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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » REVIEW: "Control Freak" DVD by Olivier Macia (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of digitaltrip

Folks, here's a review on Olivier Macia's "CONTROL FREAK" DVD. I hope you all enjoy it. And perhaps it will help sway you in one direction or another as far as purchasing it for yourself. So let's get to it!

It's a refreshing and insightful instructional video on controlling cards to various locations in the deck. The controls, techniques and routines taught in this DVD are valuable and can greatly enhance your personal knowledgebase of card sleights and control. If you want to explore beyond the pass and other "favourite" controls you might use everyday, then you'll find this DVD a very nice "nugget" to keep in your back pocket. And for the cost of $25.95 US, it's a great can't go wrong with the things you'll learn from this DVD.

Magician: Olivier Macia, "France's award-winning magical entertainer
Theme: "Experience new and totally invisible methods of card control"
Running Length: 81 minutes
Audio: English and French
Price: $25.95 US
Where To Buy?: or other stores
Produced By: Guy Camirand of Camirand Magic

Overall, the DVD layout is fairly intuitive...listing a variety of selections you can choose to view. There are about 35 selections. It would have been nice for them to separate the individual clips
into broader categories (like Controls, Techniques and Routines) but instead you'll just have to move the cursor to the clip you want to see. Basically though, it's a simple, user-friendly interface. As part of the selections, you have the option of choosing "Play All", "Play All Techniques / Performances", "Play All Routines" and "Play Intro Clip".


1. The Controls:

The most notable of controls that Olivier teaches are the "Wow Control", the "Subtle Control" and the "One Card Pass". They're incredible, and they form the very foundation of most of the control "variations" that you'll learn on this DVD. Often, each control is first performed (using a signed card placed in the middle of the deck) and then followed by
an "over the shoulder" explanation. Obviously, in the following review, I will only describe the effect (which anyway is quite self-explanatory in each control's title description).

Wow Control Top Position
An incredibly deceptive control to the top. The selection is placed on top of the bottom packet of the deck and then the top packet is simply dribbled onto the bottom packet...and the selection ends up on top!

Wow Control 2nd Position
The selection is controlled to the 2nd position from the top using the Wow Control.

Wow Control Reverse To The Face
The selection is reversed face up and controlled to the bottom of the pack using the Wow Control.

Wow Control Reversal In Middle
The selection is reversed face up and controlled to the middle of the pack using the Wow Control.

Subtle Control Top Position
This is the second control that Olivier teaches on the DVD, controlling a selection (supposedly lost in the pack) to the top of the deck!

Subtle Control With Palming
This control is used in conjunction with a palm.

Subtle Control To Sandwich
Simply amazing! Imagine pulling off "Monkey In The Middle" or "Club Sandwich" with pure sleight of hand. It's challenging, but very possible with the Subtle Control.

Subtle control With Boomerang
This control is used creatively to "shoot off" the selection (or any card) to your other hand.

One Card Pass Top Position
This final control that Olivier teaches has the following effect: A signed card is inserted halfway into the middle of the pack (from the front), and just with a simple squaring action, the card is returned
to the top.

One Card Pass 2nd Position
This control is used to return the selection to the 2nd position from the top.

One Card Pass Bottom Position
This control is used to return the selection to the bottom of the deck.

One Card Pass With Palming 1
This control is used to palm a selection or any other card.

One Card Pass with Palming 4
This control is used to palm 4 cards (ie. 4 Aces).

2. The Techniques:

Rollover Change
A card is placed faced up on the deck (in the left hand) and with a roll of the deck,
the card changes into another card!

Dark Change
A spectacular looking colour change! A card is picked up with the right hand and as it is sprung down to the top of the deck, it changes into another card!

Flash Change
Show a card in the right hand and with a quick little shake of the hand, the card changes into another one. This is quite similar to another change I know...

Flip Spin
This is one of the harder flourishes - the top face down card seemingly leaps up about a foot into the air, flips & twists around and lands back onto the deck face up!

Flip Spin & Boomerang
The "Flip Spin" technique is used to shoot a card to the other hand...very cool!

Perfect Boomerang
Wow! What a great flourish! Cards are shot out from the left hand, twisting and slightly swinging back into the other hand...the "out/in" motion of the spinning card follows that of a boomerang (hence the name).

3. The Routines:

Illusive 4 Aces (in studio)
The magician inserts the 4 aces into the middle of the deck. Then, magically an ace is shown on the face of the deck. With a wave of the hand, one by one, the ace turns into the 2nd ace, then to the 3rd ace, and finally to the last ace. Very visual! This goes without saying that it will take some practice of the controls taught on the DVD and the routine itself to have it fully mastered & presented smoothly. Great effect.

Phoenix Production & Illusive 4 Aces
In a live performance environment, Olivier produces the 4 aces from his seemingly "empty" hands. After all 4 aces have been revealed, he continues to perform the "Illusive 4 Aces" effect.

Mouth Surprise
2 cards are selected, signed and placed into the middle of the deck. The magician shuffles the deck. Then the first selection is revealed on the top of the deck and confirmed to be correct. He then places
that 1st found selection into his mouth (clipped face down). Finally the magician looks for the 2nd selection in the face up deck. There appears to be a face down card. But surprisingly, that 2nd card ends up still being the 1st selection! And the card in the magician's mouth is the 2nd selection!

Repeat Card to Pocket
A card is selected and "lost" in the middle of the deck. And magically, the card jumps
into the magician's pocket. The spectator takes it out and places it back into the deck. With another magical gesture, the card jumps back into the magician's pocket. The card is taken out again.
Finally, the card is used to tap the magician's "deck holding hand" to find that the deck has completely disappeared!

2 Invisible Cards
Two signed cards are lost in the deck. The cards magically appear & vanish at will, ultimately revealing their identities to the spectators.

Foot Magic
A card is selected, noted and returned to the deck - apparently lost in the pack.
A card is shown face up and placed on the ground but the spectator indicates that it is not their selection. With a wave of the foot over the face up card, it changes into their selection!

Color ? Aces
2 red aces instantly transform into the 2 black aces before the spectators' eyes...back to red, and back to black, etc. A rapid fire, visually alternating transformation of the red & black aces! Very cool!

2 red aces are revealed in a flourished way & then openly tabled. A card is selected, signed, returned & lost in the deck. Then the 2 red aces are openly placed face up on top of the deck. Magically, the selection is found face down between the 2 face up aces.

1. High-quality video footage of the performances and explanations of each card sleight and routine.
2. Incredible controls, techniques and routines that are well taught and demonstrated.
3. Voiceover translations get the job done to accurately convey Olivier's instructions and patter.
4. Olivier Macia appears to be a confident performer, with excellent card handling and performer's presence.
5. Intuitive DVD navigation.

1. The voiceover guy gave his play-by-play translations in a helpful, accurate and simple manner. However, a minor point: Some of his comments were slightly annoying and corny. On occasion, the voiceover guy would shout "HELLO!!!" in an attempt to play up Olivier's demonstration of a particular card control...along the same vein as saying: "WHAM BAM!" or "THERE YOU GO!". It seemed a bit tacky to me. If it was only a single occurence, I could easily overlook that...but he says "HELLO!" several more times throughout and so it gets a bit irritating (at least to me). Anyway, don't let this point influence you for the worst because again, it's a minor point. I just call them as I see them. Smile

2. If I had a choice, I would prefer not to have voiceovers. However, this is completely understandable because the native language used in this DVD is French so again, this is another minor point. All in all, the combination of voiceover and clearly shot video makes everything easy to learn from.

RATING SYSTEM & RECOMMENDATIONS: (with personal comments in brackets)
CONTROLS: 8/10 (fresh card control methods, well demonstrated & explained)
TECHNIQUES: 8/10 (great colour changes, interesting handlings & revelations)
ROUTINES: 7/10 (very good effects using the controls/techniques learned from the DVD)
DVD NAVIGATION: 8/10 (typical content layout, intuitive, user-friendly)
CREDITING: 8/10 (proper crediting & sources of inspiration are mentioned on the DVD)
DIFFICULTY: 7/10 (for intermediate/advanced cardicians)
VALUE/PRICE: 8/10 (value-to-price ratio)
OVERALL RATING: 8/10 (powerful insights into card control, "well taught & well shot")

I would highly recommend this DVD to any intermediate/advanced card magician who is dedicated to hard work and a desire to add several more powerful weapons of card control to their "sleight" arsenal. But, I do stress that much of the material is for the seasoned card worker and not to be taken lightly. Be prepared to work - otherwise, you might find this DVD used as a coffee cup coaster instead. Smile At the same time, the material is not "extremely" difficult and can be grasped with diligent practice and thorough study of the video clips.

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Profile of invalidity
You are to be commended on a thorough review. Thank you. Smile
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Profile of danielchua

Thank you for your review. just wondering why is the price scale at 4/10 if it's decent price for value it returns?
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Profile of digitaltrip
No problem guys! I hope that helps! Smile

Daniel, good question. To clarify, what I meant was: The DVD is not expensive and it's got great stuff in it! In this case, the rating refers to the price-to-value ratio. A low price and high value gets a low rating (which is good). A high price and low value gets a high rating (which is bad). Sorry for the confusion...I should have left that out. But it's a helpful way for me to place value on the things I purchase while relating "perceived value" with "price".

I changed it to "value-to-price" ratio: 8/10 Smile

Jonathan P.
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Profile of Jonathan P.
Do other people own this DVD. The review is appealing, but I would like to get some other people's minds. Cheers,
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Profile of Salah AAZEDINE
I have this DVD and I luv it, all the tricks are good but most of them need a lot of practice, the move on the DVD r also very good some r hard and other r easy.
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Profile of ClouDsss
I have this DVD and I find the methods to be unique, if not, very angly.

And I have to saym the 2 babes which he performed to are gorgious!! MAMA ME-A!!
Think outside the box, cos people are all thinking inside now!! - ClouDsss
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Profile of Bball5630
I agree this video is worth the price even if only for the control, which can be truly invisible. It's one of the best controls out there due to it's fairness and lack of any extra moves.
Review King
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Profile of Review King
GREAT review.

I have this and love it. David Acer does a great job translating.

That being said, I've never been able to get the hang of the controls well enough for performance, but that's my own crappy shortcomings. The DVD is excellent!!!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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Profile of digitaltrip
On 2006-04-12 18:27, MagicChris wrote:
GREAT review.

I have this and love it. David Acer does a great job translating.

That being said, I've never been able to get the hang of the controls well enough for performance, but that's my own crappy shortcomings. The DVD is excellent!!!

It's funny...back then I had no clue who David Acer was! Smile
Now I have the utmost respect for him and have warmed up to his humour and antics.
I take back my comments about his voiceover work on this DVD...he's the man!

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