(Close Window)
Topic: The Device by Docc Hilford
Message: Posted by: NeilS (May 21, 2014 05:50AM)
Having just had tremendous success with Switchblade, Docc Hilford has just announced his latest release at a special price and with chance also to win a prize. It looks as if The Device will become available tomorrow but it certainly looks interesting and versatile. As always, the promotional film is a delight to watch and with Docc a real master when it comes to presentation.

http://www.nanacast.com/thedevice

Neil
Message: Posted by: CSArscott (May 21, 2014 10:07AM)
Just downloaded this.

Great piece of deceptive thinking, but not suited to my performance style.
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (May 21, 2014 11:58AM)
Just downloaded and watched this. Another great idea from Docc.

Very innocent looking device. Useful and well worth the low price.

Thanks Docc!
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (May 21, 2014 01:49PM)
Docc is a master salesman. No question. So I figured it was worth ten bucks to find out what his latest brainstorm was all about.

IF you can rationalize actually using this "device" in your shows (and in fairness, the "Device" is an object that would be perfectly in place at, say, a seance) -- AND you can work out a plausible reason for WHY a billet would be put into this object -- I suppose it may be of use to you.

The instructional video is entertaining, if only from the perspective of counting the number of times Docc says "oops" as things don't quite work out the way he intended them to...or when he backtracks because the billet got hung up on...something...thereby necessitating a looooong explanation of what to do when this...thing...happens.

If it sounds like I am being careful not to disclose much -- it's only because I am. Suffice it to say that there's a reason why Docc never shows the actual Device in the promo. Most of us would look at it and know exactly what it is.

For those of us who don't do seances -- or shows where a candle needs lighting, I'm not seeing any application that is not already taken care of by a pile of better options. The copy says "And when you easily remove the DEVICE from the object, it can be left behind!" This isn't strictly true because in order to leave anything behind, the entire "Device" has to be swit**ed out.

If you're visualizing yourself doing "all sorts of master mentalism INSTANTLY" (as it says in the ad) you may be in for a disappointment. In fact, if you're thinking about using this in any scenario other than seated at a seance table in dim lighting, I'm not sure the "Device" is a good match for what you're considering. (Pun intended.)

Is this a negative review? That's hard to say -- since I don't do seances. I will say that I am in awe of Docc's salesmanship and, further, that I greatly and genuinely respect many of his creations. This just isn't one of them.

But what the heck? It's ten bucks.

David
Message: Posted by: rasp (May 21, 2014 06:23PM)
Agree with everything David said in his review.
Message: Posted by: Stunninger (May 21, 2014 08:30PM)
David, thank you again for another wonderful and detailed review. I cannot tell you how much I have come to respect your opinion and appreciate your reviews.
Message: Posted by: NeilS (May 22, 2014 02:01AM)
As always, very good to have David's insights on this. I am sure this will help many come to a decision.
Message: Posted by: brehan (May 22, 2014 02:32AM)
Iam in for it to win the computer haha! :dance:
Message: Posted by: Dorianmagic (May 22, 2014 10:39AM)
Tanks Dave; you're the man
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (May 22, 2014 02:49PM)
David,

Thanks for your honest appraisal.
However, I think you may have missed quit a bit in your viewing of the gimmick.

First, I think you tip too much.
I learned that many in the magic game have closed minds.
They look at method only.
If one sees a trick from the perspective of the audience, they are often fooled and amazed. They want the trick.
Yet when the gimmick is revealed as, say a billet index, they instantly deside they would never use an index and discard the trick.

The DEVICE is similar.
Your talk of justifications and use in a seance is not intirely sound.
A color changing knofe doesn't need much "justification" to be in one's pocket.
Yet countless magi carry a thin little knife in a suit pocket.

Also, I feel you may be too generous in stating that if the gimmick was displayed in the trailer, most would know what the method is.
In fact, the inner workings are simple, yet intricate.
From an audience's viewpoint, it's invisable and convincing.

Again, let me state what's been said before...
This gimmick is to eliminate the sleight of hand required for many billet tricks.
Switchblade is great, yet may be unnecessary to someone who does a simple billet s****h.
Same here.

It's not for every body - as stated on the trailer.
It's an inexspensive share for those who want it.

Should it be less than $9?
Then video production cost wouldn't warrent release.
Should I merely not share it?

And as far as the couple of times I had a handling error because I was trying to hold the gimmick in an odd way to the camera, I feel most buyers are happy to see real time explanations.
Rather than the shots taken and re-taken until the trick looks perfect as in other videos.
When something happened on camera, I have left it in and explained why it happend...
SO IT DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOU.

I want to be as thorough in the demonstrations as if you were sitting with me.
My videos are transparent.
We've all read manuscripts that claim if we say this or that it will cause an audience to see or not see somthing.
It may read well, but in practice it's often boloney.
Face it - most magic and mentalism isn't transparent.
It's polished up to be something perfect.
Then if we, as buyers, have a problem, we're told it's our fault.
I adress any possible stubling blocks along the way so everyone can do the trick.
"This can hang here if you don't push it past this..." remember?

As for removing the gimmick, you sir have missed the idea completly!
If a signed card appears in a sealed envelope, the signature gives proof it's the same card.
Identical thinking with The DEVICE.
Please don't say any more.

I'm all for honest viewpoints shared in public.
It's healthy.
But, please keep secrets you know should be kept.
We like to have fun, so NO SPOLIERS.
It can devalue what others may hold in high regard.

For the record... this isn't meant to be a cure for cancer.
This is a fun, practical and unique gimmick.
Enjoy.

With respect and equality,
Thanks,
Docc

PS - There's a drawing for a new laptop and a new tablet.
A purchase at 50% off automatically enters you in the drawing.
So good luck David.
(It would be cool irony if you win, my friend.) ;-{D>
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (May 22, 2014 03:00PM)
Another little fact about The DEVICE...

100% of the profit goes to a local charity.

That's a little secret only Dan knew.

Peace,
Docc
Message: Posted by: mindguru (May 22, 2014 04:00PM)
I've bought quite a few of Docc's products, but I'm not sure if this product is something I need. I just have to say I loved the trailer it was entertaining and funny. Docc is a true salesman.
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (May 22, 2014 04:34PM)
I want to be clear I was NOT being snide nor insulting with my response to David.
Merely being honest in my views on his observations.
As we are all (him, you and me) free to do.
Peace,
Docc
Message: Posted by: Jamie Ferguson (May 22, 2014 05:01PM)
[quote]On May 21, 2014, David Thiel wrote:

I'm not sure the "Device" is a good match for what you're considering. (Pun intended.)

David [/quote]
I've sussed what the device is from your pun. All I needed to do was box clever! ;)
Message: Posted by: bdekolta (May 22, 2014 05:21PM)
I will say that when Marc Salem was in town he wanted to talk about two things. The DEVICE was one of them.

I can understand where David is coming from and know more than a little bit about how he approaches things. But the DEVICE is one of those things that expands the more you think about it.

The price is low for now. It is still low after it goes up. You will gain more than you pay just from the ideas tossed out along the way. If you think the DEVICE is only about the item being discussed then you don't understand what you are getting.

~ Dan
Message: Posted by: Perceptionist (May 22, 2014 06:09PM)
I rarely comment on reviews, especially if I haven't road tested the item myself ( I just purchased The Device today), but I'm compelled to reply to Dave's criticisms. After making and handling the gimmick for an hour, it's already clear to me what a terrific utility device this will be, and not just for billet peeks and steals.

Like Dave, I don't perform seances (just not my style), but as a professional corporate magician and mentalist, I'm convinced The Device is something I will use, and use often. As for the video quality, I for one appreciate that Docc is willing to poke fun at himself on occasion (something the rest of us should take to heart), and that handling any gimmick has its limitations. How refreshing to watch a pro be comfortable enough in his or her own skin to mess up, talk about ways to fix the inevitable fumbles we all contend with, and move on. As Fred Kaps liked to say, "I judge every performer by how professionally they deal with mishaps".

And Dave, until you've developed and marketed dozens of real-world effects like Docc has, please don't tip method, even if you think the wordplay is clever. After all, a guy's gotta eat. All that said, I would have been pleased with The Device had I paid 3-4 times the amount because the concept has opened up several new avenues to my own effect construction.

And the money goes to charity? That sounds like a no-brainer purchase. To my way of thinking, everyone on this thread should buy it and THEN decide if it's useful to their particular performing needs. With just a few hours of quality time spent to consider the possibilities, I believe the value will be self-evident.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (May 22, 2014 07:01PM)
Guys...relax. As Docc said -- we are all entitled to our opinions. A review is, by nature, highly subjective. It's neither right nor wrong. It's just an opinion. Obviously Mark, as a corporate entertainer, feels he will get great use out of The Device. I, as a corporate entertainer, don't feel the same way. So? Does somebody have to be wrong and somebody else have to be right? Nope. Two guys. Two opinions.

And to be clear -- I adore simple methods and clever props. Docc's Evoque is on every show I do. If you thought I was dissing his vast body of work, you would be wrong. (I did say that, didn't I?)

I also use a bille* inde* all the time, by the way...and consider the CT a thing of near mystical beauty.

But I do apologize, most sincerely to Docc. I honestly didn't mean to tip methods and truly thought I had not done so. In retrospect, I was wrong. I'm sorry, Docc.

Finally...I want to say that Docc and I corresponded, agreed to disagree and parted as friends, because that's what gentlemen do. And IF I win that laptop or the tablet -- I want him to give it to that charity. :)

David
Message: Posted by: Grail Quest (May 23, 2014 05:18AM)
That is indeed what Gentlemen do. Very well said David.
Having experienced absolutely superb customer service from you both, I would expect nothing less.

With regard to 'The Device' I very nearly fell into the trap of disregarding its efficacy entirely. The 'giveaway' price of $10 made me assume a throwaway product. Price equalling value is such a universal heuristic, I guess I'm probably in excellent company :-)

However, I trusted in the creator's reputation & took the plunge. I'm so glad I did. The gimmick does exactly what all gimmicks should do. It does a specific task exceptionally well, whilst remaining completely invisible. Couple that with a disarmingly truthful training video and, for me, you have something really rather wonderful. I particularly liked the fact that, paradoxically, its chameleon-like qualities blended in with such a hugely diverse range of venues. Consequently, whether you're performing on the street, or in the Boardroom, Docc's got you covered! Clever.

Naturally, my opinion is completely my own. However, for the satisfaction of effectively making a $10 donation to charity, isn't it worth picking this up to see if you agree with me?
Message: Posted by: Big Sam (May 23, 2014 10:42AM)
One issue that I'd like to throw in - FUN!

I love to build stuff and I love spy-like gadgets. So even if I never use it in a performance, the Device was just plain fun to make and play around with.

Sam
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (May 23, 2014 01:57PM)
OK, I have the Device and plan on using in my walk around show tomorrow. Someone told me about this thread, so I jumped on here to offer my 2 cents at hs request, as he also has the Device but is not to eloquent with words (I think he is fine, but is self conscious). Anyway,
I must disagree with my friend David as far as rationale goes. The specs don't care. In my 40 or so years of performing, a spec never askes what logical reason do I have to do this or that. Never. I do concede that a few may have thought that, but I don't know. Anyway, my point is rationale and logic don't really play into performances of any type, for the most part.

The Device is a clever gimmick that delivers a real time peek under fire. You can peek, steal or load without a problem. The decice is a rather common item. I bought a bunch in my local supermarket (Shop Rite for you NJ guys). It needs to be constructed, but it took me less than half an hour to make it. Once you have made it, there is no need to make another one. Well, it might wear out over a few years. but that should not be a problem as it is rather easy to make/remake.

I love the peek! Everything is good, but the peek is simply my favorite way to use it. Now, from David's post, many of you think that he tipped the method. I really don't think so. I can't see how you may have figured it out from David's
post, but perhaps a few of you have. As to the spec taking the device home, well you need to ring a duplicate, but to the spec, it looks exactly the same and is easier than doing that with a deck of cards and most of you have no trouble doing that. The spec's perception is that the Device is the same item.

Is it for everyone? No. But I can find several venues to use it. Please understand that its suitability is for several venues. As I said, I have so much confidence in it that I will be using it in a paid walk around show on Sat.

If you didn't buy it and say its not for you, how do you know? I really have a hard time believing that you doped it out correctly. Anyway, in the forty minute video Docc gives you instructions on how to make the gimmick. Not hard and once you make it, you won't need to make another for quite a while. I wonder how many of you I may have fooled before you "Figured it out". Well let me ay that if you truly figured it out, go buy the few things you need to make it and do so. Then perform it.


Yeah yeah, I know. Some of you will think that this is hype. It isn't. I truly like this Device.

I give it an excellent recommendation!
Message: Posted by: swamister (May 23, 2014 05:31PM)
I agree with some of david's post, and some of docc's...

i think its best suited for close-up certainly, wouldn't make sense (to me) for it to be on stage...

and the item in question has been around for years in various forms - I even gave away my version a little while ago on here...i like the object in question, there's a lot of things you can do with one...

i do think though, that context is (always) king...it has to 'fit' and if you're doing b*ll*t work, I personally wouldn't use this DEVICE along side regular b*ll*t work, as there would a dimensional problem (visually speaking - and again, this is just a personal thing)...

one of my favourite routines by Docc, is his DESIRE...and you could very easily incorporate this device, in with his desire...you could even quote Hendrix for full effect...

alternatively, bringing this device out from your pockets, along with some other small objects, like a pencil, dice, a pendulum and whatever else - that would work for me, then you can play all kinds of games with those objects out on the table (e'voque and so on)...and then casually segue into using the device for its inbuilt properties...
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (May 24, 2014 12:22AM)
Parted as friends?

C'mon this definitely isn't that big a deal - I hope to see both of you at MindVention sharing a beer in October and I will buy!

I appreciated David's unfettered honesty - it is exceedingly rare for David to post negative reviews.

He also happens to write some of the most detailed and informative reviews on the Café - reviews that many find helpful.

Docc - you come from the music biz as I recall and you more than anyone know how reviews go. Best to roll with it right?

Your product will ultimately sink or swim based on it's own merits - bottom line. Regardless of what the creator or the review(ers) say.
Message: Posted by: Stunninger (May 24, 2014 06:45AM)
[quote]On May 24, 2014, saysold1 wrote:
Parted as friends?

C'mon this definitely isn't that big a deal - I hope to see both of you at MindVention sharing a beer in October and I will buy!

I appreciated David's unfettered honesty - it is exceedingly rare for David to post negative reviews.

He also happens to write some of the most detailed and informative reviews on the Café - reviews that many find helpful.

Docc - you come from the music biz as I recall and you more than anyone know how reviews go. Best to roll with it right?

Your product will ultimately sink or swim based on it's own merits - bottom line. Regardless of what the creator or the review(ers) say. [/quote]

Very well said. Agree that David's unfettered honesty is rare and highly valued.

Would have loved to seen a Switchblade-like demo video for The Device. By switchblade-like I mean one that actually shows a presentation of an effect. The switchblade demo was outstanding, showing the effect (or one possible effect) in its full glory, from the audience's perspective. The Device demo was essentially the complete opposite, talking about the effect, or possible effects, but demonstrating nothing. This left me wondering why.
Message: Posted by: george1953 (May 24, 2014 07:56AM)
I am so tired of these type of trailers that show you nothing. I understand that the creators want to protect what they have created but at least give us some idea of what you are offering. I never buy anything with this sort of trailer andup until now it has usually proved the right thing to do judging by ssubsequent comments here on the Café.
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (May 24, 2014 12:14PM)
Gentlemen,

I want to thank all of you for the many, many emails with ideas and variations on The DEVICE.

All proceeds from the sale of The DEVICE are donated to a local charity in Miami.
One of the many projects they undertake is feeding Miami's large homeless population.
They also supply toothpaste and toothbrishes.

The DEVICE has already raised enough to fund a month of the program.

But we can do even more!

Win a new LAPTOP or new TABLET in the drawing Sunday night.
Plus, The DEVICE is 50% off until tomorrow night.

And every dollar goes to help someone else.

Thanks for your support,
Docc

http://www.nanacast.com/thedevice
Message: Posted by: CarlZen (May 24, 2014 01:47PM)
The device is brilliant !
Message: Posted by: B. Morrison (May 25, 2014 10:02AM)
Add me to the list of satisfied Device purchasers. Ten bucks (or $20 if you don't get in on the early buyer discount) for 40 minutes of Docc's time is a dead simple no-brainer.

As for tipping the item in question, even if you're able to figure out what it is from David's review, it's unlikely you'd be able to figure out all of the critical details of construction and handling Docc shares that makes the Device a workable item.
Message: Posted by: CSArscott (May 25, 2014 03:30PM)
I downloaded this and it looks great but I couldn't find a way to introduce it.

Swamister's ideas are realy helpful so I'm going to try again.
Message: Posted by: The Baldini (May 26, 2014 12:05PM)
I have this and it is doable, but not exactly as advertised. I have been a big fan of Docc's for many, many years and I am grateful for many of his releases, but this is not one I will use. The device simply does not fit any type of current performances I do, I see it only in a séance or Halloween show, where candles are present.
Docc, don’t stop , not everything is a home run and this one surely got on first base.
Message: Posted by: bdekolta (May 26, 2014 01:28PM)
Hi Dave ~

What specifically was not as advertised? Remember Docc's ads are written from the audiences view.

Thanks..

~ Dan
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (May 26, 2014 05:51PM)
I've just added this into my work, reviving something I used to do. For me it is a perfect fit.

Tony
Message: Posted by: The Baldini (May 27, 2014 06:19AM)
There were a few things that cannot be said due to exposure, one that can be is the actual device, I feel leaving it out of the trailer was wrong. Even in its ungimicked form, it should have been shown as it is the key component, part of the effect. Also leaving it with the spec. is not impossible, but to achieve that using the method described is not easy, even with a year of practice, you need loose pants. That’s why Docc did not show it.
Message: Posted by: bdekolta (May 27, 2014 10:44AM)
Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Actually the reason Docc did not show it is people make incorrect assumptions and believe they know how it works when they don't. We had that happen in the past with other effects. People thinking they knew what we were doing when it was actually quite different and more effective.

As for leaving the DEVICE with the spectators you could but why would you? I can think of no reason to do that. Docc was just pointing out it is possible. Your pants don't have to be that loose. But if that is what you want to do I can think of at least five ways to do it off the top of my head that don't require loose pants. And I highly doubt it would take a year of practice even if you have no experience in that sort of thing.

For everyone else the price is going up as soon as I get logged in and do it.
Message: Posted by: Jamie Ferguson (May 27, 2014 03:59PM)
Well done to Donald and Jon for winning the prizes.

Perhaps they should donate them to the charity, hint, hint ;)
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (May 30, 2014 05:58PM)
Hello friends,

Thanks for the great input.
And terriffic support from hundreds of mentalists.

For the record...
Jon did donate his 1st prize back to charity!

And "your pocket" didn't mean pants pocket.
I meant suit pocket.

Lots of tips regarding where The DEVICE fits in.
NOT seances, but at high end locations where it's a natural.

Please don't give away what I'm saying, but join me on the Follow-up call next week.

Peace,
Docc
Message: Posted by: insight (Jun 3, 2014 03:04PM)
If you think that the device has the potential to be noticed as a prop and will lead to certain assumptions regarding its use, won't spectators also make incorrect assumptions about the device? They may not know exactly how it is done, but if they suspect the device played some role, would it not dampen the effect?

Regards,
Mike

[quote]On May 27, 2014, bdekolta wrote:
Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Actually the reason Docc did not show it is people make incorrect assumptions and believe they know how it works when they don't. We had that happen in the past with other effects. People thinking they knew what we were doing when it was actually quite different and more effective.

As for leaving the DEVICE with the spectators you could but why would you? I can think of no reason to do that. Docc was just pointing out it is possible. Your pants don't have to be that loose. But if that is what you want to do I can think of at least five ways to do it off the top of my head that don't require loose pants. And I highly doubt it would take a year of practice even if you have no experience in that sort of thing.

For everyone else the price is going up as soon as I get logged in and do it. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: bdekolta (Jun 4, 2014 12:31AM)
[QUOTE]If you think that the device has the potential to be noticed as a prop and will lead to certain assumptions regarding its use, won't spectators also make incorrect assumptions about the device? They may not know exactly how it is done, but if they suspect the device played some role, would it not dampen the effect?[/QUOTE]

It does not have that potential unless your (the performer's) actions create them. If you use it exactly as taught it will draw zero suspicion and the effect will be enhanced not dampened.

My other point is if I showed you a video demo of the DEVICE in action you would think you knew what it is but it is a bit more thought out than it appears which makes sense when you see the explanation. Docc described it over the phone to me and I still didn't pick up on all the nuances. Keep in mind I get a little here and a little there and have to piece it together over time. When I saw the video it all made sense.

Hope that helps.
Message: Posted by: pedrao15 (Jun 4, 2014 03:31PM)
Trailers with no real / live demonstration video = no no no.

I haven't bought this but as a costumer and video producer, this trailers just don't motivate me into buying the product. As "David Thiel" said, if we saw the gimmick we would understand, ok, got it. But come up with some different idea then! Check out the trailer for Adam Grace - Frozen, just a camera cut and ta-da, perfect trailer, in my opinion.

I know this is not a thread about trailers, but hey, it would save us a looooot of reading and writing just by showing the actual performance on video.

Thanks.
*puff*
Message: Posted by: bdekolta (Jun 4, 2014 04:52PM)
Pedro have you been reading what Docc and I have written? If you saw a demo you would think you have it but you won't. So we didn't.

If you want to do full trailers be my guest. Docc is the one who chooses what to record.

Thanks for your input.
Message: Posted by: Stunninger (Jun 4, 2014 07:19PM)
[quote]On Jun 4, 2014, pedrao15 wrote:
Trailers with no real / live demonstration video = no no no.

I haven't bought this but as a costumer and video producer, this trailers just don't motivate me into buying the product. As "David Thiel" said, if we saw the gimmick we would understand, ok, got it. But come up with some different idea then! Check out the trailer for Adam Grace - Frozen, just a camera cut and ta-da, perfect trailer, in my opinion.

I know this is not a thread about trailers, but hey, it would save us a looooot of reading and writing just by showing the actual performance on video.

Thanks.
*puff* [/quote]

Completely agree.
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Aug 12, 2014 01:11PM)
Hello friends,

So many many people bought The Device and are using it every day that a FREE Follow-up Call is now included.

It's TONIGHT, August 12, at 7:00 pm EST.
The call in details are in your member area.

If you didn't get in on The DEVICE because of whatever reason, do it now because there is something really BIG involving this amazing utility and the Brasilian genius, Leonardo Silerio.

Thank you to all of you who helped so many people with all the proceeds going to a feed the homeless program here in Miami.

To those who missed a chance to help the homeless and get a great DEVICE, for a few dollars...
...maybe next time.

Cheers,
Docc
Message: Posted by: Ceierry (Dec 18, 2014 09:38AM)
Can I use for walk around?

Or restaurant tables?
Message: Posted by: Ramius (Dec 18, 2014 02:43PM)
Looks like it's on special today at Penguin.
Message: Posted by: jaizon (Dec 19, 2014 09:14AM)
Restaurant tables okay, but watch your angles. Walk around would be more difficult (IMHO).