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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Black Art Illusions (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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joshlondon
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Is it worth it? I got Easy Build Illusions, Paul Osborne, and he has a black art idea in there to make your assistant appear. I was thinking of buying Dawin's Inexpensive illusion books, any thought.

I do corporate show, so lighting might be a problem with this type of magic. Also, the illusions have to be extremely portable.

Please help!
MatBlack
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Josh,
Sue-Anne Webster (from Ellis and Webster fame) has quite a bit of background in black art, I believe, and getting it to work succesfully in a variety of environments. There's quite a bit on the 'Ellis in Wonderland' DVD - which is so jam-packed with other stuff that it's probably worth getting anyway. It might be worthwhile PM'ing Tim Ellis, and see if he can convince Sue-Anne to pop in to give some insights and/or point you in the right direction.
Mat.
reedrc
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With the proper lighting and setup and stageing I'd say its VERY worth it. Some of the advanced black art can really work miracles. Some of the most up to date modern illusion shows still use it today.
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Ryan C. Reed
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Dennis Michael
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Although I enjoyed Dawin's BA the few books on this topic, there are no really powerful DVD or VHS tapes on this topic that goes into the depths and power of BA.

BA can perform impossible feats, easily once you unders stand it and how to present it. Obviously lighting is critical as well as triple velvet.

If you can put on a thinking cap and think of how you could do some of the cardboard effects on the easy to build illusions video, you could create origional BA effects.
Dennis Michael
joshlondon
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Thanks, what kind of lighting would I need. And I'm assuming that my back drop would have to be black as well (which I already have a black velvet backdrop).

If I do decide to do some black art stuff, can it be done in a corporate setting? I exclusively perform for companies at their banquets, after meetings, etc. so the audience could ( and is usually) only a few feet away from me.

But my main question is lighting. What kinds of lights should I get?
muzicman
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I discovered DMX lights work better than conventional PAR lighting for the simple fact that the beam is tighter and can be kept off of the set where it is not desired. I have some color changers that are VERY bright and the beams are more directional than PARS. Once you get to 50 posts, you can go to the banquet room where there is an entire topic for BA. If you are just starting out, you can get a starter kit from Don Drake that has a book, lecture notes, a video and some BA material for your own experiements. It was only $60. You can check it out HERE
reedrc
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Josh-
We find that automated lighting works well (as Muz allready said) Because of its acuracy and narrow beam,
its easy to focus, they MOVE, so you can move the beams around to places conventionals cant go. This solidify's an effect using black art. It works VERY VERY well when used correctly. Its amazing what you can do with it...Aint technology amazing.... Cheers
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Ryan C. Reed
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designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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joshlondon
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Is there a web sie that I can buy these lights from?
Irish_matt
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Try http://www.pssl.com They have a huge selection of pro audio and lighting at very reasonable prices. I've used them in the past and find them very good. They should have plenty of dmx lights and controllers in stock.
IllusionJack
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Do keep in mind that these lights are extremely expensive... several thousand dollars per instrument. Even if you get the oldest, least expensive instruments, used, they will still be several hundred dollars each. And, you have to buy a controller for them as well... which will run you thousands of dollars once again.

You might be better off renting. Check your local theatrical supply rental house.

Black art is quite amazing... I find it is best when used in small, strategically placed areas. You can do this and keep the rest of your stage very well lit. When used right, you can accomplish all sorts of effects with ease. Above, reedrc mentioned that it is used in illusion shows today - and it is- and much more than you might think. I'd say it's almost like the "thumb tip" of stage illusions in its utility.

The moving lights is a good idea for the reasons mentioned above - narrow beams, easily focused, easily moved.

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reedrc
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Josh - Unfortunatley these solutions are quite expensive (as mentioned) however if your willing to step down a notch there are some lights that are still expensive but not as expensive as 6-10K a piece. Elation, Comar, and some of the no name brands have some heads 250's, 750s that seem to work well but are not as bright as the bigger guys, High End, Martin, Clay Paky, Vari* Lite, and so-on. Think of it as driving a buick as apposed to an aston marton. Will get the job done but wont look as good. Wont last as long, etc...

I find that getting used ligts CAN be a good thing from a reputable dealer. Although at first renting lights can be a good solution there is always something to be said about having your own stock to play with and use for shows too. Check out http://www.lightbroker.com there's always a deal on lights and equipment, trussing, ata cases what have you, and they are for a decent price. Sometimes you can get 4 or six units for a lesser price than one new one and situations similar to that.

Good luck.

R.
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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joshlondon
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Thanks reedrc. I am looking for inexpensive (a few hundred dollars) for lighting. S from all the above posts I'm gathering that I need special lghts? In Easy Build Illusions by Paul Osborne he has an effect (that utilizes black art) called "Someone From No Where." I really liked it, so I though about doing it and just turning the lights off and having the stage slightly dimmed, and doing it. Any suggestions, good or bad?
Jazz
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One of the best BA performances I have ever witnessed was in a theatre in Prague, Czech Republic. Actually, there were several theaters with equally good performances. It seems to be a hot commodity over there.
thefifth
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You don't need expensive lighting to perform a BA rouine. ERSs and Fresnels will work just fine. If you plan to use a UV light, don't bother with trying to gel a conventional instrument, fork the money over for a good UV light.
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reedrc
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To clarify, I had not said intelligent lights are absolute. Those whom CAN use automated technology will see the benefit of using them over conventional. As "the fifth" states (and is completely dead on) you don’t need expensive lighting to achieve an effect with B/A - Before I'd worked with Moving light we used ETC source four ellipsoidal and just shutter off the sensitive bits....Mostly on the floor , And directly overhead & behind.
Just my few cents... If anyone would be the formost on this it'd be dondrake..... Where are ya man??
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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thefifth
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Reedrc, sorry didn't mean to sound like I was negating you. Just trying to clarify.
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reedrc
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I dident think that at all. was just agreeing with ya Smile Thx


Ryan
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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Daniel Faith
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Sue Ann Webster says that there is no need for the extra expense of triple velvet. She indicated on Ellis in Wonderland that they ONLY use double velvet and it works just fine.
Daniel Faith
Chris Stolz
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Quote:
On Aug 16, 2005, Daniel Faith wrote:
Sue Ann Webster says that there is no need for the extra expense of triple velvet. She indicated on Ellis in Wonderland that they ONLY use double velvet and it works just fine.


Yep, it's more about good lighting than blacker material. I've got a huge lighting section in my new Black Art book too Smile http://www.blackartbook.com
jay leslie
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Making a cave is an artform. You'll probably end up doing a complete act if you take the time to set it up.

On the other hand. When I'm in a home, I carry two different rabbit productions. One uses a M and the other BA.
If I'm standing in front of a window then I use the BA. I use the back light toy advantage.

A Square Circle is also performed under many diverse lighting conditions. Sometimes you're lit overhead with par cans in the ceiling. We've moved the table a few feet downstage and that solved the problem.

Steve Valentine has experimented, quite successively, with covering the side of a prop and holding it in such a way that his black jacket makes the object in invisible.

Then there is another approach using something like a Chinatown Half and a black glove.

But the best example is a sample if an Okito prop I have. It's a bowl vanish where a busy cloth is tossed over the back of a chair and the lid of the box is set against the cloth. The lid "accidentally" and there's a fake that matches the cloth. -// no BA there. What do you call it? --- but it works great.

So (as a few others wrote) you don't always need to make a cave. But I agree that lighting is critical.

I have a fantastic Asrah table and when the lighting comes from upstage/ overhead - this thing looks 2 inches thick, it's that good. But if were outside (even at dusk) and the natural light travels in from the front - well - we better hope the gobos, sparkles and other distracting things like music and assistant movements better work.
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