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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » In Depth Discussion: Copperfield Portal (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TheMagicalMan
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Hi all, I would like to have an in depth discussion, regarding Copperfield's portal illusion from his last TV special. Portal for me is THE GREATEST ILLUSION OF ALL TIMES and it reallyy gets me thinking....Is Copperfield using illusions and tricks ? But it cant be...(thats just what goes on in my mind from how perfective this illusion is). I find this much more astonishing than the statue of liberty vanish. The disppearence is just mind blowing.....just beyond words......just....you can't explain it. I'm a spectator when it comes to this illusion.

I would like to hear out your thoughts on this illusion. I would also like to discuss the history of this illusion, Who created this illusion for Copperfield ? John Gaugen ? And where did the idea develop/come from if any of you have worked with DC on this and have any clues. The disappearence....the video....the evidence....the reappearence......

A part of me really wishes I know how the illusion works lol.... of course its out of curiousity and amazement that I'm saying this jokingly.
I don't think any illusion can come within a galaxy's distance in comparison to with Copperfield's portal. It makes me pretty sad that I'll never get to watch it again.
Frank Simpson
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I know I'll be in the decided minority here, but when I saw it on TV, it left me cold. When I saw it live it left me colder. The whole reunion story seemed so heavy-handed, and then the illusory elements of it were kind of calling attention to themselves that for me were distracting.

I know there's a lot of people who really enjoy it, and that's great. Speaking strictly for myself, it was really meh. The layman friend that I brought to the show with me was so lost in trying to figure out what she was supposed to be seeing, and it left her cold too. In fact, it seemed that most people sitting more than 12 rows back were less-than impressed.

This, of course, serves to illustrate that there is not "greatest illusion in the world" because it's simply too subjective.

P.S. Just FYI, the correct spelling of his name is John Gaughan.
Chad Sanborn
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I think this is a great illusion as well!
And knowing how it works kinda makes me appreciate it more. I can't believe they pull it off show after show. There are lots of little things that can go wrong and every show they meld together beautifully. Its amazing really.

I think that the Statue is still his best work. The story of freedom and what it means is priceless. And he says it best. Its beyond the power of any magician.

Frank, what left you cold? What didn't you understand? I always thought it was easy to follow.
Frank Simpson
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Not at all that I didn't understand anything or didn't follow anything. I just found the entire storyline to be rather cloying and so contrived that I could not invest emotionally.

Technologically it is incredible, and you are right that there are a million things that can go wrong, and I imagine on occasion something does, but the crackerjack crew makes sure everything keeps right on sailing.

I do agree that the Statue is a far superior piece, and the storyline there has a much more universal resonance. For me, personally, I like Flying the best of all his work.
chrisontour
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I'd have to agree, although I personally LOVE Portal... if you asked a random lay person their favorite David Copperfield illusion, my guess is 9 times out of 10, Flying or Statue of Liberty will prove to be much more memorable... even though they took place decades earlier.
dahih beik
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I don't think that you can compare an illusion that can be done live on stage to such an illusion like the state of liberty .
Misophoniac
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Have you ever seen the slapdash explanation by the so-called Trickbusters? I'm guessing they have at least half of it wrong, but it is fun to watch them try. I won't link to it directly for obvious reasons. Just search youtube for "David Copperfield Portal Trickbusters"

The Copperfield effect that blows me away is "One." I've watched it dozens of times and I just can't get my head around it. The conditions seem so impossible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZZ4Oh-xgCs
w_s_anderson
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They are Smile. And I will leave it at that
krille
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Misophoniac:Trickbusters got it ALL wrong this time, kind of funny I think. It means that the methods are not that easy to figure out (they have been kind of right for some other illusions).

The Portal illusion is one of top 5 list.

The methods are not really new but uniquely put togeather into a great illusion.

It is slighty modified for television as is common nowdays but very little and it does not matter in my oppinion. They could have shown it as the live version. DC is picky about details Smile

As stated above, soo many things can go wrong as timing is crucial.

A big hat off to Mr Mendoza who build the plattform. That is a miracle build in it self.

Paul Daniels once said that he would never do that illusion (or the statue of liberty vanish). If it is too impossible for the public it will end up as a technical or mechanical puzzle for them.
krille
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TheMagicalMan:

I totally understand the fustration and wish to know the secret of some illusions. But this is what makes magic fun.

Mr Steinmeyer one said, "start with the plot and then try different methods to find the best methods for the plot".
john wills
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Misophoniac,
You have to see "One" live, as many other illusions, to guess how it's done. Live it's slightly different from the tv-special. It's also very important to STUDY the books on the history of magic illusions.
krille
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As w_s_anderson says, lets leave it at that.
TheMagicalMan
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So David Mendoza built the platform for Copperfield huh ? Anybody knows who created 'the illusion itself or idea/method for Copperfield' ?

Second of all you can't "CORRECT MY OPINION AND SAY NO IT WASNT THE GREATEST ILLUSION FROM MY POINT OF VIEW"...I believe it was the greatest the illusion ever and I find it more appealing than the statue of liberty and the flying illusion.

Regarding trickbusters, I was going to bring that up. I remember watching their 'revealation' of the illusion, it wasn't clear to understand and some things they were very wrong about, like Copperfield using stooges to write initials om his arm or the photo etc.. But however trick usters are correct in 90% of the illusions they revealed sadly. So yeah Portal they didn't reveal it all correctly (I don't know how it works but some stuff they said just aren't trye about the execution). The part that they said shich might have been true I suppose is the disappearence. But I have NOT THE SLIGHTEST CLUE on how in the world does DC get from the platform to appear in the middle of the audeince in the back......I may understand the disappearence.....or the whole beach with evidence thing. And Krille it really is VERY frustrating sometimes I wish I knew how it worked lol Smile .

About Copperfield's old entrance "ONE" again not the slightest clue....but its nowhere near as puzzling as Portal. From discussion boards about One, the summary of the posts was it was found in old magic books about certain aspects of the execution of this illusion which the method for it is old...Hmmm...I wonder how does One or Portal vary from the TV specials ?
chrisontour
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Quote:
On 2013-08-21 06:04, dahih beik wrote:
I don't think that you can compare an illusion that can be done live on stage to such an illusion like the state of liberty .


True, but both of these illusions have been performed with methods made for TV as well as methods made for a live audience.
Frank Simpson
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Quote:
On 2013-08-21 12:45, TheMagicalMan wrote:
…Second of all you can't "CORRECT MY OPINION AND SAY NO IT WASNT THE GREATEST ILLUSION FROM MY POINT OF VIEW"...I believe it was the greatest the illusion ever and I find it more appealing than the statue of liberty and the flying illusion. …


I don't find anyone saying that in your opinion it can't be the "greatest illusion". What I meant in my post is that no one can make a definitive "greatest illusion" statement because it is an issue of opinion, not of fact. In my opinion the greatest illusion was Doug Henning's presentation of the Fountain Levitation. But I cannot state that as anything other than an opinion. "Favorite" is a much better term to use than "greatest".
Oliver Ross
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[/quote]
I don't find anyone saying that in your opinion it can't be the "greatest illusion". What I meant in my post is that no one can make a definitive "greatest illusion" statement because it is an issue of opinion, not of fact... I cannot state that as anything other than an opinion. "Favorite" is a much better term to use than "greatest".
[/quote]

That's well explained Frank and I have to agree with you.

Concerning the OP, "Portal" isn't my favorite David Copperfield illusion, nor my favorite illusions of everything I've seen so far around the world. Flying was so impressive on TV and live that it'll stay my favorite David Copperfield illusion until now. The other illusions that are in my top five are "After Hours", "Test Conditions", "The Fan" and "Cocoon".


Oliver.
john wills
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I agree with Oliver and Frank.
The greatest illusion is always a matter of taste. You like something or you don't like it, or perhaps a little bit.
In another thread people are talking in the same way: what amount PERHAPS this or that illusion has cost, not knowing anything about it. It's pure guessing.
If they had done some research, they could have found an interview with D.C. (in Magic Magazine) where he talks about the figure he paid for the equipment of Flying to John Gaughan.
The same story goes in that thread about the Blackstone Floating Lightbulb. The figure given there is pure speculation/myth.

Talking about Flying. This illusion is an example of the difference between tv and theater. On the screen the "picture" is almost 3D, in theatre the "picture" is flat.
Blair Marshall
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"On the screen the "picture" is almost 3D, in theatre the "picture" is flat."

Huh? Not sure what kind of t.v. set you have, but when I saw flying in a theatre, I could see above, below, BEHIND, and front. I'm not sure how a live performance could be anything but 3D, unless you are sitting VERY far away.

Blair
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TheMagicalMan
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I wasn't directing my post to you particularly Frank.

Test conditions is an untalked about mind boggling illusion that needs a thread on its own lol After watching the whole TV special I can tell that illusions like Voyeur, Test Conditions, Thirteen, Portal, etc.. need a apecial stage I guess. I don't wanna give any more guesses but I just can't help but ask...ldid DC 'carry' this stage or platform with him around the world ? I wish I can clarify but I do not want to reveal anything accidentlly.

John Wills I have read numerous DC interviews about his work with illusion designers/builders/planners and must say WOW ! I didn't think dc would say that publicly. If you can link me to the interview please do. I wonder how much did DC pay for it ?

I wish I can trace the illusion planer for the portal illusion. It's out of deep interest in the illusion that's all or who where the illusion planners that worked with the DC team on the portal illusion.
Frank Simpson
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No worries, just making another point for the discussion!

When DC did Portal here, it was in an arena. I did not work that particular show, but I have worked crew on many, many others on that exact same stage. There is nothing "special" about it in any way.... except perhaps that it is dang heavy! (Or maybe it just seems that way since we're tearing it down after loading our 3-7 semi trucks worth of gear! Smile )
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