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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Building Your Own Illusions, The Complete Video Course by Gerry Frenette (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Flip Disc
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I am a builder and had the honor of working the same show with Gary at a SAM convention in Cincinati many years ago. He has great creations and It's great he's sharing his building techniques within these DVDs. I built my first Illusion show with basic power and hand tools in my garage. These days I have a good size shop that is very well equipped and produce an entire product line. It's great Gary "dumbed it down" enough for the beginners but also had great building tips for professional builders. I too bought it directly from Gary at the higher price but it's not worth complaining about because I got my moneys worth. I learn from my own mistakes as well as the mistakes of others and that's all that happened here with the shipping and pricing. I'm sure if Gary puts out another DVD this won't happen. Gary, I forgive you for being human and making an error. That was easy.

Doug Ries
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JamesinLA
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The collapsability was also my big question. How much of the dvd(s) address this aspect? Do all the illusions you build on the dvds collapse? Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
charliecheckers
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I had the opportunity to view the entire course. Let me start by saying where Rand Woodbury's Illusionworks series wet my appetite for building illusions, Building Your Own Illusions, The Complete Video Course by Gerry Frenette fed me a delicious feast of information for building my own illusions. The course covers detailed aspects of illusion making. Rand Woodbury seemed to skim over necessary details, so I was interested but not ready. (Do not get me wrong, I still really enjoyed Illusionworks).

Obviously, no one course can cover all aspects of illusion building, and to attempt to would be a mistake. This course covers the basic components in great detail. There were many things I learned that I had not even considered before (like the proper way to lay the cloth used to cover traps). I would think many magicians would find this course extremely interesting if for no other reason than to deepen ones appreciation for what goes into building a professional illusion.

The illusions Gerry builds for the course are probably on the simpler side of the illusions he builds, but they were designed and built for working magicians who would need to transport them but at the same time they are built to last. Gerry illustrates how to utilize hinges to your advantage in set up and take down.

The discussion on deceptive designs is extremely well done and will allow the viewer to apply the learnings towards future projects. He offers simple ways to achieve very decorative and deceptive illusions. Disc #6 is a data disk with a ton of "extras" that itself would have been a great course.

I will need to view this course several more times, as their is a lot of material. I will pursue my next project with a great deal more expertise and confidence thanks to this course. I will spend far less time and my finished product will be far more professional looking. For all of these reasons, I say "Thanks Gerry".
JamesinLA
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In specific, wondering how completely and how small the tip over trunk design collapses down to? Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
charliecheckers
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Jim - I was hoping Gerry or someone who knows the exact details would respond by now. I am not interested in building the illusion, so I did not focus on that aspect of the illusion while I viewed the disc. I was trying to follow the blueprint to understand how it transforms into an illusion as I have been confused by trying to read blueprints in the past. Hopefully you will get a response soon.
magicjohn2278
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Well, I've just finished watching the marathon (nearly 13 hours) video course, and what can I say! This is a truly wonderful piece of work!
I was a little disappointed at first, the volume is a little inconsistent and there are a couple of minor editing issues on the first disc. The course starts from the very basics which anyone who is remotely familiar with diy will find a little patronising, nevertheless there are a few useful "snippets" here - I've built quite a few illusions in the past yet never even seen a Robertson screw!
The section on deceptive design is worth the cost of the set alone. I've read many books which try to illustrate these techniques, but Gerry's explanation and examples are so straightforward that I’m even considering redesigning parts of some of my finished illusions.
As an amateur, it's not often that I get the opportunity to examine "professionally built" props. Showing the construction of three illusions is inspirational and the trouble Gerry goes to finishing the inside of a prop is amazing.
My only gripe with this set is it has increased the cost of building my next illusion! No more bits of old carpet thrown inside the box for my assistant’s comfort!
GerryFrenette
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Hey all. Thanks for your great comments. Sorry I haven't been here lately, lots of orders, including a rush order. About quick set-up and break down, there isn't a ton of info about this, because there doesn't need to be. I cover everything that I use on this topic. There are a few techniques that will help you. In some cases, you can't do as much to make it set up faster, without compromising safety and/or strength. I have been praised many times by customers on this feature, so I must be doing alright in that area. The Double-Tip Trunks fold flat, and all the trunk pieces can be stacked under the base (if you choose to make legs on the base). The ATA case was 45" x 36.5" x 20".
8thking
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These look great but the advert says a worlds first. not really not a worlds fist because Rand woodbury did it at least 15 years ago.
Jesus is alive:
Living proof you can’t keep a God man down
GerryFrenette
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Thanks, but as everybody is saying, Rand did not do it to the degree that I did it, and he is not a professional builder. I am not putting Rand down, I think he's great. As far as the editing glitches mentioned, I'll answer that shortly.
GerryFrenette
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Note: It has come to our attention that some of the close-up scenes in the 'Hand Tools' section on Disc One are missing. The file is ok on our computer, and this is the file that was used to create the Master Disc. Four of these discs were burned early on, and were sent to a few people ahead of time to get their feedback, which we posted on our website. (Reviews by Paul Daniels, etc.) These discs were all fine. Later, we had to burn a new set of Master Discs (from the same computer file) to send to the producer of the actual Disc sets, because I I added an introductory section -- but nothing else was changed. I have no idea how it was possible for a previously existing segment to disappear -- or, to be precise: by some bizarre technical glitch, other scenes appeared instead of the originals. 1000 sets of the Course have been produced, and they are literally all over the world now. We have determined that, even though nothing important is missing, the best action is to put the correct version of the short section here, including all the close-ups. http://www.magicmakersillusions.com/#/bu......60249825 We apologize for any inconvenience.
nathanernest
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Hi Gerry, Thanks so much for you series. It has been a wonderful watching and learning so much technique from you.

When you say "put the correct version of the short section here, including all the close-ups." what do you mean? I went to the link and I only saw the purchase page for the series?

Thank you so much for the series. I enjoyed it very much!
---------
Nath
GerryFrenette
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Hi Nathan. Glad you like it. If you scroll down the page a bit, you see the message, and the video.
freefallillusion1
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I too have just finished with the entire course. What a ton of information! I am somewhat of a veteran builder, having built virtually everything in my show for the past 12 years. Still, I knew that there would be gems in this course because Gerry is a pro. I was not disappointed. Now, that said-

I get the feeling that some viewers may be disappointed in areas such the electronics segment. Gerry shows a package of LED lights, then mentions that he never learned to wire these up, and has a guy that does it for him. Honestly, for a video course of this nature, I would have expected a "Here's how to do it", not a "Here's what can be done if you know a guy". This is also the case with other things Gerry mentions in this segment (like the step motor, where Gerry demonstrates it, but gives no info on how to wire it up and actually do it). The only thing really covered is the use of servos, as Gerry shows how they can be used in a variety of applications. Also, the DVD liner points out that there is a section on making cabinet doors fall open automatically. Now, I have built props that do this, but was very eager to see Gerry's solution. I was disappointed in that Gerry's method will be impossible for 99% of the illusions you might build. In other words, if you want your doors to fall open as Gerry shows, your illusion would have to include something that would be way more than "out of place" on most props. The method shown is very unique to this particular illusion. Finally, I have to agree with the previous poster in that Gerry's base design looks too "chunky" for me. I just do not find this style of base to be deceptive. On the DVD, Gerry goes into great detail on trap doors, but they are of the solid variety. This means that you are adding another 1/2 inch (at least) to the thickness of your base. Now, there may be a few illusions that are better off with a solid trap, but I can honestly say that spandex is the better solution in most cases- not only because it adds virtually no additional thickness, but it's faster to operate in every way, not to mention totally silent. Really, if your floor just HAS to have a substantial amount of "walking space" (as opposed to the minimal bracing spots normally found beneath spandex), I would still go with the spandex and simply build a larger solid area under the front or wherever.

So- these minor gripes aside, these DVDs are an excellent value. My advice would be to get these right now, but also order the Rand Woodbury videos (1 thru 3). Amongst all this, you will be able to create some killer props.
nathanernest
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Thanks Gerry. I got it.

This was a great DVD series and I hope you can put together some more advanced illusion design work. Or perhaps a dvd series on the transition from Design Plans to Building. You could also include some more total builds Smile
---------
Nath
freefallillusion1
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Quote:
On 2012-04-19 19:38, freefallillusion1 wrote:

On the DVD, Gerry goes into great detail on trap doors, but they are of the solid variety. This means that you are adding another 1/2 inch (at least) to the thickness of your base.



Was just looking over the DVD again, and in all fairness, Gerry does mention (and demonstrate on one of the builds) that the traps can be made of aluminum, which would be substantially thinner. However, this then requires extra bracing underneath, and you still have the issue of it being cumbersome. So, my money is still on overlapping spandex.
GerryFrenette
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Actually, I never make trap doors out of wood, but mention it for those who don't want to go to that trouble of doing it out of aluminum. I don't mention the spandex option during the trap doors section, because spandex is used when you don't need doors. I agree that it's the best option when you don't need to sit on the area that is covered, and I mention this option in other areas, such as the fabrics section, and deceptive design section. Not only spandex, but sometimes an actual door can be made of a frame with cloth cover. Not only very thin, but also expands as needed! About other future projects, we do plan to release other builds, in download (or view online) format. I have already begun recording other builds. Thank you all again for your comments. The course is selling very well.
GerryFrenette
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About the LED lights etc. I am very busy, and learn whatever I need to know. I have not learned electronics because I rarely use it. When I do need it I buy it. I can only show what I know, but I want to tell people what can be done.
GerryFrenette
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My bases look "chunky"? Pros all over the world will say otherwise. I don't have time to get in to huge discussions here, but my pictures speak for themselves. Many of those bases hold men, and still look good. Sometimes it is tough to look at a base objectively, when you KNOW somebody fits inside it. All I'll say on this subject.
JamesinLA
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Gary,
Thanks for answering my question about collapsing the tip over trunk.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
nathanernest
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Quote:
On 2012-04-20 09:07, GerryFrenette wrote:
My bases look "chunky"? Pros all over the world will say otherwise. I don't have time to get in to huge discussions here, but my pictures speak for themselves. Many of those bases hold men, and still look good. Sometimes it is tough to look at a base objectively, when you KNOW somebody fits inside it. All I'll say on this subject.


Very well spoken and I am totally on your side here. Bases look horrible once you know bases exist.

But no matter what you think of the final product here, this course is about tip and tricks for building your own. If you think it looks chunky, then design and build it yourself. I can recommend a good DVD series on how to do this.
---------
Nath
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