(Close Window)
Topic: New to Ilusions
Message: Posted by: benscholz99 (Nov 3, 2004 04:04PM)
I'm pretty new to illusions and I have just about browsed through the entire Café illusion section. I would like to ask the experienced what books, plans, or materials should I start out with. I have started drawing up my own variations on other illusions, but do not want to build anything until I have mastered the tried and true. I am relatively familiar with the workings of many illusions. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Nov 3, 2004 04:30PM)
Well you can read a lot on Illusion in book but you want to make sure if you want to build those plans you have a really good background in building things in wood...alumium...and so forth of material.


Read this site. It has ALOT of good information to start you off in your jorney.

Lots a great books that you can find here. http://www.allmagic.com/listings/directory/Instructions/Books_,045_Print/

One of the Café members Mark Parker has a book out that is really good. He is a great mind.

Look for some of Jim Steinmeyer books. They are great.

Here are some, and I'm sure there are others that can add on to this.


Also it depends how deap you want to go into your pocket building these. You can look at Darwin Inexpensive Illusion books and get some great ideas from there. This will help on the budget.

Message: Posted by: benscholz99 (Nov 3, 2004 05:29PM)
I am willing to spend maybe two hundred bucks per illusion (building). Maybe more if I really like something. I will check out that stuff now.


Message: Posted by: Jack Murray (Nov 3, 2004 07:40PM)
If you're hoping to build any Illusion using traditional materials, ie: wood, plexi, aluminum etc. I fear you will be disappointed in your $200 budget!! All these materials are at an all time high, and I doubt you can build most basic props for more than twice this cost.

Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Nov 3, 2004 08:00PM)
Well let me tell I was able to spend less on Illusions. Some of the material I got for free but you need the backing of how to put it together. The knowledge of wood work and metal work. So take some course, read up on it. Material Science is an excellent course to take. If you don't want to take a course in that subject just look for books and read up. Have a lot of fun and if you have any questions about building something like how would this material work and what not, just ask and I am sure one of us will be glad to guide you in the right way.

Again enjoy your journey with Illusions.

Message: Posted by: benscholz99 (Nov 4, 2004 05:12PM)
So do you think that $400 is what it will cost for each illusion? And I'm very interested in Walking Through a Mirror. Which can you recommend?

Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Nov 4, 2004 07:44PM)
Well do you have the understanding of the method you want to excute. If you do and you go around and search your large stores when they are remolding, you may find something that will work for an Illusion.

What exactly are you working on, the mirror Illusion???


Andrew Mayne is a good source for methods and easy and cheap way to make a good looking Illusion.

Message: Posted by: james_magic (Nov 4, 2004 07:53PM)
Andrew Mayne's "Solo X" has a relatively cheap and easy to build walking through a mirror. It's worth checking out.
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Nov 5, 2004 01:01AM)
Illusions don't have to be large structures that require a semi truck to transport around. They don't even have to be made of wood or plastic or aluminum. Inexpensive materials like cardboard can be used. Used materials, recycled furniture, scraps from a local construction. It can be had for those that seek it.

Some things to keep in mind when designing/building illusions.
1.) Cost (of course). For those items that cannot be "aquired" must be purchased.
2.) Transportation. Nothing worse than having a great illusion prop and no way to transport it.
3.) Storage. Where will you keep it when it's not in use?
4.) Practicality. Is it an illusion that will get great reactions?
5.) Upkeep. Will this illusion require replacement parts: Lights, flash powder, parts that wear?
6.) Do you have some concept on how to present it so it's interesting?

These are things to keep in mind when deciding what illusions to buy, build, or use in your shows.

Personally, I like to use BL*CK **T. I have my own lights and stage towers for my illusion shows. It is amazing how easy it is to make things appear and disappear and float and transform using this underused concept. Some illusions that cost 1000's of $$$$ cost me mere pennies when using this technique. The effect is the same for the audience. No large boxes to transport or store or buy. For someone just getting into illusions, I would recommend looking into this. Don Drake has a $50 package that includes a video, a book, lecture notes, and some BA material to perform your own experiments. It's a realively inexpensive way to perform VERY magical illusions.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Nov 5, 2004 04:31AM)
Stan Kramien, in his Illusion book points out, one doesn't need lots of illusions, only eight effective ones to be an illusionist.

Illusion shows by-themselves can be boring and has been called box-pushers. A story line around them is more effective (Copperfield style).

Jim Snack in his books gives an excellent outline of illusion presentation, and Ken Griffin book is a must have.

As for building them, this is the way to go if you are talented in that area.

Going into this area requires a lot of extras, such as a means to store them, a means to transport them, and the need of an assistant, backdrops, stage lighting and a variety of other incidentals over looked.

On top of this, the better illusions are those which are new (Revised concepts of older illusions) Tarbell's Lady in the light, to Shadow Box, to Woodbury's Vertical Shadow box, to....

Box sawing, to thin sawing, to Copperfield's Buzz sawing.

Some form of Levitation is always good (Most Copperfield shows have some form of levitation.)

Study the Pros, they have done the research for you. They have all presented illusions which the audience likes. Your job is to select a method Vahish, Appearance, Floating, etc. look at what is out there, look for ways to improve it, make it exciting, dangerous, funny, etc., and without copying an effect, developing your own.

That is not easy. Osborne, Woodbury, Mayne, Steinmeyer, and others have a lot to offer in this area of illusion creations.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: benscholz99 (Nov 5, 2004 05:52PM)
That is good advice. I have already come up with some Bl*ck **t designs. I think that you are absolutely right that an illusion is worthless if I can't transport it. I have storage space. And a little bit of transport space. Earlier I forgot to specify that I need easily transportable illusions.



I forgot to say that I have andrew mayne's toughing sky and it is brilliant. I like a lot of the levitations in there. But I am extremely interested in and asrah levitation.