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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The November 2009 entrée: Cameron Francis » » On Creativity » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Donny Orbit
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Cameron,

From one Sankey/Harris school graduate to the next, where do you get ideas for your effects? You always have an interesting presentational ploy and its never just "watch". Is there something in the water in Florida?

DO
Cameron Francis
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Donny!

Long time no talk, man!

Ha, ha. Nothing in the water that I'm aware of. Not sure where it comes from. I will say that most times, the effect comes first and then I have to think of a presentation for it. Sometimes they happen all at once.

In terms of scripting. I usually come up with an opening line and a few key lines during the effect. Lately, I've actually started to script my pieces more carefully, mostly because I get tired of hearing myself say things like "Let's do this..." over and over during the moments when I don't have anything scripted.

This trick is a good example of something that is COMPLETELY scripted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox-pPMw_Cwo

There are also some tricks which tell their own story just fine and I don't feel the need to layer anything on top of them. My packet trick Twists & Turns is a prime example of this. I don't really have any presentation for it except, "This is really weird." Sometimes I don't think there's anything wrong with just letting the magic speak for itself.

Where do you get YOUR ideas from, dude? You've got some freakin' awesome, off-beat tricks!
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Donny Orbit
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Cameron,

I am a huge fan of presentation. In my opinion it makes or breaks a good effect. If you have a hook that catches the spectator's interest then its almost as if the magic comes second. You have to draw them in and really sell the effect in order to get the reactions that you want. Its what takes a sleight of hand puzzle and turns it into a moment of astonishment.

I have found myself using filler moments as well, such as Let's do this, or even worse using "Um" as a transition word. I write up my own scripts for each effect, b ut usually go off the cuff and improv a lot of it based on the interaction with the spectator. I have seen a lot of magicians who are so rigid with the presentation that they end up missing golden opportunities to have some fun bi-play. The magic isn't just the effect as far as I'm concerned, it's also about the interaction and the memories that you help to create.

As far as my inspirations, I draw from all sorts of weird places. I borrow from a Zen philosophy that states that you should look at everything as though you are seeing it for the first time. We walk past so many things in our day to day life that we see all the time without giving it a second thought. So many of these things have so many different uses that are just crying out to be made into a magic effect. I can't go to walmart without spending at least an hour walking around and writing ideas down. I love cartoons so I get a lot of my ideas from there as well. Anything that they can do in cartoons a magician can theoretically recreate in person. Sylvester the Jester is a genius as far as recreating those moments for a live audience. I'm also a huge science fiction buff so I draw a lot of ideas from movies and books. Sometimes its as easy as learning a new effect and just putting my own "Orbit" touch on it and trying to strip away parts or adding something and having it mutate into a totally new effect.

I talked to a young magician once and he showed me Twisting the aces, pretty much verbatim from the Michael Ammar Easy to Master Card Miracles set. I asked him if he had any ideas on the effect. He said "Dai Vernon already made it perfect. What could I possibly add?" I never, ever do an effect exactly as I learn it performance-wise.

As cliche as it is, I guess I force myself to think outside of the box that is in the other box that is under the stack of boxes in the back of the box warehouse...lol.

Sorry for hijacking the question. Good to hear from you!

DO
Cameron Francis
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Donny,

Excellent thoughts.

I'm also a fan of doing something that I know some magicians HATE which is anthropomorphizing cards. In other words, giving cards personality traits.

I don't expect my audiences to honesty believe that Jokers can be troublemakers or that Queens can really be attracted to the Kings or what have you. But it does provide people with a hook and context and gives a reason for things to happen.

Love your stuff, Donny! Can't wait to see more.
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davidpaul$
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Quote from Cameron:
This trick is a good example of something that is COMPLETELY scripted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox-pPMw_Cwo
end of quote:

Now that was nice!!The ending caught me totally by surprise. Well Done!! and yes the scripting made the effect very interesting.
DP
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Donny Orbit
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Cam,

Loved the youtube effect that you posted. That is a perfect example of a well scripted, well routined effect.

I feel like any effect should be like a high school english paper. It needs to have a strong introduction, a middle that holds the readers interest, and an end that brings it all together.

As far as my effects, I am looking to have DOA, Donny Orbit's Astonishments,
done by valentine's day of next year. 11 of my best real world tested material with cards, coins, locks, keys, business cards, shot glasses, notepads, candy and borrowed money in the Donny Orbit catalog...lol.

Thanks again for the insight man. You really are an inspiration for magicians that want real world effects that hit hard!

DO
wsduncan
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Quote:
On 2009-11-16 18:11, Cameron Francis wrote:
I'm also a fan of doing something that I know some magicians HATE which is anthropomorphizing cards. In other words, giving cards personality traits.

Audiences seem to like it.

If you consider the top 100 highest grossing movies, you’ll notice a number of films (like ET, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E) that attest to the fact that anthropomorphizing inanimate objects is a very profitable endeavor… if you do it well.

And as many of those films would suggest it can be an artistic as well as commercial success too (Transformers, not withstanding).
Cameron Francis
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True. But I've heard many magicians call these sorts of presentations silly, because, "My audiences would never believe that cards have personalities."

Well, I don't expect my audiences to believe it, either. Any more than they believe there are talking rabbits in real life like they see in cartoons. It's a hook. A way of making people connect with what you are doing.
New card magic with completely normal cards!
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Donny Orbit
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To me its no different than claiming that your hand is faster than the speed of light or that you can find a soft spot in a metal ring.

DO
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