Andrew Gerard - Energy Bill
English | AVI | DX50 996 kbps 29.970 fps | 720 x 480 | MP3 128 kbps 48 KHz Stereo | 1h27mns | 692 MB
"Energy Bill", the latest release by Andrew Gerard, is an insanely simple but oh-so-well-presented that what could easily be dismissed as a cute little stunt becomes a powerful, almost frightening, PK effect that blows minds. I have to say, right off the bat here, Gerard is hitting on all cylinders with "Energy Bill". A simple, very practical method, a great number of presentational touches that make for a solid punch, and all taught exquisitely. Yeah, I'm really loving this one.
The effect is as straightforward as you could ask for: take a borrowed bill, crease it a little, hold it on the table, and it starts to move. But there's more to this one that simply that, and that's where Gerard's presentation makes this one a keeper.
At first, the bill is held so the edge in on the table, by one end and at the fingertips. Slowly, very slowly, the bill begins to fold in half widthwise. When the bill has folded itself enough to stand on its own, the performer lets go of the bill, hold the hands to the sides, and, with a little concentration, the bill continues to fold itself even further. Finally, the performer backs away from the upright bill and, with a very slight gesture, the bill simply falls over, apparently from the force of thought alone.
See what I mean about the presentation? We keep giving way too much lip-service to the presentation of an effect being everything; Gerard's "Energy Bill" demonstrates perfectly why a good presentation -- in this case, a great one -- can elevate an effect into a something else. And "Energy Bill" is really and truly something else.
The ads are right on the money. There is no thread work here, no silly static thing that is iffy at best, no magnets, no wires, no top-secret blowing moments... as the ad copy says, "no devices of any kind". The bill can be borrowed (and, if it is, there's no switching -- only one bill is used). The only real requirements here are that the bill be made of paper (no plastic bills) and you have a smooth, flat surface to perform on (like -- oh, I don't know -- a table).
That's it. Well, you'll need all of Gerard's tips and tricks and presentational pieces, but that's what you're paying for here and getting way more than your money's worth.
Hey, I hear ya. I'm as burnt-out on "one-trick" DVDs that cost as much, if not more, than a damn good book chock full of great effects. But "Energy Bill" is different. It's a "one-trick" DVD, sure, but that one trick is so good that this is one time paying a lot more for it would still make it one of the better buys in magic. Yes, it's that good.
Now, having said that, I've got to point out some other things.
First, yes, the bill has to be made of paper. However, you don't necessarily have to use a bill. Being the goofball I am, I tried a variety of pieces of paper, from receipts to junk mail. There are a number of different things that can make use of the "Energy Bill" method, though the type of paper and the thickness of it will limit you a bit. Still, there's enough possible variations there to make this a fairly flexible piece of work.
Second, you really, really have to work with Gerard's presentation here, otherwise this is a stunt at best and a gag at worst. Luckily, the presentation is mostly in the form of structure and a bit of acting; you won't spend days and days getting those fine points down, but you'll need to spend some time with it.
Third, while this can be done with a borrowed bill, I found it plays just as well (and easier for me) if a "prepared" bill is used. This is one of those "just me" cases; some of the preparation done in front of spectators makes me a little uneasy. So I pull some bills out of my wallet, have a spectator pick one, and we're off to the races where the first prize is a mind-blowing experience.
All that taken into account, "Energy Bill" is a high-impact piece of PK. Easy to do, so easy you can devote all your attention to the presentation (which you should), and so open and above board it will get every reaction from screams to shocked silence.
It just doesn't get much better than "Energy Bill".
"Energy Bill" DVD by Andrew Gerard
In a Blink: 9 Out of 10
The idea could easily be a stupid stunt, a silly bar bet, but with Gerard's presentational pieces -- and make no mistake, that's the real work here -- this is a jaw-dropping effect. With the practice and perfection on the presentation, this could be one of the most powerful things you do.
While I prefer to do this with the set-up done beforehand, this could be done impromptu, with a borrowed bill, with no set-up, reset, ditching, and completely examinable. Only two things to be aware of here: the bill has to be made of paper (no plasticine currency allowed) and you'll need a flat, smooth surface. Otherwise, this is an extremely practical piece.
Quality of Production: 10
Perfect sound, perfect video, simple navigation... the production values here are wonderful.
Quality of Instruction: 10
Gerard should get an award for his instruction here, if not a big pat on the back and a solid attaboy. Not only does he cover the method perfectly, he goes into more detail on the presentational pieces and nuances that you can imagine. Excellent, excellent work here.
Without Gerard's presentational ideas, this one would be simply cute. With it, with all the work Gerard puts into it, this is a strong, powerful work.
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