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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The June 2011 entrée: Luis De Matos » » Tricks for T.V. or live performance » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kristof Limbo
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Dear Luis,
How do you decide which trick to use for T.V ?
Do you perform a certain trick differenly in front of a live audience or for T.V performances?
Luis de Matos
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First there are two goals. You want to give a performance that speaks highly of you as a performer whether this is your distinctive style, the impact of the effect, the unique approach etc. You also want to give a performance that will be remembered. The details depend on two different factors: the environment and the audience.

First, the environment.

In a live performance, whether it is a theatre or a club, you now where you are. You know how the audience are viewing the performance. Usually you have your angles protected from the back, from the sides and even from above and below. On tv that doesn’t happen. If you don’t have or don’t take the time to gain the studio crew’s hearts and explain them that we all need to work for the same goal, they will all become privileged and curious spectators with powerful weapons on the hands that might inadvertently expose your tricks. They’ll use the camera lenses to satisfy their own curiosity about how your tricks are done. For example, if the cameraman focuses on an area of the stage that he finds interesting, because he is curious about how the trick is done, he might expose some secret to the viewers at home.

This is why I always tell everyone in the crew how the trick is done and how it can be filmed to best convey the mystery to the audience. They help me to make the trick baffling to the viewers at home.

Second, the audience.

In a theatre you know that it’s very unlikely that some of your spectators will leave the room if a specific effect gets a little longer or needs some readjustment. On a tv show you don’t see your audience. They are sitting at home. They come and go and you don’t even notice. Maybeeyou end the trick with no one watching…

The only thing you can do to counter this is to try to make it interesting every second. Interesting doesn’t mean you need to produce a dove per second or reveal an awesome prediction in those time intervals. Being interesting is about the look and feel of the performance, it’s about involving interesting cameras angles that give people at home a perspective they would never had, it’s about involving the host or some guest celebrity, it’s about having people calling in, it’s about providing eye-catching moments so that people stay and watch. It’s about creating arresting visuals so that even those channel hopping will say, “This looks interesting,” and stop for the rest of the performance.

You don’t need particular tricks to do this. You need interesting ways of staging them.
movemonkey
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Quote:
On 2011-06-25 10:11, Luis de Matos wrote:
First there are two goals. You want to give a performance that speaks highly of you as a performer whether this is your distinctive style, the impact of the effect, the unique approach etc. You also want to give a performance that will be remembered. The details depend on two different factors: the environment and the audience.

First, the environment.

In a live performance, whether it is a theatre or a club, you now where you are. You know how the audience are viewing the performance. Usually you have your angles protected from the back, from the sides and even from above and below. On tv that doesn’t happen. If you don’t have or don’t take the time to gain the studio crew’s hearts and explain them that we all need to work for the same goal, they will all become privileged and curious spectators with powerful weapons on the hands that might inadvertently expose your tricks. They’ll use the camera lenses to satisfy their own curiosity about how your tricks are done. For example, if the cameraman focuses on an area of the stage that he finds interesting, because he is curious about how the trick is done, he might expose some secret to the viewers at home.

This is why I always tell everyone in the crew how the trick is done and how it can be filmed to best convey the mystery to the audience. They help me to make the trick baffling to the viewers at home.

Second, the audience.

In a theatre you know that it’s very unlikely that some of your spectators will leave the room if a specific effect gets a little longer or needs some readjustment. On a tv show you don’t see your audience. They are sitting at home. They come and go and you don’t even notice. Maybeeyou end the trick with no one watching…

The only thing you can do to counter this is to try to make it interesting every second. Interesting doesn’t mean you need to produce a dove per second or reveal an awesome prediction in those time intervals. Being interesting is about the look and feel of the performance, it’s about involving interesting cameras angles that give people at home a perspective they would never had, it’s about involving the host or some guest celebrity, it’s about having people calling in, it’s about providing eye-catching moments so that people stay and watch. It’s about creating arresting visuals so that even those channel hopping will say, “This looks interesting,” and stop for the rest of the performance.

You don’t need particular tricks to do this. You need interesting ways of staging them.


If you always tell everyone in the crew how the trick is done, how do you make sure people from TV stages keep the secret?
Mike Maturen
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I'm not sure how Luis does it, but I know Copperfield uses a secrecy agreement.
Mike Maturen
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Luis de Matos
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When dealing with a tv professional crew I never use a secrecy agreement. I preffer establishing a relation of trust and respect. We should never hide secrets from people that are crucial in the way your performance will be seen. TV professionals don’t like “smarty-pants” but they respect humble professional people that values their jobs. Remember they are not working for you… but you might make them working with you if you gain their respect.
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