Draven Reviews: The Jekyll & Hyde Test by Scott Olgard & Luke Jonas

not approved Title: The Jekyll & Hyde Test

Author: Scott Olgard & Luke Jonas

Publicist: Olnas Magic

Retail Price: $110.00 USD

Effect Difficulty: Medium to Difficult

Number of Pages: 46 pages (Instructional) 130 (Book Test)

Notes:  Both the instruction book and the book test are paper back

Notes: Limited Edition.  Only 500 Copies have been released to the public.

Features:

  • Paper Back Instructional Book
  • Paper Back Book Test Book

The spectator is asked to flip through a book with over 26,000 words in it and settle on a page unknown to the performer.  Without fishing the performer is at first able to recite an entire line from that page.  Then the spectator writes down three or four different page numbers, unseen by the performer.  The performer is able to give small details from one of those pages before reciting the entire first paragraph.  Lastly, turning to another page, the spectator selects a random word that the performer can reveal through any method they like such as drawing duplication.

This is the Jekyll & Hyde book test.  It’s a very nice, very versatile prop that can allow you to truly capture some impossible moments with your audiences, and undoubtedly it’s over priced for what it is.  The book does look and feel like a real book.  Your spectator can flip through it, and read from it without worry of exposing the method.  However the book is a very short book.  The marketing angle they give you is that it has over twenty-six thousand words, but really there’s only a hundred and thirty pages.  Since one of the presented premise for performance is that you’re able to memorize the entire book, at a 130 pages this doesn’t seem really all that much of a challenge.

The advertisement says that there’s no need for complicated memory work, and that I feel is a bold faced lie.  You can’t sell a product saying “No complicated memory work” and then turn right around and put this in the instructions under the Memory Techniques heading: “As authors and performers, we realize that the idea of remembering all the information required within this effect does, at first, seem like a gargantuan task.”  It doesn’t just seem like folks… it is. Also what the hell is up with the cover of the book anyways?  The cover art is strait up RIPPED off of the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter movie poster.  They didn’t even do anything to clean it up or hide the fact that they have the creative originality of a dead sloth that’s been baking in the sun for a week.  They just cropped off the left side of the photo and called it good.  I heard of magicians stealing intellectual property from other magicians but apparently we’re now stealing shit from sources outside of magic too!

And that’s where I put down this book test as a product and promptly went back to using my other tests that I already know and love.  There may be some versatility with this test but I’m not going to use something that steals cover art from another source and then is so bold to not even credit it.  There’s a lot of memory work that goes into this test too and I’m just not going to devote my time to learning it.  If you’re going to run classic horror as a subject for a book test then you’re setting yourself up for failure for someone in the audience to call out the cover art for what it is, and while I can explain it away why should I?  That’s more work than necessary.  Also I feel like only printing 500 copies was just an excuse to jack the price up over a Benjamin.  Overall I think I’ve already found better, and more creatively moral options on the market than wasting my time with this crap.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Readability and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 1

This is the one time I can judge a book by its cover, and because of that this product fails.

Teaching Quality: 3

Complicated memory system.  Not easy.

Readability: 5

It is readable.

Over All Quality: 2

This doesn’t really add anything to the field of book tests which can’t be achieved with other products.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

Posted in Book Review, Product Review, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Draven Reviews: The Search Engine Pen by Jeff Prace

 not approvedTitle: The Search Engine Pen

Artist: Jeff Prace

Producers: Jeff Prace

Retail Price: $9.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Includes:

  • Printed Instruction Sheet
  • Gimmicked Pen
  • Non Gimmicked Pen

This is going to be a quick review.  What is the Search Engine Pen?  It’s a Hot Rod but designed to look more organic like an everyday object people are familiar with.  Hence why it is a pen.  You’re still going to do the same old color force, but instead of little gem stones changing colors the word on the pen “Coogle” changes from the multi colored logo to the spectators “selected” color, via your favorite force.  Once everything is over you just switch the gimmicked version for the non gimmicked one (if you feel you need to) and hand it out for inspection.  The instructions are half a page long, and explain how to do the paddle move if you’ve never seen a Hot Rod before.  All in all it’s a simple trick to learn, and it’s easy to perform.

However fun a Hot Rod is to use Jeff scores zero points for originality with this prop.  The pen is called the “Search Engine Pen” and the colored logo would lead you to believe that it says “Google”, a popular internet search engine.  Hell even the way Jeff holds the pen up in the video would give you the impression that it says “Google” because he’s intentionally covering part of the first letter.  Your pen doesn’t say Google.  It says “Coogle”, which more than likely was Jeff’s attempt to ditch a copy right infringement case on behalf of the internet search engine.  So instead of calling it a “Search Engine Pen”, why don’t we just call it “The Cheap Generic Knockoff Pen” instead?  Maybe this would be a great opportunity to throw in a badly placed “made in China” joke?

So why is having a pen with the fake company Coogle such a bad thing?  Because Jeff is trying to sell you on buying his more organic version of a hot rod that instead of being more organic, just comes off looking like a pathetic knock off.  Honestly if I really wanted to I could just go gaff a white Bic pen using some of my nieces stickers and get a better looking effect.  Or I could just use one of the half dozen Hot Rods that I already own.

Overall at the end of the day you’re not going to miss much if you miss this trick.  Save your money, Jeff’s scraping the bottom of the creativity barrel on this one.  I expect more from you sir.  You’re better than this.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 2

Great idea.  Absolute fail with the search engine company name.

Teaching Quality: 5

The instructions are easy to read, and easy to follow.

Video & Sound Quality: N/A

This doesn’t count because it’s not a video.

Overall Quality: 2

Other products do this better.  How organic the Hot Rod is barely factors in when you consider the name is a knock off.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

Posted in Product Review, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Draven Reviews: Triage by Danny Weiser

 approvedTitle: Triage

Artist: Danny Weiser

Producers: Shin Lim

Retail Price: $34.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  53 minutes (approx)

Notes: Instant Instructional Video Download

Triage by Danny Weiser is a variant on the classic Torn and Restored card plot with a highly visual, self working gimmick that you’ll need to assemble yourself.  The trick comes in a very nice box that magnetically seals and is accompanied by a downloadable instructional video that will run about 53 minutes.  The video is split up between talking about the background of the effect, a couple of different handlings of the trick, and teaching you how to prepare/ build the gimmick.  Performing with it is very easy.  The gimmick is self working, and with a little release of pressure it snaps from being a card torn in for pieces to being restored back together as a single playing card in an instant.  The reset is also instantaneous and you’ll be able to make more gimmicks with the provided secret stuff as time goes on because you’ll eventually wear them out with use.

If you are familiar with any of Danny’s previous releases then you’re not going to be shocked to see how Triage works.  Danny is quickly becoming a one trick pony with his relentless reliance on the same mechanical principle on everything he releases.  And this is where the rub is.  People are going to see the trailer and they’re going to think to themselves “holy $%@#! That’s magical!” but when you actually make the prop you realize that you’re insanely limited in performance.  You can’t show the face of the card because of how the gimmick is made, it’ll expose the working, and you can’t let the card be examined, making it difficult for close up or strolling without having to ditch or switch for a non gaffed version.  Signed TNR is right out because they won’t see their signature during the destruction phase.

Where Triage does excel though is on stage, or for camera work like Youtube or maybe Vine.  The restoration is very quick and very visual and within the confines of a stage routine where objects don’t need to be vetted, and examination is impractical to impossible, I find is ideal.  It’s a quick visual punch which could add to a larger routine but by itself I find lacking in sustenance for anything stand alone.  It also is another delicate prop that you’re going to have to carry around and take care of.  So yeah it does pack small but it’s a single use effect.

At the end of the day I was sure I was going to end up hating this trick but I find myself acknowledging the potential it has.  In the right hands, and in the right routine, this could be something that helps create some really awesome magic, but by itself I just don’t find it practical for close up.  Not since there are other methods out there of doing a TNR plot that I would favor over this.  Great for stage, wonderful for TV/Camera/Internet, and you’re on your own for anything else.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 5

It has its limitations, but it is visual under the right conditions.

Teaching Quality: 8

The tutorial was good.

Video & Sound Quality: 8

The audio and the video were both good for a download.

Overall Quality: 5

This is going to be hit or miss.  If you plan to use it for stage or camera stuff then you’ll have no issues.  If you plan to use it for anything else you’re going to either need to switch, or ditch.  And that may cause some people to ditch the effect all together too.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

Posted in Product Review, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Draven Reviews: The Floating Card Trick by Leon Mjolnir

approved Title: The Floating Card Trick

Artist: Leon Mjolnir

Producers: Leon Mjolnir

Link: http://www.magicshop.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=146494

Retail Price: $14.99 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Length of Video:  54 Minutes (approx)

Notes: Download Only.  Some additional items will be required in order to practice/perform.

The Floating Card isn’t a new trick in magic.  It’s so commercialized that it’s hard to walk into a toy or novelty store these days without seeing a “UFO/ Hover Card” demo playing on some display screen in the store.  Since it’s been so over marketed I think a lot of people tend to forget just how magical seeing a card expertly levitated can be.  Who needs David Copperfield when you can just about do the same thing with a simple deck of cards?

Enter Leon.  Leon Mjolnir has been performing magic for the past two decades… which must mean he’s a time lord or something because the kid looks like he’s in his early twenties as is.  In Leon’s new download he teaches the basic floating card trick but then he elevates it to a new level with some artful displays that are sure to leave your audiences gasping in awe.

One of the nice things about this download is just how low tech it really is.  You don’t need to purchase expensive name brand magicians props to do any of the things he teaches.  Everything he does is with some common items that you can purchase at just about any craft or fabric store.  So you really do get more bang for your buck.

If you’ve never worked with IT before this is a good video to start with.  Leon shows you how to set up your IT, how to wear it, and how to carry it around with you.  This has a very DIY feel to it, which I know a lot of magicians tend to prefer now days.  The moves Leon teaches are very practical and everything comes from a working magicians repertoire.  These are the kind of techniques you can rely on when you’re out strolling, table hopping, hanging out on the street, or trying to amaze your friends at the next party you go to.  There’s nothing in here that isn’t tried, tested, and proven to work.

The moves Leon teaches are pretty darn cool too.  His Off The Top of the Deck Spin, Figure Eight Hoop Spin, and Double Floating Card spin are just visual eye candy.  His Kick Spin is a very useful technique to get into a lot of these moves too.  If you’ve never worked with IT before Leon teaches you how to toss and catch the card as well as how to stick and unstick the “special stuff” too.

As an extra added bonus Leon also teaches the PK Pen routine as well as his hoping beer cap routine which is really useful for bar magicians.  The only downside to the DVD is that the sound seems to be a little quiet.  I had to plug in external speakers on my laptop to hear everything okay, and the video is a little dark and gritty.

So overall what did I think of Leon’s “The Floating Card Trick?” With so many products on the market today teaching IT work it’s refreshing to have access to a download that shows you how to do some really visual stunts without having to go out of pocket for expensive magician brand “stuff”.  If you’re new to IT work then this is a great place to start.  If you’ve been doing IT work for a while then you’re going to love Leon’s flourishing with the floating card.  Leon takes such a stock effect and really makes it something special.  This is so much more than just a standard hover card.  This download is a workshop on some very visual and really fun things to do with floating cards using IT.  The pocket space required is minimal, having taken up no more room than a simple mint tin, and this is something that is great as an attention getter or as a closing routine too.  Since it’s IT, it’s pretty versatile to how you choose to present it.  It can be done surrounded, but lighting maybe a concern.  You’ll want to check your lighting conditions before you perform.  Other than that The Floating Card is a wonderful little download.  I highly recommend it.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 7

Great price, and with it being an instant download there is no waiting in the mail for it to arrive.  You’ll need to purchase a few other things though before you can start practicing.

Teaching Quality: 8

Very easy to learn from.  Good energy, and flow.

Video & Sound Quality: 4

The video and the sound in this download looks like a student film.  Not very high resolution, and the consideration to lighting is nonexistent.  The sound levels are inconsistent throughout the video making it distracting at times from the material being presented.

Overall Quality: 8

Overall The Floating Card manages to hover away with a pretty high mark.  The magic is solid, the moves are highly visual, and the material in here is broad enough to have something to appeal to the novice as well as the veteran.  If you’ve never floated a card before, this is a good video to start with.  If you have then this is a good video to look at to improve your moves.  It’s a win win.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

Posted in Product Review, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Draven Reviews: Blossom by Will Tsai

 approvedTitle: Blossom

Artist: Will Tsai

Producers: Sans Minds

Retail Price: $189.00 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  38 Minutes

Features:

  • Play All
  • Menu
  • SansMinds Products
  • Credits

The Alchemist series has been producing a stunning array of self metal bending effects lately.  The first of their product line I got the chance to sample was the bending/unbending screw driver set.  Now I’ve got my hands on Blossom the self bending fork from the creative minds at SansMinds Magic.

Metal bending has been a staple in the acts of metalists world wide for years.  Something so simple, like spoon bending, has made fake psychics and magicians alike famous as signature pieces of their routines.  Blossom takes the pain and the sleight of hand out of metal bending and makes the magic happen in the spectator’s hands.  When you combine a Blossom fork with a standard metal bending routine as your closer you’ve got a piece of magic that you’ll be able to start religions with.

Blossom comes beautifully packed in a small red case with a DVD and a scroll containing the creators notes on the forks.  Blossom has two varieties you can choose from, a faster reacting metal fork, and a slower reacting metal fork, leaving you the option to choose just how quickly you want the magic to take place.  Also TV rights are NOT included!  Feel free to perform this in your close up shows, parties, bars, and strolling street gigs, but you’re out of luck if you’ve got a TV network pointing cameras at you while you’re doing it.

Blossom comes complete with a DVD that covers set up, and execution of the effect.  It’s wisely advised that you watch the DVD FIRST before you start playing with your fork.  The fork comes packaged in its final “resting” position, and you’ll need to know how to safely set the fork up so it’s performance ready without damaging it.  You won’t want to damage it because they’re pretty costly to replace… considering you’re buying a fork all-be-it a self bending one.

Blossom is a great trick to be done in just about any setting because it plays so well, and is very visual.  It could be done as a standalone piece… but really it benefits more from a well polished metal bending routine being used prior with Blossom being the final closing number.  As a closer, in this capacity, Blossom devastates.  I’ve had a co-worker scream and drop the fork as the tines began to warp and spread apart in her own hands which resulted in her refusing to come near me for the rest of the day.  Blossom doesn’t just bend at the handle, the tines bend and spread out as well similar to what Morgan Strebler teaches on his Liquid Metal DVD.  This makes for a real nice ending image for the spectators minds to focus on.

Set up for the effect is easy but it will take a few minutes to get everything in place.  This isn’t something you’re going to want to do walking around table to table.  This is best used when you’ve planned out how, when, where, and why you’re going to use it.  But make no mistakes, once you do the effects are staggering.  Because it’s completely self-working Blossom can be performed 100% in the round.  Hell, it can be done in the spectators hands themselves, which is how I prefer to do it, and it just makes it that much more powerful.  And as far as forks go, Blossom looks like a normal dinner fork in size, shape, and weight, so you don’t have to worry about people thinking it’s an obvious prop.  I would recommend that you set up the effect close to the time you plan to present it though to avoid any unexpected changes in the fork while it sits in your pocket, case, or where ever else you plan to keep it.  While the metal doesn’t instantly react to warmer climate, or room temperatures, it never hurts to play it safe.  Nothing sucks worse than reaching for your closer and finding that it’s already self worked while in your pocket as you’ve been carrying it around with you all day.

Overall this has been a good product.  The kind of metal that the fork is made of isn’t new.  This is something that’s been around for a long time.  Will Tsai has only improved upon the concept with his entry into the field of self bending metal objects.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8

The price is a bit of a hard one to chew on.  Nearly $200 dollars per fork, but the quality of the product is second to none.  If you’re going to do self bending metal, then you’re going to want this effect.

Teaching Quality: 8

The teaching quality is really good on this DVD.  You don’t want to damage your prop by setting it up wrong, and Will Tsai is great at teaching you what you need to know to set up and perform Blossom with confidence.

Video & Sound Quality: 9

Great video and sound quality.

Overall Quality: 8

If you do metal bending, or you ever wanted to try, this is a great finishing illusion to add to your routine.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

Posted in DVD Review, Product Review, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Draven Reviews: Canic by Nicholas Lawrence

not approved Title: Canic

Artist: Nicholas Lawrence

Producers: SansMind Magic

Retail Price: $29.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  1 hour 15 Minutes

Notes: Some assembly required

Include:

  • Instructional DVD
  • Gimmick

Features:

  • Play All
  • Menu
  • SandsMinds Products
  •  Credits

What is Canic?  It’s an organic piece of situational magic that takes place right before your spectators eyes using an object that everyone is familiar with, and more than likely you can encounter in any urban setting… a soda or energy drink can.  Nicholas Lawrence, one of the creative forces in house at SandsMinds magic has created a mini miracle that, once you’ve set up the gimmick, you can take it with you and perform it anywhere you find an empty soda can or energy drink.   The magic is visual, and the reactions are strong.  This is a nice little pocket piece you’ll want to have with you at all times.

When you’re presenting this illusion you’re going to be doing a torn and restored kind of effect but you’re not using a playing card.  Instead you’re going to be using the pull tab that is found on any can of soda or energy drink.  After you’ve cleanly and clearly pulled the tab free from the can, just by tapping the bottom of the can to the tab it vanishes and reappears attached to the can.  The spectator can even check it out and inspect it!

The illusion isn’t angle proof, but it’s no worse than performing something like Sinful from Wayne Houchin.  So long as you’re spectators are in front of you you’re going to be fine.  You won’t want anyone at your sides, behind, or above you.  You may feel guilty or self conscious when working with the can, but you don’t have any real things to be worried about.  The major drawback this illusion has is that it’s NOT impromptu!  You’re going to need to gimmick whatever can you are using well in advance and either justify carrying an empty can with you, or plant it somewhere before you perform the trick.  The gimmicked prop CAN be inspected by your spectator after the illusion is performed with relative ease without fear of them discovering the secret.  They just can’t do a thorough investigation of the can.  That means that this is certainly a one off trick, and not something that will appeal to everyone.  Sadly, there really isn’t any real practical way to gimmick a can on the fly that wouldn’t be noticeable to make for an impromptu handling.  So is it beautifully visual and organic?  Yes.  But when they say “situational magic” what they are really saying is that this is something that really needs to be set up, planted, or justified and isn’t something you’re going to be doing while strolling table to table.

Overall I’m on the fence with Canic.  If I was doing magic for TV or the internet then it’s a brilliant little one off bit to do, but it’s just too much hassle for me to plant a pre-gimmicked soda can somewhere, perform the trick, and then have to dispose of the props in a way that I can somehow recover later without making it look obvious that the can is special to me.  Honestly for that much effort to do a basic Torn and Restored kind of effect I’ll just stick to my cards thank you.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 7

Great illusion, very visual, very organic, and for the most part can be inspected by the spectator, but suffers greatly from having to be justified, set up, or planted in advance pre-performance.

Teaching Quality: 6

Very well taught.  Perhaps over taught.  There are some points in the DVD where you just feel like “does this REALLY need to be explained in that much detail?”

Video & Sound Quality: 8

Good sound and video.

Overall Quality: 4

For me this isn’t practical.  There is too much set up and monkey business going on to do what would otherwise be a torn and restored plot.  The organic nature of the can is a nice detraction from the standard medium of playing cards, but overall not worth the effort needed to perform it.  Someone out there may like it, but I certainly didn’t.  This wasn’t for me.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

Posted in DVD Review, Product Review, Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Draven Reviews: Thru by Daniel Bryan

 approvedTitle: Thru

Artist: Daniel Bryan 

Producers: Mystique Factory

Retail Price: $34.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  39 Minutes

Features:

  • Play All
  • Introduction
  • Performance
  • Explanation
  • Copy Method
  • Dummy Method
  • Credit Card
  • Paper Money
  • Routines
  • Phone Version
  • Credits

Thru is a visual penetration effect that passes two organic objects that most people carry on them through each other.  At the end of the effect everything is examinable.

Magicians have been figuring out how to put an object through a dollar bill without damaging the bill for some time.  It doesn’t matter if it’s cell phones, bank cards, pencils, or razor blades, the penetration plot is a classic.  I’m sure Thru is going to also become an instant favorite among magicians everywhere with no small help of the magician Troy who has recently performed this effect on TV- a marketing point the DVD is quick to point out to you.

Like a lot of magic these days there’s going to be some build it yourself goings on with the gimmick you’ll need to construct in order to perform this effect.  Regrettably watching the guy on screen fumble his way through explaining what you need to do is about as exciting as watching paint dry but once you get the right idea you’re pretty much set.  There are a couple ways you can make the gimmick, and those are all explained on the DVD.

The illusion is strong and anyone who has performed the classic pen through bill routine will tell you that the reactions are worth it.  I liked having the option to use different objects other than a pen to perform the effect.  Granted I hated having to build the gimmicks, because I suck at craft projects and I’m probably the last person you want to trust with a sharp knife.  For me I found the bank card or business card version more preferable, but the cell phone just looks so good on camera. Yes the items can be examined at the end, it just takes a little clean up and you’re good to go.

The effect is a practical one to perform.  You can perform this in front of real audiences, not just the kind you get on TV sets, and you can do this almost surrounded.  You obviously don’t want anyone watching over your shoulders, but your front 140 degrees should be good.   Thru can be performed as a standalone illusion, which makes it great for walk around and street performers, or with a little work it could be built into a close up or parlor act.  It’s visual enough that it can play from a distance and still looks just as impressive up close.  Prep time for this illusion is minor and it resets quickly between performances.  I’m not sure if this is strong enough to be a closer of an effect but it’s certainly a great opening piece.  Overall I was fairly impressed with this trick.  I’d recommend it.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 7

The magic is good, but you’ve got to build a gimmick.

Teaching Quality: 2

The DVD could have been better.  The host was dry, boring, and painful to watch as he fumbles his way through the effect.  There’s no energy, no emotion, and no entertainment in watching him. This 40 minute DVD could have easily been replaced by a page or two of written instructions.

Video & Sound Quality: 2

The video quality is similar to something you’d expect from a home production.  The lighting isn’t quite right, and the shadow of the camera operator can be seen pacing back and forth behind the guy giving the instructions on how to make and perform the trick.

Overall Quality: 5

I’m going to force this product to pass on grounds that the magic is good, and that shouldn’t be penalized by a poor choice for host, or shoddy production standards.  Penetrations are classic plots in magic and this modernizes the X through Bill routine by giving you options to use a range of organic items other than just the usual Pen thru Bill we’re all accustomed to.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

Posted in DVD Review, Product Review, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment