Review Details

Move Zero (Vol 1) by John Bannon - DVD

Move Zero (Vol 1) by John Bannon - DVD

Product Review (submitted on 28 April 2018):
OVERVIEW

Move Zero (Vol 1) is the first in a series of four videos by John Bannon, in which he teams up with Big Blind Media to bring self-working magic to dazzling new heights. Anyone familiar with John Bannon's body of work will be well aware that he is no ordinary magician. It's especially when Mr Bannon applies his genius to self-working magic tricks that you get a real sense of his cleverness. Self-working tricks often get an unfair rap in magic, but when percolated through the mind of John Bannon, they get a caffeine kick like never before. In this series of four brilliant DVDs, John Bannon will perform and teach you some mind-blowing magic.

FORMAT

the main content of the video consists of the following:
- Performances: The section for each trick first features a performance for different spectators.
- Explanations: During the tutorial section, John Bannon not only explains how to do the trick, but also explains why things are done in a certain way, thus giving insight into the construction of the magic in a way to make it as strong as possible. As a nice touch, the closing sequence for each trick comprehensively covers all the credits.
- Other material: Between the tricks, there are "trick-bag" sections that cover some of the principles and tools that good self-working tricks will use, such as equivoque, basic cuts, and the cross-cut force. There are also "interview" sections covering John's thoughts on a range of magic topics in answer to questions put to him.

IMPRESSIONS

1. Content: This is a solid collection of tricks. There's some overlap in certain aspects of the material, but there's some very strong routines among the eight routines that are taught, with Collusion easily being one of my favourites from this DVD. Ban-nihilation is also a real fooler. I also really like the potential of Prophet Motive, and the presentational ideas of Perennial.

2. Self-working: Some of the tricks taught do require some set-up, although the majority can be performed impromptu. But it's fair to say that what we have here is a collection of genuine self-workers, that rely on cleverness, psychology, and subtleness, and where everything is openly performed, rather than on secret sleights.

3. Difficulty: Because all the tricks in this collection are self-working, they are well within the scope of beginners to learn. While there is excellent material here that beginners can perform, experienced performers will also find top notch magic that will satisfy them as well.

4. Powerful: Self-working doesn't mean weak magic, so don't dismiss this collection just because no sleights are used. These are still top notch card tricks, and when performed well they can really produce a big impact. And you can modify some of these tricks to introduce sleights if you think that makes them stronger.

5. Psychology: I really appreciate the presentation and patter that John Banner uses. Much of it is very subtle, reinforcing certain ideas that need to be important in the mind of the spectator; he does this very effectively, and it can make all the difference in performing a trick successfully. Behind much of his patter are very deliberate choices that emphasize psychological principles, and this kind of thinking is key to being a good magician.

6. Explanations: The teaching section consists of a dialogue that John has with Liam Montier and other BBM folks, and it has the feel of a personal sit-down session with a magician. But there's much more value to the teaching sections than just learning the method behind the effect in question. Along the way there are many moments of useful discussion, advice and tips that have very wide application, for example about equivoque, or patter.

7. Master-class Instruction: Move Zero isn't just about teaching effects. One thing I really appreciate about this DVD is that in addition to the eight routines, there are all kinds of extras: interviews, moves, advice. The BBM team has deliberately engaged John to de-construct his methods and the process of his thought. This is incredibly valuable, not just for the useful tips that he passes on, but also for developing your own thinking about magic, and how to craft routines that are truly powerful. One of John Bannon's real strengths is his understanding about the psychology of magic. This video does a good job of helping us understand some of his thought processes and so make us think more maturely about key aspects of magic.

8. Utility Moves: The "Trickbag" sections of the video cover some of the techniques that are foundational to self-working card magic. In these sections Bannon covers things like the Cross Cut Force, Balducci/Cut Deeper Force, and Equivoque - all important concepts that every magician should familiarize themselves with. While not sleights, they are absolutely clever tools worth having in your tool box.

9. Interviews: In these sections of the video, John Bannon shares his thoughts in response to questions on topics like what makes a good trick, his favourite tricks, what got him started in magic, and more. It's fascinating to get his personal insights about his own experiences, background, and perspectives.

10. Video: The video is 2 hours and 4 minutes in length, and is stellar quality all round. This starts with the video case, which has some very professionally produced graphic design as the cover artwork, and has a list of the contents on the back. The production quality is absolutely outstanding in every respect, and it is hard to think of a magic video with higher quality cinematography! The filming has been done in a studio, and the lighting and camera work is terrific. Multiple camera angles are used, along with panning and close-ups. A montage of images helps retain interest during longer sections of monologue and commentary from Bannon. At times music has been used to good effect to set a background mood. Everything about the video has been put together extremely well, and Big Blind Media deserves major kudos for their excellent work in producing such a high quality product. Absolutely superb!

RECOMMENDATION

Why should you be interested in a video dedicated to self-working card magic? Well, this isn't your ordinary self-working magic that doesn't stoop to the level of mathematical atrocities. It's top quality material that is well constructed and thoughtful, and which really capitalizes on important principles of magic. While being relatively easy to perform, these tricks still have the potential to produce real miracles for your spectator. John Bannon has a real gift in understanding the important psychological aspects of magic that can really strengthen a routine, and there's a great deal that can be learned from his clever and intelligent approach to the subtleties of magic.

From a technical and production point of view, the video itself is outstanding. In almost every respect, Big Blind Media has raised the bar for a quality magic video, and it's difficult to think how a superb production like this could be improved. Combined with strong material from a top notch and clever magic thinker like John Bannon, they have created a real winner with their Move Zero series. Congratulations all round, and highly recommended! - BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame