The Holy Grail of Color Separation

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 04/11/05 07:45 PM

Hello friends at the Genii forum,

All of my magician friends know that the color separation plot has been my FAVORITE as long as they've known me. They have seen me work through many variations until this point in time.

Let me tell you a little bit about COSMOS.

Effect:
The spectator PERFECTLY separates the red cards from the black cards without looking at the faces of the cards.

Here are the conditions of COSMOS

* On average, it takes about 3 minutes to perform COSMOS (including patter)
* After you've learned the METHOD of COSMOS you will be doing it INSTANTLY
* There is NO sleight of hand and NO memorization
* The deck of cards can be borrowed, which makes this miracle totally impromptu
* The trick RESETS INSTANTLY (remember it's just a normal deck of shuffled cards)
* There are no other props involved (you only have to have any deck of cards)
* You can perform COSMOS totally SURROUNDED
* You don't have to have a full deck
* The cards can be fully examined before and after the trick
* The cards are not marked (No JUICE, NO Infra Red, No Rough)
* If you scan the backs of the cards into a computer the difference would be ZERO
* No shiners are used of any type
* It's not a Stripper Deck
* The cards are not a "ONE WAY" deck of any form.
* The spectator can shuffle the cards FACE UP if they wanted to . . . they are really shuffled
* There is absolutely no deck switch of any type (not even adding or removing some cards)
* The spectator chooses ANY indicator cards (red and black) from their shuffled deck.
* There is no lapping of cards
* The magician NEVER alters the order of the cards after the spectator has shuffled them

* The magician and the spectators NEVER look at the faces of the cards during the separation
* The cards are always kept face down on the table (the magician never picks up the cards off the table)
* The spectator is handling the cards DURING THE SEPARATION (not the magician)
* To insure the spectator doesn't cheat by looking at the faces of the cards, the magician uses his index finger to push the cards, face down, ONLY off the top of the deck, ONE card at a time, towards the spectator as fast as he can. The spectator then decides if those face down cards are red or black by putting them in front of their respective indicator cards.
* There is absolutely NO EQUIVOQUE
* The spectator can put as many cards on a pile that they like (even groups of 2 or 3 or MORE!)
* The spectator can put an uneven number of cards in front of the indicator cards
* The magician NEVER stops the spectator to change piles
* The magician NEVER counts cards
* At any time, the spectator can look at the faces of the remaining cards to see the cards are shuffled
* The spectator can STOP at ANY time or go through the whole deck
* If the spectator stops without finishing the deck, the rest of the cards are STILL SHUFFLED
* The trick is very fast to perform since the spectators can choose to stop whenever they get bored

* At the end, the cards in front of the red indicator are red, and the black indicator black!!
* When the cards are revealed to be 100% correct, the COMPLETE faces of the cards can be shown
* The probability of this EVENT is 1 out of 1,125,899,906,842,624 !!! ( that's 2^50 )
* The probability of a "think of a card" trick is only 1 out of 52

There is also an EDITED demo video available on my website at:

www.rostamimagic.com

take care,
Greg Rostami
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/11/05 08:31 PM

Why don't you come by Dean Dill's Shoppe on Wednesday and perform it for us?

The weak point, IMHO, is you put an EDITED demo online here and on the Cafe.
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Postby Steve Hook » 04/11/05 09:05 PM

Pete:

To be fair to Greg, it's possible that a full-length demo would expose the method and the presentation. In fact, there are no Internet demos of a lot of effects (including Dean and Michael's "A New World"), the lack of which has been wisely supported by knowledgeable magicians and unwisely derided by the inexperienced.

I don't know Greg and I have no idea how his "Cosmos" works, but it feels uncomfortable to read that a missing "100% demo" is a weakness for you.

We well know that all close-up magic does not "play" on TV due to the work necessary during direction, misdirection, and presentation.

Would it not be better to wait for reviews to appear from those whose opinions you trust before highlighting the weaknesses of the demo?

Just a thought...

Best,

Steve H
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Postby Guest » 04/12/05 03:29 AM

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your support.

Hi Pete,

If I have time, I would love to come by Dean's shop on Wednesday and show you the trick.

take care,
Greg Rostami
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/12/05 04:47 AM

Originally posted by Steve Hook:
... it's possible that a full-length demo would expose the method and the presentation....
And thus we have a holy grail for advertising in magic... edited demos.
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/12/05 08:58 AM

Steve... there are dozens, if not more, messages on the Cafe complaining about the edited cuts onhis demo.
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Postby tboehnlein » 04/12/05 10:23 AM

what's surprising about that? Most people on the cafe complain if the demo does anything less than practically gives up the method
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/12/05 11:06 AM

Originally posted by tom boehnlein:
Most people on the caf complain if the demo does anything less than practically gives up the method
We're talking about a performance only video clip here, not a backstage view with explanations.

One of the larger questions is: Are we buying solutions to puzzles, or tools for entertainments?

Another is: What specifically is the purpose of stating conditions in negative language?
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Postby Steve Hook » 04/12/05 01:09 PM

Originally posted by tom boehnlein:

what's surprising about that? Most people on the cafe complain if the demo does anything less than practically gives up the method
Thanks, Tom. That was exactly what I was referring to.

Like I said, usually it's the teens and wealth-challenged college students who want a complete demo which might reveal any sleights or secret moves.

Over at the Cafe, a complete demo is usually followed by days or months of method-guessing and reverse-engineering, followed by a few sage voices in the dark, e.g., Dan Watkins or Bill Palmer, pointing out that the newbies are missing the advantage of the demo, such as seeing reactions and getting a general idea of the effect.

Gotta admit I'm a bit baffled by the comments from Biro and Townsend. Damned if you do and damned if you don't, Greg.
:confused:

And so it goes... kind of depressing, actually.
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Postby Guest » 04/12/05 01:51 PM

Hi Pete . . .

The video is very CLEARLY labeled as EDITED. The button for the video is also labeled "PLAY VIDEO" NOT "PERFORMANCE VIDEO". It is used as a conditions list that is in a VIDEO format. It has Art Direction and music to be a NICE advertisement. That's all . . .

As I've stated before in the Cafe, all it takes is ONE guy to figure out the method from an UNEDITED video, and I'm done with.

When I heard about NEW WORLD, without even seeing it I knew the method. How? Because it's the only logical solution to the description. Even if Dean and Michael had put up a demo video, people would have still bought it knowing that they need those GAFFS. Now don't get me wrong I'm glad that Dean and Michael have spent ALL that money to get the gaffs from the US Playing Card Company, and I think it's a great trick.

So now I know the cards are gaffed, if I could make the gaffs, then I would never buy NEW WORLD. Imagine if you could hit a PRINT button on your computer and GAFFED cards started coming out of your printer. You would NEVER buy Gaffed cards again! But we don't have that technology (yet).

Pete and Jonathan, The reason why people buy gaffed tricks like New World is because they NEED the gaffs and they can't make it themselves.

I don't have that luxury with COSMOS. COSMOS is 3 routines that you can do with any deck of cards. Hence I have to be careful about WHAT I show you in a video. Unless I decide not to do a video at all. But I don't want to do that because I think video is a great marketing tool. And, since I don't have a gaffed thing that people MUST have, I'll use ANY marketing tool that I have to gain an advantage.

take care,
Greg Rostami
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/12/05 06:52 PM

I'm not trying to work it out, I just feel when you cut away there is something OBJECTIONABLE you don't want us to see.

So, say I buy it from your demo, then I get it and find you left out a sequence where you picked up the deck, went under the table and then continued. (NOT THAT YOU DID) I would be burned having spent the money on something NOT practical.
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/12/05 06:53 PM

BTW -- it looks great, but again, what we don't see may take that away.
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Postby dwmagic » 04/12/05 07:41 PM

Is this just for sale to windows users? or did i miss a MAC button.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 04/12/05 08:09 PM

The real problem is that most magicians are too cheap or disrespectful of creativity to reward those from whom they receive ideas. If we as a community were individually ethical enough to pay a creator should we find value in their ideas, then videos would not need to be edited.

If I saw Greg's trick, figured the whole thing out, but liked an idea, touch, or wanted to do the thing, then I SHOULD go ahead and pay him for it. That is the right thing to do.

The problem is many magicians refuse to do the right thing. If they figure it out, they feel they are entitled to the idea THEY WOULD HAVE NEVER HAD ON THEIR OWN without compensation. (Or they do the Rob Stiff/Maxwell Murphy dance and try to point to obscure historical precendents - learned after the theft had occured - in order to justify taking without paying.)

That is the big problem.
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/12/05 10:25 PM

The reviews are coming on over at the Cafe... FAST AND FURIOUS, and it seems that you need to have two people separating the cards in the basic routine, but the demo shows it being done one-on-one.

So, editing kills it for me.

The creator lists dozens of things and some folks do like it... but, IMHO, you need to go there and read it all... then you decide.

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Postby Scott Fridinger » 04/13/05 07:39 AM

I would have to agree with Pete on this one. Not that it is specific to this effect alone. I watched the video and the effect seemed nice. However, with so many fly by night, no intent to point fingers here, magical producers it is just to hard to buy stuff based on this type of demo for me. I have been burnt too many times.

Goes back to Mike Close's interview in the latest Magic Magazine. If you haven't read it check it out.

This effect may indeed be the real deal, but for $20.00, I will wait till Bannon's new book is released and pay the extra $$$ to get it.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/13/05 09:35 AM

My stated concern about edited demos stands. A slippery slope from "edited to protect the method" that quickly becomes "CGI enhanced to portray audience perception".

Greg seems to be acting honorably and with good intent on this one.

We are getting close to the IP problem here.
How do we offer novel procedures and findings that attentive conjurers can understand from a performace video?

I have mixed feelings. What are your thoughts on this matter?
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Postby Guest » 04/13/05 03:18 PM

So Pete,

Should I have left the video COMPLETELY OUT?

Would you have bought it from just READING the effect?

Greg Rostami
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Postby Rich Green » 04/13/05 03:44 PM

I've been following the threads both here and at the Cafe and I have to agree with Pete that the video is more of a negative than a positive thing. The problem with the video, as I see it, is that IMPORTANT information is left out. When I am evaluating a new effect, I need to consider certain things - not just the method, but the audience interaction, how the props need to be handled, what type of performing situation I need to have, etc. When I watched the video, I saw a good effect and I liked your presentation, but it was not honest with the actualities of the effect you are selling. I understand your desire to protect the method, but what you show on your video is not the exact effect you are selling.

Another example of what I mean is when David Blaine was naming thought of cards. He focused on the reaction, but his video was not 100% honest with what he was doing - leaving out the important information that the spectator had actually selected a card (At least mentally as the deck was riffled through). Now, since Blaine's show was made for spectators as entertainment, I have mixed feelings about the fairness of what he did. I can buy the argument that the reaction was the important thing. After all, he wasn't telling people they could do the same thing. However, your video does just that. You are implying that if magicians buy your routine, they will be able to perform what they see on the video. Even though you put a disclaimer at the end, since you are selling an effect to magicians, I feel you need to be straight forward with the technical requirements of the effect.

Thanks,
Richard
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Postby Adam Brooks » 04/13/05 04:22 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
What specifically is the purpose of stating conditions in negative language?
Am I the only one who thinks this is an absolutely fantastic question?

::begin tangent::

The disturbing answer to the question is that most magicians are, at least when it comes to purchasing new material, problem solvers. All the "no rough and smooth, no short cards, no lasers, no trap doors, etc" basically serve as a big "nanny poo poo" to those interested in the effect. In other words, any effect with such a description of conditions may as well be this:

I am such a smarty pants, because I made this effect happen without any of the things listed, and unless you want to give me money to find out just how clever I am, then just forget it!

And while effects certainly exist where such descriptions are appropriate:

"How would like to perform McDonalds Aces... without the gaffed cards? This routine is your answer!"

Way more often than not, all these descriptions do is aim to prove the inventor is smarter than the buyer, and by buying the trick, you can share in the wealth.

Yeah, it's total BS, but as long as we're dealing in secrets, I don't see a whole lot that can be done.

::end tangent::
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Postby Brad Henderson » 04/13/05 05:45 PM

A different tangent:

When we are filming a television show, our job is to provide the experience to the home viewing audience of having seen the magic live in a real life situation. The way the trick would look in real life is never the same as it looks on a TV set. In real life you don't have to stand in a certain place so the lighting works. In real life you don;t have to worry about stepping on a camera man while you move from one position to the next. In real life, a hand motion of 2 inches does not completely fill the audiences entire viewing space.

So, an audiences experience of a trick in real life will always be different than those witnessing it on a TV shoot. The performers job is to orchestrate the shoot so it conveys to the people at home what it SHOULD look like in real life, away from the cameras, etc. So, in order to provide the people at home with the experience of seeing the magic first hand in REAL life, some "cheats" must be made.

I think this is ok.

So what if the camera gets the best angle and the work is visible to someone who is acting as a stand in. In real life, the performer wouldn't be limited by concerns of lighting and camera sight lines. So what if Blaine had some of the work done off camera. Magicians use pre-show techniques all the time OR set up a trick early in performance only to "finish it" later in the evening. So what if a magician drops his hands out of frame to ditch something. In real life, the performer could easily find a location to lap or ditch or whatever. In short, sometimes we MUST cheat in order to convey what the trick would look like in real life - away from the cameras.

Now, when we are selling a product to magicians, it is a different story. We are selling our peers a tool and the advantages and limitations of that tool should accurately be conveyed or we are misrepresenting our product. Of course, that assumes that your intent is to sell something which empowers your peers, not just cheat them out of a few bucks for a secret.

Magicians need to be able to honestly evaluate if the effect will play in the venues they intend. They need to know what weaknessess need to be convered and decide if they have the talent/resources to overcome the limitations.

Ideally, a seller would be forthright enough to not mislead those interested in buying his tool. If he misleads them, they WILL be unhappy. Sure, he got some money, but he won't find it easy to get more in the future.

In the long run, honesty is the best policy.

Now, it is sad that there are those in our community who feel that once they know how something is done, they are entitled to do it.

I wish we as a community would make an effort to change this attitude. Then, perhaps, creators could be forthright in their ads and everyone would be more happy with the tools in which they decide to invest.
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/13/05 05:49 PM

Greg... NO, a video demo is fine. But with cutaways NO.

Look, if I saw it without cutaways and figured it out, but liked it, I would buy it. Because even though one may figure out the method, the handling, the subtleties, etc. are still unknown.

And, if it is gaffed, to make your own is usually hardly worth the effort. I never fail to buy somethine, even if I figure out how it is done, if I plan to use it.

A demo with the full scene, both people, NO CUTAWAYS, would have been more honest, and probably would have had few negative responses.
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Postby Guest » 04/14/05 09:25 AM

Try selling an effect where the magician throws napkins over the spectators head and NOT editing the demo video. I'm giving COSMOS the benefit of the doubt with this one and BUYING my right to review the effect.
BTW, the specific reason for stating conditions in the negative is a tried and true method selling to those who do not like the negative specified. I.E., if I do not like stripper decks then I would very much like to know that I'm not buying one, etc., if I do not like to use rough and smooth effects then it would be nice to know that I don't have to spray 52 cards, etc, etc.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/14/05 09:47 AM

Originally posted by Charlie Justice:
Try selling an effect where the magician throws napkins over the spectators head and NOT editing the demo video.
Why not take on that example? Let's imagine the Slydini routine offered for sale then. A subjective shot of that would probably sell the trick. Certainly of ONE vanish, and a voice over that informs the viewer that the routine is a good five minutes of audience entertainment. I say it would work. Be up front and say that the audience will enjoy the astonishment of the volunteer, and that the routine has a climax phase.

As with CJ above, I reserve comment on the routine till I see it performed, or sadly if gossip moves ... explained.
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Postby Guest » 04/14/05 10:00 AM

Good point Johnathan, in retrospect I see your point. SOOOO, I'm downloading COSMOS as I type. All this hype has got to be for something...even if it is just to burn me for 20 dollars and put my mind at ease. I'll sacrifice one takeout pizza for this because I gotta know even if it blows!But fool me once.......
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Postby Guest » 04/14/05 02:30 PM

Hi Charlie,

I hope you enjoy COSMOS and the Bonus Tricks.

If you have any questions email me at:
greg@rostamimagic.com

take care,
Greg Rostami
www.rostamimagic.com
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Postby Guest » 04/14/05 08:18 PM

I bought it and I love it. Worth my money and time and most assuredly the routine I will use for this effect from now on. Well Done Sir!
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Postby Guest » 04/15/05 03:31 AM

Thank you soooo much Charlie,

I'm glad that you have found a place for COSMOS in your repertoire of magic. I hope you enjoy performing it.

all the best,
Greg Rostami
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Postby Guest » 04/17/05 07:20 PM

Hello friends at The Genii Forum,

I'm very happy to announce that RostamiMagic.com can now accept PayPal.

Sorry if that took a little while.

all the best,
Greg Rostami
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Postby Brian Glicker » 04/19/05 03:47 PM

Thinking that I have more money than sense, I paid for Cosmos - worth every penny. One simple, undetectable, move and the audience sees a miracle. Like all good effects it's clean and simple and makes you think "why didn't I think of that?" Also fully examinable and while I think New World is smooth, it is just a packet trick when all is said and done. I love that the cards are handed out and in the spectators hands. Well worth it.
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Postby Guest » 04/20/05 11:40 PM

Hi Britesq,

I'm really glad you liked the trick. Thank you for pointing out the simplicity . . . that was one of my highest priorities in designing COSMOS.

take care,
Greg Rostami
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Postby justin » 04/21/05 10:03 PM

To all of you who have complained about the NATURE of the performance video..GET THE DOWNLOAD! I am serious! If you only get one download this year..MAKE THIS THE ONE!
Greg, nice work! I love Out of this world. I even had a Full deck triumph out of this world i lectured on in the 1990's, so i am a fan of the plot. Your version IS THE BEST BAR-NONE! To everyone else STOP COMPLAINING and get this effect..you should of sat on this one or charged more.
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Postby Guest » 04/22/05 11:29 AM

I have heard amazing things about this effectg, I would love to see this trick performed, if anyone reading has got it and can perform it, please come by the Magic Apple and show off!

thanx!
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/22/05 06:13 PM

Dean Dill created a better final "move" at the finish with COSMOS.
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Postby justin » 04/22/05 06:20 PM

Pete,
i would love to see it.
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/22/05 10:28 PM

You gotta get to Dean's Shoppe. Actually, if you get the trick, just think of other ways to close it out.
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Postby Guest » 04/24/05 01:11 AM

Hi Pete,

I'm really curious what Dean's thinking is on the final "move"?

I have the outmost respect for Dean . . . so I'm sure it's very clever.

take care,
Greg Rostami
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Postby Guest » 04/24/05 01:22 AM

Hi Pete,

I just went and played with a deck of cards and I think I know what Dean might have come up with. I think the "work" happens as he picks up the packet in the lower left hand corner (with his right hand) to turn it over to reveal all the cards are the right color.

I would have to show it to you . . . but I think it's a very nice idea . . . IF that's what Dean came up with.

Thank you for making me think again about the ending.

all the best to you and Dean,
Greg Rostami

P.S. I wonder what Dean thinks of COSMOS?
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/24/05 10:43 AM

Since you live in L.A. just come by Dean's Shoppe in Glendale.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/05 04:56 AM

Hi Greg

First of all -let me say that I paid up and downloaded the effect and think it is *excellent* and I can see it being added to my repertoire soon. However, there is one concern.

The demo video shows the following effect:



1. A single spectator (the lady in the video) shuffles the cards herself and she takes out two indicator cards herself out of the complete deck.

2. The lady chooses which of two piles to put each card into. Each card is dealt from the top of the deck that she has just shuffled and the lady decides whether it goes into Pile A or Pile B.

3. At the end, there are three packets of cards - one all red - and one all black, with the remainder of the cards held in the magician's hands.

When you think about this - it is a *miracle* - there are just three packets of cards - one all black, one all red - and the others have not been dealt. There is no logical explanation.


I am being extremely careful here not to disclose anything. I don't want to detract from what I think is an excellent effect.

I would like to ask Greg - do you agree that the above description is what the video shows?

If so, do you feel that this is a fair representation of *the effect* - and one that meets all the criteria that are given in your original post?
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