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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Surfaced by Chad Nelson (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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This is a brand new DVD release by a young underground sleight of hand artist by the name of Chad Nelson. In this DVD, he teaches one of the most talked about unpublished moves in the past decade, along with numerous effects utilizing this revolutionary move.

Review: I was extremely excited to receive my copy of Surfaced in the mail, and immediately put the DVD into the player with one main goal... to learn The Clip Shift.

The Clip Shift is arguably the most anticipated underground move in the past ten years. It's a revolutionary technique to secretly shift a single card from the bottom of the deck to the top, with one hand. Don't get the hype so far? Read on.

This move has numerous applications. It can be used as one of the most visual colour changes in existance, a control, a vanish, an appearance, and so much more. The move is very versatile and has limitless possibilities.

The DVD you are supplied with is one of the best produced magic DVDs I have ever seen. If you own the Trilogy and think it is top notch, wait until youj see this. The case, made of heavy cardboard, is beautifully designed and has a very nice cover photo. Inside the case you are supplied with a very nicely produced booklet. This booklet not only details The Clip Shift in great detail, but also supplies Chad's personal notes on the devlopment and subtleties of the move. This is an excellent addition to the set and allows you to see the creative process that went into The Clip Shift.

Of course, the DVD itself is also extremely well produced. The menus are easily navigatable and top notch quality. Everything is very easy to find and you will have no trouble. Now, on with the content of the DVD.

The first option on the main menu is called "Watch". This option allows you to watch about 10 minutes of live performance footage. It features Chad Nelson performing the Clip Shift and some effects using it. This is a great look at the impact of what is being taught on the DVD and is a great chance to see everything in action.

The second option is called "Learn". You are taken to a sub menu in which you may choose to learn The Clip Shift, The 26 Shift, palming techniques, colour changes using the Clip Shift, and The Dribble Control.

The Clip Shift is exceptionally well taught and is taught numerous times from multiple angles to ensure the best possible learning experience. The deck itself at one point is even switched out for a clear plastic block so the move can be seen clearly in action from start to finish. The move itself is extremely difficult and will take months to perfect. It is something, however, that you will want to practice. The move is extremely fun to perform. Overall, the Clip Shift's teaching is excellent.

The Dribble Control is simply a control of a selection using the Clip Shift. The cards are dribbled and the spectator is requested to say "stop" whenever she desires. The stopped at card is looked at, and suddenly dribbled into the pack. However, during the dribbling action, the Shift is executed. This is an excellent application of the Clip Shift, that is practially angle proof and, once the Clip Shift is learned, very easy to do.

The 26 Shift is the hardest item on the whole DVD. It is a modified Clip Shift, used to shift half the deck from the bottom to the top of the deck. Essentially, a one handed pass. This is also a very useful move, but exceptionally difficult, especially if you have not learned The Clip Shift yet.

The Colour Changes section details some different methods of using the Clip Shift as a colour change. All changes are exceptionally visual and well taught. My personal favourite is using the Clip Shift to set up for the John Cornelius Winter Change.

Finally, the palming section details many different palming methods and applications. If you are at all interested in learning some good palming techniques, and even if you already are experienced in palming, this is a must-see.

We move on to the third option on the DVD, which is entitled "Achieve". In this section, 6 different effects are taught. All of them use the Clip Shift, and some even use the 26 Shift. The camera quality is crystal clear, as is the sound quality, and the teaching is excellent. I review each single effect below.

Freefall: A selected card visually and gradually sinks through the deck, before imposibly falling all the way through and into the spectator's awaiting hands. Then, the process is reversed and the selection is brought back to the top of the deck in an insanely visual manner. This is one of the most difficult on the DVD and will require mastery of both the Clip Shift and the 26 Shift. The effect is insanely visual and fun to watch. ****

Rum Jungle: Two cards are selected, and lost back into the deck. The magician attempts to cut to one of the selections, The card he cuts to is revealed and alas, it is neither of the selections. But, in a very visual manner, the magician gently shakes the card and is visibly morphs into the first selection! Also, in an instant, the card again changes, this time changing into the second selected card. This is one of my favourites on the DVD... it is very simple, extremely effective, and fun to perform and watch. However, it requires a rather difficult and knacky use of the Clip Shift. *****

Criterion: Three selections are lost into the deck. The four aces all vanish off the top of the deck, each vanish more visual than the last. After all have vanished, the instantly reappear reversed in the center of the deck, with three face down cards interlaced between. These cards are, of course, the selected cards. This is my new favourite version of Collectors. It is my favourite effect on this DVD, ever phase so brilliantly visual and surprising. The Clip Shift and Collectors are a match made in heaven. You will love this! *****

Tricycle: A bizarre series of events involving a selected card, and three spectators. This is an extremely powerful magic effect, and the ending just packs a huge punch. The effect is not visual, but that doesn't matter in the least. This is a fantastic impromptu effect. ****

Clean Hook: After a card is selected and lost back in the deck, the magician neatly cuts the selection from the center of the deck with one hand! He then offers to find the selections other three mates behind his back, with one hand... and does just that. The hardest effect on the disk is also one of the most visual and impossible. This is going to take tons of work to master... come on, you're doing a flashy four card production behind your back with a single hand! ****

Fourplay: This is an incredibly visual and fun to watch Inversion effect inspired by the work of Chris Kenner and Earnest Earick. This is also not an easy effect to master, but it is one of the most visual card effects on the DVD and only uses the Clip Shift for the final kicker phase. If you master this, you WILL want to peform it. ****

The fourth and final menu option is simply called "More". The first sub-category is Friends, a section of different handlings, subtleties, and uses for The Clip Shift that were suggested by some of Chad's friends in magic. Chad briefly explains numerous ideas suggested by Ricky Smith Jr., Derek Delgaudio, Jason England, and more. There are some excellent ideas present and this is a must watch, especially for the brilliant riffle shuffle handling by Ricky Smith Jr.

The second catergory is actually a bonus effect. I review it below.

#@*! Off: Four aces are found from a shuffled deck with two astounding double colour changes. This is presented as a bonus effect on the DVD because it is the only one which requires preparation, and some gaffs. But because of that, this effect is the most visual on the DVD. If you've watched the final few seconds of the Surfaced trailer, you'll know that the double colour change looks like. It is, again, incredibly visual and utterly seamless in Chad's hands. This is very visual, but because of the gaffs required I can only a rating of ***.

The third category is entitled "New York". Watch this at your own risk. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but this will boggle your mind and make you wonder what was in the water you just drank.

And finally, the fourth category is the Surfaced final trailer. This is a nice addition, especially if you want to watch that stunning double coloutr change over and over again.

So, there you have it... the full content of the Surfaced DVD. With extremely well produced features, perfect teaching, some stellar magic and card technique, and a versatile move that will go down in history, I give this DVD an overall rating of 9/10. This is an excellent project and is a must-have for any serious card technician.

Surfaced by Chad Nelson is available exclusively at

Michael Kras
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Tim Jahn
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Thanks Michael!!

Great review and spot on!!

Andrew, (ASW)
The effects on the DVD and lecture notes are far beyond your abilities. (They require mastery of the mechanic's grip.) It would only break your heart.
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Joshua Barrett
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Micheal I know you were into Aaron Fishers stuff. my question for you is who's inversion effect do you like better? iv have yet to do either.... I was going to do fishers at some point in time but I thought this nre one seemed much more effecient on moves. would do you think?
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Profile of michaelmystic2003
I personally prefer Aaron Fisher's effect, although Chad's looks a lot cleaner, I don't think I'd have the guts to perform it live without at least a year of work. Aaron provides a similar effect with a more sleight friendly handling. However, Chad's gets points for being VERY visually astounding!
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Any other questions? I'd be happy to answer them!
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The camera work on the real thing absolutely sucks. Whoever thought that moving, shaking and out-of-focus pullbacks was edgy, cool, young and fresh and such are complete morons. Maybe in passages for a music vid or crap horror but not in an explanation video for magic.

That's my opinion on the 'creative production' of the product.

The material itself is pretty killer though because of the hold, unless one is Chad Nelson, I imagine putting no more than a couple of effects from this in one act would prove helpful. Especially spread apart.

Good thinkings, except for the creative direction of the Illusionist/early Chris Angel/'edgy'/trend of bad camera work.
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I just saw this tonight, and would like to add that filming in someone's house with nice hardwood floors doesn't make it a studio or hip location. Also, make-up and clothes that fit would be nice... my girlfriend suggested introducing the magician to a new concept.. a hairbrush.

Regardless, I would have been LIVID had I purchased this. It's one move (Albeit very pretty) however, I can't do it.. at all. Not because I won't practice it, my hand actually doesn't work that way due to an accident when I was younger.

There are more visual and visible moves out there I feel. Great for Chad I am sure. I wish magicians would keep their personal moves to themselves sometimes. Keep some mystery in the world.

< /rant >
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