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Y2John
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My review of The Cloak

The Cloak:

A brand new elastic thread hook-up that will supposedly allow freedom never before possible with other hook-ups...
aswell as solving the problem of breakage during performance by 90%...
is this a revolution in thread work...
does it accomplish what it sets out to do...
welcome to The Cloak

Product- The Cloak

Creator- Justin Miller

Format- DVD

Price- approx $30, from what ive seen it's approx £20 from UK retailers

Available- From Justin Miller direct at http://www.thecloakdvd.com/ this way your supporting the creator and, as a bonus, you get supplied with some Infinity Thread (pre-orderers did but I read that everyone who orders direct from him does, you might want to check though as I'm not 100% sure). You can also purchase from most big retailers.

The DVD:

I'd like to start by giving my opinion on the actual DVD itself.
The picture and sound quality are great, and it's all shot so that everything is very easy to see ie viewing angle, background etc.
The DVD has a running time of approx 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Aswell as the explanations you get to see the effects taught being performed out and about by Justin Miller, these are great to see as Justin is such a great performer and you get to see the reactions of what you'll be learning can achieve and how they come across.

DVD overall - A well put together and great quality DVD

The Hook-ups:

Ok... so this is what the Cloak is all about and the reason for purchasing this DVD, true there are effects and I'll get in to them later, but there would be no effects if it wasn't for the hook-ups and it's the hook-ups which are what The Cloak is.

There are two hook-ups for The Cloak... I'll go over each seperately giving my thoughts and views on each.
I'll start with what I consider to be the weakest of the two and then move onto what I would say is the main Cloak hook-up.

The Cloak stand up hook-up-

This is the hook-up for when you want to perform walk around, be it at a restaraunt or walking the streets/outside.
At first I tought I wouldn't really be using the stand-up version as to be honest the Infinity Loop by Ron Jaxon allows for basically the same results but is easier to conceal, not that this isn't a great hook-up as it is and it does have it's advantages, but with the Infinity Loop I felt more at ease just walking around where as with The Cloak I was always aware of the lighting etc.
Then it hit me 'DING' I couldn't believe I didn't think of it sooner... there is a very simple way to make the issue I had with the stand-up Cloak non-existant.
For stand-up I'll still be sticking with the Infinity Loop as I'm comfortable with it and it can do basically the same stuff, but for those who have not got that you can't really go wrong with this one, I'd consider it to be on the same level as the Infinity Loop and so by saying that I mean this is a fantastic hook-up that has a lot of possibilties.

Pros-

Nice and easy set-up
Allows a lot of freedom in the effects you can perform
Easy to completely conceal
Always ready to go
You can have it on all day and go about doing your everyday routines (well I wouldn't recommend having a bath with it on, or going swimming, or...)

Cons-

As with all thread work you have to be aware of the lighting while performing
Ways around it but would be best wearing a shirt
Doesn't really accomplish anything new

Difficulty-

This hook-up is not only easy to set-up, but also very easy to use.
If your already experienced with thread work then you'll feel at home immediately with this, if on the other hand your completely new to this style you'll have no trouble learning how to utilise this hook-up.

Overall-

Not the next step in thread work as it doesn't really accomplish anything new, but a nice hook-up that is practical to use and offers a lot of freedom to experiment.

The Cloak hook-up:

Yes... THE Cloak hook-up.
This is what I'd consider to be the true Cloak hook-up and it's the one Justin Miller first came upon out of the two hook-ups contained within the DVD.
This is the seated hook-up, but don't let that effect your decision whether you'd utilise this or not as this IS the next step in thread work. If you don't ever perform seated then this'll change that, it's that good.
Don't worry though... you may need to be seated but the hook-up isn't strung all over the place with people needing to limbo to get to there seats... infact it's completely invisible with no real risk of ever being seen while not performing, and while performing offers unprecedented freedom of movement for yourself and what your working with, with next to no risk of breakage and while being more invisible than any other hook-up ive ever seen.
When I first learned the method I couldn't stop smiling, it's just so clever and well constructed and thought through, with sooo many possibilities it's unreal.
As you can tell I'm more than happy and feel that this has more than lived up to it's description.
The set-up is easy and quick and can be done right in front of the specs with no real worries (well obviously not stripping the thread etc or that might give them an inkling of whats going on, especially if your sitting there thread in hand stripping it lol).
Clean-up is also quick and easy and so it's not an issue at all.

Pros-

Nice easy and quick set-up
No need to set-up table before hand as it can be done infront of the specs without suspicion
Quick and easy clean-up
Basically makes breakage non existant
Easiest to conceal
Your basically always clean
Unbelievable amount of freedom in movement
Allows for effects that are not possible with any other hook-up

Cons-

You nee to be seated at a table/working surface
Erm... you don't get bestowed the power to really cause things to float and move by just willing them to???
Hmmm... stuggling... to... think... of... anyth.................

Difficulty-

This is not difficult at all to use, but will require the time and effort to do justice to what this allows you to accomplish.
If your used to working with thread you should have no problems, those who have never used thread work before... now's the time to start.

Overall-

This is the real deal... the next step in thread work.
Justin Miller has provided us with the means to perform some truly astonishing things, and that means a more magical and unbelievable experience for our spectators.
I absolutely love this!
Thanks for releasing this Justin... I don't know how you do it but I'm sure glad your around, this is amazing!!


The effects/routines:

Three effects are taught but differ from one another depending on the hook-up.
I will go over each effect for both hook-ups.

The Rising-

Stand-up version-

Not on the same level as the sitdown version, this is an inferior version but of the same overall effect as the sit-down version but with the performer needing to be hands on during the effect.
I know seeing this first might be a bit confusing as at this point you don't know what this effect is, but after reading the pros and cons and then moving on to the sit-down version it'll all make sense.

Pros-

Happens out your hands with the spec holding the glass
Quick clean-up

Cons-

You need to touch the deck throughout apart from when the card rises
Not immeiately examinable... but pretty close

Difficulty-

Not really that difficult at all, everyone should be able to learn this pretty quick

Sit-down version-

A haunted pack routine with a difference... you never touch the deck throughout the entire routine.
That's right, the specs do everything from removing the deck from it's box to selecting a card and signing it to placing the card back in the deck to placing the deck in a glass/tumbler etc.
Everything is immediately examinable after so no worries there.
Honestly an absolutely amazing effect and it's just so magical looking, and it gets the specs involved in the routine which is always good.
Another thing that adds even more to the magicalness is that they are holding the glass as it happens and they are quite a distance from you... to them there is no way you could be doing anything.

Pros-

Completely hands off
Immediately examinable
Erm... read the description... as good as it sounds

Cons-

Have to be seated (not a con to everyone, but I'll put it for those that see this as a con. This is probably about the only con you'll get for the seated versions as they are really just so good)

Difficulty-

Not difficult and you'll pick up the workings in no time at all, but like every effect it'll need practise so you get to know how far you can push it.

Overall-

The sit-down version is stunning and looks truly magical, the stand-up one is still good but there are better ones out there.
I won't be bothering with the stand-up, but the sit-down one is gonna be with me for a long time... excellent.

The Creeper-

Stand-up version-

Ok, this is completely different from the sit-down version.
This is a one phase haunted pack where a card removes itself from a spread
It's still pretty good but it's just not on the same level as the sit-down creeper.

Pros-

A pretty decent effect

Cons-

Completely toned down from the sit-down version
Not really anything new
Not immediately examinable

Difficulty-

Pretty easy really and I'm sure most would have it down in no time

Sit-down version-

A two phase haunted pack where two selections reveal themselves.
The first selection gets revealed by the deck cutting itself and then the selection just pops out, the second selection reveals itself from a spread... it slowly creeps out and then flips up and over revealing itself.
This may sound like something you may have seen before from the loops DVD's but this is not the same.
It's also very well routined and is another killer routine.

Pros-

Everything immediately examinable
Routined so that every movement is there for a reason, very well done
Read the description... exactly as it sounds

Cons-

Need to be seated

Difficulty-

Once again it's not really difficult... I'd say anyone should be able to pick this up fairly quickly

Overall-

The stand-up one I won't be using, but the sit-down version is fantastic and leagues ahead of the other one.
One of the best haunted packs ive ever seen... excellent

Haunted pack in specs hands-

The stand-up version is below the sit-down version as it has it's own name etc so ive put it seperate.
In the same explanation of the above effect (the creeper) there is another effect that for the sit-down version has not got a name other than one card haunted pack.
In this the deck is held in the spectators own hands as the deck miraculously cuts itself and a card creeps out the deck.
This is amazing as it happens actually while there holding it, it's hard to get something quite as magical as the magic happening right in front of there face while in there hands.

Pros-

Immediately examinable
Happens IN there hands
Read the description... now that is magical

Cons-

Even though it's in there hands, since your seated they will be laying there hands on the table... not really a con as such but they can't hold the cards up at chest level etc
I can't see anymore cons for this as it's also possible with the stand-up hook-up

Difficulty-

Like the others this is not difficult... but the thing that might take a little while is gaining the courage to allow them to hold onto the deck, but there isn't really anything to worry about but I can see how some might not be confident in the idea.
If that doesn't worry you then anyone should be able to pick this up pretty quick.

Overall-

This is a great effect and a very magical routine as it happens right in there hands, I mean think about the impact of that... fantastic

The Invisible-

Stand-up only... the sit-down version is in with 'The Creeper'.

A haunted pack that happens in the spectators hands.
This is great and is the one thing the stand-up hook-up does as well as... maybe even better than the sit-down version.
It's also the reason to use this hook-up over the Infinity Loop as even though it's possible with it... it's much easier with this.
This is a fantastic effect as while they are holding the pack, it cuts itself and there selection slides out.

Pros-

Happens in there hands

Cons-

Not immediately examinable

Difficulty-

As with the others the mechanics aren't difficult... the problem will be performers worrying that the specs will feel something or notice something, but I can honestly say that I must have done this about 20-25 times over the last couple of days and not once did anything go wrong.
So anyone could learn this relatively quickly, but don't be afraid to perform this as it's an amazing effect and gives the specs a great experience.

Overall-

This is the stand out effect for the stand-up hook-up, and I can see myself using this a lot.
There isn't really much different between this and the sit-down version except in the sit-down everything is immediately examinable, while in this you get to give the same experience but wherever you are... killer effect.

Teaching:

Justin is a fantastic teacher and there's something about his style that makes it easy to watch and learn from.
He goes indepth and explains everything clearly and thoroughly, but without overdoing it and repeating himself.
Your really left with no questions as to how to perform any given routine.
The one thing I would say is that he doesn't cover how to walk up to a table and set-up, but it's not hard to work out, still it would have been nice to learn his way of doing this.
That really is the only thing I can think of that could have been better... but the teaching really is first class.

Pros-

Indepth and thorough
Clear view
No fussy background or anything to distract your attention
Well explained

Cons-

No explanation of how to set-up while out performing
He doesn't come to your house and walk you through it... no really he doesn't... Smile

Overall-

Fantastic teaching from Justin Miller... excellent

Questions and answers:

In this section I'm going to try and think of anything I have not gone over that some of you may be thinking or questioning

Can you float objects??

Yes

How far away can the object be from you you are floating??

About the same as with any other elastic hook-up

But I thought I read that this offers more freedom of movement??

It does but not neccessarily while floating... but trust me this offers a LOT of freedom

How then??

Well as an example, lets say with 'The Rising'... while holding the glass they can literally be virtually across the table with you seemingly no where near them or the cards

Ive heard you mention about how this limits breakage, but does it really make that much of a difference??

Yes it does, the sit-down version basically eliminates breakage... breakage could still occur, but you'd need to be extremely careless as the hook-up is just so versatile and accomodating

Complete and utter overall:

Get this now!!!

Honestly if you like thread work then I consider this a must have... If you don't do thread work but would like to, but have always been worried about breakage or visibility etc then I consider this a must have... If your looking to give your audience an extremely visual and magical experience then pick this up, it really is as good as I'm making it out to be and if you give it a chance you'll love it also.

Totally recommended, if you like the sound of what you've heard then pick this up as you'll not be disappointed
Jaybs
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Thank you for this incredible and detailed review John; I always enjoy reading your reviews!
Y2John
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No probs

Thanks
goodell
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So I heard the cloak comes with some infinity? How much does it come with, and how much is needed per hookup? Also is the included thread stripped? Thanks in advance
-Eric

p.s. Fantastic review, may have just convinced me to buy it Smile
jimbowmanjr
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Quote:
On 2007-09-20 03:05, goodell wrote:
So I heard the cloak comes with some infinity? How much does it come with, and how much is needed per hookup? Also is the included thread stripped? Thanks in advance
-Eric

p.s. Fantastic review, may have just convinced me to buy it Smile


Directly from the creator on the thread included:

Quote:
On 2007-07-31 13:37, jussy wrote:
The Cloak only needs 8-12 inches of IET non-stretched. So I am sending al pre-orders a bobbin with 50 wraps around it of IET..so you will have at least 20 The Cloak hook-ups.

Justin N. Miller



Ordering directly from Justin gets you the thread. Justin also decided to give everyone thread with their DVD so you can immediately begin working with the material. No the thread is not stripped but it is easily stripped. You can refer to Ron Jaxon's PDF on how to strip the Infinity Thread here:

http://www.magicjax.com/infinitystrip.pdf

Best of luck,

Jim
poesjenel
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Thank you for a thorough review. After viewing the dvd I agree with most of the remarks you made. Good teaching from Justin. An explanation about how to set up at the table would have been nice. I would also like to know the lenght of thread Justin uses for the sitting and standing hookup. I was surprised he used the Yigal thread. I thought they where heavily promoting the infinity thread. I received a sample of thread with the cloak dvd and to be honest I find it to thick and shiny unless you use the conditions on the dvd where everything is black. It is very, very strong so I'll try to split to thinner strands and see it is still strong enough to use it. So before I order a big spool of infinity I'll order some silkworm thread and see of that suits me better. Anyway I agree anyone interested in effects using IET should get this dvd and I hope Justin will put up the forum where we can exchange ideas how to use this wonderfull hookup.

Jacques
goodell
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Just ordered my copy! Hope it's as good as everyone says!
jimbowmanjr
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Quote:
On 2007-09-20 03:47, poesjenel wrote:
Thank you for a thorough review. After viewing the dvd I agree with most of the remarks you made. Good teaching from Justin. An explanation about how to set up at the table would have been nice. I would also like to know the lenght of thread Justin uses for the sitting and standing hookup. I was surprised he used the Yigal thread. I thought they where heavily promoting the infinity thread. I received a sample of thread with the cloak dvd and to be honest I find it to thick and shiny unless you use the conditions on the dvd where everything is black. It is very, very strong so I'll try to split to thinner strands and see it is still strong enough to use it. So before I order a big spool of infinity I'll order some silkworm thread and see of that suits me better. Anyway I agree anyone interested in effects using IET should get this dvd and I hope Justin will put up the forum where we can exchange ideas how to use this wonderfull hookup.

Jacques


The only reason Justin is using Yigal's thread in this video is because the video was shot prior to him getting a spool of the Infinity thread and working with it. The forum would be a great idea to discuss many of Justin's effects, not only the Cloak =)

--Jim
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Another winner from the talented Justin Miller. Beautifully filmed by Kozmo magic ( they have raised the bar for DVD's ).
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Tony Venetico
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I ordered mine in June and have STILL not received it -- anyone else having this problem or am I alone???
poesjenel
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Quote:

On 2007-07-31 13:37, jussy wrote:
The Cloak only needs 8-12 inches of IET non-stretched. So I am sending al pre-orders a bobbin with 50 wraps around it of IET..so you will have at least 20 The Cloak hook-ups.

Justin N. Miller

I'm sorry to say that this is not the amount I got. I made 2 loops from the sample and then decided to make the table hookup. Its then that I noticed there was left 20" unstretched thread on the plastic thing. I suppose Justin stretched the thread when he wrapped it upon the bobbin. Great dvd but not the sample that lets you experiment a lot. Anyway by this quote I understand that about 10" is enough for the table hookup. From seeing the dvd I thought I would need at least 20" for the table hookup and 40" for the standing hookup. I hope to hear more about the size people experience to be the best for both hookups.

Good luck!
Y2John
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Ive been using a piece about the length of my arm from shoulder to palm

Best thing to do is go to a table, play around with differing lengths and then the one that works best for you is the one to remember and go with
Sebashtion H.
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Quote:
On 2007-09-22 01:45, poesjenel wrote:
Quote:

On 2007-07-31 13:37, jussy wrote:
The Cloak only needs 8-12 inches of IET non-stretched. So I am sending al pre-orders a bobbin with 50 wraps around it of IET..so you will have at least 20 The Cloak hook-ups.

Justin N. Miller

I'm sorry to say that this is not the amount I got. I made 2 loops from the sample and then decided to make the table hookup. Its then that I noticed there was left 20" unstretched thread on the plastic thing. I suppose Justin stretched the thread when he wrapped it upon the bobbin. Great dvd but not the sample that lets you experiment a lot. Anyway by this quote I understand that about 10" is enough for the table hookup. From seeing the dvd I thought I would need at least 20" for the table hookup and 40" for the standing hookup. I hope to hear more about the size people experience to be the best for both hookups.

Good luck!

first did you tie the body loop of normal loops?
second Did you strip it to get the strands out or just tie the loops?????
by the way how much did you actually get I seen the amounts he spun on these and they were all 50 wraps if for some freak reason you did not get this email me
sebashtion@subdividedstudios.com and we can fix this for you..........

Sebashtion H.
Sebashtion H.
Start Your Legacy!!!
www.subdividedstudios.com
Review King
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Anyone having trouble finding a cloak like the one Justin wears in thr credits? Would wearing a cloak like that ine tip off the method?
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
poesjenel
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Hi Sebashtion,

I did not strip the thread. Thought that was not the intention and seriously doubt that using single strands would not result in a lot of breakage. It would make the thread much more invisible but for me it is rather logical when you use one strand out of a thread that is composed out of three strands you reduce the strenght to a 1/3th of the original strenght. The two loops I mentioned where normal loops to put around the wrist.( unstretched maybe 12" to make the loop ) To be on the really save,save side ( doubling what I first suggested ) : there was no more than 2m or 80" of unstretched thread on the bobbin. No way that you can make 20 cloak hookups with this. As I said before : A great dvd, I'm happy I bought it and I think everyone interested in IET should have it but the sample did not give me enough play to make me decide to buy the big spool or to compare it in a serious way to the silkwormthread that's on his way to me.

Good luck,

Jacques
Y2John
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The thread is still pretty strong once stripped... ive been using it and I have not had one break so far.

If you strip it (I think that's the point???) you'll def get the amount of hook-ups that was said.
Give it a try and I think you'll be surprised.
oombob
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Allows a hands off rising card with a borrowed deck that can be fully examined before and after the effect. A great loop forward!
Justin N. Miller
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Hey guys and gals,
I am so thrilled of the success of The Cloak. You guys have made it a top seller in just 3 weeks! WOW!
Thank you guys once again.
Wait till you see what I have planned for The Cloak 2!
Which is why I am here. I am currently putting together all the effects for the second DVD schedule for releasee next yr. I am collecting from all who have The Cloak new and original Ideas and routines with the Hook-up.
The first DVD was just an introduction to you guys..now its your time to shine. Please submit (only videos of routine or idea with Explanations) to jmille38@insight.rr.com if you have something original and breathtaking you will be notified and given the proper credit on The Cloak 2 DVD and a few of you might get a chance to appear with me on the DVD.
Now the fun begins.
Justin N.Miller

use http://www.yousendit.com to submit your videos DO NOT PUT THEM UP ON YOU TUBE that will be an automatic disqualification!
poesjenel
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Was the mentioning somewhere of a future forum not the intention to buyers of the cloak to share experiences, new ideas...
Justin N. Miller
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I am still working on the forum but I am having some issues with it still. I will let you all know when/if that will take place. In the meantime I wanted to share the above.

Justin N. Miller
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