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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » DVD Review: 'The Intricate Web of Distraction' by Whit Haydn (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Richard Shippy
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Scottsdale, Arizona
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In order to get the most out of this review I thought it would be best to start with some background on my experience with the color changing knives. My magical repertoire mainly consists of cards and coins where I have spent the majority of time practicing on slights. I mainly perform stand up in a strolling situation and was looking for a non-card/coin routine which could be performed without a table, would pack small, and of course play big. This lead me to consider learning a color changing knives routine since the props are familiar while practical, easy to carry in the pocket, and pack a visual punch. About two months ago I was completely unfamiliar with color changing knives and the routines associated with them.

I did some research by asking many of you on the Café for help in selecting the best set of knives as well as suggestions on instructional videos different color changing knife routines. This informational search led me to purchase several different DVDs containing good color changing knife routines. In particular, I have studied the color changing knife routines of Bill Malone from his “On The Loose” series, Johnny Thompson from his “Commercial Classics of Magic” series, Michael Skinner from his “Master Teach-In” series, and Whit Haydn from “The Intricate Web of Distraction” which is the subject of this review.

I would like to start this review of Whit’s DVD by stating that of the color changing knife routines listed above I strongly feel that Whit Haydn’s routine is the best for many reasons. 1.) The routine gets the spectators involved. Whit’s performance of “The Intricate Web of Distraction” involves two spectators, on either side, which properly frames this effect for the remaining spectators. I prefer to get my spectators involved which make the magic more entertaining. 2.) Whit’s routine is cleverly constructed to take the heat off the knives which lessens potential requests from spectators wishing to re-examine the props. Since the knives seemingly transpose rather than purely change color it is perceived that less ‘tricky’ is involved with respect to the actual knives. There is more emphasis on the performer’s perceived talent with slight of hand (distraction). The routine is constructed as a logical series of color transpositions and vanishes which place the spectators off balance while the “Web of Distraction” is weaved. 3.) Whit provides an alternative ending which allows the spectators to examine the props after the performance. In my opinion, ending clean is a HUGE advantage for any color changing knife routine! This is all made possible since Whit’s routine uses three knives in which two are normal and one is gimmicked. Even thought the way the routine is constructed really does take the heat of spectators wishing to inspect the knives I still like having an option for those “hands on” spectators. 4.) “The Intricate Web of Distraction” is an engaging story which provides logic for what is happening. This makes the routine memorable! The routine is very well polished from beginning to end which is probably the result of hundreds of performances over the last 20 years of Whit’s career with this effect.

Below are some finer details on the material contained on this wonderful DVD.

On this DVD Whit describes the ‘Paddle Move’ with important subtleties on making the move more deceptive. In addition to the original Paddle Move, Whit teaches a modified version called the Spread Paddle which is an extremely convincing display. In addition, Whit teaches a VERY deceptive move called “The Friedman Flip” which is my favorite knife handling technique on this DVD. The strengths of this move are the casual handling and ability to show one color on the gimmicked knife without turning the hand. This move alone is worth the price of the DVD in my opinion. Whit describes the ‘Spin Change’ which is a very visual color change and also teaches two different knife vanishes which are both used in the routine. I really like the knife vanishes which add to the magic. Overall, I was very impressed with Whit’s explanations since he provides a great amount of detail on the moves and most importantly he discusses the tempo and thought processes behind them which are extremely valuable. Whit’s explanations were clear and contained a great deal of professional tips and subtleties. In addition, the DVD is very easy to navigate though and the material is well organized. The video was shot and edited by Bob Kohler who has an excellent reputation for producing great quality material.

With respect to the DVD the only thing I did not like is the low level of background music that plays throughout the routine and explanations. This is the only negative and is really not that big of a deal but is a bit distracting (no pun intended).

I’d like to point out a great bonus feature on this DVD which is the ability to put the disk into any computer, having a CD port, which allows you to view and print a complete e-book version of the routine. I printed the e-book and found it a valuable resource for perfecting the routine. This is something I wish all DVDs would contain.

Over the last two weeks I have performed Whit’s “Intricate Web of Distraction” routine, exactly as presented on this DVD, and have received an excellent response from my spectators. They love it!!! I was VERY pleased by the reactions and only had one instance where a spectator wanted to inspect the knives. This was not a problem since I used Whit’s ending which allowed me to end clean. The color changing knives are a perfect example of an effect which packs small and plays big!

I highly recommend Whit’s DVD “The Intricate Web of Distraction” to any magician who is currently using or considering adding the color changing knives to their repertoire. In my opinion, this is the BEST video resource currently on the market for learning the color changing knives. The routine is FANTASTIC!!!

If you are interested in purchasing this wonderful DVD check out the website below.

http://www.chefanton.com/scoundrelsstore......ucts.htm

I hope this review was helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Rich

P.S.
I also highly recommend Whit Haydn’s Color-Changing Knife Set which is manufactured by Joe Mogar. These knives are beautiful and greatly exceeded my expectations when they came in the mail. They are standard penknives that have been altered so they don’t look like something gimmicky you would pick up in a general walk-in magic shop. The set contains three knives in which one is completely black handled with the stag-horn textured type finish, one is completely white pearl-handled with smooth finish, and the gimmicked knife, of course, has one black textured side and one smooth white side. The differing texture between the black and white knives is a HUGE advantage with respect to handling since you can easily discern which knife and side is which in your pocket. Also, the differing texture and adds to the deceptiveness and illusion of the color change. This three knife set is AWESOME and worth every penny! This knife set can be purchased from the link above or through Joe Mogar’s website.
"They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds." ~ Winston Churchill
Darrin Cook
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Thanks for the review. I wish more people would do as you do, and review a product in detail rather than indulge in endless speculation, complaints, rumor-mongering, etc.
Richard Shippy
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Scottsdale, Arizona
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Thank you Darrin for you kind words! Smile

This is the first review I have ever posted on the Café. I was extremely happy with Whit's routine and my color changing knives purchase that I felt an overwhelminig sense of obligation to members of the Café to share this information. The posts on the Magic Café have been very helpful in guiding me to make intelligent magic purchases so I hope this review helps others as well.

Thanks again,
Rich
"They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds." ~ Winston Churchill
Whit Haydn
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Thanks, Richard, for the great review. I am so happy that you were pleased with our products. We are still a pretty small company and such reviews are a big help to us.

All the best,

Whit
Richard Shippy
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Scottsdale, Arizona
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Thank you Whit!!!

I carry your knives with me all the time. Very practical and I actually used one of the knifes the other day to help open a package I received in the mail. In my pocket I have been carrying businiess cards, ThumbTip for mismade bill switch, various 50 cent sized coins (copper silver etc.), and the color changing knives. They are soooo easy to carry and I love the routine.

In fact, I was soo pleased with your DVD that I also purchased your 'Chicago Suprise' manuscript, and 'Comedy Four Ring Routine' DVD. Both routines are top notch!!! From what I have seen from your company so far I am totally impressed.

In my opinion I would much rather purchase a DVD with one well polished professional caliber routine than a DVD containing a dozen routines that are at most average. There seems to be a lot of material on the market that focuses on quantity over quality. However, from what I have seen with your products they are extremely HIGH QUALITY!

I hope you keep releasing wonderful magic to the community!

Thanks again,
Rich
"They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds." ~ Winston Churchill
fccfp
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NJ
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I really like the knives and carry a set of Mogar's with me at all times. I also have a set of York knives, as well as others.

Whit's dvd really breaks down the moves for you. The "flip-over" of the knife in one had around the fingers was particularly nice since this is more like what someone might do to show both sides of a knife. Sorry I can't explain it better here. I can't recall the name of the move, I believe Whit credits someone else with the move.

Even if you don't use Whit's routine, the grounding in the basics is well worth the investment. I think that this is a terrific dvd all the way around and would recommend it to anyone looking to learn the knives.
A.K.A. Jay The Magician
www.jaythemagician.com
Peo Olsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Yep, yep, I'll agree with everybody else above.
I purchased the manuscript, the video, and the knives mentioned a while back.
I love the knives, they are beautiful, and wonderfull to handle.
My only concern is the vido, as I prefear DVD's these days.
Whit, maybe you will give me some sort of disscount if I buy one.

Peo
Pictured to the left my hero and me during FISM 2006 in Stockholm.
zauber
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I recently purchased the 'Intricate Web of Distraction' AND the Stag Sensation set of knives from Joe Mogar. Richard Skippy's reviews were spot on and were responsible for me taking the step to order the Mogar knives. The 'Intricate Web....' is good, detailed and will teach the novice everything necessary to perform a routine. It is quite simple and actually contains segments reminiscent of other's routines. AND, Joe Mogar's typed routine, included with the knives is as good as and better than some other routines I've seen. Actually, I prefer Joe Mogar's routine. His knives surpass ANYTHING I have seen or possessed. I am going to enjoy carrying these knives and performing a 'CCK' routine...... again.
"I'm still learning."
-----Michelangelo
Review King
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Richard, thanks for such a detailed review. It helps everyone here!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Magicmaven
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Get his Mongolian Pop-Knot Video next!
h_A_Z
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Ireland/Msia
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Does this routine end clean as in with the normal knives? I've been using Daryl's routine for a while but still looking around for more ideas and routining. Thanks
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » DVD Review: 'The Intricate Web of Distraction' by Whit Haydn (0 Likes)
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