Nathan Kranzo's Burning Up DVD
Reviewed by Andi Gladwin

To many people in UK, Nathan Kranzo may be a new name. Those who already know about him understand that he's an ubber-creative performer and lecturer that has been making waves for the past five or six years. I first saw his name in print in a magazine called Half Baked; a magazine where people didn't share tricks, but ideas and concepts for magic, letting the reader's imagination do the rest. Nathan's material is perfect for that magazine: his ideas are visual, off the wall and most importantly - to me at least - give you the urge to take what he has created and let your own creative juices run with it.

Nathan has become a seasoned DVD pro since the days of Half Baked, starring in his own two previous releases, Out of the Box and Visual Voodoo and in the renowned collaborative effort, On the Road. He has lectured all over the world, had tricks appear in practically every magic magazine around and has published a small number of his own booklets too.

His latest DVD, Burning Up follows the trend of his other fantastic DVD releases, in that it contains some excellent original magic. Nathan isn't one to create a worthless variation of a card trick, but instead provides fresh methods for different, visual effects. The simplicity in effect and method in most magic that Nathan creates shows that the tricks have been developed by a working pro, which in turn makes much of the material perfect for walk around and table magic situations.

The most original effect on the volume is his Fire Coins, which could be considered a variant of Chad Long's well known Flash Coins, in that it contains elements of fire ... and coins! In this effect, Nathan takes a match, lights it and visually changes it into a gleaming silver coin. This is repeated twice more, and than Nathan performs an array of other visual appearances and vanishes with the coins. It's a fantastic routine that would reap massive rewards should you take the time to learn it.

The rest of the material ranges from an incredibly easy card suspension, where you cause a playing card to stand on end for a few moments, to a reasonably difficult four ace production that will keep you occupied during the long winter evenings. It is worth noting that this DVD contains just five effects. I realise that there is a large body of magicians that purchase DVDs just to view the material, without a view of ever performing its contents. Those magicians may feel disappointed with the small number of items, but those who watch a DVD and plan to use the material in their own performances, will definitely find something of worth. I can definitely imagine Nathan's Fire Coins and Homing Tie - a trick where a signed card appears folded up in the designer's label of your tie - popping up in a good few repertoires around the world.

The footage itself is well produced and shot in what appears to be a professional studio. However, I found the DVD navigation to be slightly annoying: having to repeatedly hit the back button and select what scene I'd like to watch next. The passive viewer who wants to sit down, relax and watch this DVD may also find the interaction annoying, but if you can get past that, I am certain that you will enjoy this DVD.

This is an impressive DVD and I applaud Nathan for not releasing a sixteen DVD set, but instead just explaining his best material, instead of adding unwanted filler that no-one would perform anyway. I hope that this concept sets the trend for other DVD producers. In summary, I would recommend this DVD to anyone wishing to add some spice to their repertoire.

Andi Gladwin, December 2005


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