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Topic: Docc Hilford's The Vault
Message: Posted by: dennfox (Jun 28, 2010 10:06PM)
Picked up a copy of this 2-dvd set from my favorite magic dealer, Joe Pon at Misdirections Magic. Now I need to find the time to watch it. I will report back after I view it!
Message: Posted by: Looch (Jun 29, 2010 06:41AM)
"Slit" is very very powerful...the girl who Docc did this for looked genuinely disturbed yet amazed

Great DVD
Message: Posted by: dennfox (Jun 29, 2010 04:46PM)
Watched the first disc of this two disc set and I am impressed. The material is stuff I've seen Docc do and teach at his lectures over the years however there is so much more detail in both presentation and explanation. The gem of the first disc is the interviews at the end of the disc where Docc talks about mentalism and performance. Well worth the price and that's just with only considering the first disc. I still need to view the second disc.
Message: Posted by: Hilksha (Jun 30, 2010 12:03AM)
I love the effect Styx. Great DVD set.
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jun 30, 2010 07:10PM)
I own a lot of Docc Hilford’s material, manuscripts, videos (tapes and DVDs), effects, utility items… I really like the way he thinks, his simplification of methodology and his story-telling like presentations make me smile. Up until recently, if asked which of his products was my favorite, I would have said that it was Real Mindreading (a video tape put out by Brian Flora). Much of the material from the tape was reconstructed on the Monster Mentalism series of DVDs, but the old tape still stands out for me.

Last week, The Vault arrived. This was a set that I was anxiously waiting for. I recognized 3 of the routines as pieces that I had read, but I had not seen them performed. The main one I wanted to see was the Ball and Tube.

I’ve had the manuscript for the Ball and Tube since it came out. There were a lot of discussions of the routine back then. I read through it a few times, but never worked on it. Sometimes we cannot visualize how someone else’s work looks just from reading about it. Now I had the chance to actually see it performed. What I saw not only made me grin, ear to ear, but blew me away because of the thought process that went into it.

In addition to the Ball and Tube, Docc utilized a key. I won’t say much about the key (as it has to be seen), except that Docc gives the best instruction on this method that I have ever come across. (Note: outside of Docc, I’ve only seen one other performer use this version. Back in the 90’s I saw Bill Wisch blow away a room full of magicians with this, including me, and I knew the method.)

A few pieces of paper, something to write with, and a pendulum, and act, or a one act show. I’d read Docc’s handling of this in one of his manuscripts. I also read Dr. Jak’s version many years ago and have my own (I posted a version here at the Café last year). I love pendulum routines, especially those where it is handled by others, and Docc’s work is a master class on this type of work. The performance was fantastic, and expanded from what he had published before. The explanation was even better than the performance.

The Nostrum Booktest is Docc’s work on the torn paper magazine/newspaper test. I first read his basic work on this in his Newspaper manuscript and gave myself one of those V-8 slaps to the head, then migrated to his methodology. This was the third routine on the DVD set that I felt I had to see. Once again, seeing Docc work this, and all the moments he gets from it, and the way he builds it to involve the entire audience is amazing. It is a fantastic routine with multiple moments, and it plays as large as you want it to play. Not bad for a borrowed paperback book and something to write on.

Styx is a fantastic routine where the performer demonstrates, and attempt to teach the ability to do near instant math. It is a well constructed presentation and premise that grows in difficulty and complexity as the routine goes on, and has an ending (difficult for these types of routines). Although the routine does not fit me, I learned some things I did not know about the items used (and I’ve been using them for several decades).

The Time Machine, I’d never heard of this routine of Docc’s. I know Larry Becker’s routine of the same name, so I was not sure if this would fit me. Then I watched the performance. WOW! The story is so finely crafted, and there is so much amazement and entertainment for little to no work.

The final piece, Slit, is Docc being Docc. From the discussions in the interview section, we learn that this was performed two different ways, the theatrical way that is on the DVD, and as a straight demonstration that ended up having too much impact and the spectator had to be reassured several times… As for the performance version, I don’t know what to say! This has everything but the kitchen sink, and it played very strong, so strong that one would think it was staged, but it wasn’t.

As I said, this is my favorite collection of Docc’s work, and it dawns on me now why. Not just the strong material, but this set (like Real Mindreading) fits me and the venues I play. It is presented in an intimate setting, this is not to say that it won’t play on stage, it will. But the way it was presented here is intimate and for the most part, the focus is on the guests, and there is a bit of a jazz elelement that makes it fun and exciting to perform..

I cannot speak for anyone else, but for me, this is ideal and killer material.

Tony Iacoviello
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Jun 30, 2010 09:01PM)
Thank-you for the informative review Tony.

Rich
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (Jun 30, 2010 09:12PM)
Great review. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who had the ball and tube book, read it and had to see it. Actually the ball and tube and pendulum effects are the real reasons I bought this. So far I've watched ball &tube, styx and pendule and I feel that I have gotten far more than my money's worth, this all amazing stuff.

Also, not that I know Docc, my feeling is that the setting really demonstrates how good he is. The L&L set was amazing, but I feel like Docc's personality shines through here.
Message: Posted by: Amirá (Jun 30, 2010 10:42PM)
What´s the presentational frame for the Ball and Tube?
Message: Posted by: dennfox (Jul 1, 2010 12:10AM)
Ball and Tube much more detailed and really covers patter and psychology presented along with the additional haunted key.
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Jul 1, 2010 12:32AM)
This is a great collection of DVDs but I can't say I really like it more than the Monster mentalism series. They both have their strengths and when talking about Docc, that is super strength!

I may have a reason to be biased :) but I prefer the pedulum routine from the Monster set, Dead or Alive, which Docc was kind enough allow me to describe in detail in Trybil. Pendula is also very good so don't get me wrong.

Seeing The Balll And Tube actually done, espeically with the added touches was a joy to watch. You can see how much Docc treasures this performance and how that translates to its impact on the audience.

I've always liked Time Machine and this a paricularly fine and detailed handling. Docc is doing some incredible effects with props you wouldn't ordinarily think to apply to metalism.

And I agree that the interviews are excellent. I love to listen to Docc share his thoughts and beliefs on what makes for great mentalism. He doesn't pull punches and I think both the Monster set and The Vault should be in all mentalists' libraries.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 3, 2010 11:11AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-30 20:10, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
I own a lot of Docc Hilford’s material, manuscripts, videos (tapes and DVDs), effects, utility items… I really like the way he thinks, his simplification of methodology and his story-telling like presentations make me smile. Up until recently, if asked which of his products was my favorite, I would have said that it was Real Mindreading (a video tape put out by Brian Flora). Much of the material from the tape was reconstructed on the Monster Mentalism series of DVDs, but the old tape still stands out for me.

Last week, The Vault arrived. This was a set that I was anxiously waiting for. I recognized 3 of the routines as pieces that I had read, but I had not seen them performed. The main one I wanted to see was the Ball and Tube.

I’ve had the manuscript for the Ball and Tube since it came out. There were a lot of discussions of the routine back then. I read through it a few times, but never worked on it. Sometimes we cannot visualize how someone else’s work looks just from reading about it. Now I had the chance to actually see it performed. What I saw not only made me grin, ear to ear, but blew me away because of the thought process that went into it.

In addition to the Ball and Tube, Docc utilized a key. I won’t say much about the key (as it has to be seen), except that Docc gives the best instruction on this method that I have ever come across. (Note: outside of Docc, I’ve only seen one other performer use this version. Back in the 90’s I saw Bill Wisch blow away a room full of magicians with this, including me, and I knew the method.)

A few pieces of paper, something to write with, and a pendulum, and act, or a one act show. I’d read Docc’s handling of this in one of his manuscripts. I also read Dr. Jak’s version many years ago and have my own (I posted a version here at the Café last year). I love pendulum routines, especially those where it is handled by others, and Docc’s work is a master class on this type of work. The performance was fantastic, and expanded from what he had published before. The explanation was even better than the performance.

The Nostrum Booktest is Docc’s work on the torn paper magazine/newspaper test. I first read his basic work on this in his Newspaper manuscript and gave myself one of those V-8 slaps to the head, then migrated to his methodology. This was the third routine on the DVD set that I felt I had to see. Once again, seeing Docc work this, and all the moments he gets from it, and the way he builds it to involve the entire audience is amazing. It is a fantastic routine with multiple moments, and it plays as large as you want it to play. Not bad for a borrowed paperback book and something to write on.

Styx is a fantastic routine where the performer demonstrates, and attempt to teach the ability to do near instant math. It is a well constructed presentation and premise that grows in difficulty and complexity as the routine goes on, and has an ending (difficult for these types of routines). Although the routine does not fit me, I learned some things I did not know about the items used (and I’ve been using them for several decades).

The Time Machine, I’d never heard of this routine of Docc’s. I know Larry Becker’s routine of the same name, so I was not sure if this would fit me. Then I watched the performance. WOW! The story is so finely crafted, and there is so much amazement and entertainment for little to no work.

The final piece, Slit, is Docc being Docc. From the discussions in the interview section, we learn that this was performed two different ways, the theatrical way that is on the DVD, and as a straight demonstration that ended up having too much impact and the spectator had to be reassured several times… As for the performance version, I don’t know what to say! This has everything but the kitchen sink, and it played very strong, so strong that one would think it was staged, but it wasn’t.

As I said, this is my favorite collection of Docc’s work, and it dawns on me now why. Not just the strong material, but this set (like Real Mindreading) fits me and the venues I play. It is presented in an intimate setting, this is not to say that it won’t play on stage, it will. But the way it was presented here is intimate and for the most part, the focus is on the guests, and there is a bit of a jazz elelement that makes it fun and exciting to perform..

I cannot speak for anyone else, but for me, this is ideal and killer material.

Tony Iacoviello
[/quote]

Tony, thanks for yoru professional take on The Vault. It's wonderfful when a real Pro takes the time to do a review.

Chris
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (Jul 3, 2010 11:49AM)
I finished it. It is SO good.
On reflection I do like the pendulum routine in monster mentalism better also, but I like the atmosphere better in the vault.
Message: Posted by: James Harrison (Jul 5, 2010 07:54AM)
Thank you for the reviews gentlemen. I'm looking forward to getting my copy from the man himself off his website. http://www.docchilfordproducts.com

Can't wait to see guys.
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (Jul 5, 2010 09:25AM)
Many thanks for the review! I am excited about obtaining my copy!
Message: Posted by: brehan (Jul 5, 2010 10:24AM)
Does anybody now where to buy the styx sticks??
Message: Posted by: oralroberts (Jul 5, 2010 03:26PM)
Thanks for the review, always appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Bedford (Jul 11, 2010 11:18AM)
[quote]
On 2010-07-05 11:24, brehan wrote:
Does anybody now where to buy the styx sticks??
[/quote]

That's a good question. I have seen them in the past but can't remember the trade name. Checked the usual sites but haven't run across them yet. I like the aluminum ones Docc uses on the DVD; those or similar ones would be nice. Failing that I will no doubt make my own.
Message: Posted by: TheGingerWizard (Jul 11, 2010 11:42AM)
Google 'buy mental logs' I found a few places selling the aluminium ones!
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jul 11, 2010 11:49AM)
Be careful. I ordered several sets from eTrickShop weeks ago, they have not arrived nor have I heard anything back from them on my order since the original invoice.

Tony
Message: Posted by: Bedford (Jul 11, 2010 02:05PM)
Daytona Magic has them listed, will try them. Tony, thanks for the heads up on the other place.
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jul 11, 2010 03:33PM)
Thank you. I just noticed, those are green. The set I have (old as the hills) is purple. I wonder if anyone has multi-color sets? (It would save me some work on the new ones.)

Tony
Message: Posted by: Bedford (Jul 11, 2010 04:17PM)
I just ordered a couple of sets from Daytona. I requested 2 different color sets if available.
Message: Posted by: dennfox (Jul 12, 2010 10:20AM)
Joe Pon at Misdirections Magic in San Francisco has the different colored sticks.
Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (Jul 12, 2010 10:45AM)
[quote]
On 2010-07-12 11:20, dennfox wrote:
Joe Pon at Misdirections Magic in San Francisco has the different colored sticks.
[/quote]

What is it called at this web site. I couldn't find it in a search.
Message: Posted by: dennfox (Jul 12, 2010 11:48AM)
http://misdirections.com
Joe is closed on Mondays. It's best to phone him and he mails everywhere. Tel # 415-566-2180

I don't know what he calls it. But I was playing with them yesterday at his shop.
Message: Posted by: dennfox (Jul 13, 2010 10:34PM)
Joe Pon is going to let me know if they still make the Mental Logs! The link is: MENTAL LOGS by Magic King.
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Jul 15, 2010 09:40AM)
My friends,

Thank you for all the encouraging words.

As many of you know, we who create tricks that are seen on DVDs produced by independent companies, make only a small fee at the time of production.
After that, we sell a few copies. Then the profits made are for the production company and the magic shops.
I'm grateful to those of you who support the authors and creators by purchasing directly from us during the initial stages of release.

Of course, because of a hectic schedule of performing, lecturing, new creations and other activities, delays in filling orders can be made. Sometimes delays are caused by volcanos, oil leaks or nefarious postal handlers.

Recently, there was a problem with a handful of orders.
They were immediately taken care of, but I never feel good about a mishap at the expense of someone else's patience.

Most of you are so understanding that I want to express my appreciation in an open forum.

If, however, you're angry at me for a delay in getting your DVDs, I can only apologize and assure you that everything possible has been done to ensure their prompt arrival.

Thank you again,

Docc
Message: Posted by: Bedford (Jul 15, 2010 12:04PM)
I just got my Mental Logs from Daytona Magic. They are made by Sam's Magic Service in Calcutta, India, and called Improved Mental Logs. They look like what Docc is using on the DVD and work exactly the same. Although I requested two different colored sets if available, I got two sets of red. I would guess that's all that Harry had in stock. They look good though and I'm looking forward to working with them.
Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (Jul 16, 2010 08:24AM)
I also just ordered a set (mental logs) from Daytona. Misdirections did not have them in stock.
Message: Posted by: J.Warrens (Jul 16, 2010 02:46PM)
Docc, you are a true gentleman - and thanks for taking the time to post a response here.

I enjoy your work immensely and use your nightmare coins as well as T42 all the time at a gig where I perform 3 nights a week.

Thanks, for releasing all the great material you have over all the years.

Cheers.
Message: Posted by: dennfox (Jul 17, 2010 10:22PM)
Certainly no middle ground when it come to Docc. You either love him or hate him!
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 22, 2010 10:15AM)
I just got my "The Vault" set and stayed up to 4 a.m. watching them. I've always been a big fan of Docc's work, but this, in my opinion, is the finest work he's done.

The L&L set was wonderful, with some classic work from him. But The Vault dvds captured exactly how he is in person. Kudos to the filming crew for nailing this.

These dvds should have been $200 or more. The interview segments alone were worth the price of the set. The 'real' work tipped is the finest instruction I've seen.

Chris
Message: Posted by: MikeTheRed (Jul 31, 2010 10:55AM)
Docc wrote: "Recently, there was a problem with a handful of orders.
They were immediately taken care of, but I never feel good about a mishap at the expense of someone else's patience.

Most of you are so understanding that I want to express my appreciation in an open forum."

I was one of those handful of orders. Docc took care of everything immediately and with an unmatched level of professionalism and customer service. Sometimes how people handle challenges tells you more about a person than when everything is going well! Docc gained a customer for life with this transaction. Also, "The Vault" is excellent!

Mike
Message: Posted by: Shayde Phoenix (Jul 4, 2013 06:21PM)
Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I wanted to chime in here too as I feel Docc deserves it.

There's not much that I can say that hasn't already been said. I really enjoyed this release. So much great work here using simple props that are often overlooked. I'll certainly be using the Pendulum material and dusting off the old Ball and Tube as well.

Highly recommended.
Message: Posted by: Corbett (Dec 29, 2016 10:46AM)
[quote]On Jun 30, 2010, Hilksha wrote:
I love the effect Styx. Great DVD set. [/quote]

Can you explain the effect, or how he structures the effect?
Message: Posted by: Michael Mindreader (Dec 29, 2016 05:17PM)
Everything from Docc is a no brainer. There I said it.
Message: Posted by: Max Hazy (Dec 29, 2016 08:44PM)
[quote]On Jun 29, 2010, Looch wrote:
"Slit" is very very powerful...the girl who Docc did this for looked genuinely disturbed yet amazed

Great DVD [/quote]

What exactly happens in the "Slit" effect? The name suggests it's the same from his penguin lecture... but is not listed there. Is it the same?