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HOW DID WE GET TO 'MOVE ZERO'

All of us at Bigblindmedia are just a little obsessed with self-working card magic. The motivation's are probably different for each of us, but the over-riding interest is clear.

For me the main draw is what I call the 'drunk factor'. Could I perform this trick while drunk? It's not because I'm always drunk (honest!). It's because as an enthusiast hobbyist I almost always perform magic tricks at social events. And then the odds are that I AM drunk. So I like my magic bulletproof. We call it 'belt and braces' (which means to provide double security - using at least two means to achieve the same end). If a trick is strong enough to amaze people but requires thought and concentration on performance only, then you can count me in!

Over the years of putting together the 'Ultimate Self Working Card Trick' series we have trawled through THOUSANDS of sleight-free tricks. The vast majority are only vaguely interesting from an academic standpoint (or to put it less politely - crap!). All magic trick construction is an exercise in 'trade-offs'. To make something sleight-free you need to swap the application of a sleight with some other 'hands-free' method. It might be mathematical. It might be an optical illusion. It might rely on some verbal dexterity. In the greatest self-working tricks this method (or more usually two or more methods cleverly combined) is invisible and raises zero suspicion. In the worst self-working tricks these methods are utterly transparent and draw attention to themselves like a neon fart in a lift.

Few people have the knowledge, intellect and ability to think laterally that is necessary to construct truly great self-working material. There is clearly an art to it. Of course, many of the great thinkers in magic have created one (or maybe two) gold-stamped, sleight-free classics, but how many have created loads? Off the top of my head I'd say Larry Jennings, Simon Aronson, Nick Trost... I am sure there are a couple more, but whichever way you slice it, it's a short list.

And that's where John Bannon comes in. This guy is a MACHINE for creating incredible self-working tricks. He seems to understand the genre in a way nobody else does. And he NEVER sacrifices clarity, quality or logic just to make something sleight-free. His self-working tricks hang together in fully justified presentations. They don't FEEL self-working. And that's the key, isn't it. You can't even leave a thread dangling for your audience. Anything suspicious in the framework you employ for a trick (even if it doesn't fully tip the method) will create a vague sense of unease in your spectators. They can sense that 'something' is going on. John's tricks sidestep that. They have flow. Grace. Confidence.

And when you start looking at Bannon's self-working tricks, you realise something - he has LOADS of them.

When we first talked about collaborating on a project to collect all of John's self-working material together I thought it would be a two volume set. (Something I just couldn't imagine any other single magician being able to do). However, as soon as we started writing it all down it became apparent that we had vastly underestimated the quantity of killer material available. From his plot defining Triumph handling ('Play It Straight Triumph' - Impossibilia, 1990) right up to brand new material destined for a new book on mentalism we had over FORTY routines. FORTY self-working card tricks. And, even more incredibly - they ALL KICKED ASS!!! Liam Montier and I pored over the list, looking at options for how to cherry pick routines for the project. We couldn't do it. Everything had merit. Everything was powerful enough to justify its inclusion. It came to a head when we both reached the same conclusion. We would perform ANY or ALL of these tricks. All FORTY!

So Move Zero was born.

We wanted to make a DVD set that would encapsulate everything that was so great about John's self-working magic collection. Not just the tricks. The thinking. The thought processes that led him to accept some methodological processes over others. We wanted to put YOU in a room with HIM! If we have done our job with MOVE ZERO you'll feel like you are getting a one-on-one masterclass with John. The tricks are (obviously) AMAZING. But I think the real juicy stuff is in the explanations, interviews and advice sections. We really worked on getting John to deconstruct his own systematic process. What questions is he asking himself when deliberating on the RIGHT technique to use in a trick? What are the trade-offs he thinks are worth considering?

This is the kind of information that will make ALL of your magic better. It'll arm you with a set of critical faculties that can enhance and expand ANY trick you are working on.

The plan, ultimately, is to film four volumes of Move Zero. The first two are heading your way. Volume 1 lands on May 16, and Volume 2 follows in July. Volume 1 runs for just over 2 hours and Volume 2 runs for 2 and a half hours. They are absolutely stuffed with GOLD!

I cherish those moments when I stumble upon a killer self-working trick. Over the years (and despite relentless searching) it happens rarely, but when it does, I am ecstatic. It fills me with a sense of possibility. I know I am GOING TO perform this trick. It's like the Holy Grail dropping in my lap.

I truly believe that Move Zero is like that, but ramped up a thousand percent.