For a bit of background, I have met Dan Tong in person before. Back at SEAM in 2008, Dan was there and I was able to talk to him for a while. He is an incredibly knowledgeable magician who really has performed all over. That being said, I do feel that he has a specific style and that this didn't exactly fit my expectations.
Regardless, ON WITH THE REVIEW!
What CardFinesse Says://
Dan Tong Color Changes
Dan Tong originated this color change over 40 years ago. He has had much experience learning this and understanding the ins and outs of making this color change as visual as possible. He has also come up with 2 other versions along the way. In this video you will learn 3 color changes, one should fit your style. Dan Tong goes in depth on the changes so you should have no problem learning them.
Well, I don't THINK they are lying. First Thoughts://
When I received this download, I was surprised at how small it was; only 25 megabytes for a full length, instructional download on color changes? A shorter (length) download on Theory11 or PenguinMagic was at least 200! This either means they found a way to compress video REALLY well, or it isn't of great quality.
Well, it finished downloading VERY quickly (not surprising judged on the size) and I began to watch... I can honestly say that this is not great nor horrid.Quality://
This file, as stated, is incredibly small. When I began to watch, I found out why. This video clip has incredibly minimal editing, and the quality is that of a $50 dollar camera bought 6 or 7 years ago. This is NOT HD or any sort of high quality video or audio in any way.
Is this a bad thing? Not nessisarily, if taught well, this could definitely hold it's weight as a great download on color changes. I think at this point in time, magicians are spoiled to HD. That is what all the companies use nowadays, and most people who film ANYTHING will be using HD. This doesn't mean that anything else won't allow for learning, it just means that this download will be slightly harder to learn from.Teacher and Teaching://
Wow... As stated, I have met Dan Tong. I own some DVDs by Dan Tong. Dan Tong is normally a pretty fantastic teacher, and you don't have a problem learning from him...
...this was not up to par with what I had seen before. Dan stumbles through his explanation, drops cards, flashes on almost EVERY change (even one in the demo video!) and just doesn't do a great job with teaching. That being said, I feel it is possible to learn these IF you have a knowledge of basic card sleights beforehand.
To put this into perspective, there are certain palms and moves he uses here that he doesn't explain. He points them out briefly and states what he is doing, but because this is not HD, it makes that harder to learn as well. If you know some palms and have a knowledge of stuff like this, then absolutely. You can learn these. I just feel that Dan was out of his element here; these changes are not his... Style.Format://
The format of these being taught does not help the cause very much either; reminiscent of a badly-shot Brian Tudor DVD, these changes are talked about briefly, then it is shown from a different angle, then shown in slow motion. Not fantastically easy to learn from. Not to mention, you have to go back to the video to see performances of the color changes; the explanation starts off immediately with teaching the first change.
Nothing to reference too without visiting the webpage and waiting for YouTube to load... Not helping... Changes://
Below are my in depth reviews of the changes themselves...Variation 1:
This is definitely the best looking off all of the color changes. A card is shown, the hand is shown empty, and DONE. The card is visually changed. This looks good in the demo video and this is just a good change.
This, as stated, is taught in a very fumbly way. Dan knows this change (which is obvious) but this is not taught in a way that is easy to understand. The video starts HALFWAY through him explaining the move used in this change (using "explain" in the loosest form of the word).
Great change, not taught well. You can learn from this, it just won't be that easy.Variation 2:
This is virtually the same as the above change, just upside down. It should look about the same to your spectators, just a preference thing. Dan definitely does better in the demo video at the first; this one looks finnicky and he flashes a bit in the demo here.
Again, not explained very well. He briefly goes into the concepts and how it works and such and then it is slow motion. If you have a knowledge of card sleights OR can do the first, then this should come somewhat easily to you.
I didn't like this one as much as the first; personal preference though.Variation 3:
This is the third variation. Not too much of a difference in handling, just a faster change. Still visual and this one looks good in the demo video. I like this one.
Regardless, the quality and the te--- lack of real teaching is what really doesn't make this a worthwhile change. If you can learn this, this is a fine change. If not, then I don't recommend it.Angles://
All three of these are VERY angle sensitive changes. All three MUST be done from a front on view. Now, there is nothing wrong with that as some of the best changes are angle sensitive; and these hold merit as good changes. Angles are only a problem if you care about them.
I personally don't mind angle sensitive stuff, so these were fine for me.Difficulty://
These changes are not easy; they WILL take you time to get down. That is, provided you can learn them.
You see, these are good changes that would work well for a layperson. The problem I see here is only with the teaching. Dan doesn't go into a lot of detail, the quality makes it annoying to hear and harder to see and they are not taught in a sure-fire way; everything is quite fumbly and this should have been rehearsed.Originality://
This is what I worried about throughout the whole video; these changes have been done before. The only thing that Dan adds to them is the hand motion (which, albeit, is a great addition).
However, if the download tells the truth and Dan HAS been working on these changes for over 40 years, then yes, I would say that these are original to him. There is no way of telling so AS of now, these are Dan's color changes.Price://
There is ONE very redeeming quality about this download; it IS cheap. Only 4 dollars for these three color changes is a good deal. You can pick it up at http://shop.cardfinesse.com/Dan-Tong-Co ... hanges.htmOverall://
I like these changes; they are great. However, I think they would look better in someone else hands... And if they were taught better in better quality.
Overall, not terrible but not great. This download doesn't excel at anything, but it wasn't horrible. Recommended if you have an extra 4 bucks.