Dr. Joaquin Ayala
Okay - I have some reservations about this video, which I will address as I go along, but overall it was very good!
Let me start off by saying that for the price, you are getting more than good value here, but I would be hesitant to call it a "masterclass". Perhaps in the context of studying the Jamy Swiss routine, you could call it that, but it is not a masterclass on the subject overall.
I do appreciate that Jamy left a note to potential buyers in the ad copy as to what he is offering for use on behalf of the buyer. He specifically states his wish that you will learn the technical portions and cherry pick what you want to use from those elements, but to leave the scripting to him. This is a fair request because as good performers and students of magic know, scripting makes presentations awfully personal and what works for one rarely, if at all, works for others. I will point out that there are a few lines here and there that are "stock" Cups & Balls lines, but they are woven into a uniquely scripted presentation. You should do the same.
If you have never studied the Cups & Balls or are new to magic, this is NOT the place to start. Side note: Credit to Jamy for even saying this at one point in the video, and I paraphrase, "Do not start with this or other versions, but learn the Vernon version FIRST, learn the mechanics, the timing and the rhythm of that before you attempt to change it." This is especially true for this version because Jamy does not spend a lot of time on each and every move, and for the most part he barely exposes some of them; it is expected that you will already be familiar with most of the moves and sleights that he is talking about.
What you are really getting in this video is a routine that is, almost phase for phase, the Dai Vernon routine, just like with most really good Cups & Balls routines out there. The difference, however, are the changes (and exchanges) that Jamy has made at various points. THOSE are the real focus here, and those are what makes his handling different. As close to perfection as the Dai Vernon handling was (and is), there are a couple of things that Jamy did that improved it or cleaned it up. One particular thing that really stands out in my mind is his take on the Two-None-Two phase. I came to the same conclusion about it that Jamy did and I came up with my own way to do it, but I also like what Jamy came up with.
There are a few moves (standard ones) that Jamy teaches where I was not particularly fond of the way he did/taught them. One such example is the Charlie Miller Move with the Elimination Sequence. He did it very well but he did not follow the advice given by Charlie Miller in performing it. I have no idea if that is how he always does it or if it was just how he did it in this video, but the way he taught it matched how he performed it.
The other thing that really bothered me, and maybe he gets away with it, are his final load loading techniques. I will save a lengthy description and point the reader to studying the work of Michael Ammar and Don Alan in regards to learning great and proper loading techniques.
Kudos to Jamy for pointing out one aspect of the Cups & Balls that is very important in many presentations, yet it is absent in so many of them. Namely, the audience participation (interactive) parts. This effect was meant to be interactive and to engage the audience, and the Jamy Ian Swiss routine makes very good use of that. The thinking that went into this aspect is very good here.
One of the points of value in this video, aside from the unique handling, are the justifications for the changes - the "why". Jamy does a great job in explaining the reasons he changed this move and that one, or why he eliminated certain things altogether. They make for a great lesson in how to make routines your own and even why you should do that. All of the above points combined, even with my nitpicking points, shows that Jamy has worked this routine in a Marlo-esque fashion: backwards, forwards, left, right and upside down for a LONG time. THAT is where the real lessons lie here - it shows you how much time and work you can put into something, into making it your own, and the rewards of those efforts.
I will say that if this system allowed for half ratings, I would put this closer to 4.5 stars, but given the lack of that, and given what you are getting in this video for the cost, I rounded up to 5 stars.
As previously stated, this is not the place for beginners to learn the effect, but if you have previously studied and performed it, or if you are an experienced magician looking for something a little different on the subject, this video will definitely suit your needs. Even if you do not learn a whole lot or like what you see, you will at least be entertained by the performance.