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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » The Fallen by Jim Critchlow (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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pslaughter
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Well, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. I was really looking forward to this because I love Whitestar and from what I was hearing, Fallen sounded just as appealing.

I'd never seen a performance of the effect until the performance video was posted. Now that I have, I'm not sure I like it. The effect kind of reminds me too much of a card trick. I think it would be too easy for spectators to come up with the idea of the items they take clue the performer as to which soldier they are thinking of. I know Whitestar uses similar props i.e. a deck of photographs, but the motivation for the photographs feels different and the climax of the effect feels more impossible. This just kind of looks to much like pick a card, and I'll tell you which one you picked.

As for the comparisons with Luna, I don't think there is any comparison at all. Luna, in my estimation, is much more of a show piece. The props make more sense as being what they are. The method doesn't wreak of a "magic" trick. There is also much more of a story and ambiance. I can't see how these are even in the same league.

Maybe I'm just not getting it? Somebody clue me in. Maybe this can be performed rather differently than what the video depicts? I really want to like this effect, but right now, not so much.
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I too was looking for something other. I do not own Whitestar,but have heard it highly recommended!
I was hoping it to be a little more than a "Horse of Another Color". So, I will stay with Luna.

-G
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Roslyn
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I don't like it.

The subject matter isn't an entertaining area for me. Also, the fact you have 60 photos that are playing card size (not photo size) in a playing card box not only screams magic prop but why on Earth would anyone have 60 small playing card sized photos of dead soldiers from WWI?

There's probably people that do collect these kinds of images but it just seems a bit too odd (and I've got a small selection of Doug's critters on a shelf in the spare room).

And what purpose do the items serve (apart from being needed for the method) within the routine? How does the subject of the photo link to those objects? From the performance it seems as though the individual cards tell the spectator which of 5 or 6 objects to pick up. But then nothing happens with them. They're completely forgotten about by the performer. He just tells the spectator to look at the card and pick up the items written on the card.

If the performer can name all the other stuff why can't he name a couple of simple items. He's only got 5 possible options in the first place, but nope he has to have those picked up. Yet he's able to name the soldier and get other complicated info. Stuff that's really impossible.

Now correct me if I'm wrong. If the performer can give the same accurate reading without those objects being picked up I'll eat my hat. However I'm confident that's not the case.

So overall I'm really not that impressed, which is a shame because I was dead excited about this coming out.
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Lefebure
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I must say I do agree with pslaughter. White star and until death do us apart are one of my favorite effects, spectators really like them everytime, but I am not sure if I will buy The Fallen.
First because like pslaughter said, it reminds too much a cardtrick. Second because it requires good skills in english from the spectator (I know that's a technical and selfish remark, but that's important for me). Third because the effect is too close to Luna (which is available in french). I use keys for Luna, so they are props linked with the hospital, like the props in "The fallen" are linked with the soldier. The description of the person, informations about him etc...impossible for me to perfom "The fallen" and "Luna" during the same show.

I thought that a routine about WWI could be very powerful, unique...the importance of the collector props is so strong ! I still think so, actually. The basic idea is great, but I am a bit perplexed now once I have seen the demo.
necroloid
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For most of the reasons above, I do not like it either. But I think if one routines this differently it could work. Thinking cap on!
Dr Spektor
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Hmmm... it could have been great with some tweakings.... as it sort of is Luna with cards as Todd said. The strength of Luna is that it is a prop that looks the part... and the items that go with it are authentic looking too.

The Fallen - the problem is the cards - kind of why I redid my Whitestar set I bought - the CARDS look NEW... printed... MODERN. The other props, etc. that go with the story are WWI era. Hence, IMHO, what might have worked better, and this is a Lebanon Circle nod - is like From Hell, the pictures are old photographs. I would have them numbered on the back and there is a ledger of sorts with the entries within the book... I like Jim's concept of using images of the dead.... and that is what would distinguish it from just being a Luna style book...

Oh for those wondering.... for WHITESTAR I photocopied all the images received onto paper I aged and made into old looking photos... and then put all the info on the back in a handwritten ledger. The only material on the back was a mark indicating if it was a dead person or not (didn't like DIED LIVE on the backs).... and then the story included along with some props why the ledger and photos existed... regarding a woman who lost her love in the disaster but was never sure if her loved one lived or not... bla bla


Anyway - my humble opinion - nix the cards and turn them into period photos or it feels wrong IMHO

Luna and its brethren were there first and had the context and ensemble concepts all right.....

Heck,I own period asylum paraphenalia so I'll stick to Luna!

I do like the WW I era for a dark presentation.... hey check out Sapphire and Steel Second adventure with the Dark and the soldiers... major creepy

(Aside that video - was that Ed? )
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I agree with Bruce about Whitestar - the rather nasty printing does not convince at all, yet the routine is a very powerful one.
The best thing to do with it - in my opinion - is to actually buy a set of Edwardian cabinet photographs off Ebay - not as much as you may think. Nothing more authentic looking than the real thing! Also a simple mark or scratch on the *front* of the photo of the survivors saves you the problem of having to look on the backs - which can make it a bit obvious to the more astute.
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I think wrapping the cards with a rubber band and finding a way to explain them in a modern context (i.e. reproductions of wartime cemetery markers...identifier cards taped to a cemetery map until families are able to move the body from the temporary location, to a permanent grave...I just made this up, but hey...) is workable. What I found to be a distraction was the idea of 60 soldiers, and only a handful of items. Say what? If this was an honest reading, shouldn't there be hundreds of items? Unless these soldiers all got together and agreed on what they would carry.
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krakhead
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Quote:
On 2011-10-26 18:21, Dr Spektor wrote:

I do like the WW I era for a dark presentation.... hey check out Sapphire and Steel Second adventure with the Dark and the soldiers... major creepy


I would LOVE to check it out! You've reminded me to seek them out on DVD - thank you! (adds box set to Amazon birthday wishlist....)

And, to remain on topic, I LOVE Whitestar - really do, and I like the look of this but I think I'll stick with my Luna CE's Smile
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Stephen Young
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For me it's too early to say things like "I'm disappointed" The things not even out yet.

A few points spring to mind.
The creator of an effect is not always the best performer of that effect.

I'm sure most performers of this type of effect alter it to suit themselves, so we are only concerned with the premise and the method, the rest we can change.

There are ways to justify the cards, but if they don't suit then making new photos isn't hard these days.
I thought most bizarrists made a lot of their own stuff or altered existing things.
I made new props for From Hell, Whitestar, Killer Elite etc.

I may be a little biased because I was working on an almost identical effect using Dr Todd's idea from Mindblasters that he mentioned above.
Once The Fallen arrives I will probably take the best parts of Jim's effect and the best parts of mine and combine them into something unique.

It may be OK to say "I didn't like the demo" but IMHO it's too early to diss. the effect itself.

Only my opinion (biased or otherwise) feel free to disagree.

regards
steve
TonyMc
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As co-developer of The Fallen, can I add my little bit here? Steveline, thank you. At last an intelligent post.

Roslyn, the pix are not playing card size (slightly bigger) and what IS photo size? And by the way, be prepared to eat you hat.

Dr Todd, you sat through Jim's lecture on The Fallen at Whitby and you still think it's the same method as Luna? Come on!!!! All these negative comments before the effect has been released and based on one brief video clip, I find laughable. I seem to remember the same thing happened when Jim brought out White Star.

Tony McMylor
Roslyn
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Hi Tony,

My opinion of the effect comes from the promo video of the effect. Now before people say I shouldn't base an opinion on a promo video, what is the point of one if not to provoke a response? I know the intended response was for me to say I loved the idea and to dip my hand in my pocket and buy it. But in this case the exact opposite has occurred. From what's been shown, I don't like the effect.

To say the negative responses are not intelligent is frankly an insult and uncalled for. Nobody insulted you, they just said they don't like your product and gave reasons why. That's no reason to insult them by saying their posts are not intelligent.

Regarding the photos, regardless of whether the pack is exactly playing card sized or not they still look like a deck to me. They don't look like a collection of images gathered from over time, they are too neat and tidy and look like something that's been manufactured for a specific purpose. They come out of what looks like a playing card box, which makes it obvious they were produced as a set... Which they are.

As for eating my hat, are you saying the objects aren't needed? Could I just take the pack of images and do the trick without any need for the objects to be there? I'm not fishing for the method, but one of the main reasons I don't like this is having those items. The only reason they seem to be there is so the trick works. As has been said, if the method is good then all the other problems can be solved. So if its possible to ditch the items completely and not have to make any reference to them what-so-ever then I'll re-evaluate my opinion of it.

However, from the video it came across as though which ever items were picked up signalled which photo was being looked at. If that's not the case then great, but that's how it appears. Personally I believe that if a spectator guesses a method (regardless of whether it's right or wrong) then there's something not quite right with the routine and that hole needs filling in.

So in short my question is, does the trick work if you got rid of the items and made no reference to them what-so-ever?
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Dr Spektor
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Quote:
On 2011-10-27 06:31, TonyMc wrote:
As co-developer of The Fallen, can I add my little bit here? Steveline, thank you. At last an intelligent post.

Roslyn, the pix are not playing card size (slightly bigger) and what IS photo size? And by the way, be prepared to eat you hat.

Dr Todd, you sat through Jim's lecture on The Fallen at Whitby and you still think it's the same method as Luna? Come on!!!! All these negative comments before the effect has been released and based on one brief video clip, I find laughable. I seem to remember the same thing happened when Jim brought out White Star.

Tony McMylor


Hmmm I guess my post wasn't intelligent - as I didn't hype the product? All I said is to alter the cards - and with good reasons. Steve confirmed what I said in a sense ie he also altered white star and likely will do the same for fallen. If you can explain why sharing a thought on contextuarilzing is an unintelligent post - thanks.

As for the Luna comparisons - if you require props to make fallen work - then yup, it is different as then Luna is superior because props are only optional with it - making it more versatile etc.

Heck I am retreading this thread and the critiques given are not evil rants - most post here who create effects and materials in this realm and have experience doing so - including me

So, I think your comment is the one that reminds me of a penny post
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TonyMc
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Whoops, sorry folks. What I should have said with reference to Steveline's post was "at last a positive post." Didn't mean to insult anyone. All I will say is wait and see. Oh, and Roslyn - the answer is yes.
Christopher Gould
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Feel the need to put my two-penn'orth in here.... From the position of a fellow creator.
I will start by saying that I am a big fan of Critchlows' previous work Whitestar and Death are still two of my favorites to perform. So respect where it is due.

However, I did not perceive any lack of intelligence in any of the posts here. Having a critical faculty is something most people equate with intelligence. I *do* think we should exercise restraint on a piece of work that is not yet in our hands. However, the idea of a demo video is surely to allow potential customers to evaluate a piece of work before they buy it. I share some of the reservations discussed here, the evidence of which *are* clear from the demo video. However, I will not pass judgement until I have a set in my hands, and have given it a fair run.

As Bruce pointed out in the above post - most people here are inventors in there own right - certainly quite a few are refugees from the Pennies forum where an 'intelligent' review consists of paid up cronies endlessly hyping up what ever product their 'friend' has put out. Most people here are pretty sick of such reviews and can see right through them.

Obviously a creator is very sensitive of his or her baby - I know I am! It is great to get *genuine* praise for your work, sometimes it makes it all seem worthwhile - and yet, I would not want to see endless 'Wow this is the greatest thing ever invented by a human being...' type posts.... any more than I would want to see mindless and unprovoked attacks. This happens on the pennies forum and contributes greatly to the fug of depression the place brings on. Here, we try to avoid such mindless hyperbole - or at least, I would hope so.

The points that have been made seem reasonable and intelligent to me.

Incidentally Steve was being very generous here, as I hope he does not mind me pointing out that he was pretty far down the road of developing a product with Alchemy Moon that used the same methodology and a slightly different (but to my tastes a more interesting) premise. As the two ideas were too close, Steve has abandoned work on his project in it's current form - with this in mind his comments were very positive.

When a product comes out, I want to read intelligent criticism, looking at all aspects of the work... I will dismiss comments that have been canvased (they are obvious to spot) then I will make my own mind up.
Finally, I would not want to do anything other than support Jim's work, as I would be wanting to encourage him to continue coming up with great stuff for us! However, I am sure he is a big boy and can listen to comments both extolling the virtues *and* questioning his work.

For the moment let's be grateful that he is creating interesting work.
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Roslyn
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Interesting..

Thanks for clearing away a few of the cobwebs. I may well have to look in to this a bit more.
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Merlin C
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I'd like to find out Jim's premise of why the chosen photograph is (presumably) of the owner of the objects.

The speculation about method doesn't belong here at all.
Joshua J
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Any chance we could see some photos of the props, not so much the photos/cards but the props picked up by the spectator?
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[quote]On 2011-10-27 09:07, Christopher Gould wrote:



Incidentally Steve was being very generous here, as I hope he does not mind me pointing out that he was pretty far down the road of developing a product with Alchemy Moon that used the same methodology and a slightly different (but to my tastes a more interesting) premise. As the two ideas were too close, Steve has abandoned work on his project in it's current form - with this in mind his comments were very positive.





Hey Steve, if the project you were working on is "Bond Girls" and ties in with the actress's and women who tried out for roles in the films...Stop everything else and complete this project!!!
And,if you wish,after looking at your link...please include several of your photographs to be used in effect! 100 + photos would be fine! Please,Please,Please finish the project! Smile

-G
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Quote:
Dr Todd, you sat through Jim's lecture on The Fallen at Whitby and you still think it's the same method as Luna? Come on!!!! All these negative comments before the effect has been released and based on one brief video clip, I find laughable. I seem to remember the same thing happened when Jim brought out White Star.

Tony McMylor


Hi Tony, yes I did and your are correct, the method is not the same. We cannot go into specifics here but the methods are indeed different.

I had a long chat with Jim today about all this. The context, premise, and setting are very much in parallel. I am not trying to be negative, but to say that this is a breaktrhough in mentalism is not true, these methods have been used before (Annemann 'Monsters' for example) and the idea of soldier profiles is remarkably close to patient profiles...

I hope that is clear...

Best wishes

Dr Todd
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