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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You Oughta Be In Pictures » » Eating needles KILLS (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

kevin.chris
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Cold streets of Tallinn
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Greetings everyone,

I captured on tape one of my favorite pieces to perform, inspired by Houdini.

any thoughts, ideas, or critic about it, then I would be pleased to hear them.

link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezLnJmWZ-dE

Thanks!
Mac_Stone
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Why don't performers these days use "a hundred" needles anymore? There's a reason that's the way Houdini did it.
kevin.chris
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Cold streets of Tallinn
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I think it makes the effect actually weaker. If you use "100" needles everybody starts to think they are some kind of a choclate needles or so on, it works best with 5-10, max. 20 no more. I have tried it with 40 needles also but it doesent get the same reaction as within 10 needles. For clip I think 5 is the best because otherwise it will start to jog and would be boring as hell to watch.
Ronin
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I like this a lot.

For starters, I like the way you artfully establish a mood and some sense of character with the introductory shots-—it’s a little like something out of a Bergmann film. The setting is beautiful. I can see you using this as a kind of video “calling card”—-introducing several different videos with these shots. The art gallery setting is visually engaging and just a little bit spooky--perfect for this effect.

The camera work and editing are nicely done--you obviously approached this project with a lot of care, and this viewer appreciates that very much!

I think you’re spot on about using only five needles for the purpose of the video. We the audience get the point (no pun intended), and it runs just the right length for online viewing.

I have to admit that this fooled me, as well. I first assumed that, method-wise, this is a version of Steinmeyer’s “Dangerous Cocktail”. I do have a few concerns and observations about method, but I’ll save that for a PM, so that we don’t discuss them on an open forum

One esthetic note: I feel that one nice thing about the “Dangerous Cocktail” presentation is the subtext of putting the needles into a glass of wine. Drinking alcohol = drinking something a little dangerous. Also, drinking alcohol = drinking an anesthetic. Both of these aspects of alcohol tie in nicely with the needle effect. Your use of the cordial glass kind of sets up the expectation of an alcoholic beverage, which made the use of water a little disappointing to me. But a lay audience probably isn’t thinking this way. You look a little young to be pouring something stronger into the glass, but it might be something to consider in years to come.

You pull off the “cool magician” persona well-—no mean feat. But I would’ve liked to see maybe a little smile from you at the end, something to add a touch of warmth to your personality. Throwing your arms up at the very end of the video did a little of this. It just might’ve been nice to see something immediately at the conclusion of the effect. There might have been something in your face at the conclusion of the last gallery shot (which I loved, by the way), but I didn’t catch it. A slightly longer pause as you looked up, maybe a slight bow or some other gesture to the audience might work.

It’s getting pretty nit-picky, but on the subject of the water: if you ever re-did this, choosing a classier glass bottle (or even a classier plastic bottle) for the water might look nice. It would be a little more in keeping with the high esthetic quality of everything else in your video. On the other hand, the plastic bottle IS immediately identifiable by the audience, and there is certainly value to that.

Getting really nit-picky: I feel that, in a magic video like this, seconds really do count. In the introductory part of the video, we get four shots of you walking along the jetty. I could’ve done with only three (I told you this is REALLY nit-picky). It’s just that I think it would’ve held the sense of forward motion a little better, which you set up with the first shots and the beat of the music. Similarly, I felt a (very slight) drag in the establishing shots of the art gallery. I really liked the way you edited the cut from the jetty to the gallery-—matching your body position in both shots really helped the transition. I’m guessing that the musical selection (which I also liked—care to share the name of the piece?) dictated some of these editing choices.

Again, I really liked this a lot, and hope my suggestions and observations aren’t too presumptuous. As the piece stands now, I know I’ll be watching it again and again. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Thanks for sharing!
David Hirata
www.thingsimpossible.com


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta."
--Federico Fellini
kevin.chris
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Cold streets of Tallinn
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Thanks for a long and very detailed review for first! Glad you liked it.

Yes indeed the whole scenario was very important but it all came actually together instantly when filming. First I had an idea of doing the Saw effect by Sean Fields on the jetty but then storm came over Tallinn (20 m/s wind+minus 6 degrees+rain) and it made it nearly impossible to be done. Then next day we went to the art museum and captured the needle eating routine there which came out actually better than I thought.

Yeah you can send me a PM, will be nice to shere some inner thought's about the routine.

On the idea of using alchohol I have tried it with wine also, the idea is nice but in video the very moment before I drink it you can actually see them going inside my mouth what was very nice detail also I think. White wine would be also nice but yeah, we needed to lie a little about the project to film in art museum so when we would have been drinking wine in there they probably would have called the police. Smile Vodka is also nice with cordial glass but I'm not sure if that is nice for a video purpose, maybe at some big corporation event instead or for Absolute commercial.

About the plastic bottle and cordinal glass with big sign Jägermeister on it I take the blame. In future I will defenitly find a nice glass bottle, drink alcohol and use a little bit more stylish cordinal glass also. Some things to look foward.

About smiling I think it may have killed little bit the routine and atmosphere. It's a dangerous thing to do and avarege person don't smile on eating needles also I think.

In the beginning you can see 4 shorts of me walking, it's directed by music indeed but they were just so nice frames I had a feeling I need to put them into the video so I did it. Maybe the beginning was too long, maybe not, it depends on the watcher also I think.

Music was indeed very important, it's written in the description of the video also and it came from "The Kills" new album "Blood Pressures". The Song name is "Future Starts Slow".

Again thanks for detailed critics, that's what I'm looking for. Hope my english is not very sh*tty and everything is understandable.

New video will be out after a week I hope so. I try to do one in a week in future, have about 8 video ideas but theres so much going on right now I can't tell for sure. If anything new come out I will defenitly let you all know.

Thanks again, K!
Thomas Wayne
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When you say it "KILLS", I'm curious who it "killed"... your cameraman? ~210 YouTubers? Kids who watch YouTube and then try it themselves?

Inquiring minds want to know.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Chad Sanborn
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Its a very good short film. Which is really what you created. As to the effect, it was good. But you didn't connect in a positive way to me. I think you should take a few acting classes and learn to use your face to be your words. Convey your thoughts thru your expressions. You were dead pan the entire time. I expected you to at least make a grimacing face as you touched your neck to pull the needles out. Don't over do it, but just some subtle little expressions would make this a good little film.
kevin.chris
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Cold streets of Tallinn
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You can take the "KILLS" in many ways. It did'nt kill my cameraman for sure and I hope it has'nt killed any youtube viewers also. But defenitly it's a warning that if you eat needles it problably kills you or make you a lot of trouble. Also the song is from the band called "The Kills".

Thanks Chad for the notice. I try to be more emotional in the future. Reading Paul Ekman books is good for that, I recommend. Helps a lot! Smile

But maybe... I started to think it's about the style of the performer, a guy who shows no emotions and have those "powers" to do those kind of things. A another point of view to look at it..
Chad Sanborn
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No one shows zero emotion. Its a fact. So thinking that you are some mysterious guy that shows no emotion just keeps you from connecting to the audience. Everyone in your audience shows and experiences emotions. Your lack of them keeps you from connecting on that emotional level. Even David Blaine, whose style you are copying, shows emotion. Go back and watch those tv specials. You will see inflections in his voice, facial expressions, he even laughs! For some reason, everyone overlooks that and just focuses on his deadpan looks. What they miss is the fact that he knows when to emote and when to be deadpan. The fact that you missed it, but still connected to him on an emotional level, just shows you how good he is at it.

Reading Paul Ekman books are ok. But you should really study an acting book or two. Books by Meisner,and Stanislavsky are a good start.
You should also take classes and study stage and on-camera acting. Learn the differences. Watch videos of mimes and see how they use their bodies and faces to convey thoughts and emotions.

trying to be this unemotional superman, just makes you a boring superman. Remember that its not the trick that counts. Its whos performing it. Audiences don't buy tickets to see needle swallowing. Audiences buy tickets to see YOU swallowing needles.

Understand?
kevin.chris
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Cold streets of Tallinn
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The whole deadpan idea was "maybe" for first. Offcourse if you are doing something you show emotion, for the record I'm pretty emotional when performing actually but for this kind of a video purpose I think it may seem fake or I cant play it off that good jet. To fix that, yeah acting classes are good, I have been in few but real experience is often much better. Going out and trying different things, experiencing. So better be deadpan if you are thinking you can't pull the acting part off that good right now, comes in time.

Also it remained unclear to me how I'm copying David Blaine's style. The deadpan look (?) was'nt deliberate so it's not copying in my mind.

After all I agree on that I should have shown some little emotion, it would have made the performance better and that's what counts, we learn from our mistakes. Smile
Ronin
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Hey,

Sounds like you're on the right track with possible improvements. I felt that you didn't need **much** of a human reaction at the end, maybe just a slight tilt of the head, a raised eyebrow, or a faint grin. Nothing to crack your "Superman" persona, as Chad called it, just a little something to give a little more personality to the persona.

Quote:
On 2011-04-10 11:01, kevin.chris wrote:

...Again thanks for detailed critics, that's what I'm looking for. Hope my english is not very sh*tty and everything is understandable.



And your English is more than up to the task...certainly a #$%@! of a lot better than my Estonian.
David Hirata
www.thingsimpossible.com


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta."
--Federico Fellini
SIX
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Houdini never used that many nor were they as big as in his promo shots.
Christopher Lyle
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I never made it to the routine! You lost me with 30 seconds of pointless B-Roll footage. Nobody cares about you walking on rocks next to the ocean. If something doesn't happen of interest in the first 10 seconds, then you'll lose your viewing audience as you did me.

Just sayin...

Christopher
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
MrMajestic
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I enjoyed the video and think you did an very good job with the editing, particularly your choice of music. I agree with Ronin that just a *bit* of an emotional reaction at the conclusion of the trick would be highly effective.
The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation.
- Pearl S. Buck
Larryvolz2
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Hey, just wanted to chime in and put in a good word for Puck & Scott Alexander's needle method. I was fighting the tangling issue too and when Puck turned me on to his method it made a HUUUUUGGGGEEE difference! Absolutely BRILLIANT! Super easy pre-set and re-set and honestly, it is so practical. It's almost difficult to MAKE them tangle. I was determined to do the effect and had been getting really frustrated trying every method I could get my hands on and finally found this solution. I did it just this past weekend for a local show and felt like a superstar. Can't endorse it enough!
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