PRAEMOVO by Alan Rorrison

Written by John Teo

n this age of social media and advanced technology, magic using a smartphone is considered as a modern and up-to-date thing.  However, with today’s powerful and sophisticated mobile apps, people will suspect that the performer uses such an app to make the magic happens on the cell phone.

Praemovo is an effect that uses a smartphone yet nobody will attribute it to the secret use of an app.  This is because the mobile phone does not need to be switched on at all.  The magic is performed using the back of the phone.

In effect, a mobile phone is borrowed.  Using a non-permanent market, the performer draws on the back of the phone, a stick figure holding onto his kite.  He adds in 2 curved lines to indicate the direction of the wind.  Mysteriously, the entire drawing becomes animated and the kite rises upwards on its own accord, as though “blown” by the wind.  Before it reaches the top edge of the phone, the performer erases the drawing of the kite off with his hand.  He then passes the phone to the spectator for her to erase the stickman and the rest of the sketch off her phone with her own hand.

The animation of the kite is such a fun and enjoyable thing to see.  It will definitely bring a smile and a gasp from the audience.

You receive the necessary materials for you to construct your own gimmick, and a well-produced instructional DVD.  You are taught everything in the DVD: how to construct your gimmick, the get-ready, and full handling.

The mobile phone can be borrowed, but it must meet 2 requirements.  The back of the phone must be of a light colour, to allow the drawing done with black ink to be easily visible.  Its back must also be glossy, to allow the erasable ink to be wiped off later.  For example, the mobile has a transparent back protector or put into a casing that has a smoooth and glossy back.  However, you must be ready with such a phone yourself in case you cannot borrow one.  Using your own mobile phone is just as effective because it will be handed over to the spectator for examination at the end of the performance.

The sketch does not need to be limited to a stickman with a kite.  Once you understand how the effect works, you can conceive your own drawing.  Watch the trailer – it gives you 2 ideas: an ufo lifting off from the ground to the sky, and a lady who gets disected at her waist.

Although there is some get-ready, the effect is easy to do, and the reset is quite instantaneous.  Unlike other products where the construction of the gimmick can be quite involved, this one is super easy.  No precision work is needed.

Animation magic, such as moving ink and drawing coming to life, never fails to enthral any audience.  (8/10 star rating)