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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » REVIEW: Card Magic Masterclass by Roberto Giobbi and Vanishing Inc. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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REVIEW: Card Magic Masterclass by Roberto Giobbi and Vanishing Inc.

This is a superb set of instructional DVD’s designed to teach you fundamentals of card magic in five specified areas. Each topic has a DVD dedicated to the class. The first is CONTROLS. Then SWITCHES, then FALSE SHUFFLES AND CUTS. The fourth DVD is all about PALMS and the final DVD is dedicated to FORCES.

Roberto Giobbi is an internationally known magic teacher among magi. If you are reading this you already either own Card College or want to own it. It really is mandatory bookshelf material. Giobbi has put out many different books and DVDs and I have yet to come across an example of his work that isn’t excellent.

The ad-copy for the DVD states as follows:
“Introducing THE best way to build a card magic foundation. Twenty years ago Roberto Giobbi, card magic's most distinguished author, wrote Card College, a series of books now considered THE Bibles on card magic. This video series is the next step.
In five volumes covering five major areas of card magic (Controls, Switches, Palms, Forces, False Shuffles), Giobbi teaches his favorite entries from Card College as well as new techniques not described in those volumes. If you have and study Card College, this is the PERFECT video companion. If you've never read Card College, this series is like having Mr. Giobbi in your living room giving you private instruction.
You won't just learn all the wonderful and important sleights in card magic, you'll also learn the fine points, finesses, and subtleties of each one, so that you carry out the techniques the way connoisseurs do: with invisible precision.
We release a small amount of original content each year, but Card Magic Masterclass will be an enduring resource - a legacy, perhaps - to magicians for years to come. Thanks to Roberto Giobbi, magicians have an at-home academy to master ALL the important techniques in card magic. It's time to take your card magic seriously. It's time to start your Card Magic Masterclass.”

What is important to know is that this is truly a masterclass with an emphasis on the word “class.” This is like going to a school lecture. It is serious and straightforward. There is no showmanship in the presentation. Giobbi delves into minute and micro details about the various topics taught. You need to set aside blocks of time to watch and learn because a significant amount of material is presented and it is presented quickly – much like a professor giving a lecture. The presentation is excellent. It is clear and it can be overwhelming due to the amount of knowledge that is imparted. That is why it is so excellent to own these DVD’s so you can watch it at your leisure.

Giobbi picks various moves and techniques from each topic and really drills down on it. The production quality is excellent and although the camera shots are mostly a head-on stationary camera, the angle moves from time to time and appropriate close-ups are provided when needed. Giobbi obviously cannot teach everything he knows in this 8 hour project, but he does a marvelous job in picking and organizing the right material to teach.

This DVD can be viewed, in my opinion by beginners with some knowledge of card magic and intermediate card boys and girls. I was happy to learn from Giobbi and pleased that he focused on technique, justification and motivation for everything that he does. He presents old moves and his modifications on well-known moves. There is tremendous thought behind every line spoken and as I stated above, the teaching is excellent.

I am darn near sure that Giobbi made the conscious and deliberate decision not to teach tricks along with the various controls, switches, false shuffles and cuts, palms and forces because this is not a tricks DVD project. This is about learning fundamentals so you can apply what you learn to other tricks taught in books and maybe on other DVDs. Although I think that it would have been nice to be presented with a few routines at the end of each DVD, I understand why this project did not go in that direction. This is about learning, technique, practice and improvement.

A few tiny nits that do not affect the perfect rating of this DVD. I would have liked to have seen performer point of view shots, there are some typos in the printed DVD overview (i.e. “FALSE” is spelled “FLASE” several times) and I think the paper box that contains the set of DVDs could have been more substantial and a thicker stock. Each DVD comes in its own paper sleeve with reflective gold artwork and Giobbi’s signature.

The entire set costs $75 and let me repeat that this is a mandatory purchase for your library. It comes in DVD or download format. You can also buy each DVD separately (or download it) for $25 a pop. Obviously the math encourages you to get the whole set at once – it’s kind of like buy 3 and get 2 free. You can also get a collector’s edition for $120 which comes in a special box and has a 6th DVD which is an hour long session with Giobbi and Lennart Green. I have not seen the 6th DVD or the special collector’s box in person, but it appears to be a beautiful metal hinged box.

If you want to see more about what is included in this project, check out the complete ad-copy on line and you can see the moves and techniques taught.

If I have not be clear enough in the body of this review, let me restate the obvious: this Masterclass by Giobbi is fantastic and at $15 a DVD (when you buy all 5) it is the steal of the century. This will stand the test of time and it is a wonderful resource to have and to watch over and over again.
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Ghost Counter
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I have the deluxe edition and it is wonderful. Giobbi's teaching is so interesting and detailed. If I have one minor criticism, it is the lighting which although soft, gives a very bland, low contrast picture.
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