$32.99 per month: Cancel anytime.
“As magicians reinvent their performances for remote environments Video Chat Magic is unveiling the most effective ways to succeed in this new medium.”
– Luís de Matos
$32.99 per month: Cancel anytime.
What is Video Chat Magic?
There is more to magic on video chat than compromised versions of in-person tricks, or magic designed for TV. It is uniquely live, scalable, personal and interactive, all at the same time. No other medium allows the powerful methods and approaches we have discovered, and no other medium’s popularity is growing faster.
Video Chat Magic is a monthly subscription-based collection of over 35 tricks, tools, essays and pieces of technology, exploring this exciting new medium.
The best part is that 100% of your subscription will be donated to charity. Nobody at Video Chat Magic, is making a single penny, so if you love magic, are interested in performing on video chat and want to do some good in the world, join us today.
What Do I Get?
For your donation you will gain access to the entire back catalogue and receive an average of two new pieces each week. They will wing their way to your inbox and be available online.
You’ll discover tricks, podcasts, interviews, scripts, recommendations, articles, routines, and technology. Examples of things we have already explored include:
- MagicMask: With this special software you can freeze a section of your screen while you remain live, enabling the cleanest prediction effects ever conceived. (Compatible with MacOS Mojave and Catalina).
- Connection and Reactions: Explore how to connect with your audience and generate huge reactions and laughter in a medium that makes this harder than ever. Enhance your audience engagement with new perspectives on interactivity and participation
- Methods and Effects: Discover a whole new range of methodological opportunities only possible in video chat. Perform breathtakingly clean, hard-hitting effects under hitherto impossible conditions.
…With even more added every week!
Fong was the director of photography on J.J. Abrams’ ‘Super 8’ as well as the TV series “Lost,” also directed by Abrams.
His camerawork has garnered numerous advertising industry accolades, including the Golden Lion, the Clio and the Belding. He has a degree in Linguistics from UCLA as well as a degree in Film from Art Center College of Design.
Professionally, for the last 38 or so years I have been a computer programmer, a writer/scriptwriter, and a teacher. Not to mention a Domino's delivery driver—I still hold the box-folding record at the Pacific Beach branch. I'm currently an English teacher, the best job in the world for a family man.
Other than that I'm a classic amateur magician. I love magic and I spend a lot of time on it. I write about it, because I'm a writer, and I create tricks, because I used to be a computer programmer (programming and trick creating are very similar), and I write scripts for tricks for myself and others, because I think it's the best way to make great magic.
I wrote Scripting Magic and Scripting Magic 2 and now Scripting Magic 2.1. That’s pretty much it.
Video Chat Magic currently costs $32.99 per month (Cancel Anytime). The price will increase for new subscribers in later months.
Perhaps the first thing anyone who tries to do magic on video chat does is to look at their in-person repertoire and see which tricks might still work via video chat. “My ambitious card will still work if I sign it rather than get them to.” “Sponge balls can be super visual.” “Invisible deck is always surefire, I can involve everyone in the selection.”
Unfortunately, there is a big problem with this approach.
If we select our material for video chat performances by trying to minimise the compromises to our existing repertoire, the one thing we are guaranteed is compromised material. The very best case with this approach is that our video chat performances are a weaker substitute for our in-person ones. A much more productive approach is to think of video chat as an entirely new performance space.
A great close-up trick won’t work as well on stage. Just as a great stage trick won’t work as well on TV. And a great trick for close-up, stage or TV won’t work as well on video chat. As with every other type of performance space, the best way to develop magic for video chat is to think about the space’s unique advantages, disadvantages, and opportunities. Only when we do this, will we create the best version of what entertaining magic over video chat can be.
Inside, we explore how to develop as a performer in the medium of video chat, and how to accelerate that development.
We (Will and Steve) are both very interested in charity. We have both directed a proportion of our careers towards efforts to help others. In these particularly challenging times, we feel there is an opportunity to contribute, in some small way, to helping those less fortunate than ourselves. We also want to introduce the magic world to Effective Altruism.
What is Effective Altruism?
If Physics as a field of study asks, how can we better understand the universe and Architecture asks, how can we build better buildings, then Effective Altruism asks how can we do the most good? In particular, Effective Altruism applies reason and evidence to search out and build the most potent ways to improve the world. It suggests that answering this question is less a theoretical debate and more a practical and empirical question of evidence. Donors can increase their impact by researching which donation option helps the greatest number of the most needy to the greatest degree with the highest level of confidence.
The opposite of this approach would be to seek out a charity that seeks to help fewer people, who are better off and to help them in a less significant way. Think of the difference in impact between donating €30,000 to cure the blindness of hundreds of people in Africa, versus €30,000 to supply one seeing-impaired person in Dublin with a guide dog. Obviously, we would prefer to help everyone, but as we only ever have limited resources, it will increase our impact if we invest the funds with proportionality in mind.
Over the past decade, 100,000 hours of professional research has been conducted to identify the very best giving opportunities, globally. The current conclusions of this research effort point to a very small number of extremely effective interventions.
Perhaps the most obvious and important finding has been that not all efforts to help are equal. In poorer countries, where money goes a lot further, it is very clear that we can have a far greater effect with a given donation. It is very likely that the disease burden of Covid-19 is not going to be evenly distributed and that donations to help in poorer countries will have a vastly larger impact on greater numbers of people.
From my understanding, the organisation that the evidence suggests will do the most good with the income from Video Chat Magic is GiveWell. They are at the core of the Effective Altruism movement and we really hope that you check out the exceptional standards of their work here and learn more about Effective Altruism here. And you can read a couple of short articles I’ve written here.
If you are interested in learning more about Effective Altruism, please get in touch via VideoChatMagic@gmail.com
Well first of all you get to feel good that you are helping some of the people who most need our help. Second, for your donation you will receive an average of two new tricks, tools or essays each week. They will wing their way to your inbox as well as being available online, and you will also gain full access to our entire back catalogue. Inside you will find
● Jackpot M&Ms: a devious update of The Trick that Fooled Einstein from David Britland, with a chance for some astonishing kickers.
● MagicMask: If Q from James Bond were a magician he would use Marc Kerstein and Seth Raphael’s devious techie tool to execute perfect predictions and invisible switches.
● Zoom Switch: Harry De Cruz’s sneaky utility move that allows you to seamlessly switch pay envelops, cards and billets.
● Wishing and Making It So… Online: A clever version of Jim Steinmeyer’s trick that takes advantage of the fact that your computer can give you the world’s best memory and the ability to solve complex problems, in milli-seconds.
Plus much more every week…
There are two possible subscription options.
If you opt for monthly, then subscriptions will be taken monthly on the date you join and the same date each month thereafter. We envision the project lasting until the end of October 2020, with an average of two posts each week. At the end of that period, existing subscribers will maintain access to the site so they can copy any material they want to keep. If you want to stop supporting us you can cancel your subscription at any time. The monthly subscription will increase as we draw to the end of the project and our back catalogue increases.
If you opt for the annual subscription you will gain access for the duration of the programme. Our intention is to reduce the annual charge as we get closer to the projects end.
Video Chat Magic is an evolving project, in a rapidly developing field, and we feel a website is the best way to reflect this. As well as fully formed routines we will also share tools, ideas and approaches, and we hope that you will share ideas with us too, as the project develops.
We originally thought about Lockdown Legerdemain, Corona Conjuring and Pandemic Prestidigitation, as well as other names it turned out other people were already using. Then we realised that we were better off spending time thinking about content for the site rather than punny names.