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Old 10-12-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
Albert
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Warning Theory11 Exposed... Again!

There have been previous discussions on the kind of unethical and other bad things Theory11 has done in the past, but that was coupled together with Andrei Jikh here and in a news update thread here.

Now, I want to discuss purely on Theory11, in this forum section because the current Theory11 conditions are much worse than I thought. A discussion was born on the Facebook page of Theory11 on a picture of Vertigo, their upcoming new product on October 14th, 2011 here.

During the discussion, a topic was brought up to the members of Theory11 that they shouldn't delete/ignore all negative comments about their teasers, as can be seen at this video here, the teaser for Vertigo.

Here's a screenshot below of Vertigo on YouTube with the likes to dislikes ratio, as well as the all comments as of October 12th/2011 @ 6:22PM EST:


So... 1,047 views, 92 votes [21 Likes : 71 Dislikes => 21/92 = 22.83% likes] ... 11 comments by 9 different people including themselves - none of the comments are negative... although Zronxziq's "-.-" actually looks negative to me and one of the comments was posted for the sake of being "First" saying it's an awesome effect while there is no effect to be seen in the teaser, so that leaves 7 actual supporters in the comment section, 6 without Theory11 (whatistheory11) themselves.

I think you can do the math, but let me clarify:

How could all of the comments be positive or non-negative while 77.17% of the votes are negative? This shows the rate at which rate they deleted comments to Vertigo. There should have been at least 30 negative or non-positive (and possibly some constructive) comments to the video.

So, what's wrong with this you may ask? Well, let me tell you what's wrong:


Theory11 claims that they welcome all feedbacks and comments, yet they don't show all of the comments and most are positive comments (if not all on their products). Really? I highly doubt that every single person who sees the product would like it, unless it's some ultimate trick where you only need to wear a pair of boxers and can still make a whole helicopter disappear with a click of the fingers, live. <= Even that would probably get dislikes due to many reasons, such as the dislike for a half-naked guy, the-apparently-know-it-all expert claiming it's fake, jealousy, etc.

If you also see the last comment Theory11 made, between the 2 Theory11 comments there used to be a comment of me saying they lied to their customers, since they never approved of my comment on Scribble. Guess what, my Facebook comment is gone as well, in which they deleted it and then put that last comment about anything not related to Vertigo will be deleted.

The point of this thread is to tell you that Theory11 isn't being very honest with themselves and with us, the customers. Honestly, watch out for the things you buy from there; the comments and the product description may not be all that reliable; not as much as you think it is.

Theory11, if that isn't censorship, especially with my facebook comment deletion, then what do you call it?


:: EDIT ::


I also want to include something else now, after a bit of thinking. Another thing Theory11 successfully does properly (and very much so) is ignoring or turning a blind eye on the suggestions people make that would benefit them oh-so-much. Now, what I'm about to say has nothing to do with them being unethical. What they are doing is fine, but they are being just really stupid, in my opinion.

Here's a screenshot for MiRAGE's so-called 'short-teaser' video; not even a teaser, found here.


Really? A teaser for a magic trick. This isn't some kind of a Hollywood movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. If this isn't overly-commercial, I don't know what is...

Also, Theory11 thinks that their marketing tactics/strategies are gold... well at least it seems like the marketing/communications team does... On a side note, very disappointed with the tone of voice I can interpret from the comment below on Vertigo's facebook comments section - it's implying that we are retards for not understanding what a teaser is. Nothing that is directed to a customer should ever be worded so that they interpret it offensively. That's the basic rule of thumb when communicating with customers, even if you are frustrated with them. They failed at that here too.


Dear staff of Theory11, when you read this, and I know you do, I hope you realize that it's not just one or two people who are unimpressed or simply disgusted at your marketing tactic. There may be some emotional bias in this post, in which I admit. But the level of ignorance towards your customers' suggestions + censoring objective and fair negative comments + misleading product information + poor marketing tactics (which I think is killing the art as well, which hopefully you can make the connection) = Theory11 going down, down, down, down, down... Oh, and did I mention, you are killing the art, not keeping it alive?

If you are smart enough, you should understand what I'm trying to say. Customers surprisingly know well what a business's problem is, so the least you could do is at least attempt to fix your errors instead of saying you welcome all feedback but already threw everything in the garbage can next to your desk. This is not a matter of killing your pride as a business. It's knowing how to fix your errors, admitting your mistakes, and knowing how to apologize to the customers. Just because magicians can get away with lying in performances, doesn't mean you can get away lying to your customers, especially fellow magicians.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:15 AM   #2
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Thanks for the wonderful exposure thread Albert! It's always appreciated =))

Nawh lol, but I was talking to Mark about this too. Gawsh, what idiots. Magiczack24 tried saying "GPS" was not impromptu, but they deleted his review. Selfish fools. I feel bad for anyone associated with that joke of a magic business.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:37 AM   #3
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Filthy monkeys..
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMisdirectingHand View Post
Filthy monkeys..
Woah.... Someone is utterly upset...

Theory11, look at what you have done to David!
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:35 AM   #5
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I respect grimy, rotten, fecal eating porcupines more than I respect T11. I would rather bellyflop onto said porcupine than to buy their products.

Okay, maybe a little to far, but I really wanted to use the porcupine for this one!
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:22 PM   #6
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One serious question left:
Are you Albert V. or Albert P.?
I'm so confused
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:53 PM   #7
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They obviously try to keep a name high, and their way of doing that is very... odd... to say at least. Everyone who disagrees with whatever they do is said to be dead wrong and even when the most obvious facts are thrown on the table they think that simply saying it are lies is the most proper way of handling that, basically saying they are always right and anyone else is always wrong and lying. If what Albert and I did was coming up with a conspiracy theory regarding the comment and review approval, what they continuously do is coming up with conspiracies with a much bigger team (the whole T11 crew) to wipe our statements away. It's absolutely disgusting.

It makes me think of Apple and Steve Jobs (RIP). Unlike Theory11, Apple had (and still has) a pretty good customer support system but whenever Steve himself would reply to issues, things got on a loose. But Apple could never admit to be wrong and thus had to support Steve whenever, wherever, even if he would be bashing every other company and human being on this planet. When the iPhone 4 antenna issue got discovered, Jobs took every other smart phone on the market and showed how all of them had the same issue, and he said that unlike the other brands, he even marked the weak spot for the users. "Just don't hold it that way."

That being said, please don't have emotions take over when posting anything on the board. At least let us have class, and class goes as far as making this thread to warn the world and hopefully getting through at T11 for once because such behavior from a whole group of people who managed to get on top of our art is absolutely not tolerated. But yeah, don't call them names. It doesn't make this go anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robandbob55 View Post
One serious question left:
Are you Albert V. or Albert P.?
I'm so confused
He is Hyunick P. or Albert V.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
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Yup, there was a bit of emotions sway in the post, but that was near the end of the post just on the opinion part. The first part about their unethical behaviour is completely objective, so no worries.

And...

Bad Mark! You no give names of da Truth of Albert the Mighty.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:28 PM   #9
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Alby the Insignificant.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:50 PM   #10
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nice post albert!
what they are doin is pretty stupid. I am amazed they are actually still alive. with 70 dislikes...
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:10 AM   #11
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They are going to be down
P/S: I just know you Albert. You are Korean
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:28 PM   #12
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I have been e-mailing with one of their staff members for the past few days and there are some conclusions that could be pulled from that. I was asked to not make the mails or details public, so I won't, but I will state things I think should be shared and cleared up.

I was told that the review approval process is much more than just filtering exposure, and I am very thankful for that. That said, we are still said to have made false statements and to have wrong ideas, but I think Albert would agree that the only (and really the only) reason that we said they were dishonest as for that is because they said they only censor exposure, I quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by theory11 (Facebook)
Hi Mark, while we disagree, we do not in any way censor comments on the theory11 site (except for exposure). You are entitled to your opinion and we respect it. To each his own - no worries. Thank you.
At least we can say that we were correct (which was rather obvious anyways), and if they don't want to see that themselves, who cares? And why they think the tone of voice in the message as mentioned by Albert is acceptable? This hasn't been cleared up, but I must say the tone of voice of this particular, mailing staff member was quite excellent so I don't worry about that all that much anymore.

As for the term 'impromptu', as we all think (and know) is misused on the product page of Chris Kenner's 'GPS', it's said that "it comes down to a matter of opinions on the definition of this term". Since there is a way to secretely do a full deck set-up on the spot, they think it's fine to say that it's impromptu. I couldn't disagree more because there wasn't any teaching on this kind of setting-up-the-deck-in-an-impromptu-manner involved in the product and if it comes down to a matter of opinions, we could as well stop using the term completely because then it doesn't mean anything anymore. Oddly enough, they do use the term correctly when answering the question whether Rick Lax his 'Vertigo' is impromptu. That doesn't make up for the lie on 'GPS' but at least it seems like they know better now.

Also, I have been told that the teasers are indeed used to hype upcoming products and to create a little more content specifically for those who have been waiting for something new for a while. Bravo, that clears up a whole lot (and that is absolutely not sarcastic, I mean it). Pity this fact had to be shared in an e-mail.

Thanks again to the T11 staff member for clearing things up and I hope this post stays within the lines of what you think could be shared publicly. I appreciate it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:33 PM   #13
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ah it is very nice to hear most of the stuff is cleared up
I am glad!

I still think there teasers are too short, but that is just a matter of taste I guess.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #14
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Well, although I'm happy that those things has been cleared up as for the motivation behind them, I don't think they would do good by not changing anything.

We now know why they make teasers and that they will propably keep making those despite any negative feedback, fine, and we now know that the review approval is more than getting rid of exposure, fine as well, but.. we now also know how distorted their usage of the term 'impromptu' is and that they have trouble saying sorry or that they were wrong, holding on to saying we actually made false statements while that is simply not true.

That said, it seems like that whenever something has been cleared up, something else appears, like the whole "unethical to perform tricks you have figured out" thing now. I really hope there is a time that we just could stop pointing out bad things without needing to worry that the art is going to be (possibly) damaged in any way.

UPDATE
This may be a little late but I only just found out that Theory11 corrected their mistake on 'GPS' a couple of days ago. Someone posted about it not being impromptu in their own forums (the non-impromptuness had been brought up years ago at its release already) and this is what was said by one of their interactives, three days ago from when I posted this update:
Quote:
GPS is impromptu, depending on your definition of the word. I have been around the circle several times on this one recently with those that say this is not. In my opinion, it most certainly is. This trick is impromptu in that you can pick up someone else's normal deck of playing cards and do this trick. The down side is that it does take a moment to get ready, though with a little tiny bit of experience the setup is no problem and can be done in no time flat without anyone noticing anything fishy. There are no gimmicks, just a deck of playing cards and a cunning secret.

Sadly, no, you probably couldn't do this if you had ZERO time to prepare between the moment someone hands you a deck and the moment you need to do this, but you can pick up a deck at a friends house, look through it for a couple of moments, and then ask if they want to see a trick.

I hope that clears things for you.
And one day later.. two days ago.. the same interactive posted this:
Quote:
I discussed this with JB today and we came to the determination that we need to change the description to more clearly represent GPS. It has been changed on the product page. I hope we have answered any questions you may have.

Keep on rockin'!
Pity that no apologies were made, but at least it seems like a step in the right direction.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:38 PM   #15
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After a while I remembered the name Rick Lax...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXvwJ..._order&list=UL
This video is not available anymore.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:30 AM   #16
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Posted 10-21-2011
Yeeaah, you shouldn't judge him by his YouTube videos. He's a really cool guy but he's an übercheesy non-magician in those videos. I know he actually is a pretty decent magician and thinker, but that just can't be seen in those clips.

Posted 11-17-2011
Update
I don't know why, but this thread ended with Rick Lax and it will continue with Rick Lax. I don't necessarily blame him on this (although I guess he could do something about it... if he would've wanted to), but Theory11 is definitely the responsible party. I really don't know how they can keep coming up with things we disagree with. I tried really hard looking for errors at other magic companies, but Theory11 took this lead by far.

Hereby the trailer of their latest release this is based on:



In the video you will find the statement "A modern take on an underground move". Good marketing, semi-cliché-ish but well, all fine, but what is this underground move, are the name and creator unknown, is it Rick's and is that why Rick seems to get all credits, seeing the video beginning with "From the creator of Vertigo" and not with "From the creator of Vertigo and the creator of Claptrap"? And on the product page it says exactly the same.

Since Theory11 released the Wire, there have been a lot of discussions on crediting. Whenever someone didn't give correct or complete credits to their accepted submission, the T11 forums got heated up by people complaining about this, and even I thought it sometimes went a little too far (not saying the people complaining weren't correct, especially when realizing that this one person who submitted the trick was told about the proper credits before his trick was filmed and submitted, but the way they worded things was kind of inappropriate).

So why are there no credits on the 'HighRise' product page or in the video to the person who deserves them the most: Ernest Earick? Apparently Rick does give credits in the tutorial but why would you have to pay money to get to know who came up with the original idea? And why are corrections made when people don't give (proper) credits to their submissions at the Wire, but could T11 themselves can get away with not crediting anyone at the proper places at all?

Obviously this is part of their dirty marketing stategy. They think less people would buy the control if they would've publicly stated it is based on something by Ernest Earick, let alone if they would have said it's based on Ernest's 'Bow-to-Stern' control from Stephen Minch's 'By Forces Unseen', but just crediting the creator would do. In the end this is a true shame to the art and Theory11 not showing the slightest bit of respect to the creator. What if I would make a video on a trick and say that for proper crediting you will have to pay me $6.95 first? That's basically what they are doing. E. Earick deserves credits on the product page at least, preferably in or at the trailer though.

That said, it has been proven that Bizau Cristian, who happens to be an artist at T11 like Rick too, came up and started working on this idea earlier, calling it the 'Blind Square'. Albert and I were the first to get to know about this, over a year ago and we even planned on releasing it with DSZ but that idea eventually got cancelled before the release of 'HighRise'. Anyhow, the original 'Blind Square' looks and works exactly like Rick's take on the same principle... in detail.

Since not even Ernest Earick got public credits, credits to Bizau are absolutely nowhere to be found. And of course Theory11 won't do anything to correct this, meaning that from now on Rick Lax is the original inventor of the 'Blind Square' and 'HighRise', and Ernest and Bizau could go s**** themselves, although Ernest could maybe satisfy himself by paying $6.95, if the poor man is still alive.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:21 AM   #17
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If you buy a dvd the credits are at the end, included on the dvd, but you usually still have to buy it to watch them all. Same with a book; all the credits are in there. Should they also be included on every poster or advertisement? Of course not. The trailer's sole purpose is to get attention for the product. The role of an advertisement has never been to give credit to all creators involved. Sure, if Spielberg directed the film you'll make a big deal of it, but this is not the main push of most adverts and I think it is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect let alone insist on crediting in a video trailer, whatever it may be for. If someone really wants to find out as much as they can about the credits BEFORE they buy the trick then a bit of homework is not a difficult thing.

Honestly, I think most people who actually buy this will be doing so because they love the look of the move and they simply want to learn it. The history lessons can be kept for later, and they are; included in the video there is a "brief history" segment where Mr Lax gives a long list of people who have worked on the idea before him. He isn't trying to hide anything and neither are Theory 11 who have done similar releases before. Dan White presents "Card to Mouth". Jason England teaching classic sleights like the "classic pass", "cover pass", "overhand shuffle".. etc. Sure, if you knew little about card magic you could be forgiven for thinking Jason invented all those! But this doesn't mean the trailer needs to babysit you and make everything crystal clear before you've even bought the video!

The move is quite difficult to do well; I'm just glad someone has finally filmed a relatively detailed tutorial on it

---------- Post added at 03:21 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:08 AM ----------

A quick quote from someone who's purchased this and posted their comments on the Theory11 website..

"Geraint Clarke • South Wales, UK • 11/13/11
So much more than I was expecting. Rick really has improved on a classic here. The mechanics of it are much more fun to perform, and he covers every little movement in a professional step by step download. Great crediting, great move, great download. Get it
!"

Notice his use of the words "improved on a classic", and "great crediting". Yes, he's not talking about the trailer, but I think it's worth noting, that this customer at least, is under no illusions as to the origin of this move.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fin View Post
Of course not. The trailer's sole purpose is to get attention for the product. The role of an advertisement has never been to give credit to all creators involved. Sure, if Spielberg directed the film you'll make a big deal of it, but this is not the main push of most adverts and I think it is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect let alone insist on crediting in a video trailer, whatever it may be for. If someone really wants to find out as much as they can about the credits BEFORE they buy the trick then a bit of homework is not a difficult thing.
Fin, you are missing out on a huge point here. It may be that Mark and I have been performing magic for a longer time that we are more sensitive to credits and history. Regardless, magic products can't be compared to Hollywood movies.

Mark mentioned before "... meaning that from now on Rick Lax is the original inventor of the 'Blind Square' and 'HighRise'". There are so many young magicians out there who loses the concept of crediting correctly all for the reason that existing moves are renamed, and more so due to big magic companies releasing like that. When authorities (or so assumed to be one) claim something, people take it as the truth. Why? Because they are authorities.

Rick Lax knew very well that this is called the Bow-to-Stern Control. Knowing that, it has been renamed HighRise and from now on, it will be known as HighRise by 99% of the people - by the new generation of magicians. Ernest's contribution to the original move will die out eventually, slowly, but surely. That's no respect for the original creator. It's not about specifically crediting. It's about respect for those who took the time to came up with it, not just make improvements on it. That's why it's important to credit it in the product's page. For those who don't buy, but simply see the trailers, they will say "Oh, It's Rick's new move." For those who know Ernest's control, we can say "Oh, Rick made some improvements on Ernest's Move." You don't see Jason England renaming the classic pass just because he made improvements on it because you can clearly tell he values history and respects those who came up with the idea. Theory11 doesn't show that anymore, which is badly influencing the new generation of magicians.

Fin, imagine someone took a song of yours you composed, switched a few notes around, put it up or down an octave, and switched your Rondo form of ABCBA and turned it into a Ternary form of ABA. Then renamed it, claiming it as his. That would probably make it a pretty different song for those with untrained ears and would think that it's that punk arse bastard's composition, not yours. That's the situation here.

As magician's we really have to value history because that's what keeps the art truly on the right path. I don't know how to express it in words clearly, but that's what I feel. I also think that such an act plays around with morality of who created it and who takes credit for it.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:55 AM   #19
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^ I may be an a magician of young ignorance here, but as a combative artist I can put my hands down and nod to Alberts statement. There is nothing more sad than watching people rename techniques and time just to promote themselves, without taking into consideration [I dont know specifically about card tricks] but for combat in truth thousands of years of text.

and I for one value that.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert View Post
...imagine someone took a song of yours you composed, switched a few notes around, put it up or down an octave, and switched your Rondo form of ABCBA and turned it into a Ternary form of ABA. Then renamed it, claiming it as his. That would probably make it a pretty different song for those with untrained ears and would think that it's that punk arse bastard's composition, not yours. That's the situation here.
Well put.

When I am sampling music, I always make it very clear that the rightful artist gets the credit they deserve. Their music inspired my improvisation over there original. I appreciated it enough that I used it as if it were mine (I had wished). In this 'al mighty dollar' driven world, people are strictly marketing for profits and from here on out we will more than likely see less and less honors towards the rightful people of inspiration, whatever it may be for.
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