Review: Screen Test Pocket Action Pack Edition by Steve Dimmer

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo”][vc_column_text]As the name implies, this is a pocket edition of the original “Screen Test” trick.  The original “Screen Test” is an effect with 17 movie poster postcards.  This pocket edition has the cards shrunk from postcard size down to a poker playing card size.  The faces of the cards have also undergone a make-over.  Although the cards contain the same 17 movie posters, they now resemble a bubble-gum/movie posters collector’s card look.

In effect, a spectator freely chooses a movie poster card, and you divine it.

If you are familiar with Simon Shaw’s “Director’s Cut” trick, also based on the theme of movies, and produced by Alakazam Magic, you may at first suspect that Steve Dimmer’s “Screen Test” is based on the same principle.  I did.  When I read the write-up of the product and discovered that there were no peeking or fishing, and there was also no mention of credit to either Simon Shaw or “Director’s Cut”, I realised this effect must be based on a different principle.  I became highly interested in this trick.  I am glad to say that I am not disappointed.  The method is truly clever, quite original and certainly cheeky!

The full effect is as follows.  The stack of 17 movie poster cards can be freely examined by the spectator.  She shuffles the cards and freely selects one.  The rest of the 16 cards are put away out of the sight of everybody.  She concentrates on her chosen card (movie) and reads a listing of the 17 movies in any order she wishes.  The performer is able to divine her chosen movie!  The entire procedure is straight forward and clean, and the performer does not need to see or handle the cards at all, if he so wishes.


The effect is easy to do, and there is no crib to peek or anything to memorise.  The secret is so cunning that it is a no-brainer to perform the effect.  Once you know the selected movie, you can use whatever presentation that suits your character to dramatically reveal it.

This is the basic effect.  Peter Nardi of Alakazam Magic comes up with a couple of additional ideas, including one in which your mobile phone ring tone plays to the tune of the selected movie’s theme music!

You receive the stack of 17 poker playing card sized movie posters and an instructional DVD.  The DVD is well produced and features both Steve Dimmer and Peter Nardi.  The cards are beautifully printed, but they do not fan well.  I find that the cards tend to stick together, perhaps because of my country’s humid climate.  I have to put fanning powder on the cards so that they fan well and can be easily handled by the spectator.  I believe if you laminate the cards, they will also handle well.  It will be better if a wallet or some form of holder for the 17 cards is provided.

This does not deter the impact of the effect on the audience.  Before placing an order, you may want to consider if you want this pocket version, or the larger original postcard sized version, or the Pocket Action Pack Edition where the 17 movie posters are all different and they comprise action movies.  In fact, if you purchase both the original and the Action Pack cards, you can have a stack of 34 mini movie poster cards that are all different.

You will have a lot of fun performing this clever effect.

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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