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Review of Annihilation Deck (Deck and DVD)

Official Review

August 27th, 2014 12:57am
Rating:
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
Yet another winner from Cameron Francis!

This DVD has more than just one use for the deck that is used for the main effect, or at least more than one way of setting it up. You get the DVD and a brand-new, sealed deck of Red Bicycle back playing cards.

The menu is laid out very nicely and is easy to use. The video and audio quality are typical of Big Blind Media - clear, crisp and just fantastic overall. Cameron is joined by Liam Montier and he explains everything very clearly in a way that is easy to understand. Liam does ask a few questions here and there that may help some viewers understand things better if for some reason they have any trouble.

The ad copy is mostly true but not quite 100%. The things I contest are as follows: No secret markings on the back. This is not 100% true but in its defense, it is only on one card and it is more of a helpful 'marker' and has nothing to do with the method, so much so that if you were so inclined, you 'could' leave that one card unmarked so it is really a non-issue. The other point I have an issue with is the instant reset claim. It is not instant reset but it is close. As a matter of fact you can casually reset it right in front of the audience if you like without issue, but it is not instant. The rest of the ad copy is absolutely accurate.

There are three performances of the main effect at the Illusions Magic Bar in Bristol, UK. What follows is Cameron showing you how to set up the deck for the main effect and its variations which include Do As I Predict, Red Lite, Total Annihilation and Red Hot Annihilation, all of which are very clean. Red Hot Annihilation is a nice take on the Red Hot Mamma plot that does lend a nice touch to the prediction aspect of the effect. I am not the type of person that would use gimmicks very much or carry around a deck for a single effect, but this is one I would do it for. Another nice thing about this is that once you prepare the deck you never have to do it again until the ink wears off or the deck is trashed.

The bonus effect is called Convergence and is another take on the CAAN plot. Personally I am an ACAAN and CAAN geek and I rather like this addition to the plot. It is similar to something I came up with a while ago and I really like the way he does this one. This one does use two decks and in my opinion, this one is worth it. Instead of showing you on camera how to set each deck up, there are three charts in the 'Extras' section that show you exactly what you need to do to set up both decks. The one drawback to this as with any other effect or routine like it is the dealing procedure. This is better suited to more formal situations or to those performances where you have more time and maybe even some space. If you can do something during the dealing procedure to make everything more entertaining, all the better.

The ad copy for Convergence says there are 'no complicated calculations.' This is true - there are calculations but they are not complicated if you are familiar with the system in use. If you are not, it is easy to learn and is taught on the DVD anyway. Many magicians may already know it, some will be familiar with it and at the very least, I think the majority will have at least heard of this system at some point or other. Convergence is indeed instantly reset after each performance.

This product is one of the rare occasions that I would recommend carrying around a deck for just one effect. Not every magician will like the effect, but those that do like what they see will get a lot of mileage out of it. I have tried both Convergence and the main effect in casual residency performances already and they were very well received.

For all of the things you are getting on the DVD, $30/USD is a very good price, and you get a brand-new deck of cards on top of it!

Highly recommended!

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