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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » School of Hard Knocks (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicAces
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Forgive me if this has already been talked about. I did not see it.

I've heard many people gave this DVD by Rodney Reyes bad reviews. I think the production is very well done. I think why it was giving bad reviews was because in the DVD he spends a lot of time talking about presentation, but in the street performance, it's just the magic that get the reaction and not him.

I maybe wrong. The information he tells you is good and something to learn. As for the effects in the video I think they are all right: some better then others. The mask thing kinda confuses me, but I do have an idea about it but would like to hear what every one else has to say.
artofmanipulation
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I've heard many negative things about this DVD. Chances are you are going to hear more of it now that you've brought it up again.
zombieboy
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Yeah, you may have opened a can of worms, so to say.
MagicAces
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Lol sry.
Jeff J.
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That DVD is awesome, MagicAces. By the way, I have a share of the Brooklyn Bridge. I can sell it really cheap. Make me an offer.

Jeff

Rodney does have a style that appeals to a lot of people. It's just not my style. I bought it mainly because of the hype when it came out.
Pebkac
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This DVD is the best produced piece of trash I have ever seen. There are things to like in this DVD, but this DVD came across as more of a personal project than something intended for public consumption. Imagine if you released a video or DVD of you and your friends full of inside jokes. No one else would "get it." That's the feeling I got from this DVD.

As for his presentation, or perhaps I should say lack of, there is none beyond the standard play by play presentation (which isn't necessarily bad given the context of his performance). However, the spectators react well in some cases. This just goes to prove that a miracle, even a bad one, is still a miracle.

There were a couple of effects which have worked their way into my repertoire. There is Short Stack and Coining Copperfield. To say the least, my performance of these effects differs greatly from what you will see on the DVD.

This DVD is a "Look at me" production, and suffers because of that. The masked performance of an effect by Troy Hooser is compelling evidence. I know for a fact that Rodney is a nice guy as I have met him on more than one occasion. His enthusiasm for this project is obvious, but the content suffers where the production rules. He appears to prefer the audience believe they experienced something difficult, as opposed to impossible.

One feature of the DVD which I had always wanted to see in a DVD is something to highlight and select during the performance for the explanation or for key moves. Rodney added a variation of this feature. I hope this gets used by future DVDs.

If you have the spare cash, I would say Short Stack and Coining Copperfield are worth checking out. Speaking of which, if you have Gaft Card Magic, you have access to Short Stack.
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Law enforcement was not supposed to be easy. Where it is easy, it's called a police state.
Jason Wethington
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Hey guys, I just want to mention that he did have permission to perform Troy's routine.
Jeff J.
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Pebkac,

Nice review. It was well thought out and very lucid.

Keep up the good work.
cardman1990
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His teaching is bad. He says the wrong finger repeatedly, and they had to edit in a note saying he was referring to the wrong finger.
MagicAces
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Pebkac, did you really like Coining Copperfield? I figured it out the first time of watching the performance. How does it play with laymen?
Pebkac
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I really did like this effect. I also use the "Crazy Man's Handcuffs" with spectator fingers, too. I like that because I can do it out in the open.

To us, a coin and a rubber band penetrating through a finger are essentially the same effect. Emotionally to a spectator, I find that the coin is of a whole different emotional value. To illustrate the concept a little more, if I tear a card once and put it back together, it is no less miraculous than tearing a card into four pieces and putting it back together. It's just emotionally stronger to put back four pieces.

The coin, being large and metallic adds a whole different element to the penetration effect. Framed properly in presentation (following Tamariz's theories of eliminating solutions, and this MUST be done for Coining Copperfield to be effective. Rodney did not do this as well as I would have liked to have seen. For an excellent example of eliminating solutions, look at Ammar's presentation of Shadow Coins/Chinese Coin Assembly or Tamriz's performance of the car finding a card. I can't think of the name of the effect right now. And yes, this is a lot of words for a parenthetical comment.) I have gotten far better reaction out of the coin than the rubberband.

The addition of the cover of the handkerchief also adds the element of mystery. This is where we will get a divergence of theories. Why imply the miracle when you can show it? The miracle the spectator imagines in their mind will be far greater than anything you can show them. Perhaps you can think of a time back when you were a layperson, and to stick with the Coining Copperfield theme, Copperfield walking through the Great Wall. Do you remember watching the shadow profile enter the wall? Do you remember trying to imagine what it must have looked like? Magic is created in the mind of the spectator.

The primary weakness of the effect is that the solution one would think of is probably the correct one. That is why eliminating solutions must be done. I also like this because I can get about two or three minutes of theater out of very little.
Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.
Law enforcement was not supposed to be easy. Where it is easy, it's called a police state.
Jason Wethington
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The thing about the finger. I know the Director of the DVD. They had done numerous takes of the explanation and Rodney kept making the same mistake. Because they were on a budget they left in the best take and voiced over.

I too agree most of the video was junk.

The director/producer (who is not invloved with magic) realized that he had been duped by Rodney. You will continue to see high quality work come from the company that produced 'Hard Knocks'. By the way, they are no longer AOA. It is now "Digital Video Artists".
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