$1,348
pledged of $2,900pledged of $2,900 goal
37
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, November 1 2018 3:58 AM UTC +00:00
$1,348
pledged of $2,900pledged of $2,900 goal
37
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, November 1 2018 3:58 AM UTC +00:00

About

Frames from "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces" (1906) and the catalog entry for its stage illusion inspiration (center).
Frames from "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces" (1906) and the catalog entry for its stage illusion inspiration (center).

This Kickstarter will fund a project that will create the cover and pay for all production costs for a new, fully illustrated hardcover book about early cinema tentatively titled Conjurer's Catalogs. It will be the third book in theMoving Picture Reprint Series.

The cover will be designed by Marlene Weisman who created the art for the previous book How to Take And Make Moving Pictures in the 1910's https://darren-nemeth.squarespace.com/how-to-film-moving-pictures-in-the-1910s/

This new volume is already 95% completed with over 400 hundred pages.  It reprints extremely rare, and oftentimes fragile, magician's trade catalogs from mid 19th century through the 1910's which I have sought out and accumulated over the past few years. 

A number of early filmmakers and producers were conjurors or had exposure to the trade while working in theatre (think Georges Méliès, Billy Bitzer, James Stuart Blackton, comedians, trick films....).  Conjurer's Catalogs' focus is showing examples of stage and parlor magic and early film as well as republish other scarce materials for the first time.  You will recognize a number of stage illusions advertised in these early catalogs that made it to the screen.

One of the many plates and engravings showing tricks of the trade that made it into early special effects films.
One of the many plates and engravings showing tricks of the trade that made it into early special effects films.

All of these ancient materials were carefully scanned in 600dpi as TIF files and gently Photoshopped.  Some had their bindings taken apart in order to have the pages lay flat for scanning.  You will see in detail the basic tools of the Enchanter from a 1870's through the 1910's perspective!

Also among the ephemera is a catalog from a illusion company briefly owned by Harry Houdini while he was in the movie business and an illustrated 1919 pamphlet that warns against side show scams!

Conjurer's Catalogs will be the third in a series called the Moving Picture Reprint Series that publishes technical volumes about the early days of cinema and even pre-cinema. 1907 Chicago Projecting Co.'s Entertainer's Supplies Catalog No. 122: Deluxe Reprint is book #1. How To Film Moving Pictures in the 1910's is #2.

The 400 plus page Conjurer's Catalogs will be printed by Blurb in hardcover and eventually be available for sale on Amazon.com after I run out of the crowdfunded print run.  If the funding surpasses the goal the money will go into buying more books for the print run for me to sell so I can at least eventually break even.

Martinka & Co.'s catalog header for stage and parlor equipment, 1899.
Martinka & Co.'s catalog header for stage and parlor equipment, 1899.

You will notice that this funding goal amount is more than my previous crowdfunder for How To Film Moving Pictures in the 1910's.  This was due to first my time experience.  After everything was paid for the pledges were barely enough to cover the artwork and part of the shipping.  I know the ropes better now so this time around the goal covers everything including the hardcover print run.

This Kickstarter covers all production costs for the artwork, book proofs, print run, Kickstarter’s 5% fee, payment processing fees (between 3%  and 5%), and shipping boxes and materials. Any extra funding above this will go into the purchase of more books to sell myself so I can at least break even.

All backer rewards will be packaged in plastic and shipped in new boxes.  Have no worries about it getting wet if delivered to your porch.

If this crowdfunder is successful the retail price will be $19. However, the basic pledge reward for the finished product is $17.  Over 10% off!

This is for destinations in the USA only.  Sadly it is due to the high cost of shipping.  To mail one book to Canada it is over $20 and overseas is $25 and up.  Strange because I just bought three big hardcovers from the UK and postage was $28.  If outside the USA send me a personal message for details and how to get one if the campaign goal is reached.

Martinka & Co. was founded in 1873.  Here is their "End Of Century Edition" of the "Conjuring Wonders" catalog, 1899.  All 240+ pages will be reprinted in their entirety from this original, extremely rare catalog.
Martinka & Co. was founded in 1873. Here is their "End Of Century Edition" of the "Conjuring Wonders" catalog, 1899. All 240+ pages will be reprinted in their entirety from this original, extremely rare catalog.
Harry Houdini bought out and merged a couple of illusion houses into a new company during the period he was producing films.  This is one of them.  Details will be covered in the new book.
Harry Houdini bought out and merged a couple of illusion houses into a new company during the period he was producing films. This is one of them. Details will be covered in the new book.

Risks and challenges

The text and layout of the book is 95% finished. If this Kickstarter is funded the needed cover design and illustrations it will make it complete.

The only foreseeable production delays I can see will be with the time it takes to manufacture and ship me the proofs and the finished product.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $17 or more About $17

    Conjurer's Catalogs book - Hardcover

    Hot off the presses and into your mail box, the finished Conjurer's Catalogs hardcover book.

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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    Autographed Hardcover

    The finished Conjurer's Catalogs book autographed by Darren Nemeth.

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    Conjurer's.. plus book #2 in the series.

    Hardcover Conjurer's Catalogs book and #2 in the Moving Picture Reprint Series "How To Film Moving Pictures in the 1910's", softcover.

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    Pledge $33 or more About $33

    Magic book plus book #1 in the series

    The finished Conjurer's Catalogs book plus the first book in the Moving Picture Reprint Series, "1907 Chicago Projecting Co.'s Entertainer's Supplies Catalog No. 122: Deluxe Reprint".

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    SIGNED Magic book plus #2 in the series

    Autographed and shipped to your door. The Conjurer's Catalogs book and #2 in the Moving Picture Reprint Series, How To Film Moving Pictures in the 1910's.

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    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    All three books in the series, so far.

    You get the Conjurer's Catalogs book, 1907 Chicago Projecting Co.'s Entertainer's Supplies Catalog No. 122: Deluxe Reprint softcover and How To Film Moving Pictures in the 1910's softcover.

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    Pledge $43 or more About $43

    SIGNED Magic book plus #1 in the series

    Conjurer's Catalogs plus #1 in the Moving Picture Reprint Series "1907 Chicago Projecting Co.'s
    Entertainer's Supplies Catalog No. 122; Deluxe Edition."

    Both autographed by Darren Nemeth.

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    Pledge $57 or more About $57

    All three books signed

    SIGNED - You get all three books that are in the Moving Picture Reprint Series autographed by Daren Nemeth; the cConjurer's Catalogs book, "1907 Chicago Projecting Co.'s Entertainer's Supplies Catalog No. 122: Deluxe Reprint" softcover and "How To Film Moving Pictures in the 1910's" softcover.

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Funding period

- (35 days)