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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » Jack Spade: World of Illusion (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rashkenes
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Jacksonville NC
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I have a new web series up on youtube. The pilot episode is up with one to follow every week with a minimum of 2 a month. Here is a link to the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0PF62cOeq8 . Please take a moment and tell me what you think, Ideas and comments welcome, Comments equating to the IQ of a cupcake (IE You Suck!) need not apply. I am looking for constructive criticism on what I can do better as one way or another I plan on keeping this show going for at least the next five years. Thank you for your time!

Very Respectfully
Jack Spade
The Jacksonville Magician
http://www.jackspademagic.com
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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The first question is... How do you really think you did? Do you think it was good?

I think it's great to video tape yourself as a study tool. I'm not always sure its great to post your first effort. Maybe its better to shoot a lot and do a lot of demos that you don't post just to get your skills down. There tends to be a rush to upload just because we can and its so easy. Make sure the cake is done before you try and eat it.

Get a good artistic/creative director. The reason the big guys are good is because they have a really good team to guide them. The problem is that when they do it well, it looks so easy that anyone can do it. That just isn't the case.

If this web series is to promote you, you need two things first. You need to clearly see the effect and then to hear what you're actually saying. You have to learn to play to camera and to the spectators as well. Most of the tricks were not very visible to the camera which is where most people will be watching this. For audio, either have the camera a LOT closer to you, or better... get a boom or at the very least a wireless Lav. The boom is better as it could get the spectator, too. If you stay close enough to the spectator you can cross mike them off off your lav so that would be better than the camera mike.

On to the magic... Try working at about half the speed you did here. Watching the video made me tired. It was wearying. Take the time to tell the story and make them really understand the impossibility of what you're doing. Take your time... point up the magic and sell it. Most of this was so rushed through the only reason I could follow it was that I already knew the effects.

There was no suspense, build up or dynamics that makes me want to see more. If you watch the best, they explain what they're about to do, build it up... then they do it, then they reinforce the impossibility of what they just did. Take your time... don't throw it away.

Vary your speech patterns, mix it up... make the listen and wonder what you're about to do next... pull them in... make them wait for it, then blow them away.

Try and select spectators that are MUCH more expressive. One secret is shooting about 10 times more people than you need, then selecting the best ones.

It would be very easy to just keep going for the next day or so but the reality is that you need to learn to look at it yourself and develop an eye for what is right and wrong.

Good luck!
Ray Pierce
Rashkenes
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Jacksonville NC
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Thanks ray, very well written and informative. I agree it does seem a bit rushed and plan on working on taking it slow. We shot for 6 hours and only got 28 minutes of footage. Out of that we Only got 10 usable minutes of footage. The stuff that wasn't usable we recycled into the intro. Were heading to the streets of Myrtle beach next weekend. Going to practice my patter a bit in front of the camera as the addition of the camera is what made me feel like I need to rush.
Have a great day!
Jack Spade
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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Quote:
On 2011-07-12 07:53, Rashkenes wrote:
Were heading to the streets of Myrtle beach next weekend. Going to practice my patter a bit in front of the camera as the addition of the camera is what made me feel like I need to rush.


I think we need to talk about the intrinsic balance of rehearsal and polishing to this whole process. I think the quote, "practice my patter a bit ..." might be the crux of a larger problem.

There is a reason that the pros only shot one special a year. It's the same for comedians. It takes them at least a year to develop and polish the material out in the field before they put it on the air. Many can't even generate that much workable material in a year and these are the top level guys!

Many years ago when books were only published by large publishing houses, you had to be pretty amazing to attract the interest of a book publisher as it was a lengthy and complex process to bring a book to the public. Because of this, published books had real worth. Then computers came along and "Desktop Publishing" was born. Now you didn't have to be any good to publish a book, anyone could do it themselves so the market was flooded with bad and largely mediocre material. Many books came out I magic shops that were poorly produced, badly written and they lost their value in their market.

Now we are seeing the same thing with video and You Tube. Yes, anyone can get a video camera and post something on youtube and you can watch it for free... and it is typically worth every penny you pain to watch it.

So now we come to the real dividing point...

Do you really want to be just another mediocre guy putting your stuff on youtube or do you really want to be great?

If you want to really stand out from all of the other the lame, average guys online, then don't go for quantity over quality. I wouldn't worry as much about shooting in front of people now as just shooting yourself in front of the camera and studying it... for weeks, months, years... whatever it takes to get REALLY good and worthy of people watching you.

Comedians could spend months tweaking a joke to get the right rhythm and beats to it to make it really worthy of being used on camera. There are comedians that have to do more on camera than work once a years... so they have a TEAMS of writers generating material for them. Even then, it is the years of experience that gives them the ability to interpret that new material and make it decent in the amount of time they have.

After your routines and methods are polished on camera, the spend time performing it out in the real world developing the rapport you need to sell it and tightening the routine getting just exactly the right lines and pacing until it is perfect and you're getting the reaction you want from the spectators. NOW you should start thinking about how to shoot it to capture that work on camera.

Take what you've learned and set up scenarios at home. I would even take microphone stands and put wig forms on them to stand in for the spectators to set up the camera shots. Remember that the camera people have to practice as much as you do to document everything correctly. For a real TV show, camera blocking and rehearsal is a key time for the camera operators to get their moves down as well.

NOW you can start shooting and shooting and shooting to try and capture the work perfectly.

After that you go to post where you carefully select the best routines and spectators, then select the best shots that accurately communicate the magic you performed to the home viewer.

That's if you really want to stand out online and come off good. Yes, that is the reason that the internet is flooded with garbage. Because few want to really do the work necessary to create a good product.

I hope you do.

Good luck on your journey!
Ray Pierce
Christopher Starr
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Heart of America
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Great real world advice as always Ray!
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