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Scare Coin (download) Review

February 19th, 2015 9:58am
Reviewed by Thomas Sciacca

I have seen several of Arnel Renegado"s effects online, the first one being Hell Raiser; Scare Coin is one that I kept going back to, to the point of wanting to learn it. I'll say more in this review about WHY Arnel's work caught and held my attention-for now, some words about Scare Coin.

The ad copy says two things: NO THREADS, which is true.

Then it says BORROWED COIN, which is partially true. Having spent time with the download, I personally wouldn't borrow the coin-for the one effect it's used for, could easily use the coin that must be made by the magician. Also, the main premise here, which I really love, is that A coin is the agent for some mighty strange activities. This leaves room for the performer to make use of an enchanted coin that has some antique, even exotic characteristics. A coin, that has a story to it. Borrowing a coin, to me, diffuses the potential for such a psychological build up. As I am well aware, odd and curious looking props can instantly establish interest BEFORE an effect actually takes place.

The download itself, deals solely with the technical aspects of what needed to make Scare Coin work. Anyone who's been in magic for awhile will have most of the ingredients-which can be gotten at a good craft store. What's needed to make the actual coin, may take a few dollars, if one does not already own such coins. Nothing too expensive, but it gets specific. While the coin couldn't be considered examinable, it is innocuous enough that no one would necessarily be jumping to look at it. It is visually innocent.

Once seen, the methods become quite clear-even through Arnel's foreign accent and occasional hesistations as he reaches for the right English words. All instruction here is clear-and there are a few instances where Arnel himself makes the cards cut in ways opposite of what is desired. This points to the finer nuances of making the method work, which will take time. What the download does NOT deal with, is presentation. There's no routining, no suggested story, no patter-just the technical workings. Now, that's fine with me, because I have a rich imagination, can weave stories, to substantiate an effect. Some who see and learn this might be tempted to emulate the performance segment, and keep it as minimal as Arnel seems to. Beyond the coin, card, and can, I started to consider how else the principals here could be further applied using other objects. For instance, a cup, or small vase in lieu of a pop can. This is a method download, and opens up additional possibilities-including making a Scare Coin from scratch, or even one from wood. Even before Arnel's effects begin, other effects can be done with such a coin, to establish it's odd properties. This is probably what appealed to me: one prop, that does several strange things. These days, so very much magic gets done with exclusively 'normal objects', which really may not have any type of visual interest to them. Pulling out the occasional ODD, or antique prop, for me, is a blessed relief from so much magic done with the most generic, and otherwise, uninteresting objects.

Besides the initial methods used for all of the effects, Arnel introduces an additional one, which is also easy to construct and has other applications. While the haunted deck here is clever, and sneaky, it risks being over too quickly due to the m.o.. Deck would need to be handled slowly, in order to have the top half creep-as opposed to jump. Again, finer points that come up in handling. One thing I MUST say, is that it is one of these finer details/points, that absoluteley led me to a different, and incorrect theory, as to how the tricks work. Something so tiny, yet has such impact within the greater effects. What's great is that the objects (other than deck), can be placed onto the table. The magician may step back, put his hands under his arms if he wants to-or stand stock still. The objects, sit there. Then they suddenly jump. I know how powerful and impactive animation effects are-particularly when the objects are not anyway near the magician. I would ofcourse love to say more here about the central m.o. and the secondary details that enhance it, but-but-it's in the download!

As I said in the beginning of this review, Arnel Renegado's work has stood out in my mind for reasons I can explain. A good analogy may be this: There's a party. At this party, are some men, and a few women. All, are speaking, chatting, smiling' moving, joking, talking-all are quite animated, with a great emphasis on speech-lots of chatter, facial expressions, schtick, innuendos, hands moving objects about quickly-this all being a bit like walking into a casino where dozens of slot machines all blend into one abstract sound-all the chattering, binging, buzzing, tinkling, beeping details being too much to process, so it all turns into a potentially incoherent ho HUM. In the middle of this 'party', is ONE guy. He's just standing there. Not saying a word. I can't even see his face, it's obscured by shadow. He holds one coin in his hand. He stands like a statue. The coin then starts to stand up very slowly in his hand. The chattering of everyone else goes to the background. Dozens of folks trying to get my attention, or eachother's-but it's this guy who's doing NOTHING but allowing one coin to stand up in his hand, THAT'S the guy I'm compelled by-and because he's NOT inundating me with TOO MUCH of ANYTHING, HE'S the guy that I will easily remember, long after this hypothetical party has gone dark. Arnel's effects are powerful, because he sorrounds them with NOTHING-STILLNESS-SILENCE. This effect and his others could not have the impact they do, IF there was so much other sensory clutter. So, one would be purchasing methods of object animation-but the additional if not greater power here, is in Arnel's MINIMAL presentation.

Product info for Scare Coin (download)

Author: Renegado, Arnel
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $9.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Move object and perform the easiest haunted deck effect using a coin

use a coin to move object and locate a freely selected card.

Spectator select any card and signed it,you then ask them to put it on the middle of the pack, and the deck lays on your palm in your control you make the deck moves and cut exactly on their chosen card.

Hand the card as a souvenir
Easy to do and perform
Spectator put their selected card on the deck
One of a kind concept

You borrow a coin put it on a table and put an empty soda can on the top of it,suddenly the can moves by itself.

Easy to do and perform

You borrow a coin put it on the table and put an empty can above it, after that you ask your spectator to chose a card and lays that card on the top of the can,with the power of the coin the card moves and flip over.

Can be use as a reveal of a chosen card
Easy to do and perform
Borrowed coin

No thread works are used in all the effects.

NOTE: You need additional props to perform this effect.

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