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Topic: Criss Angel Mindfreak series?
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (May 13, 2005 05:23AM)
Has anyone heard when the Criss Angel [b]Mindfreak[/b] TV series is going to be on TV and what station? To be honest, I didn't really like him at first, but he is starting to grow on me....
Bizarrely Magical,
Bryan
Message: Posted by: jynx (May 13, 2005 09:58AM)
The series will be on A&E. It is supposed to air in the summer. The last that I heard is that it is to air July 20th. Just keep checking your local listings.....
Message: Posted by: MopKrayz (May 13, 2005 10:49AM)
20th July is what I heard too.
There will be many stunts in the series. One of them will have Criss being electrocuted!
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (May 15, 2005 01:16AM)
Sounds great!!!
Message: Posted by: magicfest (May 23, 2005 06:39PM)
I can check with Banachek. He told me he was working with Chris on this special and more things to come. I will let the forum know what I find out
Mark Benthimer
Message: Posted by: malini (May 23, 2005 11:39PM)
Wednesday July 20th at 10.00pm on A&E.


It wasn't a big drama to find that out, guys.
Message: Posted by: Banachek (May 25, 2005 08:32AM)
I is July 20th at 10pm on A&E. Also those in the New York Area, look for an upcoming stunt called Oasis. All I can say is it involves a glass bubble filled with water, Criss inside, an endurance stunt and an incredible twist at the end.

Origianlly I was brought in just for the mentalism, the buried alive and the bullet catch and eneded up being pretty much involved in every aspect of the show from the surreal word to the magic and the mentalism and even small details in some of the look of things. Myself, Johnny Thompson and Dexter were the magicians on board for the entire shoot, many others like Osterlind, Hillford, Luke Jermay, Ayela were consulted for other specific effects. Luke actually spent a couple of weeks helping out.

Episodes include, a buried alive, a bullet catch, hanging from hooks from a helicopter and taking a ride through the desert, a headline prediction, psychopysicological reading for a viper against 100 thousand dollars, picking up cars with your bare hands, burned alive, Russian roulette, blindfold drive, levitations, a very unique barrel escape, being blown up in a box with dynamite and so much more.

Each episode starts with a surreal world clip and then goes back and forth to the real word. The show is shot in reality fashion based around a real large stunt so you have many small magic stunts and effects that build up to this larger stunt. As a result you see people like Johnny Thompson, Todd Robbins, Luke Jermay, Dexter, Jacob, Lance, Ayela, Amazing Jonathon, P&T, Rob Zombie, Jonathon Davis from Korn, Mandy Moore and others in discussions with Criss behind the scenes and you see problems we encounter like high winds, the gaming commission shutting us down when we want to do a predictions stunt and the like (don't want to give too much away).

All in all this should have a look and feel like nothing else that has been done before. As it stands right now we will have 17 episodes in the can with 5 more to come.
Message: Posted by: darkleopard5 (May 28, 2005 11:00PM)
Personelly I don't like Angel, mainly cuz he goes around challenging other magicans, so he can show every1 else he is the better magican, and yes his special IS in JUNE.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (May 29, 2005 02:03PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-25 09:32, Banachek wrote:
Myself, Johnny Thompson and Dexter were the magicians on board for the entire shoot, many others like Osterlind, Hillford, Luke Jermay, Ayela were consulted for other specific effects.
[/quote]

Wowee! With a consultation line-up like that, the series could star Oscar Homolka and it STILL would be a "must see" --- as a matter of fact, it would be interesting to see Homoka as a mystic, wouldn't it?

Will be tuning in or recording, or both.

*jeep!
--Chet
Message: Posted by: robert2701 (Jun 7, 2005 12:52AM)
Hello guys,

is there anyone who could do me a favor and record this series on DVD?
I live in Austria/Europe and REALLY would like to see this shows!

So please, if somebody owns a DVD recorder and would do that for me, please contact me and we will discuss further details. Thank you in advance!

All the best,
Robert
Message: Posted by: Emerys (Jun 8, 2005 05:56PM)
I also would like a copy of it on dvd. If you can, send me a pm. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: cornfarrell (Jun 13, 2005 08:23PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-29 00:00, darkleopard5 wrote:
Personelly I don't like Angel, mainly cuz he goes around challenging other magicans, so he can show every1 else he is the better magican, and yes his special IS in JUNE.
[/quote]

It is a series. It begins airing Wednesday July 20th at 10:00 PM/9:00 central. You can go to the A&E website for a trailer and other info.http://www.aetv.com/crissangel/
Message: Posted by: FLIM-FLAM (Jun 14, 2005 06:36PM)
I think Criss Angel is one of the best performers to have come around in a long time. Very talented magician!
Message: Posted by: robert2701 (Jun 15, 2005 03:46PM)
Hmmm, seems like nobody in the USA owns a DVD recorder... still hoping that somebody could record it because here in Europe magic TV appearances are very rare!

All the best,
Robert
Message: Posted by: Harry H (Jun 15, 2005 05:42PM)
I cannot believe anyone has to ask when this is on!! Look at the top of this page guys..there's a banner!! Lol
oops I mean top of index page!
Message: Posted by: deerbourne (Jun 21, 2005 07:49PM)
A&E is very good about putting their series out on DVD. It may take a while, but they will put them put out on their online store.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 28, 2005 09:26PM)
I will be with Chriss next weekend and will see what I can find out about DVD releases.
Message: Posted by: SnakeBabe (Jul 1, 2005 10:32PM)
Also be sure to watch for a couple segments involving some creepy crawlies supplied by Steve and I.

I had a chance to see some of this in the making and it looks to be something really different. Criss is a great guy to work with and was always considerate to the special needs of my bugs and snakes during the shoot. I wish him the best success with this series.

Hugs and Hissessss,
Maria
Message: Posted by: llsouder (Jul 19, 2005 09:34PM)
I like what I have seen so far in the the trailers.

But my alter ego that twist balloons and cleans up kid puke is complaining about the comment "he took the cheesola out of magic."
What the heck is that suppose to mean?!?!
Just because some of us are family friendly or G rated doesn't mean it's cheesy. Dry humor is cool too! Isn't it?

Anybody else notice a disturbing trend in US entertainment and that is the more violent and R rated the more genius is attributed to the creators. What is up with that! CSI, the Sophranos, sex in the city, the Shield they are always nominated for awards.
If I saw a woman in half and use some original half wit humor :) and I am cheesy, but if I let the blood fly, bones crunch and shock the heck out of everybody, now I am a genius!
Don't get me wrong, I like the creepy stuff too but I got kids I gotta entertain over here!
how about Criss Angel in Clown Freak, the Freaky Kids Hour, or Mind Zoom
(Yeah you won't be seeing any of those shows nominated for awards! :) )
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Jul 20, 2005 04:56AM)
[derail]The reason that the shows you mention get awards is that they have great stories. Yes, violence and sex are part of those stories, but violence and sex are a part of life, like it or not.

If the shows were just nothing but people going around killing and screwing, they would not be winning awards, and frankly I don't think very many people would watch. [/derail]
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Jul 20, 2005 08:13AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-20 05:56, JohnLamberti wrote:

If the shows were just nothing but people going around killing and screwing...
[/quote]

Where do I buy a ticket? :rotf:

Greg
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jul 20, 2005 11:28AM)
This is on tonight right? I got to see him shoot some scenes here at Universal when he did one of the other specials. I liked the behind the scenes view. Makes me want to do one myself. Can't wait to see what the editing gurus come up with on this one.
Message: Posted by: atrudo (Jul 20, 2005 02:50PM)
This sounds great. I find myself liking some of his stuff but not all. This might change my mind though.
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Jul 20, 2005 10:08PM)
Float me off to heaven... I enjoyed levitation more than burnt offerings.

Will it be a hit? I need to see a couple more weeks worth...
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 20, 2005 10:08PM)
Wow, I must say I loved it tonight! Nice cameo of Banacheck also.

The street levitations of strangers were very good! Or were they strangers? Only Mindfreak knows:)
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jul 20, 2005 10:13PM)
I liked the part where they said that David Blaine should " Kiss His !@#!" LOL
Message: Posted by: Daniel J. Ferrara Jr. (Jul 20, 2005 10:23PM)
Better wear my loops to work tomorrow... Since I won't be able to perform the levitation everyone will be asking me about...
Message: Posted by: Sean W. Burke (Jul 20, 2005 10:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-20 23:13, Slim King wrote:
I liked the part where they said that David Blaine should " Kiss His !@#!" LOL
[/quote]

I must admit that this was pretty funny too, but didn't this strike you as somewhat unprofessional? Especially since this could have been edited out since it was obviously not live. There really is no excuse for including this comment in this show especially with Angel being the director and producer. I personally am not too crazy about Blaine. As much as I want to pull the hair out of my head when someone asks 'Have you ever seen that Blaine guy?', I simply smile and reply yes. Honestly I wouldn't be to surprised if this comment was a bit contrived.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 20, 2005 10:36PM)
Some thoughts on the Criss Angel "Mindfreak" programs which aired on A&E this evening. The first episode has been shown before, I believe, but I saw it for the first time tonight.

And I see I didn't miss anything. No actual magic was performed. All three "tricks" relied on camera edits and/or stooges. Very disappointing and not good for magic.

The second half-hour program was an improvement with it's focus on various levitation techniques.

Category one; the leviation to chair, to a low ledge and on an escalator, was a clever idea. I had not seen this before. It's weakness being that the performer must be facing away from the audience. Also the angles are limited.

Category two; the in-front-of-a-large-object-with-camera-push-in-at-the-finish levtations. Large plant and newspaper racks sold separately.

Category three; the very angly lean-forward levitation.

Category four; wires in a controlled situation with stooges pretending to be awed. This seems like pretty small potatoes when you consider that David Copperfield can fly all around the stage.

Category five; Finally a levitation that he can perform for real people in the real world. The leaning-backward levitation. Although, stricly speaking, not a levitation since his left foot remained on the ground. Still, pretty impressive, and most importantly to me, and many people here I expect, something I hadn't seen before.

Category six; the female-stooge-leaning-back levitation. I guess this was included for those of us who noticed he couldn't lift his foot in the Category five levitation. However this seems contradictory and anti-climatic. But boy, those "spectators" can act. For some reason he repeats this one at the end with another "helper". I guess this version is supposed to be seen as better, since she floats higher off the ground. That's specious reasoning dad.

The butterfly-in-napkin trick belongs in the first all-camera-edit show.

The floating-selected-card would have been more impressive if it didn't have to be performed 10 feet away from an audience behind velvet ropes. But that's the card they always pick isn't? Either that or the QH.

I don't usually speak ill of other performers, but this guy hurts us I think. The other school of thought would say he peaks muggles' interest in our craft. So maybe it's a draw. What do you think?

And who is Richard Cohn?
Message: Posted by: Dirko (Jul 20, 2005 10:42PM)
I liked the show. I also think there was a lot of camera work but I still thought it was good.
Message: Posted by: Fred E. Bert (Jul 20, 2005 10:42PM)
Watching Mindfreak tonight brought me back to my teenage years, watching Copperfield specials on tape in slow motion and trying to figue out how the !@#$ he does those things! I love that feeling!

Daniel - I'm with you, I'll be limiting myself to Loops as well. But that's ok. You don't have to be able to do what that other guy on TV does. You don't even have to know how he does it (but they won't believe you if you say you don't know). I have done very simple tricks and gotten the exact same reaction every time: "You're better than [insert name of popular TV magician here]." It's not that I'm better than the guy. I'm not. It's the simple fact of seeing it live, in their hands, for the first time, since most people's experience of magic has been watching it on TV.

So put those Loops to work! Although if you use enough of them, you could maybe levitate your receptionist! But don't forget to send her back to a "happy place" before you do! ;)
Message: Posted by: dcullen30 (Jul 20, 2005 11:14PM)
Blaine's special on Halloween will be way better. In doing a series like Criss Angel people will get bored. I watched it with a bunch of laymen and they hated it and said they would never watch him again. Blaine has better chops and it a million times better then this MINDFREAK MINDFREAK.

Someone should enter the AOI film festival and shoot a film of Blaine Vs Angel
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jul 20, 2005 11:31PM)
Angel wants some kind of "Magic-Off" between himself and Blaine. I saw him say so on TV once. Everyone ignored him...soooo...He's trying it again. Maybe some help from Mohamed Ali might be in order. Float like a butterfly....oh...maybe he did listen to Mohamed????
I REALLY DO WANT THIS SERIES TO BE SUCCESSFUL!
It could help everyone.
Where was that coin thru can effect everyone was talking about?
Message: Posted by: DustyDave (Jul 21, 2005 12:08AM)
I kinda liked the show. It's just really nice to see any magic on TV. I also agree with, you, Slim that the success of this series would be good for our community.

The production is top notch.

I'm not sure if I like this guy's personality, though. He sure seems edgey and 'in your face"

He did have some impressive levitations. None of the David Blaine type where maybe you can come off the ground a few inches. This guy was flying! I know it has to be some sort of gimmick, and I was watching really close for any clues. When he levitates about 15 feet off the ground, I'm thinking that the way he is hanging doesn't look quite natural. But then I can't recall seeing anyone levitating that high that I could compare his "naturalness" to.

I will say one thing for sure; If you think David Blaine needed help pulling off some of his tricks, wait'll you see this guy!

Later, Dusty Dave (who can't even levitate a card yet)
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 21, 2005 12:20AM)
To each his own I guess. I hope this series does well. It will help magic in the long run. And I don't get how some can be so critical of our craft getting out there. WOW...jealousy does rear an ugly head.

Personally, the endurance stunts such as burned alive, frozen in ice, standing on a pole are all kind of ridiculous in my book. But personality wise, talking to the camera, seeing a personality, and what else, I would lay my money on Criss taking Blaine any day of the week. The only thing I can say good about Blaine at the moment is at least when his specials air, my phone rings with strolling gigs.

But come on...can't we support one of our guys hitting the big time? I'm amazed.....
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Jul 21, 2005 12:29AM)
Amazing how some come to conculusions about some effects. I can tell you I was there and some of these conclusions are just wrong. But to be expected when one can't explain and effect. Amazed no one is talking about the little effects like the voodooo doll or ring in ice cube.

I am surprised to not have seen, wow, thanks Criss for brining magic back to where it should be. In the forefront of the TV audience.
Message: Posted by: Pele (Jul 21, 2005 12:30AM)
I'm with Randwill and Dcullen. I thought it was pretty sad, and worse, so did the people I was watching with. By-n-large I'm a sideshow gal. I know magic but it's one of those things I admit I am not good at, so I don't do it (respect and such). However, my 10 year old son sat through both MindFreak shows, saying how each stunt was done. His friends had more fun mocking the presentations, and even they figured some out. My friends were far more interested in that the kids figured the stuff out, than they were in the show itself.
That is pretty sad.

The biggest issue my friends had, even beyond the obvious placement of the levitations against large concealing objects was his full body burn. Everyone kind of found the sensationalist approach to something we can see in almost any action movie, or done better in the Cirque Du Soliel "O" show in Vegas pretty insulting to our intelligence.

I am not a fan of Angel's demeanor and attitude. In fact, I have a hard time when any claims they are going to "revive" something that isn't dead. His whole statement about magic not being mainstream is wholly unsupported by not only the amount of working magicians in the world, but he was in Vegas, where there is one on every corner.
His condescending nature, without it being supported, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. At least when P&T do it, I find it supported and funny.
His presentation is too contrived and forced.
The confrontational approach is immature and does not come across as unprofessional. We know there is competition amongst performers, but this is not a boxing arena.

Of the "illusions" the one that failed miserably for me was the levitational backbend. First of all, yogi's and several bellydancers can do that unaided (if you are interested in Bellydance at all check out Rachel Brice for it). The move is called a Turkish drop and with training and body control, a person can lower themselves into that position completely unaided. It is *really* impressive. However, there was a bit on Criss Angel's version that got screwed up in editting. When he stood up, his shirt remained sticking straight out in the back instead of falling back down naturally. The camera moved around so that the back of the big guy it white blocked it but not fast enough. There it was for all to see.

Overall the worst to me was the "surreal desert world" with the "freaks" who weren't really, and they didn't get used for anything. I saw that entire presentation used better on a tattoo documentary recently, and at least they really were freaks interviewed.

I know performers of all styles rely on the suspension of disbelief by an audience. However, that requires charisma and a conviction that I simply do not see in Criss. There also needs to be a full presentation to pull it off. My apologies to those who worked on the show, as I am sure you are wonderful and all, but the presentations are lacking, especially for television.

A 10 year old should be awed by magic. S/he should find wonder in it and be amazed.
I was. !@#$, my dream was to marry David Copperfield (I know, the point now, mock later! lol). Criss Angel did not do this for any adults or children that I know, whether in the know and with it, or not.
And *that* is truly sad.
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 21, 2005 12:41AM)
All in all Mindfreak 1&2 struck me as average to good.

I always have reservations regarding near perfect television magic. To my magician’s mind they always seem to smell of stooges, camera tricks, editing and set ups. But in this age of video recording and slow-motion playback reconstruction I can't blame anyone for using these tools. From a magician's stand point I get the feeling that some of the "street" effects weren't really street. I actually had no criticism of the effects; they were good magic for TV. I also like that Angel has a unique character. It's a little creepy for me, but so was the Zombiefied Johnny Thompson. Yikes!

The levitation sequences were cool. All of the methods seemed solid and I think weren't transparent to non-magicians.

If I have one criticism it is that I think using special effects in the cut sequences weakened the reality factor, but then again maybe that's what they were trying to achieve a blurring of the lines.

I'm not completely sold on this special from a Mr. Magician stand-point, but I think the production was very professional and well done, and I am happy to see Chris Angel putting magic out for a new generation of creepy Goth kids. Kudos to him on his success.

Chris Angel is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but he will create a buzz among those who see him.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 12:51AM)
[quote]

But come on...can't we support one of our guys hitting the big time? I'm amazed.....
[/quote]

I guess I don't think of him as one of "our guys." Most magicians don't have the luxury, of not having to actually perform tricks to be on television like Angel. Henning, Copperfield, Blaine and all those greats I used to see on Ed Sullivan's show actually had to perform magic to be on television. That is to say, they didn't do things that could ONLY be done on taped television and present them as if what they're showing you is what happened.

Ninty-five percent of what filled up Angel's show was not magic.

What I don't get is, why use camera tricks to make a butterfly appear in a napkin? If you're going to fake it, why not levitate Mt. Everest. Why not flame-on and fly to the top of the Empire State Building and have your body explode into a rainbow or sparks and streamers and balloons and candy? Why not make Los Angeles disappear. All these things can be done. On television.

"Our guys", or "my guys" at least, can do a one-handed top palm, a mind-blowing Ambitious Card routine, roll 4 silver dollars across both hands at the same time, the Sylvester Pitch, Sam the Bellhop, the Cups and Balls with live chicks as the final load, ect. In person. Live. Right before your very eyes. That's the performance of magic.

From what I've seen, Criss Angel is image and marketing. Has anyone ever seen him do real magic tricks?
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 21, 2005 01:07AM)
Rand,

I agree with you on your last point. Your guys are my guys. Give me the close-up magic that was done so well on the World's Greatest Magic Specials. Every year, we got to see great Cups and Balls. One year it was Ammar, one year it was Gertner, one year it was Dave doing the coffee cups and fruit. Those are my preference. But the problem is, nobody is putting that on tv these days. Is it because it has been there, done that? I don't know. But in the absence of it, I want to support the guys who are getting out there.

At the end of the day...we are on the same page. All the tricks you mentioned were done on television and done quite well. But for some reason, the powers that be in broadcast television want the new and unusual. Blaine, Angel, THEM, etc. What was it about good classical close-up magic that went to the wayside?

I have said long ago, I hate when the "big event" airs on some of these latest shows because I then get asked, how does Blaine live in the box, or survive in the ice, or now...Angel survive being set on fire. They aren't magic, and I wouldn't even say they are illusions (although the kicker to the fire burn was unexpected). I have to reply that they are more endurance stunts than magic. Would I have liked to seen more good close-up magic during the half-hour? Of course. But Criss has about 14 more episodes to go, and I still believe in my heart, it will be good for all of us to support him.

I will be interested to check back in here after he does the bullet catch. There have been some great bullet catches done and raved about on this board. P&T, Banachek, etc. But even though I haven't seen Criss's angle on it, I can almost guarantee that some will come on here and bash him, simply because he is modern and mainstream.

Maybe I'm wrong and in the minority, but any magic (barring the Masked Magician) that receives exposure on television has to be good for the rest of us, and that is why I feel the urge to cast my support.
Message: Posted by: Jimeuax (Jul 21, 2005 01:19AM)
The only harm is when people ask REAL magcians to replicate Camera tricks in the real world--------------cheers!------Jimeuax
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Jul 21, 2005 01:24AM)
I Will agree with EVERYONE here in bits and pieces. It was DROP DEAD AMAZING and it was DROP DEAD HORRIBLE. More or the less AMAZING.

Now I knew what was awaiting me in this forum. Hurting magic because all of us average magicians can't do it. Some stunts looked beyond fake. We could all tell there was too much camera editting.I'ts all true but guess what , it is PERKS OF DOING A SHOW ON TV SINCE 1995 FOR A BIG NETWORK!

Seriously what were you expecting?"Pick a card , any card "....tricks? A levitation with a broom , as shown in his 14 year old picture? Were you expecting we would be able to do any of those things? I know the response is NO.

We know what people want now in days. This gives us an EXTREMELY AMAZING lesson. MAGIC HAS TO MOVE ON. That is the bottom line. We have to start working to create the impossible with modern edge.Most of us don't pull bunnies from hats for the same reason! I don't see how you can complain.

You want to be as amazing as angel? Most of those things can be done without stooges as banacheck pointed out. We should give PLENTY of credit to him because he WAS there. I know I found several ways to do a lot of those. That inspiration was priceless and now thanks to this "horrible" show I am thinking about ways to move magic into the future. Seeing the TRUE power of patter. How my magic has changed lifes while even angel's stays in "trickery."

Don't think of this as a strike to magic. Think of it as the way magic has to be performed now in days for the people watching us.

I know I will take the lesson. You can too....or stick to the SAME old stuff.

Bravo to Angel. Despite all the so called "harm." He did start what he set out to do atleast with me.

Will continue to see it through out.

It is amazing how simple words had so much power over my brothers watching. I had them by the hand , and they were seeing me as this sage. For lack of better words. They knew there is trickery. They saw angel as the way I have to go. They saw him in me. They saw what magic was about . After I was explaining to them. They saw magic. The way it is suppose to go.

I hope magicians learn from our current mistakes. It is something most magicians today lack. Be an original.

This is amazing.

Enjoy magic.People want to see angel instead of your rising cards, king rising, stigmata , coin bite, haunted hanky, silks, doves, etc...they can pay millions for a private show . Or they can enjoy what you are presenting to them. I think they will take the latter.

You are magicians still. Don't let yourself down guys.

People will enjoy you non the less if you are good with what you have. They know if you had super powers you wouldn't be wasting them on coins,cards, levitation, for enterntainment. You are a poor magician. But WE LOVE IT.

Keep your head high. You can do good for the future of magic. I believe in people. I believe in you.

Good luck guys.

Have a great day.
Message: Posted by: IllusionJack (Jul 21, 2005 01:25AM)
I enjoyed MIND FREAK. It definately had some originality to it!

All of the close up tricks were just cool ... the ring in the ice cube, the napkin butterfly. One of the suprising ones was the card that pushed itself out of the pile and rose up to Criss' hands. They do this at magic shops EVERYWHERE here in Las Vegas yet Criss was able to do it well, with charisma, and showmanship, and get a great reaction out of it. The guys at the Houdini's shops around here do this ALL DAY every day and each time I watch them, they basically get no reaction out of the audience whatsoever!

As for the big stuff, the fire seemed to be a bit Copperfield to me. But I like Copperfield, and the fire stunt was cool. GREAT SHOWMANSHIP here. He lit up, and walked around the circle, getting close to people, and was just great. I imagine it would have been very cool to actually be there and see this. Then, with the kicker ending - very fun! It was a stunt - but they put in some magic to make it magic. Good.

The levitations were sweet. I mean I can honestly say that I do not know how it was done. Right in the middle of Fremont Street - trust me, it's impossible to keep passerby out of this area, and so I would imagine it looked in person as it did on TV. If not, it would have been revealed to a number of people.

I enjoyed the Fremont Street levitation the most... the escalator / Aladdin hotel hallway was cool too. The ones that were clearly digitally assisted did not impress me as much.

I have a few friends who worked on this production. A buddy of mine was a DV camera operator and has told me that though he was not into magic before, he got to learn a lot about it during the production. He also told me that the stuff we see on TV looked just as good in person, for the most part... and that the people who see it on TV will think "camera trickery!" when it just isn't so.

Another friend of mine, Steve "Tiny Daly" Bubbles (of showgirls of magic fame) plays the transgendered old woman in the desert sequence. He also talked about how cool Criss' stuff looked during the shoots.

Anyways, I like the show so far and look forward to seeing more of it. I hope Criss is able to open his stage show "Mind Freak" at the Wynn as is rumored.

--Jack :pepsi:
http://www.jack-stephens.com
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 21, 2005 01:32AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 01:51, Randwill wrote:
[quote]

But come on...can't we support one of our guys hitting the big time? I'm amazed.....
[/quote]

I guess I don't think of him as one of "our guys." Most magicians don't have the luxury, of not having to actually perform tricks to be on television like Angel. Henning, Copperfield, Blaine and all those greats I used to see on Ed Sullivan's show actually had to perform magic to be on television. That is to say, they didn't do things that could ONLY be done on taped television and present them as if what they're showing you is what happened.

Ninty-five percent of what filled up Angel's show was not magic.

What I don't get is, why use camera tricks to make a butterfly appear in a napkin? If you're going to fake it, why not levitate Mt. Everest. Why not flame-on and fly to the top of the Empire State Building and have your body explode into a rainbow or sparks and streamers and balloons and candy? Why not make Los Angeles disappear. All these things can be done. On television.

"Our guys", or "my guys" at least, can do a one-handed top palm, a mind-blowing Ambitious Card routine, roll 4 silver dollars across both hands at the same time, the Sylvester Pitch, Sam the Bellhop, the Cups and Balls with live chicks as the final load, ect. In person. Live. Right before your very eyes. That's the performance of magic.

From what I've seen, Criss Angel is image and marketing. Has anyone ever seen him do real magic tricks?
[/quote]
I think this is a common criticism of TV magicians. It stems from the idea:

"I am or I know a better magician(s) than Chris Angel (or fill in the blank). I have better chops or know someone that has better chops and can perform tricks without editing, etc., so why should he have a TV special?"

The answer to that is complex. “Our guys” may not have the star power or marketing to be Television material. They may be, like myself, too old, too fat, too generic, too pimply faced, unattractive, or without contacts or connections that can make that happen. Angel is driven and has made his way to this pinnacle by keeping his eye on the prize. He didn't get there with camera tricks.

One thing that I certainly agree with is that LIVE magic is the only way to really experience magic and that the medium of television is a poor representation of magic. However, if it's all you can get, it's better than nothing.

Does Chris Angel have real chops? My guess would be yes. I'm sure; in fact; I know that Angel has performed for live audiences in New York and elsewhere. So that’s really not the issue, is it? If you have a problem with the tricks on this special you fail to realize that TV requires larger than life, spectacular, shocking, extraordinary or unusual subjects to draw the dollars of sponsors. It’s not just about you, me and the other magicians; it’s about what will sell sponsorships and advertising.

As far as Angels style is concerned; well, the house of magic has many different rooms with many different styles, some will suit your tastes, and some will not. Thankfully there IS diversity and those that are willing to take a chance and be different. If Angel would have come out and done billiard balls, dove productions, card manipulation and a snow storm (apparently magic contest faire) he would have solicited a whole other set of detractors. He may not be “one of your guys”, but he is apparently, like Lance Burton, one of Johnny Thompson’s guys and so far Johnny has been pretty good at spotting winners.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 01:35AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 01:29, Banachek wrote:
But to be expected when one can't explain and effect. Amazed no one is talking about the little effects like the voodooo doll or ring in ice cube.

[/quote]

You ARE kidding, right? I mean this IS a magician's forum. The actors in the voodoo doll segment were less than convincing. In any case, it was pointless. People watching on television can't "feel" the hand of a person on television getting hot. The ring to ice cube presentation was ludicrous. If you can't present the vanish of the ring and re-appearance of it in the ice cube in one continuous take there is absolutely no point to it. Similarly the butterfly in the napkin. Does the guy not even know a good switch or was it so bad that it was edited out at the cut?

Doug Henning knew that the television audience was sophisticated enough (way back in the 60's) to realize that anything could be made to appear to happen in film or television. His earliest specials were performed live and with a disclaimer that what you were seeing at home was what the audience at the live show was seeing. And it was true.

If a man on television gets in a box and the camera cuts and then he's across the street on top of a car, nobody under 10 years old thinks that was a MAGIC trick. And for you 10 and unders, here's what I mean; when the shot cuts, he gets out of the box and goes across the street and climbs on top of the car. Then he is taped standing on top of the car. The two shots are edited together and presented as a representation of something that didn't really happen. You have not seen a magic trick. It's no more magical than when a character gets in his car in a movie and is next seen sitting in his office. If you see a magician get in a box and then re-appear elsewhere in one continous camera take, you have seen a magic trick.

For that matter, with skillfull digital blending they could have made that garbage can-to-roof thing LOOK like it was in one take, but they didn't even bother. To me, that's insulting.

I don't know, maybe it's the dumbing down of America we hear about. It's all about hair and good looks and attitude and bad boy clothes and jewelry and glitzy production. It sure ain't about doing magic.
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 21, 2005 01:43AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 02:07, Michael Dustman wrote:
Rand,

I agree with you on your last point. Your guys are my guys. Give me the close-up magic that was done so well on the World's Greatest Magic Specials. Every year, we got to see great Cups and Balls. One year it was Ammar, one year it was Gertner, one year it was Dave doing the coffee cups and fruit. Those are my preference. But the problem is, nobody is putting that on tv these days. Is it because it has been there, done that? I don't know. But in the absence of it, I want to support the guys who are getting out there.

At the end of the day...we are on the same page. All the tricks you mentioned were done on television and done quite well. But for some reason, the powers that be in broadcast television want the new and unusual. Blaine, Angel, THEM, etc. What was it about good classical close-up magic that went to the wayside?

I have said long ago, I hate when the "big event" airs on some of these latest shows because I then get asked, how does Blaine live in the box, or survive in the ice, or now...Angel survive being set on fire. They aren't magic, and I wouldn't even say they are illusions (although the kicker to the fire burn was unexpected). I have to reply that they are more endurance stunts than magic. Would I have liked to seen more good close-up magic during the half-hour? Of course. But Criss has about 14 more episodes to go, and I still believe in my heart, it will be good for all of us to support him.

I will be interested to check back in here after he does the bullet catch. There have been some great bullet catches done and raved about on this board. P&T, Banachek, etc. But even though I haven't seen Criss's angle on it, I can almost guarantee that some will come on here and bash him, simply because he is modern and mainstream.

Maybe I'm wrong and in the minority, but any magic (barring the Masked Magician) that receives exposure on television has to be good for the rest of us, and that is why I feel the urge to cast my support.


[/quote]
Michael, as usual you make great points! I think the days of the Gary Ouellet type magic specials are gone for now.
Message: Posted by: Mark Storms (Jul 21, 2005 01:50AM)
First of all I would like to say that I enjoyed these two programs of mindfreak. However there were some things that surprised me.

Coming into this show as if it were only a one time thing I would have thought. "Why is there so much filler". Where is the bang,bang,pow one after another magic that blaine or cyril structure their shows with. I felt dissapointed as all those who I was watching with lost interest and went to do something else while I watched the shows intently. And they all have been interested in at least some magic programs I have shown them before. Knowing that this is a series I wouldnt complain so much about the slow pace structure.

I was surprised by all the tricks that involved editing. I have an idea of how of the first levitations were done but the on where he goes up about 5 feet in the air while standing straight just seems too unreal. I have to say that the use of heavy editing does set the bar a bit too high for all the rest of us. However this could be good because it would encourage us to strive to improve.

I was interested by the voodoo doll trick and have a possible method. I think that I would be pretty creeped out if someone came up to me on the street offering to show me something with a voodoo doll. NO! get away from me. Im sure he got a lot of that trying to shoot this one.

The best effect on the program was the PK/floating thought of card. The only answer to knowing the card is preshow work. If so then the "where are you from?" was a nice touch.

The promised coin in soda can was not shown!!

I was also surprised when I got on here and saw all the top names that consulted for these programs. I must say with a line up like that I have nothing but great expectations for the rest of the series. It sounds great! Congratulations Criss!
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 21, 2005 01:50AM)
Randwill,

This rage will not change the entertainment tastes or minds of the sponsors. It's like peeing into a headwind.

Look at mainstream TV - Survivor, Big Brother, Fear Factor (should be called GAG Factor), The Apprentice, ect.

That ought to spell out what Television producers and audiences want. Compared to most of the crap on TV, I'll take Mindfreak, any day.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 01:59AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 02:24, unilogo wrote:
Seriously what were you expecting?"Pick a card , any card "....tricks? A levitation with a broom , as shown in his 14 year old picture? [/quote]

No, I understand that a lot of the old classics effects are outdated for today's television audience. I'm not perturbed over his choice of material. It's that he didn't really do some of the tricks he "did".

The butterfly in napkin, the ring in the ice cube, the garbage can-to-roof were all presented with edits. He didn't really perform the tricks. It was like a representation of what a magician does as you might see it in a movie. You know, where they wanted it to look like Tom Cruise was the magician character, and they didn't have time for him to learn to actually perform the tricks, so they cut it to look he was performing the tricks.

I'm not saying Angel CAN'T do magic. I just didn't see much evidence on these shows.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 02:05AM)
[quote]
The best effect on the program was the PK/floating thought of card. The only answer to knowing the card is preshow work. If so then the "where are you from?" was a nice touch.

[/quote]

Yikes, you're just giving Banacheck ammunition when he says we're guessing wrong around here. The floating card was not PK. It was IT and it wobbled just like everything wobbles when it is attached to IT.
Message: Posted by: Mike Brezler (Jul 21, 2005 02:06AM)
I was disappointed watching Mindfreak, and my wife fell asleep during the first half hour. It would be nice to watch magic on TV without camera cuts.

I am not a big David Blaine fan, but I enjoyed his magic on TV more than Criss Angel. Blaine comes across with more personality.

When Criss performed the ring in ice cube trick, A&E plastered a promo at the bottom of the screen telling us we were watching Mindfreak. When the woman handed Criss her ring it hid part of this transaction. I don't understand why networks do this... especially while watching magic.

The one piece of magic I did enjoy was the levitation from the floor to the chair.
I have never seen this performed before. At least the cameras didn't switch away during this.

I am going to continue to watch this show. I hope to see less camera cuts, a stop to the promos at the bottom of the screen, and most of all more personality from Criss. Personality is a big part of magic. Before I get slammed... I don't know this man and he may be a very nice guy. He just didn't impress me tonight with his lack of personality and most of his magic.
Message: Posted by: Mark Storms (Jul 21, 2005 02:11AM)
Randwill- I know it was IT but, the beginning of the effect was PK (object moving without physical means). Then it was taken out of the pk category and into the floatation category when it floated to his hand. This is why I said PK/floating.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 02:15AM)
[quote]

When Criss performed the ring in ice cube trick, A&E plastered a promo at the bottom of the screen telling us we were watching Mindfreak. When the woman handed Criss her ring it hid part of this transaction. I don't understand why networks do this... especially while watching magic.

[/quote]

Yep, those promos are annoying, on all shows. But the point is moot in this case since the camera cuts to a different angle between the time she hands him the ring and it is revealed in the ice cube. Hours, or days, could have passed between those two takes.
Message: Posted by: jynx (Jul 21, 2005 03:13AM)
I am not much of a poster on this forum but I do read a lot of posts. I have to put my two cents in on this one. First off, I would like to congratulate Criss Angel on having his own TV show. I would like to congratulate Banachek, Luke Jermay, and everyone else who had something to do with the series. I can't believe people can always find something to complain about when it comes to magic on TV. If you don't like it turn the channel and don't watch it ever again. It's that simple. I'm sure that most of you who thought so negatively about the show will continue to watch the episode to come and will still find something bad to say about it. How many of you can actually sit there and critize Criss' show when you don't have a TV show of your own? I read somewhere that the show was to be in between the lines of reality and non, and from the posts I read the job has been done. Everyone coming up with their own ideas of how an effect was done. I am not saying that the ideas were right or wrong. Hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect every opinion posted whether I agree or not. I for one can say that I was there for the burned alive demonstration and it was an experience that left me speechless and it is something that I will never forget. I would like to personally thank Criss Angel, Banachek, and the whole crew for making me feel welcome when I was there and thank you for the show for us the viewer to watch and enjoy....
Message: Posted by: filmyak (Jul 21, 2005 03:42AM)
Wow. Some good criticism, some ridiculous criticism, and some in between. But overall I'm with Banachek on this one, filled with incredulity at some of the responses.

First, I'm one of the editors on Mindfreak, which means that I'm fairly limited in what I can legally say here. I'm also a magician and have had a great time working on this show.

I want to address a few things, especially one comment that has come up in various forms on this thread: "If you can't present the vanish of the ring and re-appearance of it in the ice cube in one continuous take there is absolutely no point to it. Similarly the butterfly in the napkin. Does the guy not even know a good switch or was it so bad that it was edited out at the cut? "

My response: welcome to 2005, folks. We're competing with: hundreds of tv channels, video games, DVDs, movies, the internet... and an audience that has been watching MTV style editng for over 20 years now. And our audience is not magicians. As a magician, I realize we are a small niche audience. We are gonna watch the show and talk about it on the chat boards because it's magic, and it's on national TV. But the audience a show needs to survive in today's market is much broader than that, and that's who the show -- ANY show -- ultiamtely has to appeal to.

I recently watched one of Blaine's specials for comparisons, and found the pace of editing on his show deathly slow. Yet at the same time, I am a weekly visitor to the Magic Castle and LOVE live magic. The difference is: what works great live does not work well on TV.

For example: I've seen the raw footage. And you'd better believe that I watched the entire "ring in ice" trick from beginning to end in one take. And I have NO CLUE how he did it. It wasn't camera trickery, the women weren't stooges... I mean, I really don't know! And I don't WANT to know, that's part of the charm of magic!

So why didn't we leave it as one long take on the show? Because each act has to be around 6-8 minutes long. And that trick alone would have eaten up half an act.

It's fascinating live! But the pace of a live performance that is happening right in front of you can not sustain on a modern TV show. There is too much competition, and people will change the channel.

So why do we expect the audience to buy it? Because there IS a live audience watching every one of these tricks, and their reactions tell you what they saw. We show it to the TV audience too, we just have to shorten it. Do you think the women would have reacted that way if he had stopped taping, run to the kitchen, returned with an ice cube and dropped it in their water? They are the witnesses that tell you it WAS a live trick.

Yes, I have seen Criss do live magic. In our office. All the time. And yes, he is very good at it and has a wide range of magic he does well.

And you better believe we'll continue editing the shows to be as exciting as we can make them, and I'm sure I'll hear the usual complaining from the magic web sites, and that's life. If you don't like his personality, fine. His trick selection. OK. His tendency to mix in stunts as well as magic? That's your opinion, and I won't argue with it.

But if you assume "editing" = "camera tricks" then you can stop watching televised magic now, because the days of televised live performances are over. It's not a ratings war between 3 networks anymore, it's a fight for eyeballs with competition numbering in the triple digits.

I love live magic and I'll keep watching it every week at the Magic Castle. But boy am I glad that's not what magic looks like on TV. Because an unedited version of Sam the Bellhop or Cup and Balls -- as fun as it is live -- would get the show cancelled faster than you can say zero ratings.
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Jul 21, 2005 05:40AM)
Filmyak,

AMEN!! From a person who also works in the TV business (and spent many years as an editor) I wonder if any of the critics here have ANY IDEA WHATSOEVER as to what goes into making an honest-to-goodness nationally televisied program, whether it be magic related or not...how long it takes, how many people are needed, how unimaginably complicated it can be! What everyone here is calling "camera tricks" I call "production".

By the way, what, exactly, is a "camera trick?" I've been working in TV for more than a decade and have yet to come across that term in my professional work. Anyone?

Here's what many people on the board don't get...this show is not being made for US. It's not being made for a group of (mostly) amateur magicians to sit around and Monday-morning quarterback every aspect of the production. It's being made for 12 year olds in Amarillo, 300 pound housewives in Omaha, doctors in Tulsa, ice cream truck drivers in Shreveport and mailmen in Toledo. None of whom, mind you, have any idea what a double lift is or who Erdnase was or what you're supposed to do with a handful of sponge bunnies.

GEEZ, why can't anyone just sit back and appreciate the fact that magic is on television?
Message: Posted by: Almost-A-Magician (Jul 21, 2005 07:41AM)
Overalll, I enjoyed seeing it as there is so little magic on TV...and he was entertaining. I enjoyed the levitations very much...especially the back-bend one and the chair. Liked the Voodoo Doll. I will keep watching...I had only two dissapointments...it may not have affected others, but it diminished my enjoyment.

I watched it with several non-magicians, and all were dissapointed by the camera cuts. You don't have to be a magician to realize that once Angel leaves your view, something might have happened...for me, and the people I watched it with, the "magicness" immediately evaporated with each camera cut during the ring, butterly, garbage can, etc.

For me, it was a bit to contrived / serious...he lost me with the whole "teaching people how to focus their energy and levitate" thing. And we were laughing out load with all of the pre-fire drama with him and his brother. As one of my friends exclaimed, "get over yourself!"
Message: Posted by: lowphat (Jul 21, 2005 07:55AM)
The Good: Usually anytime a new magic special or series comes on, it renews interest in our precious art form which is good for magicians everywhere. I believe that this series will much do the same, and perhaps send a little more business our way.

The Bad: In my opinion - too many stooges, too many edits, and an almost outright claim of actual supernatural powers. I did however like the fact that his mother, and some of the other people on the show continuously used the word "illusion", but Criss however, seemed to teater more towards actual mystic powers most of the time.

The Ugly: Too many stooges, and too many camera tricks. Not to mention I'm going to be hearing, "Can you levitate like Criss Angel" for the next 10 months or however long this series ends up running. I was particularly disappointed by the stooges that were passed off as regular bystanders. While this probably creates a good magical experience for most laymen, I found it to be somewhat annoying. I'm also getting sick of the camera edits in these street magic specials.

All in all, I'd say it will end up being good for magic, but I guess time will tell. Either way, he's been able to market himself much as Blaine did to a good network, so good for him in that respect. I'd just like to see fewer edits, camera tricks and overall bad camera work. Being that Criss was the producer, you can't really say that it was the network making him do it. I'd also like to see what would happen if he had spectators saying things like, "Banacheck should kiss his #$@ or Penn and Teller should kiss his #$@ or David Copperfield should kiss his #$@, or Dai Vernon should kiss his #$@, or Blackstone should kiss his #$@ - I think you get the point. The shot at David was pretty unprofessional, no matter what you think about him.
Message: Posted by: Cameron Francis (Jul 21, 2005 08:31AM)
Criss Angel had a live show in NY when I lived there that was very well received. Unfortunately, I was never able to see it.

I am amazed that people have to gall to second guess the word of Banachek! He's only one of the top mentalists of our time and was a consultant on the show. Don't you think he would know a thing or two about how the material was presented?

I had mixed feelings about the show but was happy to see magic back on TV.
Message: Posted by: gregor (Jul 21, 2005 08:43AM)
Chris Angel was not bad last nite,
however I was biding my time between effects.
In my opinion, "my opinion" it did smack of camera editing, However I do understand the TV folks thoughts of "ya gotta hit the lay audience quick and hard" but even with that thought,why show a dozen levitations? why show his mom and brother worrying about the fire thing.why show the practice of the fire thing.
it seems everything today must be, Extreme this,Extreme that,reality this, reality that.I watch tv to get away from reality.The "Honeymooners" lasted a short time because it was to real.
even the aminmal planet channel has it's most extreme series.(this is NATURE, people)
I love the classic magic style, but would General Grants bird act work on TV?
would Norm Nielson's violin? would Fantasio's cane and candle act? NO, after 10 years of computer animation, digitally enhanced special effects and virtual video games.neither kids nor adults can stand just 'pure art' of any kind.nor can they stand anything slow or methodical.I would much prefer, Blackstone Jr. but we are fed drek.
I will say that he is better than Blaine, even laymen know that he's a lot of pre-setup.Blaine does absolutely nothing that myself or my magic buddys can't do, and have been doing for years. Chris is doing things that I don't do.
I own a magic shop,every kid knows the blaine levetation, lets see how many folks want this levition now. they want to do the big stuff, with out learning from the beginning. typical tho,folks these days want everything without working towards the goal. immediate gratification,but lacking a sense of accomplishment.
Message: Posted by: lowphat (Jul 21, 2005 08:48AM)
[quote] I'd also like to see what would happen if he had spectators saying things like, "Banacheck should kiss his #$@ or Penn and Teller should kiss his #$@ or David Copperfield should kiss his #$@, or Dai Vernon should kiss his #$@, or Blackstone should kiss his #$@ - I think you get the point. The shot at David was pretty unprofessional, no matter what you think about him.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Eric Dittelman (Jul 21, 2005 09:28AM)
[quote]
The butterfly in napkin, the ring in the ice cube, the garbage can-to-roof were all presented with edits. He didn't really perform the tricks. It was like a representation of what a magician does as you might see it in a movie. You know, where they wanted it to look like Tom Cruise was the magician character, and they didn't have time for him to learn to actually perform the tricks, so they cut it to look he was performing the tricks.

I'm not saying Angel CAN'T do magic. I just didn't see much evidence on these shows.
[/quote]

Yea, ok, we get it. There's editing. There's editing in all TV shows, even magic shows. If we watched full routines without editing, there wouldn't be enough time left to fit a variety of tricks/stunts in one half hour program! As far as editing in terms of detracting from an effect, I think we're all quick to assume that the TV magician is using stop and go camera editing as the sole means to a complete a trick. Just because there's editing doens't necessarily mean that what happens when the camera isn't rolling isn't legit as well. An example, if I were recording myself during a live street performance of Paul Harris's Anything Deck (A great effect by the way!), I might edit out the part where I search through the deck having the playing cards "divine" what the spectator's chosen card was, and leave in the part where the name of the spectator's close relationship is revealed on the backs of the playing cards pulled from my wallet. Just watching the video with the edit doesn't mean the rest of the trick you didn't see wasn't legit. It was simply a time saver to show a more impressive effect. In magic is it very common to have many smaller effects that lead to the set up and preperation of a much stronger effect. So don't always assume!

I personally liked the butterfly, ice cube, and garbage can effects. Even with the edits! Now I know you might not be able to perform these tricks live exactly as they came across on TV, but it doesn't mean that there aren't plausible ways to perform these tricks live. Seeing the tricks edited on TV inspired me to create live performances that are very similar and have the same effect and same reaction. And yes, I have thought of ways to perform all three of Angel's illusions live, so it CAN be done!

I know that we're all magicians and we want to be "in the know", but don't be quick to jump to conclusions and to attribute everthing to camera tricks and stooges if you're not 100% sure on how he does it. It eliminates the wonder of magic that I'm sure we've all experienced as a stepping stone to get involved in this art!

-Eric D.

P.S. I'm still astounded by how AMAZING Angel's final spectator levitation looked (even with camera edits)!
Message: Posted by: pierredan (Jul 21, 2005 09:52AM)
Mindfreak was very entertaining but lacked magical integrity.

The first show had an effect where Criss Angel was placed inside a garbage can and appeared on top of a display overhead. The camera cut off Criss Angel so many times that I could have replicated the same effect with my Handicam. Maybe I will for my promotional video.

David Copperfield walks the walk and talks the talk. What you see on TV is what you get in person. THAT is the essence of a Magician.

David Blaine and apparently Criss Angel have developed a new style of magic: “Magical Special Effects”. Prestidigitation and genuine illusions are being replaced by “made for TV magic”.

What’s next, computer generated magical effects?
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 21, 2005 10:02AM)
Not bad at all, and with the people involved behind the scenes, I'll trust that these weren't chintzy camera tricks. (But, cushlomachree, there are enough laymen this morning who tell me it looked like camera tricks!) I'll accept Banachek's word, and I'm surprised that not everyone does. Richard Osterlind was brought in on this, and we KNOW how he feels about "faked for TV" magic. All in all, I think Angel earned some credit. Nice kicker on the Burned Alive routine.

Heck, the guy had enough guts to include a family prayer in an episode, and you know how politically incorrect THAT's considered today!

I would really like to see the series courageously use a Mark Wilson disclaimer, that these effects are performed without camera tricks. (Professionals in the business may not use the term "camera tricks," but people NOT in the business use the term all the time.) I'd also like to see these things done in one shot, when possible.

Heck, I'd druther see Banachek and Osterlind with their own TV series when it comes to that. But I guess they're not edgy, goth, loud, tatooed, or [fill in blank with any fad] enough.

*jeep!
--Chet
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 10:03AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 10:28, Eric Dittelman wrote:

I personally liked the butterfly, ice cube, and garbage can effects. Even with the edits! Now I know you might not be able to perform these tricks live exactly as they came across on TV, but it doesn't mean that there aren't plausible ways to perform these tricks live. Seeing the tricks edited on TV inspired me to create live performances that are very similar and have the same effect and same reaction. And yes, I have thought of ways to perform all three of Angel's illusions live, so it CAN be done!

[/quote]

Too bad Criss Angel didn't think of ways to perform those effects un-edited. That's all I'm saying.
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Jul 21, 2005 10:08AM)
Did Criss Angel go too far? If he has to keep asking use, maybe he did. . .

When you use over the top camera tricks and for some things it greatly lessens the impact when you don't use them.

One thing that happened back in the days of Henning's TV specials that made magic work on TV was the belief that what you where seeing on TV was exactly the same thing that you would see if you where at a live show. Criss and crew tossed that rule other the window, which allowed them to out show IMPOSSABLE illusions at the cost of NOT being able supend dis-belief and inspiring a sense of wonder in the viewer of the show.

Is the goal of the show to out Blaine Blaine? You sometimes get the feeling watching Criss that he is trying to act like Blaine, talk like Blaine and make sure we all know that he is so great that "Blaine should kiss his a$#" Criss comes across as if he is not comfortable with what he is pretending to be and seems to be shifting personas from the ALL POWERFUL I AM THE MIND FREAK to the dopey half stoned "lets try something, opps did I burn your hand Blaine clone"

In the end I had a uneasy feeling, I really wanted to like Criss but I just felt sorry for the poor magic geek that was just trying too hard.

After watching last nights show, I have gained a much higher option of David Blaine as well was having my view that live magic is much better than what you see on TV re-enforced.

It was a learning experiance and I will keep watching.

Tim Wisseman
Message: Posted by: Jimeuax (Jul 21, 2005 10:55AM)
Wait a minute--let's not confuse "editing" (helping move the show along quickly), with, "I can't DO THIS without a cut-away". This would be pretty much the definiton of a "camera trick" But hey!---Anything for a buck!--LOL----------cheers!---Jimeuax
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 21, 2005 10:58AM)
Wow, people are attributing WAY WAY too much to stooges, editing, and special effects ... which, unfortunately, is what a lot of magicians do rather than admitting to themselves that they don't have a clue how an effect was done.

There may have been some editing, but I don't believe there was NEARLY as much camera trickery going on as is being suggested ... and frankly, for some of the effects that have been mentioned, there are alternative non-camera options that I'm surprised were not thought of by people in this forum.

As for stooges -- possibly, in some cases. Certainly not in the voodoo sequence, but possibly in the levitations. Then again, possibly not. I only allow that there might have been stooges for the levitations because I can't see how these volunteers could not have known they were levitating, and could not have known the secret. But perhaps they were legitimate volunteers. I don't know -- and that's my own failing as a magician. But my own failing does not prove that stooges were used.

As for my reactions to the show ...

I'm not a fan of Angel or his performance style ... I even hate the way he dresses. Personal tastes. But I found myself enjoying the show, as there was some *** good magic going on. This was far better than the vast majority of TV magic we see nowadays. It was particularly refreshing to see someone performing in street/public settings without relying heavily on card tricks. (Cards have been done to death on TV in recent years, and I believe the public is becoming less impressed as they see more and more).

I've seen magic on TV that I have personally enjoyed more as a magician ... but TV magic is not aimed at magicians, and as far as pure entertainment for the non-magician goes, it seems to me that Angel has just blown other recent TV attempts out of the water.

Again, I don't have a personally liking for Angel or his style at all, but I appreciated the work he did for last night's shows.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 11:04AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 11:02, mormonyoyoman wrote:
Not bad at all, and with the people involved behind the scenes, I'll trust that these weren't chintzy camera tricks. (But, cushlomachree, there are enough laymen this morning who tell me it looked like camera tricks!) I'll accept Banachek's word, and I'm surprised that not everyone does. Richard Osterlind was brought in on this, and we KNOW how he feels about "faked for TV" magic. All in all, I think Angel earned some credit. Nice kicker on the Burned Alive routine.

Heck, the guy had enough guts to include a family prayer in an episode, and you know how politically incorrect THAT's considered today!

I would really like to see the series courageously use a Mark Wilson disclaimer, that these effects are performed without camera tricks. (Professionals in the business may not use the term "camera tricks," but people NOT in the business use the term all the time.) I'd also like to see these things done in one shot, when possible.

Heck, I'd druther see Banachek and Osterlind with their own TV series when it comes to that. But I guess they're not edgy, goth, loud, tatooed, or [fill in blank with any fad] enough.

*jeep!
--Chet
[/quote]

I mostly agree with you.

Except, why would you trust that there weren't chintzy camera tricks, when so much of this could be so easily accomplished with camera tricks (or edits, or whatever we want to call video cheating)?

I didn't know that Osterlind was opposed to magicians presenting edited versions of effects on television, but if that's how he feels, he must feel pretty betrayed by the makers of Angel's program.

I had forgotten about the kicker ending to the burned alive (!) business. THAT was very irritating. The first time I saw this done was on Doug Henning's first television special. He did a verson of Houdini's Water Torture. Suddenly, he failed to escape the box in the prescribed time. A hooded man with an ax rushed up the platform to smash the glass box and rescue him. The drape covering the box was raised . . . and it was empty! Doug was gone! The man with ax removed the hood and, of course, it was Henning.

This basic idea has been done many times since then. Copperfield did several forms of it on his specials and I'm sure many performers do this for live audiences every night of the week. The difference is they can actually DO it. What was seen on the Angel special could not be done the way it was presented. Yeah, the edit is cleverly hidden in the mist from the fire extingushers. (Kudos to the video editor, who posted above, if you were the one who found the whitest frames to match together.) Henning, Copperfield, et. al. devised ways to do this as a magic performance. Any good-looking guy with image makers, costumers, promoters and a television production team could do it the way Criss Angel did it.

Kinda' off-topic, but I think a family prayer here in Bushworld is considered VERY politically correct.

I guess the part of your post I agree with is, that I'd rather see Osterlind performing real magic effects on TV. (I'm not familiar with Banachek.) And I'd like to see that disclaimer about no camera tricks. But if the producers of Mindfreak were restricted to that, there would be no show.
Message: Posted by: funny_gecko (Jul 21, 2005 11:09AM)
That was the firta magic show were I didn't know at least ONE of the tricks!!! where they did they fire extinguisher that was a quick disappearance!! WOW!
also does he give awaty methods on his new DVD?
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 21, 2005 11:18AM)
Well....It is interesting to read these posts and I think I have said as much as I wanted to on my impressions on the first 2 episodes, and my hopes for the remaining 16 or 18 episodes, whatever they may be.

But I just couldn't let it go, regardless of the controversey I will open, and I can sum them both up the same way:

[quote]
On 2005-07-21 03:06, Mr Mike wrote:
I was disappointed watching Mindfreak, and my wife fell asleep during the first half hour. It would be nice to watch magic on TV without camera cuts.

I am not a big David Blaine fan, but I enjoyed his magic on TV more than Criss Angel. Blaine comes across with more personality.

[/quote]

[quote]
On 2005-07-21 10:52, pierredan wrote:
Mindfreak was very entertaining but lacked magical integrity.

David Copperfield walks the walk and talks the talk. What you see on TV is what you get in person. THAT is the essence of a Magician.

What’s next, computer generated magical effects?

[/quote]

You're kidding me right? Maybe for the first quote, that is personal opinion and I respect that. I wouldn't mind a PM off this thread to hear why? Personally, I think Blaine lacks any type of personality whatsoever, and even more so to the Magic Community. One can only refer back to his rare appearance with his fellow brethern at the MAGIC LIVE convention when they pumped up his interview which he showed up for hung over I believe and sleepwalked through. He shows no emotion on his specials from what I understand. But again, we have differing opinions on that and I respect yours. I just would like to hear your thoughts and off thread is cool.

On the second one, I have seen David live close to 30 times over 20 years. I will always support him and admire his work ethic, but admittingly his last couple of specials have concerned me. There is a difference (when you say walk the walk) between "Seeing live what you see on tv" and "Seeing live exactly the way you see it on tv." I can remember all the way back to 1986 when I saw the Escape from Alcatraz live on stage before the special aired. He took advantage of location shooting, looking the other way and some edits on the actual special. The last special, while I like the majority of the illusions live (ONE, Voyeur, Portal), not one could be done in the round, nor the outside cutaway shots.

Michael
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jul 21, 2005 11:33AM)
First of all, all this speculation about "how it was done" is conterproductive to what magicians are striving for. As a professional, I don't want my audience to reduce my effects to mere "puzzles" for them to figure out. If they know the secret, I lose and if they don't, I win. As Criss said, magic is to be experienced emotionally (whatever that means to each of us). So all of this discussion is meaningless, in my view.

The only real question that remains is, "Was it entertaining?" And for me, it was not. I've seen Criss perform and he does some great routines, but they weren't in this hour. I almost turned it off several times, but curiousity won out. And Michael, you would like to know why? For me it was the over the top, melodramatic, I'm going to do something so incredibly dangerous that you won't believe it. I know the effect is dangerous, but I'm tired of this overworked cliche type of performance. I didn't like it when Chiss did it. I didn't like it when Lance Burton did it. I didn't like it when Copperfield did it.

One exception. Penn & Teller did it very entertainingly and you felt the danger.

Additionally, I didn't care for all the "lead-in" filler. I just didn't care. I did't care about the mother's birthday or the death of his father...just didn't care. Maybe if I cared about Chiss...but he appears to have anger issues.. :) ; so I didn't care about him either. To get involved you have to care; it just didn't happen and I gave him an hour.

In any event, I don't know if I'll watch anymore of these. I may, just to be able to talk to laymen who did watch it (I've yet to find anybody who did. With over 100 choices of something else to watch, not to mention to do, I'll be surprised if I do find somebody.) But it certainly won't be on my calendar to remind me.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 21, 2005 11:43AM)
I tried to enjoy the special, but my wife kept turning the channel every time I left the room. When I returned it would take me several minutes to remember what I was watching, which I think says something about how interesting the special was.

The only freakish part of the show was the freakishly bad taste in clothes that Criss and his entourage seemed to share.

The faux freaks sauntering across the desert was equally in poor taste and rather pathetic.

A.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 21, 2005 12:01PM)
Most of these comments are making me sick ... you don't like Chris Angel because he is doing things you can't do?? That sounds so laymen like! Doing something new does not hurt magic, it might hurt you because people will ask you to do something you can't do. That's your problem, not Chris Angel's.

And a news flash .... Copperfield's specials are filmed over the course of several live performances, and are always edited. How else do you think he can fit a 2 hour evening show into a 1 hour TV special complete with commericials. If his effects wern't edited, you would then be complaining there wasn't enough magic, and that everything he did was took too long and was drawn out forever.

I didn't care much for his earlier specials, but I must admit this one was cutting edge ... the best special I've seen since Copperfield's 14th (Flying). Looking forward to next weeks episode. Great job Chris!

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: oagwood (Jul 21, 2005 12:02PM)
Overall I enjoyed the show.

I didn't like the reality tv angle of following him around in preparation of his potentially fatal illusion. while I do enjoy the personal touch of meeting the family, I don't think it works for magic--perhaps if bobby brown were to become a magician I would dig it, he needs to tap the dysfunction angle for it to work.

my favorite line was when his brother said, while discussing the vortex of terror fire thingy for the umpteenth time, criss has something special planned for the end and we don't know what it is.

first it was in the 10 oclock time slot here on the west coast, they are obviously catering to an older audience. please don't belittle us with these moronic comments that you don't know what's going on. perhaps my 2 1/2 year old daughter doesn't realize that there is a production crew who knows what is going on, but the majority of skeptical americans do.

ok is this a magicians tainted perspective? hardly.

it reminds me of when david blaine was in the block of ice and one of the guys helping out said they were monitioring his heartbeat through a pill he swallowed before he went in. a pill? are we stupid? obviously they think so. same here, you don't know what's going on? get that guy off the show if that is all that he has to say.

also, his accent is annoying. I know people don't like his clothes, I don't like how he talks. I'll explain. at times he loses the accent and others it comes on really thick. get it together, either stay in character or come up with a new one.

that said, I actually enjoyed the show, he's an all right magician with some good ideas.

I'd like to see more of the freaks he has on stage with them. midgets and fat ladies win me every time.

oliver
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Jul 21, 2005 12:08PM)
I'd like to see a [b]LIVE[/b] T.V. special with Criss Angel and David Blaine.
They can go head to head with all their best routines.

I wonder who would win?

It looks like Angel can levitate higher than Blaine. ;)
Message: Posted by: lowphat (Jul 21, 2005 12:10PM)
[quote]
The only freakish part of the show was the freakishly bad taste in clothes that Criss and his entourage seemed to share.
[/quote]

I thought I saw a bit of a flashback to 80's glam rock.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 12:34PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 13:01, JoeJoe wrote:

And a news flash .... Copperfield's specials are filmed over the course of several live performances, and are always edited. How else do you think he can fit a 2 hour evening show into a 1 hour TV special complete with commericials. If his effects wern't edited, you would then be complaining there wasn't enough magic, and that everything he did was took too long and was drawn out forever.


JoeJoe

[/quote]

See the post above about the difference between editing for TIME and editing in the middle of a magic effect. When Angel, on fire, flops down onto the plywood and is instantly seen to be gone and then seen to be standing there in different clothes holding a fire extinguisher, that's a video edit. It was done to make it look like he could vanish from one place and a second later be in a different place. An amazing magic trick! Except that it's not a magic trick. It's editing.

I've seen all of Copperfield's television specials several times. Got 'em all on tape. Up until the Escape from Alcatraz show, there was nothing he did on those shows that couldn't have been done, and indeed WAS done, before a live audience. Even though the Alcatraz Escape and the Building Implosion DID rely on television's limitations of the audience's view to pull off, everything else on those shows was the real performance of magic effects. And even those two illusions were done without a camera cut.

Hey, if they had to edit the butterfly-in-napkin because the effect was running too long, Angel needs to learn a faster way to switch or load the napkin!
Message: Posted by: oombob (Jul 21, 2005 12:59PM)
"Heck, I'd rather see Banachek and Osterlind with their own TV series when it comes to that."

Hear hear brother!
Message: Posted by: Pele (Jul 21, 2005 01:01PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 09:31, cfrancis wrote:
Criss Angel had a live show in NY when I lived there that was very well received. Unfortunately, I was never able to see it.
[/quote]

I did. My friends and I walked out disenchanted completely. His performance personality doesn't leave the stage. There was no hint of charisma that drew us in and his presentations were not captivating.
One of my friends referred to his show as "A train wreck of Gwar meeting sensasionalism and calling it magic."

Blaine is captivating.
P&T blow you out of your seats.
Even those with more subtle personalities draw you in and make you want to see more.

I understand no one is infallable, especially under the magnifying glass that is performance, stage or otherwise. In fact, I can name one "illusion" in a main Vegas show that people criticized openly, from the audience, when I was there. Happens to everyone at some point. But when reports from all over are coming in of laymen laughing and yelling at the television because the presentation is so poor, I fail to see how this can be good. It is proving it is not good tv, from the general "audience" perspective. Overall, thanks to the wonder of special effects I think to believe magic on television, with editting, will win people over is a high hope. I know a lot of people, myself included, who will not be tuning again. *shrug*

And for those who say that the criticism comes from jealousy...listen to the points being made. Getting on television (and I have been) is not so hard at all. Not making a joke of yourself, or allowing others to make a joke of you, on tv seems to be the hard part (unless that is your intention, and I don't think it was).

*shrug* In the end it's all just opinions anyway.
Message: Posted by: pikacrd (Jul 21, 2005 01:02PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 13:01, JoeJoe wrote:
Most of these comments are making me sick ... you don't like Chris Angel because he is doing things you can't do?? That sounds so laymen like! Doing something new does not hurt magic, it might hurt you because people will ask you to do something you can't do. That's your problem, not Chris Angel's.

[/quote]

JoeJoe,
You are kidding correct?

[quote]
On 2005-07-21 11:58, Magicbarry wrote:
Wow, people are attributing WAY WAY too much to stooges, editing, and special effects ... which, unfortunately, is what a lot of magicians do rather than admitting to themselves that they don't have a clue how an effect was done.

There may have been some editing, but I don't believe there was NEARLY as much camera trickery going on as is being suggested ... and frankly, for some of the effects that have been mentioned, there are alternative non-camera options that I'm surprised were not thought of by people in this forum.

As for stooges -- possibly, in some cases. Certainly not in the voodoo sequence, but possibly in the levitations. Then again, possibly not. I only allow that there might have been stooges for the levitations because I can't see how these volunteers could not have known they were levitating, and could not have known the secret. But perhaps they were legitimate volunteers. I don't know -- and that's my own failing as a magician. But my own failing does not prove that stooges were used.

[/quote]

Magicbarry,

Ok what side of the fence are you taking here in the first line you say that you think that magicians are attributing way way to much to stooges and editing” but then you go on to say that “there may have been some editing, and stooges possibly in some cases” pick a side and stick to it Mr. Kerry.

Personally I thought that both episodes were very poor in quality and quantity of magic. The fire bit did nothing for me at all it was a stunt not magic. The Voodoo segment used more stooges than a Nick at Night marathon hosted by Larry, Moe and Curly. Now the Levitation segments especially the lean back with one leg in the air bit I thought were creative uses of old apparatus but no great shakes. If you Tevoed the program and go back and watch I think that Mr. Angel actually gave a hint as to how it was done inside one of the old photos that he used when I think his brother was talking. As for figuring out how he did all of this stuff no it was not that difficult to figure out that more than a few camera edits were used and quite a bit of wire was wasted. I actually was looking forward to seeing the show after seeing Mr. Angel live a few years back but was disappointed in what I thought was nothing more than a one upmanship attempt directed at Mr. Blane. Mr. Angel is a talented performer and has the ability to be very entertaining but unfortunately none of that came across in either episode that aired last night.

All in all I would have to give the thumbs down to last nights airings of Mind Freak.
Message: Posted by: giochi (Jul 21, 2005 01:17PM)
Here's a lay person's (Whitney Pastorek)thoughts from Entertainment Magazine:
This new series opens with a sinister voice intoning, "Warning: Attempting anything you are about to see could result in serious injury or death. Do not try this at home." We then cut to a shot of Criss Angel, the Mindfeak himself-all Scott Stapp hair and Jesus Christ pose-who, in a sinister voice intones, "What I am about to do, anybody can do...if you believe." Dammit now I am confuse. Welcome to what is essentially Magic Jackass: Tonight, Angel runs around Vegas levitating himself and others and scaring the hell out of people. Its cool. But Freakboy is getting dropped one full letter grade for all his unnecessary Goth-metal cheesiness/eyeliner and for recording his own theme song. Sorry. C+.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 21, 2005 02:55PM)
[quote]
JoeJoe,
You are kidding correct?
[/quote]

No I am not kidding ... he did a great job and deserves some respect. When my audience talks of him, I will give him the utmost respect. If they ask me if I can do stuff like that, I will tell them I don't want to steal his material. The same things I tell them when they ask about David Blaine, Copperfield, or one of the other magiicans here in town. Every magician deserves respect no matter what their skill level, it shouldn't matter if you are better than them or not. You should never ever bash any magician, not even the guy that did a change-bag at little Johney's birthday party. Any magic on TV is better than none.



[quote]
See the post above about the difference between editing for TIME and editing in the middle of a magic effect. When Angel, on fire, flops down onto the plywood and is instantly seen to be gone and then seen to be standing there in different clothes holding a fire extinguisher, that's a video edit. It was done to make it look like he could vanish from one place and a second later be in a different place. An amazing magic trick! Except that it's not a magic trick. It's editing.
[/quote]

You apparently don't know how he did it. There was no camera edit there - there were way to many people present to get away with a "cut - ok Chris, put the fireman's mask on - alright now, action". It doesn't work like that - he used the same technique Copperfield used for walking through the Great Wall. If you want to talk camera edits, check out Copperfields Imploding Building illusion, where the audience stood around for over 2 hours waiting for him to do that 3 minute escape. Despite the camera trickery, I still think that was one of Copperfields greatest illusions - a trick is a trick is a trick - period.

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 21, 2005 02:57PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 12:33, Steven Steele wrote:

Additionally, I didn't care for all the "lead-in" filler. I just didn't care. I did't care about the mother's birthday or the death of his father...just didn't care. Maybe if I cared about Chris...but he appears to have anger issues.. :) ; so I didn't care about him either. To get involved you have to care; it just didn't happen and I gave him an hour.

[/quote]

There's that "like the guy - like the magic" factor. I agree Steve. Although I've heard some negative things about Copperfield, his on stage persona is very dynamic. My wife assisted in one of his performances and she said he was very charming. After the show the hurried and almost impersonal version is who we met, she was surprised.

I don't want to come off as Angel's biggest fan. I certainly am not. But I would go to see him work because he's different. Do I really like him? Well not from his TV performance personality, perhaps he's more likeable in person. He failed to make me care about him also, but I was entertained by the magic. I find the over injection of personal information and commentary in these "series" a bore. It doesn't add anything to the magic. If the stories or plots are germane to the effects then, by all means let me hear it. Setting yourself on fire to celebrate your mother's birthday seems so contrived, what you're saying is "It's my Mom's birthday, look at me!" Nobody likes a show off at some else’s party. Angel could work on being more sympathetic and likeable on his specials, he shows no warmth or humor and that makes him distant, but then again I question if he's looking to attract the accolades of those of us that are commenting here. More likely the audience he is trying to capture is the depressed, rebellious 15 to 20 year old thrash rocker types, who will just think he's just plain cool, dude.

Metallica rules, seriously, dude.
Message: Posted by: lowphat (Jul 21, 2005 03:19PM)
Check out this article from the Boston Herald:

http://theedge.bostonherald.com/tvNews/view.bg?articleid=94595
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 21, 2005 03:24PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 15:55, JoeJoe wrote:

No I am not kidding ... he did a great job and deserves some respect. When my audience talks of him, I will give him the utmost respect. If they ask me if I can do stuff like that, I will tell them I don't want to steal his material. The same things I tell them when they ask about David Blaine, Copperfield, or one of the other magiicans here in town. Every magician deserves respect no matter what their skill level, it shouldn't matter if you are better than them or not. You should never ever bash any magician, not even the guy that did a change-bag at little Johney's birthday party. Any magic on TV is better than none.
[/quote]
JoeJoe,

You are both right and wrong. Never bashing means never acknowledging poorly performed or poorly presented magic as being poorly performed or presented. Never criticizing or analyzing the negative aspects of things in the public eye is as bad as speaking ill out of avarice. Most entertainers are subject to criticism, why should magicians be exempt? When a singer does a poor job with a song or gives a poor performance are we also to remain silent? I propose that criticism should be presented in a respectful and constructive manor. In other words don’t criticize unless you are able to offer a solid reason why you feel something is weak or suggest ways to improve it. Some of the criticism is taste related and tastes may vary greatly. Then again aren’t you free to state that you disliked something or even liked something subjectively? Most people here back up their criticisms with some explanation. Some are transparent and smack of envy, while some are well thought out and back up by logical thought. You are free to agree or disagree based on your own preferences.

In this internet world where we all can be published, read or make our views known, you will see criticisms and praise generated from every angle imaginable, but the old adage of, “If don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all.” will not fly in this type of forum where all are free to express our views opinions and prejudices with near impunity.
Message: Posted by: pikacrd (Jul 21, 2005 03:26PM)
[quote]

You apparently don't know how he did it. There was no camera edit there - there were way to many people present to get away with a "cut - ok Chris, put the fireman's mask on - alright now, action". It doesn't work like that - he used the same technique Copperfield used for walking through the Great Wall. If you want to talk camera edits, check out Copperfields Imploding Building illusion, where the audience stood around for over 2 hours waiting for him to do that 3 minute escape. Despite the camera trickery, I still think that was one of Copperfields greatest illusions - a trick is a trick is a trick - period.

JoeJoe

[/quote]

JoeJoe,

First I am not sure anyone here has disrespected Mr. Angel by giving there personal impressions of the show or their thoughts on how that he did his material. In some ways you are correct unless you were working on the technical team it is all speculation. It is that same reason that I am forced to ask how you can be so sure of the method he used unless you yourself are on his technical team. I speculate that his levitation in the park where one leg was on the ground was done ala broom stick suspension but that is my guess because that is what it looked like to me.

I am not so sure for the fire bit that I believe that it was the GWC method rather I think that is was more ala Rudy Coby or even camera edit. I do think the same as a few other members that the whole thing was contrived and really asked myself at the end Who Cares. I never got a sense of connection from this performance from him that would make me care if he burned or not. Now that is not to say I was wishing it on him it is rather to say at the end of the day I just did not care about him or the magic and that is what was missing from this show in my opinion. Like a lot of greater magicians than I have said you must have a connection with your audience or the magic just doesn’t matter.
Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Jul 21, 2005 03:28PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 01:29, Banachek wrote:
Amazing how some come to conculusions about some effects. I can tell you I was there and some of these conclusions are just wrong. But to be expected when one can't explain and effect. Amazed no one is talking about the little effects like the voodooo doll or ring in ice cube.

I am surprised to not have seen, wow, thanks Criss for brining magic back to where it should be. In the forefront of the TV audience.
[/quote]
Those seem to be ones that had the 'Banachek' touch on them. I thought so as I watched the specials. The 2nd special seemed to flow better than the first. How many episodes did you have and input on?

Chad
BTW, The Voodoo Doll was very nice, though not for me. And the ring in icecube is definately something I will be thinking about twisting for my own purposes.
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Jul 21, 2005 03:29PM)
"A lot of what I do is completely real. There are no tricks. It really is the Mind, Body, and Spirit connection."
Criss Angel


The one thing that I really liked about the show was how easy for him was to HYPNOTIZE a STRANGER from off the street, just some random passerby and make her float with no wires, no harnesses, and nothing under her then poof she wakes up and remembers nothing. . .

Sounds like real magic to me. . .

Tim Wisseman
Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Jul 21, 2005 03:33PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 16:19, lowphat wrote:
Check out this article from the Boston Herald:

http://theedge.bostonherald.com/tvNews/view.bg?articleid=94595
[/quote]
That article is exactly how people percieve magic at the moment. The public at large has no magician on TV they can relate to. Yet they dutifully watch the next magic special hoping for that magician to be the next Copperfield and capture their imagination, minds, and hearts.
I think its time to move away from the grungy street magic look and bring magic back to a classier time period. You can still do 'extreme' magic, just do them with dignity, not dirt.

Chad
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Jul 21, 2005 03:43PM)
Here is a possible clue to explain last night

"Angel appears to have a rivalry going with illusionist David Blaine (Angel said Blaine challenged him to a head-to-head contest but now doesn't return his calls), but he said what sets his magic show apart is the way it focuses on his preparation."

The Toledo Blade

Here is a link to the source:

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050719/ART18/507190320
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 03:47PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 15:55, JoeJoe wrote:


You apparently don't know how he did it. There was no camera edit there - there were way to many people present to get away with a "cut - ok Chris, put the fireman's mask on - alright now, action". It doesn't work like that - he used the same technique Copperfield used for walking through the Great Wall.
JoeJoe

[/quote]


The same way Copperfield did the Great Wall of China, eh? That'll come as a revelation to a lot of us who thought that the cage with the roller shades and, in particular, the steps to up to that cage were somehow involved. (Even with those limitations, Copperfield did it in one continuous camera shot.) Thanks for enlightening me.
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Jul 21, 2005 03:52PM)
Here is another link to a laymen critic's view of the Mind Freak show. . .

http://www.andpop.com/article/4558

Posted: Jul 21, 2005 5:27pm
People that saw Mind Freak last night did not see a magic show, what they saw was people watching other people preparing to do a magic trick and then they where watching people on TV watching a trick being done. What was suppose to impress us more than the trick was the reaction of the people watching the trick live.

TV is a tiny screen, just a bunch of dots of light, you can make those dots do just about anything you what with the right tools, editing, stooges, doubles. . . what ever Criss does, even if it is the coolest mind freakenest trick in the world most of us do not trust that flat screen of little dots of lights, it can show us things are not true, yet draw us in emotionally, like any great movie can. . .

Sometimes a Magician can really connect with a group of people, even over TV were we CARE about the Magician, we care about what happens to the Magician, there is a since of wonder, you reach a point where you say to yourself, I do not care how it was done, that was really cool! Copperfield reached me in that way, but you know what when I went I saw my first Copperfield show live on stage it was a hundred times better that what I saw on TV, the limits of TV were gone, I was seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling this whole show with my own senses, it was truly FANTASTIC!

Maybe I am just wierd, but I love live magic much better than anything that I have seen on TV.

Did Criss connect with the public? Do people care about the MIND FREAK! MIND FREAK! I AM THE MIND FREAK!!!

Is he the next big thing in magic? Blood, needles, screaming, burning victims hands and feet people with lasers. . . maybe. . .

Tim Wisseman
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 21, 2005 04:27PM)
[quote]Magicbarry,

Ok what side of the fence are you taking here in the first line you say that you think that magicians are attributing way way to much to stooges and editing” but then you go on to say that “there may have been some editing, and stooges possibly in some cases” pick a side and stick to it Mr. Kerry. [/quote]Either you missed the point of my comments (which I suspect is the case) or I did not make them properly (which is possible -- though I suspect the former).

I never said there was NO editing. I said that people are attributing far too much to camera effects, editing, and stooges. They see something they can't figure out ... and so they resort to the "well, he cheated" line. Sure, there may have been some editing -- but not nearly as much as some are accusing him of. I'm not sitting on a fence -- I'm stating my position quite clearly: yes, some editing, but not an editing frenzy.

And my entire point in that stooge discussion was this: someone had claimed stooges were used for everything they couldn't explain. I merely said that stooges were NOT used in all those instances, and there was only one place where I thought there was any degree of likelihood that stooges were used. The other suggestions -- no. There were no stooges employed in the voodoo trick. There MAY have been stooges in the levitation -- I don't know.

What you're doing is trying to dismiss a perfectly reasonable post by claiming I said things that I never said. You're trying to present my argument as "there were no camera edits or similar trickery, and there were not stooges". I never said that. I only said that such tactics were not used as frequently as some posters were claiming.

Please read what I write -- not what you want to argue against.
Message: Posted by: Glenn Godsey (Jul 21, 2005 04:39PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-20 23:36, Randwill wrote:
Some thoughts on the Criss Angel "Mindfreak" programs which aired on A&E this evening. The first episode has been shown before, I believe, but I saw it for the first time tonight.

And I see I didn't miss anything. No actual magic was performed. All three "tricks" relied on camera edits and/or stooges. Very disappointing and not good for magic.

The second half-hour program was an improvement with it's focus on various levitation techniques.

Category one; the leviation to chair, to a low ledge and on an escalator, was a clever idea. I had not seen this before. It's weakness being that the performer must be facing away from the audience. Also the angles are limited.

Category two; the in-front-of-a-large-object-with-camera-push-in-at-the-finish levtations. Large plant and newspaper racks sold separately.

Category three; the very angly lean-forward levitation.

Category four; wires in a controlled situation with stooges pretending to be awed. This seems like pretty small potatoes when you consider that David Copperfield can fly all around the stage.

Category five; Finally a levitation that he can perform for real people in the real world. The leaning-backward levitation. Although, stricly speaking, not a levitation since his left foot remained on the ground. Still, pretty impressive, and most importantly to me, and many people here I expect, something I hadn't seen before.

Category six; the female-stooge-leaning-back levitation. I guess this was included for those of us who noticed he couldn't lift his foot in the Category five levitation. However this seems contradictory and anti-climatic. But boy, those "spectators" can act. For some reason he repeats this one at the end with another "helper". I guess this version is supposed to be seen as better, since she floats higher off the ground. That's specious reasoning dad.

The butterfly-in-napkin trick belongs in the first all-camera-edit show.

The floating-selected-card would have been more impressive if it didn't have to be performed 10 feet away from an audience behind velvet ropes. But that's the card they always pick isn't? Either that or the QH.

I don't usually speak ill of other performers, but this guy hurts us I think. The other school of thought would say he peaks muggles' interest in our craft. So maybe it's a draw. What do you think?

And who is Richard Cohn?

[/quote]

This is very well written and insightful review. You took the words right out of my mouth, but you wrote them better. "No actual magic was performed." That statement sums it up very well.

No audience will ever believe us again when we say "no camera tricks were used."

Best regards,
Glenn Godsey
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 21, 2005 04:40PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 17:27, cocomax wrote:

Is he the next big thing in magic? Blood, needles, screaming, burning victims hands and feet people with lasers. . . maybe. . .

[/quote]

With lasers? Really? Isn't that a lawsuit waiting to happen?

Well, maybe it was lasers. But it's still a ridiculous trick to present on television since the TV audience can't feel the effects the victim is claiming to be experiencing.

Now if the lasers had set a random stranger's hand on fire! Hey, now you've got a magic show!
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 21, 2005 04:57PM)
Yes cocomax, that laymen's review is VERY accurate.

I watched last night's Criss Angel show with 8 other people who were not magicians but love magic. We were all VERY DISAPPOINTED!!! Criss Angel was TERRIBLE and the SHOW FLOPPED on MANY LEVELS! We had a hard time keeping our interest in the show. So far, this series is a complete failure.

It became immediately apparent camera editing was involved in making the effects look like a 'real-time' miracles. Shot after shot of levetations, butterfly appearing out of an 'impromptu' drawing, and escaping from a garbage can. Since such severe camera edits were soooo apparent EVERYTHING afterwards was ruled out as being "special effects" as you would see in a movie. When we go to a movie and see Superman fly or the Human Torch flame up and fly we don't say to ourselves "Oh my god, how is he flying, that is amazing?!??" NO, we rule it out as special effects due to camera and computer technology. This fact looses the fascination and wonder which is critical for magic performances to succeed at a deeper level. Once we realize the performer we are watching on T.V. has resorted to camera editing then ANYTHING is possible. He could fly to the moon, around the sun, and back. Why not? Would that be tooo unbelievable? Sure, yet the stuff we saw on the show crossed that line of believability to the point where it all looked to be a melodramatic JOKE! Absolutely PATHETIC!!!

For the sake of magic, I would like to give the show a second chance yet it would be a waste of time to watch any more episodes and besides, last night was really 2 episodes so the second chance was already given. Oh, I'd also like to mention that it was in VERY POOR taste for Mr. Angel to bash Blaine on his show. This was not very professional. This was my first experience watching Mr Angel perform and I'll never do the same again and neither will my 8 friends. They commented after the show that it was the WORST magic performance they have ever seen, it was a cheap copy of Blaine's work, AND they will never watch another episode. I am not a fan of David Blaine yet after last nights Criss Angel "JOKE" I have gained a lot more respect for Blaine. At least David Blaine wasn't an embarrasement to our art.

Sincerely,
L2L
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 21, 2005 04:57PM)
I encourage everyone to head over to the Genii Forum and vote on their on-line poll under the Buzz column. There are 3 questions regarding your views of the show last night. I think you may be surprised by the results.

Then again, only 36 have voted as of now, but that is more than have contributed to this thread. I think the options given on each question lead to some interesting assesments.
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Jul 21, 2005 05:02PM)
Maybe we should just face MAGIC IS NOT FOR TV! It seems to me camera tricks and the fact average people just don't care enought is reason not to show it. I know how I am sounding.VERY biased from a magicians point of view.

But seriously the ratings are gonna be crap. Even if they make it past this week, I HIGHLY DOUBT anyone has that attention span.("I wanna see made, I wanna see made"-typical teenager reaction-brother)("How did he do that,how did he do that?"-other brother.Think anyone will never get bored of saying that and thinking that?Seems like a pretty dull feeling to a tv show.) Who watches A&E any whom? Do you think anyone will get addicted to seeing "camera tricks" and this "wannabe real deal mystic?". People seem to point out how believeable a magician is. ***! People have realized what it is to be a real magician and yet here we are doing the SAME OLD STUFF.IT TRUELY IS NOT THE TRICKS , IT IS THE PERSONA. How could magicians not get this simple fact.

Look, We make fun of angel for acting all supernatural. For thinking he has superpowers. For dressing the way he does. Talking a certain way. Yet most magicians steal the same jokes and act like a magician they see on tv. I know most people will deny it tho. But it is there.

I know most of us now feel weak and powerless. We are NOT. How can we? Live magic as pointed out before is much different that tv. Even after the Copperfield specials!

You feel weak and powerless because criss angel hurt you? You could strike him with the same card for when a laymen asks you "why don't you float like criss angel?Can you do vooodoo on me?"

Just say "I am sorry I don't do camera edits for my magic like tv, or use stooge people to help me."

Sadly if that is what angel drops you to. He HAS TO UNDERSTAND where WE ARE COMING FROM. If we have to understand HIM!

Lastly I don't see what is wrong with people who dress like angel. (coming from a guy that has been compared to him! Pointed out by ALOT of people)"Hey he looks like you".Hahaha......I really don't. I dress like him, but yeah that's up to where it goes.I feel I am the real deal. My persona TRUELY reflects who I am. My clothes down to my last word.

What a shocking show. Yet so inpirational to me.
Message: Posted by: diabolos (Jul 21, 2005 05:08PM)
Criss Angel’s style is the gothic rock star look combined with the classic hair band styles. This is not a new look for Angel. He was like this for years, before Blaine made his first special. Angel is not trying to make himself obviously different then Blaine, it just naturally occurs that way.

If Ozzy was doing magic, we would probably love it more, because we are used to his style.

Maybe since David Blaine was the first magician to film reactions out on the streets and devote a show of close-up magic, we automatically hate any new competition that threatens Blaine, even though we do not care personally.

I am sure if Criss put out his show before Blaine we would like it more then most are willing to admitting too, and we would then criticize Blaine, for being slow and monotone like.

When I watch magic on TV I could care less about the performer. I just want to watch magic. I do not care about the patter, the look of the magician and so forth. I just care about the effect. I look at magic stripped down and differently then laymen who look at it in its entirety, the look, reactions, effects, patter, ect.

I saw just the second half last night. Criss Angel, as a performer, I do not mind, he is ok. The show was over whelmed with the levitation, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 21, 2005 05:17PM)
I forgot to mention that about 15 people at my work came up to me during lunch and said the show was "funny", "a joke", "ridiculous", "not believable", "horrible", "stupid", "goofy", "silly", "boring", and "dumb"

NONE OF THEM LIKED IT AT ALL!!! That makes 23 people I have talked to who are NOT magicians and ALL of them HATED the show!

Within this same group of co-workers I remember them raving about the Blaine T.V. specials when they first aired. They comments on Blaine were.. "cool", "amazing", "loved it", "how did he do that one", and "awesome"

This is a big difference in perception from the same group of non-magicians.

From the buzz we are hearing I'd say this show was a failure, despite the poll on Genii. Not everyone watching the show last night were magicians. Talk to some laymen who watched the show and you'll see how poor it was really taken.

A women co-worker of mine made a comment that scared me. Her 11 year old son, who also watched the show, said "I bet I can stay on fire for longer than that"

Let's hope he doesn't try lighting himself on fire just to find out.

Very sad indeed!
Message: Posted by: Angus Meats (Jul 21, 2005 05:58PM)
An observation: Love him or hate him, we will all be tuned in next week, regardless!
Message: Posted by: Hekate (Jul 21, 2005 06:14PM)
Criss Angel jus made me $20.00!!! The show may not have been spectacular but is sure has piqued everybody's interest!!!! The shop's been buzzing!
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 21, 2005 09:19PM)
Great to hear you've made some money. I am sure Banachek has made money as well. Unfortunately, it all about money and I've lost a lot of respect for Banachek knowing he was involved in this Criss Angel project. The integrity of our craft has been compromised all for a few bucks and Criss Angel's hungry ego. Criss Angel should get into the movie industry and leave magic for those who can actually perform it in front of a live audience.
Message: Posted by: Comet (Jul 21, 2005 09:20PM)
It always amazes me how many negative comments someone gets when they have a TV special. I'm trying to figure out why this happens. We all know how some of these things were done. We all know that Chris Angel didn't appeal to "everyone" it seems as if he surly didn't appeal to anyone who HASN'T had their own TV special. Did anyone even look at the "magic" he did do? I want the ring in the ice cube for my show. I wouldn't mind learning the Voodoo trick for "some" of my shows. I'd Love to be able to do the suspension he did where he was bent at the knees. I've been performing for close to 25 years now and don't think I ever got this jealous over a fellow magician's success. Chris worked his tail off for several years to get where he is now. I talked to several people who saw his show (and I work for a large cable TV company) I only heard great things about it. Oh sure there were a few people who didn't like his style but they loved the magic. I read the reports about Alain Nu right after his show came on and was sick at the negative posts. I'm sick once again at the negative posts for Chris's show. There "used" to be a bunch of people who supported their fellow performer in this business. Wonder where they are now. Well I'm off to find the name of the levitations just so I know. hope you all enjoy your evening and don't forget to tune in again for the next show. (come on you know you will)
enjoy!!
Joe Comet
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 21, 2005 09:32PM)
I LOVE seeing "magic" performed on T.V and support the promotion of our craft. However, the stuff performed on last night's show could NOT be performed in front of a live audience. What happened to the days when Johnny Carson would have Paul Gertner, Dean Dill, David Copperfield, or Michael Skinner on the show to perform. Now that was magic at it's best. I was proud to be involved with magic when REAL magicians showed their stuff. I was very happy when David Blaine came out with his T.V. specials because he actually performed effects which can be done WITHOUT editing. Those old Copperfield specials were great as well as the recent Chris Korn stuff. After Korn performed the Voodoo card trick in Guy Hollingworth's book everyone wanted to learn it. After Copperfield torn a baseball card and restored it we all wanted to perform torn and restored card effects. It rekindled the fascination of what can be done live in front of an audience.

I have nothing against Criss Angel personally yet I have everything against the use of camera editing to achieve an effect. It really diminishes our craft. If you are allowed to use camera edits what we are really seeing are special effects rather than magic. Heck, go see any X-men movie to get that. I don't think it is fair to all those wonderful magicians who have come before on T.V. who actually had to practice an effect to make it deceptive for not only the T.V. audience but the live audience that was present. Go check out one of Paul Gertner's "Steel and Silver" DVDs and look at one of his Tonight Show appearances. They reveil top talent and deserve respect. How can you respect what you saw last night? Is this what magicians in the future will resort to in order to enteratain an audience? There are many wonderful effects which can be performed for real. It would have been great to have picked from them. This Criss Angel show was the only magic show on T.V. which I severly disliked and it was because it crossed the line of integrity with the use of camera editing and stooges.
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Jul 21, 2005 09:48PM)
I speak as someone with twenty-five years experience in video production. My opinions don't have more value because of my experience. And you are not disqualified from having an opinion because you don't know how to edit video.

Are some of the critics jealous? Perhaps. Most magicians were/are rooting for the show to be a success. It is not sacrilege to say the show wasn't what was expected. That's what a forum is all about, sharing knowledge and opinions.

It's been mentioned that the viewer has the power to change the channel. Same holds true on this forum. Skip the reviews you dislike. On the other hand, there may be a few gems of wisdom in the midst of the criticism.

I wish Criss the best of luck. Doing a special once a year is in many ways much easier than doing a weekly series.

David
Message: Posted by: Pir8rbrts (Jul 21, 2005 11:25PM)
Maybe I'm "old school," but to respect what Criss Angel and David Blaine have aired on TV belittles those who can truly do real-time miracles. There are people out there and here are just a few names Ricky Jay, Jamy Ian Swiss, Paul Gertner, David Roth, Paul Harris, Rene Lavand....and the list goes on who have dedicated their LIVES to creating miracles that can be done right in front of your eyes with no cut-aways, no stooges, but with what really counts in my eyes, skill, TRUE audience interaction. Give Paul Harris a show where he honestly unleashes random pieces of "strange" on real people in the street...develop real reationships with real audience members...film their real reactions. Not "extreme" enough?? Maybe, but it is much truer to our craft...and certainly worthy of real respect.

End of rant.

Cheers
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Jul 21, 2005 11:31PM)
One comment and I will leave.

The most amazing part of "MINDFREAK" was how empty Fremont Street looked. Bu-bye!

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: MagicMan1957 (Jul 21, 2005 11:52PM)
Fremont street is kinda empty at 5 AM......

In this era of Video games, MTV, Incredible movie computer graphics etc this will effect magic in general to some degree. On television and even in live theater performance.

At an Aldo Colombini lecture he gives a funny talk about how we magicians LIE for a living.

" Your card is LOST in the deck "
" The rope HAS been cut in HALF "
" The coin is in my OTHER hand "
" The ball is under the LAST cup "
" The ace is in the MIDDLE "

ALL LIE'S !

Well I guess cutaway camera shots, stooges, the use of twins etc etc is another form of Lying.

And I used to love the statement on the screen before the Copperfield specials stateing there are NO camera tricks used in the show.

( of course he still occasionally used some stooges, twins and cut-away shots BUT NO CAMERA TRICKS! )
Message: Posted by: davidcarlo (Jul 22, 2005 12:29AM)
Both 1/2 hours generated a 1.3 and total viewers averaged 1.8 million impressions. Some highlights from the ratings:

1. Number 1 rated original cable program of any cable network for the entire night in the 25-54 demo;

2. Number 2 original cable program of any cable network in the 18-45 demo for the entire night (but Number 1 from 10:30-11:00);

3. Lowest median age premiere at 33 in the network's entire history

4. The A & E night was .8 for Dog the Bounty Hunter in the 8-9 hour; .9 for the Inked premiere at 9 and a 1.3 for Mindfreak at 10:00 (thus the show built on the network's entire night which is not easy)

5. Highest rated show for both household and key demos in the 10:00 Wednesday hour for the entire year for the network

6. Mindfreak beat the network key demo averages by 127% (18-45) and 91% (25-54) with well over 1 million views in each demo.

7 Mindfreak grew slightly--adding viewers--over the course of the hour. Great sign for the show.

An excerpt from A & E's press release today:



A&E NETWORK’S NEW SERIES’ CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK & INKED

DELIVER THE YOUNGEST SERIES’ PREMIERE MEDIAN AGE IN NETWORK HISTORY

New York, NY, July 21, 2005 – A&E Network’s new series CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK, delivered the youngest series premiere in the network’s history with a median age average of 33.5 years. CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK garnered an average of 1.1 million A18-49 impressions (+127% vs. A&E’S 2005 prime average) and 1.0 million A25-54 impressions (+91%). Among total viewers CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK averaged 1.8 million impressions. INKED delivered a median age average of 33.6 years, making it the second youngest series premiere ever. INKED delivered 615,000 A18-49 impressions (+30%) and 583,000 A25-54 (+10%). INKED averaged 1 million total viewers.

CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK premiered with back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, July 20 at 10PM/9C proceeded by INKED with back-to-back episodes at 9pm


Needless to say, as far as entertainment is concerned--which one would suspect magicians as performers should be primarily concerned about (although you wouldn't know that from the off the wall/envy-laden criticisms in this post and absurd claims that "no one" could have possibly liked the show) -- the show was a huge success.

And next week, odds are millions more will continue to tune in and enjoy additional episodes while a handful of "magicians" will stay cooped in their rooms for another 4 hours with no gigs on the horizon and espouse why the new episodes suck as well. kinda sad . . .
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jul 22, 2005 12:38AM)
David,

With all due respect, the numbers mearly reflected the number of people watching; not the number of people who enjoyed the show. However, it did include the people who couldn't find anything else to watch and settled on Mindfreak rather than turning off their TV.

The proof will come if Mindfreak can sustain those numbers or build on them. That will indicated whether or not the show is a success. All we have at this time is a reference point.

I hope he does well. I hate to see anybody fail, but as for my tastes, he has a large hill to climb, which is too bad because he really is a skilled magician from other things I've seen him do.
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Jul 22, 2005 12:40AM)
I have no idea as to the exact method used on Criss's show. I have thought of several different ways many of the effects could have been done, the VooDoo effect could been done without stooges, but you really have to burn the victim of the trick using some sort of tech, I know of chemicals, lasers, and even directed microwave beams that could be used pull off the effect.

The other man on fire effect could have been done without any camera tricks using a method simular to Criss's Metamorphosis effect.

The garbage can trick could have been done using a method simular to what is used to make a motorcycle rider vanish on stage and then appear in the back of the room.

If somebody other than Criss trained people to take part in the floating effects and they never meet Criss before, but were trained and ready to be instantly hypnotized and know what to do they could just walk up to Criss at the right time and Criss could say to them "Have we ever meet before?" They could say "No" and be telling the truth, and from that people might infer that that means they are not a stooge.

My point is Criss might have really been doing a much better show than some of us are giving him credit for. For all we know it might have looked great in person.

However, the limitations of TV do not allow use to know what it was really like to be there.

I still do not get the whole butterfly thing, why did she draw a butterfly? How did Criss force her to draw a butterfly and not some other animal like a horse? Maybe I missed something.

That all being said, we got what we got.

Is this something that people want to see, are the ratings good and will they improve from week to week and is A&E happy with it, does it get the ratings of a sucessful A&E show. . . we will see. . .

Tim
Message: Posted by: Pir8rbrts (Jul 22, 2005 12:50AM)
"Needless to say, as far as entertainment is concerned... the show was a huge success. "


Ratings for a premiere show really only reflect how effective the ad campaign was. And the marketing for this show was admittedly pretty fantastic...I heard ads on the radio, saw ads on the internet as well as TV.

There are hundreds of shows out there that premiered well and then dissappeared faster than Blackstone's birdcage.

First night numbers are hardly a reflection of the show's entertainment value...I for one dissagree with the notion that high ratings = quality entertainment. I'm sure that if people find the show watchable they will continue to tune in, and if they do...good for Criss. But, if not...well there's always Fear Factor.

Cheers
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 22, 2005 01:32AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 16:47, Randwill wrote:
The same way Copperfield did the Great Wall of China, eh? That'll come as a revelation to a lot of us who thought that the cage with the roller shades and, in particular, the steps to up to that cage were somehow involved. (Even with those limitations, Copperfield did it in one continuous camera shot.) Thanks for enlightening me.
[/quote]

Yes, the Copperfield that went into the wall was a body double ... the towel around his neck was used to help mask that. The height of genuis there was the promo pics (ie: the one in TV guide) that showed the real Copperfield against the wall.

I suspect Chris also used a body double ... mostly because he came out with the hoodie already over his head, to help mask the body double.

Nothing wrong with that ... whatever it takes to get the job done. :)

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 22, 2005 02:54AM)
David Carlo,

Thank you for all the stats. It is unfortunate you interpret our criticisms as envy and jealousy. Plain and simple I did not enjoy the show nor did approximately 25 of my friends who watched it as well. We were all disappointed and it is o.k. for us to share our opinions. Just because my opinion differs from yours doesn't mean you can categorize me in any way. Please settle down and stop the hasty generalizations.

The advertising for the Criss Angel show was fantastic and certainly helped to get people tuned into A&E.

How many people who watched the show enjoyed what they were seeing? How many were disappointed? Did the show live up to the advertising hype?

We will have an indication in the next few sets of viewer rating numbers.

I hope Criss Angel can keep up those viewer numbers. As a fellow magician I wish him luck and success. No jealousy here just disappointment.
Message: Posted by: Adam Grace (Jul 22, 2005 03:59AM)
I had FUN watching these specials! Score one point for the magicians.

Posted: Jul 22, 2005 5:07am
Oh yeah... why didn't I have a "Broom Suspension" when I was fourteen? It was a riot seeing all the photos of Criss as a kid magician. I love how his mother was so worried about him during the BURN. When Criss was young, can you imagine how many times his mom said, "Criss...stop doing that to the cat!"

Great job, Criss! Actually I think we scored TWO points last night.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Jul 22, 2005 04:14AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-22 05:07, Adam Grace wrote:
When Criss was young, can you imagine how many times his mom said, "Criss...stop doing that to the cat!"

[/quote]

Adam, didn't your mom tell you that, too... and you weren't even into magic back then. :rotf:

Greg
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Jul 22, 2005 06:14AM)
The ultimate pyro fantasy...

And no cats were harmed during the creation of this tv special.
Message: Posted by: joseph (Jul 22, 2005 06:36AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 17:57, love2laugh wrote:
Yes cocomax, that laymen's review is VERY accurate.
I watched last night's Criss Angel show with 8 other people who were not magicians but love magic. We were all VERY DISAPPOINTED!!! Criss Angel was TERRIBLE and the SHOW FLOPPED on MANY LEVELS! We had a hard time keeping our interest in the show. So far, this series is a complete failure.
It became immediately apparent camera editing was involved in making the effects look like a 'real-time' miracles. Shot after shot of levetations, butterfly appearing out of an 'impromptu' drawing, and escaping from a garbage can. Since such severe camera edits were soooo apparent EVERYTHING afterwards was ruled out as being "special effects" as you would see in a movie.
Quote

My thoughts exactly......I think we need a new "World's Greatest Magic" series, which I really enjoyed.....
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 22, 2005 08:05AM)
Amazing how all the non-magicians I've talked to loved the show ... and yet for the bashers, all the non-magicians they've talked to hated the show.

I guess what we hear is rooted heavily in what we want to hear. What does that tell us? That statements magicians on an internet forum reporting on the opinions of non-magicians should be taken with a few dozen grains of salt.
Message: Posted by: davidcarlo (Jul 22, 2005 08:43AM)
With all due respect, I'll leave it to advertisers and tv execs to interpret the ratings -- the comments that the ratings are high but that just means people had nothing to watch shows a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of the tv business. If that were the case, the show would have dipped over the hour which is what happens when people tune in and don't like the show. I couldn't agree with Magicbarry more. And yes, much of the criticism is rooted in jealousy. We are seeing the same reaction now that many of the same gave Blaine when his specials came out. And with regard to the absurd comments about how Copperfield was truer to the artform from a camera perspective, I'd make a friendly wager that if you were in Manhattan many years ago, and this may come as a shock to some, the Statue of Liberty did not really disappear for 99.9999 percent of the live population, except for those watching on tv. But Copperfield knows how to entertain a tv (and live) audience, and that is all that matters.

Of course we are all entitled to our opinion and those who don't like the show will not watch. But the over-the-top statements, "the show flopped" for example, continue to show why so many just don't get it. And by the way, Joseph, there is a reason there are no more WGM specials--not enough people watched and they don't share your idea of what great entertainment is. I'll wait for your special to prove me wrong.
Message: Posted by: llsouder (Jul 22, 2005 09:47AM)
All these requests for a live contest between Blaine and Angel are worrying me! You might as well label it, secrets exposed and have them do it with that masked guy.

I never really expect a TV special to show me live versions of tricks.

Remember Blaines "live" preformances for the football players(I think he did a top change, nice and sloppy the way I do it!) and then the guys said "you have to show that to this guy over here!" And Blaine goes over and does a different but very similar trick, so they don't figure out the first one! This kills me because Blaine knew he could get away with the trick twice, but he taped it and assumed nobody was going to watch it twice?

This is magic 101!!! Do not repeat a trick that is not repeatable, but that rule goes out the window when you have a video camera pointed at you and stars in your eyes.
When it comes to Blaine... yeah yeah yeah, like my dad says, "I am not watching the trick, I am watching the reaction of the crowd!" So Okay edit out the stinking top change PLEASE!!!!

Am I wrong here?
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jul 22, 2005 10:44AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 19:14, Hekate wrote:
Criss Angel jus made me $20.00!!! The show may not have been spectacular but is sure has piqued everybody's interest!!!! The shop's been buzzing!
[/quote]

Well not so here. Not a single person I have talk to saw the show, or even knew it was on.
Message: Posted by: Fred E. Bert (Jul 22, 2005 11:03AM)
You have a point llsouder. The problem with TV magic vs. live magic is the fact that a) you can't use misdirection (at least not to the extent of a live setting), and b) your audience can record the performance and view it over and over again, in slow motion. God knows I've freeze-framed all of David Copperfield's specials. So I think editing out the modus-operandi only protects the art. Especially now that TiVo and DVR's are so prevalent.

But to jump to the conclusion that because a critical move was edited out or the effect was edited for time means it can't be performed live without stooges is a bit ignorant. I've read many opinions on this thread about the ring in the ice cube, the voodoo doll, the butterfly etc, claiming that these were done with stooges or special effects. It's a shame that MAGICIANS would jump to this conclusion. Just because you can't figure it out doesn't mean it was done with editing.

I know for a fact that the ring in the hourglass was done live and the woman wasn't a stooge. (Luke Jermay has a similar effect in Building Blocks, though the method is entirely different). I do admit it's a shame that the ad banner is hiding his hand as he covers the ring because it's as clean as it looks.

A lot of Criss' effects came to be because some very creative people were thinking outside the box. So if you can't figure it out (I can't either), maybe it's because it makes use of a new method that hasn't been published in a book or on DVD... What an interesting idea - NEW methods in magic. Isn't that what the Masked Magician's goal was? ;)

I would venture to guess that Banachek was involved with the voodoo doll pk touch effect, and as such, I doubt the effect would make use of actors pretending to feel the burn. If stooges WERE involved in all of these effects, then I think they deserve an Emmy 'cause they were much more convincing than Copperfield's stooges (but Copperfield doesn't use stooges, does he?! ;) )
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 22, 2005 11:03AM)
Soon we can look forward to shows like "The World's Greatest Juggler!" On this program someone will juggle 37 flaming bowling balls. (Thirty-four of the balls will be digitally added, as will the flames.) But plenty of people will watch and enjoy it. They'll tell their friends what an amazing thing they saw last night on television. They'll KNOW it must be true. After all, crowds of people could be seen staring in awe and applauding louding. I mean, they wouldn't fake that now would they? If he wasn't really doing it they wouldn't be watching and clapping would they? And the show got high ratings, so it must have been a great show. And all those jugglers who think they know better, well their just jealous. Why don't they go learn to juggle 37 flaming bowling balls instead of belittling someone who can?

Heavy, heavy . . . s-i-g-h.

[quote]
On 2005-07-22 12:03, Fred B. wrote:

But to jump to the conclusion that because a critical move was edited out or the effect was edited for time means it can't be performed live without stooges is a bit ignorant. I've read many opinions on this thread about the ring in the ice cube, the voodoo doll, the butterfly etc, claiming that these were done with stooges or special effects. It's a shame that MAGICIANS would jump to this conclusion. Just because you can't figure it out doesn't mean it was done with editing.

[/quote]

I can "figure out" a few ways to do these effects. The way the Criss Angel special was edited makes it appear as if HE couldn't figure out a way to do them.

When you've been studying magic for as long as I have, and many here have more years than me, you reach a point where you can pretty much narrow down several ways to accomplish just about eveything you see done. I suspect you younger guys, who accuse us dissenters of being jealous and jumping to the wrong conclusions, will be able to see more clearly as you chalk up more years.

Also, I'm too lazy to check, but if I said, in this thread, that I thought the ring in ice cube used stooges, I retract that. Watching again I see that a little pre-show work, spotting a spectator with a very simple band-style ring, a good switch (edited out) and a simple (some might say tacky) device we all have in our drawer, for the vanish, is all that's needed to do this with real spectators.

[quote]
On 2005-07-22 02:32, JoeJoe wrote:
Yes, the Copperfield that went into the wall was a body double ... the towel around his neck was used to help mask that. The height of genuis there was the promo pics (ie: the one in TV guide) that showed the real Copperfield against the wall.

I suspect Chris also used a body double ... mostly because he came out with the hoodie already over his head, to help mask the body double.

Nothing wrong with that ... whatever it takes to get the job done. :)

JoeJoe

[/quote]

Well, if I understand what you think,...you're just plain wrong. I don't believe I can explain the principle Copperfield used to accomplish the Great Wall of China illusion without breaching the Café rules. It involves the stage equipment and a not-quite double, more like a stand-in, and the towel around his neck would have very little to do with it. Since the Café is "Magicians helping Magicians" I would be glad to elaborate in a Private Message.

Criss Angel lacked the stage equipment that Copperfield utilized to perform Great Wall, so to compare the two illusions is not valid. In any case there are two parts to both illusions. Magician disappears. Magician appears. I've watched the Angel burning illusion a few times, and have concluded that unless the burning, look-alike stunt-man (your theory) can flatten his body significantly when he lays down, there must be a camera edit at that point. This would be when the screen is totally obscured with mist from the fire extinguishers.

To believe that it had to have all happened in one take because people were there watching is naive. Different shots can be taped at different times. And television producers have no interest in what a few people standing around watching a taping know about a magic trick. All that matters to them is the ratings number when the program airs.

If I remember correctly the trend of having the magician "defy death" started with Copperfield. He did the strait-jacket escape hanging over buring spears, escapes from Alcatraz and an imploding building. Lance Burton followed with being buried alive, crushed in a car and tied to a roller coaster's tracks. Then came David Blaine's, buried alive, frozen in ice, standing on a pole schtick. None of these are magically my cup of tea, but at least these performers actually DID there death-defying stunts. If Angel didn't actually burn when doing the buring illusion, well that would seem to follow, since he did very little other actual magic on the program. But I'll stick with the camera edit theory until someone can point me towards the world's flattest stunt-man.
Message: Posted by: Stephen Grey (Jul 22, 2005 11:37AM)
If entertainment is the bottom line, why do we feel so cheated when a singer is found to be lip-synching?

In many ways I feel the same way watching these shows.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 22, 2005 11:42AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-22 12:37, SHoochuk wrote:
If entertainment is the bottom line, why do we feel so cheated when a singer is found to be lip-synching?

In many ways I feel the same way watching these shows.
[/quote]

A good comparison.

And welcome to the Café!
Message: Posted by: Shnarker (Jul 22, 2005 11:46AM)
Wow, after sifting through these posts, I have a few observations.

1. I was entertained.
2. Camera edits are a fact of life. Granted I only have one year's television expereince, but it happens. Live with it.
3. He did stay true to his persona. Consistent with other shows. If you, laymen, press don't dig it, or can't get past it, that's up to you.
4. The fact that Criss had Banachek, Johnny Thompson, Luke Jermay as part of his creative team screams that he respects others in the business. Also, I don't think that they would lend their time, talent and names to this if it were slop.
5. I don't know Criss personally. However, my perception is that he would be the first to acknowledge that he stands on the shoulders of others (see #4). If only all magi would do that.
6. He does look at his art as a performance art. Performance art is controversial.
7. Let's enjoy the ride. Let's celebrate with a glass of wine, not sour grapes.
Message: Posted by: taylhis (Jul 22, 2005 12:08PM)
Let me start by saying the Criss Angel special was not my cup-of-java. My wife, not being a magician was a better test-audience however. She was not impressed at all. That is a bad thing.

However, some of the effects were good. I liked the voodoo doll effect... In Criss' defense, I think camera trickery was used much less than people are suggesting. I want to help some of you open your minds... Then (without me telling how these tricks are done) you CAN do some of these effects when people ask.

The ring effect for example -- no need to use camera tricks there! I assure you, there was no camera trickery used. I have been doing that and a similar effect (marked dime in ice) for years. Without giving the trick away, THINK ABOUT IT and TAKE A LOOK AT HER RING. Notice the borrowed ring is a basic wedding band without any special stones or markings -- there are millions of rings that look this way. Notice he doesn't let HER smash the ice and take her ring but he takes it out of the ice and slight-o-passes it back to her.

As for the trash can to building, not camera tricks either. All you need is a few stooges... Let's just say notice this trick is ALWAYS done in a garbage can with a BAG in it still. Go to Criss' website and you will see this effect performed another time -- notice, a garbage bag. I'm not going to say how this is done, but just remember... A magician can just WALK RIGHT OFF STAGE in front of the audience to make himself disappear. Think about it!

I don't know why everyone is so sure an on-camera stooge or camera trickery was used (in the context they are implying) with the butterfly effect and voodoo doll... Not needed at all. None needed. If you are dead-set on performing one of these two tricks in your show, IM me and I can show you where to buy these effects. The voodoo effect is expensive however!

That burned-alive trick I did not like... Watch it again carefully. You WILL see how this one is done. Someone asked WHY did it show Criss practicing before the stunt... For the same reason it showed his mom there worried about his safety -- so there was no doubt in you mind it was Criss who was on fire. Watch carefully, the camera hides much but you can still see the trickery.

Where Criss did you a stooge and oh-so-badly was in the levitation of the "stranger". Look Criss, if you're going to levitate a stranger don't have them get hypnotized in a completely impossible manner. Criss! We, even lamen, know it is a STOOGE when you put someone in a hypnotic trance of an impossible nature. True hypnosis is used to put people in a relaxed and suggestible state - not a catatonic one. She didn't even know what happened to her?! Come on!

Also Criss -- what are you doing!!? Get that "auditions" link off of your website! It screams "STOOGE SEARCH" all the way!! PLEASE GET IT OFF!

The bottom line is -- anything that brings magic into the limelight is good for us all. If people ask you to levitate like Criss Angel then LEARN HOW or just do the Balducci. Hopefully this takes-off, but after the first special and my wife's disinterest I am concerned.

My 2 pennies.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 22, 2005 12:10PM)
Why is it that if you didn't like the special you are a "basher"?
How does anyone come to the conclusion that people who didn't like the special are jealous?
Sorry, it's not our fault the show sucked.


A.
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 22, 2005 12:18PM)
[quote]Why is it that if you didn't like the special you are a "basher"?
How does anyone come to the conclusion that people who didn't like the special are jealous?
Sorry, it's not our fault the show sucked.
[/quote]Saying "the show sucked" is bashing.

[quote]Let me start by saying the Criss Angel special was not my cup-of-java. My wife, not being a magician was a better test-audience however. She was not impressed at all. That is a bad thing.

[/quote]And my wife, who is not a magician, loved it.

What are people trying to prove by bringing forth testimonials that support their opinion -- when the people who supposedly made such testimonials are not here to speak for themselves? It proves nothing, except that your wife agreed with you, and mine agreed with me. Woop-dee-frigging-do.
Message: Posted by: taylhis (Jul 22, 2005 12:32PM)
I was not trying to prove anything -- just stating my opinion. Isn't that what these forums are for? Am I at the magic Café or at the "easily offended anonymous" forums? Relax. You loved it, we did not. Cool.
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 22, 2005 12:42PM)
Actually, I never said I loved it. I'm a bit neutral on it, because I'm not a fan of the performer's style. Personal preference. But I thought there was a lot of good stuff there. I just find the way people (on both sides) are manufacturing "non-magician testimonials" to be a bit cheap.

If we're looking for what non-magicians think ... let's watch the ratings.

I have no issue with people expressing opinions here. My only real issue is with people playing the "stooge! edit! digital enhancement!" card for every illusion that fooled them, and the use of "my friend said", "my co-worker said", etc. to prove that one of our opinions is the "right" opinion. It's happening all through this thread on both sides -- and that's why I presented (and dismissed) the "my wife loved it" defence. Whether my wife liked it or not proves nothing.
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Jul 22, 2005 12:43PM)
There is no need for stooges in Ring in Ice cube or voodoo doll. It is my understanding that A&E add their "A&E logo and whats coming up" After the fact. I am sure Criss would have been very, very upset to have seen that in editing and would have had it removed as the ring in ice cube was very, very clean. I remember those two ladies as School Teachers and they were amazed.

As for Auditions, Criss is putting together a live show and always looking for participants, not for stooges but his show is different than most, it is very theatrical and has many characters involved. Guess if you want to think that he is looking for stooges then that is what you will see. I see him looking for participants in his live show.

I remember being just as amazed when I worked on "The Mentalist" and people could not explain the effects so immediately cried stooge for everything, there were none, but some things stay the same I guess.

By the way, there was a lot of number one shows on that night, and for Criss to get the ratings he did is quite an accomplishment. On top of that the ratings seemed to go up, not down from what I can see. This is great for magic. Criss is well aware that he is not covering every demographic and is making no pretenses to do so. The reason I agreed to work for Criss was due to the fact that he was such a nice individual. Giving credit and thanking all the people around him. His family was just as nice and cordial as well. Really nice to see. And yes, he goes out of his way to give credit and promote other performers. To him, the bit about Blaine promotes both himself and Blaine. He believes the controversy is good for both of the. He has a read a lot about the controversies that others prior to him had, like Blackstone, Thurston and others. Hopefully that explains a little more about that whether you agree or not.

The show is not just a magic show. It is meant to be a realty type show and as more shows appear you will see more of the problems and tribulations behind the scenes and I can tell you, his brothers were really worried almost every episode and very, very upset at times. Especially when they were left outside the loop.

Despite what some have said about the body burn, it is dangerous, and Criss has managed to get burnt in the past. If you look at the show not from a magic standpoint you might learn a lot about body burns. For instance, when they talk about turning being the dangerous part of a burn, it is indeed as the it creates wind and the flames can come back and bite you bad. Mixing an illusion with a burn is dangerous. By the way, Criss is very close to Franco Dragone and helped to put some of the visual effects for the new show at the Wynn in Vegas.

Each episode is about one major stunt. So far we have had a burn and levitation. Lots more in store. Think of each episode as one major stunt (some magic, some real) with other smaller effects, b c and d stunts to spice it up.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 22, 2005 01:12PM)
Sorry magicbarry, look up bashing in the dictionary.
Saying something sucks is hardly bashing.


A.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 22, 2005 01:26PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-22 09:05, Magicbarry wrote:
Amazing how all the non-magicians I've talked to loved the show ... and yet for the bashers, all the non-magicians they've talked to hated the show.
[/quote]

Magicians are always overly critical of one another, and jeolousy and egos are almost always out of control. This is why I don't attend many meetings or conventions, and surprised to see myself even participate here - I don't respond well to critisium, especially when the person giving it is wrong.

I've heard other magicians tell me similar comments about my hair and looks, that I'm 80'ish looking ... yea, so what? No layman has ever complained. I'm not trying to be a carbon copy of Copperfield and neither is Chris Angel - we are trying to be ourselves, and let others see who we are. If we cut our hair and put on suits, then we would be faking it. I've seen other magicians get sucked into this thinking by other magicians, and it always stalls their careers. I would rather see Chris Angel look the way he wants to look than to see him look the way I want him to look.

You think magicians are sopposed to be in top hats and tails?? It seems to me, that in the 1800's nearly all men wore top hats and tails - you wouldn't have been able to spot a magician in a crowd. Chris dressed for his environment, that is what a magician should look like. He didn't breka the mold of what a magician should look like, he showed the world what he thought a magician should look like - which IMHO is the mold - he dressed the way he wanted to dress.

You don't see this type of behavior in other professions, bands don't go around saying things like "yea, they are good musicians but their clothes suck ... and they really don't know what order to lay down tracks on their records ... it's a shame that music video was done in a studio and not a live performance ... they should have hired an artist for that cover instead of doodling something themselves". Like music, magic is about artistic creativity, and Chris Angel's special exceled at that. He broke molds and did things the way he felt they should be done.

I'm sure I could come up with all types of small details and points that could have been/should have been better, but what would the point be? It was his special not mine, and he did it the way he wanted it done - not the way I would have done it. Good for him, I'm glad I had the pleasure of enjoying his vision of what magic is ... and I hope the show does well for him in the future. Who knows, maybe one day I'll get the oppurtunity to show the world what my vision of magic is ... and I can then listen to all of you tell me why I am no good while counting my money.

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Fred E. Bert (Jul 22, 2005 01:30PM)
Banacheck, thank you for putting to rest some assumptions that have been made here. People are quick to jump to conclusions... if they can't come up with a known method, then it MUST be a stooge or a camera trick.

Randwill, this has nothing to do with years of experience and I mean absolutely no disrespect to you. I'm sure you've been studying magic far longer than I have since I guess I'm one of the "younger guys." All I'm saying is there's a bit of "thinking outside the box" that went into the making of this series. That can only be a good thing for magic, whether Criss floats your boat or not.

Several people have also said that they won't be watching future episodes. This is a bit melodramatic, no? I would think anyone who loves magic would want to watch it on TV. I never miss an opportunity to watch anything related to magic. Whether it's good or bad, whether you like the guy or not, you can take something away from it.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jul 22, 2005 01:32PM)
[quote]

No I am not kidding ... he did a great job and deserves some respect. When my audience talks of him, I will give him the utmost respect. If they ask me if I can do stuff like that, I will tell them I don't want to steal his material. The same things I tell them when they ask about David Blaine, Copperfield, or one of the other magiicans here in town. Every magician deserves respect no matter what their skill level, it shouldn't matter if you are better than them or not. You should never ever bash any magician, not even the guy that did a change-bag at little Johney's birthday party. Any magic on TV is better than none.

[/quote]

You're obviously a bstter man than I am or you haven't seen some of the magicians I have.


[quote]

You apparently don't know how he did it. There was no camera edit there - there were way to many people present to get away with a "cut - ok Chris, put the fireman's mask on - alright now, action". It doesn't work like that - he used the same technique Copperfield used for walking through the Great Wall.
JoeJoe

[/quote]

Copperfield didn't use a double for the Great Wall Illusion
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Jul 22, 2005 01:41PM)
Yes, it would be a very simple matter to do the voodoo effect and ice cube effect without stooges. It would be silly and point to use stooges for those effects. The garbage can effect could very easily be done without camara tricks.

However the levitation on Freemont street smelled very strongly of a stooge. . . which tanted an otherwise great effect.
Message: Posted by: taylhis (Jul 22, 2005 02:05PM)
As I stated -- voodoo and ice needed no stooge. Garbage can / butterfly needed no camera trickery. The levitation of a spectator WAS a stooge. But the others, pure. The person being set on fire for the ACTUAL performance of the burn was NOT Criss. I am not saying Criss hasn't been set on fire, this is obvious by the previous "rehearsal".

Again, to each his own. I wish Criss the best and want to see his special be a great success.
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Jul 22, 2005 03:44PM)
There have been many interesting replies to this post and everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions. In all of these replies there is a great deal of information which can be useful. I don't think anyone here is bitter or jealous of Criss Angel. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Angel and he is a very talented magician. Both of the shows were entertaining and the ratings indicate people are very interested in magic. This is a good thing and any promotion of our craft is helpful to all of us. In my opinion, it is nice seeing magic on T.V.

The fire burning episode was very well done in my opinion. The show peaked at the end and suspense built throughout the episode. The look behind the scenes at the fire-burning preparation was interesting, built the drama, and let us into the inner person of Criss Angel. The reality T.V. clips of Criss Angel’s family added to the drama, built the suspense, and added to the believability. In my opinion, this 30 minute episode was very well constructed.

That being said, I was honestly very disappointed in the levitation episode. The reason for my disappointment stems from the overuse of camera trickery which lessens the believability of all subsequent effects. This feeling not only comes from the actual performance pieces but the little skits in between where Criss Angel is floating in the desert. Once I realized some camera editing was being used I tended to lessen my focus and interest tended to dwindle. The levitation show also did not peak at the end since there were too many levitations performed prior to that point. The effect was repeated over and over in different scenarios. They all looked very impressive but it was levitation overload. The movie “Jaws” was so effective because suspense kept building and we didn’t see the actual shark until near the end of the movie. I think the same logic can be applied to the construction of magical illusions. After all the proceeding levitations there was little suspense remaining for the final levitation. It was rather anti-climatic. In addition, the hypnotic trance did not seem believable which diminished the illusion that this was a random spectator. There is really nothing wrong with using stooges but it would have been better, in this instance, if it was less obvious.

I hope my critique is not interpreted as being negative. I have tried my best to offer constructive criticisms since I want Criss Angel to succeed. It is really in all of our best interest if our craft is promoted and the show is a success. I’ll be tuning into the show next week since I am very curious and love seeing magic on T.V.

Kind regards,
Rich
Message: Posted by: Doug Peters (Jul 22, 2005 06:19PM)
[quote]On 2005-07-22 09:05, Magicbarry wrote:
Amazing how all the non-magicians I've talked to loved the show ... and yet for the bashers, all the non-magicians they've talked to hated the show.[/quote]This is an excellent observation. I think that this tells us that we tend to make friends who are somewhat like ourselves. I've always wanted to do a study of demographics and magic. There are some crowds that "get into the show" and others whose reaction is more "get lost", even when the magic is done well. All too often, the theorists tell us that the response to a show is entirely dependent on the performer. This is simply not true.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 22, 2005 07:32PM)
The Body Double for the Great Wall is one of the better theories I have heard in a while. And to think this whole time I was "deceived" by the "steps" he took in doing that effect.

I don't know if all the bashers only knew people who hated the special. Although I am amazed that Love2Laugh knows 23 people who flipped on A&E that night. Unless he was telling all his friends and coworkers to watch the show, enough people must have tuned it to check it out on their own. And if they hated it that much, it still says they watched the majority of it to make that opinion.

One thing I think that has been briefly mentioned that has been lost, is that this 20 episode deal is really a means to plug his upcoming stage show. Unlike Blaine who doesn't have a stage show, Criss is trying to get people interested in him to come see him live. And I bet quite a lot of people would go see him simply to see if he could do the things he did on tv live. Banachek has mentioned that the garbage can illusion could very much be done live on stage.

For years, David C. treated us to a yearly tv special and every year we gathered around the tv and couldn't wait. And then he would go out and do about 300 shows around the US. For 15 years, he treated us to a yearly special and then he hit the big time and started going across the world. And he went MIA on the television scene for about 6 years. Every one wanted to know when he was coming back to television. David himself said when he came back in 2001, "there was such a saturation of magic specials on tv then, I didn't need to fit it. I was out all over the world." And that is what drives a lot of this. You build a base with tv specials to come support you live. And over the last couple of specials he did, where he took some creative liberties, it was the first time he said, "come to my live shows, and you will see the same things you see on tv tonight." In the old days, it was "No camera tricks are used."

Will Criss appeal to everyone live? Probably not. But is he building a base with these specials? According to the overnight ratings...possibly. We will see how they stick around over the next few weeks.

Again, give him credit for marketing himself. People will determine whether they want to go see him live or not. Some may enjoy him in general and go catch a live show. Others may go just to see if he can do a levitation live. But the point is, he is putting butts in the seat and that is what matters.
Message: Posted by: DaveB (Jul 22, 2005 08:51PM)
I thought I would drop by this board after a long absence to check out reactions to the Mindfreak show, and I have to admit I was a little shocked.
Some of the comments and opinions expressed are fair and reasonable, but others are completely off the wall. The main problem it seems is that some expected a dedicated magic show filmed with one camera and no editing, and instead were greeted with a reality show format which is quite popular right now.

The claims of camera tricks and stooges when they were not used in the presentations mentioned, questioning if Criss can even do any magic at all, mocking his clothes, and the "I watched the show with 12 people and talked to 38 after the show and.. THEY ALL HATED IT!" Spare me please!

I know lots of people who hate "The Simpsons". Does that make it a bad show? Should they cancel it? Should they change it? Or should they just let the ratings decide? Maybe I missed the point on this one.

I don't know Criss Angel personally, but I do know he is not some no talent fool who is willing to abandon his talent and simply insert a "camera trick". He has come a long way, and regardless on whether you liked the show or not I think he at least deserves a certain amount of respect.

A quick look at Criss Angel's acomplishments:
Winner 2001 & 2004 Magician of the Year - Merlin Award. This will mark the first time a Magician has been awarded twice in the organization's history.

In 2001 he produced Criss Angel "Mindfreak", a bona fide off-Broadway hit, investing $300,000 (borrowed against his mother's house) and reaping $4 million in 14 months. He performed this show almost 600 times.

2002 when he repeated one of Houdini's death-defying stunts by staying submerged for 24 hours in a water torture cell. He completed the stunt by escaping from chains and manacles live on Good Morning America.

Appearances on the ABC Family channel, TBS in Japan, MTV, Discovery Channel and Sci Fi Channel. Awarded the "Silver Telly" - the Telly Awards' highest honor - at the 25th Annual Telly Awards for the "Criss Angel Made in Japan" DVD.

There's more, but you get the idea. Was this all accomplished with camera tricks and stooges?


If you didn't like the show, fine. Why some feel the need to completely bash a fellow magician, especially when they are not 100% sure of how something was done, simply amazes me. It is not just disrespectful, and wrong. It is truly sad.

[quote]
On 2005-07-22 14:26, JoeJoe wrote:

Magicians are always overly critical of one another, and jeolousy and egos are almost always out of control. This is why I don't attend many meetings or conventions, and surprised to see myself even participate here - I don't respond well to critisium, especially when the person giving it is wrong.

I've heard other magicians tell me similar comments about my hair and looks, that I'm 80'ish looking ... yea, so what? No layman has ever complained. I'm not trying to be a carbon copy of Copperfield and neither is Chris Angel - we are trying to be ourselves, and let others see who we are. If we cut our hair and put on suits, then we would be faking it. I've seen other magicians get sucked into this thinking by other magicians, and it always stalls their careers. I would rather see Chris Angel look the way he wants to look than to see him look the way I want him to look.

You think magicians are sopposed to be in top hats and tails?? It seems to me, that in the 1800's nearly all men wore top hats and tails - you wouldn't have been able to spot a magician in a crowd. Chris dressed for his environment, that is what a magician should look like. He didn't breka the mold of what a magician should look like, he showed the world what he thought a magician should look like - which IMHO is the mold - he dressed the way he wanted to dress.

You don't see this type of behavior in other professions, bands don't go around saying things like "yea, they are good musicians but their clothes suck ... and they really don't know what order to lay down tracks on their records ... it's a shame that music video was done in a studio and not a live performance ... they should have hired an artist for that cover instead of doodling something themselves". Like music, magic is about artistic creativity, and Chris Angel's special exceled at that. He broke molds and did things the way he felt they should be done.

I'm sure I could come up with all types of small details and points that could have been/should have been better, but what would the point be? It was his special not mine, and he did it the way he wanted it done - not the way I would have done it. Good for him, I'm glad I had the pleasure of enjoying his vision of what magic is ... and I hope the show does well for him in the future. Who knows, maybe one day I'll get the oppurtunity to show the world what my vision of magic is ... and I can then listen to all of you tell me why I am no good while counting my money.

JoeJoe

[/quote]
Great post JoeJoe, and I agree with everything you said.
Message: Posted by: Danny T. (Jul 22, 2005 09:03PM)
Hey DaveB
that's exactely the reason I don't come to this site anymore I was just passing by cause I knew there were going to bash Criss I coudn't resist. I can't believe this site. obn....
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 23, 2005 12:03AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-22 19:19, Doug Peters wrote:
[quote]On 2005-07-22 09:05, Magicbarry wrote:
Amazing how all the non-magicians I've talked to loved the show ... and yet for the bashers, all the non-magicians they've talked to hated the show.[/quote]This is an excellent observation. I think that this tells us that we tend to make friends who are somewhat like ourselves. I've always wanted to do a study of demographics and magic. There are some crowds that "get into the show" and others whose reaction is more "get lost", even when the magic is done well. All too often, the theorists tell us that the response to a show is entirely dependent on the performer. This is simply not true.
[/quote]

I think the bashers comments reflect the general problem with a lot of the complaints here ... we are setting the "tone" for the conversations about Chris Angel ... the basher's friends most likely said they didn't like they show because they knew he didn't like the show, the most common reaction is to emulate someone else's reaction ... and since a laymen would view a magician as an authority on the matter, if he thought it was no good it must not be any good.

My first encounter with a laymen since seeing the special was a security guard at my local pitch - he showed up almost instantly after I setup and was all excited to tell me about this guy he saw on TV - he didn't know his name, but I was able to fill him in and we both shared in the delight of the impossible illusions he performed. It was a great convo, and he returned later that night with a fellow security guard because he wanted his friend to see my floating cigarette, which impressed him greatly and flattered me also.

That is how the Chris Angel special helps us, it excites people about magic in general. If I had bashed the special in any way, then his excitment would also be bashed and I wouldn't have picked up my new fan. Thank you Chris Angel! :)

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 23, 2005 12:03AM)
Unfortunatetly, I didn't enjoy the show. I work at a fortune 100 company managing a group of 334 engineers, scientists, technicians, and others. I watched the show with 8 friends who ranged in age from 24 to 44. I am 34 years old if that means anything. The individuals at my work were only about 15 people and since I work and manage sooo many more than that number please don't think 23 people is a lot. Everyone I talked to who watched the show were disappointed and thought it was rather anti-climatic relative to the marketing. They also thought it insulted their intelligence since many of the effects were so obviously only possible through television edits. I did not exaggerate my claims nor did I intend to bash without merit. We did not enjoy the show. I provided many examples of magicians I have enjoyed on television. Dean Dill, Paul Gertner, David Copperfield, and even David Blaine. David Blaine performing for the Dallas Cowboys was priceless. The reaction from Emmit Smith and Deon Sanders was very enjoyable. It is as much fun watching the reaction from the spectators as it is seeing the performance. In Criss Angel's show the audience reactions seemed very fake and contrived. The show could have been better if Criss Angel just performed as he typically does rather than rely on the T.V. edit crutch. I have been told he is very talented yet it did not come across and this is unfortunate. I am would love for this show to be a success and wanted to provide my opinions. Sorry if it offended anyone here on the Café.
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Jul 23, 2005 02:20AM)
I read in the NY Post that Criss believes that magic has become a "cheap novelty"

He also said "I feel that pain is beautiful because it is a sensation of being alive."

If you want to read the whole article go to google groups and do a search for "magic has become a cheap novelty"


NEW YORK, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ --
"David, get out of your silly little box. As I've always said --
any time, any place, any challenge. You had to run to London to escape
your biggest fear... me. You've talked about a challenge between us in
the press, but it was just a bunch of BS, like most of what you do."

-Criss Angel
Message: Posted by: jynx (Jul 23, 2005 03:23AM)
All I can say is how sad I find it that people can talk so badly about one another. To me this seems like one big argument not a discussion. "There were stooges and there were camera tricks," there was this and there was that. He did it this way or he did it that way. (By the way could that be a form of exposure?) Why does it all matter so much?? How many of you were there to witness any of his effects? How many of you personally know him enough to be so judgmental of his style and character?
I read quite a few negative posts about Alain Nu's show and yet when he started posting there were nothing but positive comments. Why is that?

As far as the burned alive demonstration goes, someone earlier posted, "It was NOT Criss on fire. Watch the show again closely and you will see." If I quoted wrong then please correct me. I know my word means nothing here but I can assure you that it WAS Criss on fire. I was there and was no further than 10 feet away from him. I felt the heat coming off his body as he turned towards me. I seen his face before, during, and after he was "lit". He talked to the whole crowd just seconds before he was set on fire. I was there to witness the whole thing!!!

Not everyone will like the show and everyone will have their own views. After reading the posts here I have asked a few people if they liked the show. They all said they enjoyed it. My kids have watched it a few times already and love it. I don't really care who likes it and who don't. I liked it very much and that is all that matters to me................
Message: Posted by: Doug Peters (Jul 23, 2005 04:47AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-23 01:03, love2laugh wrote:
Unfortunatetly, I didn't enjoy the show. I work at a fortune 100 company managing a group of 334 engineers, scientists, technicians, and others.[/quote]Ah! "The effects of demographics on magic"! Engineers, scientists and technicians are known to be very difficult audiences for magic. They can enjoy it, but they they are extremely sensitive to being manipulated. And they have pre-conceived "rules of engagement", that, if broken, will spoil the show for them. Most of my scientist buddies are fans of P&T, for example.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 23, 2005 08:55AM)
Love2laugh,

Hey....quick note. I apologize if you got the impression I was "doubting" your claim or implied I thought you were exaggerating. (The dangers of internet writing)

I was actually just amazed that many people you were familiar with all happened to tune in. I work for the US Senate managing a staff and some of those stuffy political types are huge fans of A & E, but not a lot that I knew had tuned in.

Wasn't doubting you, just sort of impressed that many people heard about it. I did not find any offense in your post whatsoever.

Michael
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Jul 23, 2005 09:25AM)
I suppose I'm somewhat of a minority here in actually enjoying it.
You see, I LOVE to be fooled. I watch with the eyes and heart of a young boy who's never opened a magic book. Boy, how much fun that is!

Do I know how some of these effects were accomplished? I probably do, but those thoughts only come to me long after my widdened eyes narrow and I think about how I might instill that same awe and magic in someone else.

I'm not into the music, though - too much freakin' MindFreak loops.
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Jul 23, 2005 09:09PM)
Here's the thing guys,
Our opinion about the show doesn't really matter to Criss Angel. We are magicians (if you're not then I don't know what you're doing on this forum), and we are a minority. The show was aimed toward Laymen who are tired of the watching the same old thing.
Now, I know that some of you have said that your friends, who are laymen also didn't like the show; However I believe that a person who befriends a magician can no longer be consider a laymen.

I kinda seems some of you are mad cause you couldn't learn a new trick to show your friends.

I also had mixed feelings about the show but I came to the conclusion that I wasn't supposed to like the show. As a magician, I was slightly dissapointed. As a TV viewer it was cool to see something different on TV.

Alex Linian
Message: Posted by: MopKrayz (Jul 24, 2005 08:25AM)
I think I qualify as a performing magician, and I liked what Criss Angel presented, even though most of the "big" illusions are a rehash from his other specials (Mindfreak, Made in Japan, Supernatural).
I also like the cheesola style magic, comedy magic....
Message: Posted by: Pete W. (Jul 24, 2005 09:24PM)
To bad that it's the way TV needs to be presented nowadays that causes this "over-the-top" reality format. In order to make a show exciting, it seems to me that it must contain what I have heard described as "Flash and trash"--a lot of flashy camera effects and cuts, edits, what-have-you --that dilutes the actual core message of a performance piece. Criss is a polished performer that did extremely well considering the way a show of this type must be presented. I personally didn't think it was the greatest show, but this is NOT a reflection of Criss and his talent.


http://www.magicbypete.com
Message: Posted by: flobiwan (Jul 24, 2005 10:44PM)
I'm confused about something on the burned alive special. Let's assume for a moment that all the behind-the-scenes interviews were honest and accurate. Angel was setting himself on fire as a birthday present for his mother. She stated in the interview that she was afraid and wished he would reconsider. So what was the present supposed to be? "Mom, I'm going to scare the crap out of you by doing something dangerous that you wish I wouldn't. Happy birthday!" Wouldn't a better gift to her be to forgo performing the stunt for her.

Even if we buy all the "candid" statements from everyone, it makes no sense. Angel shows a complete lack of concern for his mother's feelings. Why would anyone want to portray themselves like that on TV?

Fredd
Message: Posted by: Pele (Jul 24, 2005 11:47PM)
Huh..I said before that I am not a magician. I perform circus and sideshow stunts, but not magic.
I am a *huge* fan of magic, but I am a layman for the most part.
I couldn't stand the show.
I actually won't be watching again because if it wasn't for the fun my son and his friends were having mocking the show (and they were, alot), I wouldn't have been entertained at all. This is my honest opinion, not an extreme statement.

Criss is astute at some of what he does. But there was a lot that I felt was, for lack of a better word, wrong with this show, be it camera angles, those dreadful "character in the desert" presentations, editting, or the fact that some of what was done was very blatant about *how* it was done (his body burn) or even the staging (voodoo, if he wanted it to be convincing, perhaps he should have found a way to turn *his* back to the people "stabbing" him). He may be nice in person behind the scenes, but to me his persona seemed about as charismatic and engaging as a cardboard cutout.
And it has nothing to do with not liking the dramatic-goth style, as I like it when it is done well.

And btw, legally...to say something sucks *is* bashing. To say that you *think* or *feel* something sucks, is not. That is merely expressing an opinion. ;)
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Jul 24, 2005 11:55PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 02:59, Randwill wrote:

No, I understand that a lot of the old classics effects are outdated for today's television audience. I'm not perturbed over his choice of material. It's that he didn't really do some of the tricks he "did".

The butterfly in napkin, [b]the ring in the ice cube[/b], the garbage can-to-roof were all presented with edits. He didn't really perform the tricks. [...][/quote]


As one of the consultants for the show I can say that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

I will have to re-watch the show to see these edits that seem to have you so concerned. It was a little disappointing to see A&E run a banner over the beginning of the routine, but I can assure you that the ring-in-ice cube - which used a method I devised - was performed LIVE for unrehearsed laymen who were [i]blown away[/i] by the effect. No edits are required for the effect; it could just as easily be performed live for YOU, "Randwill", and you would most certainly be just as badly fooled.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 25, 2005 08:21AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 00:55, Thomas Wayne wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 02:59, Randwill wrote:

No, I understand that a lot of the old classics effects are outdated for today's television audience. I'm not perturbed over his choice of material. It's that he didn't really do some of the tricks he "did".

The butterfly in napkin, [b]the ring in the ice cube[/b], the garbage can-to-roof were all presented with edits. He didn't really perform the tricks. [...][/quote]


As one of the consultants for the show I can say that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

I will have to re-watch the show to see these edits that seem to have you so concerned. It was a little disappointing to see A&E run a banner over the beginning of the routine, but I can assure you that the ring-in-ice cube - which used a method I devised - was performed LIVE for unrehearsed laymen who were [i]blown away[/i] by the effect. No edits are required for the effect; it could just as easily be performed live for YOU, "Randwill", and you would most certainly be just as badly fooled.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne

[/quote]

Hi Thomas. I know this is a long topic, but I mentioned in a post after the one you quoted, that I had watched the show again, and saw how the ring to ice cube was done. Pre-show prep, picking a properly ringed spec, the fact that the ice obscures the ring, a switch. Yep, it's a variation of an object to impossible location. I've done it with a coin signed by me on one side and spec on the other side to an aspirin tin. Also with a signed folded card to ring box (where they can see the card shake around in the box courtesy of a loop of thread before it's "dumped" into my hand) , but enough about me, you can see that I "get it."

Because the tape is edited AFTER he vanishes the ring (and yeah, that banner IS distracting, but you can see the vanish happening just below it) the power of the effect, that is, the ring appearing in an ice cube that was in a drink that was on the table before she gave him the ring, is ruined for the TV viewing audience. Even non-magicians know that if there is a cut, ANYTHING can happen. This is particularly bad for this effect because it could have easily been presented in one continous take. Henning, Copperfield, Burton and Blaine always presented effects like this in one continuous take on their shows precisely because they knew that audiences would suspect camera edits. They knew that for magic to work on television, the TV audience had to know that what they were seeing is what they would have seen had they been there.

If the producers of "Mindfreak" thought that they had to have pointless edits in the middle of a performance because that's what audiences are used to seeing on MTV or reality shows, Angel neeeded different producers. If the performance had to be edited for time, Angel needs to learn that time expands on television and he needs to step up the pace of his performance accordingly.

A question for you; as the person who suggested this clever variation of the object to impossible location, weren't YOU disappointed that it was unnecessarily cut after the ring vanishes. Do you not think it makes it look like Angel didn't have a clean method of retrieving the spec's ring and then switching it back in?

My point is that a non-magician could be made to look like a magician on TV if the work, the stuff that we practice and take pride in doing well, is edited out of the performance.

If you were watching a hurdle race during the Olympics and they showed you the start of the race and then just cut to the finish, and the announcer exclaimed that the winner jumped all the hurdles with more speed and grace than he'd ever seen, wouldn't you feel cheated that the producers had cut that out?
Message: Posted by: Barrett_James (Jul 25, 2005 09:31AM)
So is it wrong for me to enjoy the 'smaller' close-up stuff (the 'haunted card' and ring in ice cube) better then the bigger stuff (not really sure what was magical about the first 40+ seconds of the burning stunt). don't get me wrong, as a showman/performer I don't know that he currently has an equal, but yeah it does get old being asked by friends to levitate like that 't.v. freak guy'. I felt the close-up stuff was more powerful, that's just me talking though...
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jul 25, 2005 11:14AM)
The argument here really isn’t are the tricks accomplished through camera trickery but are the effects severely weakened through the use of edits and time compression. I have no doubts that all the effects can be presented live in one form or another but that really doesn’t matter now does it as the vast majority of the viewing audience believes otherwise. The liberal use of obvious and frequent edits gives the audience the out it needs to explain away even the simplest effect. The second the camera cuts away to a different angle or time the magic is lost and from that point forward everything becomes a camera trick regardless of if it is or not.
It is my understanding that we lose about four minutes of presentation time during the ring in ice cube illusion. Wouldn’t we all be quite phenomenal magicians if we too could just cut out all those awkward time wasting moments out of our performances as well? I could do the worlds best cups and balls routine by having every secret feint and load conveniently left on the cutting room floor.
Magic was long thought unfeasible to present on television because the audience would automatically suspect camera trickery. After all they had seen Jeanie and Samantha do all sorts of magical things on television for years. It was decided that the only way to get around this was to broadcast what few magic specials there were live and before a large studio audience so as to negate in the minds eye of the viewing public the use of camera trickery. You were seeing the exact same thing that the studio audience was seeing. After this became unfeasible the magicians would clearly state that there would be no cut aways. The viewing audience would see the trick in real time.
But now all that has been cast aside in favour of MTV style editing and the over abundant use of guerilla cam. Studio audiences have been reduced to a gaggle of generation whatever’s that may or may not be on the payroll of the production company.
Is it no wonder that the validity of the performers skill comes under question? If everything the magician did can be done “live” then why isn’t it presented that way?
If the defenders of this style of magic show keep telling us that the tricks the helped develop for these broadcasts can all be done live in one form or another then why don’t they take a little more time and effort to design tricks that can be presented on television in real time without cuts?
I certainly would be upset if a trick I spent weeks developing got explained away by the general public as a camera trick because they editied the thing to death.
How much less mystifying would the linking rings be if you needed to walk behind a curtain everytime a link was made. Isn’t that what the modern television magician is doing these days?
In my stand up act I do a bit where I ask the audience if they’d like to see a David Blaine (now Chris Angel ) trick. They of course say yes so I tell a member of the audience to think of a card. I then ask him what card he was thinking of.
“The three of spades” he tells me.
“Was your card the Three of Spades” I say to the somewhat confused looking spectator.
“We’ll just edit out that middle part” I tell the audience and we’ll have a heck of a trick.
It might not happen this way in TV land but the audience sure thinks it is.
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Jul 25, 2005 12:38PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 12:14, Payne wrote:
The argument here really isn’t are the tricks accomplished through camera trickery but are the effects severely weakened through the use of edits and time compression. I have no doubts that all the effects can be presented live in one form or another but that really doesn’t matter now does it as the vast majority of the viewing audience believes otherwise. The liberal use of obvious and frequent edits gives the audience the out it needs to explain away even the simplest effect. The second the camera cuts away to a different angle or time the magic is lost and from that point forward everything becomes a camera trick regardless of if it is or not.[/quote]

Very good points Payne!
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Jul 25, 2005 12:55PM)
As you guys have noticed, because of the unnecessary cuts, we cannot appreciate Criss Angel's Skills.

The levitation to the Chair and on the escalator, The butterfly effect, The ring on ice cube, the voddoo doll and many other effects he performed did not use stooges.

However, because of all the editing to make things look cleaner, his skills are reduced to simply being a camera trick or the use of a stooge.

As I said before, I don't think Criss Angel cares. But he should.
If he were to leave the entire effect, laymen would still be fooled, and magicians would appreciate his cleverness and sleight of hand, the way we appreciate Copperfield's stuff.

To anyone involved with the show who is reading this:
I like Mr. Angel's Stage material a lot, and I would like to see more of the artistry he presents on stage in the show. I would like to see more of the desert scenes, where maybe some magic can be performed.
While I think Criss Angel is trying to be different than David Blaine, it feels like he is just doing the same thing. Stay away from the comparisons to Mr. Blaine on the show. If he really is better, then there is no need to state it.

Alex Linian
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Jul 25, 2005 01:37PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 09:21, Randwill wrote:[b]
[...]I had watched the show again, and saw how the ring to ice cube was done. Pre-show prep, picking a properly ringed spec, the fact that the ice obscures the ring, a switch. [...][/b]
[/quote]

If this is your BEST guess, then I rest my case about fooling you... because you have absolutely NO idea how it was done. In fact, you're not even close.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 25, 2005 02:19PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 14:37, Thomas Wayne wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 09:21, Randwill wrote:[b]
[...]I had watched the show again, and saw how the ring to ice cube was done. Pre-show prep, picking a properly ringed spec, the fact that the ice obscures the ring, a switch. [...][/b]
[/quote]

If this is your BEST guess, then I rest my case about fooling you... because you have absolutely NO idea how it was done. In fact, you're not even close.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
[/quote]

And because anything that would have exhibited Angels' skill ,dexterity and misdirection was mutilated by the editing, we'll never really know if he knows a clean way to do it either.

Randwil
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Jul 25, 2005 02:45PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 15:19, Randwill wrote:[b]

And because anything that would have exhibited Angels' skill ,dexterity and misdirection was mutilated by the editing, we'll never really know if he knows a clean way to do it either.

Randwil

[/b]
[/quote]

Correction: [b][i]You'll[/i][/b] never know. A number of the rest of us do, however.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 25, 2005 03:10PM)
I don't know what they are talking about when they speak of all the edits and cuts ... everything on TV is edited - EVERTHING! I have been experimenting with taping street video, and you wouldn't believe how difficult it is. The camera man can't decide where the specs will stand, I noticed Chris' camera man had to move during one of the levi's because spec's were blocking the shot - that is not bad magic, that is not bad camera man, that is the reality of filming on the street.

If the entire show was filmed with one continous shot, you would get bored watching it fast - Lance Burton did not film his show with just one single camera - he did a 30 second "this shot will not cut away" during the elephant vanish, but before the trick was done there were at least 2 cameras filming and the editors went back and forth between them as he introduced the elephants and trainer. There are lots of instances on TV where magicians use that "this shot will not cut away", but that only lasts for so long - and then the editors jump between differnt camera views. Look again, you will see Jeff McBride's card act was filmed from several differnt angles.

Chris choose not to present the garbage can as a grand illusion, he didn't want to turn it into a puzzle where everyone was sitting at home wondering where the magician went. I agree with him on that, there is no need to turn everything into a "how did he do that" ... sometimes, magic should just happen with no explanation and no need to figure out how it was done - it was just done, he did it. He was trying to show you something ... I know where he is coming form, you don't want your audience wondering how you did something - you want them to marvel at what you have done. The reactions he recieved were more often "can you believe what he just did!" instead of the traditional "how did he do that?".

Do you think the openning credits to Worlds Greatest Magic were achomplished without camera tricks? Do you really believe that a magician in a black art suit with white gloves was able to manipulate those balls with real live moving people inside of them? Give it a rest already ... the desert scenes were there not as magicial illusions, but as introludes to the commericials.

If you really want to judge Chris Angel's show, compare it to say ... The Goti's ... or Dog The Bounty Hunter. Watching spoiled brats complain about their jewerly and fur coats, or a steriodal freak nutcase with an insane girlfriend who herself should be behind bars for her constant assults ... in proper perspecitive, it seems Chris Angel has the BEST show there is - again, great job Chris!

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Jul 25, 2005 03:35PM)
I enjoyed the Criss Angel mind freak show. I don't care about edits, Like JoeJoe said, you cant really do one continuous shot all the time. Obsticles come in the way.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 25, 2005 03:38PM)
The edits which I believe undermine the integrity of the magic presentation are those that happen at crucial points in the effect.

Let's say I want to make a video of you vanishing a billiard ball. The ball is in your left hand. You false transfer it to the right hand then open your right hand to show that it has vanished. Now can you show your left hand empty? No, of course not. Unless you sleeve it, or topit it or are wearing tails or 'use your favorite method', ect. Unless you have learned a deceptive method of ditching the ball. Unless you have worked hard to learn a skill that will fool people. Unless you are a good magician.

On the video however you can drop the hand secretly holding the ball just out of frame, and drop the ball to the ground. That's using the TV frame to do the magic for you. Or, just after you show your right hand (which is supposedly holding the ball) empty, we EDIT and cut to the spectator's reaction to the vanish. Once we cut away from you, you can put the ball you are hiding in your left hand into your pocket. Then we cut back to you and the left hand can be shown empty too. You didn't really have to do what the video seems to be telling the viewer you can do.

Some here seem to think that's an okay way to depict magicians' performances for the television audience. I'm one of those who doesn't.

Randwill

[quote]
On 2005-07-25 15:45, Thomas Wayne wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 15:19, Randwill wrote:[b]

And because anything that would have exhibited Angels' skill ,dexterity and misdirection was mutilated by the editing, we'll never really know if he knows a clean way to do it either.

Randwil

[/b]
[/quote]

Correction: [b][i]You'll[/i][/b] never know. A number of the rest of us do, however.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
[/quote]


To be clear, my intention was never to put down Criss Angel. My point was that it is impossible to judge his ability as a magician from the television show I saw. If I could see an unedited tape of your ice cube trick, from the moment she removes the ring to the moment it is handed back to her, with Criss and the water glass in full view throughout (in other words, what I would see if I were really there) and it fooled me, I would say that you have indeed, invented a wonderful magic trick. The edited version that was telecast did a disservice to the inventors and the performer in my opinion.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Jul 25, 2005 05:12PM)
I admit, I am no body. I just started studying magic within the last few days. As I said, I am a no body. But from every magician I have ever met and talked to, they told me the main reason for doing magic was to entertain. They also told me to be a great magician, you must first be a great entertainer!

Now whether Criss uses edits (on the film) to make something happen, or whether he does it the way MOST magicians would say it should be done, IF IT ENTERTAINS...then what makes the difference on how he accomplishes it!

I have seen 2 of Criss' acts, 'Mind Freak' and another where he was on tv with a bunch of other magicians on tv, and in both of these, I was highly entertained.

Maybe I do not understand how all you magicians feel because I have only been studying this for a few days now. But if it is entertaining, what is the problem with it?

Oh, by the way, I am not accussing Criss (or anyone else) of using edits, but like I said several times already, if it entertains, what is wrong with it?
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 25, 2005 05:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 18:12, TheRock wrote:
I admit, I am no body. I just started studying magic within the last few days. As I said, I am a no body. But from every magician I have ever met and talked to, they told me the main reason for doing magic was to entertain. They also told me to be a great magician, you must first be a great entertainer!

Now whether Criss uses edits (on the film) to make something happen, or whether he does it the way MOST magicians would say it should be done, IF IT ENTERTAINS...then what makes the difference on how he accomplishes it!

I have seen 2 of Criss' acts, 'Mind Freak' and another where he was on tv with a bunch of other magicians on tv, and in both of these, I was highly entertained.

Maybe I do not understand how all you magicians feel because I have only been studying this for a few days now. But if it is entertaining, what is the problem with it?

Oh, by the way, I am not accussing Criss (or anyone else) of using edits, but like I said several times already, if it entertains, what is wrong with it?
[/quote]

There are many different entertainment skills and disciplines. When you see a performer on television demonstrating his or her skill, do you care if that performer really possesses that skill? Or are you equally entertained even if the demonstration of the purported skill is compromised by a television production in such a way that it clouds the entertainer's real abilities?


Randwill
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Jul 25, 2005 06:20PM)
[/quote]
If I could see an unedited tape of your ice cube trick, from the moment she removes the ring to the moment it is handed back to her, with Criss and the water glass in full view throughout (in other words, what I would see if I were really there) and it fooled me, I would say that you have indeed, invented a wonderful magic trick. The edited version that was telecast did a disservice to the inventors and the performer in my opinion.

Randwill
[/quote]

I see your point about being bothered by edits, but it doesn't seem that you were any less fooled (as the inventor has acknowledged your bad guess). Reflecting on your above statement, I see no difference in the outcome for you. You would still be fooled. Its a shame that the editing ruined your entertainment and turned your mind towards logic, instead of magic. Perhaps, that's the whole point here? The edit slaps some people out of the magic and into a science?

Btw, even when I know a woman has breast implants, I am no less entertained...
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 25, 2005 06:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 19:20, blindbo wrote:
[quote]
I see your point about being bothered by edits, but it doesn't seem that you were any less fooled (as the inventor has acknowledged your bad guess). Reflecting on your above statement, I see no difference in the outcome for you. You would still be fooled. Its a shame that the editing ruined your entertainment and turned your mind towards logic, instead of magic. Perhaps, that's the whole point here? The edit slaps some people out of the magic and into a science?

Btw, even when I know a woman has breast implants, I am no less entertained...
[/quote]

Was I fooled by a clever trick executed skillfully by an exceptional performer? Alas, the producers wouldn't let me see.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Jul 25, 2005 07:31PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 19:20, blindbo wrote:
Btw, even when I know a woman has breast implants, I am no less entertained...
[/quote]

Very funny and a great point! :lol: I also don't mind the camera edits in that case.

By the way, Baywatch was a VERY ENTERTAINING show and it had a ton of camera editing!!! :)

Oh well, I guess it is o.k. for us to be a little light hearted here. It seems like we are attacking each other and overall we are just speaking about entertainment. Overall, it has been very entertaining reading all these replies. I wonder what will happen after this Wednesday's episode.

Take care,
Rich

P.S.
How did Chriss Angel make those people feel the 'burn' during the voodoo trick? Laser, chemical, other? That would be a FUN trick to perform.
Message: Posted by: Jimeuax (Jul 25, 2005 09:28PM)
Truthfully----Whether any of us liked it or not-----------really makes no difference unless you are a "Neilson Family". Everybody have Fun!-------lighten up!----------cheers!-----JIMEUAX
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 26, 2005 12:07AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 16:38, Randwill wrote:
On the video however you can drop the hand secretly holding the ball just out of frame, and drop the ball to the ground. That's using the TV frame to do the magic for you. Or, just after you show your right hand (which is supposedly holding the ball) empty, we EDIT and cut to the spectator's reaction to the vanish. Once we cut away from you, you can put the ball you are hiding in your left hand into your pocket. Then we cut back to you and the left hand can be shown empty too. You didn't really have to do what the video seems to be telling the viewer you can do.
[/quote]

You are skipping a lot of things you do not understand - misdirection in person does not work on the TV screen. In person, someone must turn their head to change their view from your right hand to your left hand ... on TV they only need to move their eyes a small fraction of an inch. What works in the real environment does not work on TV! The spoon bending routine that was on Mondo Magic was a perfect example of this.

Let's assume Chris lapped a duplicate ring (I am pretty sure he did not, and I'm not saying he did ... just using this for an example) ... in real life, you can easily get away with that because the spectator is misdirected to the ring he just handed back to them. But on the TV screen, the viewer is able to see both the hand he is palming the ring in and the ring the specator is examining AT THE SAME TIME ... thus, the misdirection would fail and everyone at home would be able to say "I saw that!". In other words ... if you want to be on TV, then I suggest you begin to like camera tricks - because that really is the best way to do it, and everyone on TV uses them including Copperfield. Edits and cuts are a part of TV, and when you are in Rome you must do as the Romans.

When (if?) you ever get on TV, you will need to unlearn nearly everything you know and learn a whole new craft! Copperfield is a master at blending 2d and 3d ... take Mis-Led for example. Many magicians get disappointed that the effect does not look as good in person as it did on TV. That is because the illusion looks a lot better in flat 2d than it does in 3d. TV is a whole new world, and it is nothing like performing in the real world.

Almost none of the complaints I've read here have anything to do with Chris' magic, they are more geared towards how his magic appears on TV. That's not his fault, and it doesn't make him any less of a magician. I for one think he did an excellent job at presenting his magic in the medium he had to work with. I'm glad to see that I am not the only magician that is enjoying his new series.

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 26, 2005 01:42AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-26 01:07, JoeJoe wrote:

You are skipping a lot of things you do not understand - misdirection in person does not work on the TV screen. In person, someone must turn their head to change their view from your right hand to your left hand ... on TV they only need to move their eyes a small fraction of an inch. What works in the real environment does not work on TV! The spoon bending routine that was on Mondo Magic was a perfect example of this.

JoeJoe

[/quote]

I guess you never saw Slydini on Dick Cavette. Or Henning, Ammar, Gertner ect. on Johnny Carson. Or any of the appearances by Jammie Ian Swiss, Bill Malone, Bob Sheets, Ray Levand, Guy Hollingsworth, David Roth, Lennart Green, Carl Cloutier and on and on that have appeared on television. If you had, you would never say 'what works in the real environment does not work on TV.'

Randwill
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Jul 26, 2005 03:45AM)
Joe meant a pretty long show.

Those you are mentioning were nothing more than a couple of minutes.(rand)

I totally get where joe is coming from and he got it perfectly. It's very true. Read it again.
Message: Posted by: Jeff007 (Jul 26, 2005 12:44PM)
The only thing I have to say is that the special was very well done (superb even). It's obvious that there was a lot of work that went into each piece. I believe this was the best work I have seen from Criss to date! Everything worked great on television and kudos to everyone that helped compile the Mindfreak series. It is also obvious that there was a lot of thought on how to shoot this series. I appreciate hard work in magic, and it's nice to know some people are finally getting a little credit for their hard work.
Message: Posted by: Terry Harris (Jul 26, 2005 12:54PM)
I feel good and bad about the Mindfreak Show. glad to see magic back on tv, but as a live performed neither I nor angel can do most of the effects without camera trickery.
Copperfield exclaimed in the early day "No use of camera trickery on Stage". Naturally that excleded things like the Grand Canyon.
Blaine never said that he didn't use camera trickery. now with Angel , Blaine must feel like the forst liar doesn't stand a chance.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 26, 2005 12:57PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-26 04:45, unilogo wrote:
Joe meant a pretty long show.

Those you are mentioning were nothing more than a couple of minutes.(rand)
[/quote]

Then insert the phrase "any of Mark Wilson's shows." He was the guy who proved magic could be done on TV, and one could gain (and keep) the trust of the audience.

I'm happy to accept Banachek's word that unethical "TV tricks" were not used. I can continue to wish for better editing while still enjoying the show.

*jeep!
--Chet
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 26, 2005 02:22PM)
I'd like to tip my hat to Banachek and Thomas Wayne (and any others who worked with Angel and who I haven't spotted in the chaos) for stepping into this thread and countering some of the accusations certain people are making. They did some nice work, and then they come here and find that work being dismissed as the work of camera tricks, stooges, etc.

It would be nice if the discussion could have been one in which they were offering insight into the making of the show, the dynamics of their relationship with Angel, etc., rather than one in which they were put in a position of having to defend the credibility of the featured performer and themselves.

So, it bears saying, even if it's already been said: nice work, guys. You got a lot of us thinking with your contributions to the show.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Jul 26, 2005 02:59PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-26 15:22, Magicbarry wrote:[b]
I'd like to tip my hat to Banachek and Thomas Wayne (and any others who worked with Angel and who I haven't spotted in the chaos) for stepping into this thread and countering some of the accusations certain people are making. They did some nice work, and then they come here and find that work being dismissed as the work of camera tricks, stooges, etc.

[...][/b]
[/quote]

During one consult I watched as Criss put the entire production meeting on hold while he studied and practiced a portion of a routine that Bob Kohler (another consultant on the show) created. The routine is pure sleight of hand and NOT easy to do; I had to leave, but I'm quite sure that Criss spent many, many - countless, in fact - hours practicing and rehearsing that routine in preparation for filming.

As far as I'm concerned, Criss Angel is one of the most talented and [b]hard-working[/b] guys in the business.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 26, 2005 05:56PM)
This thread seems to have become an endless argument between JoeJoe and Randwill.

Randwill has every right to feel cheated by camera edits and stooging, perceived or real.

Remember it was Chris Angel that aimed his advertising and promotion at magicians. We ARE a critical group by nature because we have some insight into the craft and if you are playing to a group of critics you must have A+ material to pass muster.

Although, as I have previously stated, I was entertained by the magic, there are many flaws in this special that most students of magic will recognize, the first flaw is that it was on television in the first place (Viva Live Magic!). Once there is the perception of a contrived moment, a turn from audience view, a guilty gesture, the illusion is broken, the magic is weakened and it becomes a trick or puzzle to be solved. The camera edits have created that feeling for many magicians including Randwill.

To say that because ALL television is edited we should accept patently distracting edits and cuts in magic specials is wrong minded. Magic being suspect to begin with, needs to come across as excessively fair to the mind of a critical television audience. General lay audiences may not notice these things, but critics will, and critics will be quick to point them out.

Since, by advertising on The Magic Café and back cover of Genii Magazine, Chris Angel invited all of the critics to view his special, I don’t find it particularly odd, out of place, or off base to see those criticisms voiced here. The first hour of the Mindfreak series was far from the best magic special I have ever watched, yet I still respect what Chris Angel has done. I have respect for his dedication to our craft and professionalism. Does this mean that I’m satisfied with the finished product? Hardly, in fact at his level, I expect more. Defending this special “just because it is done” and has some merit, does not address the project’s failures. Chris Angel has failed to win over a majority of his most critical and chosen target audience, magicians.

While I believe that there is a polite respect that we do and should share, this campaign to dislodge or invalidate Randwill’s opinions doesn’t make sense. He has valid views and has articulated his reasons for not feeling this special was up-to-snuff. Being fooled badly by one trick does not make a great magic special, nor does the opacity of the methods. A great magic special is one that moves you emotionally into a magical experience. This special did not do that for me and for at least a few other magicians I have spoken with. I was fooled by some of the tricks and could speculate regarding method of those and others, right or wrong, but that’s not what I should be doing. I should be left breathless by the stunning experience, emotionally moved in some way, but I’m not. I’m sorry, this project hasn’t won me over so far and you can defend it all you want, but that is the bottom line for me. I found the experience mediocre, mildly entertaining, and far from profound. I don’t say this to sway those that LOVED Mindfreak or shared in the creative process (you will have your own prejudices), because ultimately you set your own bar for entertainment value; that’s why some people love Wrestling, Fear Factor, and Viva La Bam while others enjoy the Ballet, Symphony and classic literature. In the end it is all a mater of taste and preference.
Message: Posted by: Terry Harris (Jul 26, 2005 06:08PM)
I don't mean to critize, but the next show I do will want to see the levitation and neither I nor Chris can do it LIVE
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 26, 2005 06:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 16:10, JoeJoe wrote:

If you really want to judge Chris Angel's show, compare it to say ... The Goti's ... or Dog The Bounty Hunter. Watching spoiled brats complain about their jewerly and fur coats, or a steriodal freak nutcase with an insane girlfriend who herself should be behind bars for her constant assults ... in proper perspecitive, it seems Chris Angel has the BEST show there is - again, great job Chris!

JoeJoe

[/quote]
That's an interesting take on comparative evaluation. Evaluate what you see by comparing it to something worse and base your opinion on that. Whew! I'm not sure that works to determine excellence. Shouldn't you compare it to the highest standard so far and see if it measures up to the highest standard? Also wouldn’t you compare it to other magic specials rather than schlock TV? Why not compare Mindfreak to Law & Order, Medium, Battlestar Galactica, or better yet movies like Blackhawk Down, Million Dollar Baby, or Gladiator? How does it measure up then? My guess is that it gets pushed down the quality scale. JoeJoe, I think in your zeal to defend Mindfreak you have offered comparisons that are horribly flawed.

While the frist two episodes of Mindfreak were better than some of the other television offered these days, it certainly didn't seem to realize it's full potential.
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Jul 26, 2005 10:10PM)
They are replaying the 1st episode of MindFreak on AE tonight (Tuesday) at 10 pm EST.
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Jul 26, 2005 11:18PM)
What really makes me laugh is the idea that some here have that shows like WGM used NO camera tricks. Anyone who watched the showgirl vanish carefully knows EXACTLY what I mean! I don't seem to remember this much of a commotion then?!? Franz Harary seems to excel at TV illusions and nobody wants his head on the chopping block. Both Lance Burton and David Copperfield performed effects that could only be accomplished on TV for their television specials and we still respect them. Hmmm...all this negative feedback seems to have more to do with Criss' style and appearance than his supposed use of excessive TV effects in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: petersd (Jul 26, 2005 11:35PM)
All that I can say is there are some mental midgets posting in this thread!!!! I enjoyed the show and trust Banacheks and Waynes comments. Listening to some of these posts is like listening to a drunk with there vast wisdom which only exists in their minds.

I have never before seen such a jealous group of people. I love magic, although this is the side of magic that makes me sick.

I applaud Criss' work and look forward to his other shows.
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 26, 2005 11:53PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-27 00:18, the levitator wrote:
What really makes me laugh is the idea that some here have that shows like WGM used NO camera tricks. Anyone who watched the showgirl vanish carefully knows EXACTLY what I mean! I don't seem to remember this much of a commotion then?!? Franz Harary seems to excel at TV illusions and nobody wants his head on the chopping block. Both Lance Burton and David Copperfield performed effects that could only be accomplished on TV for their television specials and we still respect them. Hmmm...all this negative feedback seems to have more to do with Criss' style and appearance than his supposed use of excessive TV effects in my opinion.
[/quote]
Let us concede that camera tricks and edits have been used in other specials, it seems however the editing in this special was more distracting and took place during key moments when a continuous shot may have been more appropriate and actually strengthened the magic for the viewing audience. Instead, the editors opted to have a lot of time filler that added nothing to the magic and they chopped the heck out of the effects, leaving the camera work as an explanation for the effects. When camera work and edits are used it is always a distraction to magicians and Blaine was chastised for it, as were Copperfield and Harary. Do you remember the masked magician exposing camera tricks as a method?

No one is calling for Chris Angel’s head. They are just pointing out that the edits detracted from their enjoyment of the magic.

Let’s say you’re right and this is all about Chris Angel’s style (having sifted through the posts I would disagree). So what? Must one approve of someone's style if they find it a negative? What if I find Chris Angel, though interesting to look at, a bore? Does that make my opinion of his special any less valid? Isn’t style a factor? People like or dislike things for different reasons. Personality counts in show business and can be a subject of criticism.
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Jul 27, 2005 02:30AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 18:42, Randwill wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-25 18:12, TheRock wrote:
I admit, I am no body. I just started studying magic within the last few days. As I said, I am a no body. But from every magician I have ever met and talked to, they told me the main reason for doing magic was to entertain. They also told me to be a great magician, you must first be a great entertainer!

Now whether Criss uses edits (on the film) to make something happen, or whether he does it the way MOST magicians would say it should be done, IF IT ENTERTAINS...then what makes the difference on how he accomplishes it!

I have seen 2 of Criss' acts, 'Mind Freak' and another where he was on tv with a bunch of other magicians on tv, and in both of these, I was highly entertained.

Maybe I do not understand how all you magicians feel because I have only been studying this for a few days now. But if it is entertaining, what is the problem with it?

Oh, by the way, I am not accussing Criss (or anyone else) of using edits, but like I said several times already, if it entertains, what is wrong with it?
[/quote]

There are many different entertainment skills and disciplines. When you see a performer on television demonstrating his or her skill, do you care if that performer really possesses that skill? Or are you equally entertained even if the demonstration of the purported skill is compromised by a television production in such a way that it clouds the entertainer's real abilities?


Randwill
[/quote]

I was told their would be a magician on tv, I was told to watch it and that I would be entertained and enjoy it. I and my wife had a few friends over that night to watch it with us (a lawyer friend, a cashier friend, a mechanic friend, a librarian friend, and a doctor friend). After Criss did each trick/illusion on the tv, the first thing that came out of ALL of our mouths was, "WOW HOW DID HE DO THAT?". We never thought or said or even wandered if their were any camera edits, we were all taken in by the illusion/tricks that he presented, and were all in wonder of him.

You see, you are a Magician, and you (and probably a lot of others in this thread) have probably been a Magician for a long time. You watched the show through the eyes of a Magician (yourself), you scrutinized and critised what you saw. Simply because you know how it was done, and you probably already had it in your mind that if it was you, you would have done certain things differently, simply because you feel that the way Criss did or presented them was not entertaining or they lacked in method and/or presintation. Well that is fine! But as I said before, I know nothing of magic (only been studying it now for about 5 or 6 days), so I, my wife, and our friends, viewed this show from a spectators point of view. We were totaly taken in by what Criss Angel did (no matter if he used camera edits or not), we were highly entertained and we enjoyed it tremendously. When the show ended, we all were left in a state of amazement, wander, and awe!!!

Now what I am about to say next, please do not take it personaly or the wrong way, as I do not know you and you do not know me.......... Maybe you and and the rest of the long time magicians in this thread that complain about Criss Angel, David Blaine, David Copperfield, and other magicians, should stop watching other magicians acts on tv (or live in person) through the eyes of a magician. Instead, maybe you should watch them through the eyes of a spectator instead! Because IT IS the SPECTATOR that determines what he/she will like, NOT the magician. The magician has to and must accomidate himself and his act to what the spectator wants, and not what the magician wants for them. There is an old saying that a lot of people in the advertisinng world use and beliEve in religiously (and have written about many of times in lots of different books), and it goes like this....[b]"People WILL buy what people want, and people WON'T buy what they don't want, so we must ALLOW them to think they want what we have to sell"[/b]. I beleive this is true for magic as well....[b]"People WILL watch what people want to watch, and people WON'T watch what they don't want to watch , so we must allow them to think they want to watch we have to show"[/b].

As I said, please don't take it personaly, or let it offend you (or anyone else). As it was not meant too.
Message: Posted by: Cain (Jul 27, 2005 02:42AM)
A lot of magic, especially close-up magic, cannot be transferred to the screen with high fidelity. Fact. Anyone who has ever been captured on video performing an illusion knows this all too well. If I recall Randwill's explanation of the ring trick, I thought it made sense. Mr. Wayne cannot boast that RW was fooled because RW never witnessed the full effect; one can only speculate -- to greater and lesser degrees of confidence -- as to how the effect was generated. In some cases I can read a description of an effect in book and devise a plausible method on how to perform it; however, I can never be certain if my explanation is in fact how the trick is actually demonstrated because there are subtelties that the text cannot capture (and motions that it purposefully omits). Recorded and edited video is subject to similar limitations for similar reasons.

As for my opinion on the special: I didn't like the cuts to the desert scenes with Criss and the woman emoting with the wind blowing against their loose-fitting clothing and long hair. I also think his style is a bit melodramatic. Criss' clothes, for example, look and feel like a costume; even the name "Criss Angel" is rather overdone.

P.S. Lighting himself on fire for his mom's birthday struck me as -- I dunno -- narcissistic. Yeah, you're doin' it for Mom. Then he repeated the same line on least three separate occasions: "I'm gonna be a human candle." Annoying.

P.P.S. Contrary to what may appear harsh criticism, I will watch the next episode. The first two were OK.
Message: Posted by: dcstudio (Jul 27, 2005 10:40AM)
I am not a magician nor do I care to be one--in fact I don't even know any magicians. Let me tell you what a TRUE spectator thought of the Criss Angel show.
At first, I must say, I was fooled. However, as the show continued, I began to get the feeling that I was being duped by camera edits and "stooges" as you call them. The levitation looked so mechanical that it was obvious even to a layman such as myself that something off camera (crane?) was simply lifting him up. By the time I watched hypnotised girl levitating on Fremont street I was laughing at pretty much everything. I happened on the show by mistake and for some reason I kept watching. I am sure I won't watch again.
I only came to this sight because I wanted to know how other magicians felt about this show. After reading only a portion of this thread, I can safely say that most of you were as equally unimpressed as I. :)
Message: Posted by: Bob Kohler (Jul 27, 2005 11:19AM)
I've been watched the "results" hit the internet after the first two Criss Angel showed hit the airwaves. Lots of interesting comments and points of view.

I watched the shows in a noisy bar where the Vegas magicians get together on Wednesday nights. It was tough to hear the dialogue.

As part of the creative team I did have previous knowledge of some of what was going on method wise. Obviously this taints my opinions from being pure.

Yesterday I read Richard Kaufman's article in Genii Magazine about Criss, the show and his interview with David Baram. Even being a part of the process, there were many components of the show/process that I didn't fully comprehend.

Richard painstakingly presented a crystal clear view of all of the forces that have brought "Mindfreak" to A&E. This issue of Genii is astounding. I think Richard should be commended for I challenge every magician to read every word. I believe your viewpoints may be altered, mine was.

After reading the issue cover to cover I noticed that the first two shows were being aired again last night. So I watched them again, this time with good sound. But now I was also armed with the "Genii Information."To get a better idea of what A&E is up to I also watched "Dog-The Bounty Hunter" and "Inked". Watching these shows after reading Genii has firmed up what I already believed.

The world has changed in my lifetime. Starting with MTV many years ago "attention span theater" has taken over. Reality shows are #1 on all of the networks. I have access to approximately 400 channels to chose from when making my viewing decision.
A&E has a simple plan. They want to change their viewing audience demographic to the younger crowd from 18-35. The reason is simple, this sector of the population has tremendous buying power of products. This brings advertisers who are willing to pay big bucks to run their ads on channels that have market share for this demographic. As usual, it's money that makes the world go 'round.

A&E's evening line-up is dedicated to attract the young demographic therefore bringing the big advertising budgets to their programming. That's it. The formula is apparent. Strong tags between and during all of the shows. Billboards everywhere, ads on other channels. A&E has put everything behind this line-up.

Their success will be decided by one factor...ratings. Personally, I believe the show will be a success. Not everyone will choose to view these shows but all three shows will be on for 16 weeks. They have time to build an audience base. Keep in mind the two shows are on at least three times per week, Wed., Saturday and Tuesday nights.

I believe that as Richard states in Genii "we're all in the same boat." I couldn't agree more. The history of magic on television has always helped make magic more popular from Mark Wilson to Doug Henning, David Copperfield, David Blaine and now Criss Angel. David Blaine has another special slated for this fall. Perhaps a nice controversy about who's better will cause the population to have "magic on their minds" again. I think it's all good. I also think we all need to get behind Criss' effort. Instead of worrying about method, choice of edit etc. why don't we concentrate on forgetting the bashing and work on promoting the shows.

Working with Criss and his team was an honor for me. What they've pulled off is amazing. 16 shows shot in 10 weeks on a very tight budget. It'never been done before. Many of the top creators and manufacturers chipped in and helped. I can tell you this, I worked with Criss on nine effects. Some will make the final edits, some won't. He works his ass off to "get it right." It's a joy to work with a performer/team that is totally positive and strives hard to bring their dream to the small screen.

From reading some of the posts concerning camera tricks, creative angles/framing, choice of edits etc. I do understand there are a million ways to make changes.
The bottom line is the shows are in the can. The decisions have been made.

Method speculation is always fun. I love to watch magic and attempt to come up with the solutions. I can tell you this, many of the methods actually used on the show that you think are camera "effects" are not.

Case in point, Thomas Wayne and I worked on the "Ring In Ice Cube" effect on the first show. You can take away all of the edits. There was absolutely nothing to see. We're very proud of the ring vanish. It's as clean as they get. I was sorry to see A&E put a graphic over Criss' hand during a critical phase but that's show biz. There is no switch at any time during the routine. That's all I'm going to say about it.

The reason I'm telling you this is because the methods used throughout the 16 episodes are brilliant. Yes, there are sneaky digital techniques used, but when you get fooled don't jump to the conclusion that what fooled you was digital. There's a better chance you really did get fooled by a good method. Look at the list of contributors in Genii. It's one hell of a braintrust. To a man, I believe all of us helped because we knew the world of magic needs an infusion of excitement.

I truly hope "Mindfreak" when all of the dust has settled turns out to be a huge success for Criss, his team and magicians everywhere.

Whew, I know this is long...consider it as my blog.
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 27, 2005 11:27AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-27 00:35, petersd wrote:
All that I can say is there are some mental midgets posting in this thread!!!! I enjoyed the show and trust Banacheks and Waynes comments. Listening to some of these posts is like listening to a drunk with there vast wisdom which only exists in their minds.

I have never before seen such a jealous group of people. I love magic, although this is the side of magic that makes me sick.

I applaud Criss' work and look forward to his other shows.
[/quote]
From the articulate nature of your post it apears that you are in good company.

Not all criticism stems from jealousy. This defense has become a common practice of those who support the subject of criticism. In specific cases it may be on point, however to generalize jealousy as a factor is as juvenile and sophomoric as generalized comments like "the show sucked".

The people posting their praise, criticism, or mix of both are a cross section of the market that Chris Angel targeted with his advertising. What they think does matter. If they liked it, they will watch further, if they didn't they will not. Viewership is important to a television show, sponsors want to know that people will be watching or they will not be sponsors long.
[quote]
On Jul 27, 2005 3:30am The Rock wrote:
Now what I am about to say next, please do not take it personaly or the wrong way, as I do not know you and you do not know me.......... Maybe you and and the rest of the long time magicians in this thread that complain about Criss Angel, David Blaine, David Copperfield, and other magicians, should stop watching other magicians acts on tv (or live in person) through the eyes of a magician. Instead, maybe you should watch them through the eyes of a spectator instead! Because IT IS the SPECTATOR that determines what he/she will like, NOT the magician. The magician has to and must accomidate himself and his act to what the spectator wants, and not what the magician wants for them. There is an old saying that a lot of people in the advertisinng world use and beliEve in religiously (and have written about many of times in lots of different books), and it goes like this...."People WILL buy what people want, and people WON'T buy what they don't want, so we must ALLOW them to think they want what we have to sell". I beleive this is true for magic as well...."People WILL watch what people want to watch, and people WON'T watch what they don't want to watch , so we must allow them to think they want to watch we have to show".

As I said, please don't take it personaly, or let it offend you (or anyone else). As it was not meant too.
[/quote]
We all watch magic from wherever we are on the ladder. One of the curses of being a magician is that you watch magic from a different perspective, and once you are there it is impossible to go back. Magicians can be more critical of magic simply because of that perspective.

A magician once criticized me because he knew the method I was using to accomplish an effect. I asked him "But how was the presentation?" He said, "Great, but I know how it was done." I failed to impress him and that was his expectation of the presentation, he wanted to be fooled. Others have focused on the presentation of the effect and been satified, so not even magicians all view magic the same way.

Magicians think differently and as a magician you must realize this. It's one of the reasons I prefer not to perform for magicians. But if you are inviting magicians into your audience pool you have to expect a certain amount of critique.

Those that expect critics to simply go away are rubbing themselves for pleasure in the wrong spot. You can keep working at it, but you’ll never get there. The bottom line is that satisfying to his critics or not, Chris Angel has made a mark on television magic and only viewership will tell if it’s a lasting mark. He has sparked discussion positive and negative, he has generated income for himself and others and has kept magic in the public eye all in all not bad for a greek kid from Long Island.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 27, 2005 01:19PM)
Well...I have said all along on this thread that we should be excited for Criss, his opportunity and the chance to see magic on television again. Here is looking forward to what should be a great episode tonight. For those who were snotty about stating they wouldn't watch another episode because they assumed it couldn't get better, give it another shot. Lance Burton hosts the show tonight when Criss attempts to escape from a wine barrel filled with water. Sounds about right...........

Thanks for the post BK. I will make sure to check out that Genii article.
Message: Posted by: boboshempy (Jul 27, 2005 02:30PM)
Amen Brother!
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 27, 2005 04:11PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-26 19:32, MagicbyCarlo wrote:
That's an interesting take on comparative evaluation. Evaluate what you see by comparing it to something worse and base your opinion on that. Whew! I'm not sure that works to determine excellence. Shouldn't you compare it to the highest standard so far and see if it measures up to the highest standard? Also wouldn’t you compare it to other magic specials rather than schlock TV? Why not compare Mindfreak to Law & Order, Medium, Battlestar Galactica, or better yet movies like Blackhawk Down, Million Dollar Baby, or Gladiator? How does it measure up then? My guess is that it gets pushed down the quality scale. JoeJoe, I think in your zeal to defend Mindfreak you have offered comparisons that are horribly flawed.

While the frist two episodes of Mindfreak were better than some of the other television offered these days, it certainly didn't seem to realize it's full potential.
[/quote]

I think comparing it to the shows on the same network with similar budgets and time restrictions would be more fair. Perhaps you expected it to be something it was never intended to be? Hmmm...

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Jul 27, 2005 05:28PM)
I hope EVERYONE watches TONIGHT on A&E. Tell your friends and coworkers!!! :)

Kind regards,
Rich
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Jul 27, 2005 10:12PM)
I have not taken the time to read this entire thread so I apologize if my view has been previously posted.
Criss has presented a fresh style, professional delivery and executed it very well. Clearly you will never please a room full of magicians but I am sure he has pleased and entertained many laymen as well as magicians and I am one of them. The immense amount of speculation as to his methods tells me he must have done SOMETHING right.
Growth in magic can be achieved when one takes risks and explores the untested fields of his imagination.
Great job Criss!
Chance Wolf
Message: Posted by: Terry Harris (Jul 28, 2005 12:06AM)
Which show does he do the marked coin in the sida can ??????Does anyone know
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Jul 28, 2005 12:40AM)
What's a sida can? ;) Sorry but I couldn't resist.

I'm not sure which show has this effect but I am anxiously awaiting.
Message: Posted by: Jeff007 (Jul 28, 2005 07:34AM)
There is no sense adding more paragraphs from me, BK pulled my words out of his top hat! 100% agreed - Thanks Bob
Message: Posted by: Ellen Kotzin (Jul 28, 2005 04:40PM)
I don't like the REALITY part of it...getting sick of these shows with the exception of survivor and amazing race. I don't need to see people's lives and what goes into them. The camera tricks are too much.
This show brings magic to an unpersonal and plastic level. He has blained us.

Ellen
Message: Posted by: joseph (Jul 28, 2005 06:02PM)
Was the card through (bus) window his own version?....
Message: Posted by: boboshempy (Jul 28, 2005 06:49PM)
I here next week on Chris's reality show they follow his Mom out on a date! Oh, there's back mutilation too!
Message: Posted by: blindbo (Jul 28, 2005 07:08PM)
Well, "totally impromtu" (Angel's words) for a card through moving bus window is pretty darn impressive - even if it wasn't.

I love magic - as does everyone here - but I'm not so sure I can take another (although I will) show of "MindFreak" music and his style. Guess I've hit the old fogey stage in life. I'm beginning to think I'm losing commune with the (hate to admit it) younger generation. Shuffleboard, anyone??
Message: Posted by: boboshempy (Jul 28, 2005 07:38PM)
Well, blindbo I'm 27 and I think if this is what youngins want to see put an old fogey sticker on my head!
Message: Posted by: Pele (Jul 28, 2005 09:38PM)
Blindbo and boboshempy, I'm 31 and part of the supposed "target" audience. Sign me up for the fogey boat then too. Honestly, we didn't watch it last night. My 10 year old preferred going to bed than staying up late to watch it. To me that is tremendously sad.

Someone said to compare this show to others of a similar nature-budget-reality style. Okay, Inked falls flat as well, and I am borderline obsessed with tattoos. It seems to me that A&E is attempting to use location as a big support in their shows, which is fine but when the show figureheads lack a charismatic personality (either positively or negatively) a location can not make up for it. Dog is not much more than a small stop on a channel surfing moment. None of the compelling style of Cops, and that is what people are used to. Hawaii doesn't save it. Inked falls flat in a similar nature. The artists are not as known as those in the show Miami Ink, without real strong charisma so being in Vegas then becomes a plot device, and effects how the show is possibly seen. The same seems to be so in Mindfreak to me.

Would the body burn have been so visually interesting without the lights of Freemont? Probably not. Stunt men do it all the time. Same has been true for many of the scenes. There are not the dirty, gritty streets that many relate to, or an invasion on sweet suburbia but the surreal stops along the Vegas strip. Vegas is great, but it is also known for being a surreal place where nothing is really real...and that, I think, plays into the perception of the audience. Everything is fake in Vegas, so why not this too?

I am not saying that such shows would work in suburbia however, location does play into perception. David Blaine chose the streets of NY, so his presentations took on a more realistic edge that I think people related to, along with his more "average joe" style. Burton has a romantic, old style elegance and charm that women swoon over and people often relate to magic, and it fits Vegas. Copperfield has a kind of "guy next door" charm and wit, with a wry smile and a non-chalant style that make people relax into his presentation no matter where he was. I find the performance persona of Criss Angel to be hard to relate to and I'm a tattoo-ed sideshow performer in the target age range. I do not find him charming, charsimatic or even approachable. I really don't think most people would actually give him the time of day let alone stop to "play", and that does not help the perception that stooges were used when coupled with the poor editting choices and ad banner placement.

And I think *that* perception is important for a viewing audience.

I can understand A&E attempting to spiff up their line-up, but while magic is most definately an art, their line-up fails to deliver entertainment for me and my family.

People keep saying this will push magic back into the mainstream, but I never saw it as being out of it. Outside of Vegas (where you can't possibly avoid magic) I see my magician friends never lacking for work, our local theme parks having 3 or 4 audience filled magic shows a day, our three local magic shops thriving, magic nights popping up at clubs and this board growing in numbers. Our local science museum even has its own "magic of science" show . And this has been going on for years. I don't see it as ever having been out of the mainstream in my (albeit relatively short) lifetime. *shrug*
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 28, 2005 11:33PM)
As I was walking to my pitch today, my new fan Robbie the security guard saw me lugging my stuff and came over and offered me a hand ... he asked if I saw last nights Chris Angel special (he now knows his name). We exchanged some flattering comments about the show and then ...

I told him the Da-Ja-Vue trick has me floored, "how do you think he did that?" ... "oh I'm sure it was a camera trick, but it was defidently way cool!". I found that most interesting, it would appear as if the lay audience will actually accept a "camera trick" as an actual form of magic ... I got the impression that he felt it was a camera trick, but still a trick none-the-less and that he still didn't know exactly how it worked - he accepted that a magician could perform a "camera trick" that would actually fool an audience ... that is to say, a magician could film something with a camera that would actually fool say a film maker. That just because it was a "camera trick" did not mean it was not still "magic".

I thought about his reaction and the other things he said to me ... it seemed to me that in his mind, "camera trick" would have similar meaning to "palming a coin" ... or "it went up the sleeve". As to why magicians seem to frown upon "camera tricks" I have no idea, magic is about entertaining people and if a camera trick is entertaining then so be it. Robbie was entertained, as was myself ... two thumbs up here.

He also told me that while his wife doesn't like magic, he was able to get her to watch a little of the show ... and she became amazed and is now a fan of Chris Angel awaiting the next episode. Chris is doing a great job, we are eagerly awaiting next weeks installment here!

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Jimeuax (Jul 28, 2005 11:46PM)
The Disney Channel has 12 year old "magicians" doing amazing camera effects almost daily. Some of them look pretty darn cool---Yeah---I watch them---but I lie about it!---lol!----Jimeuax
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 29, 2005 06:11AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-29 00:33, JoeJoe wrote:
As I was walking to my pitch today, my new fan Robbie the security guard saw me lugging my stuff and came over and offered me a hand ... he asked if I saw last nights Chris Angel special (he now knows his name). We exchanged some flattering comments about the show and then ...

I told him the Da-Ja-Vue trick has me floored, "how do you think he did that?" ... "oh I'm sure it was a camera trick, but it was defidently way cool!". I found that most interesting, it would appear as if the lay audience will actually accept a "camera trick" as an actual form of magic ... I got the impression that he felt it was a camera trick, but still a trick none-the-less and that he still didn't know exactly how it worked - he accepted that a magician could perform a "camera trick" that would actually fool an audience ... that is to say, a magician could film something with a camera that would actually fool say a film maker. That just because it was a "camera trick" did not mean it was not still "magic".

I thought about his reaction and the other things he said to me ... it seemed to me that in his mind, "camera trick" would have similar meaning to "palming a coin" ... or "it went up the sleeve". As to why magicians seem to frown upon "camera tricks" I have no idea, magic is about entertaining people and if a camera trick is entertaining then so be it. Robbie was entertained, as was myself ... two thumbs up here.

He also told me that while his wife doesn't like magic, he was able to get her to watch a little of the show ... and she became amazed and is now a fan of Chris Angel awaiting the next episode. Chris is doing a great job, we are eagerly awaiting next weeks installment here!

JoeJoe

[/quote]
Camera tricks are now classified as magic? Camera tricks are the equivalent of a pass, retentions vanish, sleeving or a palm? Why bother learning magic technique? Why do magician's frown on camera tricks as a method? Dude, you have done it, your lack of rational thought and knowledge has reached the sublime. God bless you, man. First of all “Déjà vu” wasn't a camera trick, the method was far more devious, but once again it was dismissed as totally bogus because of the medium of television. Cool visuals alone are NOT magic. MAGIC IS A LIVE ENTERTAINMENT FORM and the problem with camera tricks are that they often cannot be duplicated live. If someone sees Shadow Coins on TV the might speculate regarding a camera tricks, trap doors etc. Live however, it is a f***ing miracle. Part of the entertainment value of magic is in its mystery. Once the audience concludes or derives method, it's over. You obviously have never studied magic theory or even read a book on the subject, I suggest that you start by buying and reading Chicago Surprise by Whit Hayden (a frequent poster in this forum), not for the trick (although it is a great effect) but for the thinking in regard to what makes magic, magic. Although I can be entertained by stunning visual effects (I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark) it is not technically magic. JoeJoe, I really don't know you and I hope that you are just baiting and don't really believe that camera tricks are valid technique of magic. I honestly can't believe that you actually wrote that. Send out a promo video to a potential client of camera trickery and when you are asked to perform live tell them that you only show audiences pre-recorded and edited video, but it's still magic. I think my brain just melted from being exposed to toxic absurdity.

This is my last response to any your posts as I have decided that debating with crazy people just makes you crazy.

I was actually going to say that the last two episodes were better than the first two, but I’m so disturbed by this retarded notion that I can’t focus on what I liked about them versus the first two. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: boboshempy (Jul 29, 2005 09:23AM)
I totally agree with you Pele. A&E is attempting to spiff up their line-up with some very odd shows. I never realized what a weird channel it was until I started watching Chris. I can’t believe how odd their programming is. I guess what they are attempting to do is working because they have me watching!
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jul 29, 2005 10:36AM)
The first of the series finally appeared on On-Demand last night so I thought I’d sit down and watch it. It was pretty much what I had expected.
My wife lost interesting in it after about six minutes, but then neither of us is in the demographic that this show was targeted at.
I really understood the fact that he was going to ignite himself in honor of his mothers seventieth birthday the first time he said it so I was a little annoyed when he kept telling relating this information over and over again. I did see this without commercials though so maybe the frequent reference to his mothers birthday and his impending ignition in honor thereof made more sense if it came right after a (traditionally very, very long on A&E) commercial break. After all their target audience is supposed to have the attention span of an MTV music video so perhaps the producers of this show felt they needed to continually remind their audience that there was something worth watching coming up.
The selection and presentation of effects (all three of them) were nice and hey didn’t suffer as much as I thought they would from the cuts and editing. (not that this in any way changes my view of the use of these techniques in a televised magic show).
I would have liked to see him do the Voo-Doo trick in a setting like midnight in New Orleans instead of noon on the streets of Las Vegas, but that’s just me.
I too didn’t care much for the behind the scenes scenes as I could really care less about Mr. Angel’s home life but now that I have been granted a glimpse of his “real” life feel as if I need to add him to my Christmas card list.
All in all I thought the program came off well if you like that sort of thing and I wish Mr. Angel luck and congratulate him on his (at least at this moment) successful series.
As for those who think that it is acceptable to use camera tricks to enhance or create magic effects on television (it’s just another tool right?) I have two words for you, Matrix 2003.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 29, 2005 11:22AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-29 07:11, MagicbyCarlo wrote:
Camera tricks are now classified as magic? Camera tricks are the equivalent of a pass, retentions vanish, sleeving or a palm? Why bother learning magic technique? Why do magician's frown on camera tricks as a method? Dude, you have done it, your lack of rational thought and knowledge has reached the sublime. God bless you, man. First of all “Déjà vu” wasn't a camera trick, the method was far more devious, but once again it was dismissed as totally bogus because of the medium of television. Cool visuals alone are NOT magic. MAGIC IS A LIVE ENTERTAINMENT FORM and the problem with camera tricks are that they often cannot be duplicated live. If someone sees Shadow Coins on TV the might speculate regarding a camera tricks, trap doors etc. Live however, it is a f***ing miracle. Part of the entertainment value of magic is in its mystery. Once the audience concludes or derives method, it's over. You obviously have never studied magic theory or even read a book on the subject, I suggest that you start by buying and reading Chicago Surprise by Whit Hayden (a frequent poster in this forum), not for the trick (although it is a great effect) but for the thinking in regard to what makes magic, magic. Although I can be entertained by stunning visual effects (I loved Raiders of the Lost Ark) it is not technically magic. JoeJoe, I really don't know you and I hope that you are just baiting and don't really believe that camera tricks are valid technique of magic. I honestly can't believe that you actually wrote that. Send out a promo video to a potential client of camera trickery and when you are asked to perform live tell them that you only show audiences pre-recorded and edited video, but it's still magic. I think my brain just melted from being exposed to toxic absurdity.

This is my last response to any your posts as I have decided that debating with crazy people just makes you crazy.

I was actually going to say that the last two episodes were better than the first two, but I’m so disturbed by this retarded notion that I can’t focus on what I liked about them versus the first two. Good luck.
[/quote]

I never said any of those things - Robbie the security guard did. Like most laymen, he doesn't care how something is done ... he knows a magician can palm a coin, but that doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy a good coin trick. He doesn't think Chris Angel is using "special effects" - he thinks it is a "camera trick", something new that people making movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark are not even aware of. As in, camera magic! It is an interesting observation that I am not willing to dismiss so easily. You can eliminate every possable explanation on how something was done, and your audience will still say "there must be a trick to it", give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not stupid.

As for not being able to do a "camera trick" live, neither can you produce a dove if your not wearing your jacket. You can't vanish a penny on someone's hand if you don't have your raven. There are things you can't do in the lobby that you did on the stage ... so I fail to see the relevance. I wonder if the first stage magi got this kind of flack, simply because he was doing things that the other magicians could not do in the local pubs?

I'm not advocating an entire show of nothing but camera tricks, what I am saying is there is no shame in using the camera to fool and entertain your audience - the primary reason magicians don't like camera tricks is because they feel the magician is doing something they themselves can't duplicate. Like Robbie, laymen don't care. Put your ego in check and get over it already. Heck, your not sopposed to do the same trick twice anyway!

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Beth (Jul 30, 2005 11:56AM)
I think the problem with this type of "magic" is that it redefines what is magic. To me if you can't do it in front of a real audience then its not magic at all. Yes the show was entertaining to watch, but it is not in my opinion magic unless it can be performed in front of a live audience. Doug Henning used to do his specials life in front of an audience. Why can't Cris Angel? If he can't do it in front of an audience it straight up isn't magic. I wish someone would challenge him to do a TV special in front of a real live audience. If he did that then he would have my respect.
Peace Beth
Message: Posted by: troller (Jul 30, 2005 05:52PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-28 19:02, joseph wrote:
Was the card through (bus) window his own version?....
[/quote]

How can you call it his own version when John Kennedy was doing it for so long. In fact the effect is the same - different way of doing it.

I liked the show and thought it was cool that at least someone other than David Blaine got on TV. I wish they would go across North America looking for magician and see what they have to offer.

[quote]
On 2005-07-30 12:56, Beth wrote:
I think the problem with this type of "magic" is that it redefines what is magic. To me if you can't do it in front of a real audience then its not magic at all. Yes the show was entertaining to watch, but it is not in my opinion magic unless it can be performed in front of a live audience. Doug Henning used to do his specials life in front of an audience. Why can't Cris Angel? If he can't do it in front of an audience it straight up isn't magic. I wish someone would challenge him to do a TV special in front of a real live audience. If he did that then he would have my respect.
Peace Beth
[/quote]

I kinda think that your complaint is kina-like saying your disappointed once you found out about invisible thread! If you can't lift that object by mind power alone, then you are not a magician!!! LOL Hahahaha!
Message: Posted by: Beth (Jul 30, 2005 09:04PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-30 18:55, troller wrote:

I kinda think that your complaint is kina-like saying your disappointed once you found out about invisible thread! If you can't lift that object by mind power alone, then you are not a magician!!! LOL Hahahaha!
[/quote]
I kina think the difference is that, one you can do in front of a live audience and the other you can not. The fact that any magician thinks camera tricks and props/acessories are the same thing amazes me. I mean lets be honest, do you really want to say that anything you can do with trick editing is magic? Seriously? I personally don't think this is who we are as magicians. I would never say that there is no skill to doing special effects, but it is not magic. I mean my cousin and I use to do some really cool videos where ppl and things disappeared and reappeared by cutting away. Luna Shemada is taking tapes to put together a Womens Gala Show for next yrs Sam Convention... Now that tape would look really cool, but I don't think it would be fair to claim I was doing magic in it.
Peace Beth
Message: Posted by: troller (Jul 31, 2005 10:33PM)
OK, I might have mentioned this before in another post but the Criss Angel levitation in the restraunt shows a shadow that moves, while he stands motionless and the audience sits silently awaiting his lift, the shadow is on the right side of the chair he is going to levitate onto. The shadow moves upwards and once it is above the chair arm, he starts to lift.

Also, the audience guy explaining what he saw, he is sitting with an old man with glasses, he look like the same guy that David Blaine had on his show where David Blaine levitates on the road, where cars are driving by and the spectator (short haired blond guy) freaks out when seeing David lift up. Now if anyone out there that has that video, please compare and let us know if it really is that guy, of course a little older looking.

Some of the people that were in the restraunt had expression on their faces as if they seen what was lifting him up. They look at each other with a slight smile and that long stare look. You know that long stare you give when you are trying to say something with saying any words? Well, it did seem as if people were either told to shut up or were trying to be polite.

Still great seeing the 5 foot levitation and in the street. However, upon searching for the effect on the internet, I am finding that the secret would have something to do with mini electric hoists or hydraulics. The problem is the hiding of the apparatus and he seems to be able to get in and out of the apparatus quite fast in front of the camera. And there are no wires to be seen nor any lifting device.

You have to look at it from a typical normal person's view, he would not be looking at how he did it but would take it for what they saw. Great looking levitation, way better than the Balducci and anything else that is being sold for less than $100.
Message: Posted by: MagicMan1957 (Aug 1, 2005 01:28AM)
Yes I feel Chris Angel is a talented hard working guy.

But no one mentions that some woman who usually do not like magic might be attracted to watching a pumped up ripped young man on television.

Hey it's show biz and looks do count. And he appeals to the demographic that television stations want to attract advertisers.
Message: Posted by: Beth (Aug 1, 2005 04:08PM)
Okay there were parts of the show I liked. The levitation in the park was cool. But too much of the other things looked like camera editing. The other thing that really bothered me was his telling Blaine to kiss his ass...when did that become acceptable? ...and what is that about? My only thought is maybe it is like someone challenging the reining champ...maybe he thinks he is the guy to beat... which I guess in its own way gives cudos to Blaine lol...Otherwise why say that, except just to be really tacky? The other thing that seemed unprofessional to me was all the comments about how his stunts were " more dangerous than Houdini's". I thought that was out of line. By implication they were implying that Angel is better than Houdini. That just seemed disrepectful and arrogant. You just don't do that. That would be like me going on stage and annoucing which magicians I felt I could out do. Not cool . Let your performance speak for itself. If you are amazing ppl will notice without downing any fellow magicians. But what it really made me thing about was all the pictures of Houdini performing before a huge crowd live. I think Angel should take some direction from Houdini and try doing a live show. The other thing is I don't think it will be around long. The only ppl I can find who have watched it are magicians. I keep asking everyone and have yet to find anyone who has. I'm not saying that to be negative to him.
... and honestly it's on A&E and a lot of ppl just don't seem to watch it.
Peace Beth
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 1, 2005 10:46PM)
Just another perspective here on a couple of points. Some of the people I've talked to about the whole Blaine v.s. Angel thing think that Blaine and Angel cooked the whole "competition" thing up as a publicity stunt to give them both more spotlight. It wouldn't be the first time "dueling magicians" have caught the media's attention. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Criss and David are both having a laugh about the whole thing.

In regards to Criss thinking he's better than Houdini, what's so wrong about that? There were many of Houdini's peers in his own time who regarded him as an average magician at best and not much more than a publicity hound. I personally don't think it's out of line to use the EXACT same techniques Houdini himself did to publicize himself. Was he supposed to draw an audience by coming out and saying that these were very safe stunts that anyone could do and don't hold a candle to the great and powerful Houdini? I don't think he would have gotten quite the ratings he did. I have a lot of respect for those in our craft's history who helped the popularity and acceptance of what we do in the mainstream and made it possible for us to make money doing something we love. That being said, they are still just men and women, human, and not gods. The funny thing about your comment bashing Criss for being disrespectful is that Houdini did EXACTLY the same thing in his time, and you hold him on a pedestal. Isn't that a double standard?

In regards to Criss doing a stage show, you should do your homework before attacking someone online. Criss had a very successful off-Broadway show that lasted more than a couple of years I believe. It was his stage show that got him "noticed" by the media. Criss didn't just download some free magic and buy some cool clothes and get a TV special in the last week. He's been a SUCCESSFUL full time entertainer for years.

BTW, I'm not Criss Angel's biggest fan or anything, I'm just getting tired of all the jealous bashing going on here of one of our own. You should be supporting those who help YOU get work and recognition by keeping magic in the minds of mainstream culture. I also find his style a little over the top, but at least it's HIS style. He's not some sell out wearing a tux pulling rabbits out of hats. He's doing his own thing, and doesn't really care what you or I think about it. He's successful because his focus is on the public and he treats his magic as an artform. I'm glad I have friends outside of magic because I've talked to dozens of non-magicians who have watched at least 1 episode. I would say that about 70% of the people I've talked to really like it, 20% have been indifferent, and 10% don't care for him. How well do YOU think you'd hold up to national scrutiny? I don't think I could do as well.

I"m sure the A&E people would disagree with you that not that many people watch their programming. davidcarlo was nice enough to share some statistics regarding this little show on this insignifigant channel and I only WISH I had this kind of insignifigant popularity:

[quote]
On 2005-07-22 01:29, davidcarlo wrote:
Both 1/2 hours generated a 1.3 and total viewers averaged 1.8 million impressions. Some highlights from the ratings:

1. Number 1 rated original cable program of any cable network for the entire night in the 25-54 demo;

2. Number 2 original cable program of any cable network in the 18-45 demo for the entire night (but Number 1 from 10:30-11:00);

3. Lowest median age premiere at 33 in the network's entire history

4. The A & E night was .8 for Dog the Bounty Hunter in the 8-9 hour; .9 for the Inked premiere at 9 and a 1.3 for Mindfreak at 10:00 (thus the show built on the network's entire night which is not easy)

5. Highest rated show for both household and key demos in the 10:00 Wednesday hour for the entire year for the network

6. Mindfreak beat the network key demo averages by 127% (18-45) and 91% (25-54) with well over 1 million views in each demo.

7 Mindfreak grew slightly--adding viewers--over the course of the hour. Great sign for the show.



[/quote]

I think I would pass out if there were actually a thread on a magic forum that focused on the positive aspects of a successful magicians' television appearance. It's ironic that the one thing magicians hate the most; having their material picked apart and overanalyzed by people, is what they do to each other. That is very sad.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Aug 2, 2005 01:47AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-30 22:04, Beth wrote:
I kina think the difference is that, one you can do in front of a live audience and the other you can not. The fact that any magician thinks camera tricks and props/acessories are the same thing amazes me. I mean lets be honest, do you really want to say that anything you can do with trick editing is magic? Seriously?
[/quote]

Let's imagine that you have worked out a great little card routine that you do on a regular basis. It's funny and magical and gets a great reaction.

You finally get a stage show, and you want to do your card routine ... so you get some jumbo cards and work out the details. In the process, you discover that the larger cards and better stage angles allow you to produce a large object as a climax to that routine.

Do you not do the better routine on stage because it's not something you can do close-up for people? Or do you stop doing it close-up now that you have a better stage routine?

These are the type of situations that magicians entering the TV world must address ... somethings that work "in person" do not work on TV, and there are things on TV that can be done that can't be done "in person". Chris is doing a great job at determining what works, what doesn't, and what he can get away with.

Let's not forget, that even on TV there is a real live audience ... the performer may not be able to actually see them, but they are there none-the-less. When these people eventually see Chris live and in person, it is up to him to convince them that what they saw was the real deal - if they ask him to float, it will be up to him to prove it wasn't a camera trick. It was after all, his show. If they ask me how he did something, "I don't know - but if I can figure it out I'm gonna steal it from him!" I say with a smile.

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: howdoidisconnect (Aug 2, 2005 03:23AM)
I have been following the posts on Criss Angel. I personal fine the image a little too much for me, and my wife won't even watch it anymore. However, I feel guys like him have brought magic back into the mainstream, and away from the old guy at your birthday parties with a funny hat and a magic wand. Both Criss A and david blaine has made magic a talking point again, I personally have only just started on my learning journey. And lets face it if we had the budgets that criss has at his disposal, wouldn't we all start doing bigger and better illusions?

I have enjoyed watching these shows, and trying to figure out some of the more wild ones, this has led to ideas of my own already,so I guess this again is a good thing.

What ever anyone feels about these kinda magicains, the have both been able to now earn a very good living on something they love to do, that is a great goal to reach.

Well there's my 2cents worth, and hopeing I don't get bashed in the process.

Regards

Steve
Message: Posted by: Beth (Aug 2, 2005 07:45AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 23:46, the levitator wrote:

In regards to Cris thinking he's better than Houdini, what's so wrong about that? There were many of Houdini's peers in his own time who regarded him as an average magician at best and not much more than a publicity hound. I personally don't think it's out of line to use the EXACT same techniques Houdini himself did to publicize himself. Was he supposed to draw an audience by coming out and saying that these were very safe stunts that anyone could do and don't hold a candle to the great and powerful Houdini?
[/quote]

My opinion is that it's not a good method to build yourself up by tearing someone else down. If you are great. You won't have to. It goes against everything I was taught. I can't imagine Eugene Burger Luna Shemada or anyone doing that. The second problem I have with it is that it seems wussy to rank someone who is dead when Houdini is not liable to get a chance to debate the issue. Blaine can take care of himself, and you are right it may be a publicity stunt. However, telling another magician to kiss your ass during a show came across as a arrogant and tacky to me.

[/quote]
The funny thing about your comment bashing Criss for being disrespectful is that Houdini did EXACTLY the same thing in his time, and you hold him on a pedestal. Isn't that a double standard?
[/quote]

I never said Houdini belonged on a pedestal, nor do I think I mentioned my opinions about Houdini at all. I can only surmise that you think I would only take up for someone I look up to. Not true. My value system doesn't work they way. I hope yours doesn't either. I would have said the same if it were Vernon, Cardini, or any other dead magician. It was the principle of the thing. Not the person he made the statement about.

[/quote]
Houdini did EXACTLY the same thing in his time
[/quote]

He ranked some dead guy during his show? I'm wondering who it was?

[/quote]
In regards to Criss doing a stage show, you should do your homework before attacking someone online. Criss had a very successful off-Broadway show that lasted more than a couple of years I believe. It was his stage show that got him "noticed" by the media. Criss didn't just download some free magic and buy some cool clothes and get a TV special in the last week. He's been a SUCCESSFUL full time entertainer for years.
[/quote]

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was saying I would like to see him do the effects he did on mind freak on a live show, not that he has never performed. I would love to see the effect with the trash can done live. Henning did his shows live in front of a live audience. Why can't Cris?

[/quote]
BTW, I'm not Criss Angel's biggest fan or anything,
[/quote]

I totally understand that because I don't dislike him. To say that I don't like some of what he did on that show does not mean that I am bashing him. I am just giving my opinion on the show.

[/quote]
I"m sure the A&E people would disagree with you that not that many people watch their programming. davidcarlo was nice enough to share some statistics regarding this little show on this insignifigant channel and I only WISH I had this kind of insignifigant popularity:
[/quote]

Look I like A&E. I watch it all the time, obviously, haha . My point was that it's not primetime. But hey ...shrug...Hats off to the guy he's on TV right? As far as ratings well I'm just talking personal experience and like I said the only ppl I can find that watched it were magicians and they ALL watched it lol. Whether the show will last who knows... shrug. That is just my personal opinion. Time will tell.

[/quote]
I think I would pass out if there were actually a thread on a magic forum that focused on the positive aspects of a successful magicians' television appearance. It's ironic that the one thing magicians hate the most; having their material picked apart and overanalyzed by people, is what they do to each other. That is very sad.
[/quote]

That seems hypocritical to me. I mean Cris tells Blaine to kiss his ass, ranks on some dead guy, but no one should say anything negative about his show? Yeah its publicity but most magicians I know would not have allowed that in their shows.
Peace Beth
Message: Posted by: cornfarrell (Aug 2, 2005 10:02AM)
Wow, there are a lot of interesting responses here. I am new to the Café so getting use to some of the opinions has required me to have a little personal growth. The great thing about this site is that it lets us all express in turn how we feel without interuption. Imagine if we were all actually in the same room.
Anyway, I would just like to point out to everyone that this show was shot as a series. We were originally hired to do 8 episodes over an 8 week period. During our pre-production period, A&E ordered 8 more. Even though we had more shows, we only had 11 weeks to shoot everything and stay on schedule. During this time we shot 16 Major (A) stunts, 32 (B)large illusions, and around 150 (C&D) smaller tricks. Many of these things are not your standard fare or off the shelf tricks. You are not going to have much luck finding these things around because a lot never existed before or we changed up somthing old.
We did not spend hours (months) of planning using camera tricks. As we developed theem, the goal was to be able to incorporate them into a live show for the future. Obviously a bus on stage isn't practical, but those people on it are real and have no idea how we did that trick. The couple transport down the hall is live without edits.The garbage can was shot straight through, start to finish.(In our first special you can see it without any edits). All of these things were performed live. I agree that editing minimizes the true effct of the magic, but this is TV folks. I have a saying that "Magic is hard." On TV it's harder. Give me live theatre to do any day. Please give the magic team a little more credit. We have some guys that have been in the business a long time. Collectively some amazing things have been created. With this much material there there are going to be some winners and some losers.
I am proud to have worked with Criss for over 13 years. I like the way he looks at magic. I know this show isn't for everyone. Few things are. I enjoy reading all of every ones views but there are other methods than just plain editing. Keep guessing.
John Farrell
Production Designer / Illusion Coordinator
Message: Posted by: boboshempy (Aug 2, 2005 10:36AM)
John your post is a breath of fresh air! Welcome to the Café! It must have been great to work on such an interesting show. At the bare minimum, the show definitely keeps me guessing and that keeps me watching!
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 10:52AM)
Thanks for clarifying some of those points Beth. I have a better understanding of where you are coming from. Incidentally, Criss never told Blaine to kiss his a**, it was a spectator in the bar after the chair levitation. I don't want to start splitting hairs, I just thought that people should remember he didn't say it himself. I'm not saying whether it was right or wrong, because for all we know, it was orchestrated by Criss and David. I think it's also splitting hairs a bit to say that Houdini was somehow better than Criss because he compared himself more favorably against live magicians at the time. Although I have heard that he made several negative comments about Jean Robert Houdin, who was dead at the time and is one of the guys he stole part of his stage name from.

I totally agree that I would much rather see Criss's Mindfreak show instead of the "reality" angle. My guess is that people other than Criss and his people were responsible for that decision. You can't turn to any channel without seeing some kind of "reality" show. It's probably the format he was given if he wanted the special, and being a professional, he adapted.

At least your opinions about his show were based on your ethics, and not your personal judgements Beth. It bothers you when magicians "compete" with each other publicly and to me, that's a legitimate issue. And even though it wasn't Criss who made the Blaine comment, it wasn't a live show so it could have been edited out, so that does make Criss responsible for it. If he and David haven't contrived the whole competition thing, then maybe it's a little out of line. In today's world, there just isn't a thing called ettiquette anymore. If you want to appeal to today's 18-35 market, you have to be seen as cutting edge and a "bad boy" if you want to be on TV. Nobody's getting a national special doing Hippity Hop Rabbits.

My frustration is with those who are picking his routines apart and blaming everything they can't figure out on camera tricks and stooges so they can sleep better at night. And the people who rip on his clothing and his look frustrate me too. I didn't know there was a dress code in magic. If his look is sooo lame, why does he have such a huge commitment by a major cable network and some of the great magicians of our time? The biggest reason that the laypeople of the world suspect camera tricks and stooges is because THAT is the excuse lame magicians who are asked to recreate those effects tell people to make themselves feel better. I'm not speculating, I've heard other magicians outright tell people that to cover for their own inability to entertain those people with THEIR magic. In the end, we are all responsible for people's perception of magic. When the majority of us are just buying effects and memorizing the "patter" in the instructions, what do you expect? People like Blaine and Angel are helping to break those stereotypes of magicians, and we should be supporting them instead of ripping them apart.
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Aug 2, 2005 11:36AM)
[quote]And the people who rip on his clothing and his look frustrate me too. I didn't know there was a dress code in magic.[/quote]There's nothing wrong with people criticising his clothing or look. He's using an image to market himself. It's part of the package he is selling, and it should be part of how people judge him. I criticize -- I hate the look, and I hate his music. He gives me the impression of someone who is trying to look cooler and nastier than he really is. It's my opinion. It doesn't make him less of a magician ... but it makes him someone whose persona is unappealing to me. Nothing wrong with criticising that, as long as people aren't saying it is "wrong".
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 11:58AM)
Well said Barry! That's exactly my point. We are all free to criticize, but to me there's a big difference between criticizing and JUDGING. Disliking a magicians' appearance and musical selection while still respecting him and what he's doing for magic is criticizing. Disliking a magicians' appearance and musical selection and saying that he's taking magic in the wrong direction is judgemental. There's not a single entertainer in the world today in ANY format that appeals to everyone! Not a single actor, singer, painter, poet, juggler, or magician. I think that has been the key to the success of those who make it big. They stopped trying to please EVERYONE (most importantly their peers) and just did their own thing! Criss isn't trying to be everyone's cup of tea. He established a character that is unique and stuck with it. What drives me nuts is when magicians go after his look and personna AND bag on his magic and rip his effects apart and dismiss it ALL as camera tricks or stooges because it helps them sleep at night. It's a good thing that we, collectively, don't decide who represents magic to the public. It's the public that decides what they like, and the ratings say they like guys like Criss. Anyone who keeps our art in the mainstream and indirectly helps me keep paying my bills gets my respect, no matter how they dress or act.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 2, 2005 03:57PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 11:02, cornfarrell wrote:
Wow, there are a lot of interesting responses here. I am new to the Café so getting use to some of the opinions has required me to have a little personal growth. The great thing about this site is that it lets us all express in turn how we feel without interuption. Imagine if we were all actually in the same room.
Anyway, I would just like to point out to everyone that this show was shot as a series. We were originally hired to do 8 episodes over an 8 week period. During our pre-production period, A&E ordered 8 more. Even though we had more shows, we only had 11 weeks to shoot everything and stay on schedule. During this time we shot 16 Major (A) stunts, 32 (B)large illusions, and around 150 (C&D) smaller tricks. Many of these things are not your standard fare or off the shelf tricks. You are not going to have much luck finding these things around because a lot never existed before or we changed up somthing old.
We did not spend hours (months) of planning using camera tricks. As we developed theem, the goal was to be able to incorporate them into a live show for the future. Obviously a bus on stage isn't practical, but those people on it are real and have no idea how we did that trick. The couple transport down the hall is live without edits.The garbage can was shot straight through, start to finish.(In our first special you can see it without any edits). All of these things were performed live. I agree that editing minimizes the true effct of the magic, but this is TV folks. I have a saying that "Magic is hard." On TV it's harder. Give me live theatre to do any day. Please give the magic team a little more credit. We have some guys that have been in the business a long time. Collectively some amazing things have been created. With this much material there there are going to be some winners and some losers.
I am proud to have worked with Criss for over 13 years. I like the way he looks at magic. I know this show isn't for everyone. Few things are. I enjoy reading all of every ones views but there are other methods than just plain editing. Keep guessing.
John Farrell
Production Designer / Illusion Coordinator
[/quote]


It's good to have someone who was involved with the show and might really know what they are talking about here.

I know "it's TV" as many defenders keep arguing, but this ignores all the magic on television in the past that presented tricks live and/or unedited. From Mark Wilson to Doug Henning to David Copperfield and all the magicians who appeared on all the various magic specials and variety shows, producers have always known that magic on television would be meaningless if the audience thought that TV techniques were used to create the illusions.

Which brings me to the edited performances on the Mindfreak programs. Just a for instance. The Card Through Window, shot on a bus. There is a totally unnecessary edit right after Criss asks her if she still sees her card in the deck. She replies, "Okay". Cut. Scene restarts with the same shot, same camera angle. Totally unnecessary from any aesthetic or technical standpoint. It WOULD be a good place to cut if you needed some time for the person Angel hands the signed card off to, to get it on the front windshield. I think I find it insulting when someone suggests that there is a cut there just because "it's TV".

I've only seen the version of the garbage can transposition in it's edited form on the first A&E show. If you guys have come up with a way for me to stand there, in- person and see a man transport from under a garbage can on a concrete sidewalk to a roof in less than a second without a trap door in the sidewalk, or the use of a double, I'd say you have quite a trick there. Anything other than that, it's something anyone with a video camera can do right now in their backyard.

Clearly some good thinking went into these shows. The Deja Vu (couple in hall) was, I think, a legitimate television trick. To my mind there is a difference between editing tape to achieve the effect and using the camera frame, in this case by way of the zoom-in, to hide the method. I would equate the camera frame usage with a close-up magician lapping, or a stage magician using objects on stage, or even the stage wings to hide the dirty work.

What it looks like to me is, that at an early meeting someone said words to the effect that; "Hey, the days of Henning and Copperfield television are passe. Blaine took it up a notch. If we're going to get the attention of the young, disposable income, jaded, seen-it-all, short attention span youth, we might have to push the boundaries of what has here-to-for been considered the true presentation of magic for the television audience." And you would probably be right to assume that your target audience doesn't know, or care.

It's us, the magicians of the world, the "keepers of the flame", if you will, that believe that these non-magic performances, presented as magic, are doing the art that we love a disservice. But we're a minority.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 04:46PM)
Does anyone know where I can purchase Copperfield's "Disappearing Statue of Liberty" illusion? All this time I thought he used "camera tricks" to accomplish this illusion. Next thing you'll be telling me that the Vanishing Showgirls illusion done on World's Greatest Magic was done without "camera tricks" too? I guess the spectators who's pants changed into shorts on stage was an added bonus effect? Don't even get me started on Lance Burton making those elephants disappear in the desert. Yeah, let's go back to the days when magicians didn't use the camera to their advantage. :wow:
Message: Posted by: Verno Inferno (Aug 2, 2005 05:19PM)
I don't buy the notion that Blaine and Angel would concoct a rivalry for PR. When Angel needed the publicity a couple years ago, he made the public challenge. Blaine didn't/doesn't need the publicity. He was the one with the deal with ABC. Blaine has nothing to gain from accepting any of Angel's challenges. I think Blaine has the better understanding of promoting oneself in this business in this age. Two magicians squaring off is silly. Angel looked silly when he challenged Blaine to a stunt-off. Rivalry may have made sense and it may have been captivating in the day of Blackstone and Houdini, but today it's plain silly. Times are different and so is the perception of magic.

Verno's Predictions: Blaine will not accept any challenge of Angel's. (Blaine's character has never been interested in challenging others, calling out other magicians, or doing stunts to prove he's better than someone else). When Blaine is promoting his next show on ABC and is asked what he thinks about Angel, he will respond something along the lines of, "I think he's a wonderful magician and I wish him the best." Blaine's character is the anti-magician. It would be silly for his character to create a rivalry with a magician (Angel, Copperfield, P&T, others...). Blaine's character probably would find that type of thing petty.

On a side note. I disliked Angel's resonse in Genii when asked about what he thought about Blaine. He said something along the lines of, "I never look behind me. I always look forward." Implying that he's left Blaine in the dust at some point. I would have more respect for Angel if he'd acknowledge Blaine's role in showing the networks that magic can play for 18-35 year olds---without taking these shots (and yes he could have cut the scene were the spectator tells Blaine where he can kiss). Derren Brown is nice enough to acknowledge this role Blaine's specials played in his own television success. By contrast, Angel's apparent attitude toward Blaine is off-putting. It smacks of desperation for recognition.

As I've said in other posts, I do wish to see Angel succeed, and I'm excited for his tour.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 2, 2005 05:25PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 17:46, the levitator wrote:
Does anyone know where I can purchase Copperfield's "Disappearing Statue of Liberty" illusion? All this time I thought he used "camera tricks" to accomplish this illusion. Next thing you'll be telling me that the Vanishing Showgirls illusion done on World's Greatest Magic was done without "camera tricks" too? I guess the spectators who's pants changed into shorts on stage was an added bonus effect? Don't even get me started on Lance Burton making those elephants disappear in the desert. Yeah, let's go back to the days when magicians didn't use the camera to their advantage. :wow:
[/quote]

I'm not sure if you are addressing my points. Also, I'm not sure of your points, but anyway...

I don't think whether or not you can buy an illusion (Statue of Liberty) has any bearing on the ideas being discussed here. Copperfield accomplished this illusion without the type of video edits used in the Mindfreak episodes I've seen so far. If you're unaware of the method, it's easy to find with Goggle.

I haven't seen the Dissappearing Showgirl illusion in a while, though I have that special on tape. As I remember it, it could easily have been done without video edits, but your reference to a clothing change by a spectator is enough to make me dig the tape out.

The Lance Burton elephant vanish did not use video editing or digital manipulation, but did use the limited view of the camera (as did Angel's Deja Vu effect) to accomplish. Both were done in one continuous take.

Stage magicians use the stage setting to their advantage. Close-up magicians use the table to their advantage. And some magician's have used the television format to their advantage. Angel is using video editing to his advantage. There's a difference, perhaps to subtle for some to see.

If Criss Angel's Mindfreak is the new standard for what is to be considered an accomplished magic performance, then we should cancel all future magic competitions and declare Jeannie and Samantha the World's Greatest Magicians For All Time.

I must stress that I have never seen Criss Angel perform live, the only true test of a magician's prowess, and my comments refer only to the four episodes of Mindfreak that have aired on A&E.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: DaveB (Aug 2, 2005 06:59PM)
I was all set to make a nice long post in respose to some of the comments, but since James (the levitator) did such a great job and said basically what I was going to say..except better, I just wanted to voice my approval.
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 23:46, the levitator wrote:

I have a lot of respect for those in our craft's history who helped the popularity and acceptance of what we do in the mainstream and made it possible for us to make money doing something we love. That being said, they are still just men and women, human, and not gods. The funny thing about your comment bashing Criss for being disrespectful is that Houdini did EXACTLY the same thing in his time, and you hold him on a pedestal. Isn't that a double standard?[/quote]
So very true.

[quote]
In regards to Criss doing a stage show, you should do your homework before attacking someone online. Criss had a very successful off-Broadway show that lasted more than a couple of years I believe. It was his stage show that got him "noticed" by the media. Criss didn't just download some free magic and buy some cool clothes and get a TV special in the last week. He's been a SUCCESSFUL full time entertainer for years.[/quote]
True again. He performed over 600 shows in his off-broadway show making $4 million in 14 months. But.. I'm sure most people here have done that, and I bet Criss only knows how to perform a few packet tricks.. so lets move on.

[quote]
BTW, I'm not Criss Angel's biggest fan or anything, I'm just getting tired of all the jealous bashing going on here of one of our own. You should be supporting those who help YOU get work and recognition by keeping magic in the minds of mainstream culture.[/quote]
I agree 100%. And how many more well known magicians and people who worked on the show have to come forward to defend Criss and shoot down the rumors of camera tricks and other rude remarks? The sad thing is they shouldn't have to. I've said it before and I'll say it again, just because some people here don't know how something was done it doesn't give them the right to write off the whole show as a fraud with a few keystrokes. Using the tired old line.. "Well, that's my opinion" doesn't apply when you discredit a person because you simply have no idea what you are talking about.

I can just imagine the whining and tears if the roles were reversed and someone made false claims about another member here. Yet there are those who think it is perfectly fine to do the same to Criss. Why? Because he is on T.V? While catching up on some reading here, I just found out Criss has posted on this board. It wouldn't surprise me if he read at least a few of these threads regarding his show. Some of you really did a great job making him feel welcome. Opinions and constructive critism are one thing, but some went way beyond that.

[quote]
I think I would pass out if there were actually a thread on a magic forum that focused on the positive aspects of a successful magicians' television appearance. It's ironic that the one thing magicians hate the most; having their material picked apart and overanalyzed by people, is what they do to each other. That is very sad.
[/quote]

Very sad indeed.
Message: Posted by: Beth (Aug 2, 2005 07:25PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 16:57, Randwill wrote:

I know "it's TV" as many defenders keep arguing, but this ignores all the magic on television in the past that presented tricks live and/or unedited. From Mark Wilson to Doug Henning to David Copperfield and all the magicians who appeared on all the various magic specials and variety shows, producers have always known that magic on television would be meaningless if the audience thought that TV techniques were used to create the illusions.

Which brings me to the edited performances on the Mindfreak programs. Just a for instance. The Card Through Window, shot on a bus. There is a totally unnecessary edit right after Criss asks her if she still sees her card in the deck. She replies, "Okay". Cut. Scene restarts with the same shot, same camera angle. Totally unnecessary from any aesthetic or technical standpoint. It WOULD be a good place to cut if you needed some time for the person Angel hands the signed card off to, to get it on the front windshield. I think I find it insulting when someone suggests that there is a cut there just because "it's TV".

I've only seen the version of the garbage can transposition in it's edited form on the first A&E show. If you guys have come up with a way for me to stand there, in- person and see a man transport from under a garbage can on a concrete sidewalk to a roof in less than a second without a trap door in the sidewalk, or the use of a double, I'd say you have quite a trick there. Anything other than that, it's something anyone with a video camera can do right now in their backyard.

Clearly some good thinking went into these shows. The Deja Vu (couple in hall) was, I think, a legitimate television trick. To my mind there is a difference between editing tape to achieve the effect and using the camera frame, in this case by way of the zoom-in, to hide the method. I would equate the camera frame usage with a close-up magician lapping, or a stage magician using objects on stage, or even the stage wings to hide the dirty work.

It's us, the magicians of the world, the "keepers of the flame", if you will, that believe that these non-magic performances, presented as magic, are doing the art that we love a disservice. But we're a minority.

Randwill
[/quote]
You have nailed it Randall. I was going to post something similar, pointing out many of the same spots you saw, but you said it so well, I'll just say ditto.I think you have said what many of us are saying and a lot of magicians I talk to are thinking. It just blows my mind that anyone thinks that just because they say there were no trick edits that we are going to ignore the clear trick edits you can see in the show. I mean they are saying these effects aren't for sale,... you can't buy them,... they won't do them live,... but "Hey! Take my word for it there were no trick edits"...I mean not to be ugly, but good grief how stupid would we have to be to swallow that when I noticed the exact same edits you are talking about, and there was no reason for them. And I'm with you I'd love to be standing on the sidewalk to see that trashcan effect done in real time that quickly. Great post btw and I do believe magicians are "the keepers of the flame". I think it's important for us to speak up, and in my opinion camera tricks are not magic, to say so negates all the skill magicians apply in this trade.
Peace Beth
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 07:37PM)
Thanks for the kind support DaveB. Apparently, some are missing the forest for the trees. I didn't say every magician on TV has used camera tricks, more specifically I said they use the camera to their advantage. I apologize for being so cryptic in my post. Some magicians just cant' figure out the methods so they will hold their breath and stomp and scream "camera tricks!" and "stooges" until they pass out. The sad part of it all is that the methods aren't the important part. If Criss is pulling in these kinds of ratings doing it his way, just imagine how much better you'd do doing it your way! If you honestly have nothing better to do than rip a magician who is more successful than you apart then I very much doubt that Criss is the problem. I'm not directing this at anyone in particular, just those whining and screaming instead of being supportive to someone doing more to keep magic in the mainstream than they are.

I'm sure a full time magician with his own TV series is worried about "magic competitions". The really good ones are too busy earning a living to compete, so the titles don't mean much in the real world.


I wouldn't waste your time trying to convince people in here that Criss isn't just a flash in the pan DaveB. It will fall on deaf ears. ($4 million in 14 months, are you ******** me? I knew he had a successful show, but WOW!) If they take the time to learn how Criss has worked his butt off in his career, they might actually start to respect him and they won't have anyone to pick on to feel better about themselves.

After being a member here for more than a couple years, it almost seems that getting ripped apart by your peers and being dissected and disrespected is a sign of success. The magicians being torn apart here are too busy to even know they are being systematically dissected.

I've said it before in other threads, people in this craft throw the terms "brotherhood" and "fraternity" around a bit too loosely. I've seen more jealously and petty bickering here in a week than has ever been seen in a year of watching soap operas. It's personally embarrassing to belong to a group that is so completely self-deprecating and self-loathing. Maybe we could collectively learn to show a little class and be supportive of those of us who help keep magic in the minds of the public, instead of trashing them and ripping them apart. Sheesh, who am I kidding? :loss:
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 2, 2005 07:52PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 20:37, the levitator wrote:

I'm sure a full time magician with his own TV series is worried about "magic competitions". The really good ones are too busy earning a living to compete, so the titles don't mean much in the real world.

[/quote]


I don't know if Criss Angel is "worried about magic competitions" and did not mean to imply that he is.

I'm told that he has twice won Magician of the Year. You'd have to ask him if that means much to him in the real world.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 08:16PM)
Isn't "Magician of the Year" an award that is selected by voting, and not based on competition? I'm sure being voted as such by his peers means a lot to him.

I'm not the one on this forum suggesting that Criss has no respect for other magicians. I assumed that having some of the best magicians currently performing today in his corner was proof that he not only has respect for his craft, but is also respected by many in magic. I'm not the one dissecting his show, his style, his music, his clothes, etc. I have more respect for people than that.
Message: Posted by: Beth (Aug 2, 2005 08:52PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 20:37, the levitator wrote:
Some magicians just cant' figure out the methods so they will hold their breath and stomp and scream "camera tricks!" and "stooges" until they pass out. The sad part of it all is that the methods aren't the important part. If Criss is pulling in these kinds of ratings doing it his way, just imagine how much better you'd do doing it your way! If you honestly have nothing better to do than rip a magician who is more successful than you apart then I very much doubt that Criss is the problem. I've said it before in other threads, people in this craft throw the terms "brotherhood" and "fraternity" around a bit too loosely. I've seen more jealously and petty bickering here in a week than has ever been seen in a year of watching soap operas. It's personally embarrassing to belong to a group that is so completely self-deprecating and self-loathing. Maybe we could collectively learn to show a little class and be supportive of those of us who help keep magic in the minds of the public, instead of trashing them and ripping them apart. Sheesh, who am I kidding? :loss:

[/quote]
Yes some ppl posted on this thread dislike what Cris did...some ppl like what he is doing on his show...But hey this is a forum where ppl give opinions and debate ALL the time. Do you seriously think only ppl who share your viewpoint should post? Noone should ever give critism ever? I don't think anyone should be upset because a variety of opinions are being given here. That is the nature of debate. My own reason for speaking out is certainly not about hating Cris. To me it's about speaking the truth as I see it, and I feel that the trick editing he did maligns all magicians. It is the eqivalent to lip syncing in my opinion, and it injures all magicians. Noone is screaming or ranting, although you seem a tad upset. I thought Randwill and Verno laid out there opinions and viewpoints in a calm logical manner without ranting...and no exclamation marks in their posts :) You see this all the time. Ppl want everyone to have the right to an opinion until it diverges from theirs lol.
Peace Beth
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 09:19PM)
You are right Beth. I'm wrong. Criticizing a fellow magician because they don't appeal to you is an exercise in positive thinking that can only help our "brotherhood". I'm not upset that people have negative opinions Beth. What upsets me is their thinking that spewing it all over a message board is somehow helpful to our "brotherhood". I have all kinds of opinions, I just don't feel the need to breed negative energy in an overly negative "brotherhood". I was taught that if you don't have something nice to say about someone, you should say nothing. What possible outcome do people hope to come to that can be seen as positive from ripping a fellow magician apart? Do you honestly believe that all of these negative, unasked for opinions are really helpful to anyone? The only people this kind of negativity helps are those who take cheap shots at high profile entertainers to make themselves feel better about their low profile. Explain to me exactly how ripping another "brother's" show and style apart is a positive thing for magic and magicians. Explain to me how dissecting his shows and methods and dismissing everything you don't have an answer to is GOOD for magic and magicians? When you can explain to me the good that comes from negativity, I'll gladly jump on board and start tearing down other magicians right along with you all.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 2, 2005 09:39PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 22:19, the levitator wrote:
You are right Beth. I'm wrong. Criticizing a fellow magician because they don't appeal to you is an exercise in positive thinking that can only help our "brotherhood". I'm not upset that people have negative opinions Beth. What upsets me is their thinking that spewing it all over a message board is somehow helpful to our "brotherhood". I have all kinds of opinions, I just don't feel the need to breed negative energy in an overly negative "brotherhood". I was taught that if you don't have something nice to say about someone, you should say nothing. What possible outcome do people hope to come to that can be seen as positive from ripping a fellow magician apart? Do you honestly believe that all of these negative, unasked for opinions are really helpful to anyone? The only people this kind of negativity helps are those who take cheap shots at high profile entertainers to make themselves feel better about their low profile. Explain to me exactly how ripping another "brother's" show and style apart is a positive thing for magic and magicians. Explain to me how dissecting his shows and methods and dismissing everything you don't have an answer to is GOOD for magic and magicians? When you can explain to me the good that comes from negativity, I'll gladly jump on board and start tearing down other magicians right along with you all.
[/quote]

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 09:55PM)
How eloquent! That still doesn't explain how unsolicited negative comments about our own are helpful to the advancement of magic. The overintellectualization approach isn't winning me over either. Of course, elitism is nothing new in the magic circle.

Not all thoughts need to be shared. It goes back to "if you don't have something nice to say......". I know it's an infantile concept to those who would rather be verbose and overly philisophical to justify being negative, but it has worked for me for years.
Message: Posted by: Beth (Aug 2, 2005 10:23PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 22:55, the levitator wrote:

Not all thoughts need to be shared. It goes back to "if you don't have something nice to say......". I know it's an infantile concept to those who would rather be verbose and overly philisophical to justify being negative, but it has worked for me for years.
[/quote]
So are you saying that leaving the Blaine should kiss his ass comment in his show was positive or negative...implying that he was outdoing Houdini...was that positive?...or saying that he left Blaine in the past? I'm sorry it just seems you are of two minds. Are you saying it's ok to be critical about other magicins on ones show and on TV venues but not on a magic forum?
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 10:44PM)
If you would read my posts, I clearly stated that if Blaine and Angel haven't gotten together on the whole competition thing, that it was a bit over the line. Criss' statements about Houdini aren't offensive or disrepectful in my opinion, or apparently the opinions of Banachek, Burton, Jermay, Thompson, etc. It's only magicians looking for anything they can to criticize about someone doint better than them that found anything he said about Houdini offensive. I greatly respect Lance Burton and having had the pleasure of meeting him and getting some 1 on 1 time with him, know that he would never put his name behind any magician he found offensive. Are you seriously performing your magic with the attitude that you can't hold a candle to other magicians? There's nothing wrong with being confident in what you are doing. There is nothing offensive about anything he has said or did pertaining to Houdini and it's common knowledge that he has great respect for Houdini's accomplishments.

As much as you would like to think that I'm contradicting myself, I'm not. I don't believe in negativaty as a way to express yourself. I don't agree with the "Blaine comment" but that doesn't mean I'm going to jump all over him about it. Blaine's a big boy and doesn't need all of you fighting his battles. It's funny that there are magicians here who care much more about that than the person it was aimed at. Do you honestly think Blaine's losing sleep from that comment?

And who are all of you to interpret things that another person says? When Criss said he doesn't look behind him, MAYBE he meant that the back and forth bickering between he and Blaine were in the past and he was focused on his own future. But those of you looking for anything to latch onto to bag the guy will just interpret it how you want.

I appreciate the effort you have made to make me look a man with 2 minds, even though it wasn't successful. Just because I'm not the person to criticize people who are much more successful than me doesn't make me a man with 2 minds.

Nobody, not even Lance Burton or Banachek will convince you that Criss is a great entertainer with great respect for magic and it's history and future. Just keep spewing the negativity, oops I'm sorry, "constructive criticism". It's great for our art and is sure to advance it in leaps and bounds!
Message: Posted by: Beth (Aug 2, 2005 10:52PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 22:19, the levitator wrote:
Explain to me exactly how ripping another "brother's" show and style apart is a positive thing for magic and magicians. Explain to me how dissecting his shows and methods and dismissing everything you don't have an answer to is GOOD for magic and magicians? When you can explain to me the good that comes from negativity, I'll gladly jump on board and start tearing down other magicians right along with you all.
[/quote]
well first I never ripped his style ever. I disliked 2 things...trick editing...and the public dishing of other magicians during his show. Ok if you really want me to explain how being critical of his show can be a positive thing, this is my take on it.
When you see something wrong you speak out. I've always believed this is right. You don't pretend it's other than what it is because ppl wish it to be so... even when it goes against popular opinion or the powers that be. I believe that is a a positive thing and in the long run truth is always positive. It is a positive thing because in my opinion if noone speaks out then it becomes accepted. Specifically,for me for this situation, I would hate for trick editing to be accepted as magic. I think it's a negative thing for magicians and for magic as an art.
Peace Beth
Message: Posted by: DaveB (Aug 2, 2005 11:13PM)
I've noticed that some of the complaints have gone from "camera tricks", to "camera edits". So basically a few people are upset because the show had edits? Because they did not show an ENTIRE illusion from start to finish without an edit?

One person is complaining about an edit on the bus... who cares? If it was the part where the girl was asked if she could see her card in the deck, maybe she didn't see it the first time around and he had to go back and show her the cards again. Maybe someone asked a question or something else happened that needlessly prolonged the trick, and they wanted things to move quickly & smoothly. The bottom line is the edit had nothing to do with the success of this illusion. I'm sure many people here know that a varation of this effect can be purchased.

Other stuff:
Ice cube/ring trick :Does not need camera tricks or edits. Varations of this have been done for years.

Pen and breaking glass: :Does not need camera tricks or edits. Varations of this have been done for years.

Deja vu: Does not need camera tricks or edits. CAN be done in person, but you have to watch the angles.

Board of nails: I'm sure you have seen this done before with an Elephant and cars before.

Burned Alive: Less dangerous versions have been done before live on stage. No tricks or edits required.

Trash can: Yes believe it or not this can be done without camera tricks or edits, and variations have been done before. Pardon the pun, but this one really mind freaked some of you! Let your mind relax and you will be pleasantly surprised by the answer.

Wine barrel: Less dangerous versions have been done before. No camera tricks or edits required.

Needles from stomach: He even did this one at a press party for reporters! So no camera tricks or edits required. Variations have been done before.

Restaurant levitation, on the escalator, and the one outside by the flowers. Peter Loughran.. the maker of the elevator, is jealous of this one! Completely different method. No edits or camera tricks required.


As mentioned before. These shows are not made for magicians. They are not instructional videos so you can learn how to do the effects yourself. Sorry, they are not going to show you an angle tipping the method, or a camera just trained on his hands, or the entire trick filmed by one camera from beginning to end.

The bottom line is that Criss is a very talented individual who has proven himself for years performing live. If you wish to think that overnight he forgot everything, and has to resort to camera tricks or as some are calling it now.. "edits" because it was not filmed the way you would have liked, that is your opinion. I respectfully disagree.
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 2, 2005 11:20PM)
I totally understand where you are coming from Beth and I apologize if my comments seemed directed at you. The first part of that quote was directed at everyone in gerneral. The questions were directed towards you because I know you are being honest about your opinion. You've been very honest about not only what bugged you, but more importantly, why. You will just have a very hard time convincing me that Criss Angel used editing any more than others who have been on TV. Every magician that's ever been on TV has used editing to their advantage.

What has bugged me is the accusation that Criss' effects could ONLY be done with editing. Let me give an example. People have been frame by frame analyzing the Fire Illusion. It's obvious to anyone with a VCR that there was editing done on that effect. BUT, the editing wasn't done to accomplish the effect, it was used to compress time. It was edited because time passes much more slowly to the unblinking camera and I think they were trying to give the TV audience the same feeling as those witnessing it in person. The illusion was performed in front of a live audience. Realistically, the big finale probably took closer to 7-10 seconds, instead of the 2 second transformation on TV. But if you were to ask people who were actually there, they would have said it happened in the blink of an eye! Anyone who's performed a disappearance/reappearance illusion knows this is true. I used to perform a flash vanish at the end of my stage show. Seconds later, the rear doors would open, the lights would come on and people would start leaving the show. I would be out there sitting at a table to thank people for coming. Their impression was that I went from the stage to the exit in a few seconds. In reality it was close to 25 seconds.

I'm curious as to which effects specifically you believe were ONLY possible with camera editing. We all know the hallway thing took advantage of the camera frame, not editing, so that doesn't count. Maybe if I knew specifically which effects you are talking about I would have a better understanding of your dissapointment in his style of editing his show.

In regards to his "bashing" of Houdini, I personally don't see it. But I'm not alone. I don't think guys like Burton, Banachek, Thompson and Jermay would associate themselves with someone they felt was being disrepectful.

There are sooooo many negative threads about Criss Angel and David Blaine, that it's hard to remember what was said where. But I think you can admit that there are plenty of people doing nothing more than kicking others they don't like who are more successful than them. That is the part that disgusts me. You don't have to love Blaine or Angel or agree with his style or music or magic or methods or anything else. But there are better ways to debate than simple cheap shots. I know that you aren't doing that Beth, but many of our "brothers" are and it seems pretty sad to me.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 2, 2005 11:43PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 00:20, the levitator wrote:
Every magician that's ever been on TV has used editing to their advantage.
[/quote]

This statement is outrageously false. When you make a statement as ludicrous as this it makes it difficult to take anything else you say seriously.

My shelves all full of tapes recorded off of television of excellent performers doing amazing magic. The same acts they do, or did, live and in person and without the help of editing to accomplish these effects or compress time to make them more entertaining to a television audience.

If you sincerely believe that Criss Angel didn't use editing "any more than others who have been on TV" I can only conclude that you have seen very little of the magic that has been on television in the last 40 years. You should seek it out. Your eyes will be opened.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 12:48AM)
You got me. I don't know what I'm talking about. No other magicians performing magic on television have ever altered their performances to better suit TV or used editing in any way to enhance their performances. The best you could do was jump on a generalization I made that still didn't make your point. You openly criticize a performer for doing something many other magicians have done in the past like he's the first and only to do any kind of editing. You shouldn't attempt to conclude anything about people you don't know, it's bad manners and very judgemental. My point still stands that he isn't the first or only performer to do it and if it's so wrong, why are so many admired magicians behind him? If I appear irritated, it's because your passive/aggressive way at attempting to appear intellectual is condescending and rude. My generalization may be inaccurate, but my point still stands. Criss Angel isn't the first or only magician to use the camera to their advantage. Saying that my opinion is ludicrous is also rude and condescending. You might find that pointing your finger at yourself and improving your own performances a more positive activity than pointing out the faults of others. It's so easy to criticize others, isn't it? I still don't see how it's conducive to magic as an art or a brotherhood.

I'm the clueless one, yet you maintained in your first post on the subject that the first special contained no real magic:

[quote]
On 2005-07-20 23:36, Randwill wrote:


And I see I didn't miss anything. No actual magic was performed. All three "tricks" relied on camera edits and/or stooges. Very disappointing and not good for magic.




[/quote]

Banachek himself has stated on this very forum that you guys are way off base in your conclusions that all these stooges and camera tricks were used or necessary to accomplish his magic.

Just keep spewing your negativity. The things you have to say are much more positive than anything I have to say about fellow magicians. Sit up on your pedastal and keep trying to look down on those you don't approve of and invent more and more ways to insult them and their show to make yourself feel better.

You can pretend to be a super-intellectual but you can't win this arguement with me. I didn't come on here disrespecting a fellow magician and you did.

Your category by category dissection of Criss' show with free bonus sarcasm wasn't constructive in the least and quite rude.

[quote]
On 2005-07-20 23:36, Randwill wrote:

Category one; the leviation to chair, to a low ledge and on an escalator, was a clever idea. I had not seen this before. It's weakness being that the performer must be facing away from the audience. Also the angles are limited.

Category two; the in-front-of-a-large-object-with-camera-push-in-at-the-finish levtations. Large plant and newspaper racks sold separately.

Category three; the very angly lean-forward levitation.

Category four; wires in a controlled situation with stooges pretending to be awed. This seems like pretty small potatoes when you consider that David Copperfield can fly all around the stage.

Category five; Finally a levitation that he can perform for real people in the real world. The leaning-backward levitation. Although, stricly speaking, not a levitation since his left foot remained on the ground. Still, pretty impressive, and most importantly to me, and many people here I expect, something I hadn't seen before.

Category six; the female-stooge-leaning-back levitation. I guess this was included for those of us who noticed he couldn't lift his foot in the Category five levitation. However this seems contradictory and anti-climatic. But boy, those "spectators" can act. For some reason he repeats this one at the end with another "helper". I guess this version is supposed to be seen as better, since she floats higher off the ground. That's specious reasoning dad.



[/quote]

You wrongly blamed camera tricks for an actual effect:

[quote]
On 2005-07-20 23:36, Randwill wrote:

The butterfly-in-napkin trick belongs in the first all-camera-edit show.


[/quote]

Luke Jermay describes pretty much this same effect in 7 Deceptions. And Jonathan Townsend also once commented that a similar effect was described in Vernon's "Tribute To Leipzig". Andrew Goldenhersch's Origami Butterfly effect is also similar in mechanics and performed without camera tricks. Are they ALL using camera editing to perform it?

You don't even give Angel the courtesy of being on YOUR level:

[quote]
On 2005-07-21 01:51, Randwill wrote:
[quote]

But come on...can't we support one of our guys hitting the big time? I'm amazed.....
[/quote]

I guess I don't think of him as one of "our guys."

From what I've seen, Criss Angel is image and marketing. Has anyone ever seen him do real magic tricks?
[/quote]

Criss had a VERY successful Off-Broadway show that earned $4 million in 14 months. Let me guess, he did over 600 stage shows with camera tricks?

You showed NO respect to one of the more respected visitors of this board:

[quote]
On 2005-07-21 02:35, Randwill wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-21 01:29, Banachek wrote:
But to be expected when one can't explain and effect. Amazed no one is talking about the little effects like the voodooo doll or ring in ice cube.

[/quote]

You ARE kidding, right? I mean this IS a magician's forum. The actors in the voodoo doll segment were less than convincing. In any case, it was pointless. People watching on television can't "feel" the hand of a person on television getting hot. The ring to ice cube presentation was ludicrous. If you can't present the vanish of the ring and re-appearance of it in the ice cube in one continuous take there is absolutely no point to it. Similarly the butterfly in the napkin. [/quote]

Further, you made your self seem unknowledgeable because many magicians know that the effects you screamed stooge and camera tricks can be accomplished without either.

The bottom line is, negativity is bad. Being rude and condescending and attempting to appear overly intellectual is not a popular way to make a point. I never bagged the guy. I don't think it's right to openly bag someone just because I don't agree with them. But if it makes you feel better, continue.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 3, 2005 01:07AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 00:13, DaveB wrote:

One person is complaining about an edit on the bus... who cares? If it was the part where the girl was asked if she could see her card in the deck, maybe she didn't see it the first time around and he had to go back and show her the cards again. Maybe someone asked a question or something else happened that needlessly prolonged the trick, and they wanted things to move quickly & smoothly. The bottom line is the edit had nothing to do with the success of this illusion. I'm sure many people here know that a varation of this effect can be purchased.

[/quote]

To understand why this was such a bad edit you really need to watch it. But I'll try to explain the problem with it one more time and without running afoul of the Café rules.

The girl takes a card. (This is a f**ce.) She signs the face of the card.

Card is returned to the deck, brought to the top, p***ed off using the on-handed top p**m.

He hands her the deck and his guilty hand goes out of frame while she shuffles the deck.

He takes the deck back and, holding the faces towards her, fans through the cards, one at a time, revealing only the top indices. (Remember her name is written on the other card.) He asks her if her card is still in the deck. When she sees the d*p*l*c*t* of the f**ce card she says, "Okay."

RIGHT HERE THERE IS A CUT.

In the next shot he asks the spectators on the bus to count 1,2,3. He then throws the deck at the front windshield. Because the camera's aperture is automatically opened wide to shoot inside the bus, the windshield is "burned out" in the video image, making it impossible to see the card until the camerman zooms in on it. Card is seen stuck to windshield, on the outside as we soon learn.

Now maybe I'm completely wrong. This has happened on this board in this very topic. But I know a little bit about magic. I watched the replay of the performance a few times. What I have described is a perfectly viable method of creating this illusion.

Except for one thing. You'd need more time, an unseen accomplice and perhaps even a bus stop to do it. If that's the case, where I wrote "RIGHT HERE THERE IS A CUT" would be the place for certain things to happen.

On the other hand, let's say I'm completely wrong. Let's say Angel and crew have created a totally new way to do this (and the other effects) that transcends not only my knowledge, but that of the most learned magicians in the world. Isn't it too bad that there is a cut right where the dirty work would need to be done, but, of course, wasn't? Therefore making it look like, to poor ignorant me, that editing was used to accomplish the trick.

My biggest complaint about these programs, I'll say it again, is that the editing does not well serve the creators or the performer.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: tpdmagic (Aug 3, 2005 08:22AM)
Well here I am with no sleep as of yet relizing I need to say what is on my mine!
we are magicians not whinning crying babys! This has to be the craziest thing I have seen. Here we have a magician who is bringing our art to the public and all people can talk about is the editing and stooges. Lets get real, I am a entertainer and in my live show I use 2 stooges. Why? well it is simple I get a great reaction from the audience using them. It is for entertainment not the magic. If magicians would relize we are in the business of entertaining then mayby they would be o.k. with editing, stooges, and what I call Tv magic. personally I see nothing wrong with it as editing is a art form in its self. I believe that everything we saw on the specials so far Chris can do live on a stage and that is the bottom line. If he was to tour doing a show on a full stage he could do everything we saw on Tv. It is smart marketing and smart editing. I have done tv work and can say that they did some editing to clean some stuff up and I am o.k with it as I know I can do the stuff live and in the audiences view it is as clean. I know as I do it live with great reactions. This in my opionon is just people being jelouse that they are not on tv and they are not getting there shot. The thing that gets me is why do people have to shoot this stuff down. Who cares about the method. Think about it, if you get a gig because some ceo just watched the specials are you not getting something positve out of the specials. There are so many things that people are missing when it comes to the magic that we see on TV. But the most important thing is that a fellow brother in magic is doing well for himself and we should all be happy and proud to say that a magician has a special again. And trust me when I say this 16 specials shot in 10 weeks is amazing. I shot 13 specials in 3 weeks and it was the hardest work I have ever done. long days constant rehearsing and a lot of challenges along the way. I give chris and his team a lot of credit and wish them the best of luck with the specials as I know that more things are to come from it. PEOPLE MAGIC IS MAGIC BUT BEING A ENTERTAINER IS THE MAIN PART OF OUR JOB...NOT THE DARN METHOD...........
tpdmagic
p.s. sorry about the grammer and spelling no sleep...LOL
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 10:52AM)
Well said tpdmagic. Unfortunately, you aren't going to convince the jealous ones here that what they are doing is wrong. They don't care that Criss had a very successful stage show that made $4 million in 14 months. He cheated on Tv. Waaaaaa! They don't get it, and never will. I'm a little jealous of guys like Blaine and Angel too. The difference is that I don't turn it outward and dissect him on a public forum so I can sleep better at night. I turn it inward and dissect myself to try and improve my character and my show. I'll probably never get on Tv, but watching Criss and David and others on Tv inspires me to improve my own show.

I'm convinced from reading all these destructive threads that few magicians here even understand what the word presentation even means.
Message: Posted by: Scott Grimm (Aug 3, 2005 12:12PM)
I can't help but wonder how many of the internet tough talkers granting all of that "constuctive critisizim" even know the word BUISINESS much less PRESENTATION. They seem to want to see everything that has already been done. Why doesn't he dress in a sequened tux and do the things that Henning and Copperfield did on TV? Because that has been done. What he is doing has not. You can absolutely not like it all you want. But just say it and let it go. The things said (oversaid?) here are not going to convince people who like his stuff to saying, "Oh, your right! I now hate him!"

Some here are more than welcome to share the expertice they have. I won't mention any names, but those of us who do perform for a living can see very clearly who is pretending to have real input and who does not. But, hey, you can keep the hope alive, right!?

BTW. You can always go to his site and send Criss a letter telling him what he should be doing. Wouldn't that be more constuctive? Why tell other people why they shouldn't enjoy his show? What about going to the source and tell him how wrong he is? Go ahead. Not only would that be better time spent but you would get him to drop an act that is acualy different and modern. the only other option is to not watch his show if you don't want to. We can't have that!

And I personally thought the David Blane comment was... funny!
Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 3, 2005 01:36PM)
There really isn't much more of value that can be said here as there appears to be an inseperable rift between those who feel that the advantageous use of video editing is an acceptable tool for the modern MTV magician and those who don't.
I fear I fall into the latter camp and believe that what could have been very strong presentations were severely weakend by the liberal use of editing.
As many have said before in one way or another, the second the camera cuts away, for any reason, the magic of the moment is lost as it gives the spectator the out they need to dismiss, what very well could be a very perplexing presentation of prestidigitation as nothing more than a camera trick.
I understand the need to tighten up a live presentation to make it more suitable for a television production but I must admit that if I had the chance to air a magic special on Television I would strive to create effects ad presentations that could be done in a single unedited take.
But then that's just me and perhaps Mr. Angel has a differnt vision.
Message: Posted by: MopKrayz (Aug 3, 2005 01:47PM)
I have been following Criss Angel since 1997, since the first time he appeared prominently on TV. It was on the tv special "The Science of Magic" doing his exceptional subtrunk. I had high regards to Pendragons' subtrunk, but Criss premise & presentation were way too beyond their time. it was too good.
Incidentally the first David Blaine "street magic" also appeared in the same year.
I have most of Criss' apperances on video. I adore his stage shows. I don't like his challenges to Blaine. He can do without them. I don't like the way he spoke about Houdini trying to belittle his escapology stunts. Most probably there is a reason behind this kind of actions.
MindFreak does not contain camera trickery. If you can't work out how the tricks are done, why don't you just accept the fact that some of the greatest minds in magic stand begind the methodology. Criss has made an investment and he got the best tricks around!
Mindfreak is not his best work so far. His area par escellence are the post-apocalyptic world stage shows. Later on this year he will be on tour with his new show. Just go and see that.
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 02:03PM)
I agree with you on effect selection Payne. My guess is that they are some of his strongest pieces and he decided to make them work as well as possible, rather than start from scratch on new effects. I sent out 35 emails to my friends who I have sat and watched Criss' show with me. I asked them what they thought about the show, and if they had any idea how he accomplished his magic. I've gotten 19 replies so far, and only 2 of them suspected camera tricks. I guess all the negative cheap shot artists will just argue that I have stupid friends. Maybe I'll give them the opportunity to tell my friends directly. Criss' ratings are going up, not down. So the argument that editing is the overwhelming public explanation isn't holding much water. It reminds me of threads I've seen in the past of people bashing the DL. "It's soooo obvious!" they proclaim, yet dozens of magcians pay their bills with the DL. I personally believe that Criss' show will actually help those who are criticizing him more than those who are supporting him. Payne is right that magic is best performed live and in person. Those who are proficient at that will seem even MORE incredible than the guys on TV. That's why it blows my mind that the "purists" are so upset that someone is actually helping THEMto look even more amazing!

I totally agree with you Scott. The majority of our "brotherhood" are amatuers and hobbyists, so things like presentation, storyline and marketability don't seem to have much meaning. It seems to be all about learning the coolest new move to show off at the next magic meeting for many of them. I stopped going to magic meetings early in my study of magic because A. most of the magicians I've met there were mostly finger flingers unconcerned with magic as an artform or business and B. there weren't any other "working" magicians showing up that I could ask the kinds of questions I felt were important. It's unfortunate for me that I spent six months taking care of my mother who was dying of brain cancer. I stopped performing to take care of her and my then 2 month old daughter. That left me with time to check out these boards and "catch up" on my fellow "brotherhood". My Mom has since passed and now I am starting to get busy again. It hasn't come at a better time. These last couple of months reminded ME why I do magic. It isn't to impress a bunch of magicians who have nothing better to do than sit around and tear others down to make themselves feel better. I perform magic for people who ENJOY magic. I used to think that the people who enjoyed magic the most were magicians, but that's sadly not the case.

There's just no making sense to the bitter and jealous, so I won't bother to remind anyone anymore what's supposed to REALLY be important to us as magicians. You can go back to your armchair quarterbacking and systematic deconstruction of all the magicians doing more for magic than you. I'm going to get back to booking and go out and make magic, not try to destroy it.
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 3, 2005 03:05PM)
>> I guess all the negative cheap shot artists will just argue that I have stupid friends. <<

No, I doubt that.

The negative cheap shot artists would more likely tell us that David Blaine should kiss Criss Angel's A**.
. . . or tell us what a fake Houdini was, he never really risked his life you know. . .
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Aug 3, 2005 03:23PM)
It's a shame that threads like this become a matter of bickering and backbiting ... on both sides. I actually have to remind myself which "side" I'm on, because I find both sides so unappealing in this little debate. (For the record, I'm on the "pro" side, even if Angel is not my cup of tea, style-wise.)

What should have been a constructive discussion about the merits (or lack thereof) of a successful magician, and a discussion of the kinds of effects he brings to the table, has become a debate about the merits of the people posting. Those who like Angel are "gullible", those who don't are "jealous". And both sides suggest that if the other side doesn't agree with them, it's because they're not a good/experienced magician.

So, here's a magician with a weekly show. A great opportunity for discussion. As an added bonus, some of the magicians who worked with him on the show have appeared in this very thread. But bickering is the order of the day.

What a waste.
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 05:00PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 16:05, cocomax wrote:
>> I guess all the negative cheap shot artists will just argue that I have stupid friends. <<

No, I doubt that.

The negative cheap shot artists would more likely tell us that David Blaine should kiss Criss Angel's A**.
. . . or tell us what a fake Houdini was, he never really risked his life you know. . .




[/quote]

What a truly positive contribution!

Barry, I'm sorry if I've come across as "backbiting". I am an emotional person and sometimes my emotions get the best of me. I won't apologize for being passionate about an artform that I love, but I feel bad for alienating anyone here. I personally don't care one way or the other how people feel about me or Criss Angel or any other performers. I was just stunned at the voracity with which we turn on our own. I was shocked that someone finally gets a weekly show on a national channel, and the focus is on methodology, and when someone can't figure it out, they resort to crying camera tricks and stooges. It's no wonder people in general have such a bad view of magicians on the whole. If any of them read these threads and saw how we treated each other, it would be much much worse.

I've given up on trying to steer these threads into a more positive direction, as I think I'm in the minority of people who believe we should be proud of Criss and thanking him for making magic more popular. I'll gladly step aside so the insults and dissections can continue.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 3, 2005 05:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 18:00, the levitator wrote:

It's no wonder people in general have such a bad view of magicians on the whole. If any of them read these threads and saw how we treated each other, it would be much much worse.

[/quote]

Oh you should hear how some of my writer friends go on about J. K. Rowling. How she is a hack and in desperate need of a godd editor and so on and so forth.
Success always breeds contempt regardless of what field you're in.
Lauren Bacall just blasted Tom Cruise in a recent interview so it's not just magicians who are prone to this type of behaviour.
Unfortunately it is sometimes difficult to critic or defend without attacking.
After all everyones opinion is wrong if it fails to agree with mine.
and even if it does agree I am sure it is some how suspect.
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 05:35PM)
Great point! I agree and am now somehow suspect! :heehee:
Message: Posted by: Verno Inferno (Aug 3, 2005 07:20PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 22:19, the levitator wrote:
What possible outcome do people hope to come to that can be seen as positive from ripping a fellow magician apart? Do you honestly believe that all of these negative, unasked for opinions are really helpful to anyone? The only people this kind of negativity helps are those who take cheap shots at high profile entertainers to make themselves feel better about their low profile. Explain to me exactly how ripping another "brother's" show and style apart is a positive thing for magic and magicians. Explain to me how dissecting his shows and methods and dismissing everything you don't have an answer to is GOOD for magic and magicians? When you can explain to me the good that comes from negativity, I'll gladly jump on board and start tearing down other magicians right along with you all.
[/quote]

Okay, I'll address these issues. A popular magician with a national television show is just about the only magician we can evaluate as a world-wide community of magicians. We are talking about Criss Angel's performance/character because everyone has seen it. It's a baseline of information from which we can all engage in the same character discussion. We aren't going to talk about Verno Inferno's Block Party performance because none of you saw it. That's why Criss is being discussed---not because he's a high profile entertainer who people (I) want to tear down.

What do we hope to gain from the discussion and criticism? Well, I hope to gain a better understanding of what works and what does not work in magic. I also hope to gain insight into the future of magic. Examples:

(1) Magicians have advised, "If they like you, they'll like your magic." I find arrogance, insecurity, and self-importance unlikeable. I think Angel is being all of those things. If I'm correct, and he is coming off as arrogant and self-important to the audience, then why is it working for him? Or am I wrong? Is he coming off as passionate and misunderstood, instead(which can be adorable if we're in a musical about gangs or something like that)? Or is he all of those things, people don't really like him, but they are watching anyway? If presentation and character is "everything" and the tricks are secondary, why is this discussion off limits?

(2) I also wonder why so many magicians think he's the future of our art? I frankly don't want to attach myself to someone I perceive as arrogant or insecure.

(3) I wonder why it should be okay to have a ton of camera edits/cuts in a show? I understand there are legitimate dramatic reasons (parts of the effect may not have been visualized from one angle so you have to cut to the better view, and then there's pacing to consider, and you can't misdirect a camera...). I think directors and producers of TV magic have a really difficult job of balancing in this issue. I think it warrants discussion. I also think laymen notice the editing: the only layperson with whom I discussed the matter stated it destroyed the illusion of a levitation he performed. That can't be ignored, can it?

Anyway. I don't think anything above is "ripping a fellow magician apart."

I do think rank speculation about how he accomplshes things is pretty fruitless, though.
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 08:04PM)
Thank you so much for your last post Verno! I do believe you when you say that some magicians discuss the famous magicians because it is a source of common ground. But I think that we can both agree that some magcians also discuss famous magicians because their ego gets in the way and when they can't figure something out, they lash out. Your thoughts are laid out so clearly, and I have a much better understanding where you are coming from.

1. I totally see where a lot of people magicians and non-magicians can perceive Criss as arrogant. I agree that he has a large personality, but I don't personally find him arrogant. You bring up a great point though as to how a guy who can be perceived as arrogant by people is doing so well. My only guess is that he does a good job of selling his character. I think of certain rock musicians that are thought to be arrogant, yet still sell millions of records. Maybe his personality isn't as important as his magic to most people. I'm kinda stumped on this one too.

2. I always thought that our diversity as magicians was one of our greatest strengths. I think it's dangerous to ever consider a single magician as the "future" of magic. That kind of thinking would have a funnel effect on us and I don't think it would be good for magic at all. We all have our own mentors and people we admire and look up to. Maybe being that so many in our craft are hobbyists and amatuers, they are easily drawn to the flavor of the day? You don't sound like one of those types of magicians.

3. The only problem with discussing editing and "camera tricks" is that they are being combined into the same category. I agree that editing slips by people much easier with a live show with a live audience present. As far as camera tricks go, for all we know it's the networks wanting more sensationalism and pressuring magicians with their "great ideas". Not ever having done a nationally televised show myself, I can only speculate. I know that many famous magicians have been very clever with the cameras to heighten the mystery of certain effects, but I am with you and against televising an effect that can't be performed live on stage.

I totally agree with you that nothing above was "ripping a fellow magician apart." I think your questions were well thought out and your views totally with merit. What I won't do is pretend that others on this forum have been as respectful, thoughtful and honest as you have been.

Thanks for the thoughtful insight from the "other side" lol. I think we agree on more than we disagree on. It's starting to feel a little more like a brotherhood again, yaayyy!
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 3, 2005 09:20PM)
The levitator wrote:
"I was shocked that someone finally gets a weekly show on a national channel, and the focus is on methodology, and when someone can't figure it out, they resort to crying camera tricks and stooges."

I do not see very many people upset about the use of "camera tricks" I see much more complaints about edits. . . so many edits and edits at just the wrong time to weaken the impact of an otherwise fantastic effect.

As for stooges, I and others think that the woman that floated on Fremont street was a stooge. . . do you wish to claim otherwise?

If David Copperfield, or Lance Burton grabbed a random woman from the audiance and made her float the way Criss Angel did it would still smell very strongly of a STOOGE. It is just hard to have that magic moment, when your BS meter is pegged to the wall.

I know David Copperfield uses stooges, however, when you see his show you have no idea who it is unless you are in the know.

Tim

Posted: Aug 3, 2005 10:28pm
USA Today

It's part of his artistry, says the musician and magician, who also calls himself a mentalist, a hypnotist and an illusionist. And if you ask him about comparisons to David Blaine, who has done such stunts as freezing himself in ice and burying himself alive, Angel says: "Who?"

Full Story
http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-08-02-criss-angel_x.htm?POE=LIFISVA
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 09:34PM)
I think I can agree with you on that Tim. I think DC gets away with more because his shows are basically taped live performances, so people trust that what the audience is seeing is what they would see if they were there.

I also think you are right about the difference between camera tricks and edits. It sounds like they were on a pretty tight schedule, but I trust they did the best they could.

It's funny that you mention the girl on the Fremont Street levitation. I've only had 2 of my friends ask me if the spectators were in on any of the effects, and both of them suspected that levitation. That might have been pushing the suspension of disbelief a little far for a lot of people. But you have to admit, it looked killer!
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 3, 2005 09:36PM)
I just watched Criss hanging by the FLESH HOOKS from the helicopter, and all I have to say is, Criss has proven , mentally, he is evry, very, very strong, mentally.
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 3, 2005 09:40PM)
The Kansas City Star

The world of magic is certainly mystifying to the outsider. Not least of the things is why so many magicians hate David Blaine. Penn and Teller, the thinking person’s magic act, will be appearing on “Criss Angel Mindfreak” (starting at 9 p.m. Wednesday on A&E) this season. They hate Blaine, too.

Full Story
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/entertainment/12144471.htm
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 3, 2005 09:42PM)
Question......Banachek is showed on this episode of MindFreak (Criss is Flesh Hooked and hanging from helicopter) talking about Criss and the show, is this Banachek the same Banachek that is on these forums?

If so, that is just so cool!
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 09:48PM)
The one and the same!
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 3, 2005 09:51PM)
Yes, that is THE Banachek. The very same that posts here and the one that you can find at:

http://www.banachek.org/

He is an amazing mentalist, one of the best, if not the best in the world.

Tim
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Aug 3, 2005 10:12PM)
I agree with you again Tim! It used to make me scratch my head sometimes why these great innovators even bother to share themselves with the rest of us. I used to think it was just to make some money, until I read the forward in Banachek's "PK Touches". I now have a better understanding of why these great minds choose to share their ideas with us, and I'm grateful. The ideas of others have helped me ideas of my own in my attempt to be as original as possible. I hope that someday all my playing around with this magic stuff will enable me to be able to give something back myself that others would find useful.
Message: Posted by: Blackpool (Aug 3, 2005 10:17PM)
[quote]
I just watched Criss hanging by the FLESH HOOKS from the helicopter, and all I have to say is, Criss has proven , mentally, he is evry, very, very strong, mentally.
[/quote]

I just watched the same show, and the part that stuck out in my mind was when he was having doubts and looked like he might back out because of the pain. He should have had me as a consultant on his series. Now I have no illusions that I could show him anything new in the magic department. But I also do a hypnosis show, and could have got him back on the rails in minutes.

One thing I never liked about Houdini was how he tore down other magicians. It's just bad manners. Any time I hear about a magic performance in my neighbourhood, whether at the library, in a restaurant, in the park, I go and see it to enjoy it. I have never been anything but complimentary about anyone else's work, and I have recommended competitors on more than one occasion. When I hear a performer put down his competition, I want to see what he is so afraid of.
Message: Posted by: Beth (Aug 3, 2005 10:26PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 23:17, Blackpool wrote:
When I hear a performer put down his competition, I want to see what he is so afraid of.
[/quote]
So are you saying Cris is afraid of Blaine and that's why he decided to leave in the "kiss my ass" comment?
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 3, 2005 10:40PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 23:17, Blackpool wrote:
[quote]
I just watched Criss hanging by the FLESH HOOKS from the helicopter, and all I have to say is, Criss has proven , mentally, he is evry, very, very strong, mentally.
[/quote]

I just watched the same show, and the part that stuck out in my mind was when he was having doubts and looked like he might back out because of the pain. He should have had me as a consultant on his series. Now I have no illusions that I could show him anything new in the magic department. But I also do a hypnosis show, and could have got him back on the rails in minutes.

One thing I never liked about Houdini was how he tore down other magicians. It's just bad manners. Any time I hear about a magic performance in my neighbourhood, whether at the library, in a restaurant, in the park, I go and see it to enjoy it. I have never been anything but complimentary about anyone else's work, and I have recommended competitors on more than one occasion. When I hear a performer put down his competition, I want to see what he is so afraid of.
[/quote]

I was not putting Criss down. In fact, I was applauding him. As I said, for him to do what he did (hanging by Flesh Hooks from a helicopter), proves to me, he is very strong mentaly.

I don't know anyone who would attempt what he did (and acomplished). It was simply amazing!
Message: Posted by: Xiqual (Aug 4, 2005 12:09AM)
His show Mindfreak [not the special on A&E] he got into the Guiness book of world records for the longest hook suspension. 8 hours or something like that.
Seriously dedicated.

Was the special on tonight in the States? How was it?
James
Message: Posted by: Blackpool (Aug 4, 2005 05:02AM)
[quote]
[quote]
When I hear a performer put down his competition, I want to see what he is so afraid of.
[/quote]
So are you saying Cris is afraid of Blaine and that's why he decided to leave in the "kiss my ass" comment?
[/quote]

I am saying that a need to belittle one's competition stems from personal insecurity, a lack of self-confidence. It also indicates that you actually have a high opinion of the person you desire to be compared with.
Message: Posted by: joseph (Aug 4, 2005 08:19AM)
Like him or not, it sure beats reruns of MacGyver....
Message: Posted by: Verno Inferno (Aug 4, 2005 11:13AM)
Thanks Levitator! I appreciate your comments. Thanks for letting me clarify my interest in the discussion.

You suggested, "His personality may not be as important as his magic to some people." That may be the case for a bunch of viewers. I've read some reviews (from lay journalists) saying that the show is very entertaining despite the fact that they weren't a huge fan of Criss. For example:
http://theedge.bostonherald.com/tvNews/view.bg?articleid=94595

But they still recommend watching it!

I'm really interested to see how this all pans out. I'm doubly excited to see what happens on Halloween when both Angel and Blaine may have shows on the same evening . . . [this was mentioned in Genii, I believe]. When was the last time two major forces in magic had shows on the same evening!?

I want to say this again: I can't wait for Angel's tour. The stuff I've seen him do on stage has been fantastic. Only Copperfield comes through Chicago these days, and I think I have his show memorized. More touring magicians, please! ;)
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Aug 4, 2005 12:10PM)
Being a WWE employee, I was able to score some tickets to his Mindfreak show held in the former “WWF New York” about 4 years ago. It was a great show. Very theatrical and creative.

I've been following him since then and I am enjoying his new shows very much. The only complaint I have, is that I wish he's feature a few more effects in the show, while the big stunt buildup is going on. I personally don't mind the camera tricks/edits so much, as the end result is an entertaining show.
Message: Posted by: DaveB (Aug 4, 2005 06:06PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-04 06:02, Blackpool wrote:
I am saying that a need to belittle one's competition stems from personal insecurity, a lack of self-confidence. It also indicates that you actually have a high opinion of the person you desire to be compared with.
[/quote]
I agree with you there, Blackpool. I will admit I was a little disappointed to see they left in the comment from a fan about Blaine. That comment actually bothered me more then what was said about Houdini. There was truth in the Houdini statement, yet the stab towards Blaine was in bad taste.

When I was in sales, and later worked in marketing, one of the golden rules was to never knock your competition. During the 80's and 90's it was very common to see the competition put down and make fun of McDonalds, yet McDonalds never hit back. They were number 1 in sales back then and they still are today.

I think perhaps Criss is afraid he will be compared to Blaine, and does not want to follow in someone's shadow. Maybe that's one reason his show is so different and sometimes a little over the top. Competition is good and it makes people work harder, and in the end it is usually the consumer who wins. I don't think there has to be a winner between Criss Angel and Blaine. As long as I am watching magic I will be happy.
Message: Posted by: Blackpool (Aug 4, 2005 09:20PM)
Say, what would I have to pay Criss Angel to say "The Amazing Blackpool can kiss my !@#!" on the air? My phone would be ringing off the hook! "Was he talking about YOU?! When's your next show?"
Message: Posted by: DaveB (Aug 4, 2005 10:03PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-04 22:20, Blackpool wrote:
Say, what would I have to pay Criss Angel to say "The Amazing Blackpool can kiss my !@#!" on the air? My phone would be ringing off the hook! "Was he talking about YOU?! When's your next show?"
[/quote]
Hey, if I'm ever in the audience and the camera zooms in on me after an effect, I promise you I will say "The Amazing Blackpool should kiss that guy's !@#! in my best (fake) New York accent... just slip me a $20 when I see ya!
Message: Posted by: giochi (Aug 9, 2005 12:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 22:28, cocomax wrote:
USA Today

It's part of his artistry, says the musician and magician, who also calls himself a mentalist, a hypnotist and an illusionist. And if you ask him about comparisons to David Blaine, who has done such stunts as freezing himself in ice and burying himself alive, Angel says: "Who?"

Full Story
http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-08-02-criss-angel_x.htm?POE=LIFISVA
[/quote]

I gonna say this again. Every single trick he performs is a copy of something that Blaine has already performed on television.

Levitation(standing version), String from stomach, Wine glass shattering(with spectators holding hands), Card thru Window, etc etc. Now I'm not saying that no one has performed these effects before- but come on, how un-creative can this guy be? Youd think with all the magic consultants hes got-one of them would say "hey maybe you shouldnt copy off David Blaine so much."

It seems he has really got a chip on his shoulder about being in the shadow of the guy that created this genre of TV magic.

Even more disgraceful is the conscious decision to keep in the footage of a spectator saying "David Blaine could kiss this guys ass". (Funny because this spectator can remeber Blaine's name but not Criss's)

And he says "Who?"
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Aug 9, 2005 07:36PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-09 13:42, giochi wrote:

I gonna say this again. Every single trick he performs is a copy of something that Blaine has already performed on television.

[/quote]

Well....I know you are a big Blaine fan and not so much one of Criss so you obviously come to this discussion with blinders on, but if every thing he does is a copy of Blaine's, and you imply that he sucks, does that mean Blaine sucks too?
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Aug 10, 2005 11:53AM)
[quote]I gonna say this again. Every single trick he performs is a copy of something that Blaine has already performed on television.

[/quote]Every single trick?

The ring-to-ice cube? Never seen Blaine do that. Barrel escape? Nope. The "deja vu" effect? Uh uh. Water-to-beer? Must have missed that one. Now, if Angel whips out and invisible deck or cig through quarter on tonight's show, you might be on to something. However, I don't see Blaine-impersonation going on here. Even the effects you mention were done quite differently -- and better.
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Aug 11, 2005 01:43AM)
Well I just watched the Buried Alive one. It had commentary talking about surpassing Houdini, and after he escapes, some guy on the show says "You're better than Houdini" And after that I can't understand who he thinks he is. How he can have his show having him say "Yes I am better than Houdini". Though some of the episodes I notice things related to other effects you see another unnamed tv magician do but scaled up. Almost like you do this this and this with a card and I'll do that that and that and make it float to my hand. Or you appear a foot long garter snake in a kids backpack, I'll appear a 4 foot albino boa in her backpack.
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Aug 11, 2005 02:34AM)
You know what....

Criss Angel DID get in my nerves today!I was a fan....TRUELY was. But comparing and SUGGESTING you are better than Houdini, I don't care if it was direct or not, is an INSULT on my art and on THE MASTER.

Two brothers " Yeah, he is better than Houdini!."(only people watching aside from me)

WHAT!!!!????

"The escape Houdini couldn't do , the escape where this man died , the escape I can do(and the poor magicians can't because they don't have millions of dollars to investigate something.)"OR HOUDINI NOT HAVING THE KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE TODAY TO DO THE STUNT.

You know what, I can't believe I had respect for this man. It is sad how LOW he has dropped. Thinking about it, his problem IS THE FACT he is trying to PROVE he has SOME superpowers,"I leave it to you to decide what is real and what is an illusion". I HATE the way he manages to get away with so much with INDIRECT messages. It sickens me....HE SHOULD TELL IT LIKE IT IS.

Houdini and Blaine. Who is next?"The mind reading effect Banacheck couldn't do if he tried!""The psychological suggestions Jermay is not capable of doing!""I am a Messiah!"............

He should drop it. He is killing magic. I even as a "bizarrist"(or very similar) and former lover the guy......quit on him. SAD...VERY SAD day in magic.He is a FAKE.

Enough said....

SO much skill,money, and talent wasted. Aside from making magic "cool," the guy is doing NOTHING for the art and believes he has so much impact. Wannabe Blaine and Houdini.....who by the way just pushes the art into effects we can't do(wouldn't be a problem if HE could too) or tries to point out US magicians have superpowers. We don't ,we have lots of skill and emotions to bring to the world. SO MUCH more, than those COOL effects no one can do.

I fail to find anything "original" from him aside from his tricks.Anyone care to point me out anything else?There is FAR much more to a COMPLETE magic performance.Where is the "Innovation"...please let me see it.
Message: Posted by: Blackpool (Aug 11, 2005 05:17AM)
Entertainment is the point, not originality. Carter the Great was one of the biggest magicians of his day, but I understand he did not have any original effects. Personality goes a long way. (But you'd have to be talking about one charming motherloving pig.)Who here can honestly say s/he has anything that is not derivative?

Criss Angel is "not telling it like it is"?!?!?! Criss Angel is a FAKE?!?!?! Are you saying a magician LIED?!?!?! A magician DECEIVED PEOPLE?!?!?! Dear god in heaven, what is the world coming to?!?!?!
Message: Posted by: Eric Dittelman (Aug 11, 2005 08:41AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-11 03:34, unilogo wrote:
It sickens me....HE SHOULD TELL IT LIKE IT IS.

He is a FAKE.
[/quote]

First of all has any magician "told it like it is"? Every magician avoids telling the truth either to hide the method or to play up the performance. Would you attend a performance with a magician who said "This escape uses a sub trunk and I'll be long gone before any risk of danger actually will come into play. So please don't worry for me." Of course you wouldn't, because it either reveals the method, or it's not too exciting!

Therefore, using Houdini as a reference point, I think Criss is just trying to create tension and suspense for his illusion. The lay people who watch the show start with a common background that Angel can build upon to make is illusions more dangerous.

I do think he is taking this approach a little too far though. I've seen all the episodes thus far and we are familiar with the "David Blaine can kiss this guy's ***" and the other Houdini references. I believe he mentioned Houdini at least three times during the Buried Alive episode. It's one thing to use other magician's names as a way to make your effects look great, but it's a whole different ball game to force feed suggested opinions to your audience. If he has to included these references, I would much rather see Angel explain that this is what magician-so-and-so can do, and this is what I'm doing differently. Therefore letting the audience decide it's own opinions on whether he's "greater than Houdini" or not. Regardless, the bottomline is he should show respect for all magicians, past and present. And this is where I think he's coming up very very short.

OK, on to my review part of this post...I was not too impressed with this episode. I enjoyed some of his past episodes, but I did not feel any suspense during this escape. I understand that being buried alive is very dangerous, but I was pretty bored at the presentation. The suspense they decided to add was "rain" and "time". The use of time to create supsense only took up more of the episode to the show that nothing was happening. This escape, I think, just isn't conducive for TV, unless performed with a lot of psychology and thought out very thoroughly. In addition, it looked very very set-up with the spectators sitting in funeral type chairs and all having black umbrellas on hand conveniently in case it rained. Not to mention that Rob Zombie didn't really add anything with his presence, except add to the force opinion "You out did Houdini". This last statement I had a lot of issues with because if performing something Houdini didn't perform is "out doing" him, then wouldn't anyone who did a levitation of made a motorcycle appear be "out doing him" as well? I don't recall Houdini ever doing these...

I watched this special last night with one of my best friends who knows little about magic, but is very perceptive and is a very logical thinker. He didn't enjoy this episode, particularly the shadow effects. He undestood that these seemed like interesting ideas, but because it was on TV. He immediately began to speculate about the different camera angles they were using, and for all we know there is a lot of "off-screen" work that could be done to accomplish the effect. I agreed with him totally and then brought up the question, "What if you saw this effect live?" He no doubtedly said he would be very impressed. Thefore what annoyed me about the shadow effect was that the audience had no frame of reference. Angel simply performed a couple of effects in front of the camera and then brought in two seemingly random people to had the trick performed on. We as a TV audience don't even know if they're random or not! If you're going to perform on TV, I believe that it is important to have an actual audience watching the effects to give the audience at home the idea that it would be exactly the same on TV as if they were there live. It gives a reference point! That's why his the Burned Alive and Spectator Suspension worked well for me. He was surrounded by a group of people in the middle of the street in Las Vegas. If I happened to be there when recording those stunts, I could see the exact same thing! That is what also detracted from the Buried Alive stunt. Because of the remote location of the stunt, the people who were there watching were presumed to be either part of his family or part of his consultant crew or Rob Zombie. There was no "everyday" person who could react and give his/her own reaction to the stunt therefore the audience to believe they would have a similar reaction. The reaction we saw were those of people who had ties to Criss Angel and therefore might be perceived as coming off as forced!

Now I'm not jumping on the bash Criss Angel band wagon, because honestly I have enjoyed the other episodes and appreciate that he even has a magic series when I by no means would be able to pull this off. Therefore my review is simply from my experience as a magician and my friend's experience as a lay person to give my opinion of what I feel could be captivating television. Sometimes as magicians, the wooled is pulled over our eyes and can't really know what the audience is perceiving.

-Eric D.
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Aug 11, 2005 09:50AM)
You people are taking what he said way to literlly. I am not sure if that is intended or not, but it is just dumb.
Message: Posted by: Red Von (Aug 11, 2005 01:12PM)
If memory serves me correct, Steve Shaw "BANACHEK" performed the "Buried Alive" escape on national TV several years ago, successfully I might add, with a much better presentation. What was funny watching and hearing the comments during the Criss Angel stunt, was that BANACHEK was also a consultant, but no word mentioned of his "Buried Alive" escape!!
Message: Posted by: giochi (Aug 11, 2005 01:37PM)
How bout the fake hollywood rain and the luck that everyone just happened to be carrying around umbrellas.
Message: Posted by: Red Von (Aug 11, 2005 02:09PM)
Yeah, the rain was a bit much!!

If anyone has not seen the "Buried Alive" escape as performed by Steve "BANACHEK" Shaw, I highly recommend getting a video copy of his escape.

His presentation was outstanding!! The whole escape, from begining to end was a 5 Star escape!! I have seen several other versions of the "Buried Alive" escape by other Escape Artist's/Magicians, and I must say that the Steve Shaw escape stands above them all!!
Message: Posted by: Bardin (Aug 11, 2005 04:30PM)
I kind of have to agree with unilogo. I think Criss is claiming that Houdini didn't have the guts like he does. I think that is disrespectful to 1) a person that is synonymous with magic and 2). is dead and can't defend himself.
Message: Posted by: pcamel (Aug 11, 2005 05:44PM)
Am I the only one who thinks that its hilarious that all these people talking about him during the show are "mindfreak consultants?" I mean, am I to believe anything that any one of those people has to say about how dangerous the stunt is or how brave he is. No offense to Mr. Banachek or to Mr. Jermay but come on. I stopped believing anything that comes out of any of the people's mouths on these specials.
I have seen too much that has been bull**** to continue to believe anything else that they say. You don't have to be a magician either to know when people are full of it.
All these "dangerous" escapes and stunts begin to lose their element of danger when you see them every week and when Criss Angel's whiney brother complains about how scared he is. This isn't magic but a poorly scripted pseudo reality show.
And the burial episode was the last straw. I can't believe I wasted my time watching this crap. Fake rain, overkill on the melodrama, respectable people and magicians blatantly lying.
Houdini once said that people come to see him not because they want him to die but because if it should happen they want to be there when it happens. If Criss Angel died then maybe at least we'd have the first genuine moment in a "make-believe" show that tries to pass itself off as reality.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 11, 2005 06:51PM)
I thought the "rain" looked awfully sourcey, too. This wasn't helped by shots of a full moon rising in a clear sky, which, like everything else in this series, could have been shot anytime, anywhere.

Had to laugh at Banachek's line about Angel being in total darkness once the dirt covered the coffin lid. I guess he hadn't seen the footage of him in the well lit coffin.

Surprised no one has mentioned Lance Burton's performance of the buried alive stunt on television a few years ago. Since Burton agreed to appear on a previous episode of Mindfreak, I suppose any boastful comparisons by Angel and crew were nixed. And anyway, Mindfreak's target audience is too young to have seen the Burton performance when it was broadcast.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Aug 11, 2005 08:59PM)
I was thinking it was saying to younger generations that have little to no idea who and what Houdini did that "I am Criss Angel. I have the guts to do what Houdini didn't. I am better then he ever was."

But I remember one guy saying the weather report said there was no chance of rain, then they all have umbrellas. But I was also questioning if it took for the escape as the show said it did.
Message: Posted by: tlfdoc (Aug 11, 2005 11:09PM)
I'm amazed at the number of negative comments about Criss Angel in this forum. It seems some have lost sight of what a magician tries to do: entertain and mystify, often using whatever means is at their disposal. It seems ridiculous to criticize a televised demonstration of "magic" when we all know it's not possible to actually levitate, produce a live butterfly from a napkin, catch a bullet in our mouth, etc. It's a trick!

The bottom line for me is that Criss Angel is putting magic back on television and attracting a larger audience that anyone in recent memory, and he's doing it in a unique style that is his own, something pitifully lacking in most magic acts. I recommend reading the GENII interview of Criss this month, where he talks about the show and what he's trying to accomplish. He admits that there is a blend of magic, reality show, and surreal artistic use of camera effects and the television medium to produce something that has not been done before. I am very impressed with the shows so far, and I am inspired like others have said to look at my own magic in a different way.

I'm also of course curious to try to figure out, of all the effects on the MINDFREAK special, what he could actually duplicate in a live performance. I believe he states that most of what he does on the show he can do live. I'll look forward to seeing him perform live and would like to hear from anyone who has seen him perform.
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Aug 11, 2005 11:41PM)
Ok, yes I maybe should of used BETTER words for my comment.

Anywhom I am going to tell you guys there is a THIN line between beign a magician and saying you MIGHT HAVE SUPER POWERS.EVERY ONE KNOWS IT'S A TRICK. If you had superpowers you wouldn't be wasting them on cheesy cards or whatever.......
That is how he is a fake. HE is trying to prove he MIGHT have superpowers.I am not saying you should expose the sub trunk. I am not saying you have to say how you do the ACR. Just keep in mind YOU DO NOT HAVE SUPERPOWERS. You ARE AN ARTIST WITH LOTS OF SKILL AND TRAINING. WHO THROUGH ALOT OF HARD WORK CAN DO WHAT APPPEARS TO BE MIRACLES. THe audience isn't stupid, treat em with this respect. I personally feel he is a fake. He is LIke the Uri Geller toned down to the new generations of magicians and laymen.

Now again Houdini.....

There is Four basic reactions to the effects Criss performs

A)He is scary
B)"How did you do that"
C)"He is better than...."
D)"Are you the real deal"

ALL basic magician reactions....(how many of you can honestly say you haven't had THOSE reactions?) NOthing great....

Now let's compare that to Houdini....

Houdini Brought out a COMPLE range of emotions. He:inspired,Scarred you, gave you joy,made you cry,women wanted to be with him,Men wanted to be him,gave you hope, and is legendary and just about ANYONE knows his name.MOst importantly HE was THE FIRST to give this image in magic. Look at ANY magician before him aside from the O.G. Houdini.

Is he better?NO. Is Brittney spears better than Jimi Hendrix just because she sells more Cd's?NO.

It is just RIDICULOUS for him to say he is better tha HOudini. When houdini Had NO knowledge and hundreds of Pros behind him.Criss Angel doesn't come close in importance to Houdini.

The guy is an EGO MANIAC. He is NOT BETTER than HOUDINI , BLAINE etc...

The importance those guys had on people was NEW, INNOVATIVE and GOOD for magic and People. Criss angel just creates the same emotions those have created with an added "scary" feel. ANYONE can do that.Alot of US HAVE ALREADY!!!

Do I respect him for getting that far. YES. But he claims to be the new face of magic with a brand NEW for of enterntainment called "MINDFREAK."When in reallity it is just a SLIGHT almost INSIGNIFICANT(sp?) improvement on magicians before him.

I will continue to watch, but he isn't anything GREAT.AT ALL.....Who he claims to be.If you want I CAN FIND YOU SOME QUOTES.

Look at my first post to this topic and notice I wasn't negative. But when Criss begins to act stupid and BAD. What kind of reply does he want?It is obvious it will be a negative one. SO sorry....but I just HAD to say it.
Message: Posted by: Scott Ocheltree (Aug 12, 2005 12:28AM)
I enjoy the show.

I understand that it's a TV show.

I understand that most of us on this forum don't work in the medium of TV and so Cris Angel's "magic" is different than that which we usually perform by necessity of this fact.

I am glad that A&E has gone with a show designed for TV and not a half hour continuous, single camera shot of stage show.

I enjoy the bits of traditional magic tricks better than most of the stunts, but I think Cris is generally headed in the right direction with this.

While you may not feel Cris' potshots at Houdini or Blaine are appropriate, you should be aware that Houdini was known to sabotage competing magician's shows. Challenges and comparisons were a major part of how Houdini marketed himself.

That Cris plays up or exaggerates the danger element of his stunts is part of the game. All magicians do this. Nobody says, "I'm going to bury myself alive and escape, but I've got so many safeguards in place that there's virtually no risk or actual challenge to it, so don't worry." Danger is one of the illusions he is creating. When Houdini did his milk-can escape - after he had released himself from the gimmicked can he would sit back stage reading the paper to waste time in order to build the tension. In this way he exaggerated the danger the same way Cris does. This is what magic shows are about.
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 12, 2005 01:04AM)
Argue what you want, say what you want, do what you want, and believe what you want about Criss Angel (and David Blaine). Criss Angel (and David Blaine) set out to bring magic to a whole new generation (and older ones as well), and it is [b]HIS CHOICE[/b], not yours, on which methods, effects, illusions, escapes, and etc, etc, etc, that he presents and uses, and how and what he does to go about to accomplish them. Guess what....[b]HE IS DOING IT![/b] (so is David Blaine).

You all complain and say he is disrepecting past "GREATS" of magic (Houdini and others alike), and magic its self as the great art that it is, and its fans. But it seems like that a lot of the "GREAT" magicians of today (and former years) are actually supporting him, by being consultants to his show. So actually, [b]HE IS NOT[/b] disrepecting past magicians, magic as the art it is, or the fans, but in fact he is helping it. Angel (and Blaine) is taking magic to a new height, a new younger audience and an older audience, a new plane.

He (and Blaine) is taking magic into the future, and securing its place and the place for all past, present, and future magicians alike, along with its fans. The things Angel (and Blaine) say and do, maybe seem susceptible, out of order, inappropriate, or down right disrespecting. But they are tools, [b]NOTHING MORE[/b], just very effective tools. They grab your attention, either in a positive way or a negative way. None the less, they grab your attention, and you watch, you complain, you discuss, you dissect. But the [b]ONE THING YOU NEVER DO[/b].......[b]YOU DON'T FORGET![/b] Criss Angel (and David Blaine) keeps [b]MAGIC, it's PAST and PRESENT MAGICIANS, and FANS[/b] on the lips and minds of all!

Angel says that he will attempt and accomplish something that even Houdini (or another great magician) couldn't or wouldn't do. That is not disrespect, in fact, that is a great compliment to Houdini (and/or other magician). Houdini's (and/or other magician's)name and performances are kept alive and presented to a new younger audience as well as an older generation. Angel has used what [b]"MANY"[/b] feel as the most [b]"RECONIZED AND RESPECTED"[/b] name in the [b]HISTORY OF MAGIC[/b], the name of [b]HARRY HOUDINI[/b].

By Angel saying that he would attempt too and accomplish something that even the Great Houdini could not or would not do, is [b]MORE OF[/b] an acknowledgement and compliment to the great Harry Houdini, then if Angel would have said that he would attempt and accomplish something that even "The Great Less Accomplished Magician" (insert any less accomplished magician's name you want) would not or could not do, or even if he had not mentioned any magician's name at all!

All I ever see in this thread (and others like it) is the, "I Wouldn't" and "He Shouldn't" and "How Dare He" and all the other remarks of [b]100% PURE JEALOUSY[/b]. Criss Angel, David Blaine, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, and others (forgive me for not knowing or mentioning their names), have [b]ALL BUSTED THEIR BUTTS AND PAID THEIR DUES[/b] day after day and night after night and month after month and year after year, to get to where they are right now. Each one of them have taken different paths in their lives to do it. But the one thing they have not forgotten (but many of you seem to have forgotten), is that magic is meant for entertaining. Their vision of how magic should be presented is different from yours and from each others. But none the less, they each have a vision, and in each of their own ways, they worked their butts off to present it and reach the status of where each one of them are now.

If you don't like their (Angel, Blaine, Copperfield, Burton, and others) visions of how Magic is presented, go out and present it the way you feel it should be presented, work your butts off (and I am not saying you don't already) and go out and show how you feel your vision of how magic should be presented. Remember this...Success is not given, Success is earned!

Remember this.....You did not create the entire art of magic, it was created by all involved, Magicians, Performers, Audiences, and so on. But in the end, it will be the audience whom determines what they want to see, NOT the performer. So stop thinking and watching magic and it performers like a performer, and start watching like the audience.

I want to use a quote by [b]"DUNNINGER"[/b] and then use it a little differently but in the same type of context. So read both and then think long and hard about both, becuase I have....

[b]DUNNINGER'S QUOTE- "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice."[/b]

[b]My Take On DUNNINGER'S QUOTE- "For those who want to be entertained, no argument of the presentation is necessary. For those who do not, no presentation will suffice."[/b]
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Aug 12, 2005 01:48AM)
Is angel good or bad?Seems in magic success measures that.(not what good he is doing to the world)So personally I will continue to believe the bad he is doing is more than the good and he is really doing NOTHING for magic or anyone aside from "coolness" and "better effects we have to develope" as magicians.Old Knowledge.

The problem is simple here. I look at it from an ethical point of view.(Which is questionable in it self.) While others look at magic as the more famous you are and recognizeable the BETTER.It doesn't matter how bad and how much you hurt ANYONE along the way.People and your art.

I will continue to give MY TAKE on magic myself. Hopefully there is something better than being the most famous magician in the world. That is a DEPRESSING thought. Oh yeah something like Houdini. An ICON of good. Like Martin Luther King, Ghandi, etc...Impossible with magic?Who knows......I certainly hope it isn't. I believe it isn't.Certainly will work hard for that. Not to be FAMOUS or RICH,But INNOVATION and GOOD for the world.Finally giving that HONOR a magician deserves for being one.Success is irrelevant, the goodness you do will last forever.

There really isn't nothing left to say. Belive what you will.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Aug 12, 2005 02:06AM)
I rate him as successful.

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 12, 2005 03:09AM)
Why do some magicians try to build themselves up by tearing other magicians down, by mocking them, sneakering at them, or flat out calling them a big phoney?

How does this help magicians?

Tim Wisseman
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 12, 2005 03:12AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-12 02:48, unilogo wrote:
Is angel good or bad?Seems in magic success measures that.(not what good he is doing to the world)So personally I will continue to believe the bad he is doing is more than the good and he is really doing NOTHING for magic or anyone aside from "coolness" and "better effects we have to develope" as magicians.Old Knowledge.

The problem is simple here. I look at it from an ethical point of view.(Which is questionable in it self.) While others look at magic as the more famous you are and recognizeable the BETTER.It doesn't matter how bad and how much you hurt ANYONE along the way.People and your art.

I will continue to give MY TAKE on magic myself. Hopefully there is something better than being the most famous magician in the world. That is a DEPRESSING thought. Oh yeah something like Houdini. An ICON of good. Like Martin Luther King, Ghandi, etc...Impossible with magic?Who knows......I certainly hope it isn't. I believe it isn't.Certainly will work hard for that. Not to be FAMOUS or RICH,But INNOVATION and GOOD for the world.Finally giving that HONOR a magician deserves for being one.Success is irrelevant, the goodness you do will last forever.

There really isn't nothing left to say. Belive what you will.
[/quote]

Not to bring religion into this, but I think this is very relative at this point, and to quote PART of a passage from [b]Jesus Christ[/b] from the bible...........[b]"Let him without sin cast the first stone"[/b]

Everyone here is looking for all the bad things they can find with what Criss Angel (and others) does and says to or for magic and it's audiences, so much to the point that you CAN NOT see (and more then likely do not want to see) any of the good things he is doing. You are "CASTING STONES" so to speak without first "BEING WITHOUT SIN" so to speak. You are just as guilty and more so, of doing the damage to magic, its performers, and its audiences. You constantly want to find the fault and short commings in this man without admitting any of your own faults and shortcomings. That doesn't make you as bad as you say/think/believe Criss Angel (and others) is, it makes you [b]WORSE!!![/b]

This brings me right back to the two quotes from above (a quote taken from Dunniger, and my take on Dunninger's quote)......

DUNNINGER'S QUOTE- [b]"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice."[/b]

My Take On DUNNINGER'S QUOTE- [b]"For those who want to be entertained, no argument of the presentation is necessary. For those who do not, no presentation will suffice."[/b]

And for a completely different take on Dunniger's quote, other then my own....
[b]"For those seeking good without looking for fault, no search can ever be stopped. For those who do not and only seek fault, no search will ever matter."[/b]

Think about it.............................................
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 12, 2005 03:15AM)
Why exactly are some magicians so jealous of other magicians?

It all seems pretty childish.

Tim Wisseman

Posted: Aug 12, 2005 4:47am
Oh my, nobody is suppose to say anything bad about Criss Angel because of something Jesus tells us?

What was Jesus calling for when He ordered His followers to JUDGE NOT (Matt7:1)? Did He want us to close our eyes to error and people claiming to have supernatural powers, but do not? Did He intend that bosses not do performance reviews of their employees? Or that critics pull their punches? Or that juries not make a judgment? Should we decline any assessment of others, since none of us is perfect?

Here are some other Jesus sayings you do not here in church very often.

"But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me." -Luke19:27

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:34-37).

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26)
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Aug 12, 2005 07:13AM)
Maybe if you would of have read the WHOLE thread to get your facts right. I pointed out MY FLAWS, HIS FLAWS, and GAVE HIM ALL THE CREDIT HE DESERVED. I NEVER PUT HIM DOWN IN FRONT OF PEOPLE AT HOME EITHER. I SHOW ONLY RESPECT TO THE GUY WHENEVER SOMEONE ASKS ABOUT HIM. ONLY BECAUSE HE DID WORK HIS BUTT OFF and I DON'T want to add to the novelty we have as magicians. Plus there is some respect...which I mentioned in previous posts. I am the bad guy?"WORSE,JEALOUS?"...My posts certainly don't reflect that. I don't feel they did. If they did sorry, but I still believe people change over time.Read this whole thread.

To quote myself since you didn't read the whole topic.

"I Will agree with EVERYONE here in bits and pieces. It was DROP DEAD AMAZING and it was DROP DEAD HORRIBLE. More or the less AMAZING.

Now I knew what was awaiting me in this forum. Hurting magic because all of us average magicians can't do it. Some stunts looked beyond fake. We could all tell there was too much camera editting.I'ts all true but guess what , it is PERKS OF DOING A SHOW ON TV SINCE 1995 FOR A BIG NETWORK!

Seriously what were you expecting?"Pick a card , any card "....tricks? A levitation with a broom , as shown in his 14 year old picture? Were you expecting we would be able to do any of those things? I know the response is NO.

We know what people want now in days. This gives us an EXTREMELY AMAZING lesson. MAGIC HAS TO MOVE ON. That is the bottom line. We have to start working to create the impossible with modern edge.Most of us don't pull bunnies from hats for the same reason! I don't see how you can complain.

You want to be as amazing as angel? Most of those things can be done without stooges as banacheck pointed out. We should give PLENTY of credit to him because he WAS there. I know I found several ways to do a lot of those. That inspiration was priceless and now thanks to this "horrible" show I am thinking about ways to move magic into the future. Seeing the TRUE power of patter. How my magic has changed lifes while even angel's stays in "trickery."

Don't think of this as a strike to magic. Think of it as the way magic has to be performed now in days for the people watching us.

I know I will take the lesson. You can too....or stick to the SAME old stuff.

Bravo to Angel. Despite all the so called "harm." He did start what he set out to do atleast with me.

Will continue to see it through out.

It is amazing how simple words had so much power over my brothers watching. I had them by the hand , and they were seeing me as this sage. For lack of better words. They knew there is trickery. They saw angel as the way I have to go. They saw him in me. They saw what magic was about . After I was explaining to them. They saw magic. The way it is suppose to go.

I hope magicians learn from our current mistakes. It is something most magicians today lack. Be an original.

This is amazing.

Enjoy magic.People want to see angel instead of your rising cards, king rising, stigmata , coin bite, haunted hanky, silks, doves, etc...they can pay millions for a private show . Or they can enjoy what you are presenting to them. I think they will take the latter.

You are magicians still. Don't let yourself down guys.

People will enjoy you non the less if you are good with what you have. They know if you had super powers you wouldn't be wasting them on coins,cards, levitation, for enterntainment. You are a poor magician. But WE LOVE IT.

Keep your head high. You can do good for the future of magic. I believe in people. I believe in you.

Good luck guys.

Have a great day."

Does that seem wrong? Was I jealous or putting him down?Please......look through the obvious. There is something more behind that.

My thoughts changed after ANGEL started to INSULT my LOVE. MAGIC..........
Which was this last episode.Making "TOOLS" of people as you said. Which isn't the RIGHT thing to do. In my opinion.


PS. I have no concern in becoming big so why would I be putting him down for making myself look better?
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 12, 2005 11:20AM)
Have you ever seen a big name magician on TV mocking other big name magicians? Showing people mocking Blaine or putting down Houdini in order to make themselves look better.

Does it help or hurt them?

Tim
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 12, 2005 07:21PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-12 12:20, cocomax wrote:
Have you ever seen a big name magician on TV mocking other big name magicians? Showing people mocking Blaine or putting down Houdini in order to make themselves look better.

Does it help or hurt them?

Tim

[/quote]

Are you saying that Criss Angel was putting down Houdini? Now I do realize he said stuff about Blaine, I admit Angel did that. But you don't know for a fact if Angel and Blaine haven't discussed it or concocted it between the two of them, and Blaine is allowing him to do it in order to gain the attention for both of them (unlikely but possible), so until you have proof positive, you can't say he was actualy mocking Blaine.

As far as Angel putting down Houdini...How is Angel saying, "he will attempt and accomplish something that even Houdini couldn't or wouldn't do", how is Angel putting Houdini down by saying that? That's not putting Houdini down. That's keeping Houdini's name on people's minds just by mentioning Houdini's name, and its adding more of the thought of danger to the stunt.

Everytime a magician that is different says something about one of the greats of magic's past, everyone here thinks that magician is being disrectfull. I watched an old video from my local library, it had a well known (and respected) magician on it, he told a very well known story about Dai Vernon. Vernon was at the Magic Castle one day and was sitting at a table with a friend (another magician). He said a young aspiring magician came up to them and asked if he could show them some card tricks, Vernon said ok. The young magician performed his tricks, afterwards Dai Vernon started telling the young magician that he was horrible, he stunk, he didn't know nothing about magic, Vernon completely put the young magician down. Vernon completely destroyed this young man right in front of Vernon's friend. The young aspiring magician was so upset that he took off and left. Afterwards Vernon turned to his friend and said, "You know what that guy's problem is....he can't take critisim."

Vernon completely put down another fellow magician in front of someone else, yet Dai Vernon is still considered to be one of the most respected names in magic history. Criss Angel dresses, talks, and acts different, and all he did was say he was doing something that another magician couldn't or wouldn't do, and possibly a put down on Blaine (could have been concocted by Angel and Blaine), and Angel is considered the blacksheep of magic. If that isn't jealousy, then what is?


Oh, for everyone else. I do read this thread in its entirety each time before I post!
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 13, 2005 03:10AM)
Was the street scene with the man with the spider that came out of his hat and the lady with the BIG snake in her back pack, was that suppose to be "magic" or was that suppose to be just Criss and some of his actors playing around scaring people?
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 13, 2005 10:58AM)
Obviously the latter. But watch out Cocomax, many here will tell you that you're just jealous that you don't have actors to help you scare people.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 13, 2005 02:45PM)
Maybe I am jealous, or maybe I just am not smart enough, perhaps I lack imagination, but I see that spider prank and the snake prank and think. . .

"Oh wow. . . stooges again. . . . that is if this is suppose to be magic effect at all, it is so weak of an effect that maybe this is just some actors goofing around scaring people and not suppose to be a magic effect at all."

I do not know why, maybe I am just wierd, but OBVIOUS stooges make for pretty weak magic.

Would someone like to tell me that the spider guy was NOT A STOOGE I am obvious jealous and unimaginative for thinking that. . . there are many methods that could be used other than a stooge. . .

Such as giving someone a rigged hat or rigged backpack with a snake in it and say hey buddy here is a FREE hat now go over there and talk to Criss. . . or for the snake prank . . . Hey lady! do you want to be on TV? take this HEAVY red backpack and go over there and talk to the nice young goth dude with the film crew. . .

It seemed like it was done with the use of OBVIOUS stooges, but maybe it is all in my mind.

If the poor spider guy was just some unknowing guy the crew handed a "special" hat and sent over to Criss, then that TOTALLY rocks, it is a killer effect and is really funny, very mean, but funny!

However the impression that most TV viewer would get from watching the show is that is suppose to be just some random guy from the street with his own hat. That effect seemed too good, it smelled stoogey, even if it wasn't.

If you have ever seen a David Copperfield show think about the effort that he goes to to pick people at random for some effects to rule out the use of stooges, that makes his "magical moments" so much stronger. David Copperfield and the viewer are all very much aware of the use of stooges and how much that the possiblity weakens the strength of the illusion.

When you remove the easy outs, like no stooges, nothing up my sleeves, look the box is empty. . . you are making the effect stronger and stronger and the payoff even better.

If you do it right people will think "WOW! That ROCKS!!! THAT IS SO COOL!!!!!"

If you do it wrong people will think "Yeah, right that guy must have been a stooge. . ."


Compare in your mind Criss and the spider hat and David Blaine with the kid and the coin that disappeared from his hand. . . .

Which one was more "Magical"?

Which one will you remember 10 years from now?

Sometime you can be too good, things can get crazy when your goal in life is to outdo Houdini or outdo David Blaine, bring in a massive team of helpers, set up stunt after stunt, out do Blaine with IMPOSSABLE street magic that Blaine could never do. . . louder, bigger, faster, screaming, crazy, death, goth, mind freak!

. . . but then again, maybe Mind Freak is NOT a magic show, it is really a simi- reality show, doing strong magic is NOT the goal, freaking people out is the goal. . . This show is more like a combo of the Osborns and Jackass then a magic show. . .

Do you know what Eugene Burger means when he says less is more?

Sometimes too much is too much.

Tim Wisseman
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 13, 2005 04:01PM)
After watching several episodes of Mindfreak it's apparent to me that the show is aimed at young, unsophisticated viewers. Like most television really.

Unlike the magic shows seen previously on television, Mindfreak is not an attempt to capture, for a television audience, the experience of seeing a magician perform live. Rather, it is a television show created to depict magical events through the use of television technology. What irritates real magicians is not, as some posit, jealousy, but that the effects depicted are deliberately made to look similar to real magic tricks. In other words, Angel could be depicted pulling a horse or an elephant out of someone's backpack. But even the most ignorant viewer would realize that it was achieved through special effects. But the large snake from a random passer-by's backpack, seems possible, though we know it's not.

Mindfreak's target audience will think they've seen highly skilled sleight of hand. That's unfair to them and annoying to those of us who practice hard to achieve our little miracles in the real world.

Let's hope that real magicians, doing real magic tricks will return to the airwaves someday.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 13, 2005 04:46PM)
Yes, what Criss Angel is doing is magic. Granted, it's not the type of magic I want to perform, and by the sound of it it's not the type you want to perform either, but it is magic none the less.

You have to remember, the days of "Top Hats And Tails" type of magic is quickly fading out. Its being replaced by Reality TV, Play Stations, XBox, Computers, MTV, VH1, and other things. And I am not just talking about it being replaced for Kids, it's also being replaced for young adults and older adults as well.

Our culture is rapidly changing. We as a society have gotten to the place that we are tired of seeing the old vanishing coins, cup and balls, vanishing lady type of things. We have gotten to the place where standard magic has become to common, to old, and to boring, no matter how it is presented or by whom it is presented.

Do you know what happens to something when it becomes way to common, to old, and to boring, to a society...it dies out. It wont happen over night, but eventually, standard magic will die out. Society will not want to see it any more. Unfortunately society wants something, in-your-face, new, strange, weird, dark, exciting, scairy, over the edge, and Criss Angel (and others like him) are providing that.

Granted, I DO NOT like EVERYTHING Angel does, but I do like A LOT of what he does, and most importantly I do like how he is keeping magic alive!

When Criss Angel (and others like him) are performing on tv or live, you have two choices. Either watch him OR don't watch him. You have the right to add CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM to what he is doing, but you should still RESPECT what he is doing.

Even though his type of magic doesn't appeal to you, it is till magic. I am sure that you will find that your type of magic doesn't appeal to a lot of people as well, but it is still magic.

This is what society wants as a whole, it appeals to society as a whole. It fills the gap for society wanting the, in-your-face, new, strange, weird, dark, exciting, scairy, over the edge experiences. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be here.

Remember this......Magic is like any other great art, it is in the eyes and minds of the beholder, no matter how, dark, frightening, scairy, in-your-face it may be. It is not in the illusions/effects/tricks or the performers that perform it. I am an artist by nature (drawing with pencil, ink, chalk), I have done portraits of people that were viewed as sickening, frightening, and dark, but not once has anyone ever said that I was not a good artist. So until you TRUELY understand and accept this, you can not even begin to change it.

To change something, we first must understand and accept what attracts people to it to begin with. Only then, can we formulate a plan for a more positive vision of how something should be done.

.....
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 13, 2005 05:21PM)
Well, first of all "Top Hats and Tails" magic faded a long time ago. Maybe you mean "Tie-Dyed and Tennis Shoes" ala Doug Henning, but those fashions are pretty dead a well.

I'm sure there are plenty of working pros and amateurs who would be surprised to find out that vanishing coins and cups and balls are no longer appreciated by audiences. I'm sure a night spent at the Magic Castle or any of dozens of venues around Las Vegas, or the world for that matter, would find many excellent performances of these classics still wowing appreciative audiences. You may not realize that things like the cups and balls are hundreds of years old. To suggest that now, in 2005, they are kaput is a little silly.

I believe all my criticism is constructive, not that it makes any difference to the ones being criticized. I have no respect for Angel as a magician, because I have never seen him perform magic live. I have never seen a televised performance by him that I believed represented accurately what his performance skills are. I don't know if that's Angel's fault or if the blame lies elsewhere.

Finally, I would certainly put Criss Angel very low on the list of people who are 'keeping magic alive', at least in terms of the Mindfreak program.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: Brian Turntime (Aug 13, 2005 05:59PM)
TheRock: Agreed. I'd like to see these disparagers come up with a levitation effect as MINDBLOWING as the one he did completely surrounded.

That said, I don't care for Criss Angel's goth style at all. But he's an amazing magician.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 13, 2005 06:20PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-13 18:59, Brian Turntime wrote:
TheRock: Agreed. I'd like to see these disparagers come up with a levitation effect as MINDBLOWING as the one he did completely surrounded.

That said, I don't care for Criss Angel's goth style at all. But he's an amazing magician.
[/quote]

Where did you see him perform live and what effects did you think he did well?

Randwill
Message: Posted by: cocomax (Aug 13, 2005 07:13PM)
I do magic shows for 4 year olds to 12 year olds and they LOVE cups and balls, and linking rings, slush powder, lota bowls, rope tricks, change bags, and rice bowls.

Kids are made the same way they always have been, every magic trick they see for the first time live is new to them.

The tens of thousands of magicians that are doing school shows and little Billy's birthday party are keeping magic alive for the next generation.

I know many fans of Criss and maybe even Criss Angel himself thinks that Criss is single handedly saving magic, by bringing to the goth metal rocker youth of today. . .

If he is the great new hope of magic making a comeback, doesn't that speak LOUDLY to what people that think that think about the other tens of thousand magicians in the world?
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Aug 13, 2005 07:24PM)
Rock

Ima lay it down simple. Should Criss angel decide to call his magic, magic. He should work his butt off to make it "magical."If he wants to call it "mindfreak" THEN DON'T ADVERTISE IT AS SOMETHING BETTER THAN MAGIC,STILL BEING MAGIC.(In a sense true he did....but still makes references to "magicians.")

I have seen magic. Where EVERYONE believed it. No stooges, THAT is magic. When you can perform a miracle only YOU knowing how it hapenned(or other magicians that worked to get it, either paying or making the method themselves).

Stooging is as low as you can go in magic.

You want something "Fresh , unique, crazy , etc..." and you still WANT TO CALL IT MAGIC. MAKE IT MAGIC,MAKE IT OCCUR.

Until then still I decide to call Criss Angel a Fake......

How is he keeping magic alive , really?Certainly not helping magicians much. He HURTS them insulting them or doing methods which are pretty low in magic(ONCE in a while true , I give him Kudos a great magic effect).MAINLY tho He is not doing magic, he is doing "mindfreak."How is he helping?Giving you a few paid giggs and some friends telling you to show em a "trick or magic."When they are really trying to say "show us some mindfreak."Will you want to show your magic then?He is HURTING the art. LIke it or not.

BY THE WAY I have seen clerks at stores FRYING "rocker" kids with the cups and balls. Who Criss is aiming for. I have seen them FRY adults with the same trick. I CAN make any of those effects a miracle. Why?Because there is more to magic than the "cool effects" Criss is doing. Altho he is an amazing magician LIVE, TV wise, he is horrible....aside from ratings(Except for original specials)For magic.

You can appeal to people with Cheap effects. How did blaine do it!!!!????(cheap 10 dollar tricks,never putting a magician down, and doing 90% live for "real".)Is he known like Criss angel,PROBABLY MUCH MORE. He is a magician......



Criss lacks that.

I've said it before. Criss is INCREDIBLE SHOWMAN AND EXTREMELY TALENTED. WITH LOTS OF MONEY AND CONNECTIONS TO MAKE "MAGIC." HE COULD DO IT, BUT IS MISSING "SOMETHING." HE ISN'T TRYING TO APPEAL TO MASSES OR TO MAGICIANS. CAN MAGIC BE GREATER THAN THAT?SURE, Copperfield PROVED IT. HE HAS TO STEP IT UP. RIGHT NOW, IT'S A WASTE.

DONE......
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Aug 13, 2005 07:49PM)
You know...if Criss ever dropped in on this thread I bet he would be very cordial and need to say only 4 words to all the naysayers............

"Thanks for tuning in."
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 13, 2005 10:09PM)
[b]unilogo[/b], [b]Randwill[/b], [b]cocomax[/b], and [b]and others[/b]....
First off, keep in mind I AM NOT knocking down standard traditional magic or its performers (and I AM NOT saying that you said I am either), I love standard traditional magic. There will always be groups that love that, I don't deny that. But magic is no longer at the pinnacle it wonce was in years gone by. It is no longer the premier attraction for entertainment.

Yes you have professional and amature magicians performing in Las Vegas, Resorts, Schools, and other places. But magic its self is not as big or as attractive as it once was. And society as a whole is losing intrest in it. Years ago, on almost any given night in almost any decent sized city, you could find magic being preformed on a large scale for large amounts of people. IT USE TO BE ONE OF the premier forms of entertainment, it no longer is that. Yes there will always be magic and big magic shows, but they are limited to very selective areas such as Vegas and other places, BUT it IS NO LONGER ONE OF THE PREMIER FORMS of entertainment. If it werent for gambling in Vegas, magic would not and could not exist the way it does there and YOU CAN'T DENY THAT. Magic use to be able to stand on its own in order to gain major audiences, now it has to rely on other things to gain major attention.

You want to talk abut stooges...in several books written about Harry Houdini, Houdini's own wife (Bess) and his brother (Theo) has been quoted as saying that Houdini had used stooges before in some of his magical effects, many of times. Robert-Houdin, Houdini's idol, used stooges. But yet you still regard them as great magicians. Houdini himself hated being labled as a "Magician", he called himself an "Escape Artist", but he still called his tricks magic tricks and he refered to other magicians.

Houdini hated competiton by other magicians that performed the same magic tricks/stunts/illions/escapes that he did so much that he put down and bad mouthed fellow magicians (and I am not talking about phony mediums and such, I am talking about legiteamte magicians). But yet he was still a great performer and he is looked on by society as one of the greatest magicians that ever lived.

You say Criss can do the things because of the money he has or can get. Well I got some BIG NEWS for you...Criss worked his ass off to get the big money. He entertained his audiences day in and day out, practising and perfecting his art, busting his hump all the time, just like you do. So he is using his money to do what he is doing, he is entitled too.

Both Houdini and Robert-Houdin both done at times what you accuse Criss of doing, yet you overlook that. They are still pioneers and respected, because you choose to overlook the same things they have done at different points in their carrers that you accuse Criss of.

You say Criss is a phony, a fake. But yet magic, hundreds of years ago, its self, stemmed out of people conning other people into believing that they had mystical, dark powers of the supernatural and could perform the unexplainable. Criss is not ACTUALY claiming he has super natural abilities, he claims he can intrigue and entertain, and that is what he does. A magician HAS to be an ENTERTAINER first and foremost, he/she has to appeal to someone, effidently Criss does. If you [b]CAN NOT[/b] get your audiences attention and hold it by entertaining them, no amount of $5, $10, $15, $20 tricks are going to matter. Criss just uses things that YOU don't like, but that is his choice.

Criss' ratings speak for themselves.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Aug 13, 2005 10:55PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-13 20:49, Michael Dustman wrote:
You know...if Criss ever dropped in on this thread I bet he would be very cordial and need to say only 4 words to all the naysayers............

"Thanks for tuning in."


[/quote]

You're assuming Criss isn't already on the board.

I believe he uses the handle of "unilogo."

*jeep!
--Chet
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Aug 15, 2005 05:55PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-13 20:49, Michael Dustman wrote:
You know...if Criss ever dropped in on this thread I bet he would be very cordial and need to say only 4 words to all the naysayers............

"Thanks for tuning in."


[/quote]

And you know what...that is what I call the depressing thought....inconsiderate.

whatever....

Am I ANGEL......

.......................................

....................................


NO.

Thankfully.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Aug 16, 2005 04:52PM)
How do you figure? Inconsiderate????

Unilogo, you obviously missed the point I was trying to convey. I don't want to be the grumpy guy who says "If you don't like what is on your 150+ channel cable system, then just change the channel", but apparently the people posting who says the show sucks are still tuning in every week. Because they are coming on here and saying what they didn't like about the latest episode.

The point I was trying to make is that Criss could come on here and see people didn't like all the stuff and say "Hey, I understand you don't like everything I do, but I appreciate you tuning in and supporting the show anyway."

Inconsiderate???? WOW....not sure how you got that.
Message: Posted by: giochi (Aug 16, 2005 09:05PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-13 20:49, Michael Dustman wrote:
You know...if Criss ever dropped in on this thread I bet he would be very cordial and need to say only 4 words to all the naysayers............

"Thanks for tuning in."


[/quote]

Your right, because usually he is very cordial and modest:
"I am a mindfreak"
"Im always thinking, always going"
"What Houdini did wasnt really dangerous"
"David Blaine, who?"
and the most cordial inclusion of a spectator telling us that another magician could kiss this guys ass.

what a well spoken cordial gentleman
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 16, 2005 09:19PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-16 22:05, giochi wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-13 20:49, Michael Dustman wrote:
You know...if Criss ever dropped in on this thread I bet he would be very cordial and need to say only 4 words to all the naysayers............

"Thanks for tuning in."


[/quote]

There we go again, CONVICTION WITHOUT PROOF! Yes we all heard Criss Angel say, "Blaine can kiss my ass!". But as I and others have stated before, we don't know if this whole "badmouthing" from Angel to Blaine, wasn't concocted between the two of them from the very beginning, just to gain some publicity. As highly unlikely that it was not, there still remains the possibility that it could have been. So until we hear from BOTH sides on the matter, Criss Angel is NOT guilty of the badmouthing, simply because it could be a concoction by both to gain publicity. And you have to admit, it is getting the publicity and people's attention toward both of them.

Your right, because usually he is very cordial and modest:
"I am a mindfreak"
"Im always thinking, always going"
"What Houdini did wasnt really dangerous"
"David Blaine, who?"
and the most cordial inclusion of a spectator telling us that another magician could kiss this guys ass.

what a well spoken cordial gentleman

[/quote]

[quote]
On 2005-08-16 22:19, TheRock wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-16 22:05, giochi wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-13 20:49, Michael Dustman wrote:
You know...if Criss ever dropped in on this thread I bet he would be very cordial and need to say only 4 words to all the naysayers............

"Thanks for tuning in."


[/quote]

Your right, because usually he is very cordial and modest:
"I am a mindfreak"
"Im always thinking, always going"
"What Houdini did wasnt really dangerous"
"David Blaine, who?"
and the most cordial inclusion of a spectator telling us that another magician could kiss this guys ass.

what a well spoken cordial gentleman

[/quote]
[/quote]

There we go again, CONVICTION WITHOUT PROOF! Yes we all heard Criss Angel say, "Blaine can kiss my ass!". But as I and others have stated before, we don't know if this whole "badmouthing" from Angel to Blaine, wasn't concocted between the two of them from the very beginning, just to gain some publicity. As highly unlikely that it was not, there still remains the possibility that it could have been. So until we hear from BOTH sides on the matter, Criss Angel is NOT guilty of the badmouthing, simply because it could be a concoction by both to gain publicity. And you have to admit, it is getting the publicity and people's attention toward both of them.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Aug 16, 2005 10:14PM)
You know giochi, you need to think about a few things before you post...especially when 3 out 5 weren't even relevant. But then again, your biasness against Criss has never been really well hidden for quite some time now....so I take that with a grain of salt.
Message: Posted by: troller (Aug 16, 2005 10:52PM)
Ego is a funny thing. It can make you say things that to one person will make you look larger than life, while someone else will think your full of it! When Criss A said those things it made me cringe. I thought he was out of line. I guess it's true, the humble one always stands out and is praised by the crowd while the loud dog is scorned.

David Blaine never talked like he was 'all that!'

But that is ego for ya.
Message: Posted by: giochi (Aug 17, 2005 02:26AM)
Mr. Dustman, I am simply and honestly stating my views.

I highly respect your opinions and insights here and am bothered that you consider mine with a grain of salt.

You have every right to infer what Angel might say if he were a member here- as do I. While we might disagree, I value your contributions.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Aug 17, 2005 09:05AM)
Giochi....Fair enough, and I agree. I do respect your opinion about the show, but feel that certain parts of the arguement were confusing. One being that the term mindfreak is not cordial. It is the name of his show. Anyway, the grain of salt comment on my part was ill advised.

I actually tried staying out of this thread because I don't enjoy getting into these ****ing contests about who is right and who is wrong. I only wanted to post on this thread with thoughts about the show itself and the episodes. I respect the ones who share their opinion on the show itself but not so much who post just to rip anything and everything about the particular performer...especially when they take the liberty of taking things out of context or embellish something they heard from "another source." For example, in the early stages of this thread, Randwill and I had a back and forth discussion on the current state of magic on television. I stated my case, he stated his and we found common ground. I respected that discussion and know Randwill makes excellent points.

But after reading the 20 some page feature of Criss in the August issue of Genii (thanks Bob Kohler for that heads up) I decided to make a return to point out some glaring inaccuracies in this thread. First of all, I seriously urge anyone posting on this thread to read the feature. It will really open your eyes to Criss Angel. For one, I liked parts of his first few shows. Have I liked everything on every episode? Nope. But have I liked other parts of the episodes? Yep. But for those who come on this thread and run their mouth on everything they "think" they know about Criss....I don't urge you, I challenge you to read the article.

When I stopped and looked at the list of contributors to this series (either effects or on-air production support) I was amazed at the backing Criss has in a profession where not everyone wants to share. This is by no means a comprehensive list and is only a portion of names that contributed to the series: Amazing Jonathan, Jerry Andrus, Steve & Marie August, Joaquin Ayala, Banachek, Gay Blackstone, Rich Bloch, Lance Burton, Steve Brooks, Angelo Carbone, Dexter, John Gaughan, Adam Grace, Paul Gross, Franz Harary, Wayne Houchin, Luke Jermay, Ted Karmilovich, Richard Kauffman, Bob Kohler, Kozak, Milt Larsen, Doug Malloy, Jeff McBride, Richard Osterlind, Bob North, Penn & Teller, Kerry Pollock, Todd Robbins, Siegfried & Roy, Jim Sisti, Jim Steinmeyer, Johnny Thompson, Tim Trono, Don Wayne, Thomas Wayne, Paul Wilson, Chance Wolf, Meir Yedid, etc. Not bad company to be in, and all believe in what Criss is doing to lend their support.

I have to laugh now at the posts about him having the money and connections to get where he is and the huge cashpot coming in. At press time, he was running about $3000 over budget on each episode, and it was coming out of his pocket. As far as connections, it appears he has the best agent on board now. (Seems to know his stuff, his firm represents some other people I like or heard of...Samuel L. Jackson, Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsee, Cameron Diaz, Dustin Hoffman, Leo DiCaprio, etc.) When they made a decision that they wanted to take on only one magician on their roster, they decided to take Criss. You need to read why...one of the reasons made me laugh, and the rest I was in awe.

Other things of interest in the article is why he came up with the term Mindfreak and how it is to replace the word magic, because he never wanted anyone to think he was selling everything he did as magic. Why he decided to do a reality based theme as opposed to a standard magic type special where it is one trick one after another. (This reminds me of the common ground Randwill and I agreed on, and after reading this, I may have to defer from portions of our consensus). He also gives David Blaine his due in the article and used the word "respect" in talking about Blaine. I could go on and on, but why ruin a great read.

At the end of the day, I go back to my original thoughts about it is good to have a series like this on television. Of course that is my opinion, but shared by ALL of the names I listed above. Do you have to like his style to support him? Nope. I admit a few of the things I saw him do, didn't interest me at all. But a lot of what he did do did engage me. Will I like all the rest of the stuff he does? Nope. But I will like some or most of it. He talks in detail about an upcoming episode where the Amazing Jonathan runs him through a brick wall driving a car right at him. Sounds uninteresting to me...but nobody asked me. Penn & Teller and a crate of C4 explosives does sound good. Interesting to read about the walking up a building. Can't wait to see the routine that will be featured in his live show where he does a bird manipulation act with no jacket.

Anyway..........there is my 24 cents worth. While I can't get on board with each and every show, he does have a bright future in front of him.
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Aug 17, 2005 02:14PM)
Michael

What can I say.....internet tone againts real tone of voice can be different. Sorry if you didn't mean no harm. I just read it as that because the tone the thread was at.That is exactly where my comment came from.

inconciderate....

Now firstly why bash someone on tv,Blaine, and give him respect on a magazine for MAGICIANS?Does that mean he wants to clear up his name for magicians but give him a bad image amongs't the average watcher?Those are the types of things I say and point him out as inconciderate.You might argue press and publicity. Good enough, I won't look past that. Which isn't MUCH AT ALL.

3000 to make what's coming out on tv?NO.Maybe he did put out 3000 to pay the crew for lunch but again he is exaggerating.This is pretty annoying....

Do I take away from the thread to point out certain things. Sure, but it sure as hell has something to do with it. I don't always have to agree with someone and find common ground frankly, take that however you want. Might call me a hypocrite inconciderate person myself but you know what I am not brainwashing millions of people with it.

Now I have to read the article...........

so I won't post anymore with what appears to be the holy grail of criss angel's constant little habbits making people feel bad about him or beyond good to get away with things....

Will do and come back again.

So I figured it out just now. I LOVE CRISS AS A MAGICIAN. DARE I SAY, HATE, AS A PERSON. Yep, I sure do from what I know of him.


I know my image of a great magician is just way higher than Angel is currently claiming to be.Houdini , now he gave me something good for LIFE.He was a great person with good motives.Can't currently say that about ANGEL at ALL.

Laters

have a great day.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Aug 17, 2005 09:45PM)
Actually...for a clarification....I didn't say each episode only cost $3000. I said that he was averaging going over budget by approx $3000 per episode. Over budget.

On top of that...I am not sure where you read into my VERY BRIEF review of the article that Criss was looking to make people feel sorry for him. Just the opposite.

As far as the many references to Houdini and the men wanting to be him, feeling a sense of security, purpose, feeling good, etc...I would be happy to continue that discussion off thread if you prefer. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on that. Not sure what history book you are reading but as a long time student of magic history, and collector of many magic history resources and biographies, I don't know where you are coming from on that unless you have only read a biography of Houdini. My personal favorite magician Howard Thurston was performing long before Houdini, and was idolized by many around the globe. I have read first hand accounts of people who saw "The Wonder Show of the Universe" and felt the same thing you say about Houdini, at least 20 years before. Same with Kellar and Carter.

Again...not to drag on the debate. It is only fair for both of us to have our own opinion, but I would like to hear further (again, in a PM is fine) where your belief comes from.

Would also love to hear your thoughts after reading the article.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Aug 18, 2005 05:02PM)
Where can we find the article?
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Aug 18, 2005 06:34PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-17 15:14, unilogo wrote:
Michael

What can I say.....internet tone againts real tone of voice can be different. Sorry if you didn't mean no harm. I just read it as that because the tone the thread was at.That is exactly where my comment came from.

inconciderate....

Now firstly why bash someone on tv,Blaine, and give him respect on a magazine for MAGICIANS?Does that mean he wants to clear up his name for magicians but give him a bad image amongs't the average watcher?Those are the types of things I say and point him out as inconciderate.You might argue press and publicity. Good enough, I won't look past that. Which isn't MUCH AT ALL.

3000 to make what's coming out on tv?NO.Maybe he did put out 3000 to pay the crew for lunch but again he is exaggerating.This is pretty annoying....

Do I take away from the thread to point out certain things. Sure, but it sure as hell has something to do with it. I don't always have to agree with someone and find common ground frankly, take that however you want. Might call me a hypocrite inconciderate person myself but you know what I am not brainwashing millions of people with it.

Now I have to read the article...........

so I won't post anymore with what appears to be the holy grail of criss angel's constant little habbits making people feel bad about him or beyond good to get away with things....

Will do and come back again.

So I figured it out just now. I LOVE CRISS AS A MAGICIAN. DARE I SAY, HATE, AS A PERSON. Yep, I sure do from what I know of him.


I know my image of a great magician is just way higher than Angel is currently claiming to be.Houdini , now he gave me something good for LIFE.He was a great person with good motives.Can't currently say that about ANGEL at ALL.

Laters

have a great day.
[/quote]

unilogo, why do you and a lot of others want to overlook how Harry Houdini treated his competition (real legitimate magicians and escape artists) back in his day? But yet you could can still jump all over Criss Angel for what may OR may not be legitimate derogatory remarks he mad towards David Blaine?

I just don't get it? Are you saying it was ok for Houdini to have done and said the things he did to other magicians and escape artists of his time, but it is not ok for Criss Angel to do it? Granted, Houdini was the greatest escape artist of all time, and one of the greatest showmans of all time as well, and a fairly decent magician as well. But Houdini WAS very DEROGATORY to his competiton, his wife Bess and brother Theo confirmed that many of times in many of articles and interviews, as well as Houdini himself in his day.

With Criss Angel, we don't know if what he said about Blaine was in truth or a concoction by both for publicity. But with Houdini, we do know that his derogatory statements and comments about other legitemate magicians and escapes artists was REAL and meant to be derogatory.

I AM NOT on the Criss Angel band wagon. I DON'T LIKE everything Angel does, Criss Angel IS NOT the Holy Grail of magic. But I do respect the man for what he has done and is doing for magic. He is taking it to an audience whom may never have been interested in magic, nor may they have ever wanted to see magic, if it wasn't for Criss Angel, David Blaine, and others like them. "MindFreak" IS NOT presented as a traditional magic show, that's obvious. It is presented as intriquing, mystical, entertaining, as an inside look of one man's mind and a vision of his work. In essence, it is presented as nothing more then a glimpse of "what could be", nothing more.

If Houdini was alive today and had the money and resources Angel has, don't you think Houdini would use it? You bet he would! He was a showman, and he would use every resource available to him. Just as Angel does now. The element of "DANGER" is what made Houdini's escapes and stunts so real. And if he did an escape or stunt created by someone today that failed at it, I am sure he would say he could do it better. That was his nature.

Houdini learned from everything he did, and he took that information and used it to make himself a great performer and showman, that is what made him so great. In time, how do you know that Criss Angel (or someone like him), will not do the same, and how do you know that in time that Criss Angel (or someone like him) will not be remembered as the greatest. YOU DON'T! But it is obvious, Angel does try to bring his audience into everything he does so they can feel and live the experience, and that is a mark of a great showman in the making!

.....
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Aug 25, 2005 01:35AM)
I would like to stay out of the current topic and talk about the most recent special which shows Criss lifting a Taxi Cab up off of the ground, at least 12 inches!! This was the first effect that I literally said NO FREAKIN WAY as the camera angle and set up was very fair showing no possibility of typical gimmicks.
All in all it was a GREAT effect for laymen and magicians. Ya did good Criss...no Great! Keep up the Mindfreakin'!!
Chance
Message: Posted by: evanthx (Aug 25, 2005 05:56AM)
I do not watch TV much so I never hooked up a cable or anything, so I've never seen the show. I finally got to see a few episodes at a friend's house yesterday - he had taped them. I've been thinking about it a lot since then.

First, I should say I don't really like David Blaine. Yes, he IS good for magic, but I don't like that he uses camera tricks and editing.

So then I watched Criss Angel who is doing the same thing. But somehow I didn't mind it at all. That really threw me off. Why did I really hate it when David Blaine does it but had no problem at all with Criss Angel? So I had to think about that a lot, and finally I'm starting to think it's not the editing, etc, I think I just didn't like David Blaine very much.

So back to the show. There's a few things that really impressed me. The barrel escape for one. The unfortunate part is that with the editing, etc, I am not sure if I'm watching a magic trick or a camera edit. I really just don't know how much to be impressed, and to me that really lessens the trick.

I think it was when he did his Matrix-style levitation where he was leaning horizontal with just one foot on the ground when I decided it didn't matter much. I think that was "real", but mostly it just looked cool as HELL. I just loved seeing it. My friend and I kept rewinding and looking at it and talking about it and that doesn't happen much to me when I see tricks any more.

So that was when I think I started worrying less about "is it a camera trick" and loosened up and just started watching the show.

The spectators finger ring turning up in an ice cube was brilliant.

The clincher was the closer of the second of the two shows I watched. A lady, supposedly a spectator though I'd lay money on her being a stooge, was selected and over a sidewalk Criss Angel levitated her. She was in a very arched pose and it just looked incredible. Feet and hair were above the ground (we were looking for a support hidden in her hair for a while but didn't see one) and I just really had that magical "no way!" feeling. It was great! We looked and looked and rewound...we did find where the support was hooked to the girl, but other than seeing something that tells us where the support was attached to her I have no idea what was holding the support up. Assuming there wasn't a crane above her with big wires that were edited out digitally (I chose to not believe that) I just have no idea.

So all in all, I'm left really liking this guy. He edits, and I'm pretty sure there is some other camera trickery going on in a few places, but over all I was really impressed.
Message: Posted by: oagwood (Aug 25, 2005 03:29PM)
I didn't care for the lifting the car, however in that episode the guy benched 315, gotta give him mad props for that one.

oliver
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Aug 25, 2005 10:31PM)
Those strength demonstrations were quite inspiring for me. Watching another human reach deep down in his gut and push himself way beyond his apparent physical limits inspired me to view my own challenges in a totally different light. Where I had some doubt before, I now know that I can overcome some critical obstacles that have been in my path for a long time. I see more clearly now that my only limits are imagined. I can do way beyond what I had thought. I must simply harness the power of belief.

Thanks Criss.
Message: Posted by: troller (Aug 25, 2005 11:13PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-25 06:56, evanthx wrote:

...
The clincher was the closer of the second of the two shows I watched. A lady, supposedly a spectator though I'd lay money on her being a stooge, was selected and over a sidewalk Criss Angel levitated her. She was in a very arched pose and it just looked incredible. Feet and hair were above the ground (we were looking for a support hidden in her hair for a while but didn't see one) and I just really had that magical "no way!" feeling. It was great! We looked and looked and rewound...we did find where the support was hooked to the girl, but other than seeing something that tells us where the support was attached to her I have no idea what was holding the support up. Assuming there wasn't a crane above her with big wires that were edited out digitally (I chose to not believe that) I just have no idea.
...[/quote]

Have a look at that girl again. I want you to especially look at her shirt she is wearing. The support is actually pushing on the shirt, giving away its location. Have a look at it again and you will see her shirt is creased at above the waist. Where she is arched, One side of her shirt is looser looking than the other. One side actually gives away the wires in the crease. It's like... the Ninja must be aware of his own shadow to be able to conceal his presence.

Me and my friends spotted that right away. The shirt is the key. And if it is wires in the configuration as that, then she was suspended. Looks great, but were the wires removed. I don't think so unless that whole audience was made up of extras (stooges)

Have a look at it again. Look at her waiste area just above the hip. The camera will pan around her showing both side of her. OOOps! One side is a little crunched as it should be if there were wires tugging at the shirt. Classic!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Aug 26, 2005 06:44PM)
Do you think perhaps wires were removed with computer aid?
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Aug 26, 2005 07:27PM)
You can stop the exposure now.
Message: Posted by: Scott Grimm (Aug 29, 2005 06:44AM)
And the whining. (good luck at that one!)
Message: Posted by: evanthx (Aug 29, 2005 09:24AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-26 00:13, troller wrote:

Have a look at that girl again. I want you to especially look at her shirt she is wearing. The support is actually pushing on the shirt, giving away its location.
[/quote]

Like I said, I could see where the harness was attached to the girl...but I did not see anything holding the harness up. Even you seemed to admit you couldn't see any wires. So we know there was a harness, but we knew that anyway. Unless everyone in the shot was a stooge and there were big wires that were removed digitally...I'm still fooled. I didn't see anything holding the harness up.

And I'm not asking for how it's done, just saying that I loved the effect and I really have no idea what was holding her up.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 29, 2005 03:57PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-29 10:24, evanthx wrote:

And I'm not asking for how it's done, just saying that I loved the effect and I really have no idea what was holding her up.

[/quote]

Something above her, just out of frame? Just a really wild, wild guess you understand.
Message: Posted by: Al Straker (Aug 30, 2005 01:54AM)
We are so blessed and fortunate just to be able to experience the creativity and hard work of others who dare to dream. Here's a crazy thought for those who really believe magic has a higher purpose... maybe a whole bunch of magicians should get together and produce a show that really made a positive impact on world poverty or something like that. Now that would be REAL MAGIC for the hungry kids. We might actually feel so rewarded by this that we forget for a moment our self indulgent views on 'who is the greatest' and why. Should all forms of entertainment not 'give' something to those experiencing it? I'm sure Criss is doing his utmost to 'give' the audience the most mindfreaking experience he can deliver and he is using every possible element available to him to do this. Let's just appreciate what a creative and hard working young guy can achieve with determination and vision for what HE wants to create. You don't have to watch, really! But I bet you will.

Posted: Aug 30, 2005 3:03am
We are so blessed and fortunate just to be able to experience the creativity and hard work of others who dare to dream. Here's a crazy thought for those who really believe magic has a higher purpose... maybe a whole bunch of magicians should get together and produce a show that really made a positive impact on world poverty or something like that. Now that would be REAL MAGIC for the hungry kids. We might actually feel so rewarded by this that we forget for a moment our self indulgent views on 'who is the greatest' and why. Should all forms of entertainment not 'give' something to those experiencing it? I'm sure Criss is doing his utmost to 'give' the audience the most mindfreaking experience he can deliver and he is using every possible element available to him to do this. Let's just appreciate what a creative and hard working young guy can achieve with determination and vision for what HE wants to create. You don't have to watch, really! But I bet you will...
Message: Posted by: evanthx (Aug 31, 2005 12:27PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-29 16:57, Randwill wrote:
Something above her, just out of frame? Just a really wild, wild guess you understand.
[/quote]

Had to be something above her or below her, yeah...but you're assuming that everyone around was a stooge and it was all a big set? That would be disappointing. And I'm also thinking it's the easy explanation - it's all just a camera trick, no need to be impressed?
Message: Posted by: troller (Aug 31, 2005 08:05PM)
I read someplace that David Blaine went around doing the Balducci and they caught the audience reaction on tape. They then edited a small piece of Blaine levitating using a harness and it was at least 2 feet in the air. What you see in Blaine's video is exactly what you get in Angel's special, an effect that looks so cool. People feaking out that he levitated and it was just the Balducci. When we see a flash of him levitating 2 feet in the air, we all think this is what the audience saw. Appreciate the fact that it is on TV and anything is possible on TV.

The effect was what was important. Not the way the end result was accomplished. It not only provided the needed publicity, but it also allowed for someone like Criss Angel to come out with his own version and it was 5 feet in the air!!! Amazing none the less.

It doesn't matter how it was accomplished really. As long as it looked good. Some are saying that they are disappointed if it was TV trickery. But, then again, a lot of people are warned that once they open the Elevator levitation gimmick, don't freak out and demand your money back!!!!! IT is not me saying that, but the website where the elevator is being sold. There are a lot of tricks that once discovered, take away the amazement of the effect. Hey, we are all magicians here so we can appreciate the fact that our magic come from CONJURING!
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Aug 31, 2005 11:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 13:27, evanthx wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-29 16:57, Randwill wrote:
Something above her, just out of frame? Just a really wild, wild guess you understand.
[/quote]

Had to be something above her or below her, yeah...but you're assuming that everyone around was a stooge and it was all a big set? That would be disappointing. And I'm also thinking it's the easy explanation - it's all just a camera trick, no need to be impressed?
[/quote]

Well, I'm guessing the support is above her because I can see below her. I can't see above her.

The fact that people were at the location watching has nothing to do with the method. You are assuming he did the trick for those people and was taped while he did it. In fact the trick was taped specifically for televison presentation and onlookers being present wouldn't enter into the equation in any way. Except that their presence might make some television viewers believe that there was no visible support structure above her, because, oh my!, that would give it away to a few dozen onlookers.

Randwill
Message: Posted by: SOHA (Sep 1, 2005 01:05PM)
[/quote]

Had to be something above her or below her, yeah...but you're assuming that everyone around was a stooge and it was all a big set? That would be disappointing. And I'm also thinking it's the easy explanation - it's all just a camera trick, no need to be impressed?
[/quote]

Well, I'm guessing the support is above her because I can see below her. I can't see above her.

The fact that people were at the location watching has nothing to do with the method. You are assuming he did the trick for those people and was taped while he did it. In fact the trick was taped specifically for televison presentation and onlookers being present wouldn't enter into the equation in any way. Except that their presence might make some television viewers believe that there was no visible support structure above her, because, oh my!, that would give it away to a few dozen onlookers.

Randwill
[/quote]

I don't see anything wrong with trying to explain something that we don't understand. (even if our conclusion may be way off)But it gives us back that sence of control over everything we think we know. Specially if we have some knowledge of "magical secrets" and besides that we think we know everything and refuse to accept that we just can't explain it. We don't want to feel inferior to nobody or anything else.
The sad part, in that respect, is that we loose the enjoyment and awe, and reduce it to..."How is it done?"
At least in your post, (maybe unconciously) you seem to understand that it doesn't matter the method but the end result which is to effectively transmit that sense of wonder through the tv screen into the viewer.
Message: Posted by: Scott Grimm (Sep 1, 2005 03:31PM)
And he's wrong. But don't tell him! It's much more fun to let him talk like that.
Message: Posted by: troller (Sep 7, 2005 08:15PM)
Wrong? Which part? I too agree that the lev was a TV thing and that some editing was done. Make him look good. If you ever meet him in the street, ask him to perform the feat and see what he says!

Posted: Oct 12, 2005 8:05pm
Found this link to someone doing the Criss Angel restrauant lev. It is quite qood. And of course I see that it does not use wires in this one. So is it the Icarus Effect done backwards/forwards?

http://s37.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2EL2GZX5Q7OPL0A0SYL5DY03YW

Check out the video and let me know if it is the same.
Message: Posted by: SnakeBabe (Oct 12, 2005 08:32PM)
Does anyone know it the segments with the scorpions or snakes has aired?

Hugs and Hissessss,
Maria
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Oct 12, 2005 08:49PM)
Yeah snake babe it has for sure.

I forgot tho which one it was..... Maybe the suv nail bed. I might be wrong tho...

But yeah it has.

Oh yeah in the preview on a&e there is this hatching scorpion from an egg. That has not aired from what I know.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 13, 2005 08:34PM)
I can't talk about it other than to say you guys are all wrong about the girl levi on the street... a real audience, not stooges, and they could see nothing. No camera tricks.
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Oct 14, 2005 01:09PM)
Troller, isn't that kind of like saying " if you meet so and so, ask him to perform the zig zag in the street?" or "if you see him in street, ask him to perform the bowling ball from drawing?" and ... well you get the idea, it is illogical to think and illusionist can just instantly perform any effect you see in his stage show at any time anywhere. I can't even perform card at any number without a deck of cards :)

By the way, it was announced today that Criss takes the Magician award of the year, so he must be doing something right :)http://magic.about.com/od/biosonfamousmagicians/a/2005magicyear.htm
Message: Posted by: troller (Oct 16, 2005 06:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-13 21:34, Pete Biro wrote:
I can't talk about it other than to say you guys are all wrong about the girl levi on the street... a real audience, not stooges, and they could see nothing. No camera tricks.
[/quote]

The girl that Criss Angel uses to do the levitation in front of the theatre, outdoors, is the same girl he uses to do the levitation in another street lev. Even though Criss picks her out of the audience and asks her whether she know him or not and she said NO!

This is the girl that has her legs crossed that everyone that see it seems to think that she crosses her legs one way at one camera angle and another way when the camera is looking at a different angle. She is also the same girl that is wearing clothes that give away the wires pulling her up.

Now, what were you saying about no stooges or actors?
Message: Posted by: cardone (Oct 16, 2005 10:32PM)
I think Britany Spears has won many Industry awards...............
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Oct 17, 2005 11:16AM)
I'm guessing a big part of selecting an annual winner has to do with who is getting the most media exposure at that particular time and thus promoting the art of magic to the general public.
Message: Posted by: SOHA (Oct 17, 2005 06:48PM)
Cardone,
Who's Britany Spears? Is she related to Britney?
Can you mention some of the awards that you're talking about?

Hopefully, you guys are not trying to disregard the honor of receiving such a prestegious award like Magician of the Year with those comments.

Will
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 18, 2005 05:05PM)
Troller... I said the AUDIENCES are not stooges... so the girls is a hired performer SO WHAT?
Message: Posted by: cardone (Oct 19, 2005 09:59AM)
Mr. Will......have a looksee......... http://www.britneyspears.com/about-awards.php
notice the American Music Award for best new "artist"...........
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Oct 19, 2005 10:47AM)
[quote]Troller... I said the AUDIENCES are not stooges... so the girls is a hired performer SO WHAT?
[/quote]You're missing the point, Pete. It's wrong for Angel to use a hired performer for an illusion ... even if every other magician who has ever performed a levitation has done so with a performer. And it's wrong for someone to "act" like a member of the audience, even though that's been done for as long as there have been magicians and audiences. You're going to have to check your inside knowledge at the door, because clearly the only way to actually know how the illusion was done is to watch it on television. I also think that anyone who actually worked on the show, particularly those who helped develop the illusions being discussed, should keep quiet, because it's the folks with the TV remote controls who know how they were REALLY done. Perhaps Angel should stop by this thread. I'm sure he was stumped by the illusion (because, after all, he's such a hack, as are all the magicians who worked with him on the show), and would love to know how he did it.
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Oct 19, 2005 08:47PM)
I LOOOOOVE the stooge he used for the mindfreak levitation episode. SHE IS A GREAT ACTRESS.....

He...

Did any one notice for some odd reason the girl in his website in the "NYC timesquare levitation" looks EXACTLY like the girl he levitated on downtown vegas?
I wonder why.....*sarcasm*Boy there must be a lot of strangers who have identical twins now in days*sarcasm*

"I will levitate a COMPLE STRANGER off the street"-Criss

"If you were there you would see him levitate a stranger"(might be a little misquoted)....-Editor Genii.

Yeah right.....

Whatever.

Yet people expect me to hang to every word Genii magazine says about angel being a great magician.

Criss is influential but that's it. He isn't great.

Again whatever.
Message: Posted by: phaddad2 (Oct 19, 2005 09:37PM)
When Harry Anderson did his hello sucker special he did a neele thru the arm. you can not reproduce it because it was edited for T.V. his comments were I use the tools available to produce the best results. Chris Angel is doing nothing less.
Message: Posted by: phaddad2 (Oct 19, 2005 09:41PM)
Oops needle
Message: Posted by: troller (Oct 19, 2005 10:13PM)
Did you see the car episode on tonights show? It basically ran him down. WOW, that was great. And no damage. But how?

Also like the coin transposition. He did that well.

Still the tuff one for me is the garbage can. He basically put a garbage container on top of himself as others hold it down. He talks on a walkie talkie and then when he gives the word, the container is lifted and he is gone. He is then found on top of a roof of an adjacent building! Very cool. This is the second time I seen it. The first time was when he was in New York. This one was in Vegas. I do know that in NY they have hidden street access to building, but in Vegas, I do not think that they have that there!

Criss is starting to grow on me. I really like his stuff. Some of it's gross, but a lot of it is quite unbelieveable.
Message: Posted by: phaddad2 (Oct 19, 2005 10:44PM)
I tried to watch but could not get in to the show. But I am 50 and not his target audiance anyway. I love magic and hear he is a good guy but not my style.
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Oct 20, 2005 12:46AM)
I like the guy I cant view the show because I am currently stationed in Iceland. But I like all his other stuff. If they do come out on a season DVD I will get it.
Message: Posted by: tpdmagic (Oct 20, 2005 12:58AM)
I thought tonight was the best episode yet. The reason for this was simple straight forward magic,good solid magic, and funny with the amazing johnathan in the episode. What I really like about Chris is that he is bringing awareness to the public about other magicians that are really only famouse in our circle not to the public, Banacheck, Dexter, Amazing Johnathan(even though he has a great show in vegas not to many people know who he is) And the great Thomsini...This is great from the stand point that a lot of people who are great in our business are getting some reconition. Congrads to all that is involved and hope that the magic keeps on coming and the lay people catch on to our art again.

tpdmagic
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Oct 20, 2005 08:06AM)
[quote]If they do come out on a season DVD I will get it.
[/quote]There was an ad for it on last night's show. $24.95. I believe it can be ordered through A&E's website.
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Oct 20, 2005 09:54AM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-19 23:13, troller wrote:
Did you see the car episode on tonights show? It basically ran him down. WOW, that was great. And no damage. But how?

Also like the coin transposition. He did that well.

Still the tuff one for me is the garbage can. He basically put a garbage container on top of himself as others hold it down. He talks on a walkie talkie and then when he gives the word, the container is lifted and he is gone. He is then found on top of a roof of an adjacent building! Very cool. This is the second time I seen it. The first time was when he was in New York. This one was in Vegas. I do know that in NY they have hidden street access to building, but in Vegas, I do not think that they have that there!

Criss is starting to grow on me. I really like his stuff. Some of it's gross, but a lot of it is quite unbelieveable.
[/quote]

is that why he's your avatar?
Message: Posted by: jynx (Oct 20, 2005 10:20AM)
Yes you can order the entire season, 15 episodes and extras for $24.95 from A&E

http://store.aetv.com/html/product/index.jhtml?id=74121&_requestid=309389

It is a pre-order right now. It says it will ship on 11-29-05....
Message: Posted by: troller (Oct 20, 2005 08:51PM)
[quote]...is that why he's your avatar?[/quote]

I enjoyed his levitations so much, I though I would share it with the world. Don't try and think it means anything beyond that.

Your avator is kinda scary looking. What's up with those eyes. What are you suppose to be? Some halloween freak? Some show their faces in an avatar unaltered. What's up with yours?
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Oct 20, 2005 09:22PM)
About my avatar:
My character is that of someone who brings light to the shadows. I demonstrate that anything is possible because borders and boundaries are only in our mind.
The darkness around me signifies the shadows of doubt and insecurities that control our world. The light from my eyes signify the hope that I bring to the world. It does look scary, because everyone's afraid of the unknown.
By the way, those are strong forcefields in my eyes. I wear sunglasses.

Any Questions?




What is your character?
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Oct 21, 2005 04:29AM)
My character? Why, Duck Dodgers in the Twenty-fourth-and-a-half Century, of course! That's my story and I'm sticking to it, Space Cadets!!

Sorry, I just couldn't resist, as I am doing a panel on Buck Rogers at WindyCon in Chicago on November 12. See http://www.windycon.org for details. Sneaky plug!!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: a-spirit (Oct 26, 2005 08:15AM)
Wow I agree Chris is the greatest Magician of our time but I saw a TV program on PBS about early filmmaking and there was a guy who was way better than Chris.

In this black and white silent film this guy was standing by a small stool and a girl just appeared from nowhere standing on this stool, with no cover. I mean in one frame she was not there and in the next frame poof there she was. Wow how amazing and entertaining. I can not believe that he was doing the same amazing magic back when film was silent as Chris and Blane still use today.

Someone needs to find out who this guy was and give him the GREATEST MAGICIAN OF ALL TIME award.
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Oct 26, 2005 08:59AM)
George Melies(spl) was probably the filmmaker; what you saw was an edit; I hope that this post was a joke!

FWIW

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: a-spirit (Oct 26, 2005 09:46AM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-26 09:59, Stanyon wrote:
George Melies(spl) was probably the filmmaker; what you saw was an edit; I hope that this post was a joke!

Just like the TV specials we are seeing these days.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Richmond (Oct 26, 2005 10:13AM)
Awards from Magical Societies are very often quite political.. The true judges of impact on the public are the public themselves. If they don't remember you and you are pretty much a TV magician then you didn't achieve greatness.

Houdini was a prime example of this and I doubt he'll ever be touched no matter how often Angel stands by his grave.

Criss Angel is a good magician with an unusual style but he hasn't reached the public as Blaine did or has. And in turn Blaine hasn't defined his longevity the way Houdini did. We live in a different culture where heros of today are barely remembered tomorrow.

In other fields this is equally true, Orlando Bloom will not be the next James Dean, nor will Robbie Williams be the next Sinatra.

Fame is easy to achieve in this day and age which has diminished celebrity status. Greatness however is harder to achieve than ever before.

Criss Angel is not by any means the best magician period, his has talent to an extent and a good image but so has the Back Street Boys.

A good magician takes the simple and makes it marvelous, not taking the simple throwing in a few edits and strict camera angles to make it look marvelous. There is a world of difference between making something marvelous and making something look marvelous.

No mentalist will be able to touch Geller...
He truly made you believe it just might be possible and if that is a possiblity their worlds are not quite what they thought they would be.

Awards and acholades mean very little to the public, just ask them after they have seen a competition winner perform for them.

Also in the UK if you get your butt on TV 99% of the time The Magic Circle will offer you MIMC Member of the Inner Magic Circle this is not because you are better than the guy who does corporate but you certainly have better kudos than he does as your on the television.

In the US Criss Angel is currently the only magic face on television with consistency so of course the magic castle guys are going to pat him on the back and tell him how lovely he is.. It's like a friend calling you after twenty years because you won the lottery and he just wants to remind you just what great friends you are.

The reason Blaine didn't get any of that is because he seperated himself from magicians & magical soceities.

That said I would rather have Criss and Blaine on anyday when compared to that %&*$ valentino who so kindly did his exposures because of his love of magic and moving it forwards..

Question:
If he wanted to move it forwards why the hell didn't he do a special with brand new effects??

Answer: Because he has about as much creativity as a plank.

A.R.
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Oct 26, 2005 04:47PM)
I just read the preview to the halloween special in the about website and let see...

Needles thru stomach(ok....)
String thru eye(cool....)
Razor blades(again pretty cool...)
Saw in half without box or anything(PRETTY SiCk!)
Seeing photos of himself and doing a transportation from LA to NY(WTF!!!!ImPoSSiBLE!!!!!?)

He will also be taking "Request"....

Wow, Angel if the effects are half as good as they sound *sawing half* and *transportation* the team really outdid themselves on special fx!!!! I auctually mean that in a good way right now.

It better not be some dumb camera edit or just going to a hollywood set really fast..haha.(NY transportation.)I want to see him "blurr" in the middle of a huge crowd and ending in ny!

The sawing in half also better not be as shown in his stage show. That would take away ALOT of the hard hitting impact. Why would you use a big elaborate prop? Just get an audience member and give him a saw and let him/her saw you!....he...that would be killer. But I know it won't be like that.

Guess we will have to wait and see huh....

I think it sounds cool for once. Angel can finally scare people and act all supernatural with no motive for once. It's halloween!

ps. I like the way mr. Andrew thinks. :) I agree 100%
Message: Posted by: Andrew Richmond (Oct 27, 2005 03:31AM)
I am sure it will be wonderful to watch and indeed cool in some way.
But I have seen the best sawing in half in Aliens which was a wonderful special effect, and if we want to go even further what about the wonderful effect at the beginning of Resident Evil where the guy gets lazered into about 20 pieces.

Criss is I'm sure a wonderful guy both on stage and off I just think ethics that made our art pure have fallen by the way side. We used to be in a position to say "You may have seen this kind of thing in a hollywood movie but this is real, right now with no camera tricks edits or special effects." that is what amazed people whether we read their minds, impaled ourselves, vanished, appeared or levitated.

Now unfortunately we are being tarred with TV magic, things we and the star couldn't possibly do live, we have taken a backwards step infact we are the same as the hollywood movies and they have bigger budgets and do it better than any magician could.

What will be next? Angel raises the Titanic along with Jack and Rose?

The Magic Castle are welcome to give Criss an award but surely if we have ethics his title should be Media Star Of The Year as apposed to Magician of The Year, there are hundreds and thousands of brilliant magicians who do what they do for the love of the art, by really pushing what has been done before, they are the ones who really do magic for real people day in day out, you also have the guys who do charity work with their performances to bring a little sunshine to those less fortunate, I wouldn't complain for a second if one of those guys got Magician Of The Year.

Criss is now a tv magician and unfortunately his stage show which was very good can never live up to what he has done on television. Does that promote magic? I don't think so TV magic is not real, there is skill to executing an illusion or performing inches from someone live, in TV world you cut out the rubbish and look for the best reaction.

Blaine used an edit for his levitation but at least we can say he didn't resort to it for every other effect, he did 'real' magic sometimes not that well in our minds but it was strong enough for the public to love it. Criss doesn't have that ability he is excellent with his 'Cut that bit sleight.' and his 'Fake that bit' magicians fool themsleves more than others, this does not promote magic at all. If a lay person says it must be a camera trick well in Angels case that can often be true and the lay person thinks "Right okay camera trick... next!"

Does that make Criss the Magician of the year? mmmmm

I could hire an actor to do what Criss does, speak slowly, look weird, walk here, wave your hands there. The only difference would be the actor would do it with more conviction.
Then The Magic Castle would be giving him The Magician Of The Year Award.

Copperfield (love him or hate him and I'm in between) earnt his dues, so much of his shows were live segments filmed at Cearsars, of course we know he used the ocassional edit but primarily it was hard earnt talent and years of slogging it out with live shows across the world for millions of people. That deserves Magician Of The Year. Doug Henning is the same, one if not more of his specials went out live, inriticate illusions, dialogue and rapport for an hour live across the nation.. That deserves merit.

Dressig up in clown make up and doing tricks badly which are edited with the odd special effect thrown in does not.

Criss has a good stage show (a little panto in parts where it tries to be dark) but it wasn't in the same league as S&R, Copperfield or Burton in their prime.

For the record Copperfields latest show is a terrible let down.

Anyone can be an amazing TV Magician and unfortunately that's all Criss Angle will be unless he changes his ethics and learns how to do it real time for real people.

The public are not as gullable as we would hope they are.

In 15 years people will say "Christopher who?" unlike David Copperfield, Blaine and the legend Houdini..

Don't get me wrong all of the names I've mentioned have their flaws (Don't we all) but in Angels case he has far more.

I am not an anti TV magician protester, I love magic.

Blaine is far from the best but I can't knock him in terms of his appeal to the public he achieved a status for himself and is a name people know. Angel has not got that, he hides behind make up and a panto voice, the public do not relate to that.
In maximum enteratinment the author mentions that Max Maven hasn't achieved the same public status as Kreskin this is not due to any other reason other than the fact that the public cannot warm to someone who is not real.

Blaine as boring or dull as he maybe is real, that is him and the public have excepted him as this starnge guy who talks slowly, Angel is not real in any sense it is all so put on, overdone dramatics.

Blaines biggest hiccup was sitting in a box for 44 days boring as hell, if however he did it to raise money for the poor nd the starving across the world it would have been a success. The public over here constantly said "I'd sit in a box for the amount of money he must be earning."
Thus it was not special in any way. If it was for no personal gain but to help others they wouldn't have said that so easily.

A.R.
Message: Posted by: a-spirit (Oct 27, 2005 08:58AM)
Did anyone nominate Harry Potter for the magician of the year award? He did some pretty amazing “magic” in his last movie. Come to think of it that Obi Wan guy did some pretty amazing things in Star Wars also. Moving object with his mind and stuff. Wow. And what about Yoda?

Just in case someone can’t tell, yes I’m joking here.

I think Chris has far more talent and does not need to be using camera tricks and edits. And I wish he would stop. I really like his stage act. And I don't understand all the other pros saying it's fine because it’s getting magic attention. When it seemed like a few years ago magicians were scorned by the professionals for using the camera to do the magic. Now the magic magazines all talk like it’s the best thing that has ever happened to magic.

Then again I’m working on an illusion where a tornado would pick up a house in Kansas with a girl and a dog in it and fly it across the country and land on top of me on a beach in California. Then a whale would swim up and beach its self, open it’s mouth and I would walk out unharmed. I’ll be pitching it to the networks as soon as I can get Skywalker Ranch to put together the promo for me.
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Oct 27, 2005 09:27AM)
I agree with the part about him being a talented magician who shouldn't rely on camera effects, editing, etc. And in fact, I think almost ALL of the magicians "defending" Angel would agree as well.

A point many have made, though, is that Angel DOESN'T rely on camera effects, edits, etc. NEARLY as much as some are claiming. In fact, he doesn't use these techniques very often at all. In many cases, people are claiming he does because they can't see any other way for the effect to be done. That's a sure sign that Angel has fooled them -- beautifully.

I'm not saying that NONE of the effects relied on camera trickery. I AM saying that very few did. However, I agree that I would like to see him cut out the trickery -- if it's used -- altogether.

I'm all for seeing his stage show broadcast. From clips I've seen on one of Criss's previous specials, some of it looks impressive, even if I loathe the type of performance it is. (Personal preference, not a judgment of him as a magician.) Not terribly impressed with his Metamorphosis, which I thought was a far less impressive version of the illusion. But then ... I'm a magician, not your average spectator.

Posted: Nov 3, 2005 2:15pm
I notice people have been very quiet about the garbage can trick, shown last night without edits, and without camera switches. This is one of the effects some claimed were made possible only by edits. Those claims don't appear to have a leg to stand on anymore.

Any comments now?
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Nov 3, 2005 01:57PM)
I haven't seen it yet. For those that have, is it your consensus that it is not a trick but a true demonstration of supernatural powers?

Look, I should probably wait to see it, but either there's a tunnel or there's a double or he can de-materialize from one point and re-materialize in another. Do they take the bag out of the trash can and show that he's even GONE in that one continuous camera shot?
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Nov 4, 2005 08:16AM)
[quote]I haven't seen it yet. For those that have, is it your consensus that it is not a trick but a true demonstration of supernatural powers? [/quote]Nope. It's just a good illusion that relies on neither supernatural powers nor camery trickery.

[quote]Look, I should probably wait to see it, but either there's a tunnel or there's a double or he can de-materialize from one point and re-materialize in another. [/quote]Of course, there is another possible explanation, if you examine the way things are laid out when the can is lowered. I don't know if it's a valid explanation at all -- I'd need a wider shot. But maybe there's a reason why they didn't provide a wider shot.
[quote]Do they take the bag out of the trash can and show that he's even GONE in that one continuous camera shot?[/quote]They show TWO continuous camera shots, from different angles. When the main camera pans up to show Criss on the roof, the other camera stays long enough to show the can being turned over. The garbage bag appears empty, and puffs out. It's possible that Criss's identical twin brother, kept secret all these years, is actually between the bag and the can. I don't know.

If you're looking for someone to explain how it was done ... well, I can only speculate, and even then I wouldn't have all the answers. But what the continuous shot established was that no camera effects / edits were involved in creating the illusion, and that it was a legitimate illusion. A *** good one, too. Any illusion that seems impossible to pull off -- even to a magician -- is a *** good illusion.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Nov 4, 2005 09:56AM)
Thinking a little further back, when I watched the original Criss Angel Mindfreak show (the older one taped in N.Y.), I remember thinking it was done with the help of a specially prepared garbage can. For that footage, carefully positioned actors aided the maneuver.

I would agree that it's a good illusion, but only a good TV illusion. People watching the taping would see a scurrying magician unless enough actors are employed as "random passer-bys" to push real spectators out of the line of vision.
Message: Posted by: cardone (Nov 4, 2005 11:39PM)
I like your actor analogy Andrew Richmond..... Lets get an actor and about 10 magic consultants and make him a magician...hey this would be a great reality show........ Lets give Gandalf ..the magician of the year award...... he is an actor playing the part of a magician.......
Message: Posted by: Alym Amlani (Nov 5, 2005 04:48AM)
What did you guys think of the book test in the psychic book store...

All I can say is "wow".
Message: Posted by: MopKrayz (Nov 5, 2005 10:20AM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-27 04:31, Andrew Richmond wrote:
I could hire an actor to do what Criss does, speak slowly, look weird, walk here, wave your hands there. The only difference would be the actor would do it with more conviction.
Then The Magic Castle would be giving him The Magician Of The Year Award.
[/quote]

Have you ever tried to coach actors to do simple magic tricks?
If you have, then you know what a hassle they are in general.
I don't think any actor would be able to make the same impact as Angel. If anyone could, A&E would have hired an actor, a couple of magic consultants and do MindFreak on their own, not have to shell out money and binding contracts with Criss Angel.

Thing is Angel is there on TV, because he has something others don't! Just accept that!
Message: Posted by: cardone (Nov 5, 2005 08:13PM)
I have been a Magical director on many productions..and I must say I have taught people to do some amazing things.... no spit fan work but stuff that needs showmanship and confidence.
I believe you can be a great magician with a lot of showmanship..... and not a lot of slight of hand skill .....but not a great magician with a lot of skill and no showmanship....... Most people attracted to magic as a hobby are introverted types ...the wrong type for show biz.......
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Nov 8, 2005 12:26PM)
[quote]Thinking a little further back, when I watched the original Criss Angel Mindfreak show (the older one taped in N.Y.), I remember thinking it was done with the help of a specially prepared garbage can. For that footage, carefully positioned actors aided the maneuver. [/quote]You may have thought that, but you posted this:

[quote][quote] The butterfly in napkin, the ring in the ice cube, [b]the garbage can-to-roof[/b] were all presented with edits. [b]He didn't really perform the tricks[/b].[/quote][/quote]


[quote]I would agree that it's a good illusion, but only a good TV illusion.[/quote]Good thing it was done for television, then. There’s no “only” here. It was an illusion done for television – therefore, it was good.
[quote] People watching the taping would see a scurrying magician unless enough actors are employed as "random passer-bys" to push real spectators out of the line of vision.[/quote]If that’s how it was done, of course. I suspect it was, too – but you never know. Angel and his team are better magicians than we are.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Nov 8, 2005 04:28PM)
What I mean is, if there are edits during the performance that cut out the work it took to achieve the effect, then as far as I'm concerned no magic was performed. It certainly isn't necessary for the performer to do any magic. The TV presentation should show it to you the way it would have looked if you had been there when it happened. No exceptions or "but it took too long, we had to cut it" excuses. If it took too long, learn to do it quicker before tape rolls.

If you see a video of a guy in front of a building and then it cuts and he is on top of the building, is there any reason to believe he flapped his arms and flew up there?
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Nov 8, 2005 07:21PM)
Is it just me or, judging by the audience in the Magic Castle during the Halloween show, has the Castle done away with the dress code? Sure looked like there were a lot of "Angelphiles".

FWIW

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Nov 17, 2005 08:40AM)
[quote]The butterfly in napkin, [b]the ring in the ice cube,[/b] the garbage can-to-roof were all presented with edits. He didn't really perform the tricks.[/quote]Well, number 2 in this list was shown without edits on last night's "best of". So you can strike a second one off the list of effects he "didn't really perform".
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Nov 17, 2005 10:53AM)
The garbage can was also rebroadcast without edits ... time to face up to the fact that Chris Angel is indeed a magician.

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Nov 17, 2005 11:42AM)
Yeah, I called the naysayers on that one a couple of weeks ago, the first time the unedited version aired.

I think what people are failing to understand is that Angel is the magician -- not the producer. The TV people make the decision on when to edit an illusion for length. Angel has some input ... but only so much. He's not the boss. The TV people edit to suit their needs, and they don't give a rat's antler if guys on a magic message board are going to say about cuts, edits, etc. We're not the target audience; the actual target audience neither cares nor notices the edits and cuts.

I'm sure Angel would LOVE to present every single effect without edits, using a continuous shot, as he did with these re-airings. The network would never go for it.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 17, 2005 12:35PM)
Stanyon: The shoot for the Angel Halloween special was in the afternoon, the Castle dress code does not kick in until 7 pm nightly.

The timing was set years ago so that folks in the entertainment (and other) biz could stop in on the way home for a drink and visit without coat and tie, but by 7 had to leave or change.
Message: Posted by: JoJo Hermann (Nov 19, 2005 08:50PM)
I really liked the trick with the taxi... writing on the window and changing it into "cat".
Message: Posted by: jodi6302x (Nov 20, 2005 08:12PM)
I like his book tests there amazing.
Message: Posted by: Dale Simms (Nov 20, 2005 10:34PM)
I believe the the trick with the marker and taxi is Adam Grace's trick. Not sure what it's called. The addition of the animal was a clever ending to it, though.
Message: Posted by: ofrmagic (Mar 29, 2006 01:38AM)
Dale that trick is call GLASS and yes I think is the same by the way new season is may 31