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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Pasteboard Frolics » » C4: CapCuts Review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

KC
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I love flourishes. I've been there since the beginning of this neo-wave of flourish gurus, of which Brian Tudor (of Show Off fame) was the catalyst. Dan and Dave Buck have also contributed to the wave with a video and some lecture notes. Lee Asher should also be credited for creating some visual eye-candy. The Superhandz and Jerry Cestowski have contributed a load with their CD-roms and the Encyclopedia of Card Flourishes. Troy Hoosier had some flourishes in his book as well. Which now brings us to Cap Casino, and his "C4: CapCuts" DVD.

Cap seems to handle a deck of cards very well. He also seems to have a strong passion for flourishes on his posts and threads on various magic boards and forums.

If I was a cynic who hated flourishes, I would describe this tape as a waste of time. But as a cynic who loves and appreciates flourishes, this is a post-graduate course on Sybil work. Chris Kenner's "Five Faces of Sybil" would be high school, Brian Tudor's "What the Hell Happened to Sybil?" would be college, and then there is this DVD. Just because it's a post-graduate course on Sybil, does not make it a better video/DVD.

My first disappointment was when I opened the package and all I got was a DVD in a CD case. I don't want to be picky, but if you go through all the trouble to format it onto DVD, why wouldn't you put it into a standard DVD case (BTW, there is a picture of the DVD in a DVD case on http://www.expertmagic.com

I have my Bill Malone DVD's, Ripped and Restored DVD, Harry Lorayne DVD, CKY DVD's, Hollywood DVD's, and they all have the standard DVD case, and so the "C4: CapCuts" DVD doesn't fit right because it's in a regular CD case. Not only that, but it didn't come with a CD cover either. You're average local rock band will put some kind of CD cover on their cases because it just makes it more authentic and credible and also looks nice.

Another disappointment was that on his website: http://www.capcasino.com/learn.php
he talks about, how his video will teach people better because of different camera angles and more thorough explanations. He also says that they filmed some stuff: "in the beautiful countryside of Washington D.C. —the Capitol of America. No drab, lifeless footage done in some dude's basement. Here you'll be practicing you're flourishes in style!"

That is a verbatim passage from the website. I checked 3 times, and I found no video footage in Washington DC, and it seemed like it was filmed in front of a "green" or "blue" screen to which they could then add a different background. So it might as well have been some dude's basement.

But let's mention some positive things about it. It does have better production qualities than Brian Tudor's "Show Off" tapes and Dan and Dave's "Pasteboard Animations". It's an hour long, and unless I'm mistaken, it is the first DVD to be strictly for cuts and displays.

So let's discuss the cuts and displays. Some of them were pretty cool and some are pretty lame.

"B.R.S." (a.k.a. Blind Rotational Sybil) is a nice variation on the original 5 Faces of Sybil.

"Five Faces of Sybil Continuation" is another nice extension of the original 5 Faces of Sybil.

The "Hexagon" and "Octagon" were pretty good. I don't think that they'd fit into a magic act, but it's one of those flourishes you do when you're hanging out with your magic buddies.

The "Octagon" cut has a revelation of a card, but the revelation is pretty weak because you put one card in the mouth and nostril region, and then you go into the cut. Next you flip over the one card in the mouth and nostril region and you can do some handling. It's a nice idea, but because the revealed card is put openly in the mouth and nostril region, the revelation is rather weak.

"Line Cut Deluxe" and the "CapCut" are both very impressive. One is horizontal and the other is vertical. More on this later.

The "Porcupine", the "Bridge Cut" and the "Line" are just pretty dumb.

The "Porcupine" is kind of big and neat, but the clean up is terrible. The "Bridge Cut" would fall under the same category as the "Hexagon" and "Octagon" cut, something that I may do when I'm hanging with some magic buddies. But I put it in the dumb category because he teaches an alternate method than the one he uses in the performance, BEFORE, he teaches the method he uses in the performance. I hope that makes sense.

He performs the bridge cut, and when he explains it, it's a different handling than the one in the performance, which struck me as odd. After he teaches this alternate version, he teaches the handling he uses in the performance. He should have taught them in reverse.

Now, I will elaborate more on the "CapCut" aka the Ultimate cut. It is a very impressive display cut, if you go to
http://www.expertmagic.com you can see pictures of this cut with Lee Asher and Simon Lovell. He goes into it smoothly and does it quickly. However, like the "Porcupine", the clean up is kind of terrible, and that's an understatement.

The "CapCut" has similiar qualities to the "Leno Cut" by the Buck twins, but I think the "Leno Cut" (despite being a bit smaller) is far superior because the clean up is better than the "CapCut."

Another gripe I have with the "CapCut" is, that you can't just learn it. Cap says that the explanations on his tape are thorough, but the explanation is less than a minute long. In order to be able to do it, you have to go through and learn the other cuts taught on the tape because they have different techniques which are used.

Cap also has a nice little flourish which gets half the pack in dealer's grip into each hand. Unless I missed it, he never explains how to do it. He does it once, and so I had to watch it a few times in order to learn it.

All in all, it's not a bad DVD. There's some good stuff and some bad stuff. I would only recommend this if you have already gone through "Show Off 1 or 2" and "Pasteboard Animations" and can only learn through videos.
cap casino
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Hello KC, that was a thorough and fair review.

As far as the "As a fun bonus all the cuts are filmed in the beautiful countryside of Washington D.C. —the Capitol of America" comment on the 'learn' page of the http://www.capcasino.com website issue you bring up:

You're right.

Basically if you watch THE CLIP on that page—which teaches the hexagon cut to music— you'll note it IS in a segment of the "beautiful countryside of Washington D.C." Allow me to make this clear: the current DVD incarnation is not. The DVD has a C.G. background thing during the demonstrations of the cuts and a blue screen when the cuts are explained. While the trees and flowers were very nice I basically found them distracting to the explanations and later opted for the current situation which you saw on the tape. If you download the free clip on the capcasino.com ’learn’ page you’ll see what I mean about the trees...

I changed the link for 'the video' page to go to the DVD info on expertmagic.com and basically had false remembered 'the learn' page's text as talking about THE CLIP as opposed to the video. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

As far as the dvd case—this has been fixed and there is a ‘regulation quality' DVD box now. If you email me your address through this Magic Café site or at capdini@aol.com I will promptly send you a replacement box if you so desire.

It is true that being able to do everything in Showoff 1 would probably be a good idea although many have expressed to me their frustration with the fact that Showoff 1 does not explain the basic Sybil principle FROM BEHIND, neither does my pals, the Buck Twin's, Pasteboard Animations video. Showoff 2 DOES, yet the catch is that, it takes for granted the idea that you've already mastered everything from Showoff 1, which of course doesn't show things from the more helpful view!

As far as the Octagon Revelation—where a card is flipped over by the mouth and displayed inside a 7 packet circle going around your face—isolated, it is NOT magic. If you did a double lift or top change to secretly switch the selection into play as you moved your hand up to the mouth, the resultant display could be rather magical, in my opinion. This is how I use it.

The idea being that, the circle was a form of magical gesture or catalyst to transform the indifferent card into the selection. Questionable in a description like this I admit, yet if you sell it right, (as I hope I do when I use it...) it really gets a laymen’s imagination going. At the least it’s well hmm... AMUSING AS HELL for a person to witness!

While I totally respect you, if you dislike the visual look of the line and bridge cuts, I disagree with your view in regards to the fashion used to explain the Bridge Cut and Line Cut. As far as the Bridge Cut: the first method shown is not different, it’s the same principle. Basically it’s the easier version of the two, thus it gets shown first. Then the more complex handling, which builds on the first version, is shown second. While I see where you’re coming from, if you think about it this way, I think it’s a rather logical strategy.

As far as the Line: the Line is probably the easiest cut on the tape and perhaps not so impressive if you do lots of Sybil work, yet it builds to the Line cut Deluxe which you said was impressive. The Sybil dynamic gets added to the Line cut’s 'body pivoting action' maneuver and it‘s ‘going outward from the belly‘ visual look.

As far as the porcupine—you’re probably right. It needs a close big time! Hook me up with some suggestions please. Really. Currently it’s more of a session piece or a exercise to give all your fingers a workout for improving finger strength or dexterity. Maybe something to do to get warmed up before a performance set. If you don't like finger exercises then don't click on that link on the DVD menu screen.

Another important point: The cut that puts 1/2 the pack into each hand so efficiently, is a variation of Alex Elmsely’s ‘Tower Bridge Cut’ from his Collected Works Volume 1. I take no credit for my simple handling alteration. It was 'merely' supposed to demonstrate the idea of ‘transitioning cuts’ which I talk about in my opening cardman to cardman talk segment. I didn’t think it right to explain it. Yet I should’ve mentioned where to learn it. Excellent point KC.

I am humbled by how closely you watched the whole tape, picking up every little detail and psychological nuance. You are clearly
‘the real deal’ as far as being a passionate student of card flourishes. Keep up the good work.

I appreciate the feedback.
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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aby9plp
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I have a problem too! When I watched your clips, I realised that two of the cuts were not explained COMPLETELY! They aren't that much of importance but still, I think they should have been there. One of them was the CapCut. You did NOT explain at the end how to close the cut. But you had said that the CapCut was a version of the LineCut Deluxe, so I went to see the explanation of the LineCut Deluxe, and I saw that you didn't mention how to close that either! I don't know if it was meant to be shown, or if you just forgot!

By the way...it was a bit annoying to try to put the clips in slow motion (especially with Quicktime) to see how you closed the cuts.
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Sybilmagic
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Try using Win DVD, this is usually easy to obtain. I have had no problem slowing down the clips in Win DVD.

By the way this is a good DVD Capcuts, a lot of work goes into such videos and I would never knock extra features you add to the video. We should be grateful that Caps has taken time out to learn how to use C.G.

It is easy to knock other peoples work but when it boils down to it, the question we should ask ourselves is, does the video teach the cuts effectively?

Yes is the answer—this is the strongest point of the video. I had no problem learning from this DVD, (unlike Show Off 2) the camera angles are always good choices and clearly thought about.

I am a student of Media Technology so I am not just making an assumption. I understand the various processes involved in video production. Once again Caps, well done.
Cardjinx
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LOL, This video in my opinion is AWFUL! Yes the material is taught, but what good does it do when the material is not useful! Check KC's full review to see that not everything is taught anyway.

Even the great flourishers do NOT recommend this video. Check handlordz.com for more info. There is a review of it on visions, be sure to read it! It gave it horrible ratings. Seems as though only Cap's friends like the video.

Cardjinx Smile
Speedy
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That's a very good and detailed review.

Thanks for all the effort.
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