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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Criss Angel Mindfreak series? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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love2laugh
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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!
Angus Meats
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An observation: Love him or hate him, we will all be tuned in next week, regardless!
Hekate
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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!
"It was magical. And excruciating....which made it all the more magical"
love2laugh
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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.
Comet
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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
love2laugh
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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.
David Bilan
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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
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
Pir8rbrts
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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
Stanyon
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One comment and I will leave.

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

Cheers! Smile
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
MagicMan1957
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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! )
davidcarlo
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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 . . .
Steven Steele
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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.
cocomax
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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
Pir8rbrts
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"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
JoeJoe
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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.


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. Smile

JoeJoe
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love2laugh
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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.
Adam Grace
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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.
Greg Arce
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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!"



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

Greg
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David Bilan
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The ultimate pyro fantasy...

And no cats were harmed during the creation of this tv special.
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
joseph
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[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.....
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
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