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Bill Duncan
Posts: 1542
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm


Postby Bill Duncan » September 9th, 2008, 2:52 am

Relabeled (DVD) by Ben Williams
MSRP for a set which includes Labeled: $35.00
Relabeled alone: $20.00 (does not explain how to make the sealed bottle)
Dealers purchase from Murphys Magic Supplies, Inc. (916) 853-9292

Relabeled is an odd magic effect. You write something on the product label of a plastic bottle of soda pop, and then shake the bottle, causing the label to visibly pass through the side of the bottle. The label ends up floating inside the bottle, with the writing still visible on it. As the writing is an important component of the illusion, your presentation will need to include writing something (a name, the price of the drink, etc.) on said label.

This is actually a very nice illusion, and I have some thoughts about how and why you might use it, so lets get the bad news out of the way first. The camera work is occasionally distracting, and affected. Every now and again the camera zooms a bit and goes out of focus. This is clearly intentional, and pointless. Instructional videos do not need to look like MTV segments.

Also, theres a throwntogether feeling about parts of the DVD. For example, while ditching one of the gaffs you are instructed that your dirty hand goes straight into your pocket, and ditches that _____ as you look for a lighter which makes me wonder how often he actually does this trick, because its not the only time he says lighter when he means pen. Now I know folks misspeak all the time when there are cameras around. Ask Barrack Obama, or Vice President Quayle. I get that. But a re-shoot would have taken five minutes. Is that too much to ask when Im shelling out twenty bucks for an addendum to a trick?

My initial reaction to the trick, created during the opening performance segment was this: Damn, that looked good. followed quickly by When would I do this trick?

Im not saying its not a clever method, or that it isnt a great illusion. Big thumbs up on both counts there but if Im going to go to all the trouble to make this thing up I want to use it, and frankly I dont know who I would do it for.

The live audience performance clip shows Mr. Williams entering a petrol station, taking a Diet Coke bottle from the soda rack, and performing it for the young man working the cash register. He then pays for the bottle, and leaves it as a souvenir. The young man is suitably impressed (who wouldnt be?) and accepts the gift. So the total cost of this sequence was the price of the beverage he pretended to take out of the fridge, the cost of the bottle he prepared, and a couple other bottles that were used to create the gaffs, plus some craft supplies. Not to mention the cost of the two DVDs that teach Labeled, and Relabeled. Im just not sure the kid behind the counter at local Gas-NGo is going to book you for a lot of shows, no matter how impressive the prop you leave behind is. Im guessing even the guy who owns the filling station isnt buying a lot of live entertainment. I suppose that if you worked in a place that sold soda pop in plastic bottles you could get a lot of mileage out of this, because for it to be really impressive I think it needs to be impromptu, which means doing it for people who work around plastic pop bottles, or in circumstance where they naturally occur.

After considering this for a bit it occurs to me that you could use this when doing company picnic gigs, or similar shows. You would wait until after your show, and strike up a conversation with the person who booked you, and then do it with one of the bottles from the picnic table. Done in this context, as an afterthought that leaves something tangible on the desk of the person who booked you, this could pay for itself in one use.

For hobbyists, who purchase most of the magic product, I dont think this is worth the trouble, because you probably do a trick for the guys at the club, and then it goes in the drawer, right? I know too many really excellent tricks that dont require me to spend one of my Saturdays in the craft supply store so as a hobbyist magician, Im gonna give this a pass.

But heres where the online format really shines, because this review doesnt have to end here. Ive suggested a venue where even part time pros could easily get a lot of value from this trick, even if they only do it a couple of times a year. Im sure there are other ways in which you could present this, as an impromptu miracle and generate enough buzz, or memories, to make it pay for itself. So lets hear it Genii readers: where would you do Re-labeled?

Its too cool a trick, not to do.

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