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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Latest and Greatest? Ľ Ľ AM/PM by Jonathan Price and Alex Pandrea (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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kissdadookie
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Ha ha ha, I actually know both you and Alex and personally saw him pull out handfulls of the matchboxes, ha ha ha.
Mercury52
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Kevin Reylek
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Ah, very sneaky! I still have no idea who you are!

The Magic Cafť - Keeping mysteries alive!

Kevin
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alex_pandrea
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Hahaha, kissdadookie don't tell kevin who you are hehe...lets see if he can guess. Oh n yes, that's right...all matchboxes were unwillingly provided from there! haha ;-)

Alex^
kissdadookie
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I've finally gotten the DVD and have watched a couple of the performances for the effects. Thus far, I'm really really digging it. There's a VERY clever use of a b**k *al* in one of the effects. The quality of the effect thus far are excellent considerations for practical material that can be added into ones working material. The performances themselves, presentation-wise, could do with a bit more polish but then again, you are not supposed to learn a trick and use the presentations that you watch on the video in verbatim. Excellent stuff, I'll keep you folks updated as I work through the disc.
alex_pandrea
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Thanks for your thoughts steve! Im glad your enjoying it. Cant wait to hear more as you go through the DVD

Alex^
Mercury52
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Thanks to everyone for the continued feedback and support, it is much appreciated!

The AM/PM discs are now in-stock and shipping, so those who preordered will receive their DVDs soon. Anyone else can feel free to order at any time.

Thanks!

Kevin
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kissdadookie
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So, I finally had some time and watched all the perfomances. Here's some additional impressions:

I actually like this release. The material are actual workable effects for the real world and the demos have been shot with very little editing. Highlights of the disc are The Domino Effect, Between the Backpalms, Papermate, Local, and Under and Out. The disc pretty much pays for itself with just those 5 effects alone. There's some heavy use of gaffs on AM/PM but they are all very easy to handle and very easy to ring in and out of play. There's also a brief guest appearance by what seems to be Eric DeCamps (I could be wrong) in one of the performances. Many of the material on AM/PM are very similar to Sankey's material in that they are quite visual, easy handling, and catered to the lay audiences. There's no real knucklebusters on this release so if you are into that, I suggest you look elsewhere. So far, it's a good ride with AM/PM and I'm looking forward to watching through the explanations as well as the bloopers. Yay or nay, from watching the real world performances I would say... Yay.
Mercury52
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Thanks for posting your thoughts, kissdadookie! I'm glad you're enjoying the DVD.

You're correct, there are some brief moments in the performances with Eric DeCamps and his lovely wife Celeste. The best moment with them is in the bloopers though!

We were filming in Queens, and happened to run into them. They were kind enough to let us show them some magic and use the footage in the DVD.

As a side note, the DVD is now in stock at Murphy's and many major dealers. If you have a favorite shop that you like to support (particularly brick and mortar) then you can pick up AM/PM with them.

Kevin
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alex_pandrea
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Right you are kissdadookie...those 5 effects are killer....but I will go out on a limb and say the bloopers alone are worth the price of the DVD haha ...the best part is a lot of the bloopers only magicians will understand :-P

Alex^
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AM/PM
http://newyorkmagicproject.com/products/ampm.htm
http://vimeo.com/3291635?pg=embed&sec=

Image


The Official Spam:

Quote:
Jonathan Price and Alex Pandrea are two of New York's greatest underground magicians. In AM/PM they show you what real magic looks like, with 10 incredible original effects developed with real-world venues in mind. Alex and Jon use everyday props such as cards, money, sugar packets, pens, and matches to achieve stunning results.

AM/PM provides you with an arsenal of jaw-dropping magic. A mix of fully-routined magic and quick visual effects gives you the tools you need to perform successfully in any kind of venue.

Join Alex and Jonathan as they hit the streets of New York City to perform their hard-hitting magic in front of live audiences. Then follow them into the studio, where they provide detailed teaching using multiple camera angles.

-10 Stunning Routines
-On-the-Street Performances
-Studio-Filmed Explanations
-Filmed in High Definition
-Dolby Digital Sound
-Hilarious Outtakes
-Region-Free

Filmed in high-definition by the New York Magic Project, AM/PM helps you to learn great magic quickly, so you can amaze your audiences as soon as possible.

Contents

1. Local
An empty matchbox becomes full in your spectator's hands. They can examine and keep the box and matches!

2. Between the Backpalms
A spectator's selected card vanishes from the deck and instantly reappears sandwiched between the magician's and spectator's empty hands.

3. 4OUR
A quick, visual, and surprising production of four cards, using a new two-card flourish.

4. The Coin Mint
A borrowed, signed quarter is transformed into a listerine strip. The quarter is then found inside the listerine pack!

5. Papermate
A multi-phase pen routine with a kicker ending that they'll never see coming!

6. AKT I
An instant transposition of two four-of-a-kinds.

7. The Domino Effect
A unique take on the "Copper/Silver" plot. A pink sugar packet and a white sugar packet magically switch places between the magician's hand and a spectator's hand.

8. Cash Back
After the magician fails to find a selected card, he puts his money on the line in order to prevail.

9. Arson
A lighter vanishes into the deck to reveal a card, only to pop back out of the card again.

10. Under and Out
A selected card vanishes from under the spectator's hand under truly impossible conditions.

Running Time Approximately 2hr 40min


Let me just start off this review by saying I did not pay for this product, but received it free for review by the creators. Even still, this review has no bias. Also, this review is long overdue and I apologize.

There is nothing to complain about in the production quality. Itís top notch, and filmed, edited, and produced fantastically. I couldnít have asked for anything more.

Weíre going to explain what each effect is, and then directly after the explanation I am going to explain my thoughts. I should also mention before each performance on the DVD, the creator of the routine talks about the routine for a small amount of time.

Local- This has a variety of effects possible with the method. Just to name a few: An empty match box can magically become full. A box of brand new matches can all magically become burnt. A box of matches can be shown, and then later shown to be empty except for a selected card. All of that is possible with the method, and it can all be done in the spectatorís hand.

I really liked this. I think it looks great. I donít really like the empty to full match box, but the card to match box is fantastic. I also really like the versatility of this: the magician can easily create his own routine using the given method. Also, this effect is pretty easy. It will take practice, but you should get it down in no time. I would also like to mention a similar effect that is on the market. On Bubble Gum Magic Vol. 2 DVD by Byrd and Coats there is an effect called Eclipse. Although a different effect, the methods are very alike, if not exact.

Between the Back Palms- A card is selected and lost back inside the pack. The magician places his hand out, and the spectatorís hand covers the magicianís. When the spectator lifts his/her hand, there is a card sandwiched between the two hands. The card is their selected card.

This is a neat effect using a move that is not very common in close-up performance. What the creator has done is put it into a beautifully structured and well thought out routine that is a real miracle to the spectator. The magicianís hand is empty, the spectator puts his/her hand on top, and when he/she lifts up the hand there is a card. It looks as if it just appears out of nowhere. This effect is fantastic!

4OUR- This is a simple, four ace production.

I do not like this. This looks like a lot of other ace routines. I feel it was put together quickly and there are much better ace routines/productions out there. I feel not enough thought went into this. Not only that, I feel like ace productions are not really magic, but thatís just me. I want to be a real magician, not someone who is technically skilled with a pack of cards. Finding the four aces in a manner like this screams a good card technician, but not magic.

The Coin Mint- A borrowed coin is signed by the spectator. It is rubbed, and changes to a Listerine strip. A Listerine pack is introduced, and inside is a coin. It is cleanly dumped out and it is verified to be the signed coin.

You shouldnít create just to create. You should create because you need an effect to fit something that you put limitations on. I feel like the creator created this just to create, and he verified it himself. He says he invented a coin change, and needed a routine to go with it. Thatís why he created this. I feel like he created this for the wrong reason, and I feel the effect is not good at all. First off, I really donít like the coin change. It just doesnít look good. His hand position is odd and unnatural, and there are much better changes out there. The premise makes sense I guess: the Listerine strip changes place with the coin. But this is not very practical. I donít know how anyone plans to carry around Listerine strips without a box to put them in, and itís not practical to remove a strip from the pack every time you want to perform this.

Papermate- This is a multi-phased pen routine. A pen is shoved inside the cap, taken out, vanished, and finally changed into a drinking straw.

This routine is so-so to me. I really enjoyed the way the creator pushed the pen inside the cap, and took it back out. I must admit if fooled me and looks like real magic. I do think the Flipstick move can be overused, and that is the case here. I just think he uses it so many times. Also, I donít really love the ending. It doesnít make sense, and doesnít fit into the routine. Overall, I like some parts of the routine but not the others. Luckily, this can be broken down into smaller parts.

AKT I- Two four of a kinds, letís assume the four aces and the four kings, repeatedly change places.

Another one of those unoriginal ideas. The first phase is very similar to the Cavorting Ace plot. Itís nothing original. Although it varies a little, there is little new and is basic sleight of hand. The second phase is very similar to Yannick Chretien trick called ReFlipped on his released DVD. It is also featured on Talk About Tricks Vol. 1 under the name Oil and Water. The creator also uses another move from Talk About Tricks, which I canít recall the name or the disc number. This wasnít bad, just not at all original.

The Domino Effect- A pink sugar packet and a white sugar packer are introduced. A spectator holds on tightly to one sugar packet, letís say the white one. The magician literally waves his hand over the pink sugar packet, and it visually changes to white. The pink sugar packet is found inside the spectatorís closed fist.

This fooled me bad. Every time I watched it I was more and more amazed. I was thinking reels and pulls but I was wrong. This uses one gimmicked sugar packet, and is completely self contained. The method has been used before, but I havenít seen it used in sugar packets. I really enjoy this, and find it a nice routine to do in a restaurant, with the sugar packets that are on the table. Itís a unique take on the copper/silver plot that uses ordinary objects, not foreign coins. The only downside is that one of the sugar packets canít be examined without a switch, and itís pretty weird for you to put a sugar packet back in your pocket, as they are naturally found on the table. Coins are different as they are foreign and rarer. Iím still debating about this one, but I have made a gimmick and practiced and performed this.

Cash Back- Money is put on the table as a Ďbetí to make sure the magician finds the selected card. When the magician fails, he folds one of the bills into the size of a playing card, shakes it, and it changes into their selected card.

I am almost positive I have seen this method used in the exact same effect. I cannot figure out where at this moment. But I am almost positive this is not original. And in all honesty, itís not even that great of an effect. The card cannot be handed out for examination without a switch, and I think the spectator would insist to keep the money because technically they won the bet. This one is not up to par.

Arson- This effect is kind of confusing to explain. Here we go: A spectator selects any random card (really!) and can sign it. A lighter is introduced, and vanished in a clean manner. You spread through the cards, and there is a large burnt mark on the back of a card. Itís the selected card! You then proceed to pluck the lighter out of the card leaving no more burnt marks.

Iím on the fence about this one. Itís very similar in effect and method to Kissed and the newly released Squash! I must admit again, the lighter vanish fooled me. Once again, I thought reels or pulls, but was happily wrong. The method has been used before to ditch, vanish, and produce objects, but the creator did it very well. Overall, I think I am going to stick to Kissed because it makes more sense to me, and leaves the spectator with a nice, tasty souvenir.

Under and Out- A card is placed underneath the empty card box and a spectator puts their hand on top. When they remove their hand, and the magician removes the box, the card has seemed to vanish. It then reappears inside the magicianís wallet.

There are better Card to Wallets out there. Really. I have always enjoyed Mama in my Wallet. Anyway, the method is quite clever here. It uses a gimmicked card which has been produced or you can make yourself. Also, it uses a magic prop that can be obtained from any good magic store. I feel that the payoff is not worth the use of all of the gimmicks, this is not very practical, and cannot be used regularly. Although it looks great, itís not for me.

Thatís all ten effects. I talked about the production quality already, so letís get into the teaching. To sum it up: excellent. The teaching was very good, and I canít complain.

Overall:

In the end, this DVD was okay. Nothing too special, but certainly not bad. I do think it was a little high priced, but considering the one-trick DVD approach now, it is pretty reasonable. I feel like some of these effects should not have been included, and brought my overall opinion of the DVD down. Maybe some more research should have been done. One more positive, the bloopers were funny. This has some interesting ideas, but nothing earth shattering and nothing to get too excited over. I felt Alex Pandreaís magic was way better than that of Jonathan Price, but thatís just my personal opinion. I rate this a 7/10.
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mayniac
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Thanks for the good honest review Jeff. Nice to hear some real in-depth reviews from you.
alex_pandrea
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Hey magicman4646

thanks for the in-depth review!!

just wanted to make a few statements about AM/PM. When deciding what material to put on the DVD, Jon and I picked routines and put them together in a way that would cover a little bit of everything (or as much as we could) in the close-up genre. We wanted these routines to be adapted to any environment, and at any time- whether it be a walk around gig in the middle of the day, or a club/bar party at 3am in the morning- hence the name AM/PM. Since we tried have a little bit of everything it is only natural that some effects wont fit a persons style. With that said I hope I can clarify some of what magicman4646 was referring to.

4OUR- the main thing I think people will get out of this is the 2 card production at the beginning of the effect- a visual face up "simple switch" if you will. Its definitely a finger flicking "look at me" routine, but sometimes I feel it is good to throw these in once in a while.

Papermate- I definitely agree with the statement that magicman4646 said, that the flipstick move can be overused, however I feel that is the case when you are performing the flipstick move over and over in the same way. I like this routine because every time the pen vanishes, it is in completely different way from the previous vanish. Of course you do not have to perform all the phases shown in the routine. Break it down to just your favorites and mix it up. I can see how the kicker ending may not make sense when seeing me performing it in front of a house with "apple juice" haha, but believe me, when you are out at a bar, where having a drink is actually normal, this ending totally catches the audience off guard. Another great application of the kicker ending (dont remember if I mentioned this in the explanation) is to go backwards from the straw to a pen. Say you need to write something down. Pull out the straw and all of a sudden you are writing with it. Give it a try

Domino Effect- Since magicman4646 wondering about the clean-up for this one- the easiest and most practical thing to do is to have a sweet and low in your pocket, and at the end of the routine place both back in your pocket and say "actually I don't need them" or something to that extent, and in the meanwhile, switching the packets in the pocket and placing them back onto the table where they came from. But I will be perfectly honest- I do not switch the packets because the audience never asks to see the packets. This might be because they feel that they have already examined the packets since they had both in their hands. Also, at the end of the routine, they seem to gravitate more toward the sugar packet in their hands, rather than the one in mine. Weird but true!

Cash back- Above I spoke for myself, and my own routines, however...Jons "cashbak" has to be one of my favorite routines, not only on this DVD, but out of the magic I perform on a day to day basis. All I can say is to give this a try and then see the reactions you get from this. We've all had this- effects that don't seem that great up front, and then we perform it and get incredible reactions- and then you begin to realize that laymen and magicians think, and like different things. What wont be that impressive to a magician can be KILLER to a lay person. Just take a look at the reaction of the crowd on the DVD. It was the best reaction of the whole DVD Smile

Arson- Prob my favorite effect from this DVD. magicman4646 stated that it is similar to "kissed" and "squash!" which is true, however arson is soooo much stronger. No offense, but I cannot stand that kiss trick!! I don't know if cheesy would be the right word to use, but come on! Plus, we are not selling this as a stand-alone ;-) . I just recently performed Arson for numerous people at a convention, and the words that came out of their mouth were "ok that sold me", which was followed by the purchase of AM/PM Smile)

Overall, I truly feel that everyone will find more than a few effects which fits them, and by the look of things in a magic world today, those few effects will be worth more than the price of the DVD!! The most important thing I want to stress in this post is to keep in mind the saying "don't knock it until you try it", or something to that extent. You never know what effects laymen will go crazy over, and after all, we are performing for them Smile)

again, magicman4646, thank you so much for the honest review- Definitely let me know if you perform any of the effects I would love to hear how about it


Alex^
Mercury52
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Sorry for the delayed reply. We've been moving the NYMP headquarters to a new location, and I was out of state for a few days for the Easter holiday, so my forum time hasn't quite been what I'd like it to be.

Thanks Jeff for the thorough and honest review. I know it's not always easy to send out what's on your mind. I'm glad you found the quality of the teaching and production in general to be up to your standards. We do strive for excellent production values on all of our products.

As for the effects themselves, I can't say that I wasn't expecting some reviews like yours to pop up. With 10 effects, and such a variety, we knew we wouldn't be able to please everyone with everything. Some folks like cards, some like coins, some like gimmicks, and some like sleight of hand. We do think that anyone should be able to find a handful of effects on AM/PM that they enjoy, and it sounds like you've done that.

As for the effects you didn't like, I do hope that you try them out. I think we've all experienced situations where our first impression of an effect wasn't all that strong, but when we tried it out for an audience, found it to be a real worker. All of the material on AM/PM is stuff that Alex and Jon use to make a living in front of real people. As Alex mentioned, he recently performed some of his AM/PM material at a convention we attended, and several folks decided to buy the DVD on the spot.

Effects like 4OUR and AKT I aren't for everyone, but we wanted to include them for a couple of reasons. Because several of the effects on the DVD involve some type of setup or gimmickery, we like that both of these effects can be done anytime, anywhere with nothing more than a deck of cards. They're quick and visual, and ideal for the bar/nightclub scene. I've seen many locals ask Alex for tips on his "Simple Shot" move, so we also wanted to include that routine due to popular demand. With that said, I can see where the flashy/skill type of routines don't appeal to everyone, and can appreciate that they're not your cup of tea.

I also like the Kiss trick and other tricks where items "pop out" of a card. However, I find Arson to be ultimately more practical than the kiss trick, especially for walkaround, because you don't have to carry chocolates and worry about them getting melted. I've not seen Squash, as it was released pretty much at the same time as AM/PM, so I can't really say anything about that effect.

The only area where I have to disagree with you is on the price. With many items coming out on today's market that offer a single effect for $20-30, we feel that offering 10 effects for $35 is quite the bargain. We feel that everyone will find several items on the DVD that they'll like and use, which we think is very valuable. Each of these effects winds up being less expensive than most instant downloads from various sites. As you brought up, Arson is a similar effect to the recently-released Squash, which is sold as a stand-alone for $25. With AM/PM, you get Arson plus 9 other effects, so I can't see how it's priced too highly. But maybe that's just me.

Overall, I appreciate the time and effort you put into your review, and I'm glad that your overall impressions were positive and that you found several of the effects to be worthwhile. And again, if you do decide to test out the few effects you weren't crazy about, I hope you'll update us with some stories to see if you feel the same or different about them.

Thanks!

Kevin
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jprace
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Kevin, I later said the price was reasonable.
I see why you wanted to include AKT I, it's a very good trick. The problem is that it's not remotely original.
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Hi Jeff. I just figured I'd expound on why we think the price is reasonable, since your "priced high" and "reasonable" comments were back to back.

My mistake on the AKT I bit. I was trying to reply to your post mostly from memory. We do take research and crediting seriously, and think it's important to offer new and fresh approaches to plots and methods. We make sure to workshop and show material around to many many well-respected and very knowledgeable magicians in the NYC area and elsewhere before coming to market. With that said, it's often hard to catch everything, and until now we'd gotten nothing but solid feedback regarding the presentation and method for AKT I. I'll look into the resources you listed, thanks for the heads up!

Kevin
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I'll be doing a review of this DVD in the next couple days and it should be unique cuz I may be the first person doing one that doesn't know anyone associated with it.

I will say that this is some excellent material and the presentations are beautifully done. These two guys, I don't remember which is which, are not only top notch performers but they are aware of what they are doing. I say this because magicians often fail to do a good job explaining their material but these guys (by the way, how tall is the big guy?) do a better than good job explaining the routines and they hit on tips that others would likely jump past.

I'm extremely impressed by the entire project.
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Quote:
On 2009-04-16 01:24, MagicSanta wrote:
I'll be doing a review of this DVD in the next couple days and it should be unique cuz I may be the first person doing one that doesn't know anyone associated with it.


Totally off topic, but that made me LOL during class!
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Hi MagicSanta. Thanks for the feedback! While it's true that some of the reviews have been posted by folks who know myself, Alex, or Jon, I feel that they are largely unbiased. We sent out review copies to people who we know and who we don't know, and ask for nothing but honest opinions. It's totally fine with us if people we know point out both positive and negative points of the product. For example, in Jeff's case, we simply put out a call for reviewers on another forum, and he was one of the ones selected. None of those involved in AM/PM know Jeff, even though he was sent a copy for review. And we certainly appreciate his honesty.

I'm glad you're liking the material, and look forward to seeing your in-depth review.

By the way, Jon is the tall guy, Alex is the long-haired guy, and Jon is about 6' 5". Smile

Kevin
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Jon is the one who ate his "veggies" hahaa ...thnks magicsanta looking forward to the revieW! Smile)

alex^
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Oops..scratch that! that was quick! hehe ...just saw the review in the DVD review section!! thanks so much!!

alex^
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