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Topic: "Polygraph" by Ben Blau - a card mentalism effect
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 7, 2013 11:05PM)
Greetings, Café members.

Some of you might know my name, though I suspect most of you don't. For many years, my close friend Patrick Redford has been trying to convince me to release some of the effects from my personal repertoire to the mentalism community. He's finally coerced
me to video record one of my card mentalism effects, and I thought I'd post it here to see if there would
be any interest in me putting this out for sale. If there is sufficient interest, we'll record a follow up to this performance footage which will include the explanation of the effect, as well as some bonus material in the form of some theory topics, commentary, and alternate handlings and presentational angles for the effect.

If the reaction to this video is positive, you can expect more releases from me in the near future.

Here's the link to the performance: https://www.dropbox.com/s/aj2wu3vv7heuluf/Ben%27s%20Polygraph.mp4

Submitted for your consideration.

-Ben Blau
Message: Posted by: Demitri (Dec 8, 2013 01:06AM)
Whether or not you decide to release it, it's a great demonstration! I love the concept, and the presentation was very entertaining. It also fooled the hell out of me! If I were you, I'd keep that under your hat. But, I'm not - so pease sell it so I can use it! =)

Fantastic!
Message: Posted by: lucavolpe (Dec 8, 2013 03:01AM)
I hate you guys!! I m completely fooled!!....lol......Patrck my friend release this asap!!!
Message: Posted by: landmark (Dec 8, 2013 05:45AM)
I *think* I know what's going on, and it's very clever. If I'm wrong, thanks for leading my mind in an interesting direction. :)
A nice lesson too in congruence and giving directions clearly.
Message: Posted by: Funnybaldbloke (Dec 8, 2013 06:01AM)
Brilliant.

Simply presented, easy to follow and a fantastic climax.
Message: Posted by: george1953 (Dec 8, 2013 07:50AM)
I enjoyed it, have no idea, if you put it out I would buy it.
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Dec 8, 2013 08:30AM)
GREAT !!!
Message: Posted by: will4gzus (Dec 8, 2013 10:06AM)
Very nice effect!
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Dec 8, 2013 10:58AM)
I liked it a lot too ...by George!!!

Seriously though, I enjoyed the premise and it would be a very cool release.

I am wondering if the effect has 100% accuracy or is it similar to Ben & Steve's release where accuracy is about 85-90% but still incredibly fair an amazing?

Great stuff - very fair.
Message: Posted by: andre46 (Dec 8, 2013 11:03AM)
Excellent effect, excellent presentation!
Message: Posted by: Amirá (Dec 8, 2013 11:06AM)
Ben

Certainly, a great method! I will love to see more of your work

Pm you about some things that I want to discuss in private :)


Best
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 8, 2013 11:10AM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-08 11:58, saysold1 wrote:
I liked it a lot too ...by George!!!

Seriously though, I enjoyed the premise and it would be a very cool release.

I am wondering if the effect has 100% accuracy or is it similar to Ben & Steve's release where accuracy is about 85-90% but still incredibly fair an amazing?

Great stuff - very fair. [/quote]

It is 100%. Well, as much as any trick can be. I guess someone could screw it up if they were really inept.
Message: Posted by: MatthewSims (Dec 8, 2013 11:17AM)
This is a wonderful effect. I would buy this in a heartbeat. That's saying a lot, considering I'm not big into cards these days. All of the elements just seem so fair, and it leaves a lot of room for presentation.

As landmark said, great job with spectator management. I can't wait to see more !
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 8, 2013 11:29AM)
Thank you!
Message: Posted by: ash2arani (Dec 8, 2013 09:24PM)
This is such a beautiful routine. Add me to the list Ben. The only problem with showing us such a video is that you leave us wanting to see more of your work. Maybe it is about time to emerge from the 'underground' :)

I hope to hear soon about your releases.
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 8, 2013 10:25PM)
Nice.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 8, 2013 10:46PM)
Excellent. You have a really great voice too you could do radio or voice overs!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 8, 2013 10:59PM)
I never thought about that, but thank you!
Message: Posted by: Alwow (Dec 9, 2013 12:30AM)
Sold!
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Dec 9, 2013 05:06AM)
That looks amazing :)
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Dec 9, 2013 05:24AM)
Ben, are you the same guy Patrick credited with the idea for Prevaricator?

Best
Sean
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 05:39AM)
Yes, that's me.
Message: Posted by: rjs (Dec 9, 2013 06:05AM)
Groovy trick!
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 9, 2013 06:08AM)
But where did Patricks hat vanish to??? That is a mystery!!!!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 06:11AM)
I believe it now resides in the Smithsonian.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Wassom (Dec 9, 2013 10:28AM)
Fooled! Good fun, great job Ben.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 01:21PM)
Overwhelmed with the positive response here. Look for there to be a fair amount of bonus material included with the download. Lots of different permutations and handlings (some of which are completely hands-off by the performer while his or her back is turned), theory discussion, and different presentational themes
will be explored.
Message: Posted by: NFW (Dec 9, 2013 02:36PM)
Wow, very nice...
Message: Posted by: ArtIn (Dec 9, 2013 02:49PM)
I also like to echo what landmark already wrote.
Fantastic and no surprise as Patrick mentioned your work and thoughts within Prevaricator several times!
I fooled the hell out of a friend and colleague by just using the which hand sequence again and again.
He was flabbergasted. I felt the same after watching your demo.
Can't wait to hear or read more from you. :applause:
Message: Posted by: The Paranormalist (Dec 9, 2013 03:32PM)
Great routine and so well presented.
Message: Posted by: Amirá (Dec 9, 2013 03:41PM)
I received an advanced copy of "Polygraph" (Thanks Ben!) , and I must say that this is an example of good routining, thinking and simple approach to maximize the test condition environment of the performance.

Congratulations, if your underground work is just like this piece, I am sure that Mentalism will advance :)


Best
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 05:09PM)
Thank you so much, Amira! That means a lot, coming from you. I have enormous respect and admiration for your work!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 05:12PM)
Lots of variations will be included as well in the full release.
Message: Posted by: Stefan Behrens (Dec 9, 2013 05:51PM)
When we will get the full release?

Regards
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 06:14PM)
In a few weeks. I'm a college professor (at two different colleges) and am in the death throws of finals weeks until after the 19th. Patrick and I will get together as soon as possible after that to complete the filming, and it should be ready shortly thereafter.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 06:21PM)
I also have to make up some props for some other presentations that will be included, and I'm trying to source materials for that.
Message: Posted by: insight (Dec 9, 2013 06:25PM)
Ben, 2013 is your year---you were Researcher of the Year at your University, and I feel that this now will be the routine of the year---it is a fooler! Great job, buddy!

Regards,
Mike

[quote]
On 2013-12-09 19:14, Ben Blau wrote:
In a few weeks. I'm a college professor (at two different colleges) and am in the death throws of finals weeks until after the 19th. Patrick and I will get together as soon as possible after that to complete the filming, and it should be ready shortly thereafter.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 06:28PM)
That researcher of the year is, coincidentally, a different Ben Blau. Not me in this case! LOL
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 9, 2013 06:29PM)
But thanks so much for the compliment on the effect!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 10, 2013 10:39AM)
Also included will be a routine which allows you to walk up to a complete stranger, and ask him or her to think of their star sign and favorite color. You go on to prove you know both, without asking a single question. It uses a related methodology to Polygraph, so it will be on there as a bonus, as well as a few others.
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Dec 10, 2013 10:52AM)
Any idea on the price?

[quote]
On 2013-12-10 11:39, Ben Blau wrote:
Also included will be a routine which allows you to walk up to a complete stranger, and ask him or her to think of their star sign and favorite color. You go on to prove you know both, without asking a single question. It uses a related methodology to Polygraph, so it will be on there as a bonus, as well as a few others.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 10, 2013 12:17PM)
I plan to make it affordable, but there is no set price yet. Since it will be marketed through Patrick, I will need to consult with him.
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 10, 2013 12:19PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-10 13:17, Ben Blau wrote:
I plan to make it affordable, but there is no set price yet. Since it will be marketed through Patrick, I will need to consult with him.
[/quote]

Ok then! Hurry up!! ;)
Message: Posted by: ash2arani (Dec 10, 2013 12:26PM)
This is sounding more and more promising Ben. Seriously, hurry up! :)
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 10, 2013 12:27PM)
Yet another variation will allow you to ask a spectator to think of a childhood memory that you couldn't possibly know, and associate it with a single image that best exemplifies the experience. As the participant focuses his or her mind on this memory, you are immediately able to prove that you know exactly what they are thinking of with no questions asked.

I know, this doesn't sound related to Polygraph, but it really is!
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Dec 10, 2013 12:27PM)
It sounds like a really great effect and great bonuses.

I am sure it will have a big succes!


[quote]
On 2013-12-10 13:17, Ben Blau wrote:
I plan to make it affordable, but there is no set price yet. Since it will be marketed through Patrick, I will need to consult with him.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: rowland (Dec 10, 2013 12:28PM)
Love this, great presentation. Something I would def buy.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 10, 2013 12:34PM)
I'm much more interested in the bonus material than the polygraph presentation, personally speaking...so I'd definitely be interested in it when its released if its more open-ended...(polygraph is very well done btw, just not my personal cup of tea)...
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 10, 2013 02:51PM)
I'll stop teasing bonuses after this one, but please imagine the following:

You make plans with a friend over the telephone. During the conversation, you ask if before you get together, he would go to the drugstore and purchase a brand new deck of cards, which he will leave unopened until you get together. Offer to reimburse the cost if necessary.

A few days later, visit your friend and ask if he got the deck as requested. He does, and brings it out. YOU NEVER TOUCH IT.

Ask him to unwrap the deck, get rid of the jokers and advertising cards, and then to thoroughly mix the cards as much as he likes. He does this. You then turn your back, and ask him to set the cards down on the table. In the interest of time, ask him to cut off a portion of cards (maybe about a third of the deck or so), spread them with the faces toward himself, and merely think of any card he sees. He does this. He is then asked to remix the packet as much as he likes.

You then turn around to face him. Ask him to concentrate on his card, and appear to read his mind in any manner that suits you. Without asking any questions, you are immediately able to take the packet (which you have thus far not even touched) and remove one card, which is unambiguously placed face down on the table. Only then is your friend asked to name the card he merely thought of. He turns over the card on the table. It is a match!

No gimmicks, switches, moves, or anything else. The cards he bought are the only ones in play. You do not touch the cards until the very end to remove the thought-of selection.

This is the most advanced version of the routine, and you need to be an experienced performer to pull it off, but I assure you it plays exactly as described.

Okay, I will stop putting out these spoilers now until the thing comes out. Hopefully in the meantime, this last one will give you something to think about.
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Dec 10, 2013 03:03PM)
You are killing us. Yes yes :)[quote]
On 2013-12-10 15:51, Ben Blau wrote:
I'll stop teasing bonuses after this one, but please imagine the following:

You make plans with a friend over the telephone. During the conversation, you ask if before you get together, he would go to the drugstore and purchase a brand new deck of cards, which he will leave unopened until you get together. Offer to reimburse the cost if necessary.

A few days later, visit your friend and ask if he got the deck as requested. He does, and brings it out. YOU NEVER TOUCH IT.

Ask him to unwrap the deck, get rid of the jokers and advertising cards, and then to thoroughly mix the cards as much as he likes. He does this. You then turn your back, and ask him to set the cards down on the table. In the interest of time, ask him to cut off a portion of cards (maybe about a third of the deck or so), spread them with the faces toward himself, and merely think of any card he sees. He does this. He is then asked to remix the packet as much as he likes.

You then turn around to face him. Ask him to concentrate on his card, and appear to read his mind in any manner that suits you. Without asking any questions, you are immediately able to take the packet (which you have thus far not even touched) and remove one card, which is unambiguously placed face down on the table. Only then is your friend asked to name the card he merely thought of. He turns over the card on the table. It is a match!

No gimmicks, switches, moves, or anything else. The cards he bought are the only ones in play. You do not touch the cards until the very end to remove the thought-of selection.

This is the most advanced version of the routine, and you need to be an experienced performer to pull it off, but I assure you it plays exactly as described.

Okay, I will stop putting out these spoilers now until the thing comes out. Hopefully in the meantime, this last one will give you something to think about.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Steve Suss (Dec 10, 2013 03:11PM)
Ben, that was a great routine and presentation. Is it possible to shorten it a bit to fit performance requirements? Thanks.
Steve
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 10, 2013 03:13PM)
I think so, but I have a rationale for most of the things you saw in the performance video. I think people might see the pace and performance steps in a new light when they learn the method.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 10, 2013 03:24PM)
Ok already - show us how to get this :)
Message: Posted by: Steve Suss (Dec 10, 2013 03:57PM)
I haven't got a clue here. Is it based on a new principle and can it be applied to other effects that we do.
Steve
Message: Posted by: Waters (Dec 10, 2013 05:27PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-10 16:24, Dr Spektor wrote:
Ok already - show us how to get this :)
[/quote]

Me too. Great work Ben. This looks great.

Regards,

Sean
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 10, 2013 05:42PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-10 16:57, Steve Suss wrote:
I haven't got a clue here. Is it based on a new principle and can it be applied to other effects that we do.
Steve
[/quote]

I'd rather not start a speculation thread about method. I hope you understand.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 10, 2013 06:00PM)
But I will say, the applications are far reaching. I'm currently struggling to determine how many variations NOT to include in the package.
Message: Posted by: Amirá (Dec 10, 2013 06:23PM)
Today I used the "Polygraph" method with a best suitable premise for me to present this little mindreading miracle and it went excellent!

Thanks Ben!


Best
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Dec 10, 2013 06:54PM)
This looks really great! Waiting to hear more.....
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 10, 2013 07:09PM)
Wow, I wish you had a video!
Message: Posted by: insight (Dec 10, 2013 07:34PM)
Very interesting! Well, the effects from your creation certainly deserve a place among the top releases this year. I give you the "researcher of the year" award from a magic perspective, given how many variations you have been able to research---it is simply brilliant.

Regards,
Mike

[quote]
On 2013-12-09 19:28, Ben Blau wrote:
That researcher of the year is, coincidentally, a different Ben Blau. Not me in this case! LOL
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Nicolino (Dec 11, 2013 01:58AM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-08 06:45, landmark wrote:
I *think* I know what's going on, and it's very clever. If I'm wrong, thanks for leading my mind in an interesting direction. :)
A nice lesson too in congruence and giving directions clearly.
[/quote]
Exactly my thoughts!
Funny thing is: even the bonus effect can be accomplished with the subtelty I have in mind. But as always it's not about the technique (be it as old as the hills) but the routining.
Message: Posted by: nimrod (Dec 11, 2013 06:25PM)
Don't run if you are not being chased.
Message: Posted by: Nicolino (Dec 12, 2013 02:52AM)
Horses for courses.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 12, 2013 11:37AM)
Too much messing around trying to prove everything is "fair". Same with other versions where you ask someone to buy a new pack etc... mental magic not mentalism.

There are so many better ways to present a "this is yours? -NO " Ploy which I have always found boring.

Patrick was impressed because he couldn't figure out the method. this is a magician's effect not a layman's...

I fell asleep half way through.

if people are trying to figure out what the method was it isn't mentalism.
Message: Posted by: Patrick Redford (Dec 12, 2013 11:47AM)
MindPunisher… I have to respectfully disagree with you.

This is a great trick for layman as well as magicians. The method is very practical and there doesn't have to entertain as much "proving" as seen in the video. We purposefully shot the effect this way to make it clear how fair everything can be so those watching the trick for method would understand what the trick is and what it isn't. Part of the fun of this effect is Ben's scripting. He's engaging, interesting, and the whole effect has a great special feel to it. When you're in the hot seat you feel like you're watching an effect only a few people in the world can accomplish. This is really something special.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 12, 2013 11:54AM)
The effect is as old as the hills. "Answer no to everything etc" It really is nothing new. The method may or may not be new. This effect is being sold upon the method not the effect.

All your effects should feel as if only a few people in the world could accomplish!

I don't see anything special. If you could detect lies this way you wouldn't need to go that far to prove eveything is fair. Its not about the cards its about your ability to detect a lie. And most lay people already believe this is possible anyway. You don't need to go this far to convince them.

I thought it was a really tedious process to get to an average effect that could be done in any number of ways.

But that's just me.

Really get someone to buy a new pack before you meet them? that's not mental magic?

As Nimrod posted don't run if your not being chased. Its simple lie detector test.
Message: Posted by: MentalMidget (Dec 12, 2013 12:14PM)
Way to ignore Patrick's response, Mindpunisher.

As to them beating the dead horse of fairness.

"We purposefully shot the effect this way to make it clear how fair everything CAN be so those watching the trick for method would understand what the trick is and what it isn't." ~Patrick

Beyond that, based on some stuff that Ben said, the point seems to be that this method can be applied to more than just cards.

Also - sure... there are many ways to accomplish an effect that's kind of similar to what we see in the video but that's just another strength. Being able to accomplish similar effects with multiple methods that can be cross-applied to other effects is key to building a high quality act.

I'm not even going to touch the "mentalism" vs. "mental magic" comment (leaving that right next to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin) but...

This is obviously a creative method (or at least a creative use for one) and that is always a great thing.

Thanks for the contribution, Ben.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 12, 2013 12:25PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-12 12:37, mindpunisher wrote:
Too much messing around trying to prove everything is "fair". Same with other versions where you ask someone to buy a new pack etc... mental magic not mentalism.

There are so many better ways to present a "this is yours? -NO " Ploy which I have always found boring.

Patrick was impressed because he couldn't figure out the method. this is a magician's effect not a layman's...

I fell asleep half way through.

if people are trying to figure out what the method was it isn't mentalism.
[/quote]

I just want to say that it's perfectly fair for ANYONE to not have a favorable opinion on this routine. I have no wish to defend my presenation, nor argue the point on what is mentalism or mental magic. The routine simply is what it is, and I realize it will appeal to some, and not others. There is no need to come down on Mindpunisher for his views. Passionate dissenting views can only advance our art, and make us think about what's important.

-Ben Blau
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 12, 2013 12:49PM)
Thanks Ben I highly respect you for that reply

I am pretty clear on why Patrick filmed it that way to show how clean the method is. The whole focus was on the method. Which is why this is a magician's effect. The actual effect is a simple lie detection effect. That could be done equally well or a lot better with any number of methods. the effect is to show you can detect lies from the tonality of a voice. that's THE EFFECT.

For me its an average effect and doesn't need a big build up or proof of fairness. I might use this type of effect as a build up to something much bigger. I never use proof of fairness as a buildup that's what magician's do. And to be fair the actual effect is pretty average and low on the scale of abilities as most people believe it can be done anyway.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 12, 2013 01:21PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-12 13:49, mindpunisher wrote:
Thanks Ben I highly respect you for that reply

I am pretty clear on why Patrick filmed it that way to show how clean the method is. The whole focus was on the method. Which is why this is a magician's effect. The actual effect is a simple lie detection effect. That could be done equally well or a lot better with any number of methods. the effect is to show you can detect lies from the tonality of a voice. that's THE EFFECT.

For me its an average effect and doesn't need a big build up or proof of fairness. I might use this type of effect as a build up to something much bigger. I never use proof of fairness as a buildup that's what magician's do. And to be fair the actual effect is pretty average and low on the scale of abilities as most people believe it can be done anyway.
[/quote]

Thank you for your feedback. If anything, it will make potential buyers reflect on what their personal priorities are.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 12, 2013 01:53PM)
For what its worth I didn't see "how" it was done I am sure the method is very clever.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 12, 2013 02:00PM)
Thank you for that. As will be seen on the full video, there are several handlings and ways to utilize the principle. I plan to demonstrate versions with ESP cards, zodiac signs, emotional states, childhood memories, even scratch and sniff stickers (I know, that sounds weird).

I also plan to reveal one of my best "think of
a card" routines, which I believe really lives up to the name.

Ultimately, it's about finding material that suits your style using methods you are comfortable with.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 12, 2013 07:26PM)
By the way I have nothing against magicians I love watching good magic.
Message: Posted by: Waters (Dec 13, 2013 05:48AM)
[/quote]

I just want to say that it's perfectly fair for ANYONE to not have a favorable opinion on this routine. I have no wish to defend my presenation, nor argue the point on what is mentalism or mental magic. The routine simply is what it is, and I realize it will appeal to some, and not others. There is no need to come down on Mindpunisher for his views. Passionate dissenting views can only advance our art, and make us think about what's important.

-Ben Blau
[/quote]

Uncommon class.
Message: Posted by: RScot (Dec 13, 2013 09:56AM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-12 13:25, Ben Blau wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-12-12 12:37, mindpunisher wrote:
Too much messing around trying to prove everything is "fair". Same with other versions where you ask someone to buy a new pack etc... mental magic not mentalism.

There are so many better ways to present a "this is yours? -NO " Ploy which I have always found boring.

Patrick was impressed because he couldn't figure out the method. this is a magician's effect not a layman's...

I fell asleep half way through.

if people are trying to figure out what the method was it isn't mentalism.
[/quote]

I just want to say that it's perfectly fair for ANYONE to not have a favorable opinion on this routine. I have no wish to defend my presenation, nor argue the point on what is mentalism or mental magic. The routine simply is what it is, and I realize it will appeal to some, and not others. There is no need to come down on Mindpunisher for his views. Passionate dissenting views can only advance our art, and make us think about what's important.

-Ben Blau
[/quote]

I for one thought it was great. I think as long as you can have the spectator's full attention and not be somewhere loud and distracting then it's a very engaging piece. This is especially good for those spectators who love to try and trip you up and are eyeballing your every move. Your guy seemed a little that way, asking to shuffle again at random. As a result I think it was even more baffling for him because he seemed to be actively looking for the weak spot and never found it. :)

I am very interested in purchasing this when you decide to put it out. Do you have an email list I can get on?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 10:09AM)
Let me check with Patrick on that.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 10:14AM)
For me, the loud and distracting venues are exactly the places I would never perform, but then again, I am a strictly social performer. I am fine to NOT do mentalism when the performance conditions and environment are not favorable. Professional entertainers might have different needs, and this in fact may not suit them if they perform in the types of environments where quick and shocking visual effects are needed.
Message: Posted by: Wizzard (Dec 13, 2013 12:03PM)
Just an FYI, http://archive.denisbehr.de/show.php?cat=968
JMN
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 12:59PM)
Fantastic resource. I've only recently became aware of this website, and think it's wonderful.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 04:19PM)
Question:

Since I plan to reveal quite a few additional pieces along with Polygraph, some of which are truly pet effects of mine, do you think I should make this a limited release? (This question is posed to those of you who like it, obviously).

Your answers are valuable to me, so thank you in advance should you decide to respond here.

-Ben Blau
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 13, 2013 04:40PM)
Its a personal choice I would have thought?! how do you feel about:

making money from your thinking?
do you want anyone with a credit card being able to have access to it?
would you rather offer it to a certain group instead?
do you want to have it sold by online shops or do you want to control it?
then do you want to offer physical copies, or just electronic?
and there's nothing to say you 'have to' release the things you say are pet routines of yours, why not keep them?
what do you want out of the whole experience?

that's what I'd consider, for what its worth...
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Dec 13, 2013 04:49PM)
Limited in terms of # who can purchase it?

Personally, since you are newer (as I recall) in terms of releasing stuff... I think you would be better off simply releasing it and allowimg the greatest number of people be exposed to and enjoy your new effect(s).

Limited releases for me would be for people I have purcased items from in the past and have a track record which earns my trust and also willingness to pay extra for something that is limited.

Just my thoughts :)
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 04:51PM)
I just want to contribute to the body of literature in some permanent and constructive way. I also would take personal pride in seeing others using the material if they are serious performers and are doing it justice or improving on it further.

I'm not expecting to make huge sums of money selling this. I've thought about writing a book many times, but life gets in the way, and Patrick's suggestion of releasing my material on video might be a more practical way to go, due to my circumstances.

I don't want everyone and his brother knowing my stuff, and would be saddened to see it seeded all over the Torrent sites.

Since I have virtually no experience releasing material, I guess I need to consider the possible consequences of how I choose to proceed. Any constructive words of wisdom from those who have found themselves facing this same dillema would be much appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 05:02PM)
I'm starting to wonder if a physical DVD is safer than an instant download. (?)
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 13, 2013 05:09PM)
As soon as you release something electronically, it becomes that much easier to share unfortunately... I have even had something of mine bought, then cut up, scanned, and then reprinted and sold in china...

there's no avoiding it - however, personally speaking - printed makes it a little more difficult (about 30 minutes more difficult to be brutal!)...

it is unfortunately - just a sad byproduct of the times...

if its a case of having the one technique or "thing" you can teach, and then they all port over to other presentations easily enough, then that's one thing...but if you have to teach more and more so that you can do all the other stuff, then that's another...

you could release the main "thing" of it, do it as a nice hardback, sell maybe 250 of them...then release video updates that would make zero sense to anyone unless they have the book....

you could do it all electronically and to hell with the worry of it being seeded/shared...

or a pure paperback only copy, with future add on volumes as and when you see fit...

I can only say what I would do if I had created what you have - I think I would be tempted to shoot a vid and explanation, and then just ask maybe three top pros that you and patrick respect and trust and see what they think...this feels very max maven in a positive way, and I'm sure patrick already has some go to guys to share ideas with anyway... that's what I'd be inclined to do... and I think I'd put it in hardback only...
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 05:12PM)
Thank you IAIN. I will give this serious consideration.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 13, 2013 05:12PM)
Ben,

Do not ask us about limited releases - at least not on an open forum. Your best bet is to ask Patrick/George whom you are good friends with and has been publishing his gold for a while. Here you might get a good answer but why not just take it to those who have experience doing this than the group here who may be providing conjectural ideas only.

Note: if its any good, all of it will hit the torrent sites eventually. I suggest you kickstarted the thing, collect all the names of people who want to buy, make it limited, and sell it all in one big swoop. Get all your money up front at release. However, take what I said above seriously and weigh my words with grains of salt... for I do not publish magic/mentalism for profit.

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 05:27PM)
I will do that. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: brad12d3 (Dec 13, 2013 05:54PM)
I think your routine is amazing! It's very clean and fair and impossible looking. If you are interested in releasing it then but don't want it put all over the internet then you might do a limited release at a higher price. I for one don't mind at all passing extra for something I think I could use.

I have bought some very expensive literature in the past. Some I thought was with it and some I didn't. But I do that once in a blue moon and so it doesn't break the bank. Higher prices can weed out the impulse buyers and those who aren't serious performers. Maybe it won't entirely weed them out but it's a much safer bet. If you do decide to release it then I would definitely be interested in checking it out. Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: Alwow (Dec 13, 2013 06:28PM)
Another thing to consider is production cost vs. product cost to help determine your price point.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 13, 2013 06:37PM)
All such great advice. I am really grateful to have those more experienced than I willing to provide some guidance on this matter. Your help means a great deal to me.
Message: Posted by: nimrod (Dec 14, 2013 09:10AM)
I think that if you want people to purchase it you should show them how it plays out in a real world environment (close up, stage , etc.).
Right now it is indeed very hard to crack but frankly who cares (maybe only those who look for a slow effect to perform in their living room for a magician friend).
If this method can be used in a "worker" then show it, and I (and many others I believe) will buy it.

My 2 cents,

Nimrod , Israel
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 09:59AM)
It depends on how you define "real world environment." For me, the "real world" is always social situations. I am not a stage performer (don't care to be), and am not marketing this effect as such. By the way, it is perfectly legitimate to be a professionally competent performer whose chosen venue is the "real world" of social interaction with friends. A living room is a fine venue for the performance of mentalism. There is no reason to look down with disdain at social performers. I couldn't care less about performing on stage, restaurants, or comedy clubs. I am not going out of my way to re-shoot the same effect over and over again in what for me would be contrived settings. If the effect doesn't satisfy your personal criteria, so be it.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Dec 14, 2013 09:59AM)
In the end your best advisor really is Patrick. He has the knowledge and connections based on past releases in many formats.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 10:00AM)
That's true. We're having a preproduction meeting next week, and that will be a discussion point.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Dec 14, 2013 10:04AM)
I agree. Real world in the living room is perfectly legit and one of my favorite Venues. No need for demos in shopping malls, parlor, stage, and on the Las Vegas strip 😄

If it's good then any of us can modify to suit our own preferred venue.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 14, 2013 10:21AM)
Shouldn't a demo should be recorded in the most natural environment for you, the performer? if you force yourself into a scenario that you are uncomfortable in, and feels alien to you - that will come across in performance, surely?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 11:02AM)
I agree with that.
Message: Posted by: nimrod (Dec 14, 2013 12:28PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-14 10:59, Ben Blau wrote:
It depends on how you define "real world environment." For me, the "real world" is always social situations. I am not a stage performer (don't care to be), and am not marketing this effect as such. By the way, it is perfectly legitimate to be a professionally competent performer whose chosen venue is the "real world" of social interaction with friends. A living room is a fine venue for the performance of mentalism. There is no reason to look down with disdain at social performers. I couldn't care less about performing on stage, restaurants, or comedy clubs. I am not going out of my way to re-shoot the same effect over and over again in what for me would be contrived settings. If the effect doesn't satisfy your personal criteria, so be it.
[/quote]

If that's the case and that's your target audience then you are doing a great job.
If there are professional applications for that method (which I must admit fooled me) I think you should take the time and shoot (not re-shoot) more clips to appeal to bigger crowd, because with that clip only you lost me, and I believe many others.
I would even given it to a few working mentalists to play with it for a few months to see what they come up with (and even shooting them doing it). You could release a complete produce (effect, method and presentation). Right now it's a so so effect with an (so it seems) excellent method.

Nimrod , Israel
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 12:53PM)
I doubt there will be room on the video for that, since there will already be a ton of alternate handlings, etc. Good suggestions, though.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 01:12PM)
By the way, ever since the day I've posted this, my inbox has been full if highly complimentary messages from lots of Café members who loved it just the way it is (though I realize it isn't perfect).
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 14, 2013 02:06PM)
Good job. Can't wait to see it for sale.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 02:29PM)
Thank you so much!
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 14, 2013 03:04PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-14 14:12, Ben Blau wrote:
By the way, ever since the day I've posted this, my inbox has been full if highly complimentary messages from lots of Café members who loved it just the way it is (though I realize it isn't perfect).
[/quote]

If the intellectuals of our time thought human communication was perfect we'd never have telegraphs, phones, or cell phones!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 03:07PM)
Very true.
Message: Posted by: tenchu (Dec 14, 2013 04:37PM)
I love it. I'm already a fan and the only thing I can suggest is to go the BBM way and find some hot girls for the videos.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 04:44PM)
Ha! That should sell a few more copies! ;)
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 14, 2013 04:52PM)
Or get L&L to film it and drag back the Janelle-ians.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 14, 2013 04:53PM)
Do it drag, save some money!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 14, 2013 05:04PM)
Uh, that would sell less copies I think.
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Dec 17, 2013 03:14PM)
Can the deck be borrowed?
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 17, 2013 03:16PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-17 16:14, Your Thinking Cap wrote:
Can the deck be borrowed?
[/quote]

Only if you borrow it from Ben!

PS: IDK
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 17, 2013 03:17PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-14 18:04, Ben Blau wrote:
Uh, that would sell less copies I think.
[/quote]

Dude, you've never seen Iain in drag !!
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 17, 2013 03:28PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-17 16:17, John C wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-12-14 18:04, Ben Blau wrote:
Uh, that would sell less copies I think.
[/quote]

Dude, you've never seen Iain in drag !!
[/quote]

photos available upon personal request... only £87.50
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 18, 2013 01:38PM)
I'll be filming my hands-off "think of a card" routine on Monday. Anyone interested in seeing that?

-Ben
Message: Posted by: Jeff Wassom (Dec 18, 2013 02:31PM)
Hands-off 'think of a card' sounds great!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 18, 2013 03:33PM)
For me, this handling looks as close to the real thing as I can possibly imagine, and all the conditions are above board. A spectator shuffles a normal deck of cards behind your back, spreads them with the faces toward himself, and merely thinks of one. He then completely shuffles the cards again, while you remain facing away.

I have a special way to present the finding of the card that is both completely fair and engaging - not to mention completely congruent with the presentational themes during the course of the performance. I like this even more than Polygrah, and hope at least some of you might as well.

-Ben
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Dec 18, 2013 06:35PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-18 14:38, Ben Blau wrote:
I'll be filming my hands-off "think of a card" routine on Monday. Anyone interested in seeing that?

-Ben
[/quote]

I cannot wait to see this! I am sure it will look great. I look forward so seeing the video on Monday.
Message: Posted by: shoexboy (Dec 18, 2013 08:20PM)
I cannot wait hands-off "think of a card" any more
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 18, 2013 08:37PM)
I think I'll just be sending out the preliminary footage of that one to those who send me private requests, as opposed I just putting the link here. To those interested, please send me a private message. (If you liked "Polygraph," you'll definitely like this one. I think it's even stronger.)
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 19, 2013 08:40AM)
Another feature of my hands-off think of a card is that it can be done for two or three participants at the same time. This makes it look all the more difficult, and can multiply the effectiveness of the routine. It doesn't have to be done this way, but it is an option.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 19, 2013 08:50AM)
Oops, I meant to type four, not three. In other words, you can do it with anywhere between one and four participants.
Message: Posted by: shoexboy (Dec 19, 2013 09:06AM)
HI Ben,

I just PM for you.

thank you
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 22, 2013 07:12PM)
Doing some filming for this project tomorrow. Hope to get a lot done. There will possiblty be some new footage to view by the end of the day, but if not, sometime early in the week. I'll post an update here as soon as I have more info.

Thanks to everyone who has PM'd me to show your support. I hope not to disappoint!

-Ben
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 23, 2013 08:02PM)
So today's intended "filming" turned out to be more of a preproduction meeting. The current plan is to do the actual shoot one week from today. I must offer my apologies that this is taking longer than I anticipated. I hope it will be worth th wait!

I will post another update next Monday night with a better estimate if when the new footage will be available. Thank you all for your patience!
Message: Posted by: John Carey (Dec 26, 2013 12:08PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-18 14:38, Ben Blau wrote:
I'll be filming my hands-off "think of a card" routine on Monday. Anyone interested in seeing that?

-Ben
[/quote]Extremely interested sir!

jc
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 26, 2013 12:23PM)
Thanks, John! I hope it lives up to your expectations!
Message: Posted by: John Carey (Dec 26, 2013 03:20PM)
I have no doubt Ben!
Message: Posted by: emptysafe (Dec 29, 2013 07:53PM)
Excellent Ben! Could we see more of your performances?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 29, 2013 08:30PM)
Send me a PM, and I should be able to send you a link to my bonus effect, "HOTOAC" (Hands-off Think of Any Card) later this week.
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Dec 30, 2013 11:13AM)
Is footage of the effect going to be available today?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 30, 2013 11:56AM)
Sorry to say that today's shoot has once again been postponed until Friday. Patrick is feeling somewhat under he weather, and just doesn't feel up to doing it today. (Understandably so -- It's a lot of work!)

Let's wish Patrick a speedy recovery, and keep our fingers crossed that the shoot will finally happen without incident THIS FRIDAY, 1/3/13.

In the meantime, please feel free to ask me whatever questions you want regarding the H.O.T.O.A.C.

-Ben
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Dec 30, 2013 12:00PM)
Agreed! Let's hope Patrick feels better! Regarding your effect... are any questions asked? Meaning they give you the packet from which they thought of a card... and the performer immediately removes it?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 30, 2013 12:41PM)
Some conditions of the H.O.T.O.A.C. card effect (Hands-off Think of Any Card):

1. No questions asked,unless you choose to do so for theatrical/presnstational reasons. (In my presentation, I do ask a question for theatrical reasons, but then I interrupt his response by appearing to change my mind, saying, "Actually, don't answer that... I don't think it's fair for you to tell me too much about the card you're thinking of."

The whole context for that exhange is during a phase where I ask the spectator to begin visualizing an image of his thought-of card, and I say "I'm getting the impression of a NUMBER card, not a PICTURE card, am I corect?" But before he gets a chance to answer, I interrupt by saying, "Actually, don't answer that... I don't think it's fair for you to tell me anything about the card you're thinking of... At least, not yet...") This exchange is totally optional, but it helps in my particular script.

2. A completely regular bicycle deck used, although any normal deck of cards (any brand, as far as I know) can be used to perform this routine. (Can even be performed with a brand new, previously unopened deck that is factory sealed and purchased by the participant himself, giving you no access to the deck whatsoever.)

3. Can be performed for a single participant, or up to four at the same time, using the entire deck which has been thoroughly shuffled and divided up among the four participants into approximately equal packets. (They do not have to be the same, and it is the first participant who does the initial shuffling who subsequently gives each of the other participants their respective packets. In this case, each participant can also mix their cards both before and after they make their mental selections. All while your back is turned. The cards are genuinely mixed, and you can't (and don't) know what cards are held by whom.

3. Before the effect begins, the initial shuffling can be performed either by the performer or the participant(s) - whatever best suits your performing style.

4. PARTICIPANT(S) spreads through the cards IN HIS/THEIR OWN HANDS while your back is turned (faces toward themselves). HE (or THEY) THINKS OF ANY CARD HE WANTS TO, from a deck THEY just shuffled and you have never since touched... all while you still face away.

5. Once a card is being thought of the participant(s) is/are asked to lock the image into his/their mind(s) (never spoken, never written down, etc.), it is merely shuffled back in with the rest of the cards, BY THE PARTICIPANT(S). (And, you're back is STILL turned away.)

Only when all these things have happened do you turn back around to face everyone. At this point you have no idea what cards are being held by which person, and no idea what specific card each participant is merely thinking of.

At this point, you're ready to do some direct mind reading, and ask each participant to visualize their cards in the most engaging way possible. As you're done this for all four participants, you can confidently take back their packets, one at a time, and remove a singe card, handing it to each respective participant by placing it face-down into their hands. Once the cards are in the custody of the participants, only then are they asked to name the cards they were merely thinking of. They turn over their cards, and all four are correct.

Food for thought?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 30, 2013 06:24PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-30 13:00, Your Thinking Cap wrote:
Agreed! Let's hope Patrick feels better! Regarding your effect... are any questions asked? Meaning they give you the packet from which they thought of a card... and the performer immediately removes it?
[/quote]

That is 100% accurate.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 30, 2013 06:26PM)
But some build up helps the presentation, of course!
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Dec 31, 2013 09:11AM)
Incredible!
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 31, 2013 12:48PM)
Let's quit dreaming. LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN!!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 31, 2013 01:54PM)
It will happen, I promise!
Message: Posted by: brad12d3 (Dec 31, 2013 08:26PM)
Just got an unofficial glimpse at the H.O.T.O.A.C. via a PM from Ben. All I can say is that I am stumped. It is very clean and very fair. For those who didn't get the sneak peek you'll see it when he shoots his official demo video and you will be amazed! Great stuff Ben!! Hope you release this soon.. ;-) I'm itching to check it out!
Message: Posted by: Amirá (Jan 1, 2014 07:37PM)
Ben´s creation is really fooling and shows his genius approach. Best of all, real work material with great "test conditions" criterias.

I wait his releases :)


Best
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 1, 2014 07:43PM)
Thanks, Pablo!
Message: Posted by: shoexboy (Jan 1, 2014 10:52PM)
WoW Ben

I cannot wait to see the truly amazing magic
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Jan 2, 2014 09:25AM)
Arghh, with slight change of schedule, it would have been me having my mind blown by Ben's absolutely brilliant effect. And I would have given him a much better, truly spontaneous reaction! I'm completely baffled as to the method, it just doesn't seem possible. Part of me doesn't even want to know as I enjoy being fooled.

Great work Ben! I look forward to when you have the chance to do it up right. And, OK I admit it, that other part of me can't wait to learn how I was so well deceived.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 2, 2014 01:52PM)
By the way, I want to credit Jay Wilkins for helping me to come up with the name for this effect. I was just calling it "Hands-off Think of Any Card," and in a moment of possibly unintended brillence, Jay PM'd me referring to the routine as "H.O.T.O.A.C", merely to abbreviate. I loved the way it looked and sounded, and asked his permission to use that as the name. A good effect just never seems complete, until you find the right name for it!

Thanks, Jay!
Message: Posted by: John Carey (Jan 4, 2014 11:09AM)
I can vouch for how strong this piece is. The hands off aspect is one of the factors that make this piece so strong. Great work Ben!

jc
Message: Posted by: wilko7 (Jan 4, 2014 04:12PM)
Ben has been kind enough to share with me some early footage of HOTOAC. Since this thread started I have been intrigued with Bens take on the thought of card. After watching the clip I have not been disappointed. Some things sound too good to be true. We've all been there and had our fingers burned. With HOTOAC this is certainly not the case. From what I have seen, HOTOAC is pure, clean and as it should look, and be, in my opinion.
I cannot wait for this to be released.
We are all in for a treat.
Well done Ben & thank you.
Jay Wilkins.
Message: Posted by: shoexboy (Jan 5, 2014 10:52AM)
I am so luck to get unofficial footage at the H.O.T.O.A.C. from Ben. That is totally amazing and unbelievable. When I first time saw this trick I have any no idea how does this effect done. Really wish this trick wouldn't to be released. It is powerful and incredible.

My God finally I saw what really amazing trick

Thanks Ben
Message: Posted by: C_Biskit (Jan 5, 2014 11:22AM)
Sounds too good to be true =p

HOTOAC seems like it would be great for that group that wants to see a card trick. I really enjoy hands off stuff because there is less room to say "i bet you did something" making it seem much more real.

Great work so far I can't wait to see the final product!

Best,
Andy
Message: Posted by: magico (Jan 5, 2014 11:11PM)
I also was lucky to get to see a unofficial demo of H.O.T.O.A.C. I have to agree that this is good. There was only one thing I would do different and sent my thoughts to Ben. I am looking forward to seeing the final product. I am also looking forward to the release of Polygraph as well.
Message: Posted by: fagani (Jan 6, 2014 04:08AM)
I was lucky to see the demo of HOTOAC
What else can I say?

It is a clever routine, very clean and with a cool presentation

I look forward to buying the final release

Good work Ben and thanks

Fabio
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Jan 6, 2014 06:34AM)
Ben has sent me a preview video of HOTOAC. This effect is really great. I did feel that there was one point in the routine which was weak but even with that point I still don't have any idea how he did it. I really look forward to the release of this effect and the other one.

Marian
Message: Posted by: gab (Jan 7, 2014 05:23PM)
Thank you for the preview!
The presentation makes it a great pure demonstration of mind reading!

Hats off!
Message: Posted by: Stefan Behrens (Jan 7, 2014 05:32PM)
I am lucky to see an preview of H.O.T.O.A.C. For me this is an great effect and an unusual way to present the "Think of Any Card" plot. I am lookig forward to see the final product of "POLYGRAPH" and "HOTOAC" in near future. Hard to wait.
Thank You Ben
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 7, 2014 06:52PM)
Thanks, folks! I know it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but as long as you don't mind taking your time when presenting this type of effect, it can play very strongly. I think the strength of the effect comes from the "process" the participant is made to follow, and how it "feels" for them. The length of time necessary to do it might be perceived as a weakness to those seeking "quick and shocking" types of effects, and I understand that. This is one of those routines that is at it's best only when you can take your time, and have the undivided attention of your participant and audience. This type of presentation suits my style, but I can see it as being too long if it needs to fit in to a set that needs to feature lots of effects. When I perform it, I want it to feel like something rare and special for those involved, which is part of the reason why I've structured the presentation that way. Also, I realize that I am not the most talented performer in the world, and I'm sure many of my colleagues can and will perform it much better than I.

Thank you all for your continued interest. I will try to make this all available soon. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me a message.

-Ben Blau
Message: Posted by: will4gzus (Jan 7, 2014 07:41PM)
Ben was kind enough to let me preview of HOTOAC. Very well done! I look for to getting his release and having some fun with this. Well done Ben!
Message: Posted by: John C (Jan 7, 2014 09:33PM)
I saw it. I'm a buyer!
Message: Posted by: jjsanvert (Jan 8, 2014 02:13AM)
It is a very old principle - so old that probably nobody will know it!... I did this when I was a kid (some 50 years ago, ***!) but it is good.
Message: Posted by: gab (Jan 8, 2014 02:43AM)
[quote]
On 2014-01-08 03:13, jjsanvert wrote:
It is a very old principle - so old that probably nobody will know it!... I did this when I was a kid (some 50 years ago, ***!) but it is good.
[/quote]

I think I know what you mean... (maybe a French principle?) I used it only 30 years ago!!!
But Ben told me this principle is not in use here!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 8, 2014 08:59AM)
[quote]
On 2014-01-08 03:43, gab wrote:
[quote]
On 2014-01-08 03:13, jjsanvert wrote:
It is a very old principle - so old that probably nobody will know it!... I did this when I was a kid (some 50 years ago, ***!) but it is good.
[/quote]

I think I know what you mean... (maybe a French principle?) I used it only 30 years ago!!!
But Ben told me this principle is not in use here!
[/quote]

It's not "that" principle. ;)

-Ben Blau
Message: Posted by: John C (Jan 8, 2014 12:58PM)
I had an old Principal once. When I was a kid. Probably older today.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 8, 2014 01:30PM)
Yes, but was he French?
Message: Posted by: Gordon the discombobulator (Jan 8, 2014 03:20PM)
Any clues as to where this very old principle is published? Or who published it ?

I think you are more talented than you imagine Ben. The video at the start of this thread is more like the sort of videos I like to see. Real performances without all the gloss or the production edits.
Also it avoids starting with the word "imagine...", that is so refreshing.

Looking forward to the release of this effect.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 8, 2014 04:21PM)
Thanks, Gordon! The principle being speculated here is most likely not what I am using. Gab is referring to d**b. That is clever, but has nothing to do with either of my effects.

I would ask, though, that any further speculation about method be kept out of the public area, whether it's accurate it not. This is not the place to discuss methods.
Message: Posted by: tenchu (Jan 8, 2014 05:05PM)
Ben, you're the man! Awesome video, great effect. Now I want more!

Mike
Message: Posted by: John C (Jan 8, 2014 06:35PM)
[quote]
On 2014-01-08 14:30, Ben Blau wrote:
Yes, but was he French?
[/quote]

She.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 8, 2014 08:10PM)
Hey now!
Message: Posted by: jjsanvert (Jan 9, 2014 02:22AM)
[/quote]

It's not "that" principle. ;)

-Ben Blau

In that case, it is very clever.
Message: Posted by: Dr Weevil (Jan 10, 2014 05:24AM)
Many thanks to Ben for sharing the preliminary footage of HOTOAC. Thoroughly enjoyed watching it & am now eagerly awaiting news of a release!

...and, don't listen to him when he says 'not the most talented performer'...all lies.
Message: Posted by: will4gzus (Jan 10, 2014 08:57AM)
It's refreshing to see an unedited demo showing the full effect. No lightning, flashy screens, over the top hype, and other Non-sense. Thank you Ben!!
Message: Posted by: Patrick Redford (Jan 12, 2014 04:55PM)
Just a quick update. I hope to have another video ready to go for everyone this week. I've been incredibly busy and the footage has been shot we're just now waiting around for that Patrick Redford guy to edit things together so that its viewable.

Sorry for the delay - totally my fault here. The wait is worth it!
Message: Posted by: markhitton (Jan 13, 2014 02:58PM)
I have seen Hotoac preview.
it is amazing and direct,i like the way ben performs.
well done Ben this effect is for me a winner!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 13, 2014 03:34PM)
My highest priorities as a performer are not to be:

1. Cheesy
2. ******y
3. "Mr. Showbiz", fast-talking magician stereotype.

I try my best to integrate my performance style with my own, hopefully not overhyped, "real" personality. It's not easy, and I don't always succeed. But I actively work at it.

-Ben
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 13, 2014 03:36PM)
Ooh, it censored #2. It should say "d0uchey"
Message: Posted by: markhitton (Jan 14, 2014 01:00AM)
I like both ben creations.
I am sure ha has given a new fresh and devious approach to something we all forgot.
GREAT JOB!
Message: Posted by: ash2arani (Jan 14, 2014 01:40PM)
I had the opportunity of viewing HOTOAC and I was fooled. But apart from method, this is the type of effects that go hand in hand with my performing persona. I like Ben's approach to presentation as he gets the most out of an effect. I saw it in Polygraph, and I saw it in HOTOAC.

I understand that this may not fit everyone's taste and that is alright. After all, this is a video of Ben performing and not a video of how one needs to perform this effect.

With all that said, I am excited about what Ben has to offer and I will be on the lookout for his releases.

Good job Ben :)
Message: Posted by: Ross (Jan 15, 2014 02:22PM)
Ben kindly sent me a performance video of Hotoac. Very intriguing and the relaxed pace would certainly suit my style. I don't buy a lot anymore but I will be picking this up.

Best regards,

Ross
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jan 15, 2014 03:13PM)
Any news on when it'll be released please? I'm kinda interested - but mainly for the other bits mentioned previously...thanks...
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 15, 2014 04:51PM)
I'm sorry it's taking so long. Patrick and I are both busy with work obligations, and are doing our best to coordinate our schedules. I am very grateful that there is continued interest in this project, and appreciate everyone's patience while we get this ready. It will be soon!
Message: Posted by: mattH (Jan 17, 2014 12:25PM)
When and where is polygraph going to be available?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 17, 2014 02:26PM)
It will be available through Patrick Redford. We are still working on completing it, and will make an announcement soon. Thank you for your interest, and I hope you enjoy it when it's done!
Message: Posted by: storm01 (Jan 20, 2014 10:40AM)
This looks great
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 21, 2014 01:00PM)
Thanks, Storm!
Message: Posted by: Matt_hil (Jan 21, 2014 07:23PM)
Wow, now this what I call amazing magic. I've played the video 8 times to try work it out and I'm still fooled. I've not seen the other video but reading the comments it sounds just as incredible. Where do sign I up?

May I also point out, it is nice to see clearly a very very talented humble person who does not want too sell out to make as much profit as he can. Evidently Ben's passion for magic is shining through with wanting to share not just one trick but a catalog of different tricks stemming from this method.

I bow to you sir :)
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 21, 2014 07:38PM)
Matt, I just sent you the link.

-Ben
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 21, 2014 09:33PM)
I am overwhelmed by the positive response to both Polygraph and H.O.T.O.A.C. Thank you all for your continued interest and support. At this time, I have to request that if any of you have private questions about either effect, or anything else regarding this project, please contact me directly at my personal email address, which is benblau@aol.com. My Café inbox is full, and I don't want to miss any of your messages. I will try to respond to all communications as I receive them.

Thanks!!!

-Ben
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 21, 2014 09:46PM)
But please do feel free to keep discussing the effect here! I especially look forward to the feedback after the video is released!
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 23, 2014 01:18PM)
Only a few more views until we hit 10,000! Wow!
Message: Posted by: granterg (Jan 23, 2014 11:42PM)
Hi Ben,

HOTOAC was great to watch.

Is it possible to PM me the link to Polygraph?

Thanks,

granterg
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 24, 2014 11:19AM)
Hi Granterg,

The link to Polygraph is on the first page of this thread, in the first post.

-Ben
Message: Posted by: granterg (Jan 25, 2014 10:57AM)
Thank you Ben, it's probably a very devious method, and hopefully the method can be used to create effects with less procedure.
Message: Posted by: Demitri (Jan 25, 2014 05:33PM)
Where is the HOTAOC clip? I hear a lot about it, but don't see it...
Message: Posted by: Your Thinking Cap (Jan 25, 2014 06:38PM)
Ben will share it with you if you send him a p.m.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mindbender (Jan 26, 2014 12:34AM)
After so many positive comments, I finally had Ben send my the link --- and glad I did. Looking forward to it becoming available.
Message: Posted by: MatthewSims (Jan 26, 2014 03:52AM)
I tried to send a PM to Ben regarding getting access to this HOTAOC clip that everyone is talking about, but it says his message box it full.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 26, 2014 08:33AM)
Matthew, please email me.
Message: Posted by: Johannes L. (Jan 26, 2014 10:45AM)
Ben,

I too would love to see the HOTAOC clip.

Can't you send PM either?

All the best,

John.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 26, 2014 11:46AM)
Sorry my inbox is full. Please email me at the address posted above with any requests.

Thanks,

-Ben
Message: Posted by: yachanin (Jan 26, 2014 02:16PM)
Hi All,

I, too, have had a chance to watch the Polygraph and HOTOAC video clips and have asked Ben to place me on his mailing list (if he has one) so that I can get this when it is available. The fact that this can be done with 1-4 people makes it ideal for restaurants, strolling, and even parlor work. Congratulations, Ben, on what's sure to be favorite of many!

Regards, Steve
Message: Posted by: ajb6864 (Jan 26, 2014 02:53PM)
Ben,

Thanks for sending the video over.

I've got to say, I'm fooled!

I can think of a couple of ways to achieve the same effect, but mine are all more procedure heavy than yours. I'll definitely be checking this out when you release it.

Thanks again Ben,
Alan
Message: Posted by: Johannes L. (Jan 26, 2014 02:58PM)
Ben.

Thank you for sending the HOTOAC video to me over mail. I really appreciated it.

I thought the presentation and the trick was superb. Very clean in the sense of "impossibility."

I do have my ideas on how it works but I might as well be wrong. What I can say though is that HOTOAC made me think so much of a way to do it that I actually came up with a different trick and a technique that I would not ever had come across if that trick didn't make me strive to think outside of the box.

Thank you Ben!

- John.
Message: Posted by: markhitton (Jan 30, 2014 06:14AM)
If HOTOAC works in the way I thought this morning,Ben has done a really good job.
very nice almost impossible to back engineer ,very logical in all steps.
great Ben!!!!!
Message: Posted by: markhitton (Jan 30, 2014 06:16AM)
A MUST BUY IMPROPTU MENTAL CARD EFFECT SEEMS PURE IMPOSSIBLE MIND READING
MARKHITTON
Message: Posted by: markhitton (Jan 31, 2014 07:42AM)
The method I found works nice.
I think it's the same ben uses.
I just see a issue when done in real world situation:
SPEC. BEHAVIOUR.
it's necessary to apply a right script and find a good follower.
if both are right the effect is amazing.
not sure about another thing but I do not want to expose so I wait for
trick to be sold.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Jan 31, 2014 11:51AM)
[quote]
On 2014-01-31 08:42, markhitton wrote:
The method I found works nice.
I think it's the same ben uses.
I just see a issue when done in real world situation:
SPEC. BEHAVIOUR.
it's necessary to apply a right script and find a good follower.
if both are right the effect is amazing.
not sure about another thing but I do not want to expose so I wait for
trick to be sold.


[/quote]

All part of a mentalist's job. You should definitely be skilled in choosing and managing people if you want to perform mentalism effectively. If someone can't be bothered with this, they should stick to box magic.
Message: Posted by: markhitton (Feb 1, 2014 02:48AM)
Yes Ben I totally agree with you but in my years of experience today I see much more difficult to manage some people because everything must be quick,
they have not the right patience to follow the right procedure they do what they want.
better is to avoid this particular kind and switch to more collaborative people.
in any case I am with you :experience is what we need.
your method is very v ery clever I appreciate it a lot
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Feb 1, 2014 08:36AM)
Part of the point I'm trying to make with this release is precisely that NOT everything necessarily needs to be "quick." That may be true for professionals doing walkaround or trade shows, but in parlor or social situations you can do effects that take more time and investment from a participant. If there is a procedure, there must also be a pseudo-justification for the steps, and it mustn't be perceived as just procedure without context.
Message: Posted by: Alwow (Feb 1, 2014 11:47AM)
Any word or updates on the potential release date?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Feb 1, 2014 11:55AM)
Not yet, but I will be posting new performance footage of HOTOAC early this week.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Feb 3, 2014 07:51AM)
Hi Folks,

The "H.O.T.O.A.C." footage is now up. Find it here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=541952&forum=15&1
Message: Posted by: Natural Mystic (Feb 5, 2014 01:07AM)
Can this routine be performed with tarot cards?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Feb 5, 2014 07:41AM)
[quote]
On 2014-02-05 02:07, Natural Mystic wrote:


Can this routine be performed with tarot cards?
[/quote]

Of course! Use any type of cards you want. Even photographs work well.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Feb 5, 2014 10:36PM)
Update:

We wrapped filming for this project about an hour ago. At this point, it's in Patrick's capable hands. At this point, it's looking like it might be a physical DVD rather than a download, but I won't know for sure until all the editing is done and we know the total running time.

I'm excited!

-Ben
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Feb 17, 2014 07:21AM)
Any update on the release date?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Feb 17, 2014 08:15AM)
Patrick says it will be ready sometime in March. I appreciate everyone's patience with this!
Message: Posted by: mattH (Mar 16, 2014 03:52AM)
Hey Ben and Patrick, any new on the polygraph project?..
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Mar 16, 2014 09:09AM)
The editing is almost finished. Currently, we are trying to figure out the best way to distribute this. Last I heard, it's about three and a half hours long. We don't know until the final video render whether or not it will fit on a DVD. Also, if it is a download, it would be a very large file. It has been suggested that we split it up into three parts to make it more manageable for the end user. I'm not sure what the best solution is. If anyone has any suggestions, they would be most appreciated.

-Ben
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (Mar 16, 2014 11:10AM)
Fantastic work Ben!

Please put me on your list to purchase Polygraph / HOTOAC.

My suggested-option is for a Single, Double . . . even Triple DVD Set if needed.

Downloads of large files require wasted time and data usage. Awaiting the release sir . . .

Cheers!!!
Message: Posted by: mimo67 (Mar 16, 2014 11:37AM)
Download in one or three files is better. Not everyone lives in the USA, with a download everybody will have almost instant access, and in 3 files we can watch the first while the others are downloading... Thanks to take this in consideration !
Message: Posted by: John C (Mar 16, 2014 01:09PM)
Make one of the downlaoads with a straightforward moves, actions. No philosophy, how I used to do it etc. Just the facts.

Thanks

J
Message: Posted by: tincture (Mar 27, 2014 01:09PM)
I just wanted to report I was able to download this easily without any issues. The file is a monster and about three hours long (about 4 GIGS!). I have only been able to watch the beginning so far and I'm very impressed with both Ben's attention to detail and the quality of the video. I will report back soon with a full review once I've had a chance to sit down and absorb everything.

-Tim
Message: Posted by: wolfwaldbauer (Mar 30, 2014 12:42PM)
I've downloaded it without problem.
It's fantastic and I'm glad that I purchased it.
What's next, Mr. Blau?

Wolf
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Mar 30, 2014 01:46PM)
Lots of ideas. Still determining which of my effects to include, but the next project won't be just playing cards (although there will be some card material).
Message: Posted by: wolfwaldbauer (Mar 31, 2014 05:25AM)
Hi Mr. Blau,
if in your next project there aren't just playing cards, it's even better!
Please, put me on your list, because I'm ready to purchase whatever you sell.

Wolf
Message: Posted by: avimag51 (Mar 28, 2018 04:53AM)
Most of Ben Blau tricks I could figure out by his video performances.
"Polygraph" not .
so I bought it , and a little disapointed from the method , cause its not quite match one " declaration " of Ben in the performance.
and who is have it , will know what I mean .
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Mar 28, 2018 11:26AM)
[quote]On Mar 28, 2018, avimag51 wrote:
Most of Ben Blau tricks I could figure out by his video performances.
"Polygraph" not .
so I bought it , and a little disapointed from the method , cause its not quite match one " declaration " of Ben in the performance.
and who is have it , will know what I mean . [/quote]

You liked a trick enough to buy it, and were fooled by it. And now you’re disappointed that the method is simple. Sorry it’s not real psychic powers!

Hey, I’ll make you a deal. Come to Michigan. I promise to perform something for you that you can’t figure out by watching.

-Ben
Message: Posted by: avimag51 (Mar 28, 2018 12:49PM)
[quote]On Mar 28, 2018, Ben Blau wrote:
[quote]On Mar 28, 2018, avimag51 wrote:
Most of Ben Blau tricks I could figure out by his video performances.
"Polygraph" not .
so I bought it , and a little disapointed from the method , cause its not quite match one " declaration " of Ben in the performance.
and who is have it , will know what I mean . [/quote]

You liked a trick enough to buy it, and were fooled by it. And now you’re disappointed that the method is simple. Sorry it’s not real psychic powers!

Hey, I’ll make you a deal. Come to Michigan. I promise to perform something for you that you can’t figure out by watching.

-Ben [/quote]
yes I fooled by it . I didn't write that I am disappointed cause the method is simple , but cause I don't like one " thing " that I have to do with the cards as opposed to what you said in the performance. I don't want to say more for not reveal the method but I am sure you understand the
" thing " that I mean to.
why come to Michigan ? if you are sure that I'll not figure it out , why not upload the performance in Youtube ?
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Mar 28, 2018 01:35PM)
[quote]On Mar 28, 2018, avimag51 wrote:
[quote]On Mar 28, 2018, Ben Blau wrote:
[quote]On Mar 28, 2018, avimag51 wrote:
Most of Ben Blau tricks I could figure out by his video performances.
"Polygraph" not .
so I bought it , and a little disapointed from the method , cause its not quite match one " declaration " of Ben in the performance.
and who is have it , will know what I mean . [/quote]

You liked a trick enough to buy it, and were fooled by it. And now you’re disappointed that the method is simple. Sorry it’s not real psychic powers!

Hey, I’ll make you a deal. Come to Michigan. I promise to perform something for you that you can’t figure out by watching.

-Ben [/quote]
yes I fooled by it . I didn't write that I am disappointed cause the method is simple , but cause I don't like one " thing " that I have to do with the cards as opposed to what you said in the performance. I don't want to say more for not reveal the method but I am sure you understand the
" thing " that I mean to.
why come to Michigan ? if you are sure that I'll not figure it out , why not upload the performance in Youtube ? [/quote]

First of all, there are TONS of performance videos of me on YouTube. And, unlike the vast majority of contemporary mentalists, I perform each and every one of them straight through, from start to finish, with NO edits, NO melodramatic movie-trailer music, NO flashy computer graphics, NO preshow, and NO dual-reality. Everything you see is in real time, exactly as it would appear if you were actually there. (Isn’t this what’s everyone says they want anyway?)

Also, your main objection is thoroughly addressed in the instructional video. I offer a huge number of alternatives in case you don’t want to do it the way I did. If you missed that, you weren’t listing/watching carefully enough.

I’d suggest rewatching the video, and thinking about why you liked the trick in the first place, and instead of resenting the simplicity of the method, decide to embrace it instead. The real lesson in Polygraph is that you can take a very simple method and turn it into a miracle. Given that “Polygraph” was my first video release, I had two points I wanted to make during its production. One is that subtlety, affect and choreography make all the difference in the world. The other is that when people dig deeper into my body of work, they will find that some of it has rather complex methodology. I wanted to show that a method doesn’t always have to be complicated in order to be effective.
Message: Posted by: avimag51 (Mar 29, 2018 03:06AM)
Ben , I said in clear words the third time. The only thing that I don't like in this trick is the thing that a smart spectator can notice. you said in the performance " even if the cards...... and they are not " that is half true cause in fact they are , in some way. If I knew from advance that the cards are not " ordinary " cards , I wouldn't buy the trick from the first place . I have no complaints to you , and I'll try to enjoy from it. I am hardly can wait to see a new video from you that I would not figure as you promised.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Mar 29, 2018 09:45AM)
[quote]On Mar 29, 2018, avimag51 wrote:
Ben , I said in clear words the third time. The only thing that I don't like in this trick is the thing that a smart spectator can notice. you said in the performance " even if the cards...... and they are not " that is half true cause in fact they are , in some way. If I knew from advance that the cards are not " ordinary " cards , I wouldn't buy the trick from the first place . I have no complaints to you , and I'll try to enjoy from it. I am hardly can wait to see a new video from you that I would not figure as you promised. [/quote]

Like I already said, I address this directly in the video. I guess you must’ve missed it. Nevertheless, even if you do the trick exactly the way I did it, a “smart spectator” isn’t going to notice anything unless you give them a reason to.
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Apr 29, 2018 08:18PM)
[quote]On Dec 8, 2013, DynaMix wrote:
Excellent. You have a really great voice too you could do radio or voice overs! [/quote]

That is exactly what I was thinking while watching the video today. Don't underestimate the power of a pleasant voice with crisp diction. Ben has that for sure.
Message: Posted by: munger (May 16, 2019 02:33AM)
Bens Material is GREAT !!!! on the other side, I was fooled by most of his stuff so far, but wasnt foold by "Polygraph" ;) Still a wonderfull effect !!!!
Message: Posted by: lunatik (May 25, 2019 12:42PM)
[quote]On Mar 29, 2018, Ben Blau wrote:
[quote]On Mar 29, 2018, avimag51 wrote:
Ben , I said in clear words the third time. The only thing that I don't like in this trick is the thing that a smart spectator can notice. you said in the performance " even if the cards...... and they are not " that is half true cause in fact they are , in some way. If I knew from advance that the cards are not " ordinary " cards , I wouldn't buy the trick from the first place . I have no complaints to you , and I'll try to enjoy from it. I am hardly can wait to see a new video from you that I would not figure as you promised. [/quote]

Like I already said, I address this directly in the video. I guess you must’ve missed it. Nevertheless, even if you do the trick exactly the way I did it, a “smart spectator” isn’t going to notice anything unless you give them a reason to. [/quote]

It’s just his way of admitting that he’s not smart lol. He offered to show you something in person that you wouldn’t be able to figure out, he didn’t offer you a video that you could watch 1,000 times to try and figure it out. Derpty durr!