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Topic: Illusionary Departures by JC Sum
Message: Posted by: Paradoxical Stranger (Jul 18, 2004 06:51AM)
Can anybody give me more details of this book http://jcsum.com/products.html it seems to have many cool illusions.I like illusions and plan on ordering it but would like to hear comments from others first.

Message: Posted by: firebrand (Jul 27, 2004 11:17PM)
Hi guys,

I just got a copy of this book. I believe I was one of the first few to order this book from JC. I'm not sure if any dealers carry it yet. There are quite a number of illusions, some of which are very original. I especially like "Walk Through the Winery", "Time Machine", and "Fourth Dimensional Exit"!

All the illusions are extremely detailed and have well thought out presentations and routines. This is not a book just with illusion ideas and concepts, but contains very practical material, I believe.

The book is not really cheap but I feel some of the illusions inside are worth the price of the book. I have bought other illusion books which cost about the same price but does not have the substance which this book has. The book also is printed on glossy heavy-weight paper and is rather nicely produced.

If you are a professional performer or require practical illusions for special events, I recommend the book highly.

Hope this helps :)
Message: Posted by: Paradoxical Stranger (Jul 29, 2004 11:01AM)
Wow I just placed my order hope I will receive it soon.Just can't wait.Hope it's as good as you say it is.

Update: Aug 20 2004

I just recieved my copy of the book yesterday. All I can say is that this book is brilliant. Everything in the book is crystal clear and the thinking behind every single illusion is so well thought out. Two illusions in the book that I fell in love with instantly were Walk Through The Winery, an absolutely clever principle I believed had never been used to this extent ever before, and Visual Displacement, a total all-round rework of Andrew Mayne's A Frame, which really brings it to the next level. If you like emotional effects be sure to check out Creation Of Life, a super strong beautifully routined effect. Every bit of information in this book is priceless and worth every single cent. My best buy in a long time.
Message: Posted by: jcsum (Aug 22, 2004 08:26AM)

Thanks for the positive reviews! I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

The illusions do present a couple of departures from standard plots as well as new illusions and presentations. Original presentational plots are one of my strongest suits and coupled with ideas inspired by great illusion thinkers, the resulting illusions in the book are solid.

Being from the 'other' side of the world, it does allow me, to some extent, to see the dominant illusion thought from the 'outside'. Influence from Asian illusion thinkers, which is seldom seen in print (anywhere in the world), has contributed to my thought process.

You might like to know that I'm also working on a new book or manuscript on illusions that I have developed and designed for my corporate work. An illusion currently included is a rework/enhancement of my 'Backdoor Appearance' that will allow you to produce large inanimate objects like a giant-sized TV, car, computer workstation, arcade machine, etc. I also have a car appearance more suited for theatre-type settings which I might share.

If anyone has any questions on specific illusions in Illusionary Departures, please feel free to e-mail me at jcsum@conceptmagic.biz

You can view the contents of the books at: http://www.jcsum.com/products.html

I believe US magicians can now order the book from Magic Warehouse.

Thanks again.


J C Sum
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Sep 24, 2004 07:16PM)
The quality of this book is outstanding. (By that I mean the actual printing, cover, paper quality, general presentation, illustrations).
The plans are the most comprehensive I have seen in a long time.
The thought that has gone into the contents of each piece is outstanding.

Looking forward to more material - soon!
Message: Posted by: jcsum (Oct 6, 2004 12:12PM)
Hi Lee Alex,

Thanks for the kind comments! Sorry for the late response as I've been 'out of action' for the last two weeks.

I'm glad you liked the ideas, concepts and presentations in the book. Any favourites?

Look forward to 'The Event Illusionist' which should be out really soon.

For those interested, you can currently order the book direct from me (www.jcsum.com, from Doug Tilford (www.tilfordillusions.com) and the Magic Warehouse (www.themagicwarehouse.com)



J C Sum
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Oct 6, 2004 01:53PM)
JC Sum,

Can't really say that I have a favourite - if I was forced then maybe the "Walk through the Winery" would get the biggest thumbs up for originality and use of a common prop that magicians just "throw away" - in presentation and literally ( can't say any more!!), although this does not suit my style of presentation.

Strange about "BATS" as we came up with the same idea whilst the book was on order, and then when it arrived - wow, the plan! Great minds think alike!

The other presentations are very well thought out and cleanly explained.

Looking forward to the new material too!
Message: Posted by: ricker (Dec 17, 2004 12:14PM)
What a wonderful book! With the companion book, 'The Event Illusionist' , it makes a great pair to add to the collection.

Watching him in action too on the VCD, was quite an extra perk!

Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Dec 18, 2004 04:36PM)
Check out JC Sum's latest web page - [url]http://www.illusionbooks.com[/url]

There are some great resources for illusion performers, with essays ( one by yours truly - [url]http://www.illusionbooks.com/essays/thinkbig.html[/url]) with more to come.

Not quite up and running yet is the "backstage" area which will offer more resources and illusions to owners of either of the books.
Message: Posted by: ricker (Dec 19, 2004 01:06AM)
Does J.C. have any ETA on the Backstage section?
Message: Posted by: jcsum (Dec 22, 2004 08:27AM)
Hi Rick,

Thanks for the positive comments and for taking the time to make the post here! Really appreciate it! Through word of mouth and recommendations, the books are slowly but surely being picked up by discerning magicians across the globe.

Good news! The 'Backstage' section is coming along well, being put together amidst my show schedule. I will most probably have it up partially on 1 Jan 2005. Items that will be up by this time will be my 'Simplex Car Appearance', 'Improvements to Visual Displacement' (from 'Illusionary Departures') and 'Thoughts on Bases'.

Lee is right to say that the 'Essays' section (available to the public) contains really helpful and thought provoking practical tips and advice for illusionists. Lee's contribution is original and offers practical ideas from a working performer. Other contributions by working pros will also be available in the upcoming months!

Happy Holidays!

J C Sum
Message: Posted by: ricker (Dec 22, 2004 03:41PM)
I found 'The Event Illusionist' to be FULL of good business advice, no matter which business.

Personally, if I get one thing out of a book, I feel it's worth the price.

I've gotten 5 or 6 things so far.

Message: Posted by: Hengky Ciptanegara (Dec 22, 2004 07:30PM)
Does the illusion in this book "easy to built" or we have to spend much money to built it?
Do we need "assistant" to perform the illusion on this book?

Message: Posted by: jl (Dec 23, 2004 10:41AM)
Some of the illusions can be performed solo and some do need an assistant, some could be build fairly cheap and others are going to cost a lot but it is a very good book with some excellent ideas, hats off to JC. Well worth getting.
Message: Posted by: jcsum (Dec 23, 2004 12:12PM)
Thanks jl for the kind comments! Glad you found good value in the book!

Hengky, great questions and quite hard to answer as the answers are relative to the individual magician/ illusionist.

First 'Easy to Build' - I am not a builder or craftsman. But my basic technical and practical knowledge learnt from workshop classes in school + work with both pro illusion builders and prop fabricaters over the years have educated me to know what can work and what cannot. I am also familiar with available wood and alunminum materials. With the limited knowledge that I possess, I consider that most of the illusions in the book are fairly easy to construct, although precision will be needed to make the illusions look deceptive. You can't simply give or take an inch here and there. A pro illusion builder might find building the illusions a piece of cake and could produce them within two days. On the other hand, a complete novice to building might struggle even with the simplest prop.

So, the short answer, is yes, most of the illusions should be able to be built by a carpenter/ prop maker with relative ease. Some illusions like 'Crystal Striptease' should be built by a professional builder for maximum deceptiveness.

Second, 'Expensive'. Again relative as it depends who builds and what materials you use. I comprehensively suggest what materials and thickness to use so the larger variable will be workmanship costs. For the less complex illusions, you could fabricate them yourself with about US$500. An illusion like 'Ghost Cabinet' is a self contained see-through cabinet that can be used to perform a 'Things that Go Bump in the Night'/ 'Modern Cabinet'-type routines. If you compare the cost of building the 'Ghost Cabinet' with the original set-up for 'Things that Go...', the 'Ghost Cabinet' is dirt cheap. But, if compare the Cabinet with a standard packing crate Sub Trunk, it would be more expensive. But I believe you get more 'impact for your dollar' with the 'Ghost Cabinet', simply because of the versatilty of the illusion prop.

Again, the short answer is, the illusions are not cheap (illusions are never really cheap) but within the grasps of the typical performing magician.

Third, 'Assistant' - Do you mean an assistant as in 'box jumper'/' girl that goes in box' or do you mean an on-stage helper? The book is quite equally divided with illusions that can be performed solo and illusions that involve a girl or principal assistant. However, as I explain in my other book, 'The Event Illusionist', even for solo illusions, having an on-stage helper makes the illusion presentations that much smoother. Just consider moving an illusion prop into position for performance, it looks much better for a stage hand/ helper/ assistant to position the prop than for the illusionist to do it him/ herself.

As mentioned in an earlier post, there are new ideas in this book, besides enhancements and reinventions, but the real value is the original designs coupled with the motivation, logic and justifcation that is detailed for most, if not all, the illusions. 'Illusionary Departures' will also be especially of value to magicians/ illusionists who are looking for non-typical Vegas-style bubble gum illusions.

Hope this helps!


J C Sum
Message: Posted by: Paradoxical Stranger (Dec 27, 2004 09:32AM)
Wow I'm really suprise that this tread is expanding since my initial post.I'm also glad that more people are getting to know about this book,this book is one book I feel is a must have in every magicians' library.Great job JC !BTW I just received your Event Illusionist Yesterday and really got to say it's a perfect match with you Illusionary Departure though I wished I had bought both of them together lol.

Message: Posted by: jcsum (Jan 3, 2005 08:39AM)
Hi all,

For those who own either of my books but did not order direct from me:

The 'BACKSTAGE' section to my website is finally up!

Owners of the either of my books can access this section for updated refinements and enhancements to the material in my books. This is the best way to get updated info and keep the content 'organic'.

The 'BACKSTAGE' section also contains original designs, ideas and presentations of illusion material not in the book. Visit http://www.illusionbooks.com to gain access.

For those who do not own my book(s) but took the time to read this post, please visit the website for a bonus item in the free-for-all 'Essays' section. I put up some ideas & presentations for the 'Sword Basket' which is actually only meant for the 'BACKSTAGE' section. This essay will be up for just one week.

Also check out Lee Alex's latest essay contribution!

Thanks for your time.


J C Sum
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Jan 3, 2005 09:02AM)
Looking good JC!
Message: Posted by: ricker (Jan 3, 2005 01:44PM)
Great stuff in backstage J.C.
Message: Posted by: Michael Berends (Jan 22, 2005 09:02PM)
Hi All,

Just received my copy of Illusionsary Departures....

Even though I've only had a chance to skim through the pages. I must say, what a great book.

Not only did I see some great ideas on illusions, I also read a few of the smaller effects dealing with roses, eggs, birds, lottery tickets, and a radio that interested me.

So there are a lot of great ideas within the pages of this well detailed book.

Great job JC and look forward to seeing more of your ideas in the future.

Michael Berends
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Jan 23, 2005 10:22AM)
Michael Berends

Don't forget to checkout the Backstage on the net for more ideas and plans.
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Jan 23, 2005 12:37PM)
I recently got both books including the VCD. I haven't read through all because I want to take my time doing so. Will post a review soon.
Message: Posted by: Michael Berends (Jan 23, 2005 09:23PM)
Thanks Lee Alex,

I did go to the backstage section very briefly. I've had a very busy weekend and have been in and out of town for the last few days.

My original reason for purchasing the book was for "Visual Displacement". JC was aware of this and just told me that he posted some new changes to it in the "Backstage" section today. I'll have to check it out.

Michael Berends
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Jan 24, 2005 03:06PM)
"Visual Displacement" has been improved and can be seen on the video on JC's website. It really helps to see the effect in action and get a real feel for the illusion.
Message: Posted by: Michael Berends (Jan 24, 2005 06:54PM)
You're absolutely right Lee Alex.

It looks great and Jc has done a good job with the staging, lighting, and music selection.

I've started working on mine today and don't think that it will take too long for me to get the main components done. I have very busy schedule over the next few weeks. So I'm not sure when it will be done. I'll make another post when I complete it and let you know what my thoughts are.

Michael Berends
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Jan 25, 2005 08:42AM)
Hello Michael,

I've also decided to make the Visual Displacement by next month. I like the method. It looks very magical and something different. It packs flat and everything can be examined.
I'm just trying to figure out how to collapse the frame. It wasn't clear in the diagrams how to. I'm thinking pin hinges. I haven't decided whether the frame should be wood or aluminum or both.
Hope you can give us updates on this matter. Thanks!

Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Jan 25, 2005 09:20AM)
On 2005-01-25 09:42, Lou Hilario wrote:
I'm just trying to figure out how to collapse the frame. It wasn't clear in the diagrams how to. I'm thinking pin hinges. I haven't decided whether the frame should be wood or aluminum or both.

The overall height of the frame is 76inches in the diagram, hinged in half on either side with 4cm hinges.
The book suggests that the frame be wood with aluminium trim.

Lou, I haven't seen more detailed and accurate plans in any of the plan books in my library!

A question for those guys who are making this up (or maybe directly to JC himself if he is reading this):

What "gimmick" are you using? What is the best one to buy? There are several choices available, one of which I posses, but am not particularly happy with.
(Those of you who own the book will know what I am talking about).

If you wish to PM instead ( maybe it is preferable to not give anything away here) then please feel free.
Message: Posted by: jcsum (Jan 25, 2005 10:20AM)
Hi Guys,

I just got on-line! Great to hear the discussion on Visual Displacement! I was dissappointed (in the person making the comment) when a local magician here said that Visual Displacement was simply an'A-Frame' with the substitute of poles instead of the mirror. But, I think the owners of the book are discerning enough to appreciate that the prop design (aesthetic, functional and practicality), choice of materials, cloth design and staging of the illusion is a distinct innovation, although not discounting the heritage it owes to 'A-Frame', as credited in the book.

Lou, Lee is right with the dimensions and on how the frame folds. My plans show hinges on one side and clasps on the other. The unit folds up and the (spring) clasps latch and 'lock' the frame in place. I recommend heavy stainless steel components over brass. Also, use the biggest and strongest hinges and clasps your frame can fit as the stainless steel poles can be very heavy. Don't use aluminum poles as it is way too light, can dent and does not feel right. Heavy gauge stainless steel, while heavier, feel and sound good. It also adds to the credibility of the prop when the poles are passed to audience members in their seats.

I would not advise pin hinges (assuming you are 'building' the wall of poles as part of the performance)as you will have loose components to deal with. Also, unnecessary performance dead time and the possibility of fumbling with the pin hinges. But, if you perform with the prop set up fully, pin hinges will be fine as it is part of the backstage pre-show set-up.

I recommend solid timber for the frame for the same reason as above - the poles are heavy. Also, a light frame will cause vibrations if the prop is brushed against. Not that it gives away the method, but a more solid-looking prop is more impressive from the audience's point of view. I learnt this after building my first VD frame. The aluminum trim is also important to outline the prop when your body is behind the prop, if you choose a dark finish and dress in dark colours.

Lee, yes, I have preferences for the gimmick and will e-mail you directly along with info on '6 Inches'.

For those building 'Visual Displacement', you might be interested in '6 Inches' as I'm having mine built as I write. Here's a sneakpeak at the description of the illusion:

"'6 Inches' is an original design for the instant penetration of a person through a 6-inch hole in a solid steel plate. It is a visual combination of Luis De Matos’ ‘Mirror Passage’ and Andrew Mayne’s ‘A-Frame’ with elements of 'Visual Displacement’."

If you prefer a fast-paced style illusion over the deliberate 'melting' through of VD, this might be your thing. Designed to pack more efficiently than VD.


Message: Posted by: Michael Berends (Jan 25, 2005 07:29PM)
Hi Guys,

Nice to see others talking about Visual Displacement, Lee & Lou.

I'll be starting construction in the next couple of days. I'd like to start right away but I'm extremly busy trying to get ready for some shows.

The Uprights will fold in half. The way that JC designed it. With 2 Hinges on the front and 2 latches on the back. I recently worked with a Guillotine that used the same hinges and latches to fold down for transport.

The frame will be made as per Jc's plan. I actually see no reason to change anything on the prop. Jc thought this one out extremely well.

As I do the construction I can make pictures of my progress. I could make these available to those who own the book. If you're interested PM me and I'll ask you a couple of specific questions regarding the book. Just to prove that you do own the book. I will only email pictures to those that own the book. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

The building process will be a little slow do to my schedule but it will be done in due time.

6 inches sounds reall cool JC. I'd love to know more about it. Sounds like an interesting plot.

Gotta go for now but I'm curious to see what other items from the book really stood out for all of you?

Mike Berends
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Jan 26, 2005 02:03AM)
Mike - why not get JC to post your pics in the backstage section of his site?
I am sure he will accept such a kind offer and it will be a very interesting contribution.

If not I would certainly like to see the progress.
Message: Posted by: ThePartyMagician (Jan 31, 2005 10:18AM)
Just received my copies of the books in the post today, and all I can say is...


If you haven't got these already...what are you waiting for?!
Excellent ideas and great information in them.

Kind regards
Message: Posted by: techipal (Sep 5, 2012 01:23AM)
Hy Guys,

Just bought jcsum's books the 'The Event Magician 2-Vol Set' & the 'Ultimate Illusion Collection'from the Magic Boutiqe last morning and hoping they will arrive soon.

Am still a 23 year old university student and young to the field, just making an entry to becoming a illusionists! I'm fairly good in wood working and some metal working too... so I hope this will help me getting started too!

Thanks JC Sum.. I hope the books are good..!! waiting till they come, but not sure when :(