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Topic: Masters of Illusion Episode 4
Message: Posted by: mleskanic (Jan 26, 2009 09:14PM)
I think that this episode was very good. Rocco's performance was great, and Kevin James' broom levitation was also very entertaining.

The problem with this show is how some of the tricks performed, are not meant for tv, like some of the closeup card tricks.

What did you guys think about this episode?
Message: Posted by: Casey Magic (Jan 27, 2009 10:34AM)
I too thought it was a great episode...I guess I missed all the close up card tricks, because I've seen not even one. And I love card tricks!
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jan 27, 2009 10:46AM)
Maybe I'm the black cloud for this show, but it strikes me as one of the worst magic series ever produced.

There's no personality developed with the performers. Not their fault.

The producers are so short sited they're just cramming clips of magic tricks together. The editing and production are horrible.

And as far as the magic goes, much of it has been worthy of amateurs at their magic club. Not the quality I would expect from a nationally televised program.

Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Jan 27, 2009 05:31PM)
Gotta disagee with Bloor. There's not a whole lot of magic series to compare it too for one.

The real pros have ample time to show their personality--as the old saying goes, if you can't get 'em in the first 30 seconds...you're not going to.

What problem with editing and production? I've seen some great camera work that enhances the experience. Especially the cuts to audience (showing their emotion) during Ridgeway and Johnson's escape. Some of the street scene stuff isn't the best (camera wise), but that is often the case.

Now, I do agree that some performances by certain performers are definitely below par. Why this is the case is open to conjecture.

Finally, "short clips" tend to work for many projects. It provides a lot of variety within a short span of time. There are benefits to this style from a production point of view.

Sure, this series has it's ups and downs but I'm still glad it is on (and surprised that they were able to sell this premise to begin with).

Message: Posted by: munkywrench (Jan 27, 2009 06:47PM)
I enjoyed Dan Sperry's act as well as Roco's. Can't wait to see The Amazing Jonathan next week. I think the worst Master of Illusion special was the Christmas Special with Franz Harary as the host. Good for the non-magi but I couldn't help but see the mistakes and wonder if the audience was paid or not. We all have our bad days. I'm glad that magic is getting a more broad attention instead of Mindfreaks, David Blaine, and the like.
Message: Posted by: DCURTHRABE (Jan 28, 2009 08:15AM)
Next weeks show looks like a rerun, wonder why after only four episodes.
Message: Posted by: abra (Jan 28, 2009 05:32PM)
Don't worry there will be more according to Magic Magazine, please see below.

The myNetworkTV weekly magic series continues on Monday nights at 9pm ET/PT, with episode four airing on January 26th. For February, the network will re-air the first four episodes, then pick back up with number five on March 2nd. Also on March 2nd, the show moves up an hour to 8pm ET/PT for the balance of the run.

Here are the performers, in order of appearance, for episodes four, five, and six:

January 26th: Jason Byrne, Tom Burgoon, Nathan Gibson, Chris Randall, Aaron Radatz, Dan Sperry, Fielding West, Rocco, Jonathan Levit, Kevin James, Krystyn Lambert, Ridgeway & Johnson

March 2nd: Joel Ward, Kyle Eschen, Farrell Dillion, Krystyn Lambert, Johnny Ace Palmer, Dave Williamson, Tony Clark, Nathan Gibson, Nathan Burton, Mark Cannon [pictured at right]

March 9th: Krystyn Lambert, Levent, Taylor Hughes, Zach Creahan-Mueller, Joe Monti, Nathan Gibson, Taylor Hughes, Krystyn Lambert, Levent, Nathan Gibson, Dale Salwak, Mac King, Eric Buss, Rick Thomas

Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jan 29, 2009 09:53AM)
On 2009-01-27 18:31, inhumaninferno wrote:
Gotta disagee with Bloor. There's not a whole lot of magic series to compare it too for one.

What problem with editing and production? I've seen some great camera work that enhances the experience. Especially the cuts to audience (showing their emotion) during Ridgeway and Johnson's escape. Some of the street scene stuff isn't the best (camera wise), but that is often the case.


Perfect example of how I see the editing is just cut and crammed together.

Kristen's escape - if you've ever seen it live, there's some real build up and tension created from the escape.

While Kevin & Kristen did a great job with the escape, the producers just slammed it together. It was void of any real tension or risk. Which is a shame because that's one of the most spectacular and dangerous escapes touring the world today. That's evidenced by their half-time show in Oklahoma City with the water torture cell.

If you enjoy the show, great.

I personally feel like it's done nothing but further deepen the preconceived notion that magic is "lame." A notion I personally disagree with of course, but don't feel this show has done anything to change.

Message: Posted by: organicmagician (Jan 30, 2009 08:56AM)
I agree that the show is pretty awful. I think part of this is that a lot of the illusions are lame. But, the real problem is that the production is a train wreck. Unfortunately, the World Magic Award team is not up to this task.

Some of my biggest problems (I've mentioned some of these in other threads):

- Things are way too rushed - beyond the excuse that "its TV".
- The editing choices are often bizarre - the cuts to the audience reaction always seem at the wrong time.
- Very few of the performers have had a chance to showcase their entertaining personality. I loved when Fielding West came on and did a few routines. They need a lot more of that and to cut some of these rushed illusions.
- I'm surprised more hasn't been said about the "street magic" bits. They got a new guy in this episode that could actually perform magic. But, the attractive young woman who has done most of the segments is just god-awful. She has no presentational chops, even with the extremely easy effects they have given her. Its painful and embarrassing to watch her perform. I appreciate trying to show women closeup performers. But, good lord - they couldn't find a half-talented actress and teach her a few tricks? And this is street magic!!!! You can do like 20 takes in a half hour - that's why it always looks so good on TV...
- They also keep showing the same effects without sufficient variety. Do they not assume or wish people will continue to watch the series? Why so many snowstorms presented the same way (torn paper, wet paper, fan/snowstorm)?

I hope they work it out. They had a lot of hours to play with - maybe they will learn.
Message: Posted by: mantooth (Mar 1, 2009 06:48AM)
The whole show is rushed. Ashame with so many talented performers!
The producers have no idea what magic should look like on tv. Just hurts magic and
reinforces that it's not viable on television. Thank God it's on the MyNetwork!
Canned applause for no reason...and the audience shot doesn't even show people clapping... Just terrible! Just my two cents!
Message: Posted by: MMAgicMan (Mar 3, 2009 05:10PM)
I thought it was ironic that they broadcasted Magics Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed right after Masters of Illusion last night.
Message: Posted by: sb (Mar 9, 2009 08:02PM)
I agree with mantooth on the production aspects....

Here is a real good example of why the production team of this series is not real in tune with how magic should be filmed. (I'm not sure if it was this episode tho...)

In Kevin James' floating rose routine, they kept switching to a shot that showed Kevin, the girl, and the mic stand about 6 feet away. There is absolutely no reason for the shot to be that wide to include the mic stand - its not like the stand has anything to do with the trick - why cut to that shot (over and over)?

Message: Posted by: mantooth (Mar 20, 2009 10:46PM)
I said the same thing about the mic stand sb...just makes me mad!!!!!!!!! :)

Here's another example of the lack of tiny details on the show...And anyone with magic experience can tell you that the little details turn a trick into a miracle!

Scarlet does the Blaney Lev on the show... I didn't care for her at all! Why would a girl dress that way and expect to be taken as seriously as a magician... Poor Walter must've been cringing at her performance of it...I looked like she probably borrowed or just bought the illusion, and ran through it once in time to film the show. Why not have WALTER BLANEY the creator perform it!!!! Anyone but that Scarlet!!!!!! She has twice the talent of Melinda...(keep in mind 2 times 0 is still 0!) :)

Okay...For instance... the board that sits on the floor at the start of the illusion is supposed to be level and flat! not resting on the gimmick which tilts it toward the audience...
I'm sure layman would never catch this, but this just shows that the production crew and the performer herself didn't care enough to pay attention to the details...

Also, you can do a fantastic tv shot showing one of the ladder's behind the board with no connections... They didn't take advantage of this at all! (the same as in the floating rose) It's the strongest part of the illusion! Just watch anyone else doing this illusion on tv!

It just makes me sick. :) Gay Blackstone should know better... but she obviously doesn't.