Northern California - United States
Posted: May 28, 2003 06:07AM
For many finger flickers, finding new and interesting ways to cut and display playing cards (aka flourishes) can be both fun and challenging. Indeed, in the last few years I've seen more and more young magicians travel along this path of card work, and doing so with a real passion.
The last few conventions I've attended have been full of small groups of young people showing off their acrobatic card skills. Ask any of these neophytes how they got involved in this highly debated segment of magic, and you'll hear names like; Lee Asher, The Buck Twins and Cap Casino, to name but a few. Having said all that, I was more then a bit curious about Cap Casino's dvd project. The following are a few thoughts to consider.
Capaso Casino's 'C4: Capcuts' DVD
Known to most here at The Café as Cap Casino, this young man appears to not only be well educated, but is highly skilled at causing playing cards to turn, twist, pop, and otherwise perform insanely difficult acrobatic movements. The title C4 actually stands for Craziest Card Contortions Ever Created, and you'll get no arguement from me.
This dvd appears to be geared towards teaching you one specific flourish, it is called The Capcut. This is done by taking the viewer through several variations of moves, starting with the simplest, then quickly progressing to the more challenging. Each cut is first demonstrated, then explained in great detail. The disc is divided into the following chapters:
While I am the first to admit that performing difficult flourishes is not a priority on my magical ladder, I am always eager to climb ever higher to master any new skills, whether I choose to use them or not. But I must admit, watching this disc does not make the journey of learning as easy as it could be. Though I want to climb the ladder, the foundation is weak and shakey, causing for me, far too many distractions. Thus, I am more concerned about falling then reaching the top. Let me explain.
First, to his credit, Cap Casino makes a real sincere effort to teach you, step by step, the procedures necessary to master the cuts needed to eventually perform his famous Capcut. Over the shoulder camera shots are used to help in the learning process, and Mr. Casino does his best to explain every little detail. So far, so good.
However, Cap's hardwork is over shadowed by some of the worse production work I have ever seen on a dvd.
While the box which accompanies the disc looks great, the actual footage inside is very poor.
Most of the shots appear to be done in front of a blue screen, apparently to allow special effects to appear behind Mr. Casino as he addresses the audience. This in itself is a major distraction, and is hard to ignore.
But wait, there's more. Right after the introduction, we enter into the first chapter, called Transitions. Not only is the editing terrible, but the soundtrack does not match the video. Cap's mouth is moving, but the words are not right. This happens in several places, along with edits which are choppy and harsh. I've viewed two different copies of the disc, and it appears that all of them have this problem.
To make matters worse, many of the chapters are in the wrong order, leaving you to guess which should be learned first. If these were just seperate magical effects, this might not matter. But in trying to learn something this difficult, it only makes the effort that much more laborous.
It is quite obvious to me that the fault does not rest on Mr. Casino alone, but also on the people who did the post production. These short comings are basic things that should have been addressed in the editing room, simple as that. Though I can not state as fact, I suspect that the video was originally shot, and then later transfered as is to dvd. If so, a very big mistake. With all the various technical problems happening, I quickly lost interest.
There is a lesson to be learned here. While the dvd medium does provide us with great opportunity, we must make an effort to use the technology presented. Mistakes can and do happen in most any film or video, and nobody is perfect. However, the items I have pointed out here could have been easily avoided, with just a little bit of effort.
I'll close by saying that Cap Casino does have talent, and I hope he has learned a valuable lesson here. Hopefully we'll see future offerings that will do justice to his incredible card work. If you are a hardcore flourish person, then you'll probably want this for your collection. If not...
Available from your favorite dealer.
Dealers - contact Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
Toll Free: 1-800-853-7403
Or visit Murphy's website:
Suggested retail is $29.95
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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