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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Once upon a time... » » Need ideas/pointers for effects for a story (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Psy-Kosh
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Okay, I'm very much a beginner, and of course I'm still at the wanting to do everything, so hardly know what to do and focus on. So one thing I'd like to do is try to build a simple routine and set of effects around this story http://www.nickbostrom.com/fable/dragon.html (The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant)

Among other reasons, this'll give me some organization and focus on what to work with and practice. So need some ideas for basic effects to use with this story.

So far, main thing I could think of was along the lines of illusions for around the end of it. (ie, change an very aged and visually weakened person into a young and healthy one, do a vanish on a grim reaper, etc...) But would like some ideas that can be done closer to the beginner level. This way I'd have a target to keep my eyes on, as it were, and then later on update and do more complex and advanced stuff where appropriate for this story as I get better.

Thanks.
Fred ericksen
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Works Works Works. I have a french show about dragonslayer. If you come to France, it will be a pleasure to receive you. You can see it here http://www.dragonslayer.info.
For the fable, you have to think which effect inspire the text. This is the begin of your works
Psy-Kosh
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Okay, spent several days thinking about it, still confused about your reply.

When you say "works works works", do you mean I should practice a lot or do you mean there's an effect by that name?

As for which effects go well with the text, that's the entire thing I was asking for suggestions for. ie, I was asking for suggestions on what effects would go well with the text, that would be reasonably doable by a beginner.

As for the invitation, thank you very much. Though I don't particularly expect to be there anytime soon, I'll keep it in mind.
ptbeast
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I don't have an a effect to recommend, but I do have a couple
of comments. First off, the story is very long for oral storytelling.
Unless you are a VERY good storyteller, you will have to greatly
abbreviate the story to hold their interest.

Secondly, I think that, as you already noted that the effect should
deal with aging, not with the story itself. Otherwise the analogy
will be too subtle for most. It still may be.

As far as effects, the only thing that comes immediately to mind is
some sort of changing photo type effect. If anything else pops into
my head I will add it later.

Dave
Psy-Kosh
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Well, the story part itself isn't that... well, okay, it is long. Smile

But I'd also want to do effects associated with the story itself as opposed to just it's meaning, because otherwise I'd have to wait until the end of the story to do anything, having the whole story build up to one or two effects, as opposed to illustrating the story along the way, which is what I was going for.

(Oh, just had an idea, maybe something about a "mountain" that I could put something representing people under, then lift it a few times, showing some dissapearing and some remaining to illustrate the thing about some being eaten right away and some being trapped there for years?)
kaytracy
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Keep in mind that the story you tell should be able to stand on it's own, despite, or maybe in spite of any tricks you do! If you do much throughout the story, the audience will come to expect, and look for the next bit of flash, and the story will fall by the wayside.
Stories are part of how we leaqrn, consider the old Aesop's fables. A learning / teaching tool.
k
Kay and Tory
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kaytracy
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I went to your page and read the story.
I have a couple of questions before I can give very much detailed feedback.
What is the audience you intend this for? If children? you will lose them quickly. For many children today, their lexicon is not sufficient to grasp a number of the words you have used, and they will tune out. As well the scale of the numbers you use will hold little meaning to the average person. We are bombarded by numbers every day. Ask a person to tell you how big is a pile of one hundred pennies, one thousand, ten thousand, and the perspective become muddy. If I tell you something about a glass of water, many folk will not know how many molecules there would be in an 8 oz glass. consider that over 10, 000 were in the urine of Julius Ceaser. people go eww at the concept, and the number, with no true realization about how much it is, and what it means.

Professionals in the field? They will connect, and will not need any magic to go with it.

There are a few points in the story that you focus upon that could seem to cause problems, i.e. this would not be the first time that people have been "herded en masse" onto trains to face an "early death". I myself had a mental vision of the train entering the "tunnel" of the dragon;'s maw- I like to ride the train, tunnels and all. Children might show concern after hearing such a story.

I realize there are lessons you want to get across, but you have packed them all into a very heavy suitcase here. Aesop's / Brother's Grimm works still get interpreted into tales, cartoons, etc. because they work, give the moral or political lesson, entertain, and end. People have time to digest the nugget of each story before they are given the next one.
Consider the altered version of "Wonderful Life" that was floating about the internet a number of years back with the moral about lack of innovation if the competition had not been there between Apple and IBM.

At the risk of being called a Trekkie, your tale has incorporated episode lessons from at least one Original Trek one from Next Generation, and borderline one from Voyager that I can place clearly.

I would consider the audience, then trim that tale- a lot! Pick the primary focus of your story- Kill the dragon? Innovate? Think outside the box? Do not go gently...? Get a new king? Trains = death?
Through all of these bits, the idea that Age is not a bad thing got lost- to me at any rate. It was hard to tell that elder issues or aging was of any import to the tale, again for me. <and maybe I still don't get it!!>

Once upon a time, there was a great and hungry beast. Its name was Institution!
From there I would look to the effect styles that PT mentions. I would just strongly urge you to bare bones that puppy. A hard task, as I know all too well!
Good luck
Kay
Kay and Tory
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Bill Palmer
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Beginning story magicians have a tendency to want to illustrate every step of a story with a piece of magic. This may be a mistake. In any case, this story, as written, is very, very long.

The best magical stories are fairly short. They are good stories. The voice of the storyteller holds the interest of the audience. The magic occurs at the end of the story as an illustration of some principle, truth, or moral.

Get a copy of Once Upon A Time by Punx, and see how he does "The little pixie's wee magic cloak." Then compare it with "The Little Emperor and the Cricket" from Final Curtain. The Punx presentation is about little tricks. The Borodin presentation is about a different kind of magic.

Punx came to storytelling from magic. Borodin came to magic from storytelling.

Which one is right? That depends on you.

So, how to work with this fable. First, edit it. Convert it from "written doctor story talk" to your own words. Cut out huge chunks of it. When you have it to half its present length, read it and put it away. Then go back in about two or three weeks, and cut out some more.

Now figure out what the story is really about. Figure how you are going to represent these things. And then figure out the effect. Note that I said effect, not effects. Do not make this a card trick. And don't rely on commercial effects to do the job.

If you want this to be about reversing aging, then figure out how to make a photograph "youthen" or a doll grow young, or perhaps bring a flower from a withered weed to a blooming rose.

Then you will have something nobody else has.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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