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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Help or Advice for Willy Wonka effect (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of mb5191
My old middle school is performing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as their play for the drama department. They asked me since I perform magic if I can help them with the Vanishing of Mike Teevee and the giant chocolate bar in front of a large audience. The room will be ALL white, and there are no trap doors in the stage. Are there any plans out there or any advice to do this?

P.S. The effect has to be instant.

If anyone knows a place I can get plans, or any advice I would greatly appriciate it.
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Profile of MichaelKent
It's a middle school musical - not a magic show. The audience will be amazed with a simpler method than if the show were a magic show. The reason for this is because of expectations. The vanish of the character will be completely surprising to the audience and they will love it.

I suggest creating a ramp up to an elevated platform - all in white, that matches everything else on the set. The idea here isn't to hide the piece - it's part of the set. Maybe he ends his dialogue or song up there. Even out the set by creating a matching piece on the other side, possible slightly differently shaped. Then a trap idea is possible - possibly under the cover of some small pyro.

Keep it simple!!
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Profile of MCM

I suggest you use "white art" for this effect....
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cherokee, tx
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Profile of indysmagic
Have you seen the die tray? A jumbo die is tossed on the tray and it either vanishes or turns into sponge balls. You could make a giant candy bar following the same principle and the tray could be the platform.

To vanish Mike- how about making a quick change outfit for him so that he could turn into an OOMPA LOOMPA? In the movie, the Oompa's are all wearing goggles and dressed alike. The Oompas could surround him- cover with a sheet and/or a flash (I suggest strobe instead of pyro for MS)he instantly becomes one of the many Oompa's running around and to the audience, he just vanished. This type of vanish has been used with much success by some of the greats.
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Inner circle
I Do Mentalism Now?!
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Profile of NFox
Simplicity is your friend. If I were you I would do something along the lines of what Michael Kent suggested. Because no one is expecting magic, you have no reason to hide the apparatus. So just build a set piece that can act as a base. It will be just as impressive as any other method. The audience is there for the show, not the effect.

I'm reminded of what I read about the production "The Invisible Man" that Jim Steinmeyer created the effects for. After the show, in the lobby, he heard a woman remark that the "hologram" was incredibly realistic. The only problem is: hologram technology can't currently replicate what they saw. The audience is there for an illusion of another sort...the illusion of reality, so don't let the effect (whatever it is) interfere with that.

Nick Fox
"Obscuring Reality"- Gone but not forgotten...
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Profile of mb5191
Thanks, I realize that the audience is not looking for a magic show, but their set is amazing looking and the directors were hoping for some super awesome affects. Anyway, your right about the oompa loompa thing it would just be very hard to do something in the open like that for a 7th grader and with the orange makeup it would be twice as hard. But it's a nice idea! What about the candy bar? Do you think I could pull it up into the top of the stage out of view with fishing wire? We already set up a really neat pully system for making Grandpa and Charlie to float around during the Fizzy Lifting drinks scene. hmm... or am I thinking too hard.... Thanks for your input!
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Profile of Chase
Can you add a prop to the set? Would they be open to Mike Teevee standing in/on a box/framework/table? Maybe shielding him from view with rolling screens?
Christian Illusionist
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Ohio (currently located in Missouri)
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Profile of Christian Illusionist
Hmm...depending on what Mike Tevee is doing, there's a lot of fun that could be had here.

This is really simple, maybe you could find a way to improvise with this.

Paint the entire back of the chocolate bar white, then all that's needed is to flip it around and place it against the wall. This will be best if the scene ends soon after the vanish.

Also, I like a combo idea of indysmagic and Chase.

Have Mike Tevee be shielded by screens by the Oompa Loompa when all that needs to happen is for him to be dressed like them and from then on keep his back to the audience (since it would require some fast work to get his entire face orange in that short of time).

He then helps the Oompa Loompas carry the screens off.

I dunno, play around with it.
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
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