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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Darwin's Inexpensive Illusions Video (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Matt Graves
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Special user
Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
504 Posts

Profile of Matt Graves
My brother has a Magic Smith catalog with a video called Darwin's Inexpensive Illusions. It claims that it teaches you to do a full illusion show and that most of the props can be built for around $20 and carried around in the back of your car. I'm not big on illusions, but it would be nice to close a show with something "major" looking. Does anyone have this video? Is it really as good as it sounds? It only costs $20, but I thought I'd ask before I went ahead and bought it.
Steven Steele
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Chief of Staff
1900 Posts

Profile of Steven Steele
Call and talk to Chris at Magic Smith. He's a super guy and will give you the straight talk about the video if he's viewed it. I've not gone wrong with magicsmith. Christian is also super and may be able to help you. (Chris is sometimes not in due to various projects he's working on.)

Good Luck.
Coram Deo
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Regular user
Broomfield, CO, USA
115 Posts

Profile of tglund

If you do talk to the folks at MagicSmith, it would be appreciated if you would post what you learn. Thanks.
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
Yes, I have this video. It is nothing more than a table, cardboard boxes and the use of black art.

I placed it par with the spring animal video which are both low on my priority list to view again. The video should be in the $10.00 class of videos, not $20.00
Dennis Michael
Pablo Tejero
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Inner circle
Zaragoza, SPAIN
1201 Posts

Profile of Pablo Tejero
Just a question:

Is in the video the same you could find in the book?

All the best magic

Pablo Tejero
"The Magic is in the air, you just have to... breathe it!"
Matt Graves
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Special user
Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
504 Posts

Profile of Matt Graves
Well, I bought the book, and it has a lot of good ideas. You could build on these forty illusion ideas and make some really great stuff if you thought it out and bought a few things like maybe duct tape, cardboard, tables, or chairs . . . maybe some black cloth to make a backdrop,maybe some lighting . . .

The principles in the book are good, but the whole thing looks a lot like a Kurt Vonnegut book (especially Breakfast of Champions) --- just really zany and unorganized. It's a lot of cartoon-like illustrations and hand-written instructions (all in capital letters). The book was supposedly researched over twenty years, but it looks like it could have been thrown together in twenty minutes!
There must be a lot of validity to the concepts in there though, because Lance Burton and Siegfried and Roy both endorsed it bigtime. Lance Burton wrote a foreword saying not to discount the illusions because of their simplicity. I think it was worth it. I just wish there was more to the book. I bet it's only about 25 pages long!

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Veteran user
Boston, MA
323 Posts

Profile of RandomEffects
Having seen both the book and the videos several years ago they are, as I recall, on the poor production side. However they do give you alot of material to work with for creating better things. I would use it as a primer for budding and begining illusion designers rather than actually using anything in there. Either that or for your 7 year old who want to fool his friends at his party.
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Loyal user
Wilmington, Delaware
251 Posts

Profile of cheaptrick
Actually, both Mark Wilson's "Cyclopedia" and "Complete Course in Magic" gives a lot of inexpensive (mostly tape together from cardboard boxes)neat illusion ideas (including a levitation i.e. "floating lady" setup).

As these books are relatively inexpensive,
and contain a wealth of beginner stuff that is worth the price of the book, itself.

I paid $9.95 for the Cyclopedia. The "Course" costs about $25 and has everything the "Cyclopedia" has, plus a FEW other things.

The "Course" has a nifty Square Circle, but in the "Cyclopedia" this was left out.

"Pick any card. NOT that one!!!"
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