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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The June 2011 entrée: Luis De Matos » » The Magicians » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

noble1
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As a TV veteran, how would you rate your experience - and the finished product - of the UK series The Magicians - compared to the work you do in your homeland?
Luis de Matos
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Well, thanks for the title of "veteran"… But actually on tv it’s very difficult to deserve it. Even when you start very young (I did my first tv series almost 22 years ago) you are always learning because tv is constantly changing. That's the exciting part. When I started we only had 2 channels in Portugal! Today everyone has hundreds of channels. Competition for airtime is fierce.
For tv content producers the only thing that counts is whether you are able to gather the crowd or not. It is exactly like doing magic on the street. With all the available attractions nowadays (thousands of tv channels, internet, consoles, etc…) it’s harder and harder to get ratings on tv. Ratings (whether big or targeted) are the only things that count when commissioning editors approve your idea or give you a second series.
The Magicians was a tremendous success with the public. It had huge ratings and audience share. Magician might have not liked it. But it’s not the top priority for the stations to make shows that please a specific (and a very small) part of the potential viewership. At least not if the show is being aired during peak time on Saturday night which was the case with The Magicians.
The main difference between The Magicians and anything I produce in Portugal is the amount of control I have over the production. On the other hand it's good to have other technicians concentrate on set and lighting design, music and other aspects of production that I would normally be very involved in. Because these are all elements that take up time that you would spend on your magic.
I liked it a lot. I learned a lot, as always. And, deep in my heart, I believe that the constant 6 million weekly viewers enjoyed it. Maybe next time a live magic show comes into town they will buy a ticket…
Here is a sneak peak at my experience at behind the cameras. It will give you a glimpse of every stage of the production process from the meetings and costume fittings to the rehearsals and actual show. Every tv production is a huge undertaking involving dozens of people of which the magician is just one. The workload is intense. But the camaraderie that comes with any tv production is something you remember for a very long time.

http://videos.sapo.pt/sKb6NMZzvg4bzBjmzC6K
noble1
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Thanks for that wonderful peek behind the scenes. Follow-up questions: In this era of hundreds of channels, what is the most recent magic show premise that has gathered you the most viewers and how did you create that idea?
Martino
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I believe the BBC has commissioned a second series of The Magicians. Do you know if it the same magicians involved again (obviously including yourself?)
"There's a difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done!" - Simon Aronson
Van Helsing
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Dear Luis,
What would you advise to someone starting in magic ? what should an apprentice magician learn ?
How did you start ? Can you tell me the name of a book that inspired you ?
Would be so nice to have a magician online university, EMC could be the start of it...Imagine to have Luis, Max, Paul, David...as professor !
And to have the EMC all year long !
You are a great magician thank you to keep the art alive !
I wish you all the best for your career and I hope to meet you one day on a stage...

Van Helsing
Luis de Matos
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For the last six years I’ve been performing weekly on a big variety tv show that goes out live every Friday from Galicia Spain. The fact that I’ve been there every week allowed me to conduct some tests and constantly improve the way I use my spot.

Whether I do illusions or close-up, a big stunt or a location piece with live satellite to the studio and on air, I always try to find ways that can power up the ratings of my spot. That’s exactly why they’ve kept me there.

On thing I consider valuable is try to involve the viewers at home. Get them to call the studio and participate live choosing the card, the envelope, the number or the colour in a given routine.

First you get extra airtime whenever they announce “coming up next is Luis de Matos…”, “Call this number and participate in this week’s Luis de Matos spot,” etc.

But it also reinforces the fact the show is live and that is always good. Also people at home really feel themselves represented by whoever called in… it’s one of them and that increases interest.
Luis de Matos
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That’s news to me but they might well choose a different cast. Whoever does the show I am sure the production team will do their best to make it a great one.
Luis de Matos
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We all started in a different way although went it comes to tell the story publicly 90% of magicians go for the one of the magic set they got when kids.

I think that percentage is changing and the next generation will be saying something like “well, I found videos on the web”. Hopefully some of those videos will be from the Essential Magic Conference J

The online university is definitely a good idea. We’ll see what the future reserves to us all…

Regarding EMC being an year long, well it is a bit already. Those 16 yearly hours are so deep, with so many layers that they take a while to sink in. Everytime I go back to a specific video I always notice something I didn’t pay attention before.

Thank you so much for your comments!

See you at EMC2011!
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