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Equilateral by JC Sum Review:
One book, about a dozen illusion plans and $125 bucks. Is it gem or is it rubble? Stay tuned to find out.
This is a "blueprint" book full of a bunch of plans for illusions. Pictures and text attempt to convey to the reader how to construct these full stage illusions. Thus there is not much to be said about effect or method. These are your typical stage illusions: Appearing or vanishing of some large object (Motorcycle, Tiger, etc.), solid through solid, etc.
Ad Copy Integrity
The ad copy falls flat in a couple of places. The most annoying place is the claim that you'll have access to a secret web page. You don't. You get a 404 error when you go to the page listed in the book.
It also claims that all illusions are designed for performing on cruise ships. I don't think so. It's pretty hard to sneak an automobile onto a cruise ship and hide it until the night(s) of your performance where you produce it.
Other than those two things, the ad copy is pretty good.
The book is $125 bucks plus whatever costs involved in buying the materials and building the illusions. This will, very likely, be much cheaper than buying a pre-made illusion. The book is a bit technical and very hard to read in many places. Further, some of the illusions are not clearly detailed. The Bluff Car production illusions comes to mind. It was very confusing, and I'm still not sure (after reading it 6 or 7 times) how it works.
I did look online for videos of performers using these illusions. The only one I found was a performance of the motorcycle production. You can watch that below. It looks pretty convincing to me, but again, it was very hard to read.
I'll be the first to admit that my struggle with understanding the illusions may be purely due to my lack of experience in that genre. Maybe Charlotte Pendragon would look at it for two minutes and totally understand it. So I'm willing to be a little flexible on this part of the review.
Finally, there is a very smart version of the mis-made girl called Multi-Vide. If I were an illusionist and I would use this version of the effect. In fact, if I were doing the old version, I'd switch to this version. Once the girl is inside, the cabinet is separated into four pieces. Imagine an overhead view of a baseball diamond tilted upwards so that Home plate was at the bottom, 2nd base at the top, and 3rd and 1st base at the left and right respectively.
Now imagine that the box containing the head is where 2nd base is. The lower legs box is at home base. The torso and chest box is at 3rd base, and finally, the upper thighs and waste box is at 1st base. It's a very convincing illusion of the body being separated into four parts in a very symmetrical pattern.
If you're an illusionist on a budget, or you're wanting to get into illusions, this is a great place to start. It certainly had some issues, but all in all, this is an excellent place to get the info needed to build some very inexpensive illusions.
3 Stars with a Stone Status of gem.