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Topic: Mental Videos...
Message: Posted by: Rob Wallis (Nov 13, 2001 01:01PM)
Hi all. Itís that time of year and Iím looking at purchasing one of a couple of videos. Unfortunately, I have to choose. :(

So Iím looking at the Max Maven Videos, but then someone recommended the Bob Cassidy video. Iím uncertain. :shrug: Pros? Cons? Professional help? (Probably)



Itís All In Your Mind...
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Nov 13, 2001 03:36PM)
Both are excellent. If you live in an area with a lot of other magicians, get the Cassidy video. Itís not as common, and youíll be doing stuff most of the others donít have. Otherwise, take your pick! You canít go wrong! The nice thing about the Maven videos is that they are divied up into venues: Close-up, parlor, platform. So if you perform at a particular venue more often than others, that would be the way to go. But again, all are excellent, so you canít lose!


Scott F. Guinn

Great Scott! Itís Magic!
Message: Posted by: Rob Wallis (Nov 13, 2001 03:54PM)
Thanks! I am leaning toward the Cassidy videos, because the ads say that he discusses routining, performance technique, etc. I'm not that interested in learning new effects.

BTW. Scott, I loved your series on Banquet gigs. Very informative!
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Nov 13, 2001 08:19PM)
Thanks a lot! Itís nice to know someone is finding it valuable--glad to hear that youíre the one!
Message: Posted by: Lee Marelli (Dec 1, 2001 01:06PM)
Rob: May I recommend some other mentalism video tapes that you may find rewarding:

1. Desert Brainstorm Series, 6 1/2.

This is todayís mentalism with performers such as Mark Strivings, Lee Earle, Kenton Knepper, Larry Becker (for those Mental Magic Fans) and others of the famous 6 1/2.

2. Lee Earleís Syzgyís Best- Vol 1,2,7,

If you are not familiar with Syzygy, trust me on these videos.

3. Patrik Kuffsí Metal Bending.

Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about spoon and other bending.

There are quite a few more out there but those I just mentioned will keep you busy and give you plenty of "food for thought.í DO NOT FORGET BOOKS. Thatís where the real work is. I sensed you knew that.


For those who believe, no explanation is needed. For those who do not believe, no explanation is necessary. Dunninger
Message: Posted by: Drewmcadam (Dec 3, 2001 02:56AM)
As a mentalist I can definitely recommend the Bob Cassidy video... see if you can spot top mindreader Marc Salem in there, by the way!
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Dec 21, 2001 11:48AM)
Iíll second the recommendation for the [i]SYZYGY[/i] videos, with a somewhat biased recommendation for Volume 3, since the opening effect on it is mine :)

I would suggest holding off on the Kuffs video, however -- Banachekís [i]Psychokinetic Silverware[/i] will be out soon, and it is much better than the Kuffs one -- being the guy who actually created this stuff, Banachek goes into great detail on the fine points and psychological twists to really make it all work. I was privileged enough to be at the reshoot for it last month, and I was blown away with what he taught.



Andy Leviss

Check out my new book for mentalists, [i]Ramblings and Revelations[/i] (and other products for magicians and mentalists) at:

Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Dec 21, 2001 04:24PM)
I recieved the Guy Bavli mentalism video recently. I was disappointed, it seemed to me to be mostly card tricks.

I realize the video is almost 10 years old, is his newer stuff any better? I found it odd that he was not mentioned in this thread.

Message: Posted by: John Zander (Dec 21, 2001 04:56PM)
Mental Videos.... hmmm, letís see... how about

"[b]One Flew Over The Coo Cooís Nest"[/b]? :bigsmile:

Hey, I love that movie!

Happy Holidays!



Thank you,

John Zander


The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander



Message: Posted by: Lee Marelli (Dec 21, 2001 07:22PM)
Ichazod: No. Put your money elsewhere.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Dec 21, 2001 09:41PM)
I concur. Iíve seen the videos and Iíve seen Bavli in person. Shania Twain best describes my opinion of "Israelís Greatest Mentalist" - "That donít impress me much!"
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Dec 22, 2001 10:39AM)
Thank you, I thought perhaps I was missing something with Mr. Bavli.

Apparently not :hmm:


I received my Desert Brainstorm volume 2 video yesterday, I was quite impressed. Everything on the tape was excellent & usable. I would recommend this to anyone, I canít wait to get the others in the series.

Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Dec 27, 2001 01:39PM)
Some people complain about the presentation on the Syzygy videos, but you shouldnít be watching videos for the presentation, you should be watching them for:

(A) the methodology and other non-personal aspects of the effects on them,

(B) the other ideas and effects that youíll come up with based on whatís on the video.

If you donít like Leeís presentation, donít use it. Donít let a presentation you donít like keep you from finding valuable material, though.

The other complaint is that the material is "too proppy." Iím not sure what you consider "too proppy". Yes, there is stuff on there that I would consider "proppy" enough to be mental magic instead of mentalism ("Midway Dream" comes to mind off the top of my head), but a prop alone does not make something proppy. If the prop is a normal everyday object that makes sense in the routine, I donít see a problem with it.

Iíve explained my thoughts on the subject in a lot more detail in a couple articles over in "Shared Thoughts" at [i]Visions[/i] and in my book [i]Ramblings & Revelations[/i]. You can find one of the original articles at


and both (actually, technically there are three that touch on this) in the book, available from the link in my signature.




Andy Leviss

Check out my new book for mentalists, [i]Ramblings and Revelations[/i] (and other products for magicians and mentalists) at:

Message: Posted by: Paul (Dec 31, 2001 04:31AM)
I don't think I fully agree with Andy, after all, most of the methods are old anyway. I am constantly seeking good presentation angles. A great, and different presentation is the most valuable thing for me. Which doesn't mean I would take it and perform as is, but for me good presentations are definitely of more importance than methods.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Dec 31, 2001 05:56AM)
This is one of the few times that I, too, would disagree (at least partially) with Andy. I typically watch the performance segments of the tricks first--sometimes thats ALL I watch! Whether it has a presentational angle I can use or not, there is much to be learned regarding timing, delivery, misdirection etc by watching a real pro in action. All of these are more important to me than the methods, for methods, I prefer books, for presentation--to see how an effect "plays"--THATíS where I find the real value in videos.

And, as Ortiz says in Strong Magic, at conventions, you will find amateurs and hobbyists gathered around a guy with a new move, but youíll find working pros excitedly huddled around the guy with a new presentation.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Dec 31, 2001 12:21PM)
Very true points, and I agree that presentation is valuable, but I should probably explain what I meant better. I didn't mean that you should only watch the tapes for method. What I meant was that you shouldn't watch the tapes for Lee's personal presentation. You should watch them for what you can get from it to improve your presentation, be that an idea for an effect, a premise for a routine, etc. Lee's specific word for word presentation is the last thing you should get from it.

And there is something to be learned from bad presentation--it can be a great example of what NOT to do. Instead of saying, "He sucked," you can sit down and say, "Okay, he sucked, but WHY did he suck? How can I avoid making those mistakes in my own work?"

And yes, the methods aren't earth-shatteringly new, but they do show you great new ways to apply old ideas, which is really all that creating is most of the time.

Message: Posted by: majorshaw (Jan 6, 2002 04:26PM)
Both Max's and the 6 1/2 viedo's are very good. Remember your learning the idea. You must always use your own personality for it to work. Do you have 13 Steps?
Message: Posted by: Rob Wallis (Jan 7, 2002 03:23PM)

On 2002-01-06 17:26, majorshaw wrote:

Both Max's and the 6 1/2 viedo's are very good. Remember your learning the idea. You must always use your own personality for it to work. Do you have 13 Steps?


Yes, thanks, as well as Anneman, Banachek, Hoy, and Anderson. What's hard to find is what a mental routine [b]looks[/b] like. This is what I enjoy about videos. And, like Scott, I often watch just the performance sections, as I am not all that interested in learning the secrets (at least not at first) :)
Message: Posted by: vovin (Jan 11, 2002 03:36AM)

On 2001-11-13 14:01, Rob Wallis wrote:

Hi all. Itís that time of year and Iím looking at purchasing one of a couple of videos. Unfortunately, I have to choose. :(



Itís All In Your Mind...


I got Mavenís videoís 1 & 2 and they are really good, I highly reccomend them, No. 3 is on order.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Aug 6, 2002 12:32PM)
Larry Beckers Videos; MENTAL MASTERPIECES have many super mental effects.
I like the effects Casino Royal and Kollosal Killer plus more...

Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Aug 6, 2002 01:32PM)
One mentalism video that I'm surprised I don't see more reference to is the [url=http://www.llpub.com/cgi-bin/presto.cgi?product=v2426&category=&detail=yes&search=yes]Falkenstein & Willard[/url] videos from L&L.

The [url=http://www.llpub.com/cgi-bin/presto.cgi?product=v2423&category=&detail=yes&search=yes]first tape[/url] is a performance of their blindfolded Q&A act, their two-way mind-reading act, and their rope escape with a volunteer (unusual for a mental act, that escape). The [url=http://www.llpub.com/cgi-bin/presto.cgi?product=v2424&category=&detail=yes&search=yes]second video[/url] is the explanations of everything on the first video.

If, like me, the stage isn't your arena, you'll love the close-up & parlour mental routines on the [url=http://www.llpub.com/cgi-bin/presto.cgi?product=v2425&category=&detail=yes&search=yes]third video[/url]. There are some killer ideas here. My favorite is the first card routine on the tape. One person is blindfolded, while the other holds up some cards for various audience members to point at, and the blindfolded performer instantly names the card. The experiment is concluded by having the audience select one without revealing it to ANYBODY, and yet the blindfolded partner is STILL able to reveal it! This is a great routine for a trick you'd probably never consider doing otherwise.

Don't worry, there's plenty of one-person routines on here, including a mentalism use for Ball & Tube and Glorpy (I've even used this as a magic store demo!). Personally, I've found this to be one of the lighter, more "fun" mentalism videos.

Hmmmm...maybe I shouldn't be recommending these. I should keep some of this stuff to myself. ;)
Message: Posted by: mysterium (Aug 8, 2002 04:29PM)
One of the best mentalism videos I've ever seen is Jon Tremaine's. Lots of great, very practical effects, explained simply and clearly.

The technical quality is poor (you can hear a radio transmission interfering with the audio) but it's one of the best comprehensive collections of material I've encountered.
Message: Posted by: Gary (Aug 9, 2002 04:30AM)
Useful thread. I've been recently burned buying a few mental DVDs that were clearly rereleases from older videos and the dealers do not make this clear (a bit like many magic publishers who fail to provide the publication dates of material).

My most recent disappointment material wise, is the Andy Nyman lecture released by International Magic in London. Toe-curling embarassing and more of a dry-run version than a quality production. Clearly a talented guy, but this release does him no favours.
Message: Posted by: sweetcarl (Aug 9, 2002 05:16AM)
On 2002-08-09 05:30, Gary wrote:
Useful thread. I've been recently burned buying a few mental DVDs that were clearly rereleases from older videos and the dealers do not make this clear (a bit like many magic publishers who fail to provide the publication dates of material).

My most recent disappointment material wise, is the Andy Nyman lecture released by International Magic in London. Toe-curling embarassing and more of a dry-run version than a quality production. Clearly a talented guy, but this release does him no favours.

Gary, what was the main problem with these releases? Was it the poor production values (pretty typical with lecture videos, I suppose)?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean in the first part of your post. Are you saying that some dealers' ads imply that the DVD is a new title, as opposed to the same material but just in a different format?
Message: Posted by: Gary (Aug 9, 2002 08:05AM)
Yes Carl,

Unless you are tracking what's available, it's not alway obvious what's been transferred from videos that have been kicking around for a few years. Nothing wrong with that of course, but some releases would have been better left to die a natural death as opposed to a new life in a new format, but business is business.

There is classic material out there that will never date and always inspire, and others that should have been smothered at birth.

If there are performers whose work you admire, then perhaps that's the way to go.
Message: Posted by: shanyuen (Oct 1, 2002 11:03PM)
What is the most complete and amazing effect video that discover about metal binding ?
Does Patrik Kuff video teach me how to bend spoon in spectator hand ?
Please advise me.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Oct 2, 2002 12:27AM)
This question gets asked nearly every week in the mentalism forum, and in fact was answered earlier in this thread, as well as when you just posted it over in the "Penny for Your Thoughts". Section.

In short, get the Banachek video on bending. For an explanation of why, see the post in the other section, or any of the dozens of older threads in that section asking this exact same question.
Message: Posted by: Stefan S. (Oct 2, 2002 03:29AM)
Hmm if you'd ask me i would recommend the Kuffs video over the Banachek one!

I dont want to offend anyone, but i really disliked the Banachek tape. The Kuffs video has a lot more material, in my opinion is better explained even thought Patrick has a french accentwhich made it harder for me to anderstand since i am from germany!

The way they presented the routines in Psycokinetic Silverware was really annoying sorry to say that but thats the way i feel!


Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Oct 2, 2002 05:43PM)
I feel that Banachek teaches more in-depth than Kuffs. He goes into details on psychological and misdirectional approaches that Patrik doesn't even mention, which make the material infinitely more deceptive.

There are also other more important reasons, but you'll have to search in the previous posts for those, because I've been asked not to post it again since it's been beaten to death in at least two or three discussions in "Penny for Your Thoughts" over the last year or so.

Message: Posted by: shanyuen (Oct 3, 2002 11:12PM)
I have been search the older threads about metal bending, but I am confuse.
Someone have an opini that "Patrik Kuff the real work" discovering about spiral bending (many variation & complete) and someone said that Psychokinetic Silverware (gary & Banachek) discover about bending metal on spectator hand.

Does Patrik Kuff discovering about how to bending metal on spectator hand ?

Thanks. :confused:
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Oct 6, 2002 01:36AM)
If by "spiral bending" you mean putting a twist into a spoon, that's not Patrik's. It was independently developed by Banachek and Ben Harris. Harris published it in his book [i]Off the Wall[/i], Banachek taught it on his [i]Psychokinetic Silverware[/i] video.
Message: Posted by: shanyuen (Oct 6, 2002 11:45PM)
Does Patrik Kuff video teach me how to bend spoon in spectator hand ?
My question has not answered.

Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Oct 7, 2002 12:49AM)
I honestly don't recall, but Banachek's video does. He teaches two methods, one where the participant holds the spoon in her fist with the handle sticking out and it bends and (IIRC) breaks, and one where you hold it on your open palm and the participant rubs it with her finger, and it visibly bends up under her finger.
Message: Posted by: shanyuen (Oct 10, 2002 04:19AM)
Thank you Andy Leviss,
I has download your video in your site.
You're so coolll... :)
But the quality of your video is not good.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Oct 11, 2002 01:36AM)
Which video? The only videos on our site are of my business partner, Andi Gladwin, so I can't take credit for that :o)
Message: Posted by: shanyuen (Oct 28, 2002 05:18AM)
Andy Gladwin ?
ooo... I see... Sorry... :eek:

Some week ago I confuse to choose what is the most perfect in metal bending,
Patrik Kuff product (Metal Bending the real work) or Banachek product (psychokinetic silverware).
Then I buy BOTH. (I spent my money for comparing this)
And my result from comparing them is...
Patrik Kuff is the best of the best.
Trust me, you can do all tricks when you learn from Patrik Kuff video.
Bending or twisting/spiralling metal on your/spectator hand, plastic spoon bending, fork,.. etc.
Various method to develop your own routine.
There are no moves in the Banachek video that are not covered in the Kuff video.
After learning from Kuff I can guess what Banachek doing in his logical show.
(thanks to callin, he is the master of comparison)
Andy Alviss advice many people to buy the Banachek video because he crash with Patrik Kuff.
You can find the topic Andy Alviss vs Patrik Kuff in this forum.

I'am just a costumer,
I don't know if other tricks copyrighted by someone else.
Message: Posted by: Adam (Oct 28, 2002 06:31AM)

I suspect that you are right. There's a disappointing - but not unexpected - amount of dishonest promotion of material in this field. People support their friends' products, and their friends write the foreward to their 'book' (as in the case above with Mr. Leviss and Banachek. as for putting 'book' in parentheses, well, in just about every other realm of literate human existence, what people in magic/mentalism are passing off as 'books' would be called 'booklets'. just a minor gripe of mine).

The Leviss-Kuffs controversy is also interesting in this context. Perhaps people who have 'crashed' (as you put it) should not be writing (invariably negatively) about their rival's material. It's almost as bad as writing positive reviews about one's friend's material (but that latter is worse because it leads people to spend their money on something that comes from a biased reviewer or at least one who cannot be dispassionate due to the nature of their relationship with the author of the reviewed material).

Magic/mentalism thrives on deception; if we always let our spectators know what we we're up to then we'd be out of a job! But this dependency on deception should be limited to our performing personas (or, better yet, to the METHODS used in performing), and should not be allowed to play a role in inter-personal relations, in my opinion. Reviewers must be objective if they are to be useful. If for whatever reason people cannot be objective (i.e., they're personally acquainted with the author of the material) then they should not be reviewers. Ever notice how the people who contribute to the online-visions site always have their products reviewed favourably on that site? What service does this offer potential consumers? Aren't we ripped off enough by magic-ads? (just for the record, I love that site and find it useful in most other ways. It is precisely because it's such a high-quality site that the incongruity of biased reviews is so apparent).

Just a rant, but one of immediate relevance to this thread.

Disagree if you like; pluralism is a virtue of our society.

p.s.-- We're lucky that name-dropping is so rampant in this (and, admittedly, many other) field(s). It means that a reviewer is inadvertedly showing their true colours ("When my friend Harry Houdini asked me to review his recent effect, my first thought was...")
Message: Posted by: The Critic (Oct 30, 2002 05:18PM)
Staggered to see Gary's comments re the Andy Nyman tape. I thought it was excellent. Not only is the material very strong, but the advice is great.
Yeas its not the highest production tape in the world, but the International tapes never are.
I heartily recommend the tape.
Message: Posted by: Gary (Oct 31, 2002 12:18PM)
Hi Critic,

Agree that International Magic's approach to video making is point and shoot, and while this is hardly at the cutting edge of technology, we do get to see many performers do their thing.

I was so disappointed with Andy on this tape. He's an inventive and funny guy, but the presentation came across as unprofessional and badly thrown together.

Some of the routines were squirm-in-the-seat embarrassing and looked like they had been scripted on the back of envelopes seconds before the shoot.

Andy kept asking how long he had left and looked like he would have rather been elsewhere.

The event was lifted by the involvement of DB for the last routine, but in all, a major disappointment.
Message: Posted by: Megatherion (Nov 1, 2002 06:07PM)

Get the Cassidy tape, he gives away his act.

Tremaine's tape is OK if you like card effects, his billets routines are inferior. Lapping and reading in the lap.

Yours faithfully

:devilish: Dan Kirsch :devilish:
Message: Posted by: Mark Strivings (Nov 5, 2002 10:09PM)
Without question and without anyone else in the world even coming close, the foremost producer of mentalism on video for years has been Flora & Company from Albuquerque. With ton's of videos in their catalog, there's much to learn and absorb if video is your thing.

I'll address it now before anyone else chimes in, yes the video's are more expensive than most others on the market. There are reasons for this which I won't delve into here. Suffice to say I have practically everything Brian ever put out (paid for personally) and have only found a couple that I wasn't completely happy with. As a working professional I have found more actual WORKERS on FloraCo tapes than just about anywhere else. Brian made it a point to go with guys who actually do this stuff for 'real people' and as a result, the material has what it takes.

I'm not saying any of this because I happen to have made a few videos with Brian, I'm saying it because it's true. You obviously can get any of my Flora CO videos directly from me or from Flora, but be sure to check out the work of Docc Hilford, Richard Webster, Ron Martin and others at the Flora website (www.floraco.com)

Hope this helps.

Mark Strivings

A small postscript to those who may be wondering, yes Flora Co is still in business. Jan has taken over the operation of things since Brian's tragic and untimely death. As far as I know everything on the website is still available and well worth your consideration.

Mark Strivings