Artist: Seth Rovner
Producers: Paper Crane Magic
Retail Price: $9.95 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 25 min
Notes: This effect requires construction of a gimmick that will require the use of sharp scissors. Exercise caution when handling anything sharp.
• Instructional DVD
• Instructions to create the Gimmick
Five easy to do card magic tricks are taught that requires no sleight of hand, and is easy to learn.
In Sunk from Paper Crane magician Seth Rovner shows you how to create the gimmick necessary to perform five of his tricks using the gimmick that are both easy to learn, and requires no sleight of hand at all! This is a great effect for a novice to begin with. Let’s take a look at the effects he covers.
In the Hand: A card is selected, signed, and returned to the deck. The cards are pushed into the spectators open hand and they grab at the first card they touch… ironically it’s their signed card!
Instant: The spectators signed card is found by the spectator himself as the cards are put behind the back, and only one card is drawn forth… their signed card!
Slow Jam: A reverse rising card effect. The deck is pushed into the box, the selected card is the only one left standing out.
Grabbed: The spectators signed card is returned to the deck, which is then put into your jacket pocket. The selected signed card is then quickly removed from the pocket as if by magic.
Impromptu Rise: Using the gimmick setup you can do your very own impromptu rising card with the spectators signed card.
If all this sounds too good to be true for an instant download, and ten of your dollars then that’s because it is. This is the point in the review where I stop selling this effect and give you what I really think of it, and frankly Seth it’s not much. Sunk really looks like the creator came up with one application originally for the gimmick, and then just sat there and brainstormed a bunch of different ways the same trick can be presented using practically the same handling, and then compile it into a single Video and slap a price tag on it. Granted this effect has some merit to it, but it’s more along the lines of something you’d expect to see in a bonus or extra section of a larger project, that takes five minutes to explain not a standalone product that eats up nearly a half hour of your time!
The video follows the classic Performance/ Explanation plot, and both in my opinion leave a lot to be desired. The performances are fairly hack with Seth for the most part doing a “cooking show” by explaining the obvious actions he’s doing to the audience while he’s doing them leaving very little room for motivation or creating that magic moment we all strive to reach. The explanations for each of the five effects are way longer than they need to be. I can see taking ten or fifteen minutes to explain the gimmick, how, and why it works, how to set it up, get into it, use it, clean up, and perform the first effect with it, but breaking every step down into minute detail when really nothing changes but the plot of the presentation. The mechanics from In the Hand, to Impromptu Rise doesn’t change a bit!
The sound didn’t work much for me either. Twice I was distracted from the magic by the repetitive electronic music playing throughout the video in the background (Which got annoying), and once again by the horrible loud karaoke singing during one of the performance bits. Neither are faults of Seth’s. It’s something the producers should have thought better about. Speaking of sound, and yes I’m nit picking now, but Seth doesn’t need to say “Hey Guys” at the start of every single section of the video.
The practicality of this product really depends on the user I think. This isn’t something I’d use. This isn’t something I’d refer another magician to. This is something however that I’d show my kid nephew who got his first magic kit at Christmas and now is looking for something new. It puts a gaff into your deck that you’d either have to ditch or switch for if you wanted to do anything else with that deck, and I’ve never been one for self-working magic anyways.
The price of the product is another point of contention for me. Sure you get a thirty minute video for ten bucks, but the value of the product within just doesn’t match up for me; especially since most of the video is over explained anyways. I’d pay maybe five bucks for it, maybe, but ten feels a bit too much for me.
At least the instructions on the gimmick preparation, and application were decent. Probably the best part of the video. Seth does a good job showing you how to make the gimmick (here’s a hint: it’s very simple), and how to use it once it’s set up. Anyone, and I do mean anyone without any magical training could certainly pick this video up and learn the tricks.
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 4
“Cooking show” level of presentation, over explained handling, and being over priced (in my opinion) are just a few of the problems that plagued this product. Can’t say I’m a fan of it.
Teaching Quality: 5
Seth does too good of a job teaching it- to the point where it’s annoying. You don’t need 25 minutes of him holding your hand to envision the many different ways you can use the gimmick, and if you can’t figure out the simple handling in those different ways then you probably shouldn’t be doing magic at all.
Video & Sound Quality: 4
Annoying repetitive music beat in the back ground, and horrible karaoke singing during the explanation section help score this product lower on this portion.
Overall Quality: 4
This is a fail overall for me as a product; great for kids, not so much for magicians. This one earned the Draven Seal of Disapproval!