What is the protocol on effects you see, and come up with your own solution and the idea of how to do it, or recreate the effect. Is it then my effect, or must I give credit to where I saw it, although I figured out and the solution for myself?
It is something that prior to meeting you, I would have no clue how to recreate. However, ever since Rants and Raves, Kentonisim, Dunninger’s, and just learning how truly sneaky you are… (and by the way… sneaky, is a good thing…) then applying what I’ve learned to what I saw, it seems that all of this makes much more sense. I’ve rewatched the mentalists on youtube. Everything they do is Kenton Knepper, or a variation of everything Wonder Wizards.
So, can I get credit for an effect that I saw, but figured out on my own, and sell my version of the trick, although my solution, is most likely the exact same? If this mentalist does it differently from how I would do it, then great for him, but I know how I’d do it.
I understand your point about many people on the Internet. As to originality, there is originality in effect or in method, or both. If something is original, then it is yours to do with as you please. Knowing whether something is entirely original can be rather challenging. But you must try your best to find that out.
As far as watching an effect by someone else and selling how you would accomplish it, the issue gets highly questionable. Some might say there is no question at all – it should not be done – period.
There are many on youtube and eBay trying to get “rich” by selling the imagined secrets of name performers. Usually these sellers are people with too little information or too little respect for the art and/or others.
So you need to be very careful in my opinion about rushing to put things out there like that. I know this is the new craze. Everyone thinks they can make a quick buck or a thousand by rushing out an idea they have. Let me know how that works for you. Maybe I am going about it the hard way.
The real work is the stuff that has been performed countless times and tested under all sorts of conditions. It’s far more than a guess as to “how” someone else managed their own original presentation. There is a lot to consider in the effort taken in the presentation alone. Magicians focus too much on methods rather often. They forget that a major part of any performance is, well, the performance. It is not the method only, but the presentation of any method, that is so often very vital.
How then can you sell a method without also taking a person’s original presentation ?
The best I can offer in this sticky situation is that you write out your ideas and methods. Then send them to a few pros you feel you can trust and who might have the time to look at such things. Their time however is usually swamped with many other things to do, including their own writing, creating and performing, so it is not possible to read and answer most of what is sent to them.
One friend of mine simply says essentially, “That’s fantastic!” as a response to anyone who sends him anything. Then when I mention to a person that the idea is old, and what they are doing is not very new, I am told “Your friend who is a huge name LOVES it” implying of course that I should feel the same. I guess I would be more beloved by some people were I to do as my friend, but to me that is not honestly telling someone my opinion. So try to send your thoughts to pros who have the time to actually read what you send, take “Attaboys” with a touch of skepticism, check out what more than one or two people say, and don’t be upset if most cannot get back to you at all.
I must tell you I am backed up on my own work fiercely right now, and have others who have been waiting in line for a month or more for me to quickly give them a thumbs up or down on one of their quick ideas. So keep in mind that patience is important if you ask pros for advice and to look at your ideas. Sometimes, if you are lucky, they are able, and on even more rare occasions they can also respond – in less than several months or years.
I would stay away particularly from trying to sell your “own method” of Derren Brown/David Blaine/Criss Angel tricks (for instance). Some do that on eBay for very cheap, and the magic and mental community thinks such sellers and peddlers are slackers. Not to mention that if you mention Derren in your advertising, his people will be on you like a heard of elephants. We use the same Internet people as he to hunt out such things, so I know what I am talking about there. Besides, how can you expose Green Screen technology when everyone already has it on their computer? I already know most people can jump over buildings on their computer screen. Who would buy some of those secrets anyway – even the real ones?
On the other hand, if you have a lot of ideas of how you would perform certain things, and you care more about performing your versions than selling them, you may perform your original methods and unique presentations as much as you like.
Try however not to perform things that are signature pieces of a particular performer. For instance, I know a guy in town who thought he could come up with his own version of my floating ball. The method was awful.
His presentation was close to the way my original is performed.
People mistakenly thought that his poor method was what I also must use. It hurt my original performance piece greatly.
The same has happened with the way I have been doing metal bending for over 30 years. People have performed what they saw me do so poorly that they have hurt bending and turned it into “the bending spoon trick” rather than a miracle of the mind.
All of these things are at issue when you think about performing something you have seen someone else do.
That’s just for starters, but I hope I have given you pause to think carefully before you choose what to do – or not do.