Review: Vortex Magic Presents VCM by Eric Chien

Reviewer: John Teo

VCM is an abbreviation for Visual Card Magic.  You receive a DVD which features 6 highly visual card magic from Eric Chien.  

Not much is known about Eric Chien except that he is very good at sleight-of-hand magic and took part in and won numerous magic competitions in Asia.  Even in the DVD, which shows him performing and explaining his card routines, he does not show his face.  

Your purchase of this DVD contains a password that enables you to download a bonus video that gives you additional materials to two of his routines, as well as the credits which he did not include in the VCM DVD.  Eric shot this bonus video himself using his smart phone in his hotel room when he was working in China.  Here is where you get to see the entire face of Eric Chien.

Eric was first noticed by the magic community with his first DVD on coin magic simply entitled COIN.  

True to the title of this DVD, each of his 6 routines is highly visual card magic.  His magic is direct and beautiful to watch.  But it will take a lot of hard work for you to master the various sleights with cards that will enable you to perform each of his 6 routines.  It requires intermediate to advanced card magic skills.

The DVD is well produced and Eric speaks and teaches well.  You will not have difficulty understanding what he is saying to you.  The 6 routines in the DVD are:   

Oil & Water

3 red cards are clearly displayed and placed face up on the table.  Similarly, 3 black cards are shown and placed face up on the table on top of the 3 red cards.  Without any moves, the cards are spread face upwards and the red and black cards now alternate.  

3 cards are placed face downwards on the table.  The other 3 cards show a black card sandwiched between 2 red cards.  With a shake of the hand, the black card mysteriously moves downwards to become the last card.  With another shake of the hand, this black card changes into a red card.  All the 3 cards are now red.  The 3 cards on the table are turned and spread face upwards – they are the 3 black cards.

You will need to learn the Double Deal where you simultaneously deal the top and bottom cards of a small packet of cards.  You will also be taught the Hofzinger Spread Cull and the Spread Colour Change.

4 Card Shoot

4 Aces magically shoot out of shuffled deck into your other hand.  This is truly a visual production of 4 of a kind.  In a variation of this, 3 cards shoot out of the deck.  The deck is dribbled and a fourth card is caught in the middle of the dribbling and turned over to show an Ace.  The 3 cards that were shot out of the deck earlier are then turned over to reveal they are the other 3 Aces.  

Eric uses a short card to aid him in accomplish this beautiful 4 card production.

Collectors 1

A selected card is sandwiched face downwards between 2 red Jacks.  Mysteriously, this card vanishes and reappears between 2 black Jacks held in the other hand some distance away.  Once again, this selected card is put back in-between the 2 red cards.  Again, the chosen card travels magically from between the 2 red cards to be found in-between the 2 black cards.  Immediately, all cards can be examined.

Collectors 2

3 freely selected cards are lost into the deck.  A packet of 4 Jacks are placed on top of the deck.  The first Jack visually changes into an Ace.  The packet is spread and the 4 Jacks have now changed to 4 Aces – trapped between the 4 Aces are the 3 selected cards.  

A double-face card is used to effect a clean visual change.  Although Eric does not say it, it is possible to dispense with this gimmicked card and use sleight-of-hand instead.

2 Card Transpo

2 cards are freely selected.  The first selected card is placed underneath the empty card case.   The second chosen card changes into the identity of the first chosen card.  The card underneath the card case is then shown to be the second card.

This card is then placed inside the empty card case.  The first chosen card then changes into the identity of the second card, and the card inside the case is shown to be the first chosen card.

This routine is the most difficult to accomplish, but it appears to be the most magical effect.  You will be taught how to secretly “shoot” the top card so that it can magically appear underneath an object placed on the table.

Flash Ace Production

This is a stunningly visual production of 4 Aces from a deck of cards.  It is most visual when performed standing up.

You will be taught Chad Nelson’s Clip-Shift as well as the Top Shot move.

Bonus

On the label of the DVD is printed a password that enables you to download a bonus video from the internet.  The bonus video is like an after-thought from Eric Chien after he produced this DVD.  The bonus video provides additional materials to both Oil & Water and Collectors 2.

In the case of Oil & Water, Eric teaches you a version using only 2 red and 2 black cards.

Eric has worked out a signed card version for Collectors 2.  Each of the 4 Jacks are signed by the spectators.  The Jacks magically change to Aces, and 3 of the signed Jacks are later found to be in different pockets of the performer.  The final signed Jack is inside a locked box which the performer brings out during the routine before the 4 Jacks discover the 3 selected cards.

The final segment of the bonus video has Eric crediting his sources for all his materials in the DVD.  Apparently, he has left this important part out in the DVD.

The running time for the DVD is about 40 minutes while the length of his bonus video is just over 20 minutes.  

Apparently, Eric Chien does not mind using a gimmicked card or two just to make his magic more visual.  After all, he entitles this DVD VCM (Visual Card Magic).

If you like sleight-of-hand magic with cards, and you do not mind putting in some hard work, you will find this DVD to be a real treat for you.

Please support intellectual property. Only buy original. Available from all reputable Murphy’s Magic dealers.

9 Stars (9 / 10)

Vortex Magic Presents VCM by Eric Chien

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