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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » I need some advice/help for something that I'm building... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

marD
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Hey everyone,

I am working on an illusion that is going to be part of the Easter drama that our church puts on this year. I have come up with an idea and now I need to flesh it out and get it working. Here is the basic premise:

Jesus has died on the cross for the sins of the world. He is taken down and placed in the borrowed tomb. As He is laid on the stone, He is surrounded by mourners. After the mourners finish preparing His body, they leave. As the mourners leave, the light follows them and the lights in the tomb go down. When the mourners are off stage, the lights in the sanctuary go down as the lights in the tomb get bright. Then, as the audience watches, the linen that is wrapped around the body collapses and the body is gone.

I was going to base the stone where they lay Jesus on the Asrah base. That is the first thing that came to mind, but I'm open to suggestions. The main thing that I'm facing is figuring out how to get the form to collapse the way that I want it to. Already having an image in mind of how I want it to look, I'm going to be a perfectionist about how it gets done so that it looks as real as possible.

Any tips, hints, or ideas would be welcome from those who are much more skilled in this than I(which is pretty much everyone...Smile If you would rather PM me with the ideas and whatnot, that's fine.

I appreciate the time and help greatly!

Mike
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Michael Baker
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"The Great Illusions of Magic" by Byron Wels has a design for a collasping form that would be ideal for you. The Illusion is called, "From Bombay to London". The books (there are 2; one text, one blueprints) are out of print, but you might get lucky. Owen may have the plans. Call them.
~michael baker
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ClintonMagus
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Some sort of inflatable bladder might do what you need.
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Jim Poor
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Ever held a sheet over a heater vent or stuck a blowdryer under one?

Turn off the air and it goes flat.
How to do it quietly, I'm not sure about, but it's food for thought.
Mick Hanzlik
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The inflatable bladder idea seems cool. Maybe you could make some sort of asrah style form from bicycle innner tubes (Stronger that balloons, but you get the idea). All joined to a single valve which could make the inner tubes deflate quickly, and the escaping air could be channelled off stage by a tube, so it would be silent.
Joe Mansfield
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As a dramatic element, I would leave the lights in the tomb low after the mourners are gone and have lights on a dimmer built into the stone that would shine up through the shroud as it colapses. I know it doesn't help your situation, but WOW, what an impact! With the right music, timed with the raising and dimming of the lights, the audience would actually "see" the Spirit of the LORD leave his body to be in Heaven!

I think I have an inexpensive solution for the colapse...a sand motor. Many older effects used this method and as long as gravity is in effect, it will always work.
If you're not sure what this is PM me and I'll give you more information and how you might set it up.
Good Luck,
Joe
marD
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I have been thinking about the inflatable thing. Someone jokingly mentioned using a blow up doll as the form, but we all thought better of it...LOL
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Servante
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Talking off the top of my head here, but...

If you go with the inflatable, you COULD use a blow up doll (But make changes to it BEFORE anyone sees it. Remove some things...glue some things together. Smile

Or you could make your own blow up form with sheet plastic (Maybe painting dropclothes from the hardware store) and some glue. Nice thing about the clear plastic is that you could put a person down on a piece of cardboard, trace around him, put down the clear stuff over that, trace the shape onto the plastic. Run glue along the tracing, cut out the form.
You're gonna have to do a little jiggering...do the profile twice...put in some thickening for the top and bottom.
Or there may be some sort of life sized doll pattern at your local sewing store...just use plastic instead of cloth.
But I'll bet there are some Christmas inflatables and the like that would also work.
If your working presentational style...with the audince seeing it all from fairly much the same angle, rather than 3/4 thrust or arena, the tracing would be in profile.
Then I'd hook up some hose to the thing (permanently affixed) and run it offstage as far as you can to a shop vac in a sound-deadening box. I think it'd be quieter than an air compressor with a reverse switch, wouldn't it?
And I'd make sure there was some music playing just in case...to cover any sound you hadn't managed to erase.

Someone else probably has a better idea. But this seemed the cheapest and easiest to me.
montemagic
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Look for the mirrors that have the scissor-like extensions. The kind you can stretch way out, then they collaps back down. If you don't know what I am talking about, I can search it out for you. But that can be modified with a little wire to get you a great collapsing effect.
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makeupguy
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If you do the home made platic blwo up.. don't' use glue..

Use soemting thick lie Vis-queen or thick plastic drop cloth from your home improvement store... trash bags work well too.. but I don't think they'd be big enough

where ever you want a seam, tape your pieces down. put a layter of craft paper over the seam, and draw on top with a stencil cutter or soldering iron with a small sharp tip.

the kraft paper will keep the plastci underneath from buring.. but the seams will permanently melt together.. and be remarkably strong. you can double seam it for extra druablity, about a 1/4 inch apart.

Blow up dolls aren't' a bad idea.. but you need to make the air entrance/exit pretty big.. like a vaccuum hose size.. otherwise yhou wont' get iit to inflate or deflate fast enough.

Be careful wiht a vaccuum though.. on the output end.. it will pop any "balloon" you make unlessy you make rellease holes.. which will blow you cloth around unless they run out the bottom of the table.

Inflatables are a great idea..a bit of work.. but a realy good solution to what you want to accomplish.

you can sew one out of nylon as well.. like the christmas one's you see on peoples lawns now. You might get a blow up doll.. and adapt that pattern onto a nylon version rather than vinyl.. it'll last longer.. and not be quite so offensive for your congregation
marD
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I wanted to ask another question while I'm at it...

I was planning on using something along the lines of the Asrah table for the stone that they lay Jesus on. Is there a better solution? It would have to be something that the person can get out of and get chagned for the finale. The front of the stone bier won't be open like a table, so I don't have to worry about that.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped me!

Mike
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ClintonMagus
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If you position the sides of the front of the "tomb" correctly, they will act as natural "blocks". "Jesus" could just roll off the back of the stone as the cloth is being placed, and exit the stage to change.
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marD
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That's basically what I was thinking. I have been working out the design so that everything that needs to remain unseen does, but so that everyone watching will be able to see the event happen...It's been fun and interesting to say the least!
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Joe Mansfield
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Depending on how many mourners are in the tomb, they could create enough cover for the actor playing Jesus to slip on an outfit similar to theirs and walk out with them.
marD
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That's basically what I was thinking. I have been working out the design so that everything that needs to remain unseen does, but so that everyone watching will be able to see the event happen...It's been fun and interesting to say the least!
At Ease Tees - Christian apparel and other items!
marD
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That's basically what I was thinking. I have been working out the design so that everything that needs to remain unseen does, but so that everyone watching will be able to see the event happen...It's been fun and interesting to say the least!
At Ease Tees - Christian apparel and other items!
marD
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That's basically what I was thinking. I have been working out the design so that everything that needs to remain unseen does, but so that everyone watching will be able to see the event happen...It's been fun and interesting to say the least!
At Ease Tees - Christian apparel and other items!
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