Alan Rorrison is one of the UK’s great magical creators and Praemovo is his latest release, put out on the SansMinds label. Let’s get straight into our review.
Praemovo is an extremely visual effect in which a drawing on your (or a spectator’s) phone magically animates. For example, you draw a picture of a man holding a kite, and the kite flies to the top of the phone. The kite can be rubbed off and the phone examined.
It’s a simple effect to describe – beautifully visual – and in the right circumstances should get an amazing reaction.
You’re provided with a DVD which teaches the effect and some materials to enable you to make up the gimmick. There are enough materials to make more than one gimmick if you’re careful. Construction is straightforward but will take some care to do a neat job – and you’ll need a couple of regular craft materials you will most likely already have.
I love the concept and the video demo is honest. However, in the real world there are a few minor performing restrictions to this. You will need a little bit of care for angles and will also need to watch lighting and even (can’t say too much without exposure) weather! The gimmick is simple – building on a concept you will almost certainly already be familiar with.
For me, the nature of the gimmick means I am actually unlikely to perform this – since I have an inbuilt predisposition against this kind of thing. However, please don’t let that put you off – since if you’re prepared to put in a little bit of handling practise to get this smooth – I can really see this having a great impact.
Instruction is clear and straight-forward – everything is explained in plenty of detail and is well-shot and easy to follow. In this instance, the ‘DIY’ required is not a negative because it means you can make the gimmick for whatever effect you want – a rising kite, a rising card, a flying saucer – anything you can come up with for the routine.
I quite like one of the supplied ideas which is to perform it as if it is a prediction – then even if that is a ‘miss’ you get the visual effect afterwards. This also overcomes another possible minor limitation – by making it into a more substantial effect.
Since this requires you to draw on the back of the phone, it definitely works best with a white (or at least light) phone or cover – and ideally one which allows you to use a dry-erase marker. My phone has a black back and is rather smaller than would be ideal for this effect – but most modern Iphones would be suitable. And according to my extensive (I asked one teenage girl) research lots of girls have white Iphones! So you could probably borrow one for the effect.
In summary I think I like the concept for the effect more than the execution – but that is more down to my own hang-ups on the gimmick than anything else. In the right hands this could be a powerful demonstration of visual magic – and if you like the idea of magic with your phone then it is definitely worth a look.
Praemovo is available from Merchant of Magic for £29.99 (at the time of writing).
Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.