Olympic Reviews

Olympic Reviews

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Four Told and Four Told 2 Smart Device Edition by Devin Knight - Review

What is it?
Four Told is a way to reveal the ESP Symbol thought of by 4 spectators (can be 4 different symbols, or all the same), where they do not write anything down, or speak.  The Smart Device Edition is a way to do the same thing essentially, though with updated symbols and different methods.  That's a pretty large thing to claim.  Does it deliver?  Which should you buy?

Why this instead of similar products?
This has differences in presentation and in method.  In presentation, it works best as a stage piece, you really need to be doing this for 4 people, though 3 would be ok too.  Comparing it with other similar products, this is very clean.  I like to vary methods entirely when placing items together, i don't want people writing things down every time, i don't want people having to touch something every time, or whatever.  This offers a LOT of freedom.  They look at an image (the audience can see it too, and actually join in) and you reveal the thought of images however you please (more on this later).  There aren't really any restrictions.  You have to use certain images and ESP symbols for me are as good as any.

In terms of method, once you know it, you will think of similar routines.  Similar in method though mostly very different in presentation, which is where the strength of this sits for me. It's a simple method, it's hidden and throughout the various methods, is becoming harder and harder to back track.  This isn't a self working mathematical trick, where a tuned in spectator will work it out, this is more than that.

Does it work?
To put it simply, yes it does!  Each of the methods work, in slightly different ways.  As long as your instructions are clear, there shouldn't be any difficulties.  The one piece that is a little less 'surefire' is where you pick one or two audience members and claim to know their thought (without them doing much at all).  It WILL work method wise but it's a little more difficult to weave in to a performance, perhaps this will come with time.  It's not difficult, it just might be a little risky in some ways.

The main effect will always work, sometimes it will be a complete miracle, sometimes it will be a great piece.  The outcome is that you will always know what they have selected, as long as your participants understand what is happening.

I have only ever done this with females.  Ones who I feel will comply.  If you are working with challenging audiences who want to catch you out, this may not work for you.

These little touches make it feel like real mind reading, the participant has to want you to succeed and play the game!

How adaptable is it?
Well, you can have ESP symbols or smart device symbols.  I don't like the smart device symbols much.  It takes it away from the ESP symbols, but puts it on your phone and frankly i think it makes it look more like a tacky trick doing that.  A nicely printed image of the ESP symbols is perfect.  It looks very professional when printed and you could put that image on your phone!  The smart device images would work, and would maybe fit in to a 'look how silly these items are but how much they influence you' routine but this might take away from the control part of this.  Ultimately, you have to use a set of images with certain properties.

You have to give 2, or 3, directions to your audience, they MUST follow your command for the routine to work.  If they don't it's not like you didn't get your peek and just move on, here it means that you WILL make a mistake.

You couldn't really do this for one or two people, three or four is best.  You could do more if you wanted but four is fine.

One of the most satisfying things about this is to be able to hand out a card with what the participant is thinking of, before they have said a word.

How is it as a package?
I got both of these releases as PDFs.  I did this because I wanted it instantly and I knew there was an image involved and I wanted to be in control of how this was printed and produced.  I am aware that you can purchase the release with printed items (and a QR code for the smart device edition) but can't comment on quality here.  You get a page in the original release PDF that you can print.  That's what i've been using.

It's written very well and the methods are explained in totality.  For me, the releases are different enough to warrant a separate purchase, though for you they might not be.

I particularly enjoyed the 'Advanced' method in the Four Told 2 PDF, meaning that in more instances, you only need give two sets of directions, very clean.

I prefer the image from Four Told, and the methods from Four Told 2.  It might be more efficient to use the images provided than try to create your own, though I'm sure you could put some work in and use this for products or something similar.

I should mention that the Four Told original release available from Lybrary (link below), contains an addendum containing a brief version of the method used in Four Told 2.  It's expanded on in no. 2 but you can get a flavour for it that way.

Will I use it?
I have done, and I very much will do again!

There are two things that niggle me to some degree with this.
1. You are writing something down throughout.  Why can't I just look at you and know what you are thinking?  Initially you are writing down on a pad, then handing out an index card or similar, this doesn't sit right.  Easy fix, do it from memory.  It's not the easiest thing to do but it's very satisfying and very much accomplishable.  Just practice first...

2. It comes across as a 'psychic' routine.  If this is YOU, then perfect, I had to work on this to remove it from that way of thinking and make it fit for me.  It's not as easy as just saying you are picking up something else, because the method is tied to the questions.  Hard to divulge a lot more.  If I am reading something from you, why can't I just know what you are thinking?  If I am reading you, why don't I know who I am looking at?  There are plenty of presentational ways around this, just be aware of it.

If I lost everything, would I get it again?
Yes, at least one of them.  Four Told has a better image and feels more like a complete package.  Four Told 2 is slightly different, I'm not sure how it would read if I did not already own the first release.  The image isn't as good for me in the the second release, the routine overall is better than just being a little thing you carry on your phone, this has real potential to be great for you.

Four Told 2 isn't just a rehash with a different image, the methods are different enough to warrant publication.  In all honesty I would very much have preferred an update to the original release rather than a second version.  I know the first version has now included some of the method updates in the addendum mentioned above, but they could have been included in one release rather than two.

Some of the PDF I felt was written in a way that it was aimed towards people who don't know what a phone is, and as though they should be astonished with getting an image on to a device, just use the PDF image from Four Told one if you want.  OK, it doesn't have the snazzy updated images but IMO they are pretty tacky looking.

If you like the sound of it and have neither, I would recommend Four Told original release.
If you HAVE the first one and have tried it or want to try it, maybe the second would be good for you.
If you have the first one and didn't like it, I don't think the second release will do much else for you though the new methods might intrigue you.

The two main releases are available here:



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