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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Criss Angel "Drawing Duplication" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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DJM
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I don't really have a problem that he uses stooges like 95% of the time.. but why they have to act so bad? They don't even try to make it seem real!
True Believer
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DJM,
Nothing personal, but if you don't have an answer for Kyle's question, why do you post such comments?
When I registered on this forum, I received a lot of messages like these:

Here is a great place to talk about magic and learn new things
Welcome to the Café! You will find it very interesting here
I've found this a wonderful and interesting place full and friendly and helpfull people.
You will find many new friends and many new ideas here.

If we analyze the sentences and try to extract only relevant words, we'll come up with:
- talk about magic
- learn new things
- full & friendly place
- helpful people
- new ideas

Now, I want to ask everyone on this forum: do you think these sentences were honoured? What do you think about it? Come on, I think you could answer without losing your prestige...
maybe we can open this discussion in other places
Lorenzo
DJM
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True Believer, I don't understand what's the problem.. the person on this thread asked what method Criss was using, and I tried to help by saying that most of his effects are done with stooges and camera edits, so perhaps it's the same with this one.

I don't recall saying anything negative, using stooges is also a magic method and it's a known fact that Criss usually does it in his effects. But sorry if it didn't help the poster, I'll try better next time!
AaronTheMagician
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Back to Criss's "post production habits"

I hear all the time of tons of editing for effect and whatnot...
...but I work with video editing a lot. Not for magic, mind you, but just for the videos I make in my free time.
And being the photoshop nerd that I am, I have a good eye for editing and such...

...but I have yet to see but just a couple of Criss's effects that were edited for effect. Almost all of his editing has been to shorten segments for TV.

As far as stooges...
for the most part, it doesn't matter to me.
Because most of them are convincing actors and really helped to sell the effect to me (I watch every show for enjoyment, not to "figure it out")
But the poorly staged and poorly performed "gut buster" illusion sticks out as the worst idea he's added yet...

So even though he edits his videos, I rarely see anything that is edited to enhance effect.
Personally, I feel like the "he edits everything for effect" was a childish rumor.
That's just the way I see it.
DJM
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Oh man, I could give you a very long list where he's used camera edits and camera tricks in his effects. Most of his shows are based on things that could only be done with a camera and stooges. Some of them are so obvious that it's very hard to miss.

Not saying that it's a bad thing, just that he uses it so often that a lot of people can't take it seriously anymore.
tajkuri
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Quote:
On 2007-04-05 12:10, Whacky Neighbor wrote:
Yet, there he is and here we are. You can talk all you want about how bad a magician is, I feel like I'm repeating myself here, but he is bringing magic to the masses. It reminds me of a "lightbulb" joke. How many actors does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one. But nine others to stand back and say "I could have done it better". If his magic is so terrible, that should inspire you to go out and make magic something better.


I agree totally.

Banachek was few weeks ago having a lecture at here Finland, and at the end of his lecture he asked do we have something to ask about Mindfreak.
Silence.
Then someone asked something about camera tricks and stooges, and here is Banachek's answer: (wording isn't exatly same, but the idea) "We use cameras to cut off, for example long speaking part from a trick(if it is unnessessary), and we don't use stooges to accomplish tricks. Every time magician sees a trick he doesn't understand, it's stooge or camera trick." Or so I understood. (Banachek's english was a little too fast for me sometimes)
DJM
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Yes, he never uses stooges..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25dNZhgVrkc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfg1SCHKwp0

And simple camera tricks? God forbid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L_w5oYcn5o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hugRxl-USxQ

At least they should make it a bit less obvious..
AaronTheMagician
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Actually, in reading, Banacheck had a great point. "Everytime a MAGICIAN doesn't understand..."

It's just a rut we've all gotten into.

So yes, I agree there have been effects that couldn't have been done without extensive editing, and there have certainly been stooges...

But I really don't think...
...for the tiniest bit of a second...

that ANYONE on this forum wouldn't do it
if they had those kind of deadlines to fill.

Let's give the man some credit.
Mariagi
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Quote:
On 2007-05-06 03:54, AaronTheMagician wrote:

But I really don't think...
...for the tiniest bit of a second...

that ANYONE on this forum wouldn't do it
if they had those kind of deadlines to fill.

Let's give the man some credit.


DJM was only showing to people like you DENYING camera editing and stooges that actually you were wrong.he never said that Mr.Angel is bad.

actually DJM said he has no problems with people using stooges if they know how to act
Malchat
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Quote:
On 2007-05-06 03:54, AaronTheMagician wrote:
Actually, in reading, Banacheck had a great point. "Everytime a MAGICIAN doesn't understand..."

It's just a rut we've all gotten into.


The observation is correct but it's not something we just happened to 'get into' - this rut was created by high profile televisions shows changing what it means to be a magician in front of a camera.

Also, today's audiences are more savvy than we give them credit for, especially since they are able to dissect everything on the internet. We need smarter thinking to keep magic entertaining and credible as television spectacle, and the 'camera tricksters' aren't helping.
“You are what you pretend to be.”
videokideo
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Quote:
On 2007-05-06 02:03, AaronTheMagician wrote:

So even though he edits his videos, I rarely see anything that is edited to enhance effect.
Personally, I feel like the "he edits everything for effect" was a childish rumor.
That's just the way I see it.



Childish rumor... wow!

Criss uses video editing in 90% of his television shows. Some people just cant handle the truth because it may just take away the fact that he isn't that great of a magician.. at least from what he shows us. Now he has won magician of the year a couple times, and Im still clueless on how this happened. You used to have to actually blow peoples minds routine after routine to win this, you know, like the greats do, with true dedication, practice and talent...

Aaron... name some of his television routines you think are actually performed without video editing so I can see in which routines you believe are real. I think you'll be shocked to find out majority are not edited to shorten time, but to actually pull off the effect.

In the end, I went through each tv show and made two columns... fake and real. 90% of his routines ended up in the fake column due to video editing and set up audiences (stooges)! Its sad they call this talent magician of the year. I never thought id see the day where a fake is accepted as the best. And I sure as hell never thought id see people like Thompson and Banacheck help a performer look good with fake material. I would think those guys would tell him to go practice up and learn the routines like the rest of us.

Sorry about the rant.. but this is a subject that bothers me. We practice day and night to learn our material while others are given awards and praise for doing half of what we do.
AaronTheMagician
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Well, all-in-all, I may stand totally in the wrong.

And I'll be the first to admit that I know very little in comparison to most of the Café members...
...the point I'm trying to make is that even if EVERYTHING he did was staged and edited, 90% of laymen wouldn't care. Sure, everyone in the back of their minds would say, "oh oh oh, it's a camera trick!"
But everyone watching for the pure pleasure of being entertained or to be mystified will suspend their disbelief.
Besides, what good would it do for me to critique him? I'll probably never get to meet him. He has his advisors and friends for that...

...everyone... who doesn't care what his methods are or what his level of "professionalism" is... will willingly suspend their disbelief and be amazed.
Including me.

Because I don't care if he can't do a pass well. I don't care if it's painfully obvious that every clip of the show had stooges (well ethically, it nags at me... but that's not my point). And honestly, I'm not the least bit bitter of him teaching some of my favorite routines to millions of viewers...

This may sound ludacris ... insane... or too forgiving.
So why does it not bother me?
I watch his show, and let all my magic knowledge go on break, as a total layperson.
That's when you realize he's still only human, and no matter how cheesy we magicians may think something is, or how wrong it is of him to edit that much..

...it's still freakin' awesome to watch.
Any layperson will tell you the same.
And going off and telling everyone that it's all camera tricks and editing and stooges is not helping our cause out AT ALL.
True Believer
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His "Drawing Duplication" effect is a mix of three things
- 20% of assistants
- 50% of audience management
- 30% of practice with a special gimmick
Presenting this effect very smoothly requires practice and cold blood. The camera tricks you were referring to were in reality camera CUTS, applied later the entire shooting by Angel's crew editors. The slighlty missing parts (not so many) are the moments in which Criss displays his audience management skills and does the "dirty work". These cuts were made to not bother the audience...
So, yes, this effect requires practice...not so much but a little bit (maybe a week or so)
videokideo
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You are right.. its fun to watch and great for laymen. Its just hard to feel the same as a magician/mentalist. Very entertaining for the most part. I give Criss credit as my bookings have gone through the roof for the past 2 years seeing what I perform is much like the stuff you see him present. People want to see live what they see him do on tv. So that is a good thing.

Its great that you love his show and I wouldnt put anyone down for watching him. You can learn a lot. But between magician to magician, its nice to discuss realism at times. To each his own.

Even though I hated watching blaine, it taught us a lot on what people really want to see... up close street magic without all the smoke and props. There are good and bad points to every show and performer. Glad you are finding some good in Angel.
True Believer
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You're right Aaron (just in my opinion though),
His technique, also, it ain't so bad (look at the pass that he does in the Card in Beer Bottle routine. I've seen the move thanks to his crew cameraman...he was not very "angle friendly" on that Smile
DJM
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Like I said, I don't really have a problem with using stooges, but using one should be done in a smart way.. and seems like Criss doesn't care much about that. The thing that most annoys me is that he and his staff try their best to deny that they use things like that, while it's obvious that they do.

Take this video for example, that I posted earlier...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfg1SCHKwp0

He tries his best to convince us that there are no camera tricks and stooges involved, no smoke and mirrors, that everything is legit. And the crowd agrees.. He says that in other effects as well.

2 seconds later there's a cut in the camera and basically exposes the effect by doing the exact same things that he just said he wouldn't do.

I don't know, to me it seemes like he's making fun of the audience's intelligence, the ones over there and the ones who watch it at home.

Here's another video just like that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRR30Tll6wY

At one point he says that it will be one continuous shot without any cuts.. 5 seconds later he suddenly decides to take off his shoes, and the camera gives us a long close up shot on his feet (and I think there's also a small cut in the end).. I guess because it's so interesting to see someone taking off his shoes, there's nothing suspicious in that.

Come on, are we 6 years old?
Arnon
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I nominate this for the "Wittiest lines in a post in 2007":

Quote:
On 2007-04-02 03:38, Virungan wrote:

***

You compared him [Criss Angel] with Derren Brown and that highlights the key element that makes mentalism much more of an art form- it works best with a degree of erudition, class and carefully woven storytelling, something DB excels at, turning each effect into a carefully constructed experience.

Take the same effect, mumble through it, finsih it with a screaming guitar lick and jam your open mouth over a camera lens and it loses all of its impact.
alannasser
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Angel is one of the worst things to happen to magic in a very long time. Our community is steeped in tradition, not inflexible rules and rituals, but certain standards of showmanship, performance savvy and the pride in exhibiting our advanced skills without, as the Professor always said, giving any indication whatever that we were exercising advanced skill under their noses. Angel is a mumbling, inarticulate publicity-and-money seeking scam artist without an ounce of class or elegance in his performance style or his personal presentation.

It is flat out factually incorrect to deny that a large portion of what he does relies on camera tricks, stooges and editing designed to pull off the effect, not "save time". Look: a film director and non-magician actor could precisely duplicate just about all of Angel's most dramatic effects. The guym is not a magician.

Check out Denny Haney's performance dvd, the tape of one of his shows. now compare to Angel's "magic". QED. if Angel contributes in a significant way to the future course of our art, and influences a significant nymber of aspiring magicians, the magic community has got one foot on a banana peel and the other in a grave.

Alan
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