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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Review: The card magic and videos of Cameron Francis (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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Reviewer EndersGame
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An introduction to the card magic and videos of Cameron Francis

Disclaimer: I sometimes get asked if I'm paid to do magic reviews. The short answer is: No. While I have sometimes received products for review, I don't ever get paid for writing about them. I write articles purely as a hobby, simply because I love card magic, because I love writing, and because I love sharing with other magicians. I'll even write lengthy articles on products that are completely free (example here), or on topics that aren't even product related in the first place (example here). I'll write about anything I think is worthwhile for other magicians to know about, and if it's something that I think I'll enjoy writing about. In this case I happen to have a bunch of Cameron Francis DVDs, and I really enjoy his work and style, and I figured it would be a fun exercise to worth through them while I had some spare time during quarantine.

BACKGROUND

One of my favourite quotes about magic is from 19th century French magician and illusionist Robert-Houdin: "A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician." This quote has gained a life of its own ever since it was included in a chapter of his book Secrets of Conjuring And Magic (1868). His point was that conjuring is quite different from many feats of pure dexterity like juggling which are appreciated for their own sake, because performing magic involves acting and artistry. So magic isn't about bare skill, but it's a form of trickery where you are creating an illusion that you have real powers. And for that illusion to become convincing, you have to be a convincing actor. Young magicians are often advised that one of the best things they can do to enhance their skill as a magician is to take acting classes, or a course in theater and performing arts. It's good advice.

For that reason, it won't come as a surprise that when it comes to presenting and performing magic, a magician who is also an actor will have a leg up over many of his contemporaries. One such magician is prolific creator Cameron Francis. Born in 1971, he attended a high school for the Arts, and went on to get a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre at university, and also a Master of Fine Arts. He has since acted in films, TV shows, and commercials, and now has over 25 years of professional experience on the stage and on the screen.

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But Cameron Francis is also a magician. As well as performing close-up magic, he's especially developed a reputation as a creator of close-up magic effects and original tricks, with a special fondness for card magic. He's collaborated with some big names in magic, given magic lectures internationally, and had his tricks published in illustrious magic periodicals like Genii Magazine and The Linking Ring.

But perhaps his biggest contribution to the magic industry has been in the form of his instructional magic videos. While he's released numerous individual tricks, it's really his DVDs that have helped popularize his work. In the last dozen years or so, he's produced over half a dozen separate DVDs, each of which contains instruction for at least ten different tricks, and in some cases many more. That's quite a prolific output!

So with what videos should we begin with in order to get to know Cameron Francis, and what can we expect from his card magic? By far the majority of his videos have been produced by Big Blind Media. One exception is The Forrest/Francis Project (2010), which was a collaboration with magician Dave Forrest and published by Full 52 Productions, and didn't get as favourable reviews as his other work. In this article I'll instead cover the seven video collections of tricks he's released with BBM, and give an overview of what to expect from each of the following titles:

● The Omega Mutation DVD (2008)
● Killer Close Up Magic DVD (2009)
● Ultimate Impromptu Card Magic DVD (2012)
● KAPOW! DVD (2012) - with Liam Montier
● Out of Sleight DVD (2015)
● Super Mega Card Miracles DVD (2019)
● Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks: Cameron Francis Edition DVD (2019)

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THE OMEGA MUTATION (2008)

The Omega Mutation was released in 2008. This box set of 3 DVDs billed Cameron as "the hottest newcomer in years", and featured no less than 27 tricks.

Trick list:
● Vol 1 (Alpha): Vivid, Insecure Restoration, Cagey, Everywhere, Dime-A-Cap, Triumph Transpo, Signed & Assembled, Back in 10, Hard Knocks
● Vol 2 (Mem): Assembled Reset, Card-A-Que, Appearing Sharpie, Bill Switch, Cheque This, Last Laugh, Yours & Yours, Separation Anxiety, Stuffed
● Vol 3 (Omega): Ring Flight, Jumpy Collectors, CF Switch, Visiting Hour, Connections, Hofzinser Takes A Dive, Space Available, Dupes, International Cards of Mystery

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This collection has as its background the concept of a virus outbreak. This became a quirky and fun presentational touch for how the video was presented, with a theatrical storyline and actual characters that immediately make it stand out from the usual magic video fare. Hint: expect to see men in hazmat suits, and our hero Cameron in a quarantine tent! At times it's like watching an entertaining movie instead of an instructional magic video. It certainly is something that is relevant today with COVID-19 crisis! But this long predates the coronavirus, and it's nice to see a very creative and original approach being taken to the format of a magic video.

As for the tricks, there's some good visual material included, including torn-and-restored effects and vanishes. A lot of the material is geared to workers, professional magicians, and serious amateurs. The tricks here aren't firstly about fooling magicians, but about entertaining lay-audiences, which is what working magicians look for. Almost half of the tricks would be suitable for strolling magic, and wouldn't require a table. But it's not all impromptu, and a simple setup is required in some instances, although many routines have easy resets, making them practical and commercial.

There's some non-card magic included as well, so you do get some useful magic using items like a banknote, pen, or finger ring. But the majority of the tricks are solid card magic, and there's plenty to keep card handlers busy for a long time. Considering that there's around four and a half hours of video in total, it's a ton of stuff! Regardless of your level of experience with magic, you'll find content here that you can do.

What Big Blind Media effectively did with this video did is introduce Cameron's original thinking and fresh style to the magic industry. It's no accident that he immediately got the attention of a lot of people with this DVD set, especially working magicians, and people with an intermediate ability with card magic, who gave this set high praise.

Sample performance videos:
Cagey (plus free tutorial video)
Separation Anxiety
Appearing Sharpie (webcam)

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KILLER CLOSE UP MAGIC (2009)

In 2009 Cameron released Killer Close Up Magic, which featured a dozen different tricks. This DVD came out just a few months after another Cameron Francis release from BBM, entitled Killer Gaft Magic (Awesome Magic With Gaffed Cards), which taught 11 card tricks that all used gaff cards. Both videos also included something identical called Sleight School, in which Cameron teaches 18 different sleight of hand moves for card magic.

Trick list:
● Killer Gaft Magic: Pipeline, Tele-print, Boxy, Side by Side, Switch Jack, What the Blank, The Following, Washout, Paan, Do the Wave!, Halfusion, The Flying Four
● Killer Close Up Magic: Ace-equence, Space Saver, No Problem, Wild Routine, Scorched!, An Extra Twist, T&R Bill, Insigned Out, Tear It Up!, Copper/Silver Twist, In-Tens, Super Easy CAAN.
● Sleight School: Double Lift, Elmsley Count, Touch Force, Tilt, Jordan Count, Hammon Count, Vernon Substitute Transfer, Flushtration Count, Mercury Card Fold, Diminishing Lift, Diminishing Count, Braue Reversal, Thru The Fist Flourish, Erdnase Colour Change, Atfus, Twirl Change, Paddle Move, Alignment Move

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Killer Gaft Magic was the first of the two that was released, and came with 16 cards for performing the tricks that were taught on the video. It is no longer available for purchase, I suspect because it required special cards, had a more limited target audience, and perhaps wasn't quite as successful. Gaffs of course allow you to do things simply not possible with a regular deck. Some tricks taught in this video will use gaffs in a way that your spectator won't even be the wiser about their use, believing that you're simply using standard playing cards, while other tricks openly use blank faced cards. Just like the title says, there is some "killer" content here, some of which could easily have been sold separately.

Killer Close Up Magic followed a similar DVD format as Killer Gaft Magic, and many people considered it to be the superior of the two. Actual DVDs of this are also no longer available, but fortunately you can still pick up the video as a digital download. With two hours of video instruction, it teaches 12 different tricks, all but four being with cards. The four non-card tricks include one that uses photos of small objects, one with some number cards and a book of matches, one with some coins, and one with a spectator's signed bill for a torn and restored routine. But card tricks are the majority, and there are some good ideas here, including an ungimmicked "Wild Card" routine, and an impressive Card At Any Number effect that uses a freely selected card and freely selected number, plus a borrowed shuffled deck, all with no real moves.

One advantage of the inclusion of Sleight School is that by moving the teaching for the sleight of hand to a separate section, it eliminates excess baggage from the explanation of the tricks themselves. If you're unfamiliar with these sleights, you'll be glad that there's a reference section devoted to teaching them. And if you already know how to do these sleights, you'll be glad that you don't have to fast forward sections of the trick explanations that cover the them; this reference section is especially geared to people who have already mastered them and need a quick refresher, so the explanations are quite brief. Altogether Killer Close Up Magic was a solid collection of good card magic, and was well received as it deserved to be.

Sample performance video:
Tear It Up! (start at 40 sec)

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ULTIMATE IMPROMPTU CARD MAGIC (2012)

Next up is Ultimate Impromptu Card Magic from 2012, which covers 14 different card tricks - all impromptu.

Many magicians love the idea of doing impromptu card magic. After all, doesn't it sometimes happen to all of us that you get handed a shuffled deck of cards and asked to do some card magic with it? You're totally unprepared, and in such a situation you have no opportunity to rely on gaffs or use a larger set-up. That's when the material of a video like this comes in extremely handy, because you'll be ready to go right away, armed with tricks like these.

Trick list:
● Ace Thang, Sly Cheese, A.N. Other Thang, Interchangeling, Hofwich, Zombieland, Instinct, Killer Trifecta, Elevation, Wilder, Uppers, The P***ing Contest, Getting Even, Selected Assembly

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The video has about an hour and a half of video of footage, including both the performances and explanations. There's a bit of overlap in the material, in the sense that a number of the tricks revolve around the theme of using four-of-a-kinds. But overall there is enough variety on the video that you could do a routine with different tricks. "Killer Trifecta" deserves special mention as a favourite for me, and one of the stronger effects on the DVD. Even though it only employs some basic sleights, it involves the production of three selections in different ways, the final one involving the disappearance of the rest of the deck! Other favourites include "Interchangling", a fun and easy routine where the Jacks in your pocket take on the value of whatever card your spectator chooses; "The P***ing Contest", which has an entertaining story about three magicians in a battle of one-upmanship; and "Getting Even", a test of intuition for two spectators that is a mini "Out Of This World" effect. A small set-up may be required on the fly for some of these tricks - which is generally considered acceptable for an impromptu trick, and can often be done under the cover of shuffling or cutting the deck anyway - but for the most part they are completely impromptu.

Unlike some of Cameron's later DVDs on self-working card magic, we're still in the realm of intermediate magic with this video, and some proficiency with basic sleights (e.g. breaks, double lifts) will be necessary. That makes it unsuitable for complete beginners, but perfect for amateurs. If you've already got the fundamentals down, then you'll find these very doable and practical. And the effects themselves are quite punchy and strong, and many reviewers agree that it's a very solid collection of impromptu card magic. Many are versions of existing effects by others - all credited by Cameron - so he is sensibly building on the successful work of those who have gone before him, rather than reinventing the wheel.

It's also worth mentioning that this video was later included as one of eight DVDs in BBM's Essential Magic Tool Box. As part of that package, which featured one of their Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks videos as Disc #1, Ultimate Impromptu Magic was Disc #8, making it the icing on the cake. This video was clearly intended to be the apex of the set, once you had been armed with all the essential sleights taught in Discs #2-7. For some people it might be a good value option to consider buying this set, especially if you are just starting out with card magic.

Sample performance videos:
Killer Trifecta (start at 45 sec) (plus free tutorial)
Zombieland (webcam)

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KAPOW! (2012)

Ultimate Impromptu Card Magic appeared near the start of 2012, and towards the end of the same year there was the release of KAPOW!. Subtitled "The Card Magic of Cameron Francis and Liam Montier", this was a collaboration with Liam Montier. This set of two DVDs featured 15 card tricks on the videos themselves, as well as material from two ebooks that Cameron and Liam had published together previously, namely Released (2009) and KAPOW (2011).

Trick list: (Cameron Francis tricks marked with one asterisk, collaborations with two):
● DVD 1: *No Joke, Cheaters Sleeve, *Over Count, Repulsive, **Moves, Departure Box, *Jack Black, Invisi-Tech
● DVD 2: *Subtle Sotto, *Hoffy, *A Strange Progression, Metal Aces, *Invisie-Tech, Triple Play, **Stuck in the Middle
Released PDF: **Invisi-Cards, **A Rough Year, **Playing Favourites, Between the Signed Palms, Telling It Like It Is, *Subtle Sotto, Collective Whispers, *Out Of My Skull, **Moves, Tear It Up 2
KaPOW PDF: Repulse, Cheaters Sleeve, *Countdown, Departure Box, *Invisible Card, *Strange Progression, *Real Picnic, *No Joke, Triple Play, Scatter Shot

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The second DVD included both the eBooks as PDFs. Given that each of these two PDFs included 10 tricks, and that there is some overlap between the tricks on the video and on the ebooks, effectively the KAPOW! package came with a total of 26 card tricks altogether. At one time orders for the KAPOW set also got access to a further bonus PDF with another four tricks still. Unfortunately the DVD set is now unavailable because it has sold out. However the good news is that you can get the original KAPOW! eBook from 2011 that some of the video content was based on.

Because it is a collaboration, obviously some of the content has been created by Liam Montier rather than Cameron Francis. But as a duo, they make for an entertaining pair that enjoy performing for each other and discussing the tricks together. At times the construction of a trick also benefits from the involvement of both of them, because they've worked hard to make the tricks streamlined and strong. They do build on the work of others (e.g. "Metal Aces" is a version of "Jazz Aces" with a kicker), and the PDFs do give clear credits. One of the standouts in the collection is "Subtle Sotto", which is Cameron's take on "Sottovoce" by Phil Goldstein; another is his trick "Over Count", which is a routine with an ACAAN plot. "No Joke" and "Hoffy" are also very good.

Like some of the previous videos from Cameron, these tricks aren't geared to beginners in the first place, and a knowledge of basic sleights will be required. So if you're looking for self-working tricks, look elsewhere. But if you're an intermediate magician, you'll find these tricks quite easy. Some reviewers have found parts of this collection to be a little unpolished, but I suspect that is largely because Cameron Francis assumes a basic working knowledge of elementary sleight of hand, and this video isn't intended to teach you the fundamentals of card magic, like a double lift or shuffle controls. For the most part it has received good reviews, with praise for being a collection of creative, entertaining, and solid card magic.

Sample performance video:
Subtle Sotto (start at 60 sec)

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OUT OF SLEIGHT (2015)

Next up came Out Of Sleight, which was published in 2015, and features ten different tricks that are mostly self-working. Once again the focus is on card tricks. But this video doesn't only see the use of playing cards, because tricks with business cards are also thrown in, as well as tricks using only a small packet of cards. The mix is quite pleasing.

Trick list:
● Out Of This Packet, Either/Or, Coat, Sleightless Sightless, Creation, Find The Kings, Humming Words, Gemini Annihilator, Coupling, Date Fate

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Just as the title suggests, this DVD is billed as having material that "requires no sleight of hand skills, yet is utterly fooling." Does that mean that they're firmly in the self-working category? For the most part the answer is yes, although having the ability to do some basic card handling like a false shuffle to retain a stack set-up always helps improve even the most basic self-working trick. But it's subtlety rather than sleight of hand that is the order of the day. BBM has been at the forefront of producing videos with strong self-working card magic over the last decade, so perhaps it was inevitable that eventually Cameron Francis would turn his hand to this category of card magic as well.

This is Cameron's first DVD dedicated entirely to self-working tricks, and he's come up with a good variety of effects and methods. Self-working tricks are sometimes associated with worn-out plots like the Twenty One Card Trick, or with endless series of counting and dealing, turning them into tedious procedural behemoths. Fortunately there's not much of that here at all, and the power of a good self-working trick may surprise you.

As always, Cameron Francis is standing on the shoulders of giants, as is evident by his packet version of what is arguably the most famous self-worker of all time, Paul Curry's "Out Of This World". There's also a variation of the evergreen "Gemini Twins" by Karl Fulves that is quite good. Many of the effects included require no setup or at most some minimal preparation, so there's even some content here that can be performed impromptu.

Sample performance videos:
Either/Or
Coat (plus free tutorial video)
Creation

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SUPER MEGA CARD MIRACLES (2019)

Now we come to the two most recent releases from Cameron Francis, starting with last year's Super Mega Card Miracles (2019), which has almost a dozen tricks.

Trick list:
● Redoner, Collins Thing, Switch Jack II, Precursor / Thanks To Walton, Easy Hof, Mercury Card Load, But Not Least, Stand Up Christ Aces, One Flew Over at My Behest, Collector's Item, Captivated

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This collection features favourite effects from Cameron Francis' career as a creator and performer of card magic, and these are considered to be his best tricks, which have had the benefit of having been polished over time. In the words of the promotional ad copy, "It features Cameron’s absolute favourite Top 10 routines from nearly two decades of creating. These are the tricks he has honed, sharpened and refined and now calls his party pack."

Many of the routines are inspired by greats from the past, like Color Stunner by Paul Harris, Collins Aces, Hofzinser Aces, and the Fabulous Four Ace Routine from Henry Christ. Other tricks include a signed card to box, sandwich, cards across routine, and a few that play around with four-of-a-kinds. Some of the content can be performed impromptu.

All the tricks are fairly straight forward to perform and ideal for intermediate magicians familiar with basic card handling techniques like the double lift and Elmsley Count. And - as is usual for Cameron Francis - the performances and explanations are entertaining to watch (my favourite part was the unusual touch where Cameron performs to himself as a spectator!). This collection is a fine example of what is quickly becoming a reliable formula we can expect from Mr Francis: simple and straight forward card magic that is hard hitting and plays strong! For good reason it's been widely praised in reviews and the feedback for this video so far has been universally positive.

Sample performance videos:
Redoner
Precursor / Thanks To Walton
Easy Hof
One Flew Over At My Behest

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ULTIMATE SELF WORKING CARD TRICKS: CAMERON FRANCIS EDITION (2019)

Finally, towards the end of last year came the arrival of Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks: Cameron Francis Edition (2019), with a collection of 11 tricks.

This collection is one of the newest members of BBM's excellent Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks series of DVDs. These videos are designed to compile some of the world's best ever self-working card tricks, and contain some real gems. It's a series I highly recommend for the strength of the content, which is consistently hard-hitting and powerful, while remaining easy to perform. It's certainly perfect for beginners, and that's true for Cameron's DVD as well, because the tricks are easy to learn and perform, and you can focus all your effort into the presentation, and enjoy the fun of entertaining.

Trick list:
● Seven of Hearts Trick, Automatic Poker, Three Impossible Things, Divided, Blackjack Buffet, Counter Intuitive, Exhausted, Exhausted Aces, Exhausted Mates, Fired Up Triumph, Keep Hide and Giveaway

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The tricks in this "Cameron Francis Edition" collection follow a similar formula to the rest of the Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks series (USWCT), which now numbers around half a dozen DVDs altogether. The first four in the series are simply entitled "Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks Volume 1" through "USWCT: Volume 4", which were followed by "Awesome Self Working Card Tricks", "USWCT: Cameron Francis Edition", and the most recent release "USWCT: Ryan Matney Edition". But unlike the first five titles in the series, the tricks in "USWCT: Cameron Francis Edition" have been percolated through the mind of Cameron Francis, and had the benefit of his streamlining and revision. I find it a little different in character than the initial DVDs in the series, which largely consisted of classic effects, updated or presented with small handling changes in some cases, whereas the Cameron Francis Edition DVD largely consists of effects he's come up with himself.

Even so, Cameron realizes he is building on the work of others, and credits appropriately. The material includes versions of Paul Gordon's "Eight of Diamonds", Jay Sankey's "Keep, Hide, and Giveaway", and some new takes on "Poker Player's Picnic" and "Tantalizer", which are two well-known and popular classics from the standard text Royal Road to Card Magic. There's also some tricks based on effects by names like Persi Diaconis, Paul Cummings, and Simon Black. All of these have been refined to make them cleaner and simpler, or to add spice to improve the method or presentation.

In the end this video is not really so much a collection of greatest hits from the self-working card tricks genre like the other DVDs of the series. Instead, it's more of a Cameron Francis self-worker collection. You could almost consider it a sequel to his earlier DVD Out of Sleight (2015), which also consisted entirely of self-working card tricks, many of which were also inspired by notable self-working card tricks from other creators. While the routines here might not make lists of all time top ten self-working card tricks, like the routines from greats such Paul Curry, Simon Aronson, Larry Jennings, Roy Walton, and Dai Vernon which you'll find on the other DVDs of the Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks series, it's still outstanding card magic that holds its own very well. Like the rest of the USWCT series, the aim is to bring you the best self-workers that there are, in this case featuring effects from one artist.

Like Cameron's earlier Out of Sleight DVD, the self-working tricks here feature a good range of effects - although you're not likely to perform the three versions of Tantalizer in a row. Some of the tricks require some set-up, while others can be performed entirely impromptu from a shuffled deck in use. Several impromptu packet tricks also round out the collection. Since all the tricks are self-working, certainly beginners should have no problem performing them, and you'll quickly and easily amaze family and friends (and yourself), especially if they've only been exposed to the tired and old Twenty One Card Trick. But the publisher is especially targeting amateur magicians and hobbyists who already enjoy card magic, as well as professional magicians looking for new material to incorporate into their work. Regardless of which group you're in, this is a video for you.

Sample performance videos:
Automatic Poker Triumph (start at 25 sec)
Exhausted Mates
Keep, Hide, Giveaway (start at 25 sec)

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IMPRESSIONS

Here's what you can expect from the videos by Cameron Francis:

The tricks: Cameron's initial work may have had a few rough edges, but over time he has honed his craft and polished his tricks. His later videos include tricks that have the benefit of more experience and further polishing, and it shows. And while his first couple of videos had tricks that less experienced magicians might find a little challenging, starting with Ultimate Impromptu Magic (2012) and Out of Sleight (2015) he really began producing the kind of material that BBM customers like me look for. For this reason I especially recommend his videos from 2012 onwards, because they're more consistent in being easier to learn, and the tricks are generally also more polished. A lot of his work is based on classic tricks from other magicians, but he's very conscious that he's standing on the shoulders of others, and usually credits his sources well. This also means that you're not just getting new-fangled content, but material that is time-tested and practical, along with some Cameron Francis touches and twists to help make them simpler or stronger.

The difficulty: As mentioned already, some of the earlier releases by Cameron Francis featured less material for beginners, and assumed an elementary working knowledge of sleight of hand magic. So videos like The Omega Mutation box set and KAPOW! include quite a few tricks that require some real experience. But most of his later videos can be considered to fall into the "Easy Moves" category, and are well within the abilities of beginning and intermediate magicians. It was really with the release of Impromptu Card Magic (2012) that Cameron Francis began to hit his stride, and have tricks that really suit the target audience that his publisher Big Blind Media has in mind. Like the later Super Mega Card Miracles (2019), the Impromptu Card Magic DVD features tricks that are light as far as sleights go, while packing a real punch. If you know how to do basic card controls, double lifts, and Elmsley Counts, you'll be set for most of his repertoire. In this later period of production Cameron also produced two videos that featured entirely self-working tricks, namely Out Of Sleight (2015) and Ultimate Self-Working Card Tricks: Cameron Francis edition (2019), and genuine beginners should start with these. Yet experienced magicians shouldn't make the mistake of dismissing these two collections of self-workers, given the strength of some of the material.

The style: Cameron Francis won't be to everyone's liking, because he does have quite an over-the-top personality (think: Jay Sankey). There are times where the humor verges on being slapstick, but personally I love that. Perhaps that's his background as an actor emerging, but obviously he's a guy with a real sense of humor. This has put some people off at times, but it would be a mistake to throw out the baby with the bathwater, and bypass his card magic for this reason. For me personally, and for the clear majority, the generous dose of unusual humor helps keep his material interesting and engaging, and makes watching his videos all the more entertaining, even if his style and presentation won't always be suitable for imitation.

The teaching: As far as his teaching goes, I have no real complaints. Like many others who have benefited from his videos, I find that Cameron tends to have a good balance between giving us the detail we need, without making things drag. He explains things clearly, and there's no real problem in following how things work, especially if you already have some experience with the fundamentals of card magic. His personality really comes out, and his teaching often has comedic touches as well. He's the kind of guy who seems fun to be around, and who I enjoy spending time with and learning from, even if it just is vicariously by watching his magic videos!

The production: When it comes to production values in magic videos, it's hard to beat Big Blind Media. I've been a big fan of their output ever since I started exploring some of the John Bannon videos that they released, along with the Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks series. They have to be at the apex of the magic publishing game today, and their videos typically feature the very best in camera work, visuals, lighting, and sound. They often even hire actors (usually ladies who are easy on the eyes) to serve as spectators for actual performances of the tricks. Navigation and formatting of the videos is also second to none. Over the years they have continued to improve their craft, and there's no doubt that the more recent videos are the best as far as all this goes. One additional element worth mentioning is that besides being available on DVD, many of these videos are also available as direct digital downloads, for those who prefer the convenience of a digital version.

The consistency: The involvement of the Big Blind Media team means that they have a say in what material is included on a DVD. As such they function as a `gatekeeper' to ensure consistently high content. Rather than have a magician put all his output onto a video and rush off to sell it, their team will have to be selective and be convinced that the content that makes it into a collection is actually good, and not just something that the creator himself likes. So you already have a consensus of supportive opinion at work before these videos make it to production, which gives some measure of confidence about what is included. When combined with their usual high production standards, the scene is set for consistently good material of the highest quality. This is especially true with the later videos reviewed here, in which both Cameron and his publisher have had opportunity to polish their techniques.

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RECOMMENDATION

I can't say enough good things about these videos from Cameron Francis, although I admit that I'm biased because I like his larger-than-life style. The production quality from Big Blind Media, especially in the most recent videos, is very good. Their team knows what makes good magic, and only want to release instructional magic videos that will be relatively easy, practical, and strong.

When you add the name of Cameron Francis to that mix of ingredients, you are really in line for a treat. He has the ability to choose good material, which is varied in presentation and method, and he has a good eye for what is visual and what will make an impression on an audience. Cameron consciously builds on the work of the magicians who have gone before him, giving classical routines the benefit of some refining and adjustment to keep them fresh. And unlike some teachers, he's not dry and boring to listen to, but watching his performances and explanations is always entertaining in itself - and that's before you even pull out your own deck of cards to give it a go yourself!

I highly recommend Cameron Francis' videos, particularly the strong set of material he has released in recent years.

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Want to learn more? Visit the publisher or check their social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube).
● Product pages: The Omega Mutation (2008), Killer Close Up Magic (2009), Ultimate Impromptu Card Magic (2012), KAPOW! (2012), Out Of Sleight (2015), Super Mega Card Miracles (2019), USWCT: Cameron Francis Edition (2019).
● Other products: More Cameron Francis creations.

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Cameron Francis
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Thank you for the terrific retrospective and reviews. I'm flattered you would take such time and care to profile my work!
NUMBERED - A killer predicted card at any number out now! http://cameronfrancismagic.com/numbered.html
EndersGame
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Also don't miss his outstanding packet trick Nothing But The Truth, which is fantastic.

Even though it's basically self-working, it's one of my all-time favourite packet tricks that uses custom cards. Here's a performance:

crestfallenLyric
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Agreed with everything - a terrific write-up! I wanted to give a specific shout-out for the effect Hofwich from Moment's Notice 5 ebook (and the Ultimate Impromptu DVD), since it's been the only trick I've never rotated out of my working set.
"It is better for a man to honor his profession, than to be honored by it." - Robert-Houdin
lighthouse9
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Great review, EndersGame! Deceit Treat is another great one from Cameron, and his teaching is excellent.
Medifro
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Endersgame, your magic reviews are as good as your board game reviews (of which you're known for in that communit. The magic one will hopefully catch up!!). Love these summries. Thanks for sharing.
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Thanks for the kind words Medifro, and nice to hear you've enjoyed my articles on magic as well as my board game reviews!

Cheers, Ender
docguitarman
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Thousand Oaks, California
522 Posts

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Here's another recent effect, "Numbered" by Cameron Francis. Looks to be a real baffler! and well constructed!

https://www.lybrary.com/numbered-p-923873.html

Phil
Cebulon
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Germany, BW
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Quote:
On May 12, 2020, EndersGame wrote:
Also don't miss his outstanding packet trick Nothing But The Truth, which is fantastic.

Even though it's basically self-working, it's one of my all-time favourite packet tricks that uses custom cards.


Glad to read this since I've just ordered it at BBM (in addition to the Reverse Svengali deck). Couldn't resist after seeing Cameron's performance. And I would like to thank you a lot for this wonderful and comprehensive review of Cameron's work.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Review: The card magic and videos of Cameron Francis (0 Likes)
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