It all began a long time ago (well 1992 to be precise) when i was given a tape of David Copperfield’s "Escape from Alcatraz" special and found myself asking two questions - "What's with the 80's hair?" and "How did he do that amazing trick with the blackboard?". Over the years i was lucky enough to get to perform Andre Kole's Dream Vision and it absolutely killed the audience; it was fun, entertaining and impossibly magical making it an almost perfect magic effect for lay audiences.
I loved the effect but the more i thought about it I realised that it suffered from one major drawback – it was a blackboard! My generation was the last to pass thru the schooling system using blackboards and they had already all but vanished from the working world; something which was once so innocent and innocuous thanks to its familiarity to a lay audience had suddenly become a strange and unusual prop that instantly aroused suspicions. If a modern magician, surrounded by modern props and modern lighting was going to write a prediction on something it wouldn’t be an old-fashioned blackboard. I realised there and then that it had to be updated to a modern whiteboard; whilst this presented some advantages with the prediction much clearer and able to incorporate colours and artwork there were certain technological quirks to the "dry-wipe" technology combined with the Dream-Vision principle that meant the prediction would fade or even vanish completely before it was revealed. I spent many months researching the technology and trying out different methods until I had come up with a solution to enable the creation of a "White-Board Dream-Vision". I hurriedly documented the concept and Faxed (yes, this was THAT long ago) the concept to Andre Kole to ask for his permission. His response was one of praise for the work I had done, the leaps and improvements I had made to the idea (he was particularly taken with the ability to incorporate colour into the prediction) but he had already licensed Dream-Vision to Don Wayne and didn’t feel that what I was proposing was significantly different enough (my proposal looked like a traditional DV but with a whiteboard, with hindsight I agree with him) to warrant releasing a new version. He encouraged me to keep dreaming, keep inventing and over the course of several faxes gave me a valuable insight into his world and encouraged me to keep thinking.
I put my ideas for DV on a shelf and left them there, I expected it would never see the light of day until during a long email correspondence with the late Gary Ouellette he encouraged me to re-visit the effect and work it over from the very bottom up. This started me off on a path that has lead to the creation of Wipeout, the new Dream-Vision. Over the course of several years I constantly tweaked, adapted and refined my ideas, questioning each and every phase of the trick to refine and develop the idea in to something new and unique. But by 2007 I’d hit a brick wall; there were so many methods and ideas swimming around that I’d completely lost my way with the illusion. Fast forward to January 2008 when long time friend, performer and magical pioneer John Taylor, Cherry Saville and I were chatting about all the great ideas we’d had but never got off the ground; eventually we got round to Wipeout and John immediately told me that he loved my ideas, there was definitely something there worth pursuing. We spent many hours sat in a lounge playing with pieces of paper, string, towels and anything else we could get our hands on to improvise the different elements of the effect so that we could try out each of the different methods and changes I’d come up with. Using their real-world experience they were able to cut through all the clutter to find the core improvements, the big ideas that really made a difference, a handling idea that eliminated the dirty work, an adjustment to the method I had discarded for fear it wasn’t practical which suddenly made it all work. They were without doubt one of the most important contributors to this effect as they gave me the focus, advice and pointers on this effect that you only get from thousands of performances and tours out in the real world. I left with a mountain of notes and began redesigning and refining one final time – there were new problems and practicalities to address and work continued until the Summer of 2009 when the final design for Wipeout was completed. Fundamentally re-designed from the ground up I documented the entire process, effect and presentation and emailed it over to Andre Kole, after two days agonizing wait the response came back – he liked it and even had some design notes for me!
We continued to develop the technological aspects and in the Autumn he gave us permission to build a full working, performing prototype. This raised one or two production issues but also gave us the chance to make some minor structural changes to the effect that made it more practical for transportation and storage. Wipeout was finally a reality!
In November 2009 after seeing photos of the finished illusion Andre sent an email full of praise for the achievements we had made and giving me full permission to use and release the effect, an unprecedented step and a huge honour for which I will be eternally grateful. With 5 more years of refinement and development I achieved the ultimate breakthrough, combining cutting edge technology, innovative art techniques and a passion for realism to create the single most naturalistic, logical and utterly practical version of Dream-Vision ever!
The NEW version
In 2017 we revisited Wipeout and upgraded it to incorporate all the little extra quirks, ideas and innovations we have learnt from 10 years of performance. The new Wipeout has all the great features you know and love but is designed to be even more practical.
- The board NEVER leaves the stage and isn't covered with a cloth
- The Easel NEVER leaves the stage - use it throughout your show
- The Magician NEVER leaves the stage - you don't have to hide anything
- NO on-stage assistants - one off-stage helper is all you need
- Prediction is attached to the whiteboard - handle it just like a real whiteboard
- Fastest loading system ever - totally natural and logical moves at every stage.
- Packs small enough to travel as flight-out luggage.
- Used by some of the biggest names in Mentalism & Magic
Demo video's showing the tech technical features and performance advantages of this new version are available to serious customers only. As with all our designs no "full performance" video's are kept as it is important that you develop a routine that fits your unique style.