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Topic: Shadow Production
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 20, 2012 12:24PM)
I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. I have a concept in mind for the opening of my Oriental Fusion show. Oriental music fills the theatre as the curtain opens. An elevated screen is seen on stage and displayed on both sides. Various scenes of the Orient are projected onto the screen in time with the music. As the music slows, the scenes fade and all that is left is a simple light, illuminating the screen. Slowly, a shadow emerges and begins to take shape as I make my appearance from the screen.

I know the concept of a shadow production is not earth shattering or original, but the concept fits within the design of my show. Does anyone currently build a nice shadow production that can help me bring this concept to fruition? Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jan 20, 2012 12:36PM)
As usual, I am impressed with your creative show ideas. Just wanted to say that :)
Message: Posted by: Hector (Jan 20, 2012 07:26PM)
You could ask John Taylor for his "DIMENSION" illusion.

All the best.
Message: Posted by: Aaron Smith Magic (Jan 20, 2012 09:52PM)
Rand Woodbury has a nice Shadow Box illusion in one of the Paul Osbourne Illusion System books. Vol. 3 or 4 I believe... and it has an oriental theme to it with blueprints and everything.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jan 20, 2012 10:15PM)
If you have the capacity to build the screen that can display either front or rear projections, and if you have the projector to project the images you describe on the front of the screen, you don't need much more than a clear glass incandescent bulb behind the screen on a dimmer circuit to create the effect you wish. Nothing more needs to be constructed. Study the illusion in Tarbell or in Jim Gerrish's PVC Illusions and you will see that the construction is minimal- it's mostly done with light and shadows. Of course, if you have your heart set on making a big box to carry around, don't let me stop you.
Message: Posted by: Jack Murray (Jan 21, 2012 08:02AM)
Kent my "Octagon" will do EXACTLY what you are describing!

Message: Posted by: TheDean (Jan 21, 2012 05:51PM)
Some great help so far!

...as you describe it, there are TON of variations, methods for the successful accomplishment of this premise. Some are very old... older than all of us anyway, while the current, relevant technologies have allowed for easy, more accessible means fairly simply and easily.

Heck even more recently (Like over the last half century) ‘of course’ we have to mention Mark Wilson & Company around the 60’s, Richard Diamond (and his holography) back in the 80s/90s, Franz Harrary 70s through current, and others have played with variations on this theme. (as have many others)

You may also try look up "Living Screen" or "Screen To Life" for some more recent examples.

Hope That Serves…

I am at Your Service and in HIS Service,
Deano (Serving & Supporting You and Your Success!) in Reno
Message: Posted by: MagicalMotivator (Jan 23, 2012 09:18PM)
Spellbinder offers some very good advise.

Actually Doug Henning used a simple, shadow illusion as a segway device on one of his TV specials based on this. I have used a similar concept in a corporate product launch many times.

For your example - on the stage, in the background a simple, oriental lamp illuminates on a pole, 2 assistants (period costumes are effective here) open a large white cloth in front and SLOWLY raise - images (front or rear proj) appear on the cloth/screen to coincide with your pre recorded story - at the proper time the images fade to the white light - shadows - shadows become performer - cloth drops and performer is standing there. Simple - direct - and with good theatre can be quite spectacular.

In Doug's version - the cloth provided shadows for 2 dancer who magically appeared - very briefly danced and embraced - cloth immediately lowered to reveal Doug Henning now there.

Just an idea.

Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 25, 2012 10:01AM)
Thanks for all of the great suggestions and ideas! This is really why I LOVE THIS PLACE! Rick, I appreciate the simplicity of the scene you described. It really is in keeping with my vision and concept. It also reinforces Spellbinder's wonderful insight that solid illusions don't always have to depend on a big box. The assistants, the screen and the projected images can fill the stage; while the music and narrative fill the theatre. As a result, a simple production transforms into an elegant illusion. Thanks!