December 7th, 2010 4:07pm
|I've got mixed emotions on this one folks. Basically you get four effects. I'll talk you through each one and let you decide for yourself. But first, let's address some of the product quality issues.
The audio was weak and echoed really bad. During all of the explanations there was underlying music in the background that was extremely distracting making it even more difficult to follow Mr. Rorrison's already tough-to-follow thick Scottish accent. I have no issues with Mr. Rorrison. In fact, one of my all time favorite effects is an effect of his, Evolution.
However, this DVD left me no where near as happy as some of Rorrison's past work. On the main effect, Coin Through Glass, you never get to see a full from-beginning-to-end presentation. All of the presentations were hard to watch because it was shown on split screen. There were three performances going on at the same time. This makes it harder to see the effect for at least two reasons . . . the footage is smaller because it's sharing the TV real estate with two other clips. Plus it's very difficult to focus on any one particular performance due to the distraction of two others going on at the same time.
Additionally, at the end of the DVD, there was a bunch of text on the screen that was pretty much impossible to read.
So that's the product critique . . . what about the effects?
Effect #1: Coin Through Glass (Rate: 1 out of 5)
Watch the effect once, and I suspect you'll know the method. The idea is sneaky and theoretically would be a clever illusion, however, the illusion just isn't there. The illusion of the coin being in the glass is weak at best, and it's true status is pretty apparent. Rorrison himself, during the explanation, even admitted that the method is "probably disappointing." I wouldn't do this version of coin in glass on a dare. Sorry, but this effect is a 1 out of 5.
Effect #2: Coin through glass table (Rate: 1 out of 5)
Again, the illusion is not that convincing. There is a lot of "fishy" moving back and forth stuff. Watching the effect, you'll likely say something like this . . . "Hmmmm he did some sort of clever switch to get the coin under the table, but it doesn't look like it's actually penetrating the table."
This particular effect requires a bit of clean up at the end. It requires you to be wearing a certain type of shirt, which Rorrison was not wearing, so rather than perform the clean up, he merely explained it. For a $30.00 DVD with only 4 tricks on it, you'd expect better sound quality and at the very least a thorough explanation with props and all. Otherwise, I'd rather read about it in a book instead of watching Rorrison tell me about it.
So, the DVD really is a 2 trick DVD with 2 additional bonus tricks. Let me rant on this for a moment. Bonus material should be just that, bonus, not merely-another-effect. First of all, I don't expect to see "bonus" material on a DVD that doesn't have "regular" material. Give me a DVD with 10 or 15 tricks on it, then I'm more interested in bonus material. Bonus material should be maybe interview clips or tips, or maybe an additional performance of one of the effects for a live audience. Maybe some bloopers and gag reels or maybe a handful of extra ideas you do with a certain principle taught on the DVD.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest . . .
Bonus Effect #1: Card Through Table (3 out of 5)
This is actually a pretty clever idea. There's only one problem . . . there is a HUGE discrepancy. The signed card is placed faced down on the table. Then it is covered by a pile of other face down cards. Then the face down cards are removed and the card is now suddenly face up as you see it fall through the glass table. The illusion of the card falling through the table is pretty convincing, but the fact that the card is face down on the table, then suddenly face up is a huge discrepancy. There is another discrepancy in this effect as well, but frankly I don't feel like explaining it.
However, I still give this effect a 3 out of 5 because the potential is there. The illusion of the card falling through the table is pretty solid. I would work out a bit of a different handling of the card to eliminate the discrepancy. In fact, the discrepancies can easily go away if you don't use a signed card, and frankly I think that the problems caused by signing the card outweigh the benefits of having it signed.
Bonus Effect #2: Coin Through Hand (3/5)
On the DVD, the effect was unclear at best. I had a hard time seeing it, and it felt a wee bit confusing. However, there is one beautiful moment in the routine where the coin seems to materialize under the spectator's hand. It's very visual and very clean. There is at least one major downside this effect: it can only be done one on one with no other bystanders. The vanishes employed were weak and confusing and mostly looked like Rorrison wasn't holding anything in his hands in the first place. He would be holding a coin in his right hand and do a false transfer to the left. However, you couldn't see the coin when he was holding it in the right hand. So you never actually got to see what he was supposedly putting in his other hand.
Also, one other little annoying point . . . during the explanation, Rorrison said that he asks them if they're left or right handed, then "no matter what they say, I use the left hand." Well then what the heck is the point of asking the question? He never explains. One other plus, however, is that if you do find yourself in that one-on-one-nobody-else-is-around scenario, you can just borrow a coin and do it, and yes you weirdo you could both be naked when you do this coin vanish and appearance.
The average rating of the effects is 2 out of 5 stars. Knock off some pointage for poor production audio and we get a solid (?) 1.5 stars. $30 bucks is better spent in many other places. I might consider giving it a "grubble" (little bit of "gem" and a lot of "rubble") due to the sweet illusion of the card through table, but remember it had some "issues" as well . . . sorry folks, but this one is rubble.
Product info for Night and Day
Author: Alan RorrisonAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $30.00
Two stunning glass penetration effects that look like trick photography!
'Dark as Night' is a coin through glass that would have looked at home in 'The Matrix'. A borrowed and signed coin is touched to the bottom of a drinking glass where, in a moment of pure visual clarity, it appears to melt through! The coin appears to be suspended inside the glass itself for a brief moment before it is pushed through to its inevitable conclusion on the inside. The signed coin is now inside the glass having visually made its impossible journey through the bottom. The glass is then immediately handed out - the coin still inside - there is nothing to find!*
'Clear as Day' is a perplexing coin through glass table effect - stunning in its simplicity! You take a coin and spin it on the surface of a glass table. You stop it spinning and then slowly, rub it through the glass! The hand that catches the coin under the glass is seen empty right before the penetration. Unlike most other coin through glass table effects - you won't see any rings on Alan's fingers! This is a real world solution to an incredibly visual effect!
ALSO INCLUDES TWO BONUS EFFECTS!
'Card thru Table'
A card is freely selected and signed before being placed onto the 'soft spot' of a glass table. The pack is dribbled onto the signed card. When the dribbled cards are pushed aside, underneath we find the signed selection having somehow passed through the table top! Easy, amazing, impromptu card magic at its best!
'Coin thru Hand'
A cleverly constructed sequence which allows you to pass a coin through a spectators hand! First you pass a coin through your own hand - it gets stuck but you shake it out. Then you repeat it with a spectators hand. Again it gets stuck - with both your hands unmistakably empty you give the spectators hand a shake and out pops the coin into your awaiting hand!
Who is Alan Rorrison?
Among those with their ear to the ground, Alan is renowned as a creator of solid, commercial off-beat effects and is a magician who actually works his stuff in the real world. Alan used 'Clear as Day' at his residency in a night club for a number of years. The effect was specifically designed for the venue, being furnished with glass tables. After a renovation the glass tables suddenly disappeared and, still receiving requests for the 'coin thru glass' trick, Alan was forced to improvise and create the same effect without the table - 'Dark as Night' was born!
Alan's magic never fails to catch you out first time round (and second and third time round on most occasions!) and it is because he is unconstrained in his methods. 'Dark as Night' and 'Clear as Day' are two perfect examples of why Alan's magic receives high plaudit's from working pro's the world over!
"This is a stunning illusion. When I first saw it, I thought I might be witnessing real magic!" - Cameron Francis
"The illusion is visual eye candy and the fact that it's as direct as an effect gets, makes it a beautiful peice of magic. I like this a lot!" - Steve Haynes
"It is slow, elegant magic at it finest. A coin is gently rubbed on the bottom of the glass. The magician moves his hand away and the frickin coin is INSIDE THE GLASS. No funny moves - BAM!" - Donny Orbit run
Running Time Approximately 55min