Online video instructions

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Online video instructions

Postby Senor Blues » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:24 am



As I mentioned in my first post (on the introduction thread), I've recently rekindled a childhood interest in magic, and have opened my case of tricks that has lain undisturbed for over thirty years. The case doesn't just include children's sets, but also lots of dealer bought tricks, which are a joy to play with again.

As I read through the yellowing typewritten instructions, I realised that here was one big difference from buying tricks in the 21st century. I've by no means bought a lot of tricks this side of the millennium, but of those I have, the great majority have pointed me to video link instructions.

Now it struck me that although it doubtless cuts down on production costs, and is admittedly an effective way to aid learning, it is nevertheless perhaps doing a disservice to posterity to not include any written instructions at all. I know for a fact, that were it not for the paper instructions I would not remember the details of the all the tricks in my box, and it will surely be the same thirty years from now, should somebody inherit or buy a box of tricks.

Ah, you may say, but you can download the video instructions, and yes, you can, but I know from experience how quickly digital formats become obsolete, so I wouldn't hold out any hopes of keeping my video tutorials anywhere near as long as my tricks may survive. Surely the compromise is simply to also include a link to text file, which can be printed out and kept in storage with the tricks.

Who'd have thought that after all this time, the humble piece of paper would still be the most reliable method of archiving information.

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Mandrake » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:28 pm

I tend to agree with you, I still have some instructions from the old, old Kaymar site when Morely Budden was the owner. These were typewritten, the letters o and e were higher than all the other ones and the letter p was much feinter. As the paper deteriorated I made photocopies and locked the originals away but eventually they became too fragile to use.

I guess that's part of the reason for change, text is too easy to copy and sell whereas online vids with access codes etc are more secure thus reducing piracy.

I still love the smell and feel of the old quarto or foolscap instructions!!

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Senor Blues » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:35 pm

Good point, though I've noticed that for magicians, most of the dealers use the easiest passwords imaginable. Based on the last three I reckon it would have taken me all of half an hour to break them if I was a rascal with a mind to.

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Senor Blues » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:10 pm

Do you by chance remember Barry Gordon? He was my local magic dealer in Birmingham back in the 80s. I remember many a time sitting in his little front room office watching him demonstrate some new effect or other.

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Johnny Wizz » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:19 pm

Mandrake wrote: quarto or foolscap


What lovely words.

A4 and A3 just doesn't cut it for me!!

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Mandrake » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:01 am

Sorry, I don't think I've heard about Barry Gordon, can you tell us more?

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Mandrake » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:02 am

A4and A3 still sound like trunk roads rather than paper sizes!

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Senor Blues » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:27 am

Mandrake wrote:Sorry, I don't think I've heard about Barry Gordon, can you tell us more?


Barry was the secretary of the British Magical Society when I was in the Juniors. He used to run his dealership from his front room office in his bungalow. I remember he was a softly spoken man, never without a roll up in the corner of his mouth, and his bagged tricks always had the lingering odour of tobacco, something which repels most people nowadays, but of which I was, and still am quite fond.

Barry used to organise coach trips to the Blackpool conventions. I went on a few back in the 80s. I remember seeing Paul Daniels, Fay Presto and Harry Blackstone Jnr. one memorable year. Harry did his floating lightbulb and vanishing birdcage.

Though a child is a poor judge of age, Barry seemed old to me even then, so I'd imagine he must have died years ago.

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Mandrake » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:02 pm

Thank you for the info, good to hear about a Brummie legend !

I tried Google but the only reference I can find is a page in The Magic Handbook showing the BMS at the old address in Margaret Street and Barry as secretary living in Great Barr. Perhaps this is a project which could be undertaken to find out more about Barry?

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Senor Blues » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:22 pm

Yes, I'll see what I can dig up.
We used to have our meetings at Margaret Street, run by Neil Page, who I think is still around as I found him online not too long ago.

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Mandrake » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:25 pm

Ah, memories! I went to a couple of the shows they did there, complete with Houdini's ring at the entrance.. :D

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Re: Online video instructions

Postby Lady of Mystery » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:13 am

I think it's a real shame that everything seems to be going over to videos. There's nothing that I love more than to curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and leaf through some old, forgotten magic book that I've manged to find for a pound or two in some little, secondhand book shop. :)

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