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Over the Top (DVD and Gimmick) Review

Official Review

September 16th, 2016 12:43am
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
Do you have some good acting skills? Can you bring excitement to your audience? If you can answer 'yes' to those questions, this may be a product for you. Allow me to explain:

What you are doing is almost self-working and it is not hard to do at all, but there are a couple of very basic sleights required. By 'basic' I mean beginner-level and not hard at all. In fact, that is all you do in this effect - the audience participant does the rest!

The DVD is very well-shot, tyical of BBM. The lighting, video and audio qualities are stellar, but true to BBM the music on the title sequences are going to blast your ears out if your volume is up too high. That last point is just a warning, nothing that will detract from the rating or the quality of the disc. The menu is very easy to navigate. It is set up with a Play All button or you can watch them chapter by chapter, and there is even an Extras section which includes a live performance of the effect by Cameron at the Magic Castle, a humorous interview with him about Liam Montier and trailers for other BBM products. There is also a code for 15% off all Cameron Francis titles too.

The ad copy is 100% accurate but there is one thing that confuses me. It mentions the "gimmicked" cards that come with the DVD (in fact, you get a whole deck). To clarify this, the cards themselves are not actually gimmicked or gaffed, but they are not "normal" in the sense that you would find them in a deck of 56 cards that you would find in a store. The deck that I got, since it was assembled from various packs, does have mismatched edges, but this is no big deal really. If it bothers you, once you see the deck you will readily be able to make your own deck for this with any back design that you like provided your favorite magic shop carries the necessary cards in that back design. The cards you need are very common.

One other thing that I really came to appreciate as I was watching the video was that in the set-up chapter of the DVD where Cameron shows you how to set the deck up, I was preparing to do that only to realize that it was already done! Wow! They could have just as easily slapped the deck together with the necessary cards, put them in the box and thrown it in with the DVD but no, someone went the extra step to do the one-time preparation of one card AND to set up the cards they way they need to be for each performance. It is not a big deal to begin with, but just going that one extra step, now THAT is taking care of your customers!

Cameron performs the effect, then he is joined by Liam Montier as they show you how to set it up all the way through the explanation. Cameron also details a simple deck switch as an extra idea.

Now as for the questions that I asked in the beginning - the reason I asked is two-fold: One, you are going to have an audience member doing most of the work, and those people may not be the most interesting people in the world to the rest of your audience. Yes, they may be willing participants, but they may not be interesting. You have to make that person and the effect interesting. Two, YOU have to bring the excitement to the whole routine (as Cameron puts it, you have to "...Juan Tamariz it up") because these people may not be animated enough. Even if they are, you still need to bring the pizzazz to the effect. If this is not something you do, can do, like to do or want to do, skip this effect. Cameron teaches the effect very clearly and show you how to make it work, but he cannot teach you how to be exciting - that is up to you. However, if you can do that, this effect is a great way to get the whole audience involved.

As an aside, if you are not into gambling-type effects this may not be what you are looking for. While it is strong and plays strong, it will not be for every crowd because it is a gambling-themed effect if you perform it as taught, however, you do not necessarily need to perform it as taught. There is a way to do this without the poker aspect and still have the blank deck finale, but you will have to change the handling and work it out for yourself. The other reason I say that it will not be for every crowd is because not everyone gambles or even plays card games like poker, so they may not appreciate the progressive impossibility of what you are doing. None of this is bad, just something for you to consider.

The price for this effect is about right at $30/USD, especially considering that the deck was not only pre-prepared but also set up in working order for you.

If you like entertaining routines and you have good personality and entertaining skills, this will fit you nicely.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Over the Top (DVD and Gimmick)

Author: Francis, Cameron
Publisher: Big Blind Media
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $30.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

* Comes with special USPCC Bicycle Deck

* Super easy - requires almost no skill

Cameron Francis' OVER THE TOP is the mother of all card tricks. It is a multi-phased, virtually self-working, juggernaut of magic.

The cards are shuffled and cut. (Remember that - it's important). A selection is made and lost in the deck. Then the deck is handed to a willing spectator who proceeds to quiz those watching about the value of the lost card. Based on the crowd's answers your new found friend deals piles of cards onto the table.

The new top card of whatever remains of the deck (still out of your hands remember) is flipped over. Incredibly the spectator has found the selection. But you ain't seen nothing yet... we are only just getting started.

Remember those random piles the spectator dealt down earlier? The top cards from each are turned over and IT'S THE THREE MATES OF THE SELECTION!

Before your audience can react, you also reveal that the spectator found THE FOUR ACES!

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL... THEY ALSO FOUND THE FOUR ROYAL FLUSH SETS. IN ORDER. All from a shuffled deck, and all in the hands of your spectator.

But OVER THE TOP doesn't end there. You still have one more incredible, unbelievable climax... It's insanely cool that your spectator found all those cards from out of a shuffled deck, especially when they flip the remaining cards over and discover that the rest of the pack is BLANK!!!

That's not just mind blowing magic... it's OVER THE TOP!

Just as perfect for a small intimate group as a full blown stage show, Over The Top is the kind of trick that makes reputations. Cameron Francis has used it as his set closer for years, and even picked it to be the center piece in his Magic Castle act in 2013.

As Cameron says "If I had to pick just ONE trick to perform and I was going all-guns-blazing to impress... I'd definitely pick Over The Top!'

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