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Matthew Wright
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I have just seen this
Wishes by Scott Alexander and Puck.
http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/

A misers dream routine with bubbles for $1600???

The idea is quite cute but I really cannot for the life of me imagine where they get the price from. There is very little originality here. Solid bubbles from bubbles is ancient and there looks to be absolutely nothing in technique new for the misers dream part. The props themselves can't be more than $50. $100 max.

If this were on a $30 DVD I think it would be a great deal but $1600????
I'm sure they will say you are paying your money for performance rights but from the promo video I honestly do not see anything that they can protect. There seems to be nothing unique about this. Am I missing something?
MarkJames
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I never normally jump in on stuff like this but I totally agree. You could make this for £50. Maybe they will say you get the performance rights, if they do say that.....when did you ever not get the performance rights? As far as I am concerned, whenever you buy anything in a book or a dvd etc, you get the right to perform it. This is plain crazy. $1600 and that's just the pre order price. I better get my order in early.........
Kevin Schaller
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I took a look at the performance video and I agree with you. It really looks good - but $1600 must be a joke?!
I find it not that impressive and I can't believe that they want so much money for it. The props can't be that expensive!
'Geniuses can make the world a better place or make it fall apart alongside their own minds.” - Kevin Schaller
Rupert Bair
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Matt - I've ordered three. And I'll let you have a little go when you next come over for tea.

:)

-Colman
Scott Alexander
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Hey Guys,

Totally understand the pushback. It's the same type of feelings people had when Kevin James first released his Snow Animator "back in the day".

(2500 bucks for a leaf blower and a routine outta Tarbell...sheesh!) I know, I get it.

Yes, the performance rights are part of it. However, another part of the price is a specially designed, micro bubble machine that can blow streams of bubbles, immediately after the pail has been inverted. We found the inventor of a specially patented device that allows you to do this, and negotiated with him to hand make each unit especially for us. Consequently, they are pretty darn expensive. There is no bubble machine on earth that is this size, and can do what this one allows you to do.

There's more to this than meets the eyes, mates. But then again, that's what magic is all about.
-Scott




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Scott Alexander
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You can read a little more about it here...

http://www.themagicjuice.blogspot.com
-Scott




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Domino Magic
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Wow! Everything old is new again. A routine very similar was discussed here two years ago:

http://themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic......forum=17
MarkJames
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Hey Scott, thanks for the reply. I sit on both sides of the fence on this one.

As a creator myself....
I think that you are allowed to charge what you like for your stuff. If people don't like the price then they don't have to buy it. Pricing your stuff highly does a few things...It makes people aware that you worked hard on it and that it's valuable to you, it stops everyone from buying it and doing it if it's still in your own show, it stops the people who have bought it from revealing it's methods on forums. I actually think that it is a slightly refreshing was of doing things. True pros that can see the value of things don't mind paying the money.

As a potential customer....
$1600 is a lot of money. Especially when we can see what it is. Everyone knows the props that are involved and the way it works. Everything you need to build this effect (except for the bubble machine) can be acquired for around $50.

Where are the other $1500 going. I'm more than sure that if I tried that I could get a bubble machine to do what yours is doing. You may have found one that is extra small but in this instance the size of the bucket isn't really important to the effect. I don't honestly believe that the audience don't think that it's a bubble machine anyway. In fact, I'm sure they know it's a bubble machine. The magic in this effect as far as I can see is the repetitive catching of the bubbles.

The only other element is the sound of the bubble hitting the bucket, something which could be accomplished by wearing a metal thimble.

Please don't get me wrong Scott, I'm a fan of many of your previous tricks and of you as a performer. You obviously think about what your doing on stage and have worked hard for your place in this business. I'm just concerned that you are setting a real trend in magic for charging a lot of money because; you get performance rights and it's been worked in your own act. These are both criteria I would expect in any magic purchase anyway.
Scott Alexander
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Thanks Mark. I appreciate your point of view.

I had considered putting the basic routine on my 10 O'clock Show DVD back in 2004 but held it back. The reason I didn't, is because even though the misers dream with bubbles is a cute bit, and the audience loves it, I wanted to have the magical moment of the bubbles, disappearing then re-appearing and floating away. You cant do that with a standard bubble machine on such a small scale. Puck came up with a really elegant solution to the problem and we collaborated to bring this to the marketplace.

A lot of illusionist guys we have shown this to, who have closed their show with the snowstorm for years are chomping at the bit to do this. Someone even offered us $25,000.00 to have it exclusively. Personally, I think it has more magic moments in it than the snowstorm. It really allows you to connect with your audience on a personal level. It is powerful because it taps into the idea that we all have unrealized wishes in our lives that seem just beyond our reach. Good theatrical stuff!
-Scott




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MarkJames
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I don't think anyone is knocking the trick buddy. It's a great piece. I love the idea of it, I just think that the audience know it's a bubble machine. It's a great visual but at the end of the day they know it's a bubble machine. If that is the bit that's creating all this expense then I'd rather do without.

The routine is good, the price is insane. That's the problem.
Matthew Wright
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Got to agree with Mark- he has worded it perfectly.
Scott, if this HAD been put on your 10 o'clock show I would be praising the pants off it, very nice routine on an already very good DVD.
Some of your other stuff is quite expensive- but some a great price. I haven't seen the sugar rush gimmick but I know what goes into making one and it is seems very fairly priced. Shoe business- great price. Blades...ouch!

Perhaps what you are doing should be applauded and it is the rest of magic that needs to come up to pace. Perhaps tried and tested routines that have all the flaws already worked out should sell for hundreds or thousands. At this moment however, most of them sell for the same price as a lot of the crap that is being produced. By setting your price so high you are saying "this is not crap". I'm sure it isn't...but it is expensive.
noble1
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I don't know if this is a fair comparison or not, but I remember some similar comment regarding price when the Mindreading Goose came out a few years back. The price was a consideration for me, but at this point I've done the Goose countless times to great reactions that have helped me get repeat business. I can't help but think that for some that might be the case with Wishes. In an era when thousands are spent on illusions that sometimes last only a minute and can have very little emotional impact beyond being a puzzle, I think smaller routines that are well-constructed sometimes warrant a high price. In terms of price, whether this routine meets those qualifications for you is another matter, but it's something to consider if you like the effect.
mike storz
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I must chime in and say that I REALLY like the idea behind this. I thought of (and bought) a snowstorm to add to my show but the mess keeps me from including this because I mainly perform in peoples home. When I saw this I immediately became very very excited then............... I saw the price tag.........

I hope this is a hit but if not, I'll be ready if the price becomes more reasonable for me!

Mike Smile
puckmagic
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When Scott and I decided to release this great routine to the magic community we expected some controversy over the price but thought that working magicians would understand the value of what is being offered. First off this is not just a misers dream with bubbles but so much more. It has a strong story line with the impact of Snow which has a great appeal to anyone searching for the perfect closer. The Snow routine has become the industry standard as a closer ( just ask David Copperfield) and for that reason a little anti climatic due to over exposure. Just like Shoe Business our version of the Vanishing Bandana a lot of entertainment experienced audiences see the Bandana coming. Our twist gave that great effect the fresh and modern feel it needed for todays crowds. It has been very successful and for good reason as magicians are always looking for new takes on old ideas that have real entertainment value. That being said Wishes is no different! We have taken the standard misers dream (which is far from a closer even if your routine is as great as Jeff McBride's) and given it a storyline that is emotional and heartfelt without skimping on the magical content. The promo video doesn't capture all that this routine is in order to protect the purchaser from cheap and awkward imitations. In me and Scott's shows "Wishes" gets standing ovations regularly as a testament to it's theatrical strength. As stated in the text it has everything a closer should have such as great magic, comedy, strong emotion, and great visuals.

Now for the price issue: The props used to accomplish the finale are quite expensive and not available anywhere. We went through a year of trial and error to find out what we needed to perform this didn't exist. We had everyone from illusion builders, electricians, and even a hollywood special effects maker try to create what we wanted. In the long run we eventually found a master model maker over seas to take on the challenge. We told him exactly what we needed and he delivered. The prototypes that we road tested extensively cost tons to develop and fabricate. We could have had them made for less money per unit if we did a mold set up with an order of 20,000 minimum. This was not realistic so we had to convince him to make them individually without using molds. With this in mind that is why each unit is so costly to produce as the man hours to create each industrial unit is so high. If you ever get a chance get Scott Wells booklet that explains the story behind the making of Walter Blaney's Miracle Hoop. This will give you an idea of how much capital and time it takes to develop a custom prop from scratch. Also, how much it costs to make them one at a time without a factory line set up. People said $3,500 for a metal hula hoop is outrageous but for the working pro it's worth it in every way. For these reasons alone we had to price it accordingly.

I would ask that anyone who thinks they can duplicate the workings or find an already marketed device to do what ours does please let us know. You can not invert a bubble machine for our vanish moment in the routine without the patented mechanism made available to us from the creator. Also, the size does matter! LOL If we went with a larger pail the effect would be diminished tremendously. Having performed this personally for quite some time I can attest that the audience is unaware nor care about the method as with the fan being employed in the snow routine. Omitting the bubble storm at the end will not have the finish needed to complete the emotional journey for the routines success.

There is also a gimmick used to accomplish the sound the bubble makes when deposited into the pail This is fully under your control to either allow sound or have it completely silent. When used it sounds like your really dropping a solid bubble (bouncing off the bottom several times) into the pail and not just a one clink mechanical noise maker. This device is totally self contained so nothing needs to be hidden or palmed out. These are the little nuances that make this routine work so well. So before deciding that it's just overpriced please take into account the creation, development, materials, and road testing that went into making this wonderful piece of magic. Also, the versatility of performing this on either on a full scale stage or in a living room. The snow effect costs upwards of $1,500 - $2,000 and is worth every penny for the professional magician especially when they get that standing ovation after each performance. Now imagine the same impact for your audience with a routine that is new and made to pack small and play big.

I hope this clears up some of the reasons for the price and props included with routine ..... Thanks Puck
Matthew Wright
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Hi Puck,
Great pitch. I still believe the product is over priced and I tick all the boxes for the demographic you say will appreciate this.

Working pro (tick) Magic Circle Magician of the Year, International Champion of Close-up magic, FISM Europe award winner, past Director of Magic at The House of Illusion (grand Illusion spectacular in Spain) current proprietor of Chamber of Secrets- Europe's only custom built parlor theatre http://www.chamberofsecrets.eu

Taking a magic prop to market (tick) BA with honours degree in Special Effects making one off hand made precision engineered props

As a magician (tick) I think your claim "the audience is unaware nor care about the method" is a little blinkered

Do not get me wrong. I think the routine will be great. I think it will be well structured. I think it will get great reactions. I think it is overpriced that's all.
puckmagic
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Thanks Matthew for the thoughts and your point is well taken. I in no way was trying to single you out and claim you were not a working pro. If I implied that in my post it was not intentional and I apologize. This routine was priced with the working professional in mind. You simply have to ask yourself what a strong closer is worth to you? To be honest usually the fee from one show or week on a cruise ship will pay for this routine for most full time magicians. Just my thoughts on choosing routines for my show and again not a crack on anyone reading. Smile
Matthew Wright
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No problem Puck. To be fair I am releasing a product of my own in a couple of months and it will be much higher in price anyway. We may do a swap some day!
Scott Alexander
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I'll say it now......It's too expensive! lol
-Scott




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MarkJames
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Fair play Puck, you defended your product well and with passion. I totally understand the whole deal with having to recoup the research costs. It's a tough one. Like I said, I sit on both sides of the fence. My main point in all this was in hope of getting a response other than the usual trite response of 'it's audience tested and you get the performance rights'. As I already said, this is what we should always expect anyway.

I take on board most of what you said and I am somewhat won around. You make your point well. I do however stick to the point that I think the audience know it's a bubble machine. Perhaps something not as extreme to make it so small etc may have helped reduce the cost. If the audience know it's a bubble machine anyway, what's the point in going to the end of the earth to hide it? (Rhetorical question lol)

With regards to the Snowstorm I feel the same. I had a stool as marketed by KJ but sold it on in favour of using a hand held fan. The audience are amazed at the visual and the transformation not the propulsion method I think. So I stopped trying to hide it, I feel like I get a much better response than I used to. I also feel that the story has more energy because now remain standing up as I tell it.

So, it's a different story but the same point. If the audience know, or don't care then why bother. I guess the point in all of this is that your opinion is right for you and mine is right for me.

Congratulations on getting your product out into the market, I know how difficult the process can be and I hope it does well for you!

Kind Regards
Mark James
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