Video Chat Magic by Will Houstoun and Steve Thompson (PDF)




From some of the greatest minds in magic, comes the most exciting and comprehensive selection of routines, tricks, concepts and tech solutions for virtual magic, all in one massive release.

In March 2020, the magic community was thrust into the most rapid and dramatic transformation it’s ever seen. Never had the game changed so much, so fast.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. So, Steve Thompson and Will Houstoun partnered up to champion the idea of embracing virtual magic, acknowledging its challenges, and, more importantly, leveraging its unique advantages and opportunities.

With the generous assistance of some of the biggest names in magic and mentalism, they threw themselves into researching and innovating what magic could become in this new world. They weren’t interested in simply adapting old tricks to the new environment, but rather discovering innovative new effects and methods.

Over the course of 6 intense months, they produced a subscriber-only online collection aptly titled “Video Chat Magic” that grew monthly in breadth, acclaim and membership—and even raised over $35,000 for charity along the way. It featured incredible contributions from the likes of Max Maven, Jim Steinmeyer, Adrian Lacroix, Marc Kerstein, Pete McCabe and Richard Wiseman, as well as other special guests like Larry Fong, the blockbuster cinematographer behind Batman vs Superman, Watchmen, and Kong: Skull Island, who took part in a dedicated series exploring camera work and lighting for virtual shows.

Now, in exclusive partnership with Vanishing Inc., this ground-breaking material is available in one interactive book. The content is carefully arranged into thematic chapters that take you on a journey from early discoveries to game-changing breakthroughs and fascinating conclusions.

Reluctant to make the leap into performing virtual magic? This book will inspire you. Ready to blow minds? This book will show you how. Simply put, “Video Chat Magic” will shatter your preconceptions about how much impact you can have, and how deeply you can connect with your audience, through a screen.

Inside you’ll find over 50 tricks, tools, techniques, essays and pieces of technology, not to mention 25 ideas for VideoMasker alone (a universal version of MagicMask from Marc Kerstein and Seth Raphael that is included with your purchase).

Learn how to do the cleanest predictions imaginable, how to create more engagement than is possible in person, how to bend time, how to make objects appear in your spectator’s hands and, most of all, how to take advantage of this new performance space to give your spectators truly memorable and meaningful experiences.

Special Bonus: And that’s not all! Pete McCabe, the professional script writer and author of the venerable “Scripting Magic” books, was joined by Paul Draper to present Scripting Magic 2.1—The virtual magic addendum to the beloved original volumes.

“Video Chat Magic” is offered in two interactive formats:
The first is a stunning 350 page full-color hardback book (that comes with a new QR code enabled virtual experience that allows you to watch videos as part of the reading journey). The second is an interactive ebook. Both versions include access to a variety of resources including tools, prop printouts, special videos, software solutions, and templates for key effects and methods.

It is clear that virtual magic is here to stay and “Video Chat Magic” is guaranteed to open up your mind to new possibilities and make you a better magician. It will also help make the world a better place, because a portion of every sale will be donated to

“Required reading for anyone who wants to do strong magic in this new medium.”
Jon Armstrong

“The most important release of 2020”
Real Magic Reviews: Steve Faulkner

“VideoChat Magic is a deep dive into the world of virtual magic. […] simply get this immediately and thank me later!”
Richard Sanders

“Over the last year I have performed hundreds of Zoom shows. Video Chat Magic has been an incredible resource for me during my virtual magic journey. These ideas, subtitles, and techniques have become the bases for entire segments of my Zoom show. I can’t thank you enough for helping me think, pushing me to do better magic, and giving me that extra edge in this new space.”
Harrison Kram

Video Chat Magic is unveiling the most effective ways to succeed in this new medium.”
Luís de Matos

353 Pages | Full Color | Hardback or ebook

Contents of “Video Chat Magic”

Forward by Richard Wiseman
Introduction and Welcome
About this Book
Chapter 1: Foundations

Video Chat Magic: Our Approach
Are You a Prioritisationalist?
The Folly of the Crowd
The Return of the Prioritisationalist
Chapter 2: Tricks

That’s Not Remotely Possible
The Messy Spread
Jackpot M&Ms
Audio Deceptions
Chapter 3: Masking Software

Introducing VideoMasker
Setting Up VideoMasker
The VideoMasker Preview Tool
VideoMasker Prediction Effects and Ideas