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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Derren Brown Channel 4, 22:10 2night (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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brownbomber
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Quote:
On 2004-04-23 19:36, JamesCheung wrote:
The taxi driver stunt was nicely staged, although it was obviously edited to maximise the seeming 'confusion' of the taxi driver. Incidentally, it really isn't that difficult to do. I myself have done this inadvertently on a number of occasions when I have chatted and engaged a driver in conversation to the point where I ended up lost somewhere around Old Street for what seemed like hours. Come to think of it, this is not going to be good for cabbies as somehow I think that over the coming days they are all going to have the glass of their dividing screens smacked and be engaged in silly conversation with members of the public who will try and replicate the stunt.


... and how often are cabbies more than happy to have a reason to 'get lost', if you know what I mean? ;-)
Partizan
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Drewmcadam, sorry to hear about your chosen line of work. I must say that journalists are the most sick and depraived lifeforms on this planet.
(I am aiming this at all journalists and not picking you out DM, and its meant in partial humor)

That apart, I found the whole thing enjoyable and want more of this sort of thing on TV.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
czero
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On 2004-04-23 18:43, MagicSquare wrote:
Regarding the chess bit,

The core of the effect is discussed in Corinda as being of uncertain origin. However, he does mention some prior work on it by Martin Gardiner (the math puzzler and, I believe, amateur magician).

I'm wondering whether these origins make this "trick" public-domain, rather than part of the magical canon?

Then, of course, he tops the basic effect with an *unexplained* component.



Martin Gardner is FAR more than a "math puzzler" and definitely no amateur when it comes to magic. Google him sometime, or do a search here on the Café. Mr. Gardner will be 90 years old this October, and he's a national treasure.

--Mike
David Numen
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>>Rule One: NEVER p**s off a journalist!

Rule Two: Today's paper is tomorrow's fish and chip wrapping.

:)

Regards,

David.
mike stevenson
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I, and my lay friends, thought the show was great. The material wasn't the strongest, but I'm sure the best is still to come. Bit surprised he performed Smoke, but nevertheless it was a fine fine effect.

BTW, something tells me that the chess players knew about the technique Derren was using.
shrink
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On 2004-04-24 01:51, bartlewizard wrote:
>>Rule One: NEVER p**s off a journalist!

Rule Two: Today's paper is tomorrow's fish and chip wrapping.

:)

Regards,

David.



MMMMMmmmm fish and chipssssssssss!
mclare
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Honestly, what are we like? This is a sharp, witty, intelligent series from an excellent performer, leagues above any magic we've had on TV for a long time. It's a series for real people, not magicians, and he's been bold enough to revamp the series to stop it getting stale. How many TV magicians have done that? He's also seemingly taken the bold move of casually allowing trickery into the equation, which is clearly a clever and refreshingly honest long-term move.
The chess method comes from the world of chess, NOT from Corinda. I'm a keener chess player than I am magician and I knew about it before I read Corinda. It's called 'mirror chess' and it's a rule in simultaneous games (which are also a chess convention)that you can't do it. I suspect too that they knew what he was doing, but maybe couldn't believe he could do it with so many. (Which is very impressive).

We're very spoilt. Clearly it's great that we can get together and pick things apart with our in-house criticisms: there's nothing wrong there. And maybe we're bored of everyone saying how great he is and we want to have a dig. All that's fine, but in all the weary disdain we shouldn't lose track of how great this stuff is. Personally I think the episode looked brighter and sharper, more grown up. More relaxed. Bring it on.
disappointing hack
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Thought the show was fantastic, witty and engaging.
Derren is far far better than any of us and he should be congratulated for his outstanding success and continued progression rather than be nit-picked by people envious of his performance skills. you think the effects were bad? lets see you do any better.
"shoot 'em in the back, quick, while they're not looking" Richard M. Nixon's Head.
JamesCheung
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On 2004-04-24 09:37, disappointing hack wrote:
Thought the show was fantastic, witty and engaging.
Derren is far far better than any of us and he should be congratulated for his outstanding success and continued progression rather than be nit-picked by people envious of his performance skills. you think the effects were bad? lets see you do any better.


I don't think any of the posts actually nit-picked nor did anyone say that the effects were bad. The comments so far have been about the new visual style and the strength of the effects in comparison to the previous series which is fair. Everyone will agree that Derren is an exceptional performer, arguably the best currently. Your post appears to be very defensive in tone.
shrink
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On 2004-04-24 07:55, mclare wrote:

We're very spoilt. Clearly it's great that we can get together and pick things apart with our in-house criticisms: there's nothing wrong there. And maybe we're bored of everyone saying how great he is and we want to have a dig. All that's fine, but in all the weary disdain we shouldn't lose track of how great this stuff is. Personally I think the episode looked brighter and sharper, more grown up. More relaxed. Bring it on.


Actually when I watch Derren or anyone I'm looking for what creates maximum impact. I sincerely want to learn why somethings are more impactful than others. I find these kinds of discussions fascinating nothing to do with good or bad. I don't think Derren or anyone could sustain the impact he made with his initial show. I don't like the 60s idea and revamp because I don't believe it works for maximum impact. The Derren effects that stay with me as being really strong are the ones in ordinary settings. Some examples are:

commuters forgetting stop in tube station
Toffs around dinner table
Hypnotising the man in the funfair to be afraid of ghost ride.
Working mans club and card forces
Casino with card routine and female croupiers
Strippers and invisible touches

There are lots more they are just off top of my head. These work because of the contrast to what he is doing and the environment he is in. at least to me anyway.

I thought Derren would move towards being more of a magician he has to hes done the initial am I real or not thing? He has to move on if he wants to expand his carreer.

Otherwise it gets to repetative or the skeptics come out and debunk you.
Karswell
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I was quite suprised that he opened with the more bold "a blend of *magic*, psychology,...". I can't help but thinking he's had one too many wierded-out nutter trying to contact him or maybe he wanted to nip in the bud, once and for all, the 'revelations' that he was and is actually a professional magician.

Steven Fry's reaction to the climax of Smoke was hilarious ( "Oh F*** OFF") and their brief discussion about how magic is often viewed set a very open and frank tone to the show.

I think the quite slick styling of the new show worked very well and totally appropriate for a show helping to take magic out of its geekish persona it has been prone to be lost in. He had touched on the 60's style in MC in the Mastermind segment with the other Chess Grandmaster. Maybe a *little* OTT at times but I was happy they hadn't continued in exactly the same way with Mincontrol shows 4 onwards. So long as he doesn't stray into the flash and pezazz of the Copperfields, etc. I think the style balances out the otherwise very lowkey and person-in-the street tone he does so well.

I thought the street entertainer ' Be a mind reader for 10p' segment was the most enjoyable and got some great reactions. The cabbie forgetting the directions, 'tip of the tongue phenomena', and the finger counting were also good to watch.

The man at the phone booth, its meaning entirely escaped me, I may have missed a bit. Was this to show the fact that people tend walk straight past people in trouble in the streets?

The Chess effect I thought was the weakest of the set, its method is more or less public domain. I remember reading it as a kid in some kids book. It was a nice contination of the familiar though: show several believable, known feats and then extend it into something beyond explanation (just like the coin in hand ends with them 'sensing' the coins side with their 'nerve endings').

Very much looking forward to the rest of it especially more items we havent seen before.

Nick.
JamesCheung
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One of Derren's main strengths is his ability to walk into an environment where he is not seemingly in a position of strength and emerge the victor. The psychological upper hand belongs to the person he's fooling with - it is their domain, but by applying psychology and deception he systematically takes the upper hand and turns the spectator's world against them, shattering the fragile veneer of control that they seemingly have over their particular domain. It is powerful and astonishing to watch. This is particularly evident in the casino sequence from Mind Control, the man in the funfair and the dog track scene. Last night, it was the turn of the cabbie and the chess players. The key to Derren's impact is indeed the fact that even the best of us can be fooled and it makes us re-examine the nature of our familiar environment from the comfort zone that is television.
brownbomber
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I agree 100% with James - nobody's having a go at DB himself, on the contrary. It's testament to our maximum respect that expectations are so high. Criticism is aimed squarely at TV producers and 'designers' smothering, drowning his work with their so-called cool 'retro' production values. Even the series' title to me sounds a tad uninspired, more magical, less mental: 'Trick Of The Mind'.

I'd also like to add that they've managed to take the dark (yet humorous) edge off his approach that I particularly enjoyed and seemed more congruent with his persona - he now seems more camp and more cuddly. The quasi-Chris Morris/Blue Jam effect with the phone box was the nearest to that and a short echo of Mind Control.

BB.
Caleb Strange
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I might be wrong, but I think the switch to a more overtly magical presentation (including that title) has had more than a little to do with the 'Shock horror, they woz blanks in that there gun!' headlines Mr. Brown received after last year's 'Russian Roulette' stunt.

Again, I might be wrong, but I sense a lot of hard work and painful rethinking behind this new approach. And, to be honest, after last year's 'revelations', I'm not sure what else he could have done. This is kind of sad, because the 'Jedi' ambiguity, while it lasted, was great fun.

However, I do think it's a testament to both his charisma and his skills as a performer that the recent Press Reviews I've seen say things like: 'Okay, so he's not Obi Wan after all. But Derren Brown still puts on a heck of a show.'

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
shrink
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That was Derrens turning point when he decided to do the Russian Roulette. I thought it was a bad choice then. His charisma and skills were never in question. ButI didn't think he looked comfortable or as confident in his new show.
Mark Roberts
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Quote:
On 2004-04-24 17:20, shrink wrote:
That was Derrens turning point when he decided to do the Russian Roulette. I thought it was a bad choice then. His charisma and skills were never in question. ButI didn't think he looked comfortable or as confident in his new show.



I have to agree with you here, Shrink. I don't think he looked comfortable in this environment either.

Don't get me wrong, I admire Derren very much. I think he is a terrific performer. I just don't think that the new style format for the show worked very well.

Although he had some stick over the Russian Roulette thing, I don't think that he had to change his persona the way that he has done. I like his darker side, it gives the show an edge.

Having seen Derren work live to a packed house of lay people, I know that his original style still works well, despite the Russian Roulette stunt
Niko
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Apparently, for legal reasons, he ahd to say they were blanks in the gun.
Whether or not they wrere....
-Niko
When you do something right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
SBeck24Svn
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If interested, there's some videoclips and explanations into 'how the effects are achieved' over at http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/M/mindcontrol/video/index.html.

Worth checking out...

Simon. (sorry if this has been posted before)
noncom
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That link is incorrect. I think it should be

http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv......dex.html

without the fullstop on the end. Unfortunately, the whole C4 site seems to be having a Sunday lie-in, so I can't be sure.

Andy
It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it - Bananarama.
teejay
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Quote:
On 2004-04-25 04:37, noncom wrote:
That link is incorrect. I think it should be
http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv......dex.html
without the fullstop on the end.
Andy


I notice that in the 'Fortune Telling' segment Derren gives a full list of 'exposure' books and scources
TJ
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