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Swann101
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I can't believe some guys actually thinks it is ok that DC, CA and Blaine are using "camera tricks"??? That should totally be against the ethics of magic, like revealing secrets like the masked magician, like building unauthorized illusions etc. There is no way you can talk it right! I am totally against it.
Then we can all just start our own TV shows and it would be like sci-fi movies, where do you draw the line?! Just don't do it!!!
Matthew St. Cyr
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I would have to agree with the majority. CGI is unacceptable. To show magic on TV, such as in a theater "taped before a live audience" and all that. I used to love DC's magic specials...Lance Burton and The World's Greatest Magic. Those are the performances that really inspired me. You knew that you were seeing what that audience saw for the most part. Sure there may have been a few different camera angles, but it was authentic. If I was to go out and shoot a magic video and levitated across two buildings or made my Ford Explorer magically appear, I'd be completely screwed when I get tickets sold to a show or go and work a restaurant....then people wanna see it live. "Well, um...gee, how bout I show you a card trick instead?"
True, it did work for CA and DB....but for the rest of us to try and employ the same tactics, would be to shoot ourselves in the foot. I say if you can't do it live, just don't do it.
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Drew Manning
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Quote:
I would have to agree with the majority. CGI is unacceptable.

Can you explain to me how this is any different than using say a black art device to hide the workings of a levitation presented live? Different mediums have different requirements.
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Matthew St. Cyr
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Quote:
Can you explain to me how this is any different than using say a black art device to hide the workings of a levitation presented live? Different mediums have different requirements.

The difference being I can perform a black art levitation live. If I was to televise it, it would be exactly the same as what the live audience would see. There is no misdirection in CGI, there's no pinache. I could go out and shoot a levitation video and then edit it on the computer and give the DVD to people, but what's the fun in that? Or I could do a Balducci levitation somewhere impromptu and have people swear that I was at least a foot of the ground.
All I'm saying is that it just doesn't feel right to me, I prefer to show my magic live and be able to do everything that I say I can do.
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Drew Manning
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That may be true to some extent, but you still rely on a BA device to hide the method. In this case, the hide is accomplished with a video edit.

The long and short of it is, the more people talk about him and what he does or doesn't do, the more successful he'll be because he's getting publicity.

Some people forget that despite editing tactics used in some episodes of MF, he's still a talented magician. The Magic Castle doesn't award magician of the year to someone who can only amaze an audience with camera tricks and edits. If they did, Steven Spielberg would have that same award.
I live my life for a layer of ice
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Matthew St. Cyr
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I completely agree. I'm definately not disputing that CA is a talented magician! I definately wish him all the best and want him to succeed, I just wish that it could be done without the editing....and digital tricks.....
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Bill Hallahan
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I didn't find the analysis in the videos to be totally conclusive in all cases.

Here are my observations about the first video.

First, one camera might have had a filter, and the other didn't.

Second, editing out a person moving on the bottom of the frame doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the magic. The producers might have done that to remove extraneous motion. Or, it could have been a performance on another day.

Third, the camera on the ground could be moving slowly and digitally tracking the image, which explains the relative cloud position changing.

Fourth, I think there is a good case made that there were separate performances edited together, but that in itself, while perhaps a poor practice because it's easy to spot, doesn't mean the method involves camera tricks. In fact, only one point he made presumed a camera trick was related to the method, which I (possibly) refute above.

The second video provides a hint to what I think is the likely method, and that method does not involve a camera trick!

The analysis for the third video was clearly flawed. For one thing, a less luminous item will look darker when a brighter light source is present. Consider the color black on your computer monitor. When you turn the monitor off, the screen probably looks mildly green, and yet black is the same as when it's off. It's the other light emitted by the screen that makes it seem black.

Also, the motorcycle had less visible surface area as it tilted and got closer to the bright source, so it would reflect less light and appear relatively darker than before. Finally, there is a video effect present in almost all recorded images, the camera adjusts for light intensity to avoid image washout.


I'm still curious what magic Criss Angel has done where there is conclusive proof that camera tricks were used. So many magicians chat about it, but when it comes down to specifying a specific scene, they fall silent.

I'm not saying he hasn't, but a blanket statement without anything to back it up is just baseless. I don't get to see the show very often, so I'd like to know what it is that is fake.

I am virtually certain that one thing Criss Angel did that many magicians claimed was done with camera tricks didn't use them at all. With a huge budget, seeming miracles can be accomplished in bizarre ways.

So, what I can imagine might be happening is that someone states that Criss Angel uses camera tricks. Soon the rumor spreads, and people who are totally fooled start assuming that he is using camera tricks. Then discussions like this ensue.

By the way, it's not too hard to take David Copperfield's legitimate magic videos and make an analysis like this guy did. He ignores possibilities to make his point. And, none of his points prove that the method involves camera tricks.


Check out the posts at Why it is really stupid to bash David Blaine by Bill Palmer. While the topic starts off about David Blaine, Criss Angel is also mentioned.

Criss Angel cannot harm your own magic, even if you are on television. If you're not, then it clearly can't matter what he does.

And don't forget, Criss Angel's popularity has gone up continuously since his specials aired, so the public clearly doesn't feel the same way that some magicians do. Most people's reactions can be summed up nicely by one current response at Youtube (the person's name was omitted only so that he can't search for his own user-name and end up here at the Magic Café.

Quote:
dude, it's fake, we all know already, GOD!!!!
Anybody with a brain can figure that out!!!!
Is there anything you have to prove?!

Note, from the perspective of some here, that poster missed the point... however, from the perspective of most layman, it's all fake, and either the magician is putting something over on them another way or the magician is highly entertaining while fooling them. Worry about being entertaining while fooling people. Then David Blaine and Criss Angel can't affect you. If they can't affect you, then how can what they do be considered unethical?
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Swann101
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Bill, it definitely can affect you! They are creating expectations they no magician, not even themselves can live up to! I can't tell you how many time laypeople has came up to me and asked to levitate like Blaine, let me tell you the Balducci is not going to do the job here, they want to see you rise at least 5ft, because Blaine can do it. Smile I have always loved Criss Angels magic until he started his TV specials! You can't compare that to the quality of magic seen in worlds greatest magic and the earlier Copperfield specials. "Camera trick" breaks magic down!
Drew how can you compare the black art with with CGI? That doesn't make sense!
mark2004
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Quote:
On 2007-06-20 15:09, Drew Manning wrote:
That may be true to some extent, but you still rely on a BA device to hide the method. In this case, the hide is accomplished with a video edit.

The long and short of it is, the more people talk about him and what he does or doesn't do, the more successful he'll be because he's getting publicity.

Some people forget that despite editing tactics used in some episodes of MF, he's still a talented magician. The Magic Castle doesn't award magician of the year to someone who can only amaze an audience with camera tricks and edits. If they did, Steven Spielberg would have that same award.

While it's all well and good for magicians to have the recognition of organistaions such as The Magic Castle, it's the recognition of the public that ultimately counts the most if the traditional craft of performance magic is to have a future. If the public begins to assume that magic on TV is done with post production techniques (whether digital or other) then why bother trying to achieve effects with magic techniques? With modern digital systems you will be able to achieve effects that look much more spectacular than anything that could be done live. So then magic on TV becomes the domain of George Lucas and friends.

The crucial characteristic that's always distinguished magic as a performing art is the way it has been rooted in live performance - even when it's shown on TV. Mark Wilson understood that when he pioneered the concept of magic shows on network TV. You have to preserve the distinction between fictional entertainment (eg. TV shows such as Bewitched or Charmed or movies such as The Prestige or any one of a gazillion other examples) and magic shows, which are, in a sense, documentaries of a performance. What I mean by documentaries is that they are honest and accurate coverage of a performance, even though the performance itself may obviously involve illusions that present a type of fiction. If audiences can't depend on shows being honest documentaries in that limited but crucial way then they'll assume they're watching just another effects based fiction. (Apart, obviously from the sad and rather worrying few who are dumb enough to believe that Criss Angel has sold his soul to the devil).
Bill Hallahan
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Swann101 wrote:
Quote:
Bill, it definitely can affect you! They are creating expectations they no magician, not even themselves can live up to! I can't tell you how many time laypeople has came up to me and asked to levitate like Blaine, let me tell you the Balducci is not going to do the job here, they want to see you rise at least 5ft, because Blaine can do it:) I have always loved Criss Angels magic until he started his TV specials! You can't compare that to the quality of magic seen in worlds greatest magic and the earlier Copperfield specials. "Camera trick" breaks magic down!
Drew how can you compare the black art with with CGI? That doesn't make sense!

You are correct I suppose. It can affect you if you do the same things as the guy on television.

This issue also exists if they do any routine you don't do at all, and they ask to see it.

Of course, you can simply say, "I don't do that," and move on to your next routine. They'll still be impressed you levitated at all.

Swann101 wrote:
Quote:
I have always loved Criss Angels magic until he started his TV specials! You can't compare that to the quality of magic seen in worlds greatest magic and the earlier Copperfield specials. "Camera trick" breaks magic down!

As I asked above, what specifically are you referring to and why do you know it is a camera trick?

mark2004 wrote:
Quote:
While it's all well and good for magicians to have the recognition of organizations such as The Magic Castle, it's the recognition of the public that ultimately counts the most if the traditional craft of performance magic is to have a future. If the public begins to assume that magic on TV is done with post production techniques (whether digital or other) then why bother trying to achieve effects with magic techniques?

Not quite. The public doesn't begin to think this, rather the public has always thought this, which is why disclaimers have always been necessary.

Since the issue has always existed since the dawn of magic on video, no magician created it.

People judge you based on yourself, not on others.

And, since the public expects deception from a magician, the question to ask is, why do they accept it? They obviously do since both Criss Angel and David Copperfield's popularity numbers for their demographic are high.

Use a disclaimer.

I think there are certain disclaimers that fall outside the theatrical role. The disclaimer should be made by a trusted source, and the credibility of that source is at risk, and the magician. However, I have seen nothing but general charge with no specifics, and every time I saw specifics that related to camera tricks, they weren't credible, or they weren't proven.

Using confederates is another matter. I might believe that, but then I have no issue with that either, as long as the public doesn't. Some of the public know too, they aren't stupid. Read the quote from the person at Youtube above, it sums up most of the publics attitude.

The public only dislikes a charlatan, but Criss Angel has openly admitted to using trickery many times. Beyond that, most of the public could care less about specific methods.

mark2004 wrote:
Quote:
The crucial characteristic that's always distinguished magic as a performing art is the way it has been rooted in live performance - even when it's shown on TV.

Again I agree. In fact, truly great magic can only be done live. When I watched the performance of Tommy Wonder doing his "Ring, Watch, and Wallet" routine, I saw the entire audience gasp. I didn't gasp, but I bet I would if I had been there. Television creates a sense of detachment. Maskelyne recognized both this, and the issue of credibility, which is why he wrote that magic had to be performed live. Film projectors existed in his time. Maskelyne perhaps overstated the case, I myself do like magic on television, but I don't think it's anything like live magic.

mark2004 wrote:
Quote:
Mark Wilson understood that when he pioneered the concept of magic shows on network TV. You have to preserve the distinction between fictional entertainment (eg. TV shows such as Bewitched or Charmed or movies such as The Prestige or any one of a gazillion other examples) and magic shows, which are, in a sense, documentaries of a performance.

Again, I agree. However, what Mark Wilson also realized is that a disclaimer is necessary. It wouldn't be necessary if people didn't already have mistrust. The mistrust exists to begin with for every television magician, and they form their own reputation.

So, let the public form an opinion of each magician. Give them some credit. The public does realize that not every performer is the same, and they'll sort out who they think is real, and who isn't, and more importantly, who they want to watch.

There is no real harm. If there was, then the public wouldn't want more of these specials, and the demographics clearly indicate that they do!

mark2004 wrote:
Quote:
What I mean by documentaries is that they are honest and accurate coverage of a performance, even though the performance itself may obviously involve illusions that present a type of fiction.

All magic is based on fiction, at least all the magic I perform. I don't think that when I perform it, but I am using trick methods!

The criteria you are establishing are based on the supposition that it can do harm to other magicians. I know Mark Wilson has referred to a loss of trust. I like, respect, admire, and would like to be like Mark Wilson, but I disagree with him on this. He performed magic on television, but I watched his shows as a child, and later his specials as an adult. I have the audience perspective, which is the important perspective on this particular issue.

I believed in his magic because he told me to, and I liked and trusted him.

It wouldn't have mattered if another magician had lied to me before about anything. I still would have thought Mark Wilson's show was great. This is because Mark Wilson was, and still is, a great magician.
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Drew Manning
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Drew how can you compare the black art with with CGI? That doesn't make sense!

Using editing to remove methods from film is the same as using BA to hide the method of a levitation because they both serve to hide how the effect was achieved. On TV, you edit. Live you use special lights and curtains to hide something from the audience. Same thing. Both methods take something that isn't meant to be seen and conceal it from the audience. If the video editing merely removes a support mechanism from the shot, it's the same.

Let's say a magician does a show and it's filmed for TV later. The multiple camera angels happen to catch a method but the producer still insists on using that shot in the final run because it looks very dramatic, but edits out the mechanism to protect the secret, but still be able to use the dramatic shot. Is that fair? After all, a live spectator would never be able to view it from that angle.
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itsmagic
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BA is the same as video editing? That's not even close for comparison.

CA shouldn't claim he doesn't use camera tricks or video edits when he does.
Drew Manning
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On 2007-06-22 16:57, itsmagic wrote:
BA is the same as video editing? That's not even close for comparison.

CA shouldn't claim he doesn't use camera tricks or video edits when he does.


But it is! They both hide the mechanism that made the levitation possible, therefore, they serve the same purpose. Think what you want, but it's all the same.

Your argument that he shouldn't make claims about what he is or isn't doing has nothing to do with the comparison of BA to video editing. Both are an end to a means.

What about the second part of my post on editing TV magic? You didn't respond to that....
I live my life for a layer of ice
Just like those poured by my bartender vice
Any taste of vermouth would be really sublime,
When you have a good martini time!

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Harry H
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Criss Angel takes it too far. It's one thing to use camera angles-Franz Harary typically-by Criss uses TV trickery every show, and stooges. He is so fake it's about time someone exposed him. What he does isn't magic it's video production!

It won't harm magic as a whole as the stunts are too far fetched for most to perform.
AnthonyMaze
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You can correct me if Im wrong, but in any of those three effects, did CA ever say he WASNT using special effects? Its been a little while since I have seen the television version so I don't remember....
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Jazz
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He does Anthony, he does, or at the very least, he implies it very strongly.

Bill: I have to respectfully disagree with you. Something may be unethical even though it doesn´t directly affects me.

Drew: Sorry, another vote against. BA can´t be compared to CGI. Not even close.
Steve Fearson
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I don't know about CGI but a camera cut is enough to ruin the magic for me.

I love to watch magic and try to figure out the tricks. When the camera cuts, cuts, and cuts it's no longer interesting to me. Anything could have happened during that cut. You don't have to be a magician to realize that. They may just as well say, "close your eyes, just for a moment."

It's just easier for them to do the magic with the camera than actually come up with real, workable illusions. It's unfortunate in my opinion.

As far as the masked magician exposing the tricks CA does.. who would care. They're all done the same way. Stooges and camera cuts. Boo and hiss. Exposure of those techniques could indeed destroy magic. Laypeople will assume everything is done with cameras and stooges.


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DJM
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This is a good example why I can't stand Criss.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uVosmZk8eDo

If I wanted to see something like that, I'd go watch Big again. You must agree that Tom Hanks is a much better actor than both of these girls.

"OMG OMG, I'm 20.. I'm really 20!! Mom!! Mom!!"

The girl's mom: "Who are you, who are you?!"


Just pathetic.
Drew Manning
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Well, we all have our opinions on the guy, and I really don't see an issue with what he does. He's making bank and not hurting magic in the process.

The funny thing is as I was watching the clip above, my son was standing over my shoulder and he said "Dad, that's so fake. You can't use magic to change a kid into a grown up" Smile
I live my life for a layer of ice
Just like those poured by my bartender vice
Any taste of vermouth would be really sublime,
When you have a good martini time!

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Adam Milestone
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What illusions in particular do you think Copperfield uses CT or edits or CGI as the method? The Canyon and statue are the only ones as far as I know that use edits or CT as part of the method, but David's trip across the Canyon was in '84 long before CGI, so it couldn't have been that. Personally I've always thought that the shots of “him” where he is seems to be hundreds of feet in air was in fact a dummy or a mannequin as I couldn't believe he'd really put himself in that position just for an illusion
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