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THE MYSTERY BOX

Presented by J.J. Abrams, Bad Robot, 826 National, and theory11. What's inside the box?More Details

Strong as an oak You are now viewing the Strong as an oak thread.
  1. #101 April 5th, 2013

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    That's certainly solid William! Although I'd say 3-5 minutes is a bit too long for this sort of thing if we're talking about video. One thing I couldn't help but laugh at though.

    Quote Originally Posted by William Draven View Post
    For good measure the set should start with a deck production. Maybe end with a deck vanish.
    Maybe include a color change?
    Earlier I had said,

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    Although again, my critiques have mainly come from magicians who strongly believe I need some patter. Well... some color changes too. Oh heck, why not a card trick. In all seriousness - just the first three...
    Haha! I realize you said "this is the video I would produce if I had the skill and resources" but a large chunk of it obviously wasn't written just for you to take advice from yourself. Just showing that we're all biased towards what we love which is perfectly fine - we all have different audiences. Sometimes we have to let things be what they want to be. In this case, magic certainly benefits from good story telling and cardistry doesn't always need it and stands strong without one (if done right).

    // andrei jikh
    vp of production / theory11
  2. #102 April 5th, 2013

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    Well Andrei the productions etc are more for the viewing audience than the "art" if you will. They are attention hooks. Frames to hang emotional connection on. Not to structure the story so to say.

    Here's a script that I just wrote for another cardistry video using music with lyrics that are justified to the story. I'm actually pretty happy with this little thing that I'd almost want to try to produce it myself. Again though damn my inability with cards, and lack of proper resources.

    Project Title: Fiddeling Around With Cards
    Song: Devil Went Down To Georgia
    Artist: Emerson Drive
    Reference Link:
    Characters:
    Johnny: Country boy. Teens or passable as a teen. Average kid next door. Youthful appearance. Dressed Young, and Hip. Lots of skill, and potential. But reserved and humble.
    Devil: Older character. Mid 20's. Handsome. Slick. Black and red suit. Very flashy, confident, and a show off.

    Setting: Country Fair. Mid Afternoon

    Plot: Cardistry challenge & Skill display

    :03- :10 Establishing shots. Country fair. Ferris Wheel, People having fun. Rides, clowns.

    :15 Camera pans through midway and find Johnny among a few friends hanging out. Deck of cards in hand, showing off minor card cuts. Charlier ex.

    :20 Cut to Devil walking through the the crowd. Flirting, Being turned down, small groups of people breaking up and walking away from his approach. Devil see's Johnny and friends and starts to advance on them.

    :26 Cut to angle shot on Johnny with Devil in the back ground. Devil takes an interest in what Johnny is doing.\

    :50 Devil challenges Johnny miming a conversation along the lines of what the lyrics of the song suggests. Doesn't have to be word for word. Just the general idea. On the line golden fiddle, devil shows a deck of Golden Arcanes.

    :58 Johnny accepts. Devil show boats to draw in an audience. Johnny's friends pat his back and take places behind their friend in show of support.\

    1:10 - 1:20 Both warm up with finger exercises. Prepare for battle.

    1:21 Devil first. Flashy deck production. Flash cotton from finger flash pot, or flash paper deck production.
    1: 30 - 2:05 Devil is fast, furious, and very show boaty. Flashy cuts, visual changes, crowd cheers.\
    2:06 Johnny not impressed. Pushes devil back, steps up and takes out his cards from his pocket.
    2:12 Johnny starts off easy. Building the tension. Then progressively does harder cuts, flourishes, confident, steady and strong in physical appearance. Crowd goes nuts!

    2:26 Devil knows he's losing the fight. He stands up and cuts in. Cut to the two standing side by side as they both begin to do tandom cuts, wurms, and sybils at the same time and in sync with each other. Devil is trying to win the crowd back but they are cheering Johnny on.

    2:41 Th devil spills his cards in a final attempt to do Johnny's flourish. Knowing he's been beaten he throws down the rest of his cards in anger and steps back Johnny soaks in the crowd reaction.

    2:48-3:00 Camera swings around Johnny in 360 showing him surounded in a circle of cheering people. He flourishes to the crowds approval. Body language is confident he knows he won. He now shows off. He's a bad ass and hes going to show it.

    3:10 The devil lays down the deck of golden arcanes. Bows his head, and walks off.

    3:24 Johnny resumes flourishing as we pan out to the end of a cheering crowd. The sun is setting, it's late afternoon, and everyone just had a good show. Cut to black.

    Winner SNC 6/5/2010 "What Magic Means to You?"
    Winner SNC 8/22/2010 "Best Dramatic Work" for Theory11 Movie Night
  3. #103 April 5th, 2013

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    Andrei - You keep insisting I'm looking at this like a magician. That's not the case. I'm not trying to make a magic show out of flourishing, that's the last thing I'm after here. What I'm talking about is making an object manipulation act of any sort into a theatrical production instead of being purely a display of skill. It has nothing to do with magic. And honestly, I have the same basic complaints about magic as well. Presented without some kind of theatrical effort it gets boring fast.

    I am not really interested in watching someone just show me what they can do. I know that some people are. I know that some people are not interested in creating a theatrical show. That's why, when people are asking for purely technical advice, that's what I try to give them (to my limited abilities). However, we have been discussing the idea of turning a prop manipulation act like flourishing into a theatrical act which would appeal to a wider demographic by default. Not everyone wants to watch people show off (which is what a display of skill is). Some people do, or they like to see certain things shown off. In my time I've seen a lot of manipulation acts and quite simply I've seen so many amazing skills that there's not much that impresses me any more unless it's got some kind of theatrical element to it. Quite simply .. I've seen it. And once you've seen impressive levels of skill once, you have to see more impressive levels to be further impressed. Having watched as many as I have, not much impresses me any more and the ones that do impress me don't last longer than, "Hey, that guy is good."

    I fear we've probably said all that can be said here. You're for pure displays of skill, I'm not. Both are 100% valid. I'm not asking you to change and I don't think you're asking me to change, but we have a fundamental disagreement on what's entertaining. I wish you success and prosperity in your choice of performance (or not, as the case may be).

    -Christopher
  4. #104 April 6th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
    What about the laws of physics?
    Okay yes, I worded that sentence wrong, it does have limits but I was thinking more along the lines of it can always be extended further in one particular direction.

  5. #105 April 7th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherT View Post
    Andrei - You keep insisting I'm looking at this like a magician. That's not the case. I'm not trying to make a magic show out of flourishing, that's the last thing I'm after here. What I'm talking about is making an object manipulation act of any sort into a theatrical production instead of being purely a display of skill. It has nothing to do with magic. And honestly, I have the same basic complaints about magic as well. Presented without some kind of theatrical effort it gets boring fast.

    I am not really interested in watching someone just show me what they can do. I know that some people are. I know that some people are not interested in creating a theatrical show. That's why, when people are asking for purely technical advice, that's what I try to give them (to my limited abilities). However, we have been discussing the idea of turning a prop manipulation act like flourishing into a theatrical act which would appeal to a wider demographic by default. Not everyone wants to watch people show off (which is what a display of skill is). Some people do, or they like to see certain things shown off. In my time I've seen a lot of manipulation acts and quite simply I've seen so many amazing skills that there's not much that impresses me any more unless it's got some kind of theatrical element to it. Quite simply .. I've seen it. And once you've seen impressive levels of skill once, you have to see more impressive levels to be further impressed. Having watched as many as I have, not much impresses me any more and the ones that do impress me don't last longer than, "Hey, that guy is good."

    I fear we've probably said all that can be said here. You're for pure displays of skill, I'm not. Both are 100% valid. I'm not asking you to change and I don't think you're asking me to change, but we have a fundamental disagreement on what's entertaining. I wish you success and prosperity in your choice of performance (or not, as the case may be).
    Christopher,

    I think you're absolutely right, we've said all there is to say. We're both entertained by different things. However, the last thing I'd want for people to get out of the discussion is that the only people to appreciate cardistry without a story are those who are interested in skill based displays while the story element is more for a wider demographic. That's not true. Ultimately, a good balance of either of those presentations would be a success. I've approached this conversation as such with intent for anyone looking to take it to that level. I'm not trying to justify mediocrity by saying "some would love the base level show off".

    By all means include theatrics. Please DO include dance, comedy, audience participation, music, choreography, costume and lighting in your shows. I thought those were obvious essential elements and that I didn't have to state with my sans-story approach. That's what everyone should strive for if the goal is a large production show. However, the "story/patter" aspect is a non essential element for the success of a large/small production show (as pointed out in some cirque shows which do not have story which are a big hit and those that do have one, which did not do so great).

    I can certainly see the value of incorporating a story first. It's arguably the cheapest and quickest way to give your performances that boost in value. However, prior to a story, I would first aim to select my music, choreography, lighting, audience participation, jokes, rising action, climax, etc. Those are the things that will ultimately indicate how entertaining the show will be. Those are the aspects of show-biz that we as "entertainers" should strive to perfect - because by that point, if the elements align, the story will not make or break my show (although it can potentially hurt it as in "BELIEVE"s case).

    This thread wasn't really approached with an open mind initially. It was more, "include a story in your cardistry, otherwise it's inferior and people won't care." Simply is untrue. One of the things I set out to disprove. It's certainly one approach of many great ways to put on a show.

    // andrei jikh
    vp of production / theory11
  6. #106 April 8th, 2013

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    If someone hasn't used Requiem for a Tower as a music selection to show how bad ass they are then they've missed a golden opportunity with that piece

    Winner SNC 6/5/2010 "What Magic Means to You?"
    Winner SNC 8/22/2010 "Best Dramatic Work" for Theory11 Movie Night
  7. #107 April 8th, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    However, prior to a story, I would first aim to select my music, choreography, lighting, audience participation, jokes, rising action, climax, etc. Those are the things that will ultimately indicate how entertaining the show will be. Those are the aspects of show-biz that we as "entertainers" should strive to perfect - because by that point, if the elements align, the story will not make or break my show (although it can potentially hurt it as in "BELIEVE"s case).
    You're essentially repeating the same point we've been making throughout the thread. At no point did anyone disagree with that, and it is what we have been making a case for this entire time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    This thread wasn't really approached with an open mind initially. It was more, "include a story in your cardistry, otherwise it's inferior and people won't care." Simply is untrue. One of the things I set out to disprove. It's certainly one approach of many great ways to put on a show.
    Bear in mind that not often did I mention "story" - and when I did it was often only as an example. We all approached this with very open minds; the very concept of this thread is about seeing beyond the "norm" of how manipulation is presented.

    No one is saying that story - by itself - is necessary. And certainly no one said what you quoted above. What we're saying is that you need something more than some guy on a stage doing moves. As the discussion started with the frame of reference being online videos, you'll understand. 99% of videos are like that: just a guy in a medium shot doing some moves. It's not enough.

    There must have been some fundamental breakdown in communication here, because you had nothing to disprove in the first place. No one thinks you only need a story or that a story - sans all other presentations - is vital. Your argument against what you thought our position was was against something that wasn't our position. (At least certainly not mine)

    Adding a story is the simplest expression of upping the ante of a presentation - thus it makes for a good example (and, factually, a good way to structure a show). No one said that other presentations do not exist or should not be used. There are hundreds of ways to present a show like this - many of which I have tinkered with myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by William Draven View Post
    If someone hasn't used Requiem for a Tower as a music selection to show how bad ass they are then they've missed a golden opportunity with that piece
    That song is kick-ass!

    Best,
    Vince

    Actor, Business Owner and 9+ year Authority on Card Handling, Manipulation & Flourishing
  8. #108 April 8th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    You're essentially repeating the same point we've been making throughout the thread. At no point did anyone disagree with that, and it is what we have been making a case for this entire time.



    Bear in mind that not often did I mention "story" - and when I did it was often only as an example. We all approached this with very open minds; the very concept of this thread is about seeing beyond the "norm" of how manipulation is presented.

    No one is saying that story - by itself - is necessary. And certainly no one said what you quoted above. What we're saying is that you need something more than some guy on a stage doing moves. As the discussion started with the frame of reference being online videos, you'll understand. 99% of videos are like that: just a guy in a medium shot doing some moves. It's not enough.

    There must have been some fundamental breakdown in communication here, because you had nothing to disprove in the first place. No one thinks you only need a story or that a story - sans all other presentations - is vital. Your argument against what you thought our position was was against something that wasn't our position. (At least certainly not mine)

    Adding a story is the simplest expression of upping the ante of a presentation - thus it makes for a good example (and, factually, a good way to structure a show). No one said that other presentations do not exist or should not be used. There are hundreds of ways to present a show like this - many of which I have tinkered with myself.



    That song is kick-ass!

    Best,
    Vince
    Vinnie,

    The thread veered into many directions - from giving advice to those who asked (and having credibility to do so), to the future of the art and how it may be presented, among many others that overlapped. I've addressed what I could to the best of my knowledge. To address and clarify your point would be a discussion about discussing and I don't feel that's very productive. Thanks!

    // andrei jikh
    vp of production / theory11
  9. #109 April 8th, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    Vinnie,

    The thread veered into many directions - from giving advice to those who asked (and having credibility to do so), to the future of the art and how it may be presented, among many others that overlapped. I've addressed what I could to the best of my knowledge. To address and clarify your point would be a discussion about discussing and I don't feel that's very productive. Thanks!
    No problems there; my post wasn't intended to elicit a response, only to clarify our (specifically my own) actual position and the intention of the thread.

    Best,
    Vince

    Actor, Business Owner and 9+ year Authority on Card Handling, Manipulation & Flourishing

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