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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Some advise for a "very" ambitious project (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

tomcat
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Ok this is my first big trick using anything bigger than something that fits in your hand so pardon my noobness. Remember Bill and Ted and that stupid phone booth. Well I'm building one. Me and a friend are using the theme for a show and we want to bring people back from the past (one at a time) to tell their story. I have 2 asst. who will play 2 roles each to make the trick that more managable.

The biggest thing I am looking for is a transparent box idea that we convert into (ambitious) a collapsable booth that appears to go through the floor like in the movie. There isn't a limit to what I can build woodwork, welding, pvc, whatever. The biggest thing is to pull the trick off 8 times right in front of them without them seeing a thing and believing.

I can build a box and make people come and go, but what's the fun in that? Any resources or emails or PMs, hey whatever would be great. Some ideas on the collapsable booth so far have the material being very light weight and are based on a counter weight system. But it would look like a crappy phone booth the way it would fall and its appearance onstage during the presentations.

Thanks a ton for the help

Tomcat
magicmarkdaniel
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Bolton, England UK
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I suppose a giant vanishing birdcage type of design would give you the visual vanish of the box. When you say about repeating 8 times you may have problems resetting and personally I wouldn't use the same effect 8 times. I might have read it wrong but I reckon once would be a really good effect.

Mark
Mark Daniel
tomcat
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The idea is to bring person A from the past and return them (trick 2x) and then have person B,C,D all doing the same. We arn't locked into doing anything. I figure it would be easier to "transport" one person 8 times than to cram 4 people in a box once. I could be wrong though.
EsnRedshirt
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How tall is this phone booth?

My suggestion- build a series of platforms until they reach the height of the phone booth. (You can make them lower by concealing the bottom edges of the booth with shrubberies, etc.) Cut a hole the size of the booth in the highest platform. Then actually sink the entire phone booth through the "floor". All your actors can be hiding under the platforms, and just walk in and out of the phonebooth when it's lowered. Not extremely "magical", but very effective.

Alternately, build the platform up to half the height of the booth, and have the booth's walls telescope into themselves, to let the booth sink its full height into the stage.

Either way, you'll need a good counterweight system. Overbuild the rig, it needs to be really strong.
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
rtgreen
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Inner circle
Portland, Oregon
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Just for clarification, does the phone booth itself vanish and reappear or just the people?

Thanks,
Richard
Jazz
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Mmm, eight times the same illusion? I think it´s too much. Maybe you can do 2 people at a time?
tomcat
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Skits goes as follows:

I send a person back to retrieve a "historical figure". The booth and person disappear. The booth returns but with a new arrival. This goes on 3 times and the 4th my origional person returns and the booth makes it final exit solo or I could join our friend in the booth for a cool exit.
rtgreen
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I was thinking if you "fog up" the glass in the phone booth, you could use shadow effects to represent the vanishes and appearances. (Something similar to the elevator illusion, but the siloette would quickly drop from view or pop up from below)

This would be an easy prop to build (compared to a collapsing phone booth) and I think would still give a clear reference to the movie in context with the other staging.

Thanks,
Richard
tomcat
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Not a bad idea. I don't have a lick of experience in shadow direction though. Do you have any recommendations on resources that would cut to the chase for what I would need?
Face
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Why 8, why not 80? Smile
ricker
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Or just build a jarret cabinet to look like a phone booth.
leapinglizards
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They used a trap and lift at Universal
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
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<BR>www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com
The Mac
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Why not try this (off the top of my head ): create 2 square (wood or aluminum) frames - one being the base of the cubical - the other being the top. inbetween the the frames you would have transparent plastic. The top frame is suspended with four wires from the lighting grid or roof. When you want someone to vanish or appear you can lower the top frame flat onto the bottom frame ( think of an accordian). Using some directional light and/or fog to conceal loading and unloading of the person. Though the best /easiest way out would be black art.


Routine: first walk around the cubical showing it transparent all around. Attatched to the top frame would be your black art material or better yet this black art would be on its own two wires to be raised and lowered independent of the frame then you finshed your walk around, the black art would be lowed. You can get your actors thru the back of the cubical.

after your produced someone you could raise your black art in the back and walk around etc.

from here on in..I'm sure you can work the rest out!

Peace out
Macgyver
tomcat
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Interesting idea, I think we could incorperate a shadow box design around that model too. The only problem is I don't have access to an overhang system. I would have to build something resembling a "cage" that would hold the weight of the wires and the outside.
The Mac
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Well its not terribly hard to rig wires -

just think of 2 high step ladders and a pole across them
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