Derek is one of our Writers and Reviewers here on FMTAI.
His Articles will appear here every Friday with News, Views and Reviews
19 Feb 2012
Hello my name is Derek Douglas and welcome to Derek Says. Now I am sorry for my long absences, State Tests are coming up and I am spending most of my time studying for those. So for this week, I thought I would go over what’s ‘great’ at Theory11. So let’s start off with the Monarchs. Fit for a king, so well put together, best playing cards ever, blah blah blah. Wrong.
If I had to have five a king playing cards, it would be the Aristocrats (Review below) although I did find that although the box may look good, it fell apart the day after I got them. Not by me sitting on it, it just randomly came unglued. But the cards are actually nice. I like the back and the Jokers. The court cards have a gold-ish look to them which is nice. But they handle just like a Bike deck you could get at Walmart for a dollar. So, no these are not as great as you have heard but still nice.
The standard since 1930, the biggest collector deck, blah, blah, blah. The Aristocrats, probably the best deck I have ever handled. They have a Linen Finish which is amazing. Hold them in your hand (even after 2 months of use) and they will gently glide off one another. Great deck, great price. The box may not have as much fancy foiling, but it is simple enough to fly under the radar of spectators. It has a cool optical illusion back which you will end up staring at all day. A lot better than the Monarchs, HIGHLY recommended.
The greatest mentalism feat ever. Possibly the greatest iPhone trick ever. This is iPredict+. Now I do think all the things above. I love this effect. It gets strong reactions, is super easy, and is fun all together. You might think ten dollars is too much for an app, but once you make that first call on yourself, that one call is worth the 10 dollars all together.
Now with this app you can make an in-app purchase for 3 dollars from another fortune teller named Nadia, who predicts numbers between 1-75. This mode takes some memorization (which is very hard), but you will get used to it and she’s just as fooling as Christen. Again, highly recommended. Well that is it for this week’s Derek Says, thank you for reading, and if you will be awesome enough to check out my YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/DerekDouglasMagic?feature=mhee) it will be greatly appreciated. I will write to you, next week.
December 27 2011
Hello and welcome to the Christmas/Hanaku/Holiday Day Addition of Derek Says. And then of course my birthday addiction because today is my birthday! Today we will be discussing Shin Lim’s new effect, the awesomeness of US half dollars, the new World Magic News section, and a review Eye Opener from Jay Sankey. So let us get started. The world magic news came as a bit of a surprise to me because I did not have knowledge of it and when I got the e-mail I knew it was a 42 degree turn in the right direction.
Now I have all the research for Derek Says in one place and it will be easier for me to find articles. And then of course the readers (that’s you) can know what we are talking about in Derek Says before it even airs so I am probably sticking to Inside Magic for now. Half dollars: The forgotten coin that used to be widely known…now no one has them in their wallet anymore, and they are no longer produced by the US Government. Why, this coin, why not a useless penny (it is heading in the same direction)?
Tragedy struck in the 1970s with the rise of the silver market, the tragedy that ended magician’s favorite coin. But no longer! They are still obtainable at banks, which makes my coin magic 101% more awesome and all kinds of palms easier and I love them! But seriously go and pick up some and if you are in another country you are missing out. Big time. Now to IV by my buddy Shin Lim. I have not had the chance to purchase it yet but the productions look so good and visual, it is the dark chocolate of magic. I will have a link to the product page somewhere in here whether right here (http://www.theory11.com/wire/shin-lim/iv/) Go check it out and if you are interested, buy it. I am definitely going to buy it the second I have money.
Now to a review on Eye Opener by Jay Sankey. I love this effect, I keep the gimmick in my box, so now my opinion on different components.
Effect- The effect is where you draw a face on a back of a card, eyes closed asleep, and with a snap, the eyes completely visually open. It cannot get better than that. 9/10 Method- The method is extremely simple, gimmick is real easy to make, and I just love it.
9/10 Quality- This is standard Sankey quality which is acceptable but it looks like it was just filmed in his living room with lamp lights and an old camera.
6/10 Explanation- He explains it pretty well, teaches a stand up handling and a way to make it a bit cleaner in the end. I do not have any complaints.
10/10 Price- Being the card nerd I am I probably would have paid $10 for this so seeing it for $5 is a big steal in my opinion. It could have also gone for a full length DVD. Definitely worth it.
10/10 Overall- It has great potential but I would like to see the production quality be a bit higher.
9/10. Well this has been the Holiday addition of Derek Says cannot wait to see you next week, have a safe travel.
December 10 2011
Hello and welcome to Derek Says. This week we will spend reviewing a more recent trick of mine called ShiNAG by my friend Shin Lim. We are going to go through what I think of the technique, the film quality, the method, the performance, and then the whole trick. So let us get into it. If you have not heard about ShiNAG it is described as a simple, powerful, and impromptu way to reveal a selected signed card.
With the action of a card spring, a card is found by grabbing a card as it flies by.
Technique- It is really great, never really seen this done before but will take a little bit of practice. I am not saying it is not worth it. Everything Shin’s done is so worth the time to work on and master. It did not take too long to actually master it but it is super easy to flash while doing the move but if you have practiced your angles and the moves well enough it is really great and so worth it. 9/10.
The quality- One word: Dang. First of all it used a T2i Rebel which promises great looks and 1080 pixels. And then, if that is not enough, he edits with Adobe Cs5.5. Which of course you are not a nerd like me and probably do not understand one word of that paragraph so I am going to simplify it a bit. Very good picture. Made of 1080 building blocks. Expensive camera. Movie editing system. 14/10.
The Method: The method is very simple, it is well hidden, and as long as you can push a card into a deck and spring them, it is done. Several have asked Shin if ‘I ever pick the wrong card, what is the set-up, is it extremely hard?’ And the answers are no. This method’s great and I do not think it can be perfected any further. My only complaint is that it cannot be performed surrounded by an audience which is a problem for me because I often perform surrounded. 9/10
The Performance: It has several variations, 7, and all of them are shown and taught. It would have been nice to have a live performance on the trailer because I was not sure how much it fooled. But you will not be unsatisfied I can tell you that.
7/10 Overall: I cannot say enough about it, the tricks just wow, the method's even better, then the film quality beats all. 9/10.
Well this has been Derek Says, I will not be able to post next week because of personal things. I might do it earlier in the week but if I do noit remember I will get it in the next week. I will see you next week.
November 03 2011
Hello people who own an interweb router. I have an excuse as to why it has been two months since my last issue. Wait, no I do not. Please forgive me I have not forgotten about you. Since I have epic hypnosis abilities, you now think I have had an issue every week.
First I would like to start off saying that on Sunday Jay Sankey released his new project, the Gimmick Lab. I am going to save your Friday night by not going into extreme details of what the project is because any magician knows who Jay Sankey is and got all his Tweets/e-mails/Facebook posts etc et cetera. The weird thing is a few days ago I had a bit more of a visual version of Scar Tissue made. Now I am not saying Jay’s version is bad, it is probably better than mine in millions of ways, I just also have an idea like that sitting on my shelf. And also…A FULL TIC TAC BOX INTO A PLASTIC BOX?! That dude is genius. On four degrees. Ok maybe five. He is unscalable, okay?
Now for news that will make you cry…the death of FML (I just noticed what else those initials can mean…). See, Jay Jay’s Youtube account got terminated because of too many offenses to the Youtube Terms of Service. I mean seriously he helped many magicians become better and they banned him for that, and they still have npt banned Two Girls, One Cup? If you have not seen that video, please do not. You will never be able to sleep again.
And next for Fuze by Jeff Prace. Fuze is an epic torn and restore card that will sure make you love this kid instantly and has already gotten good reviews by Calen Morelli and some other person which of whose name I cannot remember. I can tell you in 20 years this will most likely still be the standard of torn and restored cards, except the one on Zach Mueller’s channel. It is a beast and when it is released please get it. Since I have not gone into the effect yet, here we go. You get a signed card and rip the corner off. The corner is then signed. And then with pure delicacy, it is placed back on…just one part. Then he slowly fuses the rest together.
Why did I just mention that? Because so many 1s? OF COURSE but also…the release of the Monarchs. Yes, a new original deck from Theory11. I have heard good stuff from all my pals at Theory11 *MASSIVE SARCASM* and they sound pretty awesome. According to Zach Mueller, ‘They are soft and silky and feels like a baby’s butt’. So I cannot wait to see this.
With the last topic of this night, we discuss Exposé, the new webshow from
Theory11. And yes, I do love Theory11. Basically this is Zach and some new girl
named Christen or something like that review magic effects per week, go perform
it on the street, and give their true, honest opinions. With the first show
they might have talked me into getting Vertigo which we all know I do not have
enough money for. Or I do but you do not because you do not know my personal life.
Or do you?
Well that is it ladies and gents you will read me, next week.
September 09 2011
Hello my name is Derek Douglas, and this is Derek Says.
On Saturday the most ground-breaking project to ever be attempted was
released. This was called the Wire, which took four years of development from
Theory11. Now the Wire is a creator’s platform where you submit your trick, trailer
and explanation, it goes through an approval process, and then within 72 hours
you can release it and control everything about it. Now you could still put it
in the Theory11 line but this is just a bit of fun. They described it to ‘not be
looking for the new big thing, but to get your creative juices flowing,' basically this is all they said it would be.
While still on the topic of the Wire, I will be releasing some of my own work to it sometime soon so I will keep you updated on that.
Now let us move on to non-Wire news, which will seem utterly boring after hearing
that since nothing can top that….But I am going do it anyway.
This week here on FMTAI, we brought a new team member aboard. Say hey to Billy,
our new card deck reviewer. Now me and Billy go far back and he has really helped
me improve my magic so I am returning the favor and sending you to his AWESOME
Now, let us move on to magicplace.com. Now, I am not a fan of Criss Angel, but I was running low on articles this week so I decided to check out his Magic Broadcasting Network. I personally love that idea, but that is not the topic. The topic is this week's Magic Phenom. Now this is a show that shows lectures on different topics of magic and how to make your performance better. This week it was hosted by Jonathan Pendragon.
I loved this lecture because he talked about how to
present your tricks in three ways: the magician did the trick, the assistant did
the trick, or it was just plain magic. The only downfall of this lecture is the
fact that there was a picture of bunnies bowing down to a tree in the
background. Can someone explain that to me?
Now it is time for this week's magic review.
Description and Effect- A balloon is blown up then popped.
It is seen popped yet, with a message from the magician, he blows air back into the balloon, fully restored.
Comments- He does throw out some comedy which I hate. We do not buy magic effects for comedy, we buy it to learn.
star ratings out of 5- The trick itself gets a ***** but because of the ‘comedy’ in the explanation, the download gets a *** which overall rounds it to around a ****.
Availability- The Wire
September 01 2011
Hello my name is Derek, and as you can tell, I am a writer. I have been writing since the second grade, I would be what you would consider a ‘newer’ magician, so now that I have introduced myself, I will get into the news. Now a few days ago I was looking at some magic related news and saw something about some Neil Patrick. I had never heard of him before, but apparently he is some person who thinks he can act, direct, produce, and do magic at the same time…? But according to the news article, it is weird that he shows up at every magic related story or event. Apparently this is eerie but it makes me know he is a true magician. I know a lot of true magicians, but I am not sure how many of them would help pay to refurnish Houdini’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Now my next topic is on someone all us magician’s know and hate: the Masked Magician. If you do not know who he is, in the 1997-98 and more recently he revealed magic tricks on national TV. On the fourth edition of the Breaking the Magician’s Code in 1997-98, he revealed himself to be the dried up Las Vegas magician Val Valentino. Around ten years later he made a thirteen episode series doing the same as a decade ago. But I have reasons to believe this is a new magician. Over the decade they have done other specials with different magicians even though it is the same costumes, I think it is not the same magician. The first reason I have is that he looks fatter in the new episodes. Now, I know a person can get fat in 10 years but also: if everyone knows who he is, why wear the mask? Or at least talk?
This week’s review is on Inside Job by Jay Sankey, only available on the Bending the Real DVD.
Effect- You unscrew the cap off an ordinary water bottle and then with three taps of it to the bottom, it passes through the bottle. Then, everything is examined.
Difficulty- This effect is super easy after about a day of practice, though I recommend practicing more but just for angel purposes. The project cost $35 and includes 25 ‘Bends’ which means a trick, hoax or prank so check it out.
Comments- This effect is only really angle sensitive in the beginning and then into the effect itself you can be a bit more loose but if you get too loose you will flash just like you would in the beginning.
Star ratings out of 5- **** because of the few angle problems but other than that, it’s a completely amazing effect.
Availability- sankeymagic.com is the best place to get it since it comes straight from Jay’s warehouse but it is also available in penguinmagic.com