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MagicMan1957
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Yes I feel Chris Angel is a talented hard working guy.

But no one mentions that some woman who usually do not like magic might be attracted to watching a pumped up ripped young man on television.

Hey it's show biz and looks do count. And he appeals to the demographic that television stations want to attract advertisers.
Beth
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Okay there were parts of the show I liked. The levitation in the park was cool. But too much of the other things looked like camera editing. The other thing that really bothered me was his telling Blaine to kiss his ass...when did that become acceptable? ...and what is that about? My only thought is maybe it is like someone challenging the reining champ...maybe he thinks he is the guy to beat... which I guess in its own way gives cudos to Blaine lol...Otherwise why say that, except just to be really tacky? The other thing that seemed unprofessional to me was all the comments about how his stunts were " more dangerous than Houdini's". I thought that was out of line. By implication they were implying that Angel is better than Houdini. That just seemed disrepectful and arrogant. You just don't do that. That would be like me going on stage and annoucing which magicians I felt I could out do. Not cool . Let your performance speak for itself. If you are amazing ppl will notice without downing any fellow magicians. But what it really made me thing about was all the pictures of Houdini performing before a huge crowd live. I think Angel should take some direction from Houdini and try doing a live show. The other thing is I don't think it will be around long. The only ppl I can find who have watched it are magicians. I keep asking everyone and have yet to find anyone who has. I'm not saying that to be negative to him.
... and honestly it's on A&E and a lot of ppl just don't seem to watch it.
Peace Beth
"All creative art is magic, is evocation of the unseen in forms persuasive,enlightening, familar, and surprising."
the levitator
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Just another perspective here on a couple of points. Some of the people I've talked to about the whole Blaine v.s. Angel thing think that Blaine and Angel cooked the whole "competition" thing up as a publicity stunt to give them both more spotlight. It wouldn't be the first time "dueling magicians" have caught the media's attention. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Criss and David are both having a laugh about the whole thing.

In regards to Criss thinking he's better than Houdini, what's so wrong about that? There were many of Houdini's peers in his own time who regarded him as an average magician at best and not much more than a publicity hound. I personally don't think it's out of line to use the EXACT same techniques Houdini himself did to publicize himself. Was he supposed to draw an audience by coming out and saying that these were very safe stunts that anyone could do and don't hold a candle to the great and powerful Houdini? I don't think he would have gotten quite the ratings he did. I have a lot of respect for those in our craft's history who helped the popularity and acceptance of what we do in the mainstream and made it possible for us to make money doing something we love. That being said, they are still just men and women, human, and not gods. The funny thing about your comment bashing Criss for being disrespectful is that Houdini did EXACTLY the same thing in his time, and you hold him on a pedestal. Isn't that a double standard?

In regards to Criss doing a stage show, you should do your homework before attacking someone online. Criss had a very successful off-Broadway show that lasted more than a couple of years I believe. It was his stage show that got him "noticed" by the media. Criss didn't just download some free magic and buy some cool clothes and get a TV special in the last week. He's been a SUCCESSFUL full time entertainer for years.

BTW, I'm not Criss Angel's biggest fan or anything, I'm just getting tired of all the jealous bashing going on here of one of our own. You should be supporting those who help YOU get work and recognition by keeping magic in the minds of mainstream culture. I also find his style a little over the top, but at least it's HIS style. He's not some sell out wearing a tux pulling rabbits out of hats. He's doing his own thing, and doesn't really care what you or I think about it. He's successful because his focus is on the public and he treats his magic as an artform. I'm glad I have friends outside of magic because I've talked to dozens of non-magicians who have watched at least 1 episode. I would say that about 70% of the people I've talked to really like it, 20% have been indifferent, and 10% don't care for him. How well do YOU think you'd hold up to national scrutiny? I don't think I could do as well.

I"m sure the A&E people would disagree with you that not that many people watch their programming. davidcarlo was nice enough to share some statistics regarding this little show on this insignifigant channel and I only WISH I had this kind of insignifigant popularity:

Quote:
On 2005-07-22 01:29, davidcarlo wrote:
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.





I think I would pass out if there were actually a thread on a magic forum that focused on the positive aspects of a successful magicians' television appearance. It's ironic that the one thing magicians hate the most; having their material picked apart and overanalyzed by people, is what they do to each other. That is very sad.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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JoeJoe
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Quote:
On 2005-07-30 22:04, Beth wrote:
I kina think the difference is that, one you can do in front of a live audience and the other you can not. The fact that any magician thinks camera tricks and props/acessories are the same thing amazes me. I mean lets be honest, do you really want to say that anything you can do with trick editing is magic? Seriously?


Let's imagine that you have worked out a great little card routine that you do on a regular basis. It's funny and magical and gets a great reaction.

You finally get a stage show, and you want to do your card routine ... so you get some jumbo cards and work out the details. In the process, you discover that the larger cards and better stage angles allow you to produce a large object as a climax to that routine.

Do you not do the better routine on stage because it's not something you can do close-up for people? Or do you stop doing it close-up now that you have a better stage routine?

These are the type of situations that magicians entering the TV world must address ... somethings that work "in person" do not work on TV, and there are things on TV that can be done that can't be done "in person". Chris is doing a great job at determining what works, what doesn't, and what he can get away with.

Let's not forget, that even on TV there is a real live audience ... the performer may not be able to actually see them, but they are there none-the-less. When these people eventually see Chris live and in person, it is up to him to convince them that what they saw was the real deal - if they ask him to float, it will be up to him to prove it wasn't a camera trick. It was after all, his show. If they ask me how he did something, "I don't know - but if I can figure it out I'm gonna steal it from him!" I say with a smile.

JoeJoe
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howdoidisconnect
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I have been following the posts on Criss Angel. I personal fine the image a little too much for me, and my wife won't even watch it anymore. However, I feel guys like him have brought magic back into the mainstream, and away from the old guy at your birthday parties with a funny hat and a magic wand. Both Criss A and david blaine has made magic a talking point again, I personally have only just started on my learning journey. And lets face it if we had the budgets that criss has at his disposal, wouldn't we all start doing bigger and better illusions?

I have enjoyed watching these shows, and trying to figure out some of the more wild ones, this has led to ideas of my own already,so I guess this again is a good thing.

What ever anyone feels about these kinda magicains, the have both been able to now earn a very good living on something they love to do, that is a great goal to reach.

Well there's my 2cents worth, and hopeing I don't get bashed in the process.

Regards

Steve
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Beth
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Quote:
On 2005-08-01 23:46, the levitator wrote:

In regards to Cris thinking he's better than Houdini, what's so wrong about that? There were many of Houdini's peers in his own time who regarded him as an average magician at best and not much more than a publicity hound. I personally don't think it's out of line to use the EXACT same techniques Houdini himself did to publicize himself. Was he supposed to draw an audience by coming out and saying that these were very safe stunts that anyone could do and don't hold a candle to the great and powerful Houdini?


My opinion is that it's not a good method to build yourself up by tearing someone else down. If you are great. You won't have to. It goes against everything I was taught. I can't imagine Eugene Burger Luna Shemada or anyone doing that. The second problem I have with it is that it seems wussy to rank someone who is dead when Houdini is not liable to get a chance to debate the issue. Blaine can take care of himself, and you are right it may be a publicity stunt. However, telling another magician to kiss your ass during a show came across as a arrogant and tacky to me.

[/quote]
The funny thing about your comment bashing Criss for being disrespectful is that Houdini did EXACTLY the same thing in his time, and you hold him on a pedestal. Isn't that a double standard?
[/quote]

I never said Houdini belonged on a pedestal, nor do I think I mentioned my opinions about Houdini at all. I can only surmise that you think I would only take up for someone I look up to. Not true. My value system doesn't work they way. I hope yours doesn't either. I would have said the same if it were Vernon, Cardini, or any other dead magician. It was the principle of the thing. Not the person he made the statement about.

[/quote]
Houdini did EXACTLY the same thing in his time
[/quote]

He ranked some dead guy during his show? I'm wondering who it was?

[/quote]
In regards to Criss doing a stage show, you should do your homework before attacking someone online. Criss had a very successful off-Broadway show that lasted more than a couple of years I believe. It was his stage show that got him "noticed" by the media. Criss didn't just download some free magic and buy some cool clothes and get a TV special in the last week. He's been a SUCCESSFUL full time entertainer for years.
[/quote]

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was saying I would like to see him do the effects he did on mind freak on a live show, not that he has never performed. I would love to see the effect with the trash can done live. Henning did his shows live in front of a live audience. Why can't Cris?

[/quote]
BTW, I'm not Criss Angel's biggest fan or anything,
[/quote]

I totally understand that because I don't dislike him. To say that I don't like some of what he did on that show does not mean that I am bashing him. I am just giving my opinion on the show.

[/quote]
I"m sure the A&E people would disagree with you that not that many people watch their programming. davidcarlo was nice enough to share some statistics regarding this little show on this insignifigant channel and I only WISH I had this kind of insignifigant popularity:
[/quote]

Look I like A&E. I watch it all the time, obviously, haha . My point was that it's not primetime. But hey ...shrug...Hats off to the guy he's on TV right? As far as ratings well I'm just talking personal experience and like I said the only ppl I can find that watched it were magicians and they ALL watched it lol. Whether the show will last who knows... shrug. That is just my personal opinion. Time will tell.

[/quote]
I think I would pass out if there were actually a thread on a magic forum that focused on the positive aspects of a successful magicians' television appearance. It's ironic that the one thing magicians hate the most; having their material picked apart and overanalyzed by people, is what they do to each other. That is very sad.
[/quote]

That seems hypocritical to me. I mean Cris tells Blaine to kiss his ass, ranks on some dead guy, but no one should say anything negative about his show? Yeah its publicity but most magicians I know would not have allowed that in their shows.
Peace Beth
"All creative art is magic, is evocation of the unseen in forms persuasive,enlightening, familar, and surprising."
cornfarrell
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Wow, there are a lot of interesting responses here. I am new to the Café so getting use to some of the opinions has required me to have a little personal growth. The great thing about this site is that it lets us all express in turn how we feel without interuption. Imagine if we were all actually in the same room.
Anyway, I would just like to point out to everyone that this show was shot as a series. We were originally hired to do 8 episodes over an 8 week period. During our pre-production period, A&E ordered 8 more. Even though we had more shows, we only had 11 weeks to shoot everything and stay on schedule. During this time we shot 16 Major (A) stunts, 32 (B)large illusions, and around 150 (C&D) smaller tricks. Many of these things are not your standard fare or off the shelf tricks. You are not going to have much luck finding these things around because a lot never existed before or we changed up somthing old.
We did not spend hours (months) of planning using camera tricks. As we developed theem, the goal was to be able to incorporate them into a live show for the future. Obviously a bus on stage isn't practical, but those people on it are real and have no idea how we did that trick. The couple transport down the hall is live without edits.The garbage can was shot straight through, start to finish.(In our first special you can see it without any edits). All of these things were performed live. I agree that editing minimizes the true effct of the magic, but this is TV folks. I have a saying that "Magic is hard." On TV it's harder. Give me live theatre to do any day. Please give the magic team a little more credit. We have some guys that have been in the business a long time. Collectively some amazing things have been created. With this much material there there are going to be some winners and some losers.
I am proud to have worked with Criss for over 13 years. I like the way he looks at magic. I know this show isn't for everyone. Few things are. I enjoy reading all of every ones views but there are other methods than just plain editing. Keep guessing.
John Farrell
Production Designer / Illusion Coordinator
boboshempy
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John your post is a breath of fresh air! Welcome to the Café! It must have been great to work on such an interesting show. At the bare minimum, the show definitely keeps me guessing and that keeps me watching!
the levitator
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Thanks for clarifying some of those points Beth. I have a better understanding of where you are coming from. Incidentally, Criss never told Blaine to kiss his a**, it was a spectator in the bar after the chair levitation. I don't want to start splitting hairs, I just thought that people should remember he didn't say it himself. I'm not saying whether it was right or wrong, because for all we know, it was orchestrated by Criss and David. I think it's also splitting hairs a bit to say that Houdini was somehow better than Criss because he compared himself more favorably against live magicians at the time. Although I have heard that he made several negative comments about Jean Robert Houdin, who was dead at the time and is one of the guys he stole part of his stage name from.

I totally agree that I would much rather see Criss's Mindfreak show instead of the "reality" angle. My guess is that people other than Criss and his people were responsible for that decision. You can't turn to any channel without seeing some kind of "reality" show. It's probably the format he was given if he wanted the special, and being a professional, he adapted.

At least your opinions about his show were based on your ethics, and not your personal judgements Beth. It bothers you when magicians "compete" with each other publicly and to me, that's a legitimate issue. And even though it wasn't Criss who made the Blaine comment, it wasn't a live show so it could have been edited out, so that does make Criss responsible for it. If he and David haven't contrived the whole competition thing, then maybe it's a little out of line. In today's world, there just isn't a thing called ettiquette anymore. If you want to appeal to today's 18-35 market, you have to be seen as cutting edge and a "bad boy" if you want to be on TV. Nobody's getting a national special doing Hippity Hop Rabbits.

My frustration is with those who are picking his routines apart and blaming everything they can't figure out on camera tricks and stooges so they can sleep better at night. And the people who rip on his clothing and his look frustrate me too. I didn't know there was a dress code in magic. If his look is sooo lame, why does he have such a huge commitment by a major cable network and some of the great magicians of our time? The biggest reason that the laypeople of the world suspect camera tricks and stooges is because THAT is the excuse lame magicians who are asked to recreate those effects tell people to make themselves feel better. I'm not speculating, I've heard other magicians outright tell people that to cover for their own inability to entertain those people with THEIR magic. In the end, we are all responsible for people's perception of magic. When the majority of us are just buying effects and memorizing the "patter" in the instructions, what do you expect? People like Blaine and Angel are helping to break those stereotypes of magicians, and we should be supporting them instead of ripping them apart.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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Magicbarry
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Quote:
And the people who rip on his clothing and his look frustrate me too. I didn't know there was a dress code in magic.
There's nothing wrong with people criticising his clothing or look. He's using an image to market himself. It's part of the package he is selling, and it should be part of how people judge him. I criticize -- I hate the look, and I hate his music. He gives me the impression of someone who is trying to look cooler and nastier than he really is. It's my opinion. It doesn't make him less of a magician ... but it makes him someone whose persona is unappealing to me. Nothing wrong with criticising that, as long as people aren't saying it is "wrong".
the levitator
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Well said Barry! That's exactly my point. We are all free to criticize, but to me there's a big difference between criticizing and JUDGING. Disliking a magicians' appearance and musical selection while still respecting him and what he's doing for magic is criticizing. Disliking a magicians' appearance and musical selection and saying that he's taking magic in the wrong direction is judgemental. There's not a single entertainer in the world today in ANY format that appeals to everyone! Not a single actor, singer, painter, poet, juggler, or magician. I think that has been the key to the success of those who make it big. They stopped trying to please EVERYONE (most importantly their peers) and just did their own thing! Criss isn't trying to be everyone's cup of tea. He established a character that is unique and stuck with it. What drives me nuts is when magicians go after his look and personna AND bag on his magic and rip his effects apart and dismiss it ALL as camera tricks or stooges because it helps them sleep at night. It's a good thing that we, collectively, don't decide who represents magic to the public. It's the public that decides what they like, and the ratings say they like guys like Criss. Anyone who keeps our art in the mainstream and indirectly helps me keep paying my bills gets my respect, no matter how they dress or act.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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Randwill
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Quote:
On 2005-08-02 11:02, cornfarrell wrote:
Wow, there are a lot of interesting responses here. I am new to the Café so getting use to some of the opinions has required me to have a little personal growth. The great thing about this site is that it lets us all express in turn how we feel without interuption. Imagine if we were all actually in the same room.
Anyway, I would just like to point out to everyone that this show was shot as a series. We were originally hired to do 8 episodes over an 8 week period. During our pre-production period, A&E ordered 8 more. Even though we had more shows, we only had 11 weeks to shoot everything and stay on schedule. During this time we shot 16 Major (A) stunts, 32 (B)large illusions, and around 150 (C&D) smaller tricks. Many of these things are not your standard fare or off the shelf tricks. You are not going to have much luck finding these things around because a lot never existed before or we changed up somthing old.
We did not spend hours (months) of planning using camera tricks. As we developed theem, the goal was to be able to incorporate them into a live show for the future. Obviously a bus on stage isn't practical, but those people on it are real and have no idea how we did that trick. The couple transport down the hall is live without edits.The garbage can was shot straight through, start to finish.(In our first special you can see it without any edits). All of these things were performed live. I agree that editing minimizes the true effct of the magic, but this is TV folks. I have a saying that "Magic is hard." On TV it's harder. Give me live theatre to do any day. Please give the magic team a little more credit. We have some guys that have been in the business a long time. Collectively some amazing things have been created. With this much material there there are going to be some winners and some losers.
I am proud to have worked with Criss for over 13 years. I like the way he looks at magic. I know this show isn't for everyone. Few things are. I enjoy reading all of every ones views but there are other methods than just plain editing. Keep guessing.
John Farrell
Production Designer / Illusion Coordinator



It's good to have someone who was involved with the show and might really know what they are talking about here.

I know "it's TV" as many defenders keep arguing, but this ignores all the magic on television in the past that presented tricks live and/or unedited. From Mark Wilson to Doug Henning to David Copperfield and all the magicians who appeared on all the various magic specials and variety shows, producers have always known that magic on television would be meaningless if the audience thought that TV techniques were used to create the illusions.

Which brings me to the edited performances on the Mindfreak programs. Just a for instance. The Card Through Window, shot on a bus. There is a totally unnecessary edit right after Criss asks her if she still sees her card in the deck. She replies, "Okay". Cut. Scene restarts with the same shot, same camera angle. Totally unnecessary from any aesthetic or technical standpoint. It WOULD be a good place to cut if you needed some time for the person Angel hands the signed card off to, to get it on the front windshield. I think I find it insulting when someone suggests that there is a cut there just because "it's TV".

I've only seen the version of the garbage can transposition in it's edited form on the first A&E show. If you guys have come up with a way for me to stand there, in- person and see a man transport from under a garbage can on a concrete sidewalk to a roof in less than a second without a trap door in the sidewalk, or the use of a double, I'd say you have quite a trick there. Anything other than that, it's something anyone with a video camera can do right now in their backyard.

Clearly some good thinking went into these shows. The Deja Vu (couple in hall) was, I think, a legitimate television trick. To my mind there is a difference between editing tape to achieve the effect and using the camera frame, in this case by way of the zoom-in, to hide the method. I would equate the camera frame usage with a close-up magician lapping, or a stage magician using objects on stage, or even the stage wings to hide the dirty work.

What it looks like to me is, that at an early meeting someone said words to the effect that; "Hey, the days of Henning and Copperfield television are passe. Blaine took it up a notch. If we're going to get the attention of the young, disposable income, jaded, seen-it-all, short attention span youth, we might have to push the boundaries of what has here-to-for been considered the true presentation of magic for the television audience." And you would probably be right to assume that your target audience doesn't know, or care.

It's us, the magicians of the world, the "keepers of the flame", if you will, that believe that these non-magic performances, presented as magic, are doing the art that we love a disservice. But we're a minority.

Randwill
the levitator
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Does anyone know where I can purchase Copperfield's "Disappearing Statue of Liberty" illusion? All this time I thought he used "camera tricks" to accomplish this illusion. Next thing you'll be telling me that the Vanishing Showgirls illusion done on World's Greatest Magic was done without "camera tricks" too? I guess the spectators who's pants changed into shorts on stage was an added bonus effect? Don't even get me started on Lance Burton making those elephants disappear in the desert. Yeah, let's go back to the days when magicians didn't use the camera to their advantage. Smile
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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I don't buy the notion that Blaine and Angel would concoct a rivalry for PR. When Angel needed the publicity a couple years ago, he made the public challenge. Blaine didn't/doesn't need the publicity. He was the one with the deal with ABC. Blaine has nothing to gain from accepting any of Angel's challenges. I think Blaine has the better understanding of promoting oneself in this business in this age. Two magicians squaring off is silly. Angel looked silly when he challenged Blaine to a stunt-off. Rivalry may have made sense and it may have been captivating in the day of Blackstone and Houdini, but today it's plain silly. Times are different and so is the perception of magic.

Verno's Predictions: Blaine will not accept any challenge of Angel's. (Blaine's character has never been interested in challenging others, calling out other magicians, or doing stunts to prove he's better than someone else). When Blaine is promoting his next show on ABC and is asked what he thinks about Angel, he will respond something along the lines of, "I think he's a wonderful magician and I wish him the best." Blaine's character is the anti-magician. It would be silly for his character to create a rivalry with a magician (Angel, Copperfield, P&T, others...). Blaine's character probably would find that type of thing petty.

On a side note. I disliked Angel's resonse in Genii when asked about what he thought about Blaine. He said something along the lines of, "I never look behind me. I always look forward." Implying that he's left Blaine in the dust at some point. I would have more respect for Angel if he'd acknowledge Blaine's role in showing the networks that magic can play for 18-35 year olds---without taking these shots (and yes he could have cut the scene were the spectator tells Blaine where he can kiss). Derren Brown is nice enough to acknowledge this role Blaine's specials played in his own television success. By contrast, Angel's apparent attitude toward Blaine is off-putting. It smacks of desperation for recognition.

As I've said in other posts, I do wish to see Angel succeed, and I'm excited for his tour.
Randwill
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Quote:
On 2005-08-02 17:46, the levitator wrote:
Does anyone know where I can purchase Copperfield's "Disappearing Statue of Liberty" illusion? All this time I thought he used "camera tricks" to accomplish this illusion. Next thing you'll be telling me that the Vanishing Showgirls illusion done on World's Greatest Magic was done without "camera tricks" too? I guess the spectators who's pants changed into shorts on stage was an added bonus effect? Don't even get me started on Lance Burton making those elephants disappear in the desert. Yeah, let's go back to the days when magicians didn't use the camera to their advantage. Smile


I'm not sure if you are addressing my points. Also, I'm not sure of your points, but anyway...

I don't think whether or not you can buy an illusion (Statue of Liberty) has any bearing on the ideas being discussed here. Copperfield accomplished this illusion without the type of video edits used in the Mindfreak episodes I've seen so far. If you're unaware of the method, it's easy to find with Goggle.

I haven't seen the Dissappearing Showgirl illusion in a while, though I have that special on tape. As I remember it, it could easily have been done without video edits, but your reference to a clothing change by a spectator is enough to make me dig the tape out.

The Lance Burton elephant vanish did not use video editing or digital manipulation, but did use the limited view of the camera (as did Angel's Deja Vu effect) to accomplish. Both were done in one continuous take.

Stage magicians use the stage setting to their advantage. Close-up magicians use the table to their advantage. And some magician's have used the television format to their advantage. Angel is using video editing to his advantage. There's a difference, perhaps to subtle for some to see.

If Criss Angel's Mindfreak is the new standard for what is to be considered an accomplished magic performance, then we should cancel all future magic competitions and declare Jeannie and Samantha the World's Greatest Magicians For All Time.

I must stress that I have never seen Criss Angel perform live, the only true test of a magician's prowess, and my comments refer only to the four episodes of Mindfreak that have aired on A&E.

Randwill
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I was all set to make a nice long post in respose to some of the comments, but since James (the levitator) did such a great job and said basically what I was going to say..except better, I just wanted to voice my approval.
Quote:
On 2005-08-01 23:46, the levitator wrote:

I have a lot of respect for those in our craft's history who helped the popularity and acceptance of what we do in the mainstream and made it possible for us to make money doing something we love. That being said, they are still just men and women, human, and not gods. The funny thing about your comment bashing Criss for being disrespectful is that Houdini did EXACTLY the same thing in his time, and you hold him on a pedestal. Isn't that a double standard?

So very true.

Quote:
In regards to Criss doing a stage show, you should do your homework before attacking someone online. Criss had a very successful off-Broadway show that lasted more than a couple of years I believe. It was his stage show that got him "noticed" by the media. Criss didn't just download some free magic and buy some cool clothes and get a TV special in the last week. He's been a SUCCESSFUL full time entertainer for years.

True again. He performed over 600 shows in his off-broadway show making $4 million in 14 months. But.. I'm sure most people here have done that, and I bet Criss only knows how to perform a few packet tricks.. so lets move on.

Quote:
BTW, I'm not Criss Angel's biggest fan or anything, I'm just getting tired of all the jealous bashing going on here of one of our own. You should be supporting those who help YOU get work and recognition by keeping magic in the minds of mainstream culture.

I agree 100%. And how many more well known magicians and people who worked on the show have to come forward to defend Criss and shoot down the rumors of camera tricks and other rude remarks? The sad thing is they shouldn't have to. I've said it before and I'll say it again, just because some people here don't know how something was done it doesn't give them the right to write off the whole show as a fraud with a few keystrokes. Using the tired old line.. "Well, that's my opinion" doesn't apply when you discredit a person because you simply have no idea what you are talking about.

I can just imagine the whining and tears if the roles were reversed and someone made false claims about another member here. Yet there are those who think it is perfectly fine to do the same to Criss. Why? Because he is on T.V? While catching up on some reading here, I just found out Criss has posted on this board. It wouldn't surprise me if he read at least a few of these threads regarding his show. Some of you really did a great job making him feel welcome. Opinions and constructive critism are one thing, but some went way beyond that.

Quote:
I think I would pass out if there were actually a thread on a magic forum that focused on the positive aspects of a successful magicians' television appearance. It's ironic that the one thing magicians hate the most; having their material picked apart and overanalyzed by people, is what they do to each other. That is very sad.


Very sad indeed.
Beth
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On 2005-08-02 16:57, Randwill wrote:

I know "it's TV" as many defenders keep arguing, but this ignores all the magic on television in the past that presented tricks live and/or unedited. From Mark Wilson to Doug Henning to David Copperfield and all the magicians who appeared on all the various magic specials and variety shows, producers have always known that magic on television would be meaningless if the audience thought that TV techniques were used to create the illusions.

Which brings me to the edited performances on the Mindfreak programs. Just a for instance. The Card Through Window, shot on a bus. There is a totally unnecessary edit right after Criss asks her if she still sees her card in the deck. She replies, "Okay". Cut. Scene restarts with the same shot, same camera angle. Totally unnecessary from any aesthetic or technical standpoint. It WOULD be a good place to cut if you needed some time for the person Angel hands the signed card off to, to get it on the front windshield. I think I find it insulting when someone suggests that there is a cut there just because "it's TV".

I've only seen the version of the garbage can transposition in it's edited form on the first A&E show. If you guys have come up with a way for me to stand there, in- person and see a man transport from under a garbage can on a concrete sidewalk to a roof in less than a second without a trap door in the sidewalk, or the use of a double, I'd say you have quite a trick there. Anything other than that, it's something anyone with a video camera can do right now in their backyard.

Clearly some good thinking went into these shows. The Deja Vu (couple in hall) was, I think, a legitimate television trick. To my mind there is a difference between editing tape to achieve the effect and using the camera frame, in this case by way of the zoom-in, to hide the method. I would equate the camera frame usage with a close-up magician lapping, or a stage magician using objects on stage, or even the stage wings to hide the dirty work.

It's us, the magicians of the world, the "keepers of the flame", if you will, that believe that these non-magic performances, presented as magic, are doing the art that we love a disservice. But we're a minority.

Randwill

You have nailed it Randall. I was going to post something similar, pointing out many of the same spots you saw, but you said it so well, I'll just say ditto.I think you have said what many of us are saying and a lot of magicians I talk to are thinking. It just blows my mind that anyone thinks that just because they say there were no trick edits that we are going to ignore the clear trick edits you can see in the show. I mean they are saying these effects aren't for sale,... you can't buy them,... they won't do them live,... but "Hey! Take my word for it there were no trick edits"...I mean not to be ugly, but good grief how stupid would we have to be to swallow that when I noticed the exact same edits you are talking about, and there was no reason for them. And I'm with you I'd love to be standing on the sidewalk to see that trashcan effect done in real time that quickly. Great post btw and I do believe magicians are "the keepers of the flame". I think it's important for us to speak up, and in my opinion camera tricks are not magic, to say so negates all the skill magicians apply in this trade.
Peace Beth
"All creative art is magic, is evocation of the unseen in forms persuasive,enlightening, familar, and surprising."
the levitator
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Thanks for the kind support DaveB. Apparently, some are missing the forest for the trees. I didn't say every magician on TV has used camera tricks, more specifically I said they use the camera to their advantage. I apologize for being so cryptic in my post. Some magicians just cant' figure out the methods so they will hold their breath and stomp and scream "camera tricks!" and "stooges" until they pass out. The sad part of it all is that the methods aren't the important part. If Criss is pulling in these kinds of ratings doing it his way, just imagine how much better you'd do doing it your way! If you honestly have nothing better to do than rip a magician who is more successful than you apart then I very much doubt that Criss is the problem. I'm not directing this at anyone in particular, just those whining and screaming instead of being supportive to someone doing more to keep magic in the mainstream than they are.

I'm sure a full time magician with his own TV series is worried about "magic competitions". The really good ones are too busy earning a living to compete, so the titles don't mean much in the real world.


I wouldn't waste your time trying to convince people in here that Criss isn't just a flash in the pan DaveB. It will fall on deaf ears. ($4 million in 14 months, are you ******** me? I knew he had a successful show, but WOW!) If they take the time to learn how Criss has worked his butt off in his career, they might actually start to respect him and they won't have anyone to pick on to feel better about themselves.

After being a member here for more than a couple years, it almost seems that getting ripped apart by your peers and being dissected and disrespected is a sign of success. The magicians being torn apart here are too busy to even know they are being systematically dissected.

I've said it before in other threads, people in this craft throw the terms "brotherhood" and "fraternity" around a bit too loosely. I've seen more jealously and petty bickering here in a week than has ever been seen in a year of watching soap operas. It's personally embarrassing to belong to a group that is so completely self-deprecating and self-loathing. Maybe we could collectively learn to show a little class and be supportive of those of us who help keep magic in the minds of the public, instead of trashing them and ripping them apart. Sheesh, who am I kidding? Smile
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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Randwill
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Quote:
On 2005-08-02 20:37, the levitator wrote:

I'm sure a full time magician with his own TV series is worried about "magic competitions". The really good ones are too busy earning a living to compete, so the titles don't mean much in the real world.




I don't know if Criss Angel is "worried about magic competitions" and did not mean to imply that he is.

I'm told that he has twice won Magician of the Year. You'd have to ask him if that means much to him in the real world.

Randwill
the levitator
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Isn't "Magician of the Year" an award that is selected by voting, and not based on competition? I'm sure being voted as such by his peers means a lot to him.

I'm not the one on this forum suggesting that Criss has no respect for other magicians. I assumed that having some of the best magicians currently performing today in his corner was proof that he not only has respect for his craft, but is also respected by many in magic. I'm not the one dissecting his show, his style, his music, his clothes, etc. I have more respect for people than that.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
www.spelz.net
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