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Topic: Aerial Exchange vs Metamorphosis - some theoretical approach
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (May 4, 2016 08:41PM)
Some theoretical approach on comparing METAMORPHOSIS vs. AERIAL EXCHANGE - opinions wanted

Hello friends.

I have something on my mind for a couple of months now and I cannot put it aside. I am thinking a lot about the two above mentioned illusions. First off, please have a look at both of them:

Metamorphosis by The Pendragons. Skip to Minute 4:30 (right after the Origami). I chose this one because it is one of their latest versions with the tearable foulard:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXtaXPMKetI

Aerial Exchange by "CREATIVE ILLUSIONS" (Ken Whitaker & Paul Haynes):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdHveMOG-Rs
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Please do not go for those individual performances. Just the illusions itself (since every magician might use other presentations).

I would like to talk a bit about both illusions, especially their pros & cons. I think this is a very interesting topic, because they both are the same illusion or rather the same plot, just completely differently excuted. This leads to some very nice theoretical analysis or philosophical thinking on what is better and why.

Both have the same plot. The classic "Metamorphosis/Sub Trunk" idea. Let's compare them vs each other.

Aerial Exchange Pros:

- bigger, more stage illusion like, more spectacular (ascending box, huge poles- the whole stage setting for this in general)
- seemingly more impossible (as the performer does not get in touch with the box, because the box is floating above e.g. there is no way the performer jumped up somehow even if the box had a secret openeing)
- a LOT less practice required
- always works surrounded (meaning, the illusion does not have a lesser effect when performed surrounded)
- a potential second person can appear
- a rare illusion - only very few exist (sub trunks are out there a million times and almost all of the stage magicians use one or have used on in the past)
(- a potentially longer performance duration (not as quick as Metamorphosis, which can be a good thing to stretch your show)

Aerial Exchange Cons:
- very expensive (though, lets leave the monetary side out, as we wanne compare utility, impact, etc)
- not as hyper visual as Metamorphosis (the change itself is a bit slower)
- heavy weighted, not easy to transport (expensive to transport for companies/cruise ships maybe)

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Metamorphosis Pros:
- easy transport, leightweight
- a lot cheaper
- way faster (which results in a more visual transformation)

Metamorphosis Cons:
- performed very often all over the world (nothing "special" so to speak)
- does not feel as "grand Illusion" (as the huge Aerial Exchange apparatus)
- EXTREMLY much rehersal time/practise needed
- loses visual points when performed sorrounded (as the tearable foulard allowes for a more visual and quicker change, whereas the Aerial Exchange does not lose any pace)

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There we go. I cannot decide which one is better. The usual answer to this is: "Where do you want to perform this" and "what fits your style". Since it is often very personal it is difficult to compare illusions with each other. What is better: Interlude or Shadow Box? But in this case, because of basically the exact same plot (and change at the very end) it gives the rare opportunity in my eyes to actually compare both illusions under the same criterias. That's what I would like to do and more importantly I would love to hear opinions from you. Even if you have not performed any of these, they create an impression when you see them. Also of course, you can point out what seems better or worse in theory.
As for me, I want to get one of them for my show. That's why I am so torn. Both are increadibly wonderful illusions! I simply can't decide, so I made up a pro/con list and thought it is always great to hear other opinions.

I think the major difference between both illusions is the speed. The Metamorphosis draws its complete "wow" factor from the speed. The pendragons point that out very clearly on their discussions on it. And I have to agree. The fasser this one is executed, the more impossible and the more impressive it will look. Hence the classic 360 foulard has been removed or the loader is no tr** d*** anymore but instead spandex, etc.
The Aerial exchange does not have this luxury. Because of the ba** as its method you simply cannot do the same switching method and therefore not reaching the same speed. Furthermore it takes time until the box hits its peak, then it comes back down. The whole illusion just works with a totally different pace. The lack of speed and hyper visual transformation is not a deal breaker for the Aerial Exchange interestingly enough. It scores with a much bigger/more Vegas style approach. Adds a bit more of "impossibility" as the performer does not come in contact with the box because it is hovering above his/her head. And of course every performer should try to be as unique as possible. Performing a much rarer illusions is certainly a point not to be overlooked.

I am looking forward to get some opinions on this.
Kind regards,
Markus
Message: Posted by: MagicalMotivator (May 7, 2016 09:56PM)
Technically both are the same effect.

What makes the difference in the illusion is the presentation - the performer. How they can sell it. It has nothing to do with the trick.

The Pendragons at their prime could make any illusion they did spectacular.
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (May 7, 2016 10:47PM)
You missed the entire point of this.
Message: Posted by: damien666 (May 8, 2016 06:07AM)
You wrote about Ariel exchange: "always works surrounded (meaning, the illusion does not have a lesser effect when performed surrounded) "..
I have seen it from behind.. It certainly does lose some effect when witnessed from the back..
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 8, 2016 07:44AM)
The standard Sub trunk is the best between the two.

The sub trunk, has more mystery on accomplishing the exchange, so fast, and less props, eliminating confusion as compared to the Aerial.

Sub trunk can be done surrounded, always has had a full enclosed curtain on all sides.

Pendragons were the only performers to use the 3 sided curtain, to my knowledge.
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (May 8, 2016 10:24AM)
Hey Bill. What makes you think this? If you objectively describe the aerial you can say: someone enters the trunk. The trunk then gets lifted up. Lifted up high enough a person can stand beneath it without touching. Then somehow an exchange takes place.
I mean all the big technical appearance aside. It all boils down to an exchange from point A (a trunk which is not near the performer) to point B (the performer). The fact the big device mechanically rose a certain height up into the air should not spoil the exchange. Or does it?
Would it make a difference if the trunk was on one side of the stage and the performer on the other. Is it not still an impossible exchange because there is tue distance between the trunk and the performer? Just in this case trunk is not to the left but above?
For me this seems more impossible despite having a huge apparatus involved. But dor sone reason there is something that doesn't make us say instantly: aerial is better (just comparing the actual effect, not weight, cost etc). I just kind figure it out what it is...
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (May 8, 2016 12:50PM)
I'm going with the Aerial Exchange. People have seen the sub trunk for years and years - the AE is fairly new and has not been seen by that many. With the subtrunk the laypersons response is "how did they switch places and how did they do it that fast". With the AE. they question is "how is that even possible?" I just think that AE is a much stronger effect (and I rarely disagree with Bill).

Jim
Message: Posted by: AndreOng1 (May 13, 2016 09:22PM)
[quote]On May 8, 2016, Memory-Jah wrote:
Hey Bill. What makes you think this? If you objectively describe the aerial you can say: someone enters the trunk. The trunk then gets lifted up. Lifted up high enough a person can stand beneath it without touching. Then somehow an exchange takes place.
I mean all the big technical appearance aside. It all boils down to an exchange from point A (a trunk which is not near the performer) to point B (the performer). The fact the big device mechanically rose a certain height up into the air should not spoil the exchange. Or does it?
Would it make a difference if the trunk was on one side of the stage and the performer on the other. Is it not still an impossible exchange because there is tue distance between the trunk and the performer? Just in this case trunk is not to the left but above?
For me this seems more impossible despite having a huge apparatus involved. But dor sone reason there is something that doesn't make us say instantly: aerial is better (just comparing the actual effect, not weight, cost etc). I just kind figure it out what it is... [/quote]

I think you are right. The effect is better.
Message: Posted by: illusions & reality (May 13, 2016 11:39PM)
I owned and performed Aerial Exchange for years. It does have a BIG disadvantage. It is possible for the mechanics to fail and the trunk not rise. If that happens, the effect is nothing more than a non-mystifying sword box. I have also performed the Canvas Covered Box for 35+ years. The AE failed 2X in performance on me. Not fun!

For reliability, stick with trunk, not AE.

Just my experience.

Lou
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 14, 2016 02:16AM)
Sadly the correct answer is... it depends. It depends on your individual situation, set up time, angles, way you travel, etc.

There are too many variables to definitively say one is better for everyone. Look at the strengths and weaknesses as they apply to your situation and select one, then try and make it the best for you.
Message: Posted by: DavidThomas (May 15, 2016 09:56AM)
It is difficult for me to say which I like most. Here is my performance of the Aerial Exchange. In my show I regularly perform this or the normal sub trunk. It really boils down to budget, stage size and cast member size to me. Both versions are well received. https://youtu.be/QSboW_B11ws