The true mark of a good magic trick is not whether it can fool magicians, but
whether it entertains people. And with good presentation, a self-working card magic can be among the
most entertaining tricks you'll find. Several videos that have appeared from Big Blind Media in
recent years that have helped self-working card tricks emerge from the shadows that they usually
occupy, and the terrific Move Zero series by John Bannon is one of the finest examples of this
exciting new trend in magic. Bannon is much respected for his clever psychological approach to
magic, and even when he dispenses with the need for sleights, gaffs, or gimmicks, he is able to
produce magic that is strong and entertaining.
The first three volumes of the Move Zero
series brought us 27 different tricks, along with a great deal of valuable advice and tips. If
you've worked through these videos already, you'll have learned some fantastic routines, and also
mastered some common moves used in self-working magic, including the Cross Cut Force, Balducci
Force, Jay Ose Cut, and more. Volumes 3 and 4 do a good job of taking us into less familiar
territory. With Move Zero (Vol 4) we get to learn another 9 great tricks, and dig deeper into John
Bannon's trickbag for more valuable guidance that will help us produce strong magic - all without
needing to resort to difficult "moves".
Available either as a DVD or a digital download,
Move Zero (Vol 4) continues the proven formula established by its predecessors. For each of the nine
tricks included there is a live performance with various spectators, followed by John Bannon walking
through the explanation to BBM team members. And of course there are the additional "trickbag" and
interview segments that we've come to love and appreciate.
The spectator thinks of any card from a shuffled deck, after which you remove two cards as
"predictions". The thought of card turns out to appear between cards that match the predictions. The
method behind this probably won't surprise you, but the way it is put together and presented here
produces a very strong effect.
2. Second Reckoning: The spectator removes a number of
cards, and remembers a card corresponding to the number. You spell the name of the card one letter
at a time, and incredibly arrive at the selected card. Dead Reckoning was one of the strongest
effects on Move Zero (Vol 2), and this is effectively a similar baffling effect but using a
3. Power Of Poker: I've always loved the 10 card poker deal in which you
do a head-to-head game of poker, with the spectator making all the choices. Here they end up with a
full house, but deal you a royal flush. And you won't even need the key elements mostly used in this
kind of routine (e.g. equivoque, Jonah card). One of the best tricks in the video!
Banco: Unlike the other tricks, you'll need to source some special banknotes (readily available
online) for this trick, which is reminiscent of the classic Bank Night routine. Again the spectator
makes all the choices, and yet they don't end up with an envelope with the money. The method here
may be familiar, since it relies on something normally done with playing cards.
Charge: One spectator removes a packet of cards and secretly counts them to produce a number.
Another spectator uses two cards arrived at by shuffling to randomly to generate a selection based
on their value and suit. When counting down to the first spectator's number, you arrive at the very
card generated by the second spectator. This illustrates well the principles discussed by Bannon in
the trickbag about "Layering Methods".
6. Lost In Translation: A spectator cuts a shuffled
deck, and three spectators each get one of the next three cards. Each card corresponds to a word as
indicated on a code sheet, and you then reveal what the three chosen words are. The ability to
customize this gives a lot of flexibility for presenting and using this.
7. View To A
'Skill: You make a prediction and then play a "game" with your spectator: they pick red/black, and
you deal pairs of cards from a shuffled deck - the spectator gets them if they're both his colour,
you get them if they're both the other colour, neither gets them if they are one colour of each.
Incredibly, the prediction not only reveals who will win, but by how many cards. This is based on
the classic math trick "Miraskill" (1935) by Stewart James, but makes it entirely self-working,
without the need to add or remove cards. It requires considerable dealing, but to be able to predict
the result precisely given the apparently fair method of dealing is rather astonishing!
Go-figuration: From a shuffled deck, the spectator engages in a number of cuts, shuffles, and
dealing cards until they want to stop, in order to produce four cards, which incredibly are a four
of a kind. Given the apparent choices made by the spectator, it is a remarkable outcome, the
strength of which benefits from layering techniques and the probability cull discussed in an earlier
9. Triplicity: A spectator cuts off a random amount of cards, which they count to
determine a random number, then remembering a card in the deck at that number. You then show that
you've predicted both the card and its position in the deck. This is an outstanding trick that is
one of the best in this entire collection.
Utility Moves: The trick bag section covers four
● Automatic Placement Revisited
● Bill Simon's 64 Principle
● The Slip
● Layering Methods
In addition, at the very end there is an interview where
Bannon talks about "Next Steps For Learning Magic", and discusses five things that newbies should
endeavour to learn in their ongoing journey into card magic.
This collection makes a great finale to the series. Like Vol 3, these tricks go well beyond the more
commonly seen methods of self-working card magic, such as the cross-cut force and balducci force.
While there is some overlap in the methods that are at the heart of a few of the tricks, for the
most part there's good variety. I love the "Power of Poker" plot, and the "View to a 'Skill" also
offers a fun "game" that you can have with your spectator. "Banco" and "Lost in Translation" provide
opportunity to do routines very different from your usual card tricks.
Utility Moves: I
especially enjoyed the section on layering methods, which is a principle I first came across in the
excellent Designing Miracles by Darwin Ortiz. Tricks like "Depth Charge" and "Triplicity" make good
use of this technique and produce a very deceptive result, and are among my favourites in this
Self-working yet strong: The strength of John Bannon's magic is how he employs
subtlety and psychology in clever ways rather than relying on sleight of hand. But that doesn't mean
that this is second class magic. There are some very strong routines that really have the potential
to knock the socks off your spectators. When well presented, you can really amaze with this
Accessible yet attractive: Because these tricks are self-working, they are very
easy to learn and perform, which gives you the freedom to focus on your presentation. That also puts
them in the reach of novices. And yet they can produce a strong effect that makes them appealing
even to seasoned performers. Whether you are relatively new to card magic, or an old timer, you're
almost certain to find something you'd like.
Teaching: One of the things that I really like
about John Bannon's teaching is that he explains the thinking behind his magic, and helps you to
understand everything that goes into the constructing and performing of each effect. The trickbag
sections are an important part of this, by providing us with the skills we need to really make our
magic work well.
Quality production: Big Blind Media has to be considered an industry
leader when it comes to the filming and production of magic videos. Everything is outstanding,
whether it is the sound, studio lighting, or camera work. Multiple camera angles and close-ups are
used as needed, and you really couldn't ask for anything more. Full marks for the production!
John Bannon has set the bar high with the previous three releases in
this series, yet with Volume 4 he manages to live up to his own high standards and doesn't
disappoint. The high calibre self-working card magic that Bannon performs and teaches is definitely
not the kind of self-working card magic that you may have grown up with, because this isn't anything
like the old-and-tired 21 card trick. It's hip, it's baffling, it's clever, and most importantly, it
entertains. When it comes to card magic that is well within the reach of the relative newbie and yet
can be respected and enjoyed by the experienced performer, few do it better than Mr Bannon. What you
learn in this series isn't just how to do "tricks", but to perform real "magic". And of course Big
Blind Media comes to the party in all these videos by presenting the very best in visuals and sound.
What you get in Volume 4 is almost two and a half hours of high quality filming. This video
is every bit as good as the three that preceded it, and as a set it offers a very fine collection of
self-working card magic. Because there is some overlap with ideas, and because not everyone will be
in a position to purchase every single video that is part of the series, I hope that some day Big
Blind Media will release a single "Best of Move Zero" video, which showcases a dozen or more of the
very best tricks from the series. But the reality is that there is very little weak content here,
and I'm glad to report that this fourth video is a fitting finale that matches the excellence of the
first three in the set. Bravo John Bannon, and bravo Big Blind Media! - BGG reviewer EndersGame