Carl Cloutier's Expert Topiting Made Easy

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Carl Cloutier's Expert Topiting Made Easy

Postby dat8962 » Aug 27th, '07, 09:05



The Effect

What they say:-

Learn to make your magic MORE POWERFUL from the World Champion of Close-Up Magic.

Building on the basics popularized by Michael Ammar and Patrick Page, Car Cloutier has taken the Topit and turned it into an art form.

Carl’s use of the Topit transcends simple vanishes; he uses the Topit as a third hand to secretly switch props and gimmicks in and out of play.
You won’t believe how strong your magic will be by mastering just a few of Carl’s techniques.

Cost

Guide price circa £18.99 – widely available (A Murphy’s Magic release).

Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

Difficult to judge this one on the content but I’d say between 1 and 2.

Review

I’ve recently been looking into more traditional avenues of magic in order to expand my general knowledge and skill and the Topit seemed to be the next logical step. I’ve often heard the Topit referred to, knew a little about it and much was still a secret to me so when I saw this title when browsing the net, I just had to look more closely and asked Mike Danata to order a copy for me.

This DVD is a mixed bag. It’s not the best produced DVD despite its 2006 dating and it appears to have been a transfer from VHS onto DVD rather than some of the recent high quality shoot straight to DVD titles but it’s adequate. It’s also filmed in front of that massive fire place that Tabary filmed his famous rope routines in front of.

The introduction by Carl Cloutier holds your attention throughout as he explains his technique and backs this up with some simple demonstrations of vanishes which make you sit up and pay attention. At this point you should be starting to realise the potential of the Topit if you haven’t used one before. Ten minutes or so later and you’re done with the intro and you are then into the routines.

The routines begin with some simple vanishes and build up into more difficult routines, each of which is well taught. By this time you know exactly what is going on but even so, you will still find it very hard to see catch Carl out with his vanishes as he’s so polished. This in itself is inspirational and shows you what can be achieved with practice and you should have no problem astounding the lay people with your newly acquired ability to make various objects vanish.

So is this the perfect Topit DVD? I have to answer NO!

I was left rather disappointed after watching this title and immediately started browsing for other Topit titles. What is missing is any in-depth information about the Topit itself that will unravel the whole mystery and I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed with this distinct absence.

Some time ago I bought the Mardo egg bag and accompanying DVD that included the pattern for making your own egg bag and it would have been nice to have had a similar inclusion on this DVD, or at least some information on where to buy a Topit, how to fit one and all of the hints and tips that Cloutier has undoubtedly picked up over the years about the actual Topit itself. Alas, the absence of this information just leaves you with the impression that the content was selected with a time constraint in mind so that it could be crammed into 60 minutes to get it onto a VHS tape. It just doesn’t do the Topit justice.

Conclusion

This title could have been so much better without having added anything too major.

For the content that is on the DVD I'd rate this at 8/10 as it will teach you some good Topit routines and do this well. For value for money I can't rate this more than a 5/10 as there's so much missing that should be there.

There's no excuse these days for not fully utilising the space that's available through DVD, even if you're looking to transfer some older footage from VHS. I've seen a good few DVD's that have tried similar but at least they have filmed some updated footage to add and therefore expand and compliment the original. A 15 minute nbewly filmed update would have regenerated this title into something worth having.

Member of the Magic Circle & The 2009 British Isles Close-Up Magician of the Year
It's not really an optical illusion - it just looks like one!
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Postby lindz » Aug 27th, '07, 10:49

Cheers for the review Dat I have had some interest in a topit for the last few months now and was looking to expand a little on my knowledge with a good dvd and this was the one in mind, but now I think I will take a look around a bit more and choose a different one.

L J M
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Postby dat8962 » Aug 27th, '07, 14:22

The Michael Ammar one that's on the Alakazam web site looks interesting and may be worth a closer look.

Cloutier is indeed a very skilled user and it was a delight to see him in action.

Just out of interest, are you buying or making a topit? I was considering ordering from here:

http://www.fabricmanipulation.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?

See page 3 in the close-up section.

I've bought from here before and their quality and service is top notch, and they provide for Lance Burton so I reckon that if they're good enough for Lance then they'll do for me :wink: The dollar to pound exchange rate is favourable at the moment too!

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It's not really an optical illusion - it just looks like one!
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Postby Lord Freddie » Aug 27th, '07, 14:42

Years ago I experimented with a Topit but didn't quite take to it. I had a video called 'The Topit Video' would you believe which was ok but not brilliant.
My interest has been rekindled in it and I am considering putting the time into it again, thanks for the honest review, this seems like poor value.

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"You're like Yoda ..... you'd sell out to a Vodaphone advert if the money was right."
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Postby dat8962 » Aug 27th, '07, 15:20

I think that it's poor value for someone who is a complete novice to Topiting whereas someone such as yourself, who has previous experience with a Topit and perhaps only needs routines, will maybe get more out of this DVD and value it differently.

It's a bit of a dilemma with this one which is why I suspect that it would be better to save the bother and the money. :cry:

Member of the Magic Circle & The 2009 British Isles Close-Up Magician of the Year
It's not really an optical illusion - it just looks like one!
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Postby lindz » Aug 27th, '07, 15:49

I think I will definately buy one because at least I know it is made right. I don't trust myself to make anything I'm useless :oops: . I think I will take a look at Alakazam to have a look at the Ammar dvd aswell. I also think Alakazm sell topits aswell but I'm not sure what sort of quality they are.

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Postby Lord Freddie » Aug 27th, '07, 15:52

I will look at the Ammar one. The Topit is a great device but does take practice. I smashed a few wine glasses in the early days!

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Postby Rob2100 » Jul 25th, '08, 01:59

Don't like Cloutier's teaching..I like Ammar

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Postby dat8962 » Jul 25th, '08, 16:55

Don't like Cloutier's teaching..I like Ammar


That's fair enough - we all have our likes and dislikes but whoever the teacher is you sometimes need to look beyond his methods and just pick up some ideas that you can use

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It's not really an optical illusion - it just looks like one!
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