Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

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Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby Sexton Blake » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:13 pm



I'm both flabbered and gasted not to find a review of this already on TM but, as I can't find one, here's mine.

Scream by Jamie Daws

The Effect

Scream (Dark Series #2), £19.99 from Alakazam.
http://www.alakazam.co.uk/product-Screa ... Daws-.html"

The trailer - which tells you next to nothing - is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aenP--EWEiQ"
A demo of the actually effect is here:
https://youtu.be/3sDn26VMlYY?t=6m13s"

They say:

One gun. One bullet. One hacked off finger in one bloodied envelope. One story your audience will NEVER forget!

Imagine every ingredient that makes a killer horror film being used to create an experience like no other.

Over 4 years in development to give your spectators the ultimate live horror experience!

With little more than three photos, one envelope, a letter and the unforgettable story of one of the most brutal murders of its time, Scream is like nothing you have performed before!

Susannah Cartwright was infamous for being the first female murderer of her kind. On the eve of her wedding, she found out her fiancé had a mistress. So once they were wed, she took his shot gun off the wall and whilst he drifted off to sleep, she fired one shot directly into his head.

She then took his wedding finger with ring still attached and sent it to the local sheriff with a note telling the police department that her husband had played so many games with her, it’s time to play a game with his dead body…. What unfolds is illustrated with three and only three images.

One of Susannah with a desperate and confused glaze in her eyes. One of the house in which they lived and lastly one of the woods in which the body was eventually found.

At first glance they may seem like macabre reminders of a time long ago but when your spectators look again, they discover a disturbing depth to the photos in which ghostly manifestations appear in their very hands.

Once they recover from this, you hit them hard with something that will ultimately make them scream!

Scream is a beautifully dark tale with a great ending that will make your participants jump out of their skin!

**WARNING, SCREAM IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED!!

I say:

Watch the demo.

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)

It's a 1 in technical terms. But the better you are as a story-teller/performer, the more you're going to be able to get from it. So, you know, work on your acting, and grow a goatee (men) or come on a bit ethereal (women).

Review

I wasn't being flippant by just putting 'Watch the demo,' in the 'I say' section. I saw this effect promoted by the trailer for ages without ever getting greatly aroused. I like spooky stuff move than anything else, but the trailer showed be nothing, which (right kids?) is usually a sign that the effect itself is poor or/and unworkable. I vaguely thought, especially with the "One hacked off finger in one bloodied envelope" in the copy, that the climax would be revealing a Little Rubber Finger! Lawks! Very, Very Slightly! (Or maybe a variation on that old thing where the cut-off finger in a matchbox is really your finger poking in through the bottom.) (Sorry about the exposure of method, there.)

Then I saw the demo, and ordered it instantly - my wallet has a friction burn I pulled the credit card out so fast. This is purely personal - we all have our own tastes and preferences - but for me this is a near-perfect effect. Partly because, I love the spooky stuff, but I also have the brain of a five-year-old boy

What do you get in the package, then? Well, everything you need. And I mean everything - an admirable point (and one I think demonstrates that care and attention has gone into the product) is that you even get some blank, parchmenty paper to put in the envelope, rather than simply leaving it to you to find any bit of paper to put in there yourself as the spec isn't going to look at it anyway: the trick ends as they are reaching for it. (I will return to this point later, however.) So, you get the gimmick, all the props you need, and an actual, physical DVD with the teaching on it (and the teaching is good - clear and well-filmed). The change, on the photograph, from a normal picture of the woman to one on which her face has been scratched out (or cut out, if you wish: I prefer scratched) is done well using the gimmick and the handling. You don't end clean, but the method is not immediately obvious to the spec, and they won't be poking around more deeply because after the change you're moving on to the letter anyway. (They do say not to underestimate the impact of this part of the effect, just because you know a big bang ending is coming, as it can get a large reaction from a spec in its own right. I'm sure, particularly with the right setting, build up, and spectator, that they''re right.)

Right then: so everything's fabulous, and even better it's small enough to fit in your wallet and carry everywhere (OK, your wallet won't quite shut properly if you do... Man, you're demanding). A score of billion out of ten, then.

Well...

The problem is, there's a heel. Maybe it's not a full-on Achilles, but - IMO - it's up there. As mentioned, this is an effect where you're building, and building, and building, to a BANG! If the bang doesn't bang, then, it's not simply bad, it's really bad because it's falling from the height you've spent an age climbing to, dragging the spec along with you. And... unfortunately... sadly... the bang sometimes does not bang. Not just 'doesn't bang, but pops or fizzles'. But utterly No Bangs. Nothing but a small, non-specific click.

How often does it not bang? Pretty often. Say I have the fingers of a failure, though. Imagine I have the fingers of a failure, I haven't tried lots of different 'techniques' for making sure of detonation, and that, basically, it's all my fault. Even in that case - even being as sweepingly generous as I can, and smearing myself in as much blame as I can scoop up - how often (especially considering the investment you've made in the built up) would you be prepared to accept the Bang failing? My answer would be, 'Virtually not at all,' but I still think you'll be in trouble is yours is, 'One time in twenty.' (And, from my experiments, one time in five is actually not a harsh estimate.)

Brutal conclusion because of this: it's just not an effect I'd ever (take the risk) of doing.

Four out of ten, then. (You could still do the photo part, which is nice - perhaps as part of something larger; and some of you might simply not mind at all if an effect fails after a long, portentous build up (those of you who are a certain kind of mentalist, for example).)

But! Wait! There's a solution! Due to happening to be moving some of my magic stuff into the third extension I've had to build on to the house to accommodate it, and having a, 'Hmm... wait a minute...' moment, I found a cheap, easy way to finish with a Bang every time. (At least, it's not failed to Bang every time I've tested it so far.) Additionally, this solution also allows the handling of the envelope to be freer. Sweet.

This solution resurrects the effect, and it's now fabulous again. (I'll not go through the solution here, it's not the place; but I will naturally detail it for anyone who has the effect and is interested.)

But! Wait! Oh my god - there's more!

You'll recall that the paper in the envelope is irrelevant - it's there only as a 'confession letter' the spec will never actually hold. But, if you have the effect Will to Read, you can place a/the page (and the word card, if you wish) there instead. This clearly saves on pocket space, a single envelope now holds both effects, and the edge of WtR's torn page doubles as the edge of the intimated confession letter without any problem whatsoever. What's really useful, though, is that - if you want to follow up with WtR; if you don't, just don't - it introduces the page in a way that makes it completely natural and unsuspicious. You finish Scream, then, "Yeah... it's not really a dead murderer's confession letter from the police files: it's just a page I tore out of a book... Actually, though, come to think of it, we could try something with it..." There is, of course, no need to justify carrying the page when doing the WtR effect itself: you're carrying it because it contains the prediction/subliminal suggestion. However, I love the bonus All About Eve Page Test effect... but, doing that in isolation (and there are reasons I'd do WtR or All About Eve, but not both) leaves you trying to plausibly imply you just happen to be carrying around a single, random, nothing-special-about-it-at-all page torn from a book. Scream entirely takes the curse of the All About Eve effect.

Overall

If the Bang is hit and miss, the effect itself is - heart-breakingly - IMO - a miss also. Great, but with a single, fatal flaw. However, on the assumption that the Bang always works - either by using my solution, or coming up with your own, or, hell, maybe it'll just always work for you anyway - this is a wonderful effect, which comes in a well produced package, takes up little space, can be combine with and really helps out another good effect, and at under twenty quid isn't even very expensive. There can be only one score, surely?

10/10

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby Lady of Mystery » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:54 am

I love the sound of this, right up my street :)

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby aporia » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:46 am

the screams are caused by the "edison giocattoli" thing going bang, not the scratched-out face?

I liked the demo ... very honest I thought.

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby Sexton Blake » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:13 pm

aporia wrote:the screams are caused by the "edison giocattoli" thing going bang, not the scratched-out face?


Sorry for the delay replying: TM didn't alert me there'd been any posts, for some reason. Anyway, yes, the titular scream is from the bang rather than the de-facing. However, in the explanation J Daws does point out that you shouldn't underestimate the effect of the face (and perhaps rush on too soon), just because you know what's coming. For the lay person - esp. for a certain kind of person, and if your presentation has been good - the face suddenly being removed (which, BTW, happens 'in their hands') - is very eerie and startling. Daws says, in fact, that, when they were filming the effect for the trailer, when the spec saw the face on the photo was now gone she was so spooked that she threw the card across the room, not wanting it anywhere near her.

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby Mobius Klein » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:24 pm

@Sexton Blake
Flabber is a noun, whilst Gasted is a verb, thus your flabber can be gasted but you can't be flabbered and gasted,
comments by Susie Dent appreciated LOL.
Art

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby Sexton Blake » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:15 am

Mobius Klein wrote:@Sexton Blake
Flabber is a noun, whilst Gasted is a verb, thus your flabber can be gasted but you can't be flabbered and gasted,


Your etymological veracity here is... suspect. However, I enthusiastically applaud your bringing an attention to grammar to the table. Standards. Opinions may vary about specific items or broad approaches, but - whatever they are - at TalkMagic we should ensure that they are all parsed correctly. This isn't the Magic Cafe, ladies and gentlemen.

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby mr invisible » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:26 am

I also have this effect from Jamie Daws. In fact have all 3 from the dark series.. Sadly can't give a opinion as yet ? Because as usual, i buy way too much magic and never get around to using. (cupps) :shock:

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby Sexton Blake » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:47 pm

mr invisible wrote:I also have this effect from Jamie Daws. In fact have all 3 from the dark series.. Sadly can't give a opinion as yet ? Because as usual, i buy way too much magic and never get around to using. (cupps) :shock:


Then you probably ought to avoid looking at this page:
http://www.full52.com/freak/

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby mr invisible » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:34 pm

Sexton Blake wrote:
mr invisible wrote:I also have this effect from Jamie Daws. In fact have all 3 from the dark series.. Sadly can't give a opinion as yet ? Because as usual, i buy way too much magic and never get around to using. (cupps) :shock:


Then you probably ought to avoid looking at this page:
http://www.full52.com/freak/" target="_blank
Too late. :roll:

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Re: Scream (Dark Series #2) by Jamie Daws

Postby Sexton Blake » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:01 pm

Too late. :roll:


I have a slightly amended handling/presentation of this effect. I'd mention it - or perhaps PM to avoid any exposure - but I have to go to Germany now.

I'll try to remember about this when I'm back after Christmas. I probably ought to review the effect too.

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