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Topic: Pinnacle The DVD
Message: Posted by: joeKing (Aug 15, 2003 03:15PM)
I read up on this dvd and I'm considering to buy Pinnacle...I have never preformed any tricks with rubber bands (or rings for that matter) and the reviews on this are always good so I'm wondering if I should purchase this with the lack of experience I have...any reviews/comments will help me out THANKS :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Evan Williams (Aug 15, 2003 03:19PM)
Well, I am very similar to you. Except for the fact that I bought the DVD, :lol: .

I have done no other band routines before this one, and I learned it perfectly in a few hours. I cannot recommend this DVD enough, also since Russ is such an all around nice guy.

The routine is very powerful, and the DVD is well taught.

Hope this helps,

Message: Posted by: therntier (Aug 15, 2003 03:41PM)
I love this trick. The dvd is well done and can the effect can be mastered in an evening. It's not selfworking, but it is by no means difficult. I would have loved to see Russ' presentation of this trick to a group of people. I just wonder if he actually performs it as fast as he does in the performance section of the dvd.

Message: Posted by: thehawk (Aug 15, 2003 04:13PM)
Make sure you get Dan Harlan's rubberband magic vol 1.
Message: Posted by: SVG84R (Aug 16, 2003 07:09AM)
yeah just got pinnacle too.Totally rocks!!! A must get even if you are not into rubber bands magic.
Message: Posted by: Evan Williams (Aug 16, 2003 08:34AM)
I agree, mostly because I am not huge with rubberbands but LOVE the effect.
Message: Posted by: joeKing (Aug 16, 2003 08:55AM)
Sounds great....I ordered it last night..I'll post a review :goof:
Message: Posted by: Evan Williams (Aug 16, 2003 09:08AM)
Good choice Joeking!!!

You won't be disapointed.
Message: Posted by: EricJames (Aug 16, 2003 03:29PM)
I love it! Pinnacle is one of my favorite DVD's at the moment.
-Eric James
Message: Posted by: aby9plp (Aug 21, 2003 06:02PM)
Whoa! Seems like this DVD ROCKS! I havent seen not even 1 single negative review yet!
I gotta get it!
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Aug 22, 2003 05:45PM)
This DVD is very well produced. That was the first thing which struck me. It is [b]very[/b] well produced.

As for the magic... It must be lies! Pinnacle is a [b]VERY[/b] visual routine. And I don't care for rubber band magic. This is magic which only happens to use a rubber band. And very cleverly at that.

This is the "next generation" of "ring on" magic. I predict guys will be leaving their strings at home and learning this in droves. A friend, Matthew Holtsman, asked me the other day if I had seen anything really inspiring recently. Nothing came to mind that I could tip. That has changed.

I'll just say it once more, though that won't be enough. Pinnacle is very visual magic with a borrowed finger ring.

:wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow:


Message: Posted by: Niedzwiecki (Aug 29, 2003 07:29PM)
Thanks everyone for the remarks you have given on this effect.

And Tom-
I'm going to let Thom Bell know of your post. He did an absolutely incredible job with this DVD. I'm very happy that I paid the extra $ for Thom, and I'm glad I was able to take advantage of his 20+ years in the video business. Thanks for noticing.

Russ Niedzwiecki
Message: Posted by: Fon (Aug 30, 2003 04:31AM)
This rocks!

Buy it,

Message: Posted by: PyroDevil (Sep 1, 2003 12:49AM)
If you don't already have Harry Lorayne Apocolypse books, then Pinnacle is a good individual purchase.
I beleive a trick very very similar to this is in Volume 2 of Apocolypse.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Sep 1, 2003 02:36AM)
There are a number of routines out there that are similar in effect. Pinnacle is, however, a simply beautiful, elegant routine in which a borrowed ring visually, cleanly and MAGICALLY penetrates onto and off of a completely ungimmicked rubber band. No fidgeting, no difficult contortions. The DVD is beautifully done and Russ does a wonderful job of teaching the routine clearly, without confusion.

Worth several times the asking price IMO. Get it!
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Sep 1, 2003 11:11AM)
It is a magic day for me here in sweden: a parcel with the Pinnacle DVD dropped in to the mailbox.
Wow this is great. I will try this out this night...

THANKS Russ for the extra "thing" you sent me.
Message: Posted by: HiveMind (Sep 2, 2003 05:42AM)
I bought a DVD player just so I could get this! (my
VCR is 10 years old and breaking down anyway)

I have had experience with band magic so I found
Pinnacle pretty easy to understand, but I haven't had
TONS of experience and I don't think it would have been
a bad first time band effect. (Not like when I tried to learn Ring Leader from Try The Impossible... talk about tedious... but well worth it also)
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Sep 2, 2003 01:10PM)
I have reviewed Pinnacle at mylovelyassistant.com. I like it, though the instructions on the 2nd phase are anything but clear. He repeatedly shows us different angles but not once shows us the angle which would reveal the movement required to take place. It can be figured out, but better blocking would have solved this problem instantly.

Great trick though.
Message: Posted by: Robert P. (Sep 3, 2003 08:09PM)
"off of a completely ungimmicked rubber band"

I knew the ring could be borrowed but I think that just sealed the deal. I watched the demo over at penguin magic and it looked beautiful. The last part of the demo was what made me want it really bad. The handling just looked so clean!! I just bought Card College 4 and the Encyclopedia of Card Flourishes so the budget is a little tight for a bit but this is definitely on my to get list.
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Sep 4, 2003 10:09AM)
Robert, the last phase is NOT impromptu. You should know that. However, there is an impropmtu handling of the "miracle finish" out there, and may be released shortly.

Message: Posted by: Robert P. (Sep 4, 2003 12:24PM)
Brad, thanks for the information. I will also be checking out your review. Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: Niedzwiecki (Sep 4, 2003 05:44PM)
Scott, thanks again for the thumbs-up!

And Kjellstrom- I am completely shocked at how quick that package got to you. From Michigan, USA to Sweden in three days. And that was over the weekend, too! That's really great!

truthteller- sorry you couldn't get the second phase yet. The DVD, though, does show the handling from more than one angle, and repeated several times so it can be understood.

Much of the mail I have received mentioning phase 2 has confirmed some additional work required as opposed to the other phases. Once it is worked through a few times, though, it's like riding a bike. Others have picked up on it immediately, too!

Robert, the 4 phase routine (the one you will be using regularly) is impromptu, as mentioned here. The "Miracle Finish" requires a set-up. Practically, the 4 phases is the meat of the routine, and the MF is just one of many ideas to add to an already complete routine.

Pinnacle is really an effect you will do even years from now. And to wrap a rubber band around your wrist and be ready to go? Really usable, and extremely visual.

Message: Posted by: Robert P. (Sep 5, 2003 01:03PM)

Thanks for the additional info. I know I should of waited but I couldn't help it. I just purchased Pinnacle along with Lennart Green's Snap Deal booklet from Penguin Magic. Can't wait to learn it. Not a big fan of rubberband magic but that effect is just too strong.

Oh and congratulations on being my first video purchased as a DVD. All of my others are on VHS. Now if I ever got around to replacing or transfering those VHS tapes to DVDs...
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Sep 7, 2003 10:15PM)

I successfully did get phase 2, but only after repeated viewings. And yes, you do show it from several angles - and repeatedly, but sadly none of the angles are the one which needed to be shown. As it stands, each time the hand obscures the actual switch.

Having been production assistant on the ETM Money series, I understand how difficult teaching on video really is. It is not the cakewalk many people believe it to be. Nevertheless my criticism still stands, that one phase suffered from poor angle selection. The move itself, is pretty simple, once you can figure out what needs to be done.

Congratulations on a great trick. For the record, Marcus Eddy has figured out how to perform the Miracle Finish in a truly and completely impromptu manner. It must be seen to be believed.

Good luck with your product, Russ.
Message: Posted by: illusioneer (Nov 10, 2003 07:29PM)
Could the same rubber bands be used for other band effects?
Message: Posted by: therntier (Nov 10, 2003 07:59PM)
On 2003-11-10 20:29, illusioneer wrote:
Could the same rubber bands be used for other band effects?

Message: Posted by: Mistro (Nov 10, 2003 11:39PM)
Pinnacle is great! I never really use to do rubber band tricks until I bought Pinnacle.
Message: Posted by: Eric Grossman (Nov 11, 2003 12:10AM)
I met Russ at the Midwest Magic Jubilee. Firstly, let me say that he is a very friendly guy. I enjoyed watching him FRY people with this one.

I think it is one of the most beautiful, visual pieces of close-up magic there is. Quite a statement, don't you think. This was by far the biggest seller at the convention. It is truly a masterpiece, and sure to be an absolute classic.

It is very easy to learn, but will take a great deal of practice to perfect to the level needed for performance. I've been working on it since August, and I'm only becoming confident with it now. If not practiced dilligently, this will look like a series of moves, and not magic.

I can't say enough that this is a great purchase, and well worth the time required for a perfect piece of magic.

Russ, thanks for the personal coaching at the jubilee. You were a great help to me. See you on the road, somewhere.

Eric Grossman
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Nov 11, 2003 02:18AM)
What can I say: I have performed Pinnacle many times and it is very fun to do. The spectators loves it. This is probably one of the cleanest and most visual close up effects yo can do impromptu. I did Pinnacle for an old magic friend Lars Rapp, Sweden at a swedish convention (Magic Weekend) recently and after the effect he said: - "ohh this was great, I think I must add this one to my arsenal".
And, this man is very hard to please when it comes to magic ... :)

Mats G. Kjellstrom
Message: Posted by: JasonMythos (Nov 11, 2003 10:48PM)
I re-watched the Pinnacle last night. Russ made this routine look like real magic.
Highly recommend!
Message: Posted by: joeKing (Nov 12, 2003 04:12PM)
Great trick and all...but what patter or presentation do you guys use? I find it really lacks one :hmm:
Message: Posted by: Niedzwiecki (Nov 15, 2003 05:27PM)
Eric and Mats,

Thank you again for your compliments. I know you both have been having fun with Pinnacle, as I have. I really appreciate the glowing comments.

As far as a routined patter, I've not really used much more than describing the action. It works well for me.

I have heard, several people describe some routined patter that were beautiful- one of which I recall described the ties between man and wife. If you are interested, PM me, and I will give you the gentleman's e-mail address.

BTW, the third printing of Pinnacle has been completed. It has surpassed what I thought could be done with a DVD of its type, and has confirmed to me that a single routined effect is becoming more of a popular trend in the magic market. Thanks to all of you who have validated this.

Russ Niedzwiecki
Message: Posted by: illusioneer (Nov 16, 2003 01:35AM)
What do you mean by the Third printing of the Pinnacle DVD. Will another be coming out?
Message: Posted by: Niedzwiecki (Nov 16, 2003 07:38AM)
If you want to mass produce a DVD, they have to be duplicated by a company that can create them professionally in large quantities. The mass order of Pinnacle originally printed (DVD'S) has sold out. A second printing had to be ordered to keep up with the demand. This second printing has sold out as well.

The third mass printing is now available. It is the same DVD. The third printing mentioned was to just give readers the knowledge of Pinnacle's success to date.

Russ Niedzwiecki
Message: Posted by: mithrius (Nov 16, 2003 10:48AM)
I've had this for a few weeks now, and I still love practicing it in my car at stop lights. I have to agree with the earlier comments about Phase 2 as well...that phase took me at least five times longer to learn than the other 3 phases. Nonetheless, it was worth working through--visual and impromptu.

Message: Posted by: indridcold (Nov 16, 2003 04:20PM)
I actually found all the phases really simple and easy to pick up. He if there was any it was the last phase that I didn't understand, but that was because I believed it was magic, and didn't really know how it until I looked at the fingering. I think the problem alot of people have is because it is not mirrored or "performers veiw' like alot of DVDs are, so you kind of have to turn your body around to get a sense of left and right. But, it is a great trick. Thanks RUSS!
Message: Posted by: digitaltrip (Nov 18, 2003 08:48AM)
I also echo the praise comments for the Pinnacle DVD!
It's extremely well done. The menus are intuitive, the video quality is excellent, and the teaching is thorough and easy to learn from! Great job, Russ!

Message: Posted by: NeptuneTQ (Nov 21, 2003 12:51AM)
This was one of the first impromptu effects I purchased, and I still love it! Perfect for those times inthe office when they just need to see something
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Nov 23, 2003 12:43AM)
I'm gladed I purchased Pinnacle at the close-up convention this year. It is now one of my favorite close-up illusions. I never knew it was being talked about in this thread 'til now. Previously I started another thread about it here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=49472&forum=4&19

Someone else started it in another thread here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=50522&forum=4&4
Message: Posted by: Barrett_James (Jul 17, 2005 03:53PM)
If you already keep rubberbands around your wrist PINNACLE is totally impromptu (umm, ok with out the 'miracle finish' but the first four phases just kill when you have borrowed someones ring). Killer effect and although I did struggle a bit with Phase II, the magi at my local shop (WILLIAM's MAGIC in Tucson AZ) helped me over the hump. PINNACLE gets two TTs way up!!
Message: Posted by: Niedzwiecki (Jul 17, 2005 08:36PM)
To add to a previous post above, Pinnacle is now in its fifth printing. It has had tremendous staying power in the magic market. Those that haven't had the chance can check it out at:



Russ Niedzwiecki
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Jul 18, 2005 01:59PM)
Hi Russ.

Im still performing Pinnacle, its a true classic among the jungle of rubber band magic effects. Nowadays I finish Pinnacle with Found Link, its also an excellent visual link.
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Jul 18, 2005 02:49PM)
I love pinnacle, It was one of the first effects that I purchased when I got heavy into slieghts. I was able to perform it within a couple of hours. This truely is a great effect. Thanks for this great Effect Russ!
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jul 18, 2005 11:05PM)
Be prepared however it CAN get VERY confusing
(But I still love it)
Message: Posted by: kidabra (Jul 19, 2005 12:10AM)
I think visual effects like this requires no patter.
A patter could actually spoil the effect.
Like what Russ says, describing the actions is good enough.
Message: Posted by: sayer (Aug 22, 2005 03:40PM)
I would recommend Dan Harlanīs Rubber band magic Vol. 1-3 . I figured out "Pinnacle". So, try it too.
Message: Posted by: manal (Aug 30, 2005 12:29PM)
I recently purchased this and once I have it down I'm sure I will enjoy performing it. I can't wait to see the reactions. One thing I'd like to mention is to follow the advice on the very well produced DVD to use a largish ring. I currently only have a ring on the small side ( so far the ONLY drawback to being divorced :) )that came with the Ring Leader DVD and it makes the moves more difficult. In the meantime I have been keeping my eyes open for a cheap larger ring to practice with . This is an excellent DVD and effect. I can see why it is in it's 5th printing.
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Aug 30, 2005 01:25PM)
It doesn't hurt to practice this with a smaller ring if you plan on borrowing one to do this effect. I have large fingers myself so its hard for me to use normal sized rings. I normally just use my own but let people inspect it. The ring I currently use is a siz 14 and a half and its hard enough to use.
Message: Posted by: manal (Aug 30, 2005 11:44PM)
Thanks Corey, I'll keep working on it. I'm looking forward to the reactions I'm sure this will produce.Everyone at work was floored by CMH. I can't wait till they see this :)
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Aug 31, 2005 08:43AM)
The first time that I used this in a performance type setting was in a room full of nurses. I have never heard people scream so much. all night they wanted me to perform it again. You will have lots of luck with this.
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Aug 31, 2005 08:50AM)
I really like Pinnacle, and purchased the DVD a couple years ago, shortly after it was released. I practiced it a lot and got it down good. I have to admit though, I was somewhat disappointed with the reactions it got on laymen. I tried it on a handful of people, and was never able to get a real good reaction. They weren't bad reactions, just not to the level of the reports that I read over and over. I would read a lot of glowing reviews about the routine and read about the great reactions it got - but I just wasn't getting those. After these less-than-stellar reactions, I kind of stopped doing the effect for a while and I moved on to other material.

Then one day at a little jam sessions with some magic buddies, I decided to bust out the Pinnacle routine and see if I can figure out what I might be doing wrong, and why my reactions weren't as big as I'd hoped. Well, all my magic buddies loved the routine just the way I was doing it and they seemed to give better reactions than the laymen! It was weird, but it rekindled my interest in the routine.

So lately, I have been practicing it again, and I will make another attempt at making it a permanent part of my arsenal. I will go back to the DVD and study it again, and try to see if there is something I can do to improve the look of my performance.

I also struggled with coming up with a nice presentation for the effect, but now I agree with what Russ said. I don't think it needs a story or much patter with it.
Message: Posted by: Ilan (Sep 12, 2005 04:56AM)
I really love this effect.
Thank Russ
Message: Posted by: Ilan (Sep 12, 2005 04:57AM)
I really love this effect.
Thakns Russ

Message: Posted by: Al Straker (Sep 15, 2005 11:05PM)
The strength of the pinnacle link is that it can be routined into a linking ring and band sequence and used to 'cancel' certainother links. those who have been doing linking band stuff a while will work out what I mean. Think about your routine and sequencing to force the spectator into certain assumptions and then you have a very strong link! The pinnacle idea is genius and definitely worthy of study for a band worker. The only one weakness is making the inital pinnacle link seem to have a clearly defined moment of magic. The way I get around this is to do a different link first that allows for this 'clarity of the moment' and then get into the pinnacle sequence. The final separation of the ring is a very clear moment and allows for a strong finish. Congratulations Russ on a truly original and fun piece of magic!

Message: Posted by: joeKing (Sep 16, 2005 08:11PM)
Wow this topic is old...thought I would post a review I put up on another site awhile ago.

Pinnacle by Russ Niedzwiecki (DVD)

Price: $16.95
Learning Curve: 3 hours or so...
Difficulty: Beginner

IN A FLASH: Impromptu gem in rubber band magic. 9/10

- Very high impact routine.
- Completely impromptu (no gimmicks), with the exception of Miracle Finish...which really isn't needed.
- Fun to perform.
- Great navigation on DVD
- Russ is a great teacher.
- Comes with 2 high-quality rubber bands.
- $16.95 makes it the cheapest DVD in the shop!!

- Phase 2 of the routine is pretty hard to learn (good thing for rewind).
- The demo on Penguin Magic shows the DVD menu with the selection of learning extra effects..which is misleading because it really only shows names of products where you can learn more rubber band magic.
-The Miracle Finish (last part of demo) is not practical to do in a walkaround situation.
-Size of ring can effect overall preformance (easier when it's larger, consider this a bonus of the review ; - ) ).

Effect- Borrowed ring and a borrowed rubber band are used...The magician magically makes the ring penetrate the first strand of the rubber band. Then the rind VISUALLY melts through the second strand!! The ring is then penetrated back to the first strand...and finally the spectator can pull of the ring themselves (my little kicker for the ending). NOTE: this is the routine taught without the miracle finish! 9.5/10

Wow Factor- The reactions can range anywhere from woop-di-doo to complete amazement. I find that adults tend to like this trick more than teenagers...So in all it really isn't a reputation maker, but a great follow up for Crazy Man's Handcuffs!

Method- Because this is on DVD it is fairly easy to learn...Most will argue, but a majority would agree that Phase 2 is by far the most confusing. You will not get it your first time around, but with the help of rewind and the Penguin Boards you'll be sure to get it! Other than that the trick is overall ingeniously put together, method wise.

Value- $16.95 for this DVD is a joke! First of all the production quality is very good, and the material taught is worth a lot more. Not a lot to say here.

Final Score- 9/10 (not an average)
Definetely worth my dollar. Who knows maybe you will really like the concept of 'Miracle Finish' (shown at the end of the Penguin Demo)...which really is the only major flaw...If you're consider to buy...THEN BUY IT NOW!
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Sep 17, 2005 09:52AM)
I really like this gem of an effect. I usually perform Pinnacle and Jay Sankey's Stirring Silver using the same ring. The spec. see the impossiblity with his or her own ring twice using two regular objects.
Message: Posted by: boboshempy (Sep 18, 2005 05:29PM)
I also still do this effect. I love rubber band magic!
Russ, you rock!
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Sep 18, 2005 06:01PM)
I do this at least once a day but I agree with the above I don't get the OOHHS and AAHHSS that I expected.