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Review of The Foundation

Official Review

August 13th, 2016 12:32am
Rating:
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
The Foundation is a SansMinds project that is geared towards beginners in sequentially teaching fundamental card handling moves and techniques. This DVD teaches you how to crawl, take baby steps, walk and then run -- with a deck of cards. The aim of the DVD is to teach you how to be ready to perform “powerful magic” with just a deck of cards and by the time you are one with mastering the lessons taught on this DVD you will look like a pro. This is an exceptional five star product!

If you are or know a novice who wants to learn card magic, this should be your first purchase. It not only teaches you the basics, but it gives you a strong “Foundation” “ thus the name. A significant amount of thought went into the production, organization and lessons to be taught. The production quality is as good as it gets and it is structured in an easy to follow format. It sets the bar very high for future instructional DVDs. The DVD is taught and narrated by Herman and Jansen from SansMinds. It also includes numerous demonstrations of live tricks by Jason. Both the ad copy and the promotional video are accurate.

The Foundation starts off teaching how to hold a deck of card. Yes, that’s right, it assumes you know nothing. The first thing you are taught is the mechanic’s grip. Like every other chapter on the DVD, the close-up camera work is very clear and shows your hands and the deck of cards from multiple points of view and angles. It shows and highlights where each finger should be and pauses and highlights, with graphics, certain points of instruction i.e. where a certain finger contacts the deck or moves. The next grip taught is the biddle grip. The viewer is taught how to transfer from mechanic’s to biddle grip. This may seem a bit basic, which it is, and it does so to prepare the absolute beginner for transferring a deck with a pinky break to a thumb break.

The DVD is an hour and nine minutes and contains numerous chapters broken down in a natural progression of basic to more advanced beginner to intermediate. As mentioned above, it starts with grips, then teaches the following lessons: Cuts, Shuffles (i.e. overhand shuffle, Hindu shuffle, riffle shuffle), Spreads and then various magic techniques including breaks. Then the double lift is taught, followed by various palming techniques (top palm, bottom palm and the one-handed top palm). Once you have mastered all the previously mentioned moves and techniques, you are taught color changes, card controls and then forces, including the Hindu force and the Classic Force. Moving on to a lesson with duplicate cards, the viewer is taught a great and very powerful card transposition trick. The DVD ends with instruction on a solid ambitious card routine. Depending on your skill level, it could take you days, weeks, months or longer to learn and master the material taught on the Foundation.

The chapter on the double lift is an excellent example on how to teach a technique. It is explained with a performer’s point of view showing a tight shot on the cards and the performer’s hands. It is then shown from the spectator’s point of view. The method is shown slowly and in actual speed. The impact of a double life is shown during a live performance of a trick using that technique as well. Then there is instruction and discussion about some of the issues related to performing with the double lift.

As mentioned above, the final chapters teach full routines. The routines taught are excellent. They are demonstrated with live performances, studio demonstrations, multiple angles, freeze frames, subtitles and after the fact dubbed audio commentary explaining what is happening, as it is happening. SansMinds breaks down every step of the tricks that enhances the learning process. They show multiple presentations of the same trick to live audiences.

This is well worth its very reasonable price tag.

Highest rating!

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

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