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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Review of the Unreal Work by Paul Wilson and Jason England (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Paul H
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Welcome to my review of ‘The Unreal Work’ lecture demo DVD by Paul Wilson and Jason England. This product was born out of the work both magicians put into the movie Shade and the overall theme of the DVD is card sleights in the service of gambling based routines.

Introduction

The DVD will probably appeal most to those magicians who love the false deals and gambling moves/demonstrations and who lie on the advanced beginner through to solid intermediate levels of card craft. There are 13 items in all, two of which are moves culled directly from the movie Shade. The effects are divided almost equally between Jason England (6) and Paul Wilson (7). Jason focuses mainly on some really excellent sleights showing the different types of effects and routines possible with each sleight. Paul Wilson works this the other way around concentrating on the mechanics of each routine and teaching the sleights as they apply. I think it is a very effective and enjoyable mix. The DVD ends with an intriguing if somewhat self-conscious interview between Paul Wilson and Damien Nieman. They discuss the development and problems associated with the production and distribution of the movie Shade giving the nod to future projects.

Unreal Work is introduced by Paul Wilson with the aim of providing the student with the tools to pull off amazing looking gambling demonstrations without reliance on knuckle busting feats of pyrotechnic skill or a pre-prepared deck of cards. However, I must add that a modicum of skill is required to pull off some of these feats which can be quite tricky. The menu system on the disc is quite straightforward. There are two main sections, Jason England’s work and Paul Wilson’s contribution. You can switch between the two approaches if you so wish. The performance and explanation elements are pulled together into one chapter and personally I would have liked them more separate. There is an odd anomaly with Jason England’s item on Ace Revelation where the explanation is chaptered but the effect is not. Having said that, it is feasible to bookmark the relevant segments for quick access if you have a DVD player capable of this function. There are some quality issues with the DVD in terms of scenes that tend to go in and out of focus, a fair amount of video noise and some minor sound sync issues. However, none of these obscure the basic message. I have no idea of the runtime. The price of the DVD is around $35 and is available from Ronjo Magic below although it looks like its currently out of stock.

http://www.ronjo.com/Merchant2/merchant.......nrealwrk


Performance and Effects.

Part One: Jason England.

1. The Center Steal Control. Let me state from the outset that even though I know how this is done, I still can’t see Jason executing it. This is an excellent utility sleight that allows you to control a selection pushed honestly into the center of the deck to appear on the bottom or at positions minus 1,2,3,4 etc cards up from the bottom. All you see is a squaring action followed by a sort of dribble riffle and…. Bang!…. the card is controlled. It is beautifully done. In discussing its various uses Jason also gives a bonus demonstration of a center deal demo which includes his Greek deal. This Greek deal has been discussed positively on the Café recently. While he does not explain how, it is easy to work out the basics and believe me, it is very deceptively executed.

2. Dealing Thirds. This describes a very easy and subtle treatment that allows you to deal out thirds assuming you can deal strike seconds deceptively. The nice thing about this method is that there are also many other applications not mentioned by Jason and if you buy this DVD you will know what I am referring to. It seems to me to be a big leap forward over earlier methods from Vernon etc in smoothing the path to dealing thirds.

3. Ace Revelation. The effect here involves spreading the deck face down, then squaring up, cutting the deck and faro’ing the two halves together. The packs are pushed about ¼ the way in and by pivoting out one packet, the first ace appears sticking out about two thirds its length. The next faro leaves two aces protruding and the final faro ferrets out the stubborn ace of spades. Without giving the method away, this was not really my cup of tea. It is an ingenious extension of the previous method explained in Dealing Thirds above and the productions are very neat. The faro’ing however, looks to be a bit of nightmare. If Jason struggles then you know its going to be a challenge. For me, there is great competition from many other ace revelations out there which do not require such a set up or difficult faro’s. Your view on this may well vary and in spite of my reservations this does provide an original and surprising take on the ace revelation theme.

4. Riffle Stacking Tips. I liked this idea very much. It is a great way of getting ahead when it comes to riffle stacking the four aces or equivalent. Essentially it involves a simple looking cut that results in the first ace being stacked. This is quite tricky to perform and you need a good knowledge of the pass and its variations in order understand what is fully required. With patience, this sleight is well worth the practice in my opinion.

5. Advanced Riffle Stacking. I found myself on familiar ground here. This involves spreading the deck, spotting cards and then riffling culling them, one at a time to the face of the deck. Jason demonstrates this method by firstly honestly riffling the cards, briefly spreading them and then individually riffling and cutting to each of the four aces. Secondly he shows a method of cold culling another four of a kind and he does all this in a very expert fashion. Even though I was familiar with the ideas from the Sadowitz booklet ‘Thanks to Zarrow’ I was still fooled when I first viewed this part of the DVD.

6. The Mcmillan Turnover Switch. Finally we move onto the famous Shade move. It has to be said that in Jason’s hands this is a darned fine card switch. As he points out, its strength lies primarily in the visual power of the change rather than its application to other magical/gambling routines for which it is practically ill suited. The move is fully and comprehensively taught by its master and provides hours of practising fun, at least in my case.

Overall, this is an excellent compilation of sleights, effects and methods from a superb card handler. I have often noticed that some magicians engage in a bit of card by-play that is used to frame the main effect or routine. If you watch Jason England, his incidental cutting, table faro’ing and fanning is very smooth and professional which gives his handling a distinctive touch of class.

Part 2 Paul Wilson.

1. Master of the Same. This is a poker deal that allows the spectator to shuffle the deck before handing the pack back to the magician. The spectator chooses one of four hands and the magician deals out a full house or four of a kind to that hand. It is a really nice deal that is not at all difficult to execute. It has added impact because the spectator is allowed to shuffle the deck first.

2. Thumb Picking. This is a really fine ace cutting routine that is fast becoming one of my favourites. It has a few tricky bits to it and a few bits that look tricky but turn out to be surprisingly easy to execute. The spectator shuffles the deck. The magician takes the shuffled deck back and gives it one faro. The deck is set down on the table and four packets are cut one after the other. On the face of each is an ace. Amazing!! I have found that you can replace each packet back onto the deck. This is a little trickier but it gives the impression of dead cutting to the four aces in one round and looks incredible.

3. Tupalo Paul. This is another poker dealing trick that takes as its template a sophisticated dealing routine. The advanced card effect uses complex culling and riffle stacking. Paul has taken the method and simplified it allowing a spectator shuffle and replacing the difficult sleights with easy ones. Here is the routine. The spectator shuffles the deck and the magician takes the cards and quickly divides them into four piles explaining this is part of a memory experiment. The magi takes a pile and three spectators the remainder. Each persons pile is shuffled and then sorted into a special memory enhancing order. After some experimentation, a process that is speculative at best, the performer then takes the piles back and riffle shuffles the deck in the hands. He then asks for a number and takes out the four of a kind, say four fives. He then tells the spectator he will show how to ‘get’ the four in a poker hand. The fives are slid back into the pack at different positions and the pack squared. Four hands are dealt out with the four fives going to the hand named by spectator. However, when the other hands are turned over, they are found to have four aces, four kings and four queens. I have missed a few motivational subtleties but this is the bare bones of the effect. Early in the handling there is a very simple and deceptive culling technique that I have not come across. It is a very good method indeed. As for the effect itself, I have yet to try this out. My impression is of a certain unwieldiness to the trick that makes me uneasy. It’s a great idea and if lightly and airily presented it could play very impressively to lay audiences.

4. Seconds Out. This is billed as a false second dealing routine with a kicker ending. Again, I really like this fake second deal. When I first looked at it, I thought why have put months into the No Touch Theory Second Deal only to abandon it for a fake set up? Crazy yes? Well, actually no. The big advantage with this demonstration is that you can slowly and deliberately deal and demonstrate the ‘seconds’ in full view and it does look very convincing. The method is great. It’s not too difficult and the ending is priceless. I won’t spoil it for you.

5. Central Pack. Again, this is billed as a convincing fake center deal routine. Personally, I am a little less convinced by this demo. Part of the reason is the huge amount of time I’ve invested in getting down the Wimhurst Center Deal. To work up a tricky fake center deal is something of a bitter pill. So bearing this in mind, the effect is as follows. The aces are removed from the deck and then pushed into the center. The deck is spread clearly showing the aces grouped together somewhere round the middle. The pack is squared and placed in the left hand and the cards are dealt to a spectator and to the performer. Each card dealt to the performer is an ace appearing to come from lower down in the deck ie the center. I think this routine is difficult especially as it involves using a pass and a tricky false deal to boot. If the cards are at all sticky or used, the latter demonstration of the center deal may also prove troublesome. On balance I think I prefer other fake center deals. To be fair, there are some very deceptive and interesting touches to the routine and the whole may appeal to others.

6. Second Deal Tips. This is a very interesting and helpful item. It is described as a collection of second deal tips from around the world and include ideas from Peter Duffie, Roy Walton, Rod the Hop, Steve Forte, Damian Neiman, Jason England, and Paul himself. If my memory serves me there are about four tips for improving the strike second deal that can be applied to a number of differing styles and approaches to the deal. An excellent section.

7. A demonstration muck. Finally, we come to the five card royal flush switch that Paul used in the movie Shade. As with the Jason England Mcmillan switch, this is a very nicely and smoothly performed sleight. It looks very impressive, is taught clearly and thoroughly and is highly recommended for that late night session at the magic circle.

All in all, I also thoroughly enjoyed Paul Wilson’s lecture presentation and routines. I am sure you will find gems that will fit nicely into your gambling themed set of routines and a number of these will be suitable for the less experienced card worker.

Phew!!!! I nearly bit off more than I could chew trying to cram in all that information. I think this DVD is bursting with great ideas and represents great value. Highly recommended.

Regards,

Paul H
petersd
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Paul,

Great review. I am waiting for Jason to get some more DVD's in stock so I can get a hold of this one. Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed review.

Dave
Lonewolf123
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Thanx for the detailed review Paul!
Paul H
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Hi Guys,

You are welcome. This is the kind of DVD you keep returning to in order to explore and uncover a nugget missed previously. In other words, the more I view this DVD the more I learn and enjoy.

Regards,

Paul H
JasonEngland
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Hi guys.

Paul, Thanks so much for the kind words. In retrospect, I wish the production values were higher, but when I filmed my segment and sent it to Paul for the editing, I thought we'd have a small run of only 100 copies or so. But, we got a good review in Genii, and people (like yourself) were generally enjoying it, so we quickly realized we needed to print up a few more.

I just today got in a new shipment of DVDs and anyone can contact me either by PM or at:
jasonengland1971@yahoo.com to order one. They're $35 postpaid in the US and $40 postpaid to anywhere in the world. I accept Paypal at the above email address.

Jason
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
Imagication
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Sorry, just had to bring this thread back alive again. Anyway...

Would there be any future works in re-doing this great dvd that I've known about for quite some time? I've heard about the poor production qualites but great contents and would really like to get a hold of this dvd in its better condition that would really make my money worth more the while...

I appreciate it if no other recommendations is given because I'm only asking for this specific product.

Any ideas? Thanks a ton and sorry for any misunderstandings.
-Jess.
Paul H
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Hi Imagication,

The 'lower' production issues do not in any way detract from a clear demonstration and understanding of the moves and routines. The quality is better than video and I still learn a great deal from going over my GPS volumes. My advise is to buy the DVD as it is. You will not be dissappointed. Good luck.

Regards,

Paul H
Curmudgeon
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I agree with Paul that what is called "lower" production is not bad at all. Everything is clear in this dvd and you're really missing out on it if you're interested enough to ask if it will be remade then if you buy this you won't be disappointed.
Imagication
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Okay, thanks a lot, because I was just afraid that there might be some distractions during the demonstration of moves and during the explanations. I'm just wondering again how bad are the qualities that some people are saying in terms of some of the pictures...
-Jess.
Curmudgeon
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For me there was only a slight shake of the camera,like it was hand held instead of being on a tripod. It really doesn't affect the demonstrations or explainations and after a few minutes I didn't even notice it was happening. That is the only thing I can think that it was labeled as a "lower" production. Hope this helps, and I know I said it before but really if you're interested in these kinds of effects and moves then you won't mind spending the money once you view this a few times.
Jeremy Brown
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Hi all, first time for me to speak here.

I was curious about the interview at the end with Daimon Nuiman. Is it possible for anyone to sort of fill me in on wat is said?
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