Bizzaro By design has been REALLY busy. We are part of another endeavor called Test Subjects. (You can check out our Facebook Here) Test Subjects was formed after playing a couple of escape rooms and realizing this was an awesome idea and we wanted to be part. It’s like magic, videos games and other nerdy things all rolled into one! So now we create custom escape room scenarios, puzzles and props for that business.

Escape rooms have a lot of crossover with creating magic. It’s about problem solving, making new experiences for people and having impossible things occur. The difference is there is no expectation to be fooled ahead of time. There are moments of pure surprise and wonder when you place 4 random objects in the right order and a wall opens up like you’re part of some Scooby Doo mystery.

If you haven’t had the chance to play some escape rooms yet I recommend trying out a few. (you cant judge it off just one as the quality varies. Another things ERs and magic have in common.) In a few months, you can stop by Key and Code in Reno, NV and try out some of rooms we are creating for them!

Jumping All Over The World

Last year I got to go to Europe to consult on a magic series. Today that magic series came out. You can see it Here.

My job as a consultant is really “problem solver”. If something breaks, or needs to be fixed on the fly, I have to be ready for that. It happened a lot on this show. Thankfully when I am hired for this kind of work I am usually (over) prepared.

It was a great time and while I made some custom magic (some of which got edited out sadly) I also engaged in another aspect of consulting: routining. Sometimes you have to make a trick work for a certain situation by changing the script, the props, the whole concept or all of them combined. We sometimes changed something so much, it looked nothing like what it started life as. We adapted a handful of already released magic and made it fit our needs. Some of them classics and some of them newly released. I want to thank everyone whose effects they worked hard on and released into the magic marketplace so we could use them.

We had a couple guys do some pre-production creations (Calen and Victor) and then it was Casshan and myself in the trenches. I would do it again in a heartbeat.


We Control the Horizontal!

What do you think might be more challenging? Creating magic for TV or live stage?

After creating magic for TV shows such as Wizard Wars on Syfy, The Carbonaro Effect and most recently Cake Wars I can say they both have their own challenges.

Something that has to be performed live has to be bullet proof. You don’t get a retake. On the other side of the coin, the camera is an unblinking eye that is fairly impossible to misdirect the attention of. (Those watching, that’s another matter) On the upside you can keep doing it until you get it right. Sometimes a bad trick can be saved in editing (so long as the magical moment is preserved and not lost or altered).

So the answer to the question is they are both challenging but for different reasons. Here is a short clip from the aforementioned Cake Wars.


That Tingly Feeling…


When you create magic you tend to try a lot of different things to try and find a solution. It means a LOT of trial and error. A lot of them kind of work but you know deep down it’s not the right path. Then you will have a flash of inspiration and you have this feeling that it is the right solution and it will work without question. It doesn’t always happen but when it does it’s a great moment.

It’s even better when you try it and it actually does work and better than you could have imagined. If you haven’t experienced this in your own creations, just wait. You will… and it will be glorious.


Greetings Mr. Phelps

When you are a prop maker there is nothing more satisfying than a client who LOVES what you make them. It’s even better when you are proud of the job you did of said prop as well.

We were recently hired to make a thing (I don’t think I can show it to you just yet. If so I will post it in the gallery) and about halfway through the client told me that he asked another prop maker who said he couldn’t do it and a Hollywood special effects person said it was impossible. (Which is usually industry speak for “I don’t wanna do it” but I digress)

Here at Bizzaro By Design we feel NOTHING is impossible. Allow this Walt Disney quote to speak for me…


Pros and Cons

One of the best thing about being a consultant and creating magic for others is seeing the reaction it can get, especially when it does the job it was intended to do. The downside of course is no one will ever know you are the man (or woman) behind the curtain.

It’s like the chicken said Fred, “I knew the job was dangerous when i took it.”

Hooray for alphabetical order!

It’s nice to see your name up in lights… or the very least a sans serif font for about 2 seconds at the end of a TV show you consulted on.

The best part about being on set of a show like Wizard Wars is that you get to see everything from start to finish. The bad part of course is when you see the finished product and how much ends up on the cutting room floor. I wish I could show everyone some of the great magic that got edited out for time or the lines that might not have gotten past the censors. Unfortunately, that’s show biz.

Over the next couple weeks I will be slowly adding footage and photos from the set and of the things we made for the show. Until then, enjoy this randomly picked still frame of the credits from the show.


New Year, New Jobs

It’s 2015 and we already have our first custom order of the year. That also means playing with new materials to fit the job. What you see below is a silicone mold containing a hand moldable plastic. Humans have made some fascinating stuff and finding some crazy new invention that fits your needs has a weird “one ring” feeling to it. You don’t want to share it with anyone but at the same time you just wanna show everyone and be like, “Look at this awesome stuff. LOOK AT IT!”


Making magic la la la

One of the best thing about creating magic for others is seeing the reactions it gets from others. When you do something for a living that you enjoy (and get paid for it) then it really isn’t work at all. It’s even better when the performer is gracious enuff to tell others you helped out. I present Exhibit A: Justin Flom.

A brand new Bizzaro By Design

shinyWell it’s about damn time I say! We have been trying to find the time to re-design the site and it’s finally occurred.

With a new site comes new content with more on the way. We’ve added all sorts of new photos of props we’ve made and even let you peek behind the curtain at the master of our foam making and blood spattered props. (You can see more of her own art at

So stay tuned to this spot for other info and random ramblings.

– Bizzaro.