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templemagic
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POLL: Would you use the advantage of special effects on TV?
ROBERT TEMPLE
"The Power to Amaze"

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Peter Loughran
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Of course not! Blaine kinda ticked me off with that whole self levitation thing.

P.
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Thoughtreader
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I did a magic segment on children's television for eight years and many times they would make me appear and disappear. When I went to do public appearances I had many children express their desire to see me do "that" trick. Relying on special effects can have a backlash that you want to avoid. Think of a singer you hear on the radio (when it is all touched up in the studio) and then you hear them live and wonder what you were thinking when you thought they were so talented. Don't rely on special effects.
Just my two cents.
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Scott F. Guinn
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For years, magicians have been trying to reassure the home audience that what they're seeing is exactly what they would see in person, and the camera "does not cut away". I too am disgusted when "magicians" use camera tricks, etc. to accomplish stuff that they are totally incapable of reproducing live.

If you can't do it in a regular show without cameras, IMO you shouldn't do it with them.
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Peter Loughran
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Well said Scott! How many people come up to you and say "Hey you know that street magician guy, I think his name is Blaine or something, and he levitates himself right in the street, like 3 feet in the air surrounded by spectators. Can you do that?"

Blaine can't even do that-- well not three feet in the air anyway. I wonder what he says when people ask him to do it live for them now that they have seen him on TV going as high as a few feet. They must get really disappointed seeing it live. This kind of thing can ruin it for us who do effects on TV that really do appear the same when seen live.
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Phil Lawson
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I am sick of hearing about David Blaine!! I respect his `STUNT` in the block of ice but as a street magician he uses the camera to look at spectators and pulls away out of view whilst doing slights. When he puts a card in a bottle it appears after a few minutes which they edit out.

I do not like the way he freaks people out and upsets them. His number guessing is pathetic and to anyone with half a brain quite easy to work out. He asks someone to name a number and waits until they get the right one. He is not funny and very dry to watch. None of the effects are his own. I was at a convention and noticed that the bitten 10p was called David Blaine 10p. That really annoys me. The credit goes to the guy who had that idea.

Lastly and most importantly he makes life difficult for us because we have to conform to his.

Stick to the stunts Blaine.
stevenking
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Depends on what you call 'camera tricks'.

Unsure about Blaine being wrong with the self levitation... after all, the audience at home saw exactly what the 'live' spectators 'thought' they saw, and what they 'thought' they saw was what they reacted to, not the edited version. Blaine's magic is all about the audience's reactions and emotions - not the effects.

During a T.V. 'mentalism' performance would you consider the editing/removal of pre-show work a 'camera trick'? The T.V. audience sees and experiences exactly what the 'live' audience remembers.

Don't forget T.V. magic is a different medium, and has the disadvantage of a rewind button!

Kind regards

Steven King
hackmonkey
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I am making a demo tape of me doing magic for some friends in the T.V industry. If this did get anywhere I feel I would be unlikely to use too much editing, as I would not like the criticism from the magic community in the way Blaine has.

I personally thought Mr. Blaine was quite a good magician when I first saw him. I found his style refreshing. I was annoyed by some of the editing, but I doubt Blaine edited the show himself. Remember, you are watching a magic show, not a clip show-- editing makes the magic interesting for the people at home. As well as helping them perceive the trick as the spectator did when it was done live, misdirection doesn't work as well on T.V. Smile
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stevenking
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Hack monkey... at last someone who 'sort of' agrees with me!

Just out of interest, I was under the impression that Mr Blaine did edit the show himself?

Regards

Steven King
Raymond Singson
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Personally, I really don't feel using camera tricks would be a major problem... I'm actually in the midst of producing a quality demonstration video for a graduation project, and I plan on using a few cuts in final editing to make the magic seem more impressive.

Think about what Blaine has been doing. He only uses the camera to his advantage to edit out the footage that spectators wouldn't be aware of anyway. If the live audience didn't realize he duplicated a signed card to utilize in a torn and restored effect, why should the television viewers? I didn't mind his camera work for the fake levitation either-in most cases the original presentation of the effect will make people swear they saw the same thing with a regular Balducci anyway.

For the past three years, I've been asked to float two feet into the air, do a 360 degree rotation while suspended, only to crash back down to where I had lifted off. The rumors that caused such requests are from the Balducci Levitation I performed for a group of girls my freshman year.

As a bonus to the project video, I think I'll actually make a DVD where the added footage would consist of bloopers and segments where I messed up tricks and stuff. I think people would enjoy seeing that-and I'm confident they wouldn't look down on my expertise; in fact, I'm sure they'd actually respect me as a performer even more. I think it'd be nice having people see my silly mistakes and such-it's a concept that Blaine and other performers should consider.

Camera editing has always been a big part of magic in the past. David Copperfield, Franz Harary, and many others have used the camera to their advantages to increase their own reputations and personas. So many magic specials have had the finale of the show involve some tricky camera work... I don't mind it. If Arnold Schwarzenegger is allowed to blow up three cities in one of his movies, why wouldn't a magician be allowed to make one building suddenly disappear? I think people realize it's all just good entertainment.

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Bradley Morgan
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I think that camera tricks are stupid because it is not real. Magic is real and when you use camera tricks it is fake. If you want to use camera tricks make a movie because that is where that kinda stuff belongs. As far as David goes he is good at card moves, but not a magician, he's an actor. Smile
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stevenking
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Quote:
"to edit out the footage that spectators wouldn't be aware of anyway. If the live audience didn't realize he duplicated a signed card to utilize in a torn and restored effect, why should the television viewers?"
"in most cases the original presentation of the effect will make people swear they saw the same thing with a regular Balducci"

This is basically what I was trying to say 'the T.V. audience is seeing what the live audience thought they saw' (but you put it across much clearer!) Glad that someone is in agreement with me.

Good luck filming your demo video.

Regards

Steven King
M.P.D.
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I think that using some editing would not be a big problem... it's magic wrapped up in a pretty package just like some new toy a kid sees at a store. Most people won't get a chance to ask to see this live. If they do it is another large stage production.
magus
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It depends on how you use it, and for what.

If you were performing on stage, would you take advantage of the medium you are performing in? Don't you use the fact that your audience is all on one side of the room and use the angles to get away with some things? And if someone sees you on the street and asks you to do that trick, and you are surrounded by spectators at the moment don't you make an excuse?

If you do close up and you have "Magic Castle" conditions (audience all on one side, a table that is the right height and a chair that fits the table) don't you use lapping to it's full advantage?

Copperfield did the Grand Canyon levitation, and if you had been there instead of seeing it on TV, it would have been pretty disappointing...

He also did a stage levitation where the girl floated out to the edge of the stage, then they switched to a backstage camera, and you watched her float back. If you had been in the audience, where they shot the footage for the TV special, it would have been more revealing than a magician usually likes, Smile but it threw magicians for a while trying to figure out what he was doing.

Yes, some of what he did irritated me, but some of it was just good thinking, and taking advantage of the performing conditions he was given, and that is his job.
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Sid Mayer
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And then there is the vanishing jet plane. It usually follows the words, "Flight ___ (insert the number of your flight) has been canceled."

But, seriously folks, with the exception of certain ***************, do you think anyone believes that the Statue of Liberty can be thumb palmed?

Sid
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Tercero
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If you use camera tricks, then you are not a magician, you are an actor. Think about it!
Smile
mvmagic
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The question in the beginning of this thread was "would you use special effects?"

I am in addition to other stuff, a licenced special FX supervisor and I tend to see special effects a bit differently than some other people do. Editing does not qualify as a special effect. But I believe templemagic did mean just about this.

Magicbrad said that doing TV tricks is not good because it is not real but magic is real. In my magic the point has been that it is NOT real, it is a fantasy. You don´t really cut someone in half or transport them to the other side of the planet. It is all fake. It may seem real to the audience, but they know as well that it isn´t.

Still, using "camera tricks" has its place. I am not into doing tricks that cannot be done live but small, innocent bits can help to sell the magic better; there are a lot of people out there who have a special on tape and they rewind it trying to figure things out. Copperfield´s specials are an excellent example of "smart" editing; in the latest special the width of the lid of his plexibox changes between cuts. And that takes nothing away; people see what they see live but the secret-hunter wont be much smarter (unless they analyze every square inch of every frame). But never would I personally do something that relies on TV technology to work as that might lead into a situation when I am asked to do it live.

But in all honesty I do have to admit that I have used clever editing in a live situation to achieve a certain effect. And that is kinda interesting since it was live and everybody saw everything but it was faked-- one part of what they saw on the screen was not from the camera we had present. If someone is interested, send me a PM or email so I can get into that a bit more. Quite interestingly, that one bit caused more fuss amongst the audience than anything else, because they thought it could be only done on TV.

Tercero says that using camera tricks makes you an actor. The way I see it, magicians are all actors, playing the part of a magician. We all, or at least many, have a character that we portray. With all great magicians the common denominator is character: Max Maven, Eugene Burger, Amazing Jonathan, Mac King... they are all to a certain extent character actors. No matter how good magic you do, if your persona (the character) is unappealing or boring, so is your magic. But I think Tercero meant IF you rely totally on TV on some effects, then you´re not much of a magician.
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phonic69
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No, I want my magic to deceive people not my camera wizardary!

Smile
Todd Robbins
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The question of camera work truly depends on what you are doing. If you are doing magic on TV, to promote what you do live, then it is probably not a good thing to involve much in the way of cuts and edits to make the magic happen. If this is what you are going for, then the rule should be, "If you can't do it live, then keep it out of the show".

Blaine, however is doing a TV magic show. That's a totally different animal. He is not promoting his live show because he doesn't have one. He is making a TV show and uses every advantage the medium has to offer. It's good to look at what he does as just special effects. This is not meant to demean Blaine whatsoever. He, and his creative team, have created a new genre of TV magic.
James Peters
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If the special effects do not replace the art of Magic, then I don't see it as a problem. However, if it is Camera Magic (rather than just special effects) which replace what I do, then I wouldn't be interested.

James.
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