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Aeltham
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FAKE TV MAGIC: ANGEL OR DEMON ?



Hello and welcome to all magicians around the world ! I decided to start a thread on this forum, which would have for objective to answer the ultimate question that was caused so much disoder in the community lately : Is fake TV magic actually bad for the art form ?

Now before we get into this very complicated question, a few things need to be said.



First of all, I apologize for all spelling/ grammar/brain farts mistakes, as english is not my mother language, you guys will excuse me. Also, all that will be said here is my modest opinion and I don't pretend that it is perfect, however I feel like expressing my thoughts because …... Because I can.

Second, when we talk about « Fake TV magic » we are talking magic that you could not do in real life, if the spectators were not behind a screen. We are not talking about blaine performing regeneration by blake vogt here, as you can buy this trick and perform it yourself. We are mostly gonna be talking about performances such as Criss Angel cutting random people in half in a park or bringing dead people/birds back to life. And yeah if you don't know, that's a real thing. Google it.


Before I throw my thoughts at you, I think you should know a bit about my performance style, because what is true for me may not be true for you. I love flirty magic. In my modest opinion, tricks like french kiss by wayne houchin are the most fun to perform. I use magic as a way to connect with people, when I walk away, I don't want them to think « waw, this guy was realy good with cards » or even « waw, this guy realy has powers ». I want them to think « waw, this guy was awesome, I realy had a great time, and I hope I'll get to know him more ». That's the whole point for me. Magic is such a great tool to connect with others and gain confidence, as we all know, that it would be dumb not to use it. That being said, let's dive into the terrible question that is running up and down everybody's head :


At the end of it all, are all theese camera/paid actors tricks bad for the art ? Well as with all the complicated questions in the world, the answer is the same : « it depends » . It depends on the way you see magic and what you wanna get out of your performances. But let's have a though on some of the thinking that most magicians have on that topic, shall we ?

The thing I've heard the most from profesionnals like from amateurs, is that « It sucks that Criss Angel does that, because people get a fake idea of what magic is. And when they meet us, they expect us to be able to do what he can do on TV blablabla”. Now this (and again it's all my modest opinion) is what is the most wrong statement I've heard in a while. There are so many ways to answer the question “Hey, could you cut me in half like Criss Angel ?” Without looking like a jalous ******bag and saying “NO BECAUSE IT'S NOT REAL”!The line I would use, personnally, would be like “Well no otherwise I'd be in his place on TV obviously. This guy is next level !”


Now before you are tented to throw your chineese speaking chiwawa at your screen shouting “BUT THEN YOU LOOKS LIKE A PIECE OF GARBAGE AND HE LOOKS GREAT”, first of all the only person that's gonna be injure is the dog, and secondo, let me explain my resonning here. And to make it clear, I'll make a cool fun metaphore/parrallele/insertwhatevernameyouwanthere with the biggest cliché of all time:

The legendary guy with a guitar around a campfire on a beach at night.

Wait a second no, you're imagining wrong. This guy is even MORE handsome. There you go. Now this is a huge cliché and we've all heard about it, however, when that dude pulls his guitar out, Ten thousand millions times out of ten, there is some random girl who is instantly gonna fall in love with him and the whole group is gonna go like “yaaay play something !”

But wait a second here. This guy is just another guitar player right ? Aren't here are hundred of thoose out there ? And some of them are probably better than him right ? YES ! EXACTLY ! None expects that dude to be Jimmy Hendrix, but everyone is still gonna love him no matter what !

Well in the exact same way, why would the spectators like you less cause you're not the “level” of some stars on TV in their mind ? You're REAL ! You're here, you're smilling you're friendly and they wanna hangout with you already ! Is you not being “as good as Criss Angel” gonna change anything ? NO !

I've been thinking a lot on what to answer to this question, for at least the past 30 seconds and I got an infinity of things you can answer and stay a nice interesting person in the spectators point of view:

“Oh have you seen this guy “Criss Angel” on TV ? He Is mindblowing ! You saw when he cut people in half ? Oh my god could you do that ?”

“Emm you wanna be cut in half ? Realy ? pointed her/him with my fingers This person wants to be cut in half everybody ! Weirdo alert ! laugh smile wink ect haha just kidding”

“You wanna be cut in half ? I mean I could try it but I'm not sure I could put you back the right way, I've never done it before hahaha”

“Well yeah sure I could, but that would probably be painfull hahaha”

“Wanna be cut in half ? Sure ! I think there's a hardware store at this corner, go there and grab a chainsaw, and then ask a friend to cut you in half, but as always with pointy objects, ask for your parent's permition first !”

Ect ect....


The truth is, anything would fly by in a conversation. And if that topic is a problem for you, you could just dodge it like a ninja:

“Oh have you seen this guy “Criss Angel” on TV ? He Is mindblowing ! You saw when he cut people in half ? Oh my god could you do that ?”

“ Well I guess I...... [pause for a second] OH my god I have a great idea ! Ok Let's see if that works, emm *pretend like you are thinking realy hard*, See that ring/See that rubber band /Pick a card !” That's how easy it is to direct a conversation.


Now for sure, that's me and my smilinkg flirty fun magic performing style, but how about people that aren't like me ? How about that like to freak people out and have them have nightmare and run away doing backflips ?
Well I guess theese guys are screwed. Or are they not ?

If you wanna apear mysterious and scary, I just thought about a whole bunch of lines you could use to go past that. You could pretend like you're some part of a mysterious secret group and say something among the lines of:

“No, my masters are making my learning process slow on purpose so it don't have an accident like last time.”

Or “No, this is knowledge that the masters have not shared to me yet. They say I'm not ready”

“It's been prohibitted because I failed it last time and cause a lot of troubles. I had to leave [Insert random country]for this reason.”

Right after that, change subject, pull thread out of your eye, do your thing, I'm pretty sure they won't feel like bringing that subject again.

And what goes for the “Cutting people in half” Goes for every other fake TV trick, you just gotta find your way around it, which is realy easy in most cases, and in others, you just direct the attention away from that subject.




Now theese were my thoughts and what “Fake TV magic” is susposingly doing of bad to OUR magic. But let's make a small list of what they did of good to our magic.


First things first, they made magic popular culture. That is just so great. Pop culture means more gigs for everyone more people wanting to see a real magician, and why not hire want for their event, more attention and interest draged onto the art. Same thing goes for Matt franco winning AGT and magic being officially recognize as an art form, it just bring people's attention to us, and it makes them more exited when we go up to them and say “Well you know what, I'm actually a magician” !

TV magic helps all of us connect more to our audiences, which I love so much ! People used no to realy know what to say in between tricks, they were out of their comfort zones, now that all theese magic specials exist, they feel like they know what they are talking about, and they are way less shy with us !

But there is even better than that ! Theese guys,whether we like it or not, in the spectators mind, are a POSITIVE IMAGE ! Imagine what it would be if gorilla they weren't there ? When they would think of magic, they would think about one bad trick their nephew's friend did, or even worst, of pickpocketting ! So many people used to be afraid of that, because of scams like the 3 card monte or pickpockets that used to represent us ! More importantly, If I'm a realy bad magician, go up to someone, do some emotionless boring tricks, and run away, people are gonna think “this guy was bad” not “magic sucks” ! Because in their mind, there are some people that are actually amazing, eventhough there are on TV ! TV magicians, regardless of how good or fake their tricks are, are an insurance that people will always be interested in magic. And there is value in that.

Now some people could still consider it disrespectfull that we spend years perfecting techniques while theese guys just photoshop the whole thing, and they are absolutely right, but at the end, throught the eyes of all the rest of the world, TV magic has done us more good than harm.

Jay sankey has been sending an email to his subscribers about Matt Franco winning AGT, which kind of relates, and someone shared it on this thread : http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=62

I recommand you go check it out !

Well theese were all my thoughts about this subject, I realize that this is almost 1900 words and none is gonna read it apart from my friends, so I stuck a random word in the middle of a normal sentence, see if someone can catch it ! Mouahahahaha !

Other than that I'm looking forward to you guy's thoughts on this subject and I'll be active on this thread ! Smile
Dannydoyle
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I don't read posts with that many words but his subject has been don to death. Start by using the search function. All your pontificating has been done and answered many times. You are a few years late.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Marvello
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Quote:
On Sep 28, 2014, Aeltham wrote:
Is fake TV magic actually bad for the art form?

Yes and no. Anything that promotes interest in magic is good for other magicians.

However magic as performed by magicians, with well-honed and audience-tested routines is where the real art in magic is. By showing the TV audience a staged bit that is basically a small, play, complete with an all-stooge audience, the TV producers aren't doing the real art of magic any justice, and they set an unrealistic bar for other magicians to try to adhere to.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Aeltham
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On Sep 28, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
I don't read posts with that many words but his subject has been don to death. Start by using the search function. All your pontificating has been done and answered many times. You are a few years late.



Well here I just added my thoughts then ! Smile I didn't know about any other topics I'm new to the Café, but I've never heard any magician stating anything near what I said here, so I thought I'd just make a new topic to express my thoughts !
Dougini
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On Sep 28, 2014, Aeltham wrote:
Now before you are tempted to throw your Chinese speaking chiwawa at your screen shouting “BUT THEN YOU LOOK LIKE A PIECE OF GARBAGE AND HE LOOKS GREAT”...


Haaa hahahaha! ROFLMFAO! My Chinese speaking chihuahua? I thought they only spoke Portuguese! LOL! Welcome to the Café, Aeltham! I, for one, enjoyed your post! Smile

Doug
Dannydoyle
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On Sep 29, 2014, Aeltham wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 28, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
I don't read posts with that many words but his subject has been don to death. Start by using the search function. All your pontificating has been done and answered many times. You are a few years late.



Well here I just added my thoughts then ! Smile I didn't know about any other topics I'm new to the Café, but I've never heard any magician stating anything near what I said here, so I thought I'd just make a new topic to express my thoughts !


It is a search function. Not hard.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
landmark
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Aeltham, I think if your magic is as entertaining as your post, you have nothing to worry about from CA. Best of luck.
You may never get a TV special like CA, but I bet you get more dates.
Aeltham
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On Sep 29, 2014, landmark wrote:
Aeltham, I think if your magic is as entertaining as your post, you have nothing to worry about from CA. Best of luck.
You may never get a TV special like CA, but I bet you get more dates.



Hahaha thanks a lot !
Aeltham
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On Sep 29, 2014, Dougini wrote:


Haaa hahahaha! ROFLMFAO! My Chinese speaking chihuahua? I thought they only spoke Portuguese! LOL! Welcome to the Café, Aeltham! I, for one, enjoyed your post! Smile

Doug



Yeah I thought they only spoke spannish ! *** thoose things they're everywhere man. Haha thanks a lot I'm glad you enjoyed it Smile
Chad Sanborn
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What shows use 'actors'? How do you know this?
Magic on tv is tricky. The camera doesn't blink or respond to misdirection.
When you record magic 'live' as is the tradition on the 'street magic' shows,
you can't control the person who is watching or the reactions. So to get a good camera
angle of that reaction often means you have to do the trick twice. Once to capture the true
original reaction and once to capture the effect.

Imagine you are doing a simple sponge ball routine where a ball appears in the persons hand.
You have 1 camera. How do you film it for tv?

Well you first set up a shot over the magicians shoulder so you can record the reaction of the
person as they witness the trick for the first time. But because you needed that reaction
you couldn't film the effect as you are behind the magician. So now you set up an over the shoulder
of the spectator of the magician. Who again performs the effect a second time. Now you move in for
insert shots. Close ups of the hand movements. And possibly close ups of the magician saying his patter.

Its a lot of work, but that's the basics of how magic on tv works.

Add more cameras you say? ok. Now you have to keep the camera guys out of each others shots.
Oh and I forgot to mention, you have to have at least one sound guy with a boom mic over head that
you have to keep out of the frame as well.

Its tough work. And trying to edit all the cuts, inserts and reshooting different angles together
can be tricky and may seem like a cheat to you. But the basic thing that most of these 'tv fake magicians'
do is fool the spectator first! Live and for real. Keep that in mind when you say magicians cheat on tv.
Dannydoyle
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Lots of excuses there. Not saying any are wrong mind you but sure are a lot of em.
I guess the

Oh and yea Chris does use actors.
I guess the point is can the exact same effect with no weasel words be done live?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Aeltham
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On Oct 5, 2014, Chad Sanborn wrote:
What shows use 'actors'? How do you know this?
Magic on tv is tricky. The camera doesn't blink or respond to misdirection.
When you record magic 'live' as is the tradition on the 'street magic' shows,
you can't control the person who is watching or the reactions. So to get a good camera
angle of that reaction often means you have to do the trick twice. Once to capture the true
original reaction and once to capture the effect.

Imagine you are doing a simple sponge ball routine where a ball appears in the persons hand.
You have 1 camera. How do you film it for tv?

Well you first set up a shot over the magicians shoulder so you can record the reaction of the
person as they witness the trick for the first time. But because you needed that reaction
you couldn't film the effect as you are behind the magician. So now you set up an over the shoulder
of the spectator of the magician. Who again performs the effect a second time. Now you move in for
insert shots. Close ups of the hand movements. And possibly close ups of the magician saying his patter.

Its a lot of work, but that's the basics of how magic on tv works.

Add more cameras you say? ok. Now you have to keep the camera guys out of each others shots.
Oh and I forgot to mention, you have to have at least one sound guy with a boom mic over head that
you have to keep out of the frame as well.

Its tough work. And trying to edit all the cuts, inserts and reshooting different angles together
can be tricky and may seem like a cheat to you. But the basic thing that most of these 'tv fake magicians'
do is fool the spectator first! Live and for real. Keep that in mind when you say magicians cheat on tv.


Yeah well no. First, angel doesn't go any of this work. Angel doesn't film, doesn't edit or anything... It might be tough work, sure. By he does cheat, there no denying it. I mean look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwjBBcHYcmc

here you can see angel bringing a dead bird back to life and people being amazed by it. I have nothing against the use of stooges if it helps fool other people around, but saying that "most of the "fake tv magicians" fool the spectator first live and real" is just wrong. Not only are thoose two spectators not fooled, but he obviusly used video editing to bring this bird back to life.
As I said in the post, I don't hate angel anymore because I think what he does is good for magic, but still, he well deserves the label "fake TV magician"
landmark
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Yeah well no. First, angel doesn't go any of this work. Angel doesn't film, doesn't edit or anything... It might be tough work, sure. By he does cheat, there no denying it. I mean look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwjBBcHYcmc

here you can see angel bringing a dead bird back to life and people being amazed by it. I have nothing against the use of stooges if it helps fool other people around, but saying that "most of the "fake tv magicians" fool the spectator first live and real" is just wrong. Not only are thoose two spectators not fooled, but he obviusly used video editing to bring this bird back to life.


The acting of that blonde "actress" was pretty laughable. But that effect can be done without video editing. The legend goes back to Dedi and the effect goes back to at least colonial America--somewhat before the video camera.
Dannydoyle
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Many of the things can indeed be done with no editing. But when you start down that road of "oh we fooled them live first" it is not long before you start helping the effects and so it goes.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Aeltham
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That was just an example, to say that angel deserves his title of "fake tv magician" that everyone calls him by. Whether it's that or him walking on water (to give another exemple), the live spectators are rarely fooled, a most often realy poor actors.

But here again the real question is: are thoose facts bad for magic ? I believe not.
Dannydoyle
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They are bad for Chris.
Danny Doyle
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longhaired1
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On Sep 28, 2014, Aeltham wrote:
Is fake TV magic actually bad for the art form ?


It's probably more detrimental to TV magic than magic overall. Being a TV magician is not on my wish list so I am not too concerned if televised magic eventually implodes.
Aeltham
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On Oct 15, 2014, longhaired1 wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 28, 2014, Aeltham wrote:
Is fake TV magic actually bad for the art form ?


It's probably more detrimental to TV magic than magic overall. Being a TV magician is not on my wish list so I am not too concerned if televised magic eventually implodes.



Completely agree
Holistic Magic
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I don't like fake magic. When watching entertainment on TV, the fun for me is to try and figure out the trick and if there are camera tricks and stooges then it ruins my fun. Smile
Chad Sanborn
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Well until you have to film magic for a paying television show, I would withhold passing any judgement over the magician.
I've tried to explain the various obstacles that are presented to us everyday on set. And you said they are all 'excuses'
Which means you are clueless as to how television is filmed and how hard it is to incorporate live magic into that medium.
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