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lowphat
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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.
Eric Dittelman
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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.


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)!
pierredan
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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?
mormonyoyoman
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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
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Randwill
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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!



Too bad Criss Angel didn't think of ways to perform those effects un-edited. That's all I'm saying.
cocomax
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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
Jimeuax
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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
Magicbarry
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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.
Randwill
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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


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.
funny_gecko
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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?
Michael Dustman
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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:
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?



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
Steven Steele
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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.. Smile ; 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.
Alewishus
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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.

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JoeJoe
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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
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oagwood
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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
Richard Shippy
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I'd like to see a LIVE 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. Smile
"They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds." ~ Winston Churchill
lowphat
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The only freakish part of the show was the freakishly bad taste in clothes that Criss and his entourage seemed to share.


I thought I saw a bit of a flashback to 80's glam rock.
Randwill
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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



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!
oombob
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"Heck, I'd rather see Banachek and Osterlind with their own TV series when it comes to that."

Hear hear brother!
Pele
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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.


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.
If, of all the truths in the world, you choose one and follow it blindly, it becomes a falsehood and you a fanatic.
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