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Topic: Darwin's Inexpensive Illusions Video
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Aug 25, 2002 07:36PM)
My brother has a Magic Smith catalog with a video called Darwin's Inexpensive Illusions. It claims that it teaches you to do a full illusion show and that most of the props can be built for around $20 and carried around in the back of your car. I'm not big on illusions, but it would be nice to close a show with something "major" looking. Does anyone have this video? Is it really as good as it sounds? It only costs $20, but I thought I'd ask before I went ahead and bought it.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Aug 25, 2002 10:56PM)
Call and talk to Chris at Magic Smith. He's a super guy and will give you the straight talk about the video if he's viewed it. I've not gone wrong with magicsmith. Christian is also super and may be able to help you. (Chris is sometimes not in due to various projects he's working on.)

Good Luck.
Message: Posted by: tglund (Aug 27, 2002 05:17PM)

If you do talk to the folks at MagicSmith, it would be appreciated if you would post what you learn. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Aug 27, 2002 07:30PM)
Yes, I have this video. It is nothing more than a table, cardboard boxes and the use of black art.

I placed it par with the spring animal video which are both low on my priority list to view again. The video should be in the $10.00 class of videos, not $20.00
Message: Posted by: Pablo Tejero (Aug 28, 2002 03:33AM)
Just a question:

Is in the video the same you could find in the book?

All the best magic

Pablo Tejero
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Oct 9, 2002 07:26AM)
Well, I bought the book, and it has a lot of good ideas. You could build on these forty illusion ideas and make some really great stuff if you thought it out and bought a few things like maybe duct tape, cardboard, tables, or chairs . . . maybe some black cloth to make a backdrop,maybe some lighting . . .

The principles in the book are good, but the whole thing looks a lot like a Kurt Vonnegut book (especially Breakfast of Champions) --- just really zany and unorganized. It's a lot of cartoon-like illustrations and hand-written instructions (all in capital letters). The book was supposedly researched over twenty years, but it looks like it could have been thrown together in twenty minutes!
There must be a lot of validity to the concepts in there though, because Lance Burton and Siegfried and Roy both endorsed it bigtime. Lance Burton wrote a foreword saying not to discount the illusions because of their simplicity. I think it was worth it. I just wish there was more to the book. I bet it's only about 25 pages long!

Message: Posted by: RandomEffects (Oct 23, 2002 12:58PM)
Having seen both the book and the videos several years ago they are, as I recall, on the poor production side. However they do give you alot of material to work with for creating better things. I would use it as a primer for budding and begining illusion designers rather than actually using anything in there. Either that or for your 7 year old who want to fool his friends at his party.
Message: Posted by: cheaptrick (Oct 27, 2002 07:17PM)
Actually, both Mark Wilson's "Cyclopedia" and "Complete Course in Magic" gives a lot of inexpensive (mostly tape together from cardboard boxes)neat illusion ideas (including a levitation i.e. "floating lady" setup).

As these books are relatively inexpensive,
and contain a wealth of beginner stuff that is worth the price of the book, itself.

I paid $9.95 for the Cyclopedia. The "Course" costs about $25 and has everything the "Cyclopedia" has, plus a FEW other things.

The "Course" has a nifty Square Circle, but in the "Cyclopedia" this was left out.