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I'd like a discussion on HOW to capture the essence of a live show.

What works on the stage does not work on the streets ... and what works on the streets does not work live ... and neither of them work on video. The question is ... what kind of things must be changed to work?

Obviously, it is possible to capture the essence of a live show on video ... David Copperfield is not the only one to do so, Rudy Coby did an awesome job at it himself, and the World's Greatest Magic was a very successful series as well.

Some of my thoughts.......

(1) Speed: On TV, several days can go by in just a half hour ... those comic pauses that work so well live drag on forever on video, and bring boredom to an audience sitting on their couch ... everything must be faster on video, or at least seem faster

(2) Applause: On stage, the audience wants to applaud when you do good ... at home, people want to use the bathroom and get potato chips. I've noticed that David Copperfield cuts to commercial thus reducing the length of the applause, and often the announcer is talking over the applause. If I am not mistaken, World's Greatest Magic would overcome this problem by showing "instant reply" while the audience was applauding so the home audience wouldn't get bored.

(3) Camera tricks: I don't mean fake magic, I mean tricks like Alfred Hitchcock used to film say his famous "shower scene". People screamed when they saw that ... ironically, they never actually saw anyone get stabbed! But the way he would cut from scene to scene ... with the background music ... the timing the pace ... it created a sense of "fear" in the mind of his audience.

When I first saw the footage of my Cup and Ball Show, my first thought was to cut it up to highlight the best parts ... but then I said don't you dare cut that up ... the way the camera moves in closer to see is exactly what people do when watching the show live, it helps create the impression that the video audience was actually there.

(4) Setting Changes: People watching TV are used to be taken all over the world, even a family sitcom will have several "rooms" of a house they switch to. Copperfield and WGM both seem to take people to places other than the stage - like Tom Mullica doing his cigarette act at the pool bar, or the studio shot of Copperfield ripping the baseball card.

Ok, so there are some of my thoughts on things to think about when trying to make a live show look good on video. Would love to hear more opinions on the subject!

Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
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