For those of us who purchase magic tricks, most of us have come across some aspects of video explanations which create a barrier for learning. The angle of the camera can sometimes be one of those barriers. For the majority of magic video explanations, the position of the camera is directed toward the instructor, like this:
I would like to call attention to this practice. Not always – but a lot of the time, if the camera angle is from the magician’s point of view, the trick will be much easier to learn. I would encourage those explaining magic products, to consider positioning the camera directly behind the props. I’m calling this camera angle “Magicians View”.
Another good option is: “Over The Shoulder View”.
And another good option is : “Directly Above View”.
This applies to all types of tricks, not just cards, and not just close up. Many instructors think it’s important to see the face of the instructor during the explanation. In reality it is not. It is fine to cut to the front in other parts of the video where appropriate eg when showing how the effect should look to the audience or when the instructor is simply talking, without demonstrating the prop at that moment.
Sure, sometimes when the camera is directed at the instructor, it is perfectly fine and easy to learn, especially if the trick is a simple concept. However if the explanation is more complex, then these alternative camera angles would improve the learning experience.
This is why
- It is much harder to learn the trick when we have to reverse the visual in our mind, for every step, ie right to left & left to right.
- Often the explanation is inherently hidden when the camera directed toward the instructor, so it is harder to understand the method.
- Better camera angle makes the procedure or move much clearer.
What can you do about it
This is all about awareness. If you have received a video explanation as part of a trick you have purchased, and you feel that you would have had a better learning experience with an improved camera angle, write to the production team and send them this blog post. If they are more aware of this, then their future videos will likely be of a higher standard, and this will help the magic product industry as a whole.