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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » John Kennedy Magic - Tractor Beam (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gitty
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Tractor Beam is a custom designed laser pointer that makes objects move just like science fiction! The YouTube video (link below) shows it in action but really can’t do justice to how mind boggling and impossible it looks in real life.

The unit is completely reliable and trouble free. Numerous prototypes were made and tested to achieve the final foolproof design.

And it’s completely self contained. No palmed or hidden devices are used, and no advance preparation is needed. Just carry it with you and beam your audience into another dimension whenever you want!

Tractor Beam comes complete and ready to use immediately. John will teach you everything on YouTube video, including how to:
• Move napkins, playing cards, credit cards, etc.
• Topple a deck of cards, plastic bottle, salt shaker, etc.
• Rotate cutlery, cell phones, and other objects.
• Make pencils, chapstick, and other cylindrical objects roll across the table.
• Make a freely chosen card slide out of the deck. Two versions are taught using any deck of cards, even a borrowed deck!
• Make a deck cut itself to find a freely chosen card. The deck can be on a table or you can place it on the floor. This is the simplest and most visually stunning version of the “Haunted Deck” ever!
Beam me up, Scotty!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JIGSZkTyXc
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Kjellstrom
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gitty
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Kjellstrom - thanks for the link - forgot it :-(
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Bande
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Seems like a very clever application of ITR type stuff -- putting the heat on the laser pointer is very clever. Smile
gabelson
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Quote:
On May 7, 2019, Bande wrote:
Seems like a very clever application of ITR type stuff -- putting the heat on the laser pointer is very clever. Smile



If that's the case, I don't get it. Perhaps I'm missing something. One of the strengths of ITR effects is that there is an apparently invisible "force" that only YOU, as THE MENTALIST, can control with your mind. It has nothing to do with a device. Once these ITR effects have an ACTUAL source that spectators SEE, even if it's a laser pointer, it takes a lot of the mystery out of the demonstration. Just my two cents, but again, to be fair, I have not yet seen the device.
RNK
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And $120 for a laser pointer? Hopefully I am missing something.
MeetMagicMike
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Hey guys, people know that you can't move objects with a laser pointer. Just like they know you can't levitate a woman by waving your hands or vanish a coin by hanging it on an invisible hook.

These premises are given tongue in cheek. Still, some people might fully accept the premise (children for instance) but even they will be impressed if you fool them even if they attribute it to some amazing tech,
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pegasus
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Quote:
On May 8, 2019, MeetMagicMike wrote:
Hey guys, people know that you can't move objects with a laser pointer. Just like they know you can't levitate a woman by waving your hands or vanish a coin by hanging it on an invisible hook.

These premises are given tongue in cheek. Still, some people might fully accept the premise (children for instance) but even they will be impressed if you fool them even if they attribute it to some amazing tech,


Lasers and children.. nah. In fact lasers and adults? No again. Especially one so expensive.
MeetMagicMike
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Pegasus, I wasn't arguing that you should buy it. I was responding to Gabelson's comment that he didn't understand why you would introduce the laser into the effect.
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gabelson
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Quote:
On May 7, 2019, MeetMagicMike wrote:
Hey guys, people know that you can't move objects with a laser pointer. Just like they know you can't levitate a woman by waving your hands or vanish a coin by hanging it on an invisible hook.

These premises are given tongue in cheek. Still, some people might fully accept the premise (children for instance) but even they will be impressed if you fool them even if they attribute it to some amazing tech,



The premises you've mentioned are indeed tongue in cheek, but there's still far more mystery to them than to this effect. There's a "paper trail" to this one, so to speak. Yes, audiences know you can't levitate a woman by waving your hands, but it's still a complete MYSTERY, particularly after the magician passes a hoop over the levitated person, dispelling any notions of wires supporting her. Where is the "logical disconnect", (as the late Bob Cassidy would say), in this effect?

Again- just my opinion. As soon as you show the audience what "causes" the object to move, even if it's a laser pointer, a ton of wind is let out of the sails. What makes PK work so strong is apparently there is NO cause other than the power of your mind, or whatever "power" you are trying to demonstrate. What impresses the audience here? What drops their jaw? The fact that they think light can't cause movement? That's certainly not enough. Laser technology is advancing at a very rapid pace. There's no reason that people won't believe that either the light, or something else coming out of that pointer, is moving the object. There's no other place for their mind to go. Sorry, I still don't see the appeal, and the comparison you offered- levitating a person- is far more mysterious, inexplicable and dramatic.
tdaube
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You could say that laser pointers focus and intensify light, and that you have discovered how to focus and intensify your thoughts using the light beam.
MaxfieldsMagic
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Just because something moves doesn’t mean it’s a PK effect - it’s more of a “cartoon comes to life” effect similar to an Acme moving hole or much of Sylvester the Jester’s act. By that criterion, this seems like a worthy and fun addition, IMO.
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kissdadookie
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I'm going to assume that the pointer is the r**l for which case, I'm sure there would be a good amount of people whom you perform this to whom would want to take a closer look at the pointer. Let's say they find nothing, I still think a good number of them would still insist that the pointer does more than beam the laser for which they would be correct if indeed the pointer is also the r**l. Let's say it's not the r**l (which I'm sure it is, I don't see how else you would do this since the product consists of just that pointer), unless they hold the pointer themselves and point the laser at the object themselves, a fair number of people would still think the pointer had something to do with it.

This product however did give me an excellent idea though. You can do the same effects using a traditional r**l and bring with you a cheap keychain laser pointer. Have a audience member do all the pointing and just time the animation properly. I think that would play much stronger and also bring to the table a unique inter-activeness for the audience.
TStone
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On May 16, 2019, kissdadookie wrote:
This product however did give me an excellent idea though. You can do the same effects using a traditional r**l and bring with you a cheap keychain laser pointer. Have a audience member do all the pointing and just time the animation properly. I think that would play much stronger and also bring to the table a unique inter-activeness for the audience.

You mean, basically revert back to Kennedy's original "Magic Flashlight" from the early 1980's?
The end of that routine was that a tabled card was pushed forward with the beam of light from the flashlight. Since Kennedy have performed and experimented with various versions of this idea since 35 years back, I think he have a pretty good idea what people want to look at.
kissdadookie
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Quote:
On May 16, 2019, TStone wrote:
Quote:
On May 16, 2019, kissdadookie wrote:
This product however did give me an excellent idea though. You can do the same effects using a traditional r**l and bring with you a cheap keychain laser pointer. Have a audience member do all the pointing and just time the animation properly. I think that would play much stronger and also bring to the table a unique inter-activeness for the audience.

You mean, basically revert back to Kennedy's original "Magic Flashlight" from the early 1980's?
The end of that routine was that a tabled card was pushed forward with the beam of light from the flashlight. Since Kennedy have performed and experimented with various versions of this idea since 35 years back, I think he have a pretty good idea what people want to look at.


Was not aware of his original plot from the 80s but good to know.

As for him having a pretty good idea of what people want to look at, let's say that they are polite and do not ask to look at your props or you have decent audience management skills to stifle them from looking at your props, it's still less strong if you are the one handling the laser pointer as opposed to them handling the laser pointer.

As an aside, I looked at the ad copy for Magic Flashlight, nowhere does it state that the audience is handling the flashlight so in essence, Tractor Beam is an update on essentially the same gimmick/prop and plot. So like my original thoughts on this, there's no reason why one can't have the spectator hold and point the light source as setting it up with a separate ITR or even loose thread would give you the animation but it would appear to be under the spectator's control. I think it's a stronger visual and creates a better memory for the audience. Pretty sure that Magic Flashlight is also not examinable and probably does not act as a ITR so in actuality Tractor Beam just updated the idea with a new type of light and also this time uses a ITR (likely motorized)?
TStone
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Quote:
On May 17, 2019, kissdadookie wrote:
...so in essence, Tractor Beam is an update on essentially the same gimmick/prop and plot.

Nope. Magic Flashlight is based on Scotty York's Light Bulb, with the Tractor Beam effect as a kicker. Very different gimmick&prop.
kissdadookie
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Quote:
On May 17, 2019, TStone wrote:
Quote:
On May 17, 2019, kissdadookie wrote:
...so in essence, Tractor Beam is an update on essentially the same gimmick/prop and plot.

Nope. Magic Flashlight is based on Scotty York's Light Bulb, with the Tractor Beam effect as a kicker. Very different gimmick&prop.


Odd reason why the magician is handling the flashlight the whole time then.
TStone
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On May 17, 2019, kissdadookie wrote:
Odd reason why the magician is handling the flashlight the whole time then.

Perhaps you should try it?
You might find that doing secret manipulations synced to the unpredictable actions of a spectator is less easy than what you assume?
kissdadookie
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Quote:
On May 17, 2019, TStone wrote:
Quote:
On May 17, 2019, kissdadookie wrote:
Odd reason why the magician is handling the flashlight the whole time then.

Perhaps you should try it?
You might find that doing secret manipulations synced to the unpredictable actions of a spectator is less easy than what you assume?


I don't see why it would be less easy. There would be very little chance of the spectator wildly waving the laser and if you do, simply do not release the lock on the IT (I would use a thread boss for this). I use to roll cigarettes and pens on a table towards myself using this method with a ITR. It's also the method I use for making straws and light pens jump out from glasses, etc. There's complete control over when the animation begins with no perceivable movement of your body. The only change to how I roll a pen or cigarette on a table for example to match this would be to hand the a laser pointer to a spectator and have them point the laser. I would ask them to first point at the point I point out to them and have them move the light towards the direction the animation will go in. Even not having done this variation with a laser pointer, I don't see how the actions of the spectator would be unpredictable.

Would depend on what you are trying to animate of course but the majority of what was on that demo could be accomplished in this fashion. The spectator may not necessarily be able to move a beam slowly in sync with the animation but I think the strength of just having them point the laser would be sufficient.

What you really give up would be complete synchronization of the laser and animation so you can do many of these effects but without as granular of a control over animation and laser if using a standard ITR. With something like a Spider Pen, you can have more control over the animation. It's a very small compromise and completely cancels out that there was any prop in play causing the animation apart from the laser being pointed at the object.
tdaube
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The main effect seems to be the card sliding out from the spread. I assume the magician is finding the spectator's chosen card. In this case you could not really have a spectator pointing the laser beam.
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