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Unveil Review

Official Review

September 3rd, 2014 10:39am
Rating:
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
As a performer with plenty of experience in card and billiard ball manipulation, I was excited to watch this DVD set to see what Mr. Kim had to offer. Then I watched it...

There are two discs in this set and I wish I could give each of them a singular review, but since that is not possible I will rate each separately and then rate the set as a whole.

This product is...awful. Just awful. For $100/USD of your hard earned money, you are getting mediocre instruction at best with moves that are not all practical and many of which would have to be done 20 or 30 feet from the proscenium (the part of the stage in front of the curtain) to help (hopefully) hide the method.

The first disc is all about card manipulations. The menu gives you the option of watching the product trailer, the "Basic" section and the "Original Lecture" section, which is what they call the explanation section. Each explanation started off with a performance of the sequence, then went into the explanation.

There were a couple of effects on this disc which require you to make a gimmick - all of them were shown with a sped-up video sequence. The Four-Color Card Change is very nice - instead of the pips changing color, the background of the face changes. This would also be very nice if you do it with the backs. It does require four different decks, all of them are made by the USPCC and usually available from most dealers or poker supply retailers.

The Center of Card Production ended with your hands in position and required such movements that it looked more like a stunt or dexterity exercise than a magical card production.

The set-up for the Hyunjoon Production, which looks pretty good but a bit finicky, is such a pain in the butt that it is hardly worth it. Not only that, you have to do it twice if you want to perform the production as taught. Did I mention that except for the main gimmicks for this one, you have to buy everything else for them? You might have at least one of the extra things you need but it may not be the right kind. The gimmicks look decent in quality but they are made with a very shiny/glossy finish. The end goal in using them is to completely hide them in plain view using an old principle that most magicians will probably be familiar with. Why not make the gimmicks in a matte finish instead to help with this?

The production quality was pretty good - the lighting and video were clear and there were no spoken words and very little text instructions. Instead the techniques were taught by Mr. Kim twisting and turning his body to show different angles, but the teaching was mediocre, at best. He would show something a couple of times and then speed through the rest of the explanation after showing you how it works. A few of the explanations got very repetitive and not in a good way.

For the whole length of each explanation there was a very annoying little video screen that played a video loop of the performance that he was currently teaching. Under that was the title of the technique/sequence currently being explained. This was very annoying because you cannot really see what he is doing in most of them anyway, and why would you be watching that while trying to watch an explanation?

He never recommends any particular brands of cards or types of cards to use. There is clearly some preparation that happened to the cards he used (which are all manipulation cards, by the way) but he never shows you how to prepare them. He never discusses holdouts or ways to get into the start of the sequences. There are no videos showing a full routing using all of the techniques taught on the disc. This would have been nice to see because it would pull everything together into a nice, cohesive picture.

A little bit of a nitpick: The misspelled 'Twirling' on the disc AND the case and also misspelled 'Original' on the case case. Some of the text titles on the menu were so squashed you could not read it clearly.

The whole disc runs a total of 44 minutes. There is absolutely NO credit given for individual moves/sleights or productions. General 'thanks' are given to a list of performers, but no credit for originality and if it counts for anything extra, Lance Burton is mentioned twice in the 'thanks' column.

Overall this disc gets 1.5 stars.

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The second disc deals with billiard ball manipulation. Again the menu for this disc gives you the option of watching the trailer, the "Basic" section and the "Original Lecture" section. Each explanation starts with showing you the performance of the technique before.

As with the first disc, during the entire length of each explanation the little annoying looped video plays in the lower left corner of the screen along with the technique name given below it.

His finesse on the basic ball vanish is absolutely fantastic - even in slow motion when you know exactly what is going on, it looks very magical.

The Perfect Ball Vanish as he teaches it is anything but perfect...to do it the way he does you literally expose the gimmick. If you change the display, you will be fine. Other than that, it is a great vanish.

The Special Pivot is not original - it is an old move with a bit of a finesse added to it - again, no credit given to anyone.

There is a vanish called the Catch Ball Vanish and if it fools you, you must be blind. The idea is great, the method, not so much. The Rainbow Color Ball routine was nice - it is very fluid and there are only two little things I would change to suit my preference. Other than that, this sequence tied with his Basic Ball Vanish as the best two things on BOTH discs.

I liked the Silk Ball routine - it is very pretty and is not nearly as hard as some of the other sequences, but he spends almost double the amount of time on this as he does on the more difficult ones! The clean-up may be obvious to some, but he shows no solution for that either.
During the teaching segment for the Silk Ball routine, you can see what looks like a mirror in the background with someone standing in it (it is clearly not Hyunjoon Kim), and then you see them take something out of their pocket, walk away, come back, put their hands in their pocket and walk away again. After that you are left with some off-stage object in full view.

The Interlock Ball Color Change Combo is very "handsy" - lots of little movements and if you perform it as taught, you expose a gimmick...again.

He does not teach ways to get into the starting positions for the techniques, he does not discuss holders or anything else of that nature. The makers of this DVD set assume (A LOT!) that you, the viewer, know...a lot. Some of the explanations were given a speedy treatment and sometimes the rest of the explanation ended up being a full-speed demonstration of what he just explained. It felt like he was saying, "Okay, here is how it is done. Now here is what it should look like." in a show-off kind of way.

There are no clips of a full routine using everything taught in the video, which would be nice to see because it would bring everything together in one complete and cohesive picture.

The production quality was pretty much the same as the first disc, but again the teaching was mediocre at best. Some of the things were breezed over and others became repetitive (again, not in a good way), and he simply turned his body in all manner of funky positions to try and show you what was happening.

The so-called "credit" section is exactly the same (as in copy & paste) one on the cards disc. Only the names of the production crew and a list of magicians to whom he gives a generic "Thanks". Once again, Lance Burton is named twice if that counts for anything.

This disc gets 2 stars because it had some decent ideas in it.

Overall the methods are doable, but many are just impractical for many manipulators. They fit into that category of having to play quite a bit upstage, many of them have very bad angles and others still cannot be done in 3/4 surrounded conditions. You would expect to get better instructions with greater clarity and further tips and discussions about how to set yourself and your props up to do the material shown.

This is WAY overpriced at $100/USD - in this case you are paying more for the FISM award than anything else.

If you are going to spend $100 on a manipulation course, buy the Jeff McBride World Class Manipulation set produced by L&L Publishing. For the same price you get 3 DVDs chock full of Coin, Billiard Ball and Thimble manipulation techniques, and he even discusses some history, different materials and props, holdouts and so much more. If you just want cards, for the same $100 you can buy the McBride Art of Card Manipulation (Vols. 1-3) and get a much better education for the money.

1.5 stars overall for a VERY disappointing 2-disc product.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Unveil

Author: Kim, Hyunjoon
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $99.95
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

Here comes the first lecture DVD "Unveil" by Hyunjoon Kim, the Winner of 2012 World championship F.I.S.M Manipulation. You will be able to learn card & ball manipulation from the basic techniques to original techniques that was shown on F.I.S.M. We are proud to present the best cinematography and a easy to understand lecture. You will be able to learn the professional manipulation skills of Hyunjoon Kim ,unveiling for the first time through watching this DVD. You will make your show more beautiful and fascinating and your stage will be closer to perfection.

Bonus: It includes a special card manipulation gimmicks as well.

Contents:

DVD Chapters:
BALL BASIC

  • Ball Roll
  • Basic Ball Vanish
  • Catch vanish
  • Two shell routine
  • Three shell routine
  • Cross ball routine
  • Spin ball change routine
  • Cross ball color change routine
  • Rainbow color ball routine
  • Silk ball routine

    BALL ORIGINAL
  • Perfect ball vanishing
  • Special pivot
  • Interlock ball Production
  • Interlock ball color change
  • Interlock ball color change combo

    CARD BASIC
  • Single card vanish
  • One hand fan
  • Back palm Production
  • Split fan Production
  • Twirling
  • Perfect Production
  • Tenkal re-grip Production + Picket vanish

    CARD ORIGINAL
  • Double perfect Production
  • Center of card Production
  • Eagle Production
  • Color change twin Production
  • Rainbow phoenix Production
  • Four Color change card
  • Five card spin Twirling
    *Hyun Joon's Production*

    DVD includes:
  • Lecture on card manipulation
  • Lecture on ball manipulation
  • Special gimmicks by Hyun Joon's production

    Career & Awards:
    2008 - Club Magico Italiano in Abano Terme - Grand prix
    2010 - England Black-pool Magic Convention Stage Magic Championships - FIRST PLACE
    2011 - S.A.M convention FISM North American Championship
    *Presidential Award*
    *People's choice Award*
    *North American Champion of Stage Magic*
    2012 - place winner in FISM stage manipulation

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