Not too long ago someone sent me a video of a magician doing a visual bill change. The trick in the video wasn’t very good as you only saw a small portion of the bill and didn’t see the whole bill until after the change. I sent a quick video back of how I would improve the trick, however personally I wouldn’t do the trick as I don’t think it’s a bill switch is good if you can’t show the most of the bill before it changes. If you only show me fraction of it, it’s not as impressive.
Later that night I was playing around with the gimmick I had made and added some lighter fluid to add some razzle dazzle to the bill change. I was kinda amazed that it worked, and made a new gimmicked bill where I could show the whole face of the bill. Here’s what I came up with:
The fire justified the shaking of the action for the bill, which is necessary for this gimmick to work. It adds a “magic moment” to the trick. It’s not just a visual change that happens with a shake. It also makes the trick longer than a 2 second trick, which is nice.
Probably the most magical trick you can do is turn a one dollar bill into a one hundred dollar bill and give it to someone to keep. That will have more impact that almost anything else you can do. That’s why bill change tricks are popular, everyone has an emotional investment in them.
The nice thing about the standard Hundred Dollar Bill Switch is in a live show the folding process takes time which is good. Now let’s move the trick to Instagram where you have up to 60 seconds…and the attention span of the audience is even less. By the time you set up the premise and start folding the bill, you’re losing people. That’s why visual magic is HUGE on social media.
Another factor to consider in social media videos is that the bill isn’t borrowed, so some of the impact is lost. It’s always more amazing if the magician took MY dollar and turned it into a hundred, than used HIS dollar and turned it into a hundred.
Personally I think setting up a premise is important for a quick trick. There are a couple of ways to do that. You can do it in the video, or you can do it in the text of the post.
Here’s a video of a quick bill change for social media:
In the video I set up the premise, which is that it’s a “challenge” a friend gave me. I take up the problem, and solve it. I also solve it in an unexpected way. There’s a story there, I’ll admit, it’s a weak story, but it tells a story in about 12 seconds.
Personally I think it’s important to tell that story. Based on the analytics of my videos, the ones that are just quick tricks without the storyline never get the same amount of views as the ones that do. Of course this is my own experience, and I’m sure there are people churning out eye candy and racking up some big numbers in views.