EFFECT: Jason Yu from SansMinds’ in-house designer team has designed Imprint to challenge the boundary of what visual magic could be. Imagine being able to toss any small object INTO a bill and immediately hand the bill out. This is the ultimate form of organic magic. The seemingly impromptu nature leaves the spectators no room to disbelieve but to drop their jaws.
JUNKIE THOUGHTS: I was pretty excited about this release from Sans Minds Magic. The effect looks amazing: a three dimensional object is tossed at a dollar bill, only to appear as a two dimensional imprint on the bill. This is visual magic that looks like TV special effects. Needless to say, once I saw the trailer I was blown away and could not wait to get my hands on this. Unfortunately that’s where my excitement ended. Now my response is “are you friggin’ kidding me?!” Read on for the Magic Junkie rant…
Jason Yu is a clever guy. He’s come up with some really good magic. Not all of it is completely practical, but in the right situations, the magic is really strong. Check out “Impression” for an example of real world magic that your audience will remember. Enter Imprint, Mr. Yu’s latest release. This is a prime example of creating an effect to sell to a very specific demographic. One that will only work in very limited conditions. And by limited I mean virtually nowhere. In fact this effect is really only good for TV or video and is completely unusable anywhere else. Once you learn the method you’ll agree. Don’t get me wrong. The effect looks amazing on video and I appreciate the challenge that Jason has achieved. Just watch the trailer and you’ll see what I mean. There are no special effects going on. That’s exactly how it looks. However, its everything that you don’t see; everything outside the frame of the TV screen that makes this effect somewhat ridiculous. To his credit, Mr. Yu has come up with a method that works for this medium, and admittedly is quite clever, but don’t assume you’ll be able to perform this table hopping or strolling. You may be able to get away with it in a formal close up show, but I doubt it. I suppose in this youtube generation, this type of effect is what sells. But for real world workers out there, this just won’t cut it. Ironically, while this effect is ideal for video, you are not granted the right to perform it on TV. Seriously?!
Mr. Yu guides you through the process of constructing the gimmick. That’s right, there’s a gimmick. You cannot borrow a bill and perform this effect (Sans Minds never said you could, I’m just clarifying). Furthermore, the gimmick is only good for one effect. In other words if you are set up for a coin imprint, you cannot do any other objects with the same gimmick. Additionally, Mr. Yu only describes the effect using a coin, and only certain coins will work. He never describes any of the other objects shown in the trailer such as the rubber ball or the Rubiks Cube. I found this very dishonest and misleading. For example, using the rubber ball will require a completely different setup and different method than what is included on the DVD. It will also require a lot more thinking as far as constructing the gimmick. Not cool Sans Minds. Not cool.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I think the effect is amazing. The trailer proves that. I certainly commend Mr. Yu for coming up with a cool and original magical effect. However the method leaves a lot to be desired. Assuming you’re in the perfect performing conditions, it probably works great. But I would have preferred to see this later on after more thought has been put into it. If you’re looking for an effect to put on video and you understand the performing limitations, than go for it. Personally I’ll save my money.