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Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2007-12-02 14:31, JasonB wrote:
Audiences don't applaud wildly when they feel duped.


Audiences are capable of anything, given the right provocation. For better or worse, audiences are capable of falling victim to a mob mentality. History has recorded instances when they have gotten quite violent when they felt the magician was a charlatan. This was surely instigated by a few "leaders". Is it unreasonable to believe that the individuals of an audience may react as the group does, also in a positive manner?

Quote:
These style of effects would be invalided if only they didn't exist in the programs of the absolute top illusionists. Kalin, Copperfield, Burton, Daniels, S&R. Would believe they've thought through this issue.


With respect to the above named, before any of them were born, not to mention "absolute top", there were other magicians considered great who have done things onstage now considered to be obsolete in the face of better thought through issues. Again, just my opinion, but I consider the works of other magicians to be inspirational, but never dogmatic.

~michael
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JasonB
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"Never dogmatic", I agree. And remember in reference to you last post, the initial post was not about the transposition but the vanish.
Michael Baker
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Agreed. I did embellish the conditions, but only for the sake of clarifying my position. I owned up to this fact when I said:

Quote:
... the girl comes back from the original device. This was the main spin I took on the original post.


I hope I am accurate in thinking that we are closely allied on these next points, but feel free to correct me on that.

I see nothing wrong with a vanish combined with the swords, etc. During the first effect, the audience is logically prompted to ask the question, "How can she survive in the box?"

Illusionists have two different approaches to this ( and sometimes the two are pushed extremely close together). Some will set out to prove that she is in fact there the entire time (body parts showing, impossibility of escape routes, etc.) Some will go in the opposite direction and lead us down the path that she vanished. This is the case we are dealing with.

In the later, the first question is temporarily (and falsely) answered when the vanish occurs. "She survived because she was not there."

But, it also creates a second effect and relative question, "Where did she go?"

How the illusion proceeds from this juncture is the crux of my point.

When the girl later re-emerges from the box, the first question is re-validated, because the supposed answer is shown to be false. It remains a mystery, as does the question regarding the second effect.

Although a third question is raised if the girl shows up somewhere else ("How did she get over there?"), something is lost in regard to the original mystery.

I will go on to say that I don't think it impossible for a logical justification to be given to this third effect, but I should add, that is usually not the case.

~michael
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EsnRedshirt
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Michael- you are, of course, overlooking the instance where the illusion is presented as an "escape"... where "how did she get over there?" is the point in the first place.

Cohiba, in regards to your original question- why have the spikes at all? My guess is it involves the "damsel in distress" psychology present in at least the male part of the audience. Remember- Silbet wasn't the first performer to saw someone in half- the original sawing was a vaudeville act. He was the first to saw a -lady- in half, though, and history remembers his name.
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
Michael Baker
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EsnRedshirt,

Thank you for bringing that up. I understand your point, but I didn't go there because I consider escapes to be within a different genre. It has to do with the implied premise, as presented to the audience. I also understand that this defining line is often crossed, and I'm thinking perhaps that's where the confusion begins when one effect diminishes another.

~michael
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jaynet
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Both work. One is spectacle(thrilling not logical). one is more theatrical(plotable).
Cohiba
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I'm sorry for showing up late in this discussion after starting it a while back.
Michael, I agree with much of what you say, and I think you make good points.
I personally prefer the magic to be logical. I think a bent key is logical, because you are demonstrating psychic power, or whatever. It could be any object, a key is simply convenient, and something everyone uses daily. On the other hand, the illusion I discussed in the OP lacks logic, IMHO. For those of you that look at the vanish as an explanation of how she didn't get harmed - that line of thought allows a type of exposure: she escaped the spikes because she isn't even in the box! I would think you would want that to remain a secret if it's an impalement illusion.
Moretti's cardboard box is beautiful - because you never know for sure how he's doing it. If you were to show the box empty halfway through, it would ruin the effect. Now, you could perform it as a vanish, and it would be a cool effect again. But then there would be no point in the swords.
Rephrasing - I guess in my opinion, if the effect is started off as an impalement, then either show the person getting impaled (like Copperfield's Buzzsaw, which is awesome!), or leave the audience speechless as to how they survived the impalement. Don't give the answer away by showing they aren't even where the audience was told they were. In that scenario, they realize it was actually just a vanish effect. If that's the effect you want, I think a legitimate vanish effect without swords is much cooler and more logical. It's "clean".
JasonB - I'm not trying to be an armchair illusionist criticizing a performer. I can appreciate the difficulty in putting together an illusion show. The change I'm suggesting actually makes your job easier - simply don't open the door when the spikes are in place.
The Drake
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Quote:
On 2007-12-20 23:56, Cohiba wrote:
The change I'm suggesting actually makes your job easier - simply don't open the door when the spikes are in place.


Its been done. Its called a sword basket.

Best,

Tim
Cohiba
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After thinking through this a bit more, I thought I'd add the following comment concerning Tim's explanation that the girl is escaping to avoid the spikes.
If the girl was the magician, that would make sense to me. In fact, it would be a cool illusion. In the movies, a magician could have a car careening at him, only to disappear last minute and save his life. That is logical. However, in the illusion under discussion, the magician is the one in control of the spikes. The magic he is taking credit for is to impale a woman, and have her escape unharmed. By showing she's not in the box, you are exposing the illusion.
I realize these may seem like small nuances / quibbles, but they make (at least to me) a bigger impact than you'd expect.
Cohiba
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Quote:
On 2007-12-21 00:06, Timothy Drake wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-12-20 23:56, Cohiba wrote:
The change I'm suggesting actually makes your job easier - simply don't open the door when the spikes are in place.


Its been done. Its called a sword basket.

Best,

Tim


Tim - I agree completely. I'm not suggesting that I've come up with a new idea. I'm picking on an existing trick that I feel is weak. In my opinion, it's been done properly many times by many magicians, Moretti being one of those that has been discussed in this thread.
The Drake
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I personally think that Moretti's effect is one of the greatest in magic. I really couldn't explain what I was seeing when I first saw it. With that said... I think if the box were ripped open and it was seen that he had completely vanished from the box it'd be yet another step up in what was already unexplainable.

To me.. its like hooping a floating girl. You may have a theory how its done and then the hooping (or the opening of the box) pulls the carpet from under your feet and presents yet another head scratcher for you.

Both Copperfield and S&R made it big by kicking you in the pants with something you weren't expecting at the end of an illusion after you thought it was over. Showing the girl has vanished is simply one of those kickers in my mind. But that's a matter of opinion and taste and up to each performer to decide which suits them best.

Best,

Tim
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Not being an illusion guy, I still am blown away by Moretti. I know he can't be in the box, but however he's doing it, I have no clue. The obvious solution doesn't seem possible. I'd love to know how he does it, but then again, maybe I don't.
The Drake
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Quote:
On 2007-12-21 00:44, Cohiba wrote:
Not being an illusion guy, I still am blown away by Moretti. I know he can't be in the box, but however he's doing it, I have no clue. The obvious solution doesn't seem possible. I'd love to know how he does it, but then again, maybe I don't.


I have no idea how he does it either. I don't want to know. It'd take the fun out of it.

Best,

Tim
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