Submodalities by Magicbox

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Submodalities by Magicbox

Postby Replicant » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:01 pm



Submodalities by Magicbox

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Yes, I know this DVD is four-years-old, but there is no TM review and seeing as I have recently purchased it, I thought I would correct this glaring omission. :D

Before I start the review proper, I would just like to relay the experience I had when ordering this item from Magicbox; I think it's worth mentioning.

When I received my package, I was a little surprised to see that the disc was housed in one of those plastic wallets, and not in the original DVD case. However, I was even more surprised when I removed the disc from the wallet; it was quite scratched and scuffed and looked secondhand. However, having watched through Submodalities, the disc is not defective and playback is perfect. To their credit, Magicbox have offered to exchange the disc for a boxed replacement; my thanks to Michael Murray and the team. This is one reason I will continue to shop with Magicbox.

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The Effect
Filmed on location at a haunted building in the North of England, "Submodalities" is an unsettling journey into the inexplicable mysteries of ESP testing. Nine routines using ESP cards are documented across 90 minutes; routines ranging from the effortless and direct to the infinitely perplexing. Then as a bonus the DVD features a further 7 performances of additional routines developed by Banachek, Lee Earle, Richard Osterlind and more...

The DVD contains:

Beyond ESP (Michael Murray) – The performer correctly names the order of an ESP deck shuffled by a spectator. The performer then goes on to correctly identify the symbol at any number named by the spectator.

Mexican Geometry (Max Maven) – First published in the Pabular in 1977, and included on this DVD with the kind permission of Mr Maven. The spectator correctly matches 3 symbols to the performers.

Hidden Influence (Michael Murray) – The spectator reads a short paragraph from a piece of paper, and then is asked to name any ESP symbol. The performer is then shown to not only have predicted the chosen symbol but to have influenced their decision with the written passage.

Jazz Mentalism (Dave Humphrey) – The Ambitious Card of ESP effects, this is a “do as I do” style effect with a variety of outcomes. Perfect for those mentalists who like to be a little creative with their routines.

ESP Impromptu Whammy (Steve Dela) – The performer places a prediction in an envelope and the spectator is asked to cut to an ESP symbol. Amazingly the cut to card matches the symbol in the envelope.

Pocket Calculator (Dale Shrimpton & Stanton Carlisle) – The performer gazes into the spectators’ eyes and divines their thought of symbol, and then the spectator is asked to choose another symbol that matches a prediction.

Elite (Dave Humphrey) – The performer is shown to have predicted which symbol the spectator would cause a pendulum to move over.

Stars of Gemini (Darren McGee) - A multi-phase mental magic routine that builds to a dramatic climax.

Direct ESP and Addition (Richard Osterlind) – An addition to the superb routine featured in the Beyond ESP 2 booklet.


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Cost
£9.99

from Magicbox (currently on sale and reduced from £14.99)

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)

1, 2 or 3
...depending on the effect

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Review
Included in the package:
:arrow: Submodalities DVD (duration: 99 minutes)
:arrow: Business card prop (as used in Hidden Influence)

First off, the DVD is very well produced for the most part. Picture quality is excellent and the sound is, overall, pretty good. However, most of the explanation segments suffer a little as the assisting spectator does not appear to be wearing a microphone; I found myself having to increase the volume each time in order catch his comments. A minor annoyance, granted, but worth a mention nonetheless.

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Photo courtesy of Haunting Breaks

Submodalities was filmed at the supposedly haunted Lumley Castle in County Durham. The introductory sequence on the DVD is suitably impressive and atmospheric and does a good job setting the scene. The linking shots show Michael Murray in front of a rather large and ornate-looking fireplace, but this is the only reference they make to the haunted castle. It's a shame they didn't take more advantage of the location when filming Submodalities; I wasn't expecting a sight-seeing tour or a documentary on haunted castles, but it would have been nice if they had included more shots of the castle as it certainly would have added more atmosphere to the proceedings. But I understand this would probably have increased the costs, and as we are all here to read about the actual ESP effects on Submodalities, I shall move swiftly on....

Nine effects are explained and without wishing to sound too gushing, I enjoyed all of them. I would list my favorites but I'd only end up repeating the list above, so you may as well read that again. The first effect, Beyond ESP (Michael Murray), uses a Faro shuffle but don't let that put you off as Michael explains that it doesn't have to be a perfect shuffle; all will become clear when you watch the explanation. ;)

Another of Michael's creations, Hidden Influence, is next up and is the ESP version of effects like Killer Elite/Killer Elite Pro (Andy Nyman). The principle is very well known and very effective. The prop that comes with the DVD is used in this effect and contains an unintentional spelling mistake. (My use of the word "unintentional" may seem unnecessary, but in this case it is justified....) I think I will print up my own version and use that instead.

Jazz Mentalism (Dave Humphrey) is another great effect and reminds me of Derren Brown's ESP effect as seen on Something Wicked This Ways Comes.

I won't go through every effect (stay with me here!) as that would probably get very tedious for the reader very quickly. But suffice to say that if ESP effects are your thing then you will almost certainly find several effects here that you will use. Some of the effects are simple to perform while others require a setup (stacked cards), but all should be within the capabilities of most magicians and mentalists. There is even an effect using a pendulum which relies on the ideomotor response; fascinating stuff. The explanations are clear and easy to follow.

In the sleights section of the disc, the Charlier shuffle and Mexican Turnover are explained. The Charlier shuffle is a convincing false shuffle that is particularly suited to ESP cards and the Mexican Turnover is used in Mexican Geometry. Michael also explains how to read the markings on the Beyond ESP 2 cards.

In the bonus section of the DVD, every effect that was explained in the Beyond ESP 2 booklet is performed (no explanations). There is even an addition to Richard Osterlind's Direct ESP, which is explained.

Submodalities is the companion DVD to the excellent Beyond ESP 2 deck, but if you wanted to you could use an alternative marked ESP deck and still be able to perform most of the effects here.

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Overall
For those of us who enjoy performing ESP effects and routines, Submodalities contains some excellent material; at £10, it also represents superb value-for-money. (Even £15 is a good price for this DVD). Owners of the Beyond ESP 2 deck will find Submodalities to be a very worthy addition to the collection. Quality contributions from Michael Murray, Max Maven, Dave Humphrey, Steve Dela, Darren McGee and our very own Dale Shrimpton, ensure you will not be disappointed. Minor issues with the sound aside, this comes highly recommended.

Score: 9/10

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Postby Mandrake » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:26 pm

Super Review, I think you just raised the bar by several levels there!

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Postby yddraig » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:36 pm

NO! I've been avoiding the BESP2 thread for a reason, nearly succumbed to CUPS on that soooo many times, now you hit me with this :? I know I need an ESP routine (been asked so many times....) and have been in 2 minds, now 3 with 357 and now I'm back to BESP2 and this....

Fantastic review, thank you. So, do I get this and BESP2 or go for 357 / Blank Mental Telepathy Cards by Chazpro Magic or Sybologic? Damn! Somebody hide my wallet!

:shock: :roll:

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Postby daleshrimpton » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:41 pm

all of the effects on this dvd can be performed using any esp deck, which has been idented.( lets say that instead of the m word from now on..)

indeed a number of the effects, mine included , dont use the idents.

also on the dvd, you get a number of very usefull sleights. :)

you're like Yoda.you dont say much, but what you do say is worth listening to....
Greg Wilson about.... Me.
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Postby Replicant » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:46 pm

yddraig wrote:So, do I get this and BESP2 or go for 357 / Blank Mental Telepathy Cards by Chazpro Magic or Sybologic? Damn! Somebody hide my wallet!

:shock: :roll:


I own the BMTC but not used them that much as I can't seem to get to grips with them. Here's a review...

http://www.talkmagic.co.uk/ftopic26553.php

If you want, I'm happy to send you a few cards so you can decide if they are for you. Let me know.

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Postby Lee Smith » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:03 pm

Ive had this since day 1 and still using many of these routines


10/10 all the way.

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Postby Replicant » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:20 pm

I've discovered an excellent ESP effect in Mind Blasters (the name escapes me now). It looks like real ESP. :D

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Postby Ace of Shades » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:10 pm

Very curious to check this one out, given all of the positive comments. For some odd reason, it only seems to be available in PAL format - has anyone seen or heard of a version of this DVD that will play in region 0/1? :shock:

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Postby daleshrimpton » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:22 am

It should be available to play in the us.
Contact Magic box and see. :)

you're like Yoda.you dont say much, but what you do say is worth listening to....
Greg Wilson about.... Me.
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Postby Ace of Shades » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:29 pm

Michael from Magic Box says "they weren't region encoded when they were produced and so should work on almost all modern DVD players!"

:D

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Postby Spanky » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:53 am

Great Review, it has made me dig it back out again and start using it.

Dam I hate it when you forget about good tricks like this. :oops: :)

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Postby Wishmaster » Mon May 18, 2009 8:58 am

I bought Submodalities recently and as a beginner with an interest in the ESP card routines was looking forward to learning these.

A surprise to me was that the blurb and sales pitch was all about this being set in a haunted house. I expected some kind of tie in with the routines to increase the mystery factor or atmosphere, but the house doesn't really feature in any depth. It's no big deal to me, but if you're expecting a presentation like Seance by Derren Brown, you'll be disappointed.

The second surprise was that it looked at first glimpse like I'd have to spend another £10 on the deck to go with the Beyond ESP effect. This is mentioned at the bottom of the sales page on the magicbox site, but I didn't notice when buying. I guess it's my own fault. The thread here has reassured me that I can use another ESP deck instead if needed.

Another surprise (three so far, which isn't bad for a tenner!) when watching the first effect was the need to learn the Faro shuffle. Great for those with experience. A little intimidating and daunting to a beginner!! I'm happy to learn how to do the Faro at some point, but feel it's a bad effect to put at the start of the DVD. On the Invisible DVD from Jay Sankey, he works his way through a number of routines with the ID in a very noob friendly way. The very easy stuff is at the start, working up to the routines with sleights at the end. I wish Submodalities had been done this way too, but I think this is a minor gripe on my part.

Perhaps there is a need for some kind of rating system for tricks, effects and DVD's. I've bought a few things recently which looked simple on the sales blurb and description, but required a Degree in sleights and dictionary of magic jargon to understand. If they aren't suitable for the beginner, I do wish they'd be up front about it. Spending money on something that's not going to be useful until you learn sleight of hand is a bit frustrating. Anyway, I'm going off at a tangent, sorry :oops:

I have already bought the Royal Magic ESP deck, so will be using this with the routines mentioned on Submodalities and can only hope it works as well. I'm not experienced enough to wing it or begin adapting new ways of doing things yet and don't particularly want to spend any more money on using the ESP cards until I become a bit more proficient.

If you are familiar with basic sleights, have some confidence with your patter and background story to lead into these effects, then you'll probably get a lot out of this DVD. As a complete beginner, I'm a little overwhelmed by some of the content, but am looking forward to working my way through it.

Despite my negativity here, I think this is £10 well spent and there's much material to work with on the DVD, but it's going to take a while for me to make the most of it. :D

Cheers,
Wishmaster

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Postby Replicant » Tue May 19, 2009 1:21 pm

Wishmaster wrote:Another surprise (three so far, which isn't bad for a tenner!) when watching the first effect was the need to learn the Faro shuffle. Great for those with experience. A little intimidating and daunting to a beginner!! I'm happy to learn how to do the Faro at some point, but feel it's a bad effect to put at the start of the DVD.


Hello, Wishmaster. Welcome to TM. 8)

Please don't let the Faro issue put you off. I had the same reaction when I watched it, but then realised that an ESP deck contains half the number of cards as a deck of playing cards. This makes it much easier to Faro shuffle, especially as the effect in question does not require a perfect one. I've always known this kind of Faro shuffle (using less than 52 cards) as a straddle Faro. The Beyond ESP 2 deck is so easy to straddle Faro it is virtually a self-working shuffle when done with that deck! Seriously, I am no good with card sleights and fancy shuffles, but even I can Faro a BE2 deck so you'll have no problems at all.

If you're using a Royal Magic ESP deck, then you'll find it is not as easy to Faro because the stock is not as high quality. I really would recommend the BE2 deck; pick one up when finances permit and you won't regret it. Check out the TM review if you need further convincing.

It does seem quite intimidating to learn that the first effect requires a Faro, but when you actually try it with the BE2 cards to hand, you'll be very pleasantly surprised how easy it is to do. All the best.

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Postby daleshrimpton » Tue May 19, 2009 1:35 pm

Wishmaster wrote:A surprise to me was that the blurb and sales pitch was all about this being set in a haunted house.



it was, but that's not a sales pitch. tHis dvd, was always considered to be an acompnaying dvd to the deck, ( which comes with a very nice book by the way, not just a sheet of instructions) :)
Wishmaster wrote:Another surprise (three so far, which isn't bad for a tenner!) when watching the first effect was the need to learn the Faro shuffle. Great for those with experience. A little intimidating and daunting to a beginner!! I'm happy to learn how to do the Faro at some point, but feel it's a bad effect to put at the start of the DVD. On the Invisible DVD from Jay Sankey, he works his way through a number of routines with the ID in a very noob friendly way. The very easy stuff is at the start, working up to the routines with sleights at the end. I wish Submodalities had been done this way too, but I think this is a minor gripe on my part.


the joys of dvd technology, is that you can view it in any order you wish.
this dvd has a section on it that teaches the valuable sleights, all of which can be used in a great many effects, not just those involving this deck.

rating sleights and effects by order of difficulty , does have some merit, but the problem with this is, 99% of the viewers will stop at their level.
it discourages learning and development to a point.



If you are familiar with basic sleights, have some confidence with your patter and background story to lead into these effects, then you'll probably get a lot out of this DVD. As a complete beginner, I'm a little overwhelmed by some of the content, but am looking forward to working my way through it.
Cheers,
Wishmaster


If your looking for something that is big on impact, yet reasonably low tech, may i humbly sugest that you go straight to my effect on the dvd.
Pocket calculator requires no sleights, just balls of brass.

you're like Yoda.you dont say much, but what you do say is worth listening to....
Greg Wilson about.... Me.
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Postby Wishmaster » Tue May 19, 2009 1:47 pm

Replicant - Thanks for the reassurance. The Faro does look much easier than many others, but as you pointed out, it's very hard to do at all with the Royal Magic ESP deck. I think that's where I fell down. I didn't really consider the differences between card stock and how that would affect the way they handle. Back to my being inexperienced and it's all good for learning :D

daleshrimpton - I honestly thought the DVD was completely standalone, hence my comments. I'm happy to be corrected though.

As I said, please excuse my negativity in the original post. The DVD does contain a lot of great material and is well worth the cost. I'm conscious of knowing very little about magic and mentalism at this stage and what I write should be taken with that in mind....a pinch of salt. I'm here to learn.

Thanks for putting me straight, both of you. :)

All the best,
Wishmaster

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