Producers: SansMind Productions
Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer
Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk-X6mFGOPI
Retail Price: $29.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 45 Minutes (Approx)
It’s getting to the point where I hate to review SansMinds products. They are almost always tricks that require massive assembly, and only work for a camera failing any real-world application what so ever. What’s worse is that SansMinds seems to know their stuff only works on film because every single release they withhold TV rights to their effects. It’s like they are fishing for a TV consulting gig or something. I take any trailer I see of theirs with a unhealthy truck load of salt. I wish I wasn’t so openly negative about their products overall but I’ve just been burned too many times to not be cautious when something comes along that peeks my interest. So I was sitting in front of my computer looking for fun money motivated tricks I could do for my busking show when I ran across the trailer for Tunnel. I was instantly excited until I saw that it was SansMind produced. That had about the same deflating effect on me as liking a movie trailer only to find out that it is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Yeah there’s a chance it could be awesome but you know that it’s probably going to be a disappointing pile of crap. With a heavy sigh, laden with severe trepidation, I placed my order and waited patiently to see if my fears would be justified. Finally, the product came.
The product itself was just a DVD box. The gimmick inside. The gimmick appeared to be sturdy sure to last a lifetime of performances, and typical to SansMind’s production, easily replaceable with something I’m sure I could find at a convince store if I looked hard and long enough. The envelope is that weird thin, fabric like type material you sometimes see in paper stores. You get two envelopes, so you have something you can switch out for that can be inspected, the other is obviously going to be gimmicked. Of course there’s the DVD as well.
Right off the load screen the cinematography is consistent with the edgy, almost trying too hard to be cool style that SansMind goes for. On the one hand the cinematography is beautiful, on the other I remind myself that I’m watching a tutorial for a magic trick and not a high budget action mystery movie. Tunnel is an effect strait from the mind of a Vietnamese magician named Ninh. It’s a visual transposition of two signed bank notes while they are in the hands of the spectators utilizing a black envelope (the gimmick). Judging from the audience’s reactions on the video, this magic trick should hit like a freight train.
Gimmick construction: You can’t watch a M. Night Shyamalan movie without having a plot twist just like you can’t purchase a SansMind product without having to do some major assembly of your own. Sure enough, Tunnel was no different. When you buy the trick you get the needed gimmick supplies, what you may not have is 3M Super 77 spray on glue. So after a brief interlude as I ran off to Home Depot to pick up some of that stuff then it was back to my craft table to finish construction on my Tunnel gimmick.
With my gimmick finished I was ready to hit the streets and give my new routine a test drive. From the very first performance the reactions were exactly what I was looking for. The audience was shocked, amazed, and as I thought, some of their signed bills made their way into my hat in the form of gratuity. The angles aren’t that bad, and even though I had a non-gimmicked envelope in my inside jacket pocket to switch out for, I found that it was unnecessary because the spectators rarely wanted to see the envelope. All the heat was on the bills. So I guess I have an extra envelope as a backup should something ever happen to the one I’m using. The trick isn’t instantly resettable, but it’s darn close. A quick second fidgeting with the gimmick and I’m good to go, so this maybe a strong consideration for table hopping at a bar or restaurant.
Over all I’m a little shocked that I like a SansMind product for once. Yes, they refuse to release a product that comes prebuilt for you. But with money magic like this you almost know you’re in for a DIY project, since you’re going to want to customize it to fit your needs and geographical location; but also, putting a product out with real bills inside would unnecessarily drive the costs up so there’s that too. As much as I was ready to slam a product for being crappy this one came as a pleasant surprise. It’s practical, it’s performable, and it looks as good on camera as it does in real life. Bravo boys. You got it right! Now keep it up.
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
Fair price, solid magic, decent quality on the props.
Teaching Quality: 9
Very well taught.
Video & Sound Quality: 8
Good sound and Video quality.
Overall Quality: 8
Loved it! Check out Tunnel today!
Do you have a product you want reviewed? Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval? Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.