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Stretcher by Jay Sankey Reviewed:

Two gimmicks, 1 DVD, 16 effects, over 2 hours of material and $40 bucks. Is it gem or is it rubble? Stay tuned to find out.

Full Disclosure:

Jay and I have been close friends for nearly a decade now. We are in contact with each other several times per week, and we often consult and offer input on each other's projects. This particular project, Stretcher, is one that I did not consult on.

Effect

With this DVD, you get the title effect, Stretcher, where a borrowed soda/beer can tab is stretched from its normal size to about three times its length. Additionally, you get 15 more effects. See the ad copy for details on the effects. All of the effects have one thing in common: they use a soda/beer can and/or the can tab.

All of these effects are the type of thing you could do in a casual setting, hanging with friends, a house party, and most (if not all) of them can be done in a professional show. Obviously, you would only pick out one or two (maybe three at the most) effects to do in the same "show." The idea behind this is to be able to learn multiple effects relating to an object that is everywhere, soda/beer cans. This sets you up to be able to sort of "riff" an effect with an ordinary object laying around in the space organically.

In a few cases, Jay took a classic effect that's traditionally done with a different prop, and he updated it to be done with a soda can. But it's not as simple as simply using a soda can instead of a salt shaker for "salt shaker through table (for example)." He goes above and beyond by adding logic, reason and justification to the handling and presentation. He always added a new dimension to the effect.

Other effects are inspired are more original; others, still, are inspired by existing can effects. There's a huge collection and broad range of effects here . . . something for everyone.

Method

The methods range from nearly self-working to basic sleight of hand — sleight of hand that will take practice. Some use gimmicks (e.g., Stretcher, Spaced Out, Temporary Insanity, Climber). Others use props such as flash paper, straws, stir sticks, coins, string, etc. Others use just the can itself. In some cases the can needs a small amount of preparation; in other cases, no preparation is needed.

None of the methods are hard, though some will require much more practice than others. Everything is well within the reach of any skill level. The methods end clean in 99% of the cases. Often Jay gives multiple options for handling and method as well: one for stand up, one for seated, parlor, close up, etc.

Ad Copy Integrity

The ad copy is solid. There are no outrageous claims or untrue statements. S.O.L.I.D.

Product Quality

Included with the DVD are two gimmicks for the Stretcher effect. They are well made and will last a long time. The DVD itself, is a mix of clips from other projects that have can effects on them along with new footage and clips/effects specifically for this project. Generally speaking, the lighting is solid, the audio is excellent, etc. There are a couple of cases (mostly the clips from the Bending The Real project) where the footage was not as "HD" as the rest of the project. However, it's almost not worth mentioning, because it did not effect the learning process whatsoever, and the footage was still very clear and solid.

Final Thoughts

This project is typical Sankey: a butt-load of material (over two hours), multiple ideas around the same concept (cans), multiple ideas for handling and presentation of each effect, real world material that you can really perform that ranges from easy to medium level technical skills.

For $40 bucks, you get more than your money's worthy. If you're looking for some simple to do casual (and professional) effects that can be done with one of the most organic and ubiquitous "props" in the world (i.e., soda and/or beer cans), then you must own this DVD.

Final Verdict:
5 Stars with a Stone Status of GEM!

1 Comment

  • CJ May says:

    I agree that Stretcher is a great set of tricks. I have only performed Stretcher itself but find it simple yet powerful, especially as a recycling routine. The other tricks/routines are also strong but have yet to learn and perform them.

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