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Barrett_James
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So is it wrong for me to enjoy the 'smaller' close-up stuff (the 'haunted card' and ring in ice cube) better then the bigger stuff (not really sure what was magical about the first 40+ seconds of the burning stunt). don't get me wrong, as a showman/performer I don't know that he currently has an equal, but yeah it does get old being asked by friends to levitate like that 't.v. freak guy'. I felt the close-up stuff was more powerful, that's just me talking though...
"...let us now rejoin our foolish friends and commence the book properly." G.H.
Payne
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The argument here really isn’t are the tricks accomplished through camera trickery but are the effects severely weakened through the use of edits and time compression. I have no doubts that all the effects can be presented live in one form or another but that really doesn’t matter now does it as the vast majority of the viewing audience believes otherwise. The liberal use of obvious and frequent edits gives the audience the out it needs to explain away even the simplest effect. The second the camera cuts away to a different angle or time the magic is lost and from that point forward everything becomes a camera trick regardless of if it is or not.
It is my understanding that we lose about four minutes of presentation time during the ring in ice cube illusion. Wouldn’t we all be quite phenomenal magicians if we too could just cut out all those awkward time wasting moments out of our performances as well? I could do the worlds best cups and balls routine by having every secret feint and load conveniently left on the cutting room floor.
Magic was long thought unfeasible to present on television because the audience would automatically suspect camera trickery. After all they had seen Jeanie and Samantha do all sorts of magical things on television for years. It was decided that the only way to get around this was to broadcast what few magic specials there were live and before a large studio audience so as to negate in the minds eye of the viewing public the use of camera trickery. You were seeing the exact same thing that the studio audience was seeing. After this became unfeasible the magicians would clearly state that there would be no cut aways. The viewing audience would see the trick in real time.
But now all that has been cast aside in favour of MTV style editing and the over abundant use of guerilla cam. Studio audiences have been reduced to a gaggle of generation whatever’s that may or may not be on the payroll of the production company.
Is it no wonder that the validity of the performers skill comes under question? If everything the magician did can be done “live” then why isn’t it presented that way?
If the defenders of this style of magic show keep telling us that the tricks the helped develop for these broadcasts can all be done live in one form or another then why don’t they take a little more time and effort to design tricks that can be presented on television in real time without cuts?
I certainly would be upset if a trick I spent weeks developing got explained away by the general public as a camera trick because they editied the thing to death.
How much less mystifying would the linking rings be if you needed to walk behind a curtain everytime a link was made. Isn’t that what the modern television magician is doing these days?
In my stand up act I do a bit where I ask the audience if they’d like to see a David Blaine (now Chris Angel ) trick. They of course say yes so I tell a member of the audience to think of a card. I then ask him what card he was thinking of.
“The three of spades” he tells me.
“Was your card the Three of Spades” I say to the somewhat confused looking spectator.
“We’ll just edit out that middle part” I tell the audience and we’ll have a heck of a trick.
It might not happen this way in TV land but the audience sure thinks it is.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Richard Shippy
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 12:14, Payne wrote:
The argument here really isn’t are the tricks accomplished through camera trickery but are the effects severely weakened through the use of edits and time compression. I have no doubts that all the effects can be presented live in one form or another but that really doesn’t matter now does it as the vast majority of the viewing audience believes otherwise. The liberal use of obvious and frequent edits gives the audience the out it needs to explain away even the simplest effect. The second the camera cuts away to a different angle or time the magic is lost and from that point forward everything becomes a camera trick regardless of if it is or not.


Very good points Payne!
"They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds." ~ Winston Churchill
Alex Linian
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As you guys have noticed, because of the unnecessary cuts, we cannot appreciate Criss Angel's Skills.

The levitation to the Chair and on the escalator, The butterfly effect, The ring on ice cube, the voddoo doll and many other effects he performed did not use stooges.

However, because of all the editing to make things look cleaner, his skills are reduced to simply being a camera trick or the use of a stooge.

As I said before, I don't think Criss Angel cares. But he should.
If he were to leave the entire effect, laymen would still be fooled, and magicians would appreciate his cleverness and sleight of hand, the way we appreciate Copperfield's stuff.

To anyone involved with the show who is reading this:
I like Mr. Angel's Stage material a lot, and I would like to see more of the artistry he presents on stage in the show. I would like to see more of the desert scenes, where maybe some magic can be performed.
While I think Criss Angel is trying to be different than David Blaine, it feels like he is just doing the same thing. Stay away from the comparisons to Mr. Blaine on the show. If he really is better, then there is no need to state it.

Alex Linian
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 09:21, Randwill wrote:
[...]I had watched the show again, and saw how the ring to ice cube was done. Pre-show prep, picking a properly ringed spec, the fact that the ice obscures the ring, a switch. [...]



If this is your BEST guess, then I rest my case about fooling you... because you have absolutely NO idea how it was done. In fact, you're not even close.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Randwill
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 14:37, Thomas Wayne wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-07-25 09:21, Randwill wrote:
[...]I had watched the show again, and saw how the ring to ice cube was done. Pre-show prep, picking a properly ringed spec, the fact that the ice obscures the ring, a switch. [...]



If this is your BEST guess, then I rest my case about fooling you... because you have absolutely NO idea how it was done. In fact, you're not even close.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne


And because anything that would have exhibited Angels' skill ,dexterity and misdirection was mutilated by the editing, we'll never really know if he knows a clean way to do it either.

Randwil
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 15:19, Randwill wrote:

And because anything that would have exhibited Angels' skill ,dexterity and misdirection was mutilated by the editing, we'll never really know if he knows a clean way to do it either.

Randwil




Correction: You'll never know. A number of the rest of us do, however.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
JoeJoe
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I don't know what they are talking about when they speak of all the edits and cuts ... everything on TV is edited - EVERTHING! I have been experimenting with taping street video, and you wouldn't believe how difficult it is. The camera man can't decide where the specs will stand, I noticed Chris' camera man had to move during one of the levi's because spec's were blocking the shot - that is not bad magic, that is not bad camera man, that is the reality of filming on the street.

If the entire show was filmed with one continous shot, you would get bored watching it fast - Lance Burton did not film his show with just one single camera - he did a 30 second "this shot will not cut away" during the elephant vanish, but before the trick was done there were at least 2 cameras filming and the editors went back and forth between them as he introduced the elephants and trainer. There are lots of instances on TV where magicians use that "this shot will not cut away", but that only lasts for so long - and then the editors jump between differnt camera views. Look again, you will see Jeff McBride's card act was filmed from several differnt angles.

Chris choose not to present the garbage can as a grand illusion, he didn't want to turn it into a puzzle where everyone was sitting at home wondering where the magician went. I agree with him on that, there is no need to turn everything into a "how did he do that" ... sometimes, magic should just happen with no explanation and no need to figure out how it was done - it was just done, he did it. He was trying to show you something ... I know where he is coming form, you don't want your audience wondering how you did something - you want them to marvel at what you have done. The reactions he recieved were more often "can you believe what he just did!" instead of the traditional "how did he do that?".

Do you think the openning credits to Worlds Greatest Magic were achomplished without camera tricks? Do you really believe that a magician in a black art suit with white gloves was able to manipulate those balls with real live moving people inside of them? Give it a rest already ... the desert scenes were there not as magicial illusions, but as introludes to the commericials.

If you really want to judge Chris Angel's show, compare it to say ... The Goti's ... or Dog The Bounty Hunter. Watching spoiled brats complain about their jewerly and fur coats, or a steriodal freak nutcase with an insane girlfriend who herself should be behind bars for her constant assults ... in proper perspecitive, it seems Chris Angel has the BEST show there is - again, great job Chris!

JoeJoe
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Corey Harris
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I enjoyed the Criss Angel mind freak show. I don't care about edits, Like JoeJoe said, you cant really do one continuous shot all the time. Obsticles come in the way.
Randwill
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The edits which I believe undermine the integrity of the magic presentation are those that happen at crucial points in the effect.

Let's say I want to make a video of you vanishing a billiard ball. The ball is in your left hand. You false transfer it to the right hand then open your right hand to show that it has vanished. Now can you show your left hand empty? No, of course not. Unless you sleeve it, or topit it or are wearing tails or 'use your favorite method', ect. Unless you have learned a deceptive method of ditching the ball. Unless you have worked hard to learn a skill that will fool people. Unless you are a good magician.

On the video however you can drop the hand secretly holding the ball just out of frame, and drop the ball to the ground. That's using the TV frame to do the magic for you. Or, just after you show your right hand (which is supposedly holding the ball) empty, we EDIT and cut to the spectator's reaction to the vanish. Once we cut away from you, you can put the ball you are hiding in your left hand into your pocket. Then we cut back to you and the left hand can be shown empty too. You didn't really have to do what the video seems to be telling the viewer you can do.

Some here seem to think that's an okay way to depict magicians' performances for the television audience. I'm one of those who doesn't.

Randwill

Quote:
On 2005-07-25 15:45, Thomas Wayne wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-07-25 15:19, Randwill wrote:

And because anything that would have exhibited Angels' skill ,dexterity and misdirection was mutilated by the editing, we'll never really know if he knows a clean way to do it either.

Randwil




Correction: You'll never know. A number of the rest of us do, however.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne



To be clear, my intention was never to put down Criss Angel. My point was that it is impossible to judge his ability as a magician from the television show I saw. If I could see an unedited tape of your ice cube trick, from the moment she removes the ring to the moment it is handed back to her, with Criss and the water glass in full view throughout (in other words, what I would see if I were really there) and it fooled me, I would say that you have indeed, invented a wonderful magic trick. The edited version that was telecast did a disservice to the inventors and the performer in my opinion.

Randwill
TheRock
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I admit, I am no body. I just started studying magic within the last few days. As I said, I am a no body. But from every magician I have ever met and talked to, they told me the main reason for doing magic was to entertain. They also told me to be a great magician, you must first be a great entertainer!

Now whether Criss uses edits (on the film) to make something happen, or whether he does it the way MOST magicians would say it should be done, IF IT ENTERTAINS...then what makes the difference on how he accomplishes it!

I have seen 2 of Criss' acts, 'Mind Freak' and another where he was on tv with a bunch of other magicians on tv, and in both of these, I was highly entertained.

Maybe I do not understand how all you magicians feel because I have only been studying this for a few days now. But if it is entertaining, what is the problem with it?

Oh, by the way, I am not accussing Criss (or anyone else) of using edits, but like I said several times already, if it entertains, what is wrong with it?
Randwill
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 18:12, TheRock wrote:
I admit, I am no body. I just started studying magic within the last few days. As I said, I am a no body. But from every magician I have ever met and talked to, they told me the main reason for doing magic was to entertain. They also told me to be a great magician, you must first be a great entertainer!

Now whether Criss uses edits (on the film) to make something happen, or whether he does it the way MOST magicians would say it should be done, IF IT ENTERTAINS...then what makes the difference on how he accomplishes it!

I have seen 2 of Criss' acts, 'Mind Freak' and another where he was on tv with a bunch of other magicians on tv, and in both of these, I was highly entertained.

Maybe I do not understand how all you magicians feel because I have only been studying this for a few days now. But if it is entertaining, what is the problem with it?

Oh, by the way, I am not accussing Criss (or anyone else) of using edits, but like I said several times already, if it entertains, what is wrong with it?


There are many different entertainment skills and disciplines. When you see a performer on television demonstrating his or her skill, do you care if that performer really possesses that skill? Or are you equally entertained even if the demonstration of the purported skill is compromised by a television production in such a way that it clouds the entertainer's real abilities?


Randwill
blindbo
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[/quote]
If I could see an unedited tape of your ice cube trick, from the moment she removes the ring to the moment it is handed back to her, with Criss and the water glass in full view throughout (in other words, what I would see if I were really there) and it fooled me, I would say that you have indeed, invented a wonderful magic trick. The edited version that was telecast did a disservice to the inventors and the performer in my opinion.

Randwill
[/quote]

I see your point about being bothered by edits, but it doesn't seem that you were any less fooled (as the inventor has acknowledged your bad guess). Reflecting on your above statement, I see no difference in the outcome for you. You would still be fooled. Its a shame that the editing ruined your entertainment and turned your mind towards logic, instead of magic. Perhaps, that's the whole point here? The edit slaps some people out of the magic and into a science?

Btw, even when I know a woman has breast implants, I am no less entertained...
Randwill
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[quote]On 2005-07-25 19:20, blindbo wrote:
Quote:
I see your point about being bothered by edits, but it doesn't seem that you were any less fooled (as the inventor has acknowledged your bad guess). Reflecting on your above statement, I see no difference in the outcome for you. You would still be fooled. Its a shame that the editing ruined your entertainment and turned your mind towards logic, instead of magic. Perhaps, that's the whole point here? The edit slaps some people out of the magic and into a science?

Btw, even when I know a woman has breast implants, I am no less entertained...


Was I fooled by a clever trick executed skillfully by an exceptional performer? Alas, the producers wouldn't let me see.

Randwill
Richard Shippy
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 19:20, blindbo wrote:
Btw, even when I know a woman has breast implants, I am no less entertained...


Very funny and a great point! Smile I also don't mind the camera edits in that case.

By the way, Baywatch was a VERY ENTERTAINING show and it had a ton of camera editing!!! Smile

Oh well, I guess it is o.k. for us to be a little light hearted here. It seems like we are attacking each other and overall we are just speaking about entertainment. Overall, it has been very entertaining reading all these replies. I wonder what will happen after this Wednesday's episode.

Take care,
Rich

P.S.
How did Chriss Angel make those people feel the 'burn' during the voodoo trick? Laser, chemical, other? That would be a FUN trick to perform.
"They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds." ~ Winston Churchill
Jimeuax
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Truthfully----Whether any of us liked it or not-----------really makes no difference unless you are a "Neilson Family". Everybody have Fun!-------lighten up!----------cheers!-----JIMEUAX
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 16:38, Randwill wrote:
On the video however you can drop the hand secretly holding the ball just out of frame, and drop the ball to the ground. That's using the TV frame to do the magic for you. Or, just after you show your right hand (which is supposedly holding the ball) empty, we EDIT and cut to the spectator's reaction to the vanish. Once we cut away from you, you can put the ball you are hiding in your left hand into your pocket. Then we cut back to you and the left hand can be shown empty too. You didn't really have to do what the video seems to be telling the viewer you can do.


You are skipping a lot of things you do not understand - misdirection in person does not work on the TV screen. In person, someone must turn their head to change their view from your right hand to your left hand ... on TV they only need to move their eyes a small fraction of an inch. What works in the real environment does not work on TV! The spoon bending routine that was on Mondo Magic was a perfect example of this.

Let's assume Chris lapped a duplicate ring (I am pretty sure he did not, and I'm not saying he did ... just using this for an example) ... in real life, you can easily get away with that because the spectator is misdirected to the ring he just handed back to them. But on the TV screen, the viewer is able to see both the hand he is palming the ring in and the ring the specator is examining AT THE SAME TIME ... thus, the misdirection would fail and everyone at home would be able to say "I saw that!". In other words ... if you want to be on TV, then I suggest you begin to like camera tricks - because that really is the best way to do it, and everyone on TV uses them including Copperfield. Edits and cuts are a part of TV, and when you are in Rome you must do as the Romans.

When (if?) you ever get on TV, you will need to unlearn nearly everything you know and learn a whole new craft! Copperfield is a master at blending 2d and 3d ... take Mis-Led for example. Many magicians get disappointed that the effect does not look as good in person as it did on TV. That is because the illusion looks a lot better in flat 2d than it does in 3d. TV is a whole new world, and it is nothing like performing in the real world.

Almost none of the complaints I've read here have anything to do with Chris' magic, they are more geared towards how his magic appears on TV. That's not his fault, and it doesn't make him any less of a magician. I for one think he did an excellent job at presenting his magic in the medium he had to work with. I'm glad to see that I am not the only magician that is enjoying his new series.

JoeJoe
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Randwill
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Quote:
On 2005-07-26 01:07, JoeJoe wrote:

You are skipping a lot of things you do not understand - misdirection in person does not work on the TV screen. In person, someone must turn their head to change their view from your right hand to your left hand ... on TV they only need to move their eyes a small fraction of an inch. What works in the real environment does not work on TV! The spoon bending routine that was on Mondo Magic was a perfect example of this.

JoeJoe



I guess you never saw Slydini on Dick Cavette. Or Henning, Ammar, Gertner ect. on Johnny Carson. Or any of the appearances by Jammie Ian Swiss, Bill Malone, Bob Sheets, Ray Levand, Guy Hollingsworth, David Roth, Lennart Green, Carl Cloutier and on and on that have appeared on television. If you had, you would never say 'what works in the real environment does not work on TV.'

Randwill
unilogo
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Joe meant a pretty long show.

Those you are mentioning were nothing more than a couple of minutes.(rand)

I totally get where joe is coming from and he got it perfectly. It's very true. Read it again.
Jeff007
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The only thing I have to say is that the special was very well done (superb even). It's obvious that there was a lot of work that went into each piece. I believe this was the best work I have seen from Criss to date! Everything worked great on television and kudos to everyone that helped compile the Mindfreak series. It is also obvious that there was a lot of thought on how to shoot this series. I appreciate hard work in magic, and it's nice to know some people are finally getting a little credit for their hard work.
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