Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

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Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

Postby KirkW » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:04 pm

With recent magic purchases over the last year and a half, I’ve noticed a trend toward written/printed instructions being replaced with access to online video instructions.

Though I do like being able to see complex handlings in video format, I also like the written word and enjoy learning an effect step-by-step as I read through the instructions. And, not even having the option to download written instructions in PDF format bothers me. This means I have to create my own set of written instructions just in case the online instructions disappear in the future.

Is anyone else seeing this trend and if so, what are your thoughts.
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Re: Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

Postby Steve S. » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:13 am

Indeed I have been seeing this trend and I don't like it!

More and more, written instructions are becoming a thing of the past.

As well, lecturers are selling their products without written instructions and they don't always announce it to the attendees so it's a surprise when they get home and open the package.

I agree with you Kirk that it's important that tricks are stored with written instructions for future reference. You can't expect video versions to be available forever and then you have a problem when you pull out a trick you haven't looked at for a long time and need a refresher.

Another issue is with instructions of several pages which you must print on your own by going online (like Tenyo is now doing) and using up a fortune in ink cartridges. You paid for the trick and shouldn't have to spend a bunch more for the printed instructions. How many pages did we have to print for all 8 Tenyo tricks from this year? Too many I suggest!
It's a Tenyo day in the neighborhood!
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Re: Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

Postby David DeTenyo » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:11 am

I often write my own instructions for tricks I actually perform once in a while. I come up with a routine that suits me and write in Dutch obviously. Sometimes I also have a little paper with a very brief step by step instruction, if a trick needs a set-up for example.
So in all honesty, I don't really care, although written instructions are more handy.
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Re: Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

Postby Rob Rand » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:48 pm

I really miss written instructions. I always download the instructions video. Especially with magicians wallets there are only video instructions or in the best case, a dvd included. Still I consider it as a huge loss. We're not all youngsters who can't read anymore :). Like David does, I watch the video and make my own notes. But it's not ideal.

The only solution is to buy tricks of 5 years ago :)
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Re: Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

Postby VictorS » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:22 pm

I personally love written instructions. Although Tenyo makes it digital, I always want to keep it as hard copies. So I print it out. Reading from a printed version is much better than digital version. Somehow I can have better overview of all pages and have a quick access on every pages. The video instruction is really good to explain moves like sleight of hands. I think the main reason to make the video or digital instructions is to press the cost and to save addition works on typing, photographing, picture editing, printing, folding, storing, etc.
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Re: Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

Postby BluBob » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:36 am

This is a very interesting, and important discussion ...

The Photography industry faces the same conundrum. Many people choose to create their images on current digital devices such as Smartphones, digital Cameras, etc. The problem is that all those images just sit on the digital storage device. The vast majority of the images are never printed to hard copy, so the images "sit" there until the day that the storage device fails! Once the storage device fails, obviously, the images are lost forever.

The Photographic "Print" may have become a thing of the past. Having said this; I still see fine-Art prints being created, but the general public can be a tad-bit hesitant to paying for rather expensive "Art" prints. "Art" prints is a niche market to be sure.

It seems as though the general public is left to their own design to be responsible for the consumption, and care of important data/text. I see magic books being created in .PDF format which means that if I want to purchase the material, I better have an effective way to store, and care for the data.

All storage devices will fail at some point, so due diligence is in order to preserve the information. This dilemma includes Magic Instructions. This, in turn, calls for back-up systems, and constant monitoring of data transference as storage formats morph into the next technological advancement.

I miss the days of printed instructions ...
and now, on with the show ...
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Re: Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

Postby EvanS » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:49 pm

I'm with you.

I understand the cost savings of providing downloads, and I wouldn't mind as much if it meant that addendums would be added to create even greater value, or to further explore the nuances of a particular trick, or to expand on a trick based on the feedback from other magicians. Manuscripts successfully use the addendum (notably Elliot Bresler's "Switchcraft" manuscript which started at 215 pages and is now, 7 years and 40 addendums later, a whopping 850 pages). Bob Farmer recently sent seven additional addendums to purchasers of his Tarodiction Toolbox, because there was so much new material developed after he published the original manuscript (highly recommended, BTW...).

The printed page has always been (will always be) my preference.
Last edited by EvanS on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Written Instructions a Thing of he Past?

Postby David DeTenyo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:29 am

My favourite instructions are made by Eckhard Böttcher from Zauberbutike. When he sold items made by Tony Lackner, Thomas Pohle or Magiro to name a few, he would always give one or more real routines included, so well written out that he even wrote in italic what the performer needs to say at what exact time during performance.
Alan Warner also has very, very well written instructions and routines, as does Kent Bergmann with 3D Magic Works.
And let's not forget Tenyo and MB Magic Works :)
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