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Original Screen Test Pocket (DVD and Gimmicks) Review

Official Review

May 24th, 2016 10:57pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
This is a really cool little effect that uses movie posters (mini ones, anyway) - something that just about everyone can truly identify with. You can just about guarantee that everyone has seen not only the movies themselves but also the posters that were used to promote and advertise them. For this particular product - the pocket edition, the cards are more familiar still (to a fair amount of people) because they are made to look like the Topps brand of sports trading cards and have a nice matte finish to them.

The main routine is really very nice because there are a number of different ways you can do the reveals and there are many different ways to present the effect. What you get in the package are 17 of the movie poster cards which are about the size of a poker-sized playing card and an instructional DVD.

The video quality is typical of Alakazam DVDs - the lighting, the audio and the video quality are all second-to-none, there is a simple menu with few options but it is easy to navigate. Back to the cards themselves for a moment: When I got my set out of the box I noticed that they clumped together and did not spread very easily at all. They were sticking but did not feel rough. This was before I watched the DVD. Well on the DVD they do not cover how to fix this issue BUT I will touch on that in a bit. For now, I will tell you what I did to fix it, again, before even watching the DVD: I took the cards one by one and rubbed them on a hand towel on both sides, then I placed two of them back to back, rubbed them together, flipped them over and repeated this. I did this in pairs and it smoothed them out considerably.

The method on this is very, very clever and very, very well-hidden. I will not give any hints but I will say that after trying this on a few of the hardened mentalists in the club that I belong to, they all saw it 4 different times in the same half an hour and nobody could figure it out. In the instructional video they say that you probably cannot repeat this more than two times for the same person, but I would not really have any qualms doing it with laypeople that because that is how well-disguised the method is.

A small aside: There is something different about one of the cards that can be used as part of a reveal, something of further information to add in if you wish to.

The instruction is very good and very clear. First you see the trailer performances by Peter Nardi and that is followed by Peter, who is joined by the creator, Steve Dimmer, for the explanations. Steve begins by detailing his inspiration behind creating the effect and how he came up with the system, and then he goes on to explain the actual method. He teaches his handling of the effect and Peter Nardi joins in here and there with his own observations as well as explaining his own handling. They both give plenty of ideas and ways of doing the effect.

There is a bonus section of instructions by Peter Nardi where he goes over his professional routine using the additional Action Pack - more on that later. He shows you how to present the effect so you can do two different reveals with two different spectators, and there is also a very cool way to reveal two of the posters in the original pack using your Smartphone or iPhone. As it is presented here, you can easily get a good 10-20 minutes out of a pack of 17-35* movie poster cards that fit in your pocket. At the end of the bonus section, you are given a registration code. Once you go to the Alakazam website and create a free account and enter that code, you will have registered your product and will have immediate access to 11 streaming videos (as of this writing on the 12 of May of 2016 there are 11 videos) via Vimeo, with more to be added as time goes on. After registering the product in you account with the code, the videos appear in your account automatically.

One of the videos is the same thing that is on the DVD so that if you wanted to you can watch the instructions without the disc. Another is the performance video from the DVD and the others are all very cool ideas and different ways to present the effect, including a care and feeding video! They did address the sticky/clumpy card issue after all!

There are two very, very nice ways to present this that I really enjoyed and one of them deals with presenting it as a demonstration of eidetic (photographic) memory and the other is as a prediction of an Oscar Award. Two of them deal with the BIP Book 2.0 released by Alakazam and if you have it, you will have some very nice alternative ways of presenting Screen Test. If you do not have the BIP Book 2.0, you will still be able to follow the explanations and if you like what you see, you can judge for yourself as to whether you will want to purchase the BIP Book, which runs about $35-40/USD.

Earlier I mentioned a thing called the Action Pack and what that is is a pack of 17 additional movie poster cards dealing with action films, such as Terminator, Speed, etc. This pack uses the same system as the orignal Screen Test Pocket cards but the thing is different. It also has a few built-in bonus features which can be used in different presentations and different ways of revealing the selections. This pack is not a necessary purchase and it can be used as a stand-alone set of cards, or in addition to the original Screen Test Pocket. You can buy both sets together if you like, which Alakazam calls the Mega Pack.

In addition to the Action Pack and the original Screen Test, there are already a few more packs in the pipeline according to Peter Nardi, each one of them being a different set of cards with different types (themes) of movie posters. It is my assumption that each of them will have 17 cards in the pack, but that is just an assumption and if I can confirm this, I will edit this later to reflect confirmation.

All in all this is an absolutely stellar product and if you have always wanted something that fits various plots of mentalism, fits easily in your pocket taking up just a bit less space than a deck of cards (depending on how many packs you purchase and carry around), is easily motivated and is something that everybody can identify with, this will absolutely not disappoint! For $29/USD you cannot go wrong!

VERY Highly recommended!

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Original Screen Test Pocket (DVD and Gimmicks)

Author: Dimmer, Steve
Publisher: Alakazam UK
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $29.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Since releasing Screen Test Alakazan Magic has been inundated with requests for a smaller pocket sized version. With the help of Steve Bowring the look of the cards were redesigned, giving them more of a bubble gum/collector's card look and feel. The cards measure almost the same as a poker sized playing card. The original includes the same movies as Screen Test.
Each card is printed in full color and matte laminated to give them that authentic feel.
Another great thing about the pocket version is if you purchase the Action Pack you can mix the cards together to give your spectator a far larger selection or use on two spectators.

The new cards measure almost the same as a poker sized card, so they will easily fit in to any pocket.
This pack contains a set of Screen Test Pocket and a full in-depth training DVD.

While your head is turned your spectator mixes and selects any one of the movies (totally free choice) and puts the other postcards away (out of sight).

You now state that written on the back of the chosen movie is a list of all the movies included in the set. You ask them to read the list out in any order they like, while you try to pick up on vocal cues to determine which movie they are thinking of.

As they read the list you apologize, stating that you are not picking up any changes in their voice so you are going to try it another way.

You ask them to start imagining the movie, now while your back is still turned you start to reveal exactly what movie they are thinking of.

Also included on the DVD is a bonus section packed with additional presentation ideas including Peter Nardi's 2 spectator presentation, where the theme tune to a thought of movie plays as your phone's ring tone!

You will also receive an activation code which will give you access to even more ideas for your Screen Test.

Points to Remember: No Fishing No Peeks May Be Repeated Plays For, Close Up, Walk A Round or Stage Resets Instantly Comes Complete With Beautiful Full Color Movie Poster Postcards, tutorial DVD & access to bonus Online Tutorials**Even though screen test is printed for English speaking countries once you know the cheeky method you will be able to adapt the method to any language

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