Link! by Nabil Murday - my review
Our Price: $27.95 (Penguin just jacked the price)
In what has become his first DVD, Nabil Murday has released an excellent set of rubber band magic effects. These aren't new by any means, but Nabil presents them very well, connects with you through the TV and has a certain chemistry about him that draws you in. His mannerisms are warm and friendly, and he's entertaining to watch.
The DVD instructions are mostly "over the shoulder", and Nabil uses a very large pink rubber band and a standard drab yellow one for contrast. The techniques are explained excessively well, and very little is left to the imagination. Video and audio quality are excellent, the animations and sound effects between chapters are a fun distraction. The lighting is literally perfect, and the camera zoom covers his hand motion without being too close or too far away.
The overall production quality of this DVD is exceptional. For a first DVD, Nabil's LINK! is a prime example of a magic DVD done correctly.
------ Ungimmicked Goodness ------
Intro (1 min)
"This is REALLY about the crazy man's handcuffs". Which is true, since only a couple of chapters involve his gimmick. Yes, the demo does indeed show his gimmicked version as first-up, but overall this DVD involves clean rubberband magic that can be done impromptu.
Please don't steal (1 min)
Band info (2 mins)
Alliance makes the best rubber bands. Their website is http://www.rubberband.com
, get the Brites! package. Nabil goes over where to hold your rubber bands, and how to approach without waving rubber bands around like a dork.
Personally, I got mine from WalMart in the crayon section for like two dollars. They had a few #19's in the package.
Basic effect - watch (3 mins)
Basic effect - learn (6 mins)
Standard crazy man's handcuffs, starting with the band dropped in between your fingers (begin INNER vs OUTER). Nabil covers timing,
Subtleties (5 mins)
First one comes from Michael Ammar, where he forces the inside band against both opposite fingers to demonstrate that it's really stuck. He grips the bands differently, and turns it a little sideways for better audience view. So if you've learned this already, you'll need to practice the new handling a bit.
Ammar finale (3 mins)
Crazy man's handcuffs using the spectator's fingers. Nabil has some interesting thoughts on audience instructions, and has optimized a way to get them to hold the rubber band properly with minimal confusion.
Womach move (1 min)
Womach suggested how about going halfway through the band, which does look rather slick. Nice subtlety, will definitely be using this for a two-phase routine.
Dean Dill (2 mins)
Dean appears in his shop, with his own variation which doesn't use a pull. Apparently some spectators jumped on him for doing the pull, so he modified it slightly to remove that portion. I have mixed feelings, since it requires some cover for the "move", and any observant spectator watching closely might notice what happened. But on the other hand, removing the yank is a nice alternative.
Loren Michaels (4 mins)
Very grainy, old VHS video from 9 years ago featuring Loren explaining Band-It at a magic lecture. He performs it beginning with your rubber bands on the outside, going inside, then back outside. The technique is a lot like Dean Dill's modification.
Band-It variation 1 (7 mins)
Nabil thought the move was a little bold, so he added some misdirection into different phases, along with subtleties for demonstrating the penetration to your audience. "The toughest thing is to sell this, you must point to what's going to happen". Very comprehensive tips, and some great ideas in my opinion.
Band-It variation 2 - watch (1 min)
Band-It variation 2 - learn (10 mins)
"I was so happy with myself, with this. For quite a while". Again, the biggest thing is making clear what's happening according to Nabil.
This version is the one shown on the demo video. I had wondered why he held his hands like that, and now I know!
Awesome way to deal with his "bold move" mentioned in Variation 1, by simply hiding the action in a clever manner. He does mention that timing is crucial, and shows what should be performed where very clearly. Presentation, what to say, how to move your body the right way to merge with the routine is discussed ad neauseum.
Band-It with helper - watch (1 min)
Having a spectator hold his rubber band with hookie fingers, then penetrating your rubber band through it.
Band-It with helper - learn (2 mins)
Ammar finale using the Band-It moves? Great misdirection tips, looks like real magic.
LIVE (2003) (4 mins)
Nabil performs Band-It standard effect for a live audience in a theater environment, then does the helper version on a lady up front. Spectacular reactions and some gasps as the rubber band initially penetrates during his helper portion. Fun to watch, and the audience had a great time.
Band-It variation 3 - watch (1 min)
Band-It variation 3 - learn (7 mins)
My least favorite version because of the angles, and possible need for misdirection. He includes an addendum with tips for not flashing during the move, which is important since this is a pretty bold move, especially if you're in close with your spectators. Angly in my opinion, but a cool version if you can pull it off.
Band-It variation 4 - watch (1 min)
Band-It variation 4 - learn (4 mins)
My favorite, since the move is completely covered to a spectator standing in front of you.
Band-It variation 5 - watch (1 min)
Band-It variation 5 - learn (4 mins)
Very similar to version 4, with a couple additions from Dave Womach. Again, all the action is covered from your audience, so I liked it.
Thoughts (1 min)
Nabil says don't believe that "Pros don't use rubber bands", and other misc after thoughts. Presented in black and white video.
------ Enter the Gimmick ------
On LINK! you will learn three verisons of my design: the original for formal situations (close up/parlour shows, when a suit and tie are worn), Dave Womach's for stage guys (really clever!), and Cyril's which works great for street magic, bars, etc because it doesn't require formal clothes like the original or a stage show situation like Dave's. Cyril's design is what you see me using on the promo video.
- NabilThe Link (1 min)
Looks like real magic, the focal point of the demo in my opinion. He uses Cyril's customized gimmick for this presentation.History (1 min)
"The gimmick was inspired by the Koran pencil, but openhanded".What it is (4 mins)
After seeing what the gimmick was, I immediately headed out to my local hobby store (Hobby Lobby). They didn't have the item Nabil described, and looked confused when I stated I was looking for it. After wandering around for a while, my daughter suggested another section where they had similar materials.
Of course, all those were sealed so I'm sitting in Hobby Lobby opening up a couple different types of packages from their staples, trying to figure out if they matched the "density and behavior" of his required gimmick.
After PM'ing Nabil to get more details, he said he didn't have exact specifications for the gimmick but he thought the one on a webpage I sent over could qualify. With slight modifications, of course.
I would have liked more precise information about the gimmick, so I could have avoided opening packages in a retail store to see if those contained his required "qualities". But in the end, I found something good enough at WalMart, given some serious modifications.
Nabil does say an item is required from a gun shop, but I also found this at WalMart for three dollars. Given the gimmick I had to purchase, after my mods, the gun shop enhancement was not needed afterall.
Your total cost to create this:
- Hobby store visit will be about $5 if you can actually find something that qualifies
- Gun shop visit (or snag from WalMart) for $3
Refills will not be needed. Ever. Your eight dollars provides a lifetime supply.The ***** (6 mins)
A piece of clothing that's optional, but does indeed make the gimmick routine go smoother. It also creates a self-contained package for your gimmick so it's not a permanent feature in your wardrobe.Cyril's design (3 mins)
Cryil had his own very slight modification to the gimmick location, which made perfect sense, and is what Nabil uses for the demonstration video. Designed for walk-around and close up, street magic.Womach's design (2 mins)
An out of left field modification that 99.9999% of the population will never use.Linking bands (4 mins)
How to use your fancy new gimmick to perform just like on the demo video!Rings - basic (3 mins)
Himber Ring routine.
What's a Himber Ring?? Do a search ...Borrowed rings (1 min)
Two borrowed rings are linked together in mid-air, then magically fall apart.1st Routine (5 mins)
Combine the gimmick with a Himber Ring for a variety of effects. Nabil covers the rules of what rings to use vs very bad choices, spectator management with your Himber, and how to adjust the routines to allow spectators to examine the linked rings. You could also have the rings come unlinked and fall into a spec's hand, which is a nice touch.2nd Routine (4 mins)
Requires Interlace by Richard Sanders, and again the Himber (Any Ring by Richard Sanders is also suggested).http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1604
Presented in "pretend mode", in other words Interlace and Any Ring is not shown, but instead just routined out loud.3 ring combo (4 mins)
The first routine, but with three rings linked together using Nabil's gimmick.Ring and band - watch (1 min)
Rubber band and a ring - looks incredible. Plus he shakes it back and forth, visually stunning.Ring and band - learn (3 mins)
Not much new here, just the two rubber band routine using a ring and rubber band instead of two rubber bands.Restored - watch (1 min)Restored - learn (10 mins)
Rubber band is broken, then restored. Exhaustive ten minute tutorial.Jumper - watch (1 min)
Two rubber bands are used, one linked between all four fingers and the other deeper inside the fingers, trapped by the first on the top two fingers. The inner rubber band jumps onto the bottom two fingers, then back.Jumper - learn (5 mins)
Cool routine I'll definitely be using. The illusion of the inner rubber band being trapped is perfect, plus allows you to use two different colored rubber bands for contrast. Nabil covers a couple extra ideas in this section that allows a one-handed presentation. You also don't have open your hand all the way.Conclusion (1 min)Credits (1 min)
------- Conclusion -------
Although I was expecting a solid gimmicked DVD from seeing the demo, I was pleasantly surprised at just how much ungimmicked, impromptu material was contained herein. This video will undoubtedly be compared side by side with Dan Harlan's "Band Shark" DVD, of which I personally like this one better. First for the gimmick, especially since it seriously looks like real magic, and is significantly more visual than CMH, but it does have angle issues. And also for Nabil's charisma, which drew me in and made the entire 2 hours easy viewing. But hey, just my opinion.
If you're into rubber bands, or always wanted some routines using them since they require so little pocket space, this DVD is an excellent buy. I'm very pleased with my purchase.
The official spam:
1. You show two REGULAR AND UNPREPARED rubber bands, each held between a thumb and finger. The bands and your fingers make rings. You show that there is no way to link these rings. You rub the bands against each other, and make them VISUALLY penetrate each other. This is a compelling illusion, with exactly the same visual as crazy man's handcuffs- except the bands are going IN!
2. You show that now there is no way to get out. Then, the bands visually penetrate out- ONE STRAND AT A TIME! When they are half way through, the bands can be pulled to show that the bands are REALLY HALF-WAY THROUGH! Then, the last strand pulls on the other rubber band and VISUALLY POPS THROUGH!!!
3. You offer to repeat the effect, bringing the bands up to chest height. Again, the bands penetrate IN AND OUT!
4. You then ask an audience member to hold one of the bands between their two hands. You show that the bands are definitely outside each other, and there is no way to get through. Now YOU TELL THEM EXACTLY WHERE TO LOOK! The bands immediately and visually penetrate each other RIGHT AT THAT SPOT. Then, they penetrate back out and you take your applause.
The above routine is 100% commercial, and has been audience tested over thousands of performances. You will have all the tools you will ever need to construct your own personalized version of the crazy man's handcuffs:
1. DEAN DILL personally teaches his legendary "no pull" method for getting the bands apart.
2. MICHAEL AMMARâ€™S brilliant handling of the crazy man's handcuffs, in which the spectator is holding one of the bands.
3. DAVE WOMACHâ€™S move to show the bands HALFWAY THROUGH the penetration!
4. All the refinements and subtleties Nabil has made over the years.
5. LOREN MICHAELS teaches his original "Band-It" move, which allows you to make the bands penetrate IN! NO MORE AKWARD SET-UP!
6. Nabil takes you through 6 VARIATIONS of Loren's move, including HOW TO GO IN ON A BAND HELD BY AN AUDIENCE MEMBER!!! This leads directly into Michael Ammar's penetration and makes an unbelievable finalÃ© that NEVER FAILS TO GET AUDABLE GASPS!!!
EVERYTHING IS TAUGHT FROM THE OVER-THE-SHOULDER PERSPECTIVE. What you see on your screen will look just like you are looking down at your own hands. All you have to do is just follow along and do exactly what you see on the screen. This is the EASIEST, FASTEST, AND MOST POWERFUL WAY TO LEARN MAGIC!!!
With the above, you can perform THE MOST AMAZING, COMMERCIAL CLOSE-UP EFFECT OF ALL TIME, and do it BETTER THEN EVER!!! All you need is two rubber bands...THAT'S IT! You can perform this anywhere, anytime, and under any condition (even underwater)!
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
"LINK!" has 2 HOURS OF CONTENT!!!
You will learn how to make and use a special gimmick that will allow you to VISUALLY LINK AND UNLINK 2 UNPREPARED, EXAMINABLE RUBBER BANDS!!! You can do this with BORROWED rubber bands! You will learn 3 VERSIONS of the gimmick:
1. Nabilâ€™s original version, which he has used time and again to FRY BOTH MAGICIANS AND LAYMEN.
2. CYRILâ€™S REVOLUTIONARY VERSION. Cyrilâ€™s design on the gimmick allows you to perform the effect in casual clothing, whereas Nabilâ€™s original set-up is designed specifically for a tie.
3. Dave Womachâ€™s version, designed for stage performers. Dave's version allows you to have the gimmick come on and off your person whenever you want, with no suspicious moves!
With this gimmick, you can VISUALLY LINK AND UNLINK ANY SMALL, THIN ITEMS! THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!!! Here are the routines you will learn that use the gimmick:
1. The WORLDâ€™S CLEANEST AND MOST DIRECT Linking Rubber Bands.
2. LOTS OF CONTENT ON THE LINKING FINGER RINGS. First, you learn how to LINK TWO UNGIMMICKED, BORROWED RINGS, then have them VISUALLY MELT APART! Then you learn Nabilâ€™s basic linking finger rings routine without the gimmick, utilizing a standard himber ring. This includes NEW SUBTLETIES AND MOVES with the rings. Next, you learn 2 versions of the effect using 2 rings and the gimmick. Finally, you learn how to combine the gimmick together with a three-ring routine. The Linking Finger Rings is A REPUTATION MAKER, and now itâ€™s BETTER THEN EVER!!!
3. A Ring on Rubber Band finale that will BLOW THEM AWAY! And thatâ€™s just THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG. By combining the LINK! gimmick with other linking effects, you can perform the links and/or unlinks in a VISUAL, CLEAN, AND COMPELLING MANNER.
GUESS WHAT? THERE'S EVEN MORE!
DISCOVER NEW AND POWERFULWORK ON 2 EASY-TO-DO, CLASSIC EFFECTS!
1. The Broken and Restored Rubber Band. With this handling, you will be able to set up FASTER THEN EVER, right under the audiences nose. When you break the band, the AUDIENCE CAN SEE THE BROKEN ENDS! Then, the band is VISUALLY RESTORED and without any wasted motion or suspicious looking moves. The restoration is STREAMLINED, FAST, AND STUNNING.
2. The Jumping Rubber Band. Discover how YOU CAN PERFORM THIS WITH ONE HAND! The effect is now CLEANER AND MORE FAST PACED THEN EVER BEFORE!
With "LINK!" you donâ€™t just get the WORLDâ€™S GREATEST Crazy Man's Handcuffs, Linking Rubber Bands, Linking Finger Rings, Ring on Rubber Band, Broken and Restored Band, and the Jumping Rubber Band. You donâ€™t just gain a powerful weapon which will REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR MAGIC. You also will GROW AS A PERFORMER! Throughout the ENTIRE DVD, you learn how to apply the concepts and philosophies to all your magic.