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Topic: Illusion Design by Mark Parker
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Jul 20, 2003 06:57AM)
Even as a small boy playing with my first pack of [i]TV Magic Cards[/i], I can remember seeing adverts selling plans to build your own illusions. Like many youths starting out in magic I too thought about the possibility of [i]Sawing a lady in half[/i]! When your nine years old, it seems like all one might need is a set of plans, some lumber and a few nails and [b]Presto![/b], you're an instant illusionist. :lol:

Over the years the magic fraternity has been offered numerous sets of so-called [i]workshop[/i] plans, each giving hope to the would be illusionist the opportunity to actually own and perform one of these great boxes of mystery. For a regular guy, this seems like a dream come true. After all, to purchase the [i]real[/i] deal means spending thousands of dollars, and only a select few seem to have the means to do so.

Many such blueprints have circulated within the magic community, marketed by such well known sources as [i]Abbotts[/i], [i]Thayer[/i], [i]Jim Steinmeyer[/i] and later the prolific designer [i]Paul Osborne[/i] with his original [i]Illusion System[/i] plans. Some of the aforementioned plans are good...some are not.

In the past however, most plans were not much more then simple sketch's, many amounting to nothing more then hasty drawings or conceptual ideas that may or may not have ever actually been built.

To add even more mud to already very murky water, the actual measurements and dimensions were rarely accurate.
I can only imagine how many poor souls spent hours in their garage sawing, cutting and sanding only to find out most of the parts did not fit together properly. A lot of sweat, cash and hardwork for nothing. :fruity:

Even with accurate blueprints, I must point out that the average magician may not realize it takes more then decent wood working skills to successfully construct a large scale illusion. It also requires a good understanding of how illusions work in the [i]real[/i] world using actual assistants under stage lights and in front of a live audience. ;)

In that light, I would recommend finding a good set of plans and [b]then[/b] have a [b]professional[/b] illusion builder do the actual constructing. You'll save yourself a world of frustration and maybe even some cash believe it or not. Besides, professionals have access to materials and tools we mere mortals can only dream about, and at prices beyond our reach. In addition, most of us require all ten fingers and both hands to perform our magical wonders. I've come to learn that human skin and electric saws are often a deadly combination. :lol:

With that in mind, I would like to give you a sneak peek at the latest offering of illusion plans from someone who may actually know what he's talking about! Enjoy. :)

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[b]Illusion Design by Mark Parker[/b]
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[img]images/Reviews/illusiondesign.gif[/img]

[i]FROM THE FORWARD:[/i]
"If you love illusions as much as I do I can guarantee, as you turn over the pages, like me on my first and privileged viewing, you too won't sleep tonight" - [b]Philip Burgess[/b]

I could not agree more. There is some great thinking nestled deep within the pages of this fabulous work.

Perfect bound and approximately 81/2 x 14 inches with 122 pages, this book is jammed packed with a variety of killer ideas.

There are seven original illusions that Mr. Parker has generously given us. These include approximately 66 [b]full color[/b] drawings (a magic first in illusion plans) to help you visualize and eventually construct these bad boys. Not only that, but Mark also includes [i]full performance rights[/i] to purchasers! Very cool indeed. :bwink:

All the measurements appear to be quite accurate, but Mark does state these are to be taken as a [i]guide[/i] only. Probably good advice and just one more reason to consult a pro to do the actual building. In fact, there is at least one illusion in the book that specifically recommends having a professional on hand. ;)

The ideas in this book are absolutely amazing. Two of my favorites are [b]Rubik's Revenge[/b] and [b]Inertia[/b]. The latter being worth the price of admission alone. :nod:

In addition to all the colorful plans, Mark has included many tips, ideas and other pieces of advice that no would be illusionist should be without. If that were not enough, there are also contributions from [b]David Mendoza[/b] and [b]Tony Clark[/b] to help complete an already great work.

I think this book is very worthy of your attention, and in my opinion sets the standard by which other designers will hopefully take some notes. My only complaint (and it's very small) is that with all this great quality, I really wish Mark would have released this in hardback. Perhaps in the future? ;)

If you're thinking about getting into illusions, this book is a must have item. Recommended. :nod:

[b]My rating:[/b] [img]images/Reviews/4.gif[/img]

Suggested retail: [b]65.00/$120.00[/b] (includes shipping if ordered direct from Mark)

To visit [b]Mark Parker's[/b] website:
[url=http://www.4-effect.com]Click here![/url]

You can contact [b]Mark Parker[/b] [i]directly[/i] at: markparker1@mac.com

You can also purchase from [b]Hank Lee's Magic Factory[/b] [url=http://hanklee.org/xcart/customer/product.php?productid=6657&cat=&page=1]Click here for more info[/url]