DVD Instructions Taught by: Jason Brumbalow
Retail Price: $197.95 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 20:29
Notes: This effect deals with the use of a commercially available product in a manner that is expressly recommended against by the manufacturer. If used irresponsibly this product could cause personal injury including frost bite. This is NOT recommended for anyone under the age of 18.
• Instructional DVD
• Instruction Manuel
• Felt Carrying Bag
• Safety Warning that you must agree with to continue.
• Play All
Imagine that you’ve done one of the most mind blowing metal bending routines your audience has ever seen. The spectators jaws are on the floor, their grasping for something to say, gasping for breath, and just when they think they’ve seen it all you take metal bending to the next level. This time the bends happen right inside of their own hands! It’s time to shift your metal bending game into a whole other gear. It’s time for Ellusionist’s SHIFT.
What Shift is, is a special gimmick that allows you to perform a mind blowing metal bending effect from inside the spectators own hands. No sleights, No switches, Nowhere for the spectators mind to go. While this type of product isn’t new to the market; others such as Phork have come before it, this one seems to go one step beyond. The craftsmen over at Ellusionist have taken steps to ensure that the latest edition of Shift (version 2 now) actually resembles that of a normal flatware fork. Specifically it looks kind of like the Winco Windsor forks which I believe Ellusionist sells in addition to their metal bending DVD’s from Morgan Strebler. While Shift under close scrutiny compared to other non-gimmicked forks does stand out as looking “different”, at a quick glance and certainly during the speed of an actual presentation it’s almost invisible as a gaffed product. Shift feels comparable to a light common variety dinner fork. I won’t say it feels cheap, but it’s comparable in weight and touch to something your average person would have in their homes, or perhaps bought at a Target or something. Purists I’ll say this to you right now, if you are the type of magician that wouldn’t use something just because it looks fake under a microscope then you may as well stick to doing metal bending the old fashioned ways. You’re not ready or worthy of the types of awed, gaping mouthed, responses Shift can provide. However if you’re adventurous, and willing to try something that makes you a little uncomfortable then proceed with delight!
Shift is easy enough to reset, the method they recommend in the video takes about a minute and you are good to go. Other methods of resetting can be used too, of course they also take longer to set up. This is painfully vague I know, but if you buy the product it’ll make sense. Trust me. I’ll go ahead and say this here, if you go with the main reset method described in the video then you will need to acquire an extra product that you can buy at just about any drug store, office supply store, Target, or Wal-Mart. You’ll need to use this product in a way that is directly against how it is intended to be used. As a result being careless with it could result in personal injury, and or frostbite. I do not recommend this product for anyone under the age of 18 just because of safety reasons. I know you’re going to ignore me, but hey at least I warned you first!
Given what Shift is made out of, how it is activated (heat) and how it is reset, there comes a point where the concerned researcher may inquire as to how reliable the product is under “real world” conditions. You will be pleased to know that week and a half that I’ve owned Shift I have put it through just about every real world test scenario I can think of and I’ve provided the results for you below.
Room Temperature: I’ve set the gimmick and left the fork sitting out in my living room for several hours before picking it up and performing Shift with it. The fork held it’s strait position on its own with no need for additional reset.
Room Temperature Extended: I’ve set the gimmick and left the fork sitting out in my living room over night before picking it up the next morning and performing Shift with it. The fork held its strait position over night (minimal eight hours) without the need for additional reset.
Set and Transport: I’ve set the gimmick and put it into my pocket for transportation to a gig. I’ve found that keeping it in my inside breast coat pocket, or in the side pockets of my coat does cause the gimmick to set off resulting in a bent fork when I pulled it out. A quick reset was required (took less than a minute) and I was ready to perform Shift. I’ve found though that setting the gimmick and transporting it in my attaché case, the gimmick did NOT activate and I was set to perform the instant I removed it.
Car Dashboard: I set the gimmick and drove to do some errands around the town in the midafternoon, leaving the strait gimmick on the dashboard of my car as I drove. I did not run my heater or air conditioner only having my windows rolled down a bit for a breeze, and by the end of my business the metal had bent from the refracted sunlight through the windshield. I have no doubt that the gimmick would activate if left inside a car unattended on a hot summer afternoon.
In Hands Activation: I do not know if this is indicative of Shift 2.0, or if it’s just the specific product that I ended up with, however my fork is slow to bend unless a heat source (someone’s finger is enough to do it) is placed directly over the bending joint. Bend takes place within three minutes of not touching the specific joint, and within less than a minute when the joint is gently touched by someone’s finger.
Hot Coffee Bend: I’ve set the gimmick and placed the fork into a cup of hot coffee to stir the drink. The fork bent within seconds of being submerged into the hot drink.
Overall I’ve found that the product is reliable for real world use, and isn’t a pipe dream. It is advisable to carry the quick reset method with you in case you do run into problems, and if you absolutely need it to not fail then maybe a small insolated bag like a lunch bag, but you will be pleased to know that the metal doesn’t have to be constantly kept at a cold temperature in order to look normal. It can have the appearance of a normal fork, with the tactile deception of being at room temperature, and still work when handled by the magician or the spectator.
This is one of those few products that I would actually recommend you read the instructions and watch the video BEFORE you start messing with it. All things considered it’s pretty easy to bend a metal fork on brute force alone, and you don’t want to damage your $200 dollar fork by being an idiot. The video, which is provided to you via link to Ellusionist’s website when you open the product, is a 20 minute overkill on teaching. Honestly, you don’t need THAT many instructions. A quick review of what the fork is made out of, how to reset it, a few alternative methods, and bam you’re good to go. However Jason is a perfectionist so instead you get 20 minutes of him and metal bending guru Morgan Strebler holding your hand as they walk you through every aspect of what makes your fork work, how to reset it, other reset methods, and a few presentation ideas. If the video doesn’t do it for you, then the little booklet, yes booklet, should! The booklet that comes with Shift also explains in full detail how to care for your fork, reset it, and perform shift. Fifteen pages long and complete with illustrations. I’ve got to give the E team props with this, as there was more care and thought put into a simple instruction manual for a magic trick than what is seen in other cheaper products.
I find that Shift is for the most part a fairly practical piece of magic to perform in the real world setting. One of the major draw backs (for me) is that it’s too powerful to use as an opener because there is nothing you can do to follow it up with. A point I believe Ellusionist is well aware of and makes on the product page on their website. The results I’ve received have certainly justified the care that I put into handling, transporting, and resetting the gimmick. I may even have to start working on my Liquid Metal 2 routine just so I have other things I can do to a fork. It certainly is a fun piece of magic to play with. Like anything else in magic if you spend the time to develop a good presentation, with proper justifications, and don’t just treat this thing like a toy then you’ve got a very powerful piece of magic sitting there in your hands.
Overall I like it. The effect is powerful, it is VERY visual, and can be used in a couple of different ways that just make it play for an audience of any size. The price tag is a steep one at almost $200 dollars, but I think it’s fair. This isn’t a prop that I’d want to see every kid, and Criss Angel wanna-be running around with playing with it like it was a bite out coin. I think the price tag will help keep this product in the hands of the serious performer and away from those who are just looking for the next magic toy.
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: 8
A steep price to pay for a fork, but at least this one doesn’t look like a gaff at a quick glance and isn’t required to be kept cold even up to performance time in order to work further selling the illusion to the spectator.
Teaching Quality: 9
Team Ellusionist has gone above and beyond the call of duty when trying to teach you how to use your product, and do so in a way that won’t damage it. A twenty minute video download, and a fifteen page instruction booklet complete the tutorial package in a way that few other products have.
Video & Sound Quality: 8
The sound and video quality were good. A little dark, but then again it was filmed during or after they filmed for Liquid Metal 2 so it has a similar look and feel as that product did.
Over All Quality: 9
I really liked this product and have spent the past two weeks thinking of every possible way to incorporate this into my act. From the stage, to the séance room, to even the close up show Shift works. It’s not impromptu, but everything doesn’t need to be. For the results it gets, it’s certainly worth it. Shift earned the Draven’s Seal of Approval, and I do recommend that you get your copy today!