This is one of three videos by Roberto Giobbi that is as part of a larger product called "Favorites" on DVD, which features Giobbi performing and teaching a series of three effects for each of three highly respected creators of card magic of the past: Dai Vernon, Alex Elmsley, and Frank Garcia. You can either get this as a separate digital download, or pick up all three as a combined set on DVD. All three videos, including this one, give you access to a digital download which is around 65-70 minutes in length, and about 600-800MB in size. The production quality is excellent, with high resolution camera work, good visuals, and clear sound. Where necessary there are camera close-ups, and even an over-the-shoulder view so that more difficult sleights can be easily followed. The first 10-15 minutes features Giobbi performing a routine of three effects that he's chosen, and which he has carefully connected and constructed into a mini-routine, followed by a careful explanation.
Alex Elmsley is a highly respected amateur who came up with some truly original and brilliant ideas, some of which improved existing effects, others which were novelties from the ground up. Giobbi considers him one of the most important and influential card magicians of the twentieth century. "All Backs" is a nice piece in which the entire deck is made to appear as if it consists entirely of double backers. It's a nice idea, but technically very demanding, and takes up a good half hour of explanation time.
I especially loved the second trick, "Double Swap", which is very clever, and has the novel idea of using two Aces like chop sticks to handle a selection. This generated looks of obvious amazement from the spectators in the performance video.
The "1002nd Aces" trick offers a lovely handling of a four Ace routine, and one of its strengths is that the spectator has a genuine choice in which pile the four Aces end up travelling to.
I would give Roberto Giobbi's teaching in these videos the highest praise. He is incredibly articulate, has deep respect for his sources, and has a real gift for analyzing and explaining the small nuances that are essential for the construction of strong magic. It's very obvious that he is a clever and deep thinker that gives careful thought to every aspect of his magic. His teaching approach encourages both creativity and personalization, and doesn't just help us learn magic, but understand what makes it work. The explanation helps one appreciate how carefully constructed Giobbi's routines are, both technically and presentationally, in view of all the subtleties he has built in!
There is some relatively easy material here, but there are also routines here that require advanced card-work. They are absolutely lovely to watch, and Giobbi's own sleights and technical ability are flawless. So this is not material for beginners, although intermediate magicians will appreciate that Giobbi does explain and teach all the sleights he uses. But even if you never go on to learn or perform any of these tricks, this video's worth lies in the many insights that Mr Giobbi shares, which have application to card magic far beyond the tricks he teaches. Even relatively beginners can learn a great deal from the way he approaches magic, and can benefit from the many insights he shares along the way.
I give this video series my highest recommendation. Get the entire set of three! If you are serious about your card magic, and want to learn from the very best, then you really can't look past Roberto Giobbi. Highly recommended! - BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame