Window by David Stone

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by adjones, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Window by David Stone

    The Official Spam-

    What You Get-

    When you get Window, it all comes in a DVD case, which is nice, because there isn’t a lot of excess packaging and crap like that. Also, do not try to cut the plastic wrapping off the DVD case… it may feel exactly like a plastic wrapping, but it’s actually part of the DVD case. My bad…

    Inside the DVD case is the DVD (duh…), the gimmicked card, and two of the items that make the effect possible (a smaller one and a bigger one). Everything apart from the gimmick (we’ll get to it later) was exceptional quality. On the backside of the DVD case wrapping (the one with the pictures and title on it and everything) there are brief printed instructions for the effect, so you can see them through the plastic of the DVD case on the left hand side when you open it up. I liked this.

    The Video-

    Meh. Before purchasing this DVD, I obviously watched the demo, and I did so on numerous different websites, simply because the video quality of them all looked like crap and I was trying to find one that I could actually watch and see detail. Well, the actual DVD looks like the demo video does on the internet. I expected a higher quality picture for this. I believe they look like this for a reason, which I will explain later. If the quality was higher, the DVD would be very nice; the graphics are good and the menus are easy to navigate. The only audio on the DVD is music, but the music really isn’t that bad. Nothing annoying or anything like that. On the DVD, there are a few different videos to watch, or you can just watch them all in order. He teaches the silk version, envelope version, etc. But really, I think I could have figured out how to accomplish these, but I digress. If you notice in The Official Spam, it says it includes six complete routines, but honestly… I don’t think showing different items to cover the card with as it changes counts as six different and complete routines.

    The Teaching-

    Like I said, the only audio on the DVD is the music, so the teaching is done silently. It is not hard to learn this way… in fact, it’s pretty easy. That being said, I think it almost seems lazy on David Stone’s part to not actually teach the effect. It seem like when the teacher talks, I get a better understanding of the little nuances of the effect, and they don’t have to show the move like 20 flippin’ times. Literally, they would should a move, and show it over and over. Which is nice, because I don’t have to rewind if I didn’t catch something, but it would have been much better with actual talking; in fact, it probably would have saved time on the DVD in the long run. I think when you’re paying $70 for a trick, they should at least speak to you in the DVD. And even if he didn’t want to speak English, he could have added subtitles and I would have been just as happy. Anyway, I know I’m being a baby about it, and it isn’t even that big of a deal. IMHO, the DVD seemed a little brief for a trick that has so much potential and so many possibilities.

    The Gimmick-

    Again, for $70… meh. I’m not sure if mine was manhandled a bit during production or what, but there were a few minor separation type issues with my gimmick when it’s taped to a piece of glass. For one, the bottom end of the card tilts away from the glass a bit, so it looks a bit suspicious hanging there. However, I have noticed that as I have been playing with it more, it’s gotten better. Mine does have a tiny line in the middle after the change, but it really is unavoidable for this particular gimmick, and nobody should notice unless they’re right up on the gimmick. And I think just because of the shock value of the card on the other side of a window, nobody’s going to be paying too much attention to the details of the card. The ends of the card were a little bit warped on some parts (again, I think from being manhandled a bit), so it took some bending and coercing to get it to look like a normal card hanging on the window, and even then it wasn’t great. However, I did realize that it helps a TON if the card is hanging at eye level to the spectator and/or yourself. If it’s below eye level and they’re closer than 3 ft or so, they might notice something that you probably don’t want them to notice. I think the gimmick is nice, and it should last a long time if taken care of properly, but mine took a little tweaking to get it to look like it does in the demo. Actually, that was the other thing: I think the video looks like crap in order to hide some of the slight angle issues and defects in the gimmick. Or maybe they just made a crappy looking video, because the rest of the instructional DVD looked the same.

    The two items that they included to make the effect work it’s magic (see what I did there?) are actually very nice, but I couldn’t get the smaller one to work. Which is fine; maybe the glass I was using was too thick. :S

    I originally was going to purchase a PK Ring with this effect, but I’m glad I didn’t. Once you get the effect, and if you have a good comprehension of how a quality PK Ring actually works, you’ll see why the two are not compatible. Well, I guess the odds are 50/50 that it will work, but I’m not going to wager $25 on a 50/50 chance.

    Angles

    This trick is very angle sensitive. Meaning nobody can be right beside you or on the other side of the glass (that angle limitation should have been expected, though, so if you were surprised by that…). Honestly, though, the side viewing angles can be greatly expanded by using a silk or hand towel. My hand are pretty small, so I really don’t see me doing this without the cloth unless the angles are just absolutely perfect. So probably never. I don’t really mind that, though. I hung up the gimmick on our front door (all glass), and asked my stepmom to watch just to get a feel for it. I didn’t do the whole effect; I just forced a card and transposed it with the card behind the glass. I just wanted to do a quick test run with an extra pair of eyes. Afterwards, I was just chatting with her about it, and I told her that it was possible to do it with just your hand, but I thought that my hands were probably too small for that (yes, upon re-reading this review, that sounded a lot dirtier than I originally intended… so I’m gonna keep it). She actually thought the effect would look way better with the towel. Why? I have no idea. But she liked it better that way, so I’m going with it. Anyway, if you have small hands, I would advise you to be prepared to use the cloth or only perform this when you have complete control of angles. You have been warned.
     
  2. The Routine

    I had to change up David Stone’s routine for the gimmick, because I didn’t like it at all. His involves sticking the gimmick on one side of the glass with tape, with the face facing you, and another card on the same side of the glass as you, with the back facing you. I’m really not sure what the point of this part of his routine his, but he basically removes the card on the same side of the glass as him under cover of a fan, and I guess it’s supposed to be the card going through the glass. I have no idea what this is supposed to accomplish, but if his spectators didn’t notice that there were cards on both sides of the glass, I want to borrow them so I won’t have to worry about the line and separation issues on my gimmick. :wink: And really, if you decide to do it his way, it seems to me that this would limit you even more on angles, because of the separation of the two cards due to the glass. And maybe it’s just me being over-analytical, but you would think if you had a card facing away from you, and it penetrated a piece of glass, it would still be facing away from you, not switch directions like it does in David Stone’s version. Am I right? Again, maybe I’m just being too critical and thinking about it too much. Again, talking or subtitles would have been helpful here, so I could know how he uses this part of the effect in a performance. Maybe I’m just dumb, but it did not make sense to me.

    I think I will perform this effect just as a very simple transposition. The five of spades taped on the window, they choose a card, and it switches with the 5 of spades through the glass. That’s the version I performed for my step-mom (sans an actual performance with patter and such), and she loved it. I think it keeps it short and sweet, and looks just as good as the one David Stone performs. I’m just not really a fan of having two cards chosen like he does. Maybe it’s just me, though.

    Cleanliness-

    You do NOT end clean with this effect. Your hand and the card hanging on the glass are both dirty, so you have a bit of cleanup to do. Fortunately, your hand is dirty the whole time, so nothing changes after the transposition; nothing really to worry about here. The card is another story. If you were hoping to rip the card off the glass and hand it to the spectator without it touching the deck first… think again. However, don’t worry about this; clean up is simple and effective. Especially since you’re walking around a window or through a door; nobody’s going to notice if you set the card on the deck for a second. David hands out the card without the tape on it, but the way I do it, it appears as if you set the card on the deck, and then pick it right back up by the tape and hand it to them. Obviously that is not what happens, but that’s what the spectator sees and remembers.

    Accuracy of Demo-

    I think this is an integral part of this effect. If you get your gimmick “fine-tuned” just right, this trick really does look just as great as it does in the demo video. It’s hard for me to really get a grasp of how it looks at a distance in real life, because obviously I’m close to the card and can’t really see it from the spectator’s view. But judging from my step-mom’s reaction, I would say it looks pretty stinking good. You move your hand/silk/envelope down the card, and it changes. There was no video editing in the demo… to steal Criss Angel’s thunder: “What you see is what you get.”

    Overall-

    I know I did a lot of complaining and whining in this review, but overall I think this is a pretty solid effect. It may need a little more Q.C. on the gimmick in some instances, but I think mine just needs to be broken in a little bit. It would also help if they offered refills. I would be very tempted to spend the money and buy one of said refills (even if they were like $40) just to see if I could get a slightly better gimmick. The DVD also needs a little work. If I recall correctly, they kind of hyped up the production quality and overall greatness of the DVD because of Jean-Luc’s involvement, so I think they set the standard too high for something that really is not that great in terms of how far magic DVDs, or even just DVDs in general, have come these days. So, for the price, I would give this trick an “ok”. If it was $45 or so, as opposed to $70, I would be far more inclined to give it a far higher rating, but I really do not think it was good enough for the price. Don’t get me wrong, my gimmick works fine, I just think that, as the customer, I shouldn’t have to do any tweaking to get my gimmick working the way it is advertised as working. If you are a magician on a budget, I would probably advice you to skip this one. If you have a fair amount of spending money for magic, though, and this looks like something you would perform, I would say get it, but be warned that it is not as perfect as advertised.
     

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