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Social Media Magic Volume 1 by Felix Bodden

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Social Media Magic Volume 1

Felix Bodden
DVD plus gimmick, 80 mins,
Available from any Murphy’s retailer or dealers contact www.murphysmagic.com
Price: £45.00

In case you believe the truism that this is a wholly modern phenomenon, the roots of what we now dub Social Media were planted in the 1960’s with the advent of university and government-based computer interaction. Just think: these media actually pre-date ONE (Our Notable Editor), which is something of a novelty these days.

I’d like to let you into a reviewer’s secret, blithely (some would add ‘bravely’) prepared to risk removal from the Conglomerate of Reviewers And Pettifoggers. When faced with one of those effects that makes great eye-candy but does not lend itself to regular use in the real world of performing, we invariably fall back on the conclusion that it’s ‘suitable for social media use’. This is code for ‘you can do it as a visual quickie and post it on your social media to help your marketing and give the impression of a huge level of skill’.

So approach this collection with nil expectation of specially-developed apps. This compendium of such visual material has been expressly created to work at its best as filmed performances on your social media platforms, to show off your tradesmanship at its best. They’re not real-world working routines.

It’s fair to say the release of such a collection is certainly timely, and is likely to chime with today’s performers, if it is any good. All too often compendia of this type can be a bit of a dog’s breakfast. Fortunately this is not the case here – this is worthy of your time and consideration (spoiler alert: they will demand much of both from you). 

This actually comprises six effects released previously as downloads. Given the price asked for the individual downloads, this does not represent great VFM, as it asks broadly what the six downloads cost – except that they’re conveniently together on one DVD and you get the props for one of the effects.

As with any film project (which is essentially what you are creating here) a fair bit of preparatory work is demanded of you. If you are the type who relishes making apparatus for such special one-off performances, you’ll be in your element here. And you must approach this material as a series of filmed projects. This means you’ll need decent lighting, camera placement, editing skills in post-production etc.

Wisely deciding to practise what they preach, Sansminds have made a good job of producing this DVD. Production values are of their usual high standard, and the explanations are very clear, which is vital in a project demanding such an extensive amount of DIY. 

The six effects, all from the fertile mind of Mr Bodden, encompass Bag Vanish (card vanishes from a plastic bag, which is supplied), Colour-Change Spread (spread deck changes colour instantly and visually), Invisible Corner 2.0 (a whole piece of theatre with a torn corner and a card), Rubber Band (band penetrations through bands and fingers), Spin Change (a card spun on your balancing finger visibly changes) and his Instant Sandwich Spread (chosen card instantly materialises in spread face-up deck between a sandwiched pair in centre). 

There isn’t a duffer amongst them. They all look splendid on camera. Levels of skill vary. The plum of the collection, the Rubber Band effect, will take some serious work on your part to get it off pat. But it looks amazing. Rest assured this is the only practice required of you as the other five effects focus on the setting up and execution, as individual FX projects on film.

If you bend to the spirit of this approach, these will feel very worthwhile projects for you. The eye-candy count is reassuringly high. Just be warned that the prep required of you is just as extensive. I loved its ingenuity and its meticulous, demanding approach.

Review by Bob Gill Originally published in Magicseen Magazine, issue 91