even Peter Marvey's "Monocycle" Illusion has already been copied in China!

Quote:

We've seen this in many industries; the "limited edition". They do this for a variety of reasons. Being one of the few to own an exclusive edition keeps it from being just another guy doing such-and-such an effect. It cans also be a means of regulating the quality of the prop.



To regulate the quality, only the best builders should be licensed. It's quite obvious.

Quote:

It might also be an attempt to keep bad presentations from happening, further weakening the effect. (Origami could be used as an example. It is designed to be and is at its best as a talking trick. I think that Doug Henning is the only one I've ever seen perform it that way. So many bad "music video" approaches have been done to Origami that it has almost become a joke. And mostly because magicians are too lazy to do anything other than copy David Copperfield.)



Ok, but how come a poorly presented effect is the builder's fault? I've seen awesome, licensed Illusions being performed in ways that make me cringe. And I don't blame Steinmeyer or Bill Smith for making props for bad performers with a full walltet.

Quote:
The originator of an effect is under no obligation to license his creation to anyone. Just because there is a knock-off market is no justification for the knock-off, and does not negate his complaint that they are being stolen from.


I don't say the originators have any obligation to give licenses. None at all. It's just a thought that crosses my mind every now and then when I see people go all nuts about knock-offs being performed by people that could easily afford the originals.
Fábio De'Rose - Ilusionista
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Frank Simpson
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You are correct that a poor performance is in no way the builder's fault. But it's kind of a numbers game. If the illusion is exclusive to fewer pieces manufactured, and the price is such to keep it out of the hands of the idly curious, then it's less likely to be performed poorly. Certainly no guarantee, but it at least reduces the chances. And yes, I too have seen really lousy presentations of excellent illusions by "performers" with deep pockets.

But a poorly built illusion is the fault of the builder.

I think that ultimately "people going all nuts about knock-offs" is not really conditional with regards to the ability to pay, ability to properly build etc. I think that people go nuts because, no matter how you slice it, knock-off are indefensible.
Fábio DeRose
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Yeah, I agree on that. As previously stated, I don't defend knock-offs, not at all. But I wonder if it would help if quality local builders (I have notice of, uh... one or two in the entire country) could get the real quality stuff delivered. Seriously, those shipping costs plus the stupid 60% taxes over nearly everything that enters the country are a real game-changer for many people.

As for me, I don't use that as an excuse to get pirated stuff. But I know many people who do, and that is really sad. It makes me cringe when I see those bases that could hold the entire cast of "My Wfe and Kids", LOL.
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