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Topic: What A Night! - 3 Original Illusions - Including A Surrounded Car Vanish
Message: Posted by: MikeJRogers (Dec 22, 2003 02:36PM)
Hey everyone,

Well I just had the worst sleep ever and I'm very excited, hehe. Last night was my night for ideas. I designed three illusions last night. All from ideas that just popped into my head. Talk about pen on the sheets! I'm so excited! Here's the list:

1.) Teleportation - Magician slowly vanishes by sinking into a very thin raised concrete slab. He has vanished. Magician then rises out of another concrete slab 10m away. Teleportation thing.

2.) Audience Vanish - An audience member stands on a very thin platform. Screens are raised. You can see his shadow. Suddenly the screens light on fire. He's gone. He then comes running onto stage from behind the theatre.

3.) Surrounded Car Vanish & Reappearance (THIS ONE IS BIG - POSSIBLE TV.) In a public place, there is a car sitting on top of four concrete blocks. The car can be driven onto the block if need be. A person (celebrity maybe) is placed inside the car. A circle of REAL spectators (NO STOOGES) surrounds the car. Four screens are raised creating a box around the car. The last screen is placed on top of the other four completely sealing it in a box. A light comes on and the shadow of the car is seen. The car can be on and 'revving' the motor if you like. Suddenly the shadow turns off and the top screen falls into the center of the box. The other four screens fall down. The cars gone! About 10 seconds later, far away there is the same set-up in the middle of a lake. (Spectators - four blocks) A circular screen is raised and dropped, the car has appeared sitting on the blocks! The celebrity is still in the car.

Think of this - Real spectators - Real car - Real person:) - Car vanishes - A few seconds later it appears far, far away with the celebrity still in the car! NO CAMERA TRICKS, IT'S ALL REALTIME.

What do you think? The Idea came to me last night, I started drawing and wow, it looks great.

What I would like to know is this. I've created about 6 or 7 original illusions over the last few months, including these three, but I don't have the finances to build or perform them yet. However I might be able build and perform some in the future. Should I hang onto my ideas and drawings or should I possible market them somehow? If so what's the best way of doing this? How do I know if they are any good?

Also, the car vanish... I think this is something that might appeal to a large illusionist. Would it be an option to sell the idea or even give it away with the only credit being my name? I don't know if I can wait till I have the finances, anyway to get a sponsor? Hehe. How do I put my ideas out there to see if there of any use to the magic fraternity?

Thanks for your time,

Mike Rogers
'very tired'

Maybe it's not worth it? What are your thoughts?
Message: Posted by: StageDor990 (Dec 22, 2003 05:11PM)

Creativity and originality are the most ESSENTIAL and powerful factors to success in the industry. It IS worth it. You may want to consider several avenues you could possibly take. If you believe your strength to be in the design field, you could contemplate this avenue, which would be in the design, conception, and fabrication of illusions for professionals.

If you think your real strength is in performance, work your way up-- start small and work; watch the progress. Keep up the originality and creativity-- those elements will go a LONG way.
Message: Posted by: M-Illusion (Dec 22, 2003 05:19PM)
The ideas are good and could definitely materialize into something if selling the ideas is what you're aiming to do. It isn't easy to sell ideas for illusions, unless you're an established consultant.

Your best bet would be to try to sell ideas to performers that you already know in the business. Start getting your name out there as a designer in whatever ways you can. Like being a performer, you'll have to build up a market for your services.

I've had a lot of budding designers contact me about selling illusion concepts, and I don't think I'm alone in saying that unless I've heard of the designer and know some of their work, I'll want to see a lot of good, solid documentation of their idea(s).
Message: Posted by: MikeJRogers (Dec 22, 2003 05:22PM)
Thanks for your reply Michael,

How would I go about the car vanish? Is there any way that I can find out if it's original? I thought about either giving it away to an already accomplished performer, selling it, or developing a TV special focused around the illusion? Sort of a way to break into the circuit. Is it a stupid idea?

The problem is I don't know how to begin the route of either of those three though.

Thanks for your help,

Mike. :wavey:


That's the problem. I want to be both. Well, until I have developed a reputation as a performer. I don't really want to be a designer full time. I want to perform Illusions. This is why I thought it might be best to save the ideas till later or put on a TV special with it as the finale. Seeing as I'm relatively young I thought it might work.

Did you perform or design first? I know your quiet established in the field so what would your best advice be. Try and sell the idea, then start performing. Hang on to the idea until I've performed and got a reputation or the TV Special?

Hope you can help,

Message: Posted by: StageDor990 (Dec 22, 2003 05:32PM)
I can say that a TV special would be unlikely, as the basic car vanish has been seen multiple times before on national television (even though your method may be completely, 180 degrees different.)

My best advice would be to keep up the creativity, always documenting your ideas so you'll have them safely secured forever-- and you won't forget where you put that car! In the meantime, really focus on your goals and how you plan to achieve them-- EXACTLY what do you want to do? After you develop this idea, figure out your plan of action (staying grounded and realistic), and work towards your goals.
Message: Posted by: magictim (Dec 22, 2003 06:18PM)
Sound like great work. I'd be interested in them if you ever market them. Keep up designing. It will pay off big I'm sure.
Message: Posted by: MikeJRogers (Dec 22, 2003 06:21PM)
Thanks for the kind words, Tim.

The problem is I don't know how to market them, hehe. I've sort of got a book full of ideas and drawings. I've never thought about marketing anything because my dream is to be an Illusionist myself.


Message: Posted by: illusioneer (Dec 23, 2003 03:34PM)

I, too, am interested in the car illusion. I believe there is a thread on this very board that deals with marketing ideas to the illusionist community. Maybe you could check there. Also, perhaps getting in touch with some magicians on here who have marketed effects. Maybe drop Kevin James a line and see if he can help. He's pretty helpful. Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: MikeJRogers (Dec 23, 2003 03:50PM)
Hi illusioneer,

I've decided against selling my ideas, as someone pointed out it's rather complicated. I think I'll hang on to them until I have a show of my own. I'd love to be able to perform illusions that I personally designed. But thanks for the advice though.

If you would like some more information on the car illusion PM me.


Message: Posted by: MrBiddle (Dec 23, 2003 06:34PM)
Teleportation sounds interesting. :)

Does it have to be a concrete slab?
Message: Posted by: MikeJRogers (Dec 23, 2003 06:40PM)
No, it could be a lot of things, wood, plastic, steel, etc.

… Only restriction is that it must be performed on a stage. Unless you have... :) :) If you know what I mean.


Message: Posted by: MrBiddle (Dec 23, 2003 10:52PM)
Unless I have spectators who are polite enough to always :), and are the type that won't sneak up behind me?

Nevertheless, it still sounds interesting.

I'm not going to ask for the method, but is it easy to set up?
Message: Posted by: MikeJRogers (Dec 23, 2003 11:23PM)

Very easy to set up. The method is [b]so[/b] simple. I just combined a few different concepts. You can either use yourself or an assistant. If you want to do it surrounded you need something extra. I'll PM you about that.

If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.



Message: Posted by: dsilverfield (Apr 20, 2004 07:23AM)
Hi Mike
I am posting after 6 months since this began, but honestly I just saw this.
Look, I designed a surrounded vanish of an elephant for a magician in India. The spectators in the back were stooges but it can also be done without stooges.

I am interested in this car illusion.

Is it okay to PM so we can discuss further?

Also can you tell me if this can be done for one off shows? Like a product launch.

Message: Posted by: KerryJK (Apr 20, 2004 11:45AM)
Since I started getting down to seriously thinking about magic and started putting an act together, I've ended up with a couple of notebooks full of ideas and had much the same thoughts about selling them, but I'm holding on to all my ideas for the time being for a few reasons:

1) I'm not nearly experienced enough yet to know all the ins and outs of how these things will work within the realites of pro performance, and I wouldn't expect anyone to pay me for my work if they'd then have to do all the donkey work; the "doing some work" bit is the part that many would-be inventors stop short of.
The other aspect of my lack of experience is that I have no idea how to market these sort of things (my dubious marketing skills are not my greatest asset), and I don't want to play that game until I'm good enough to play it properly on as close to my own terms as I can.

2) I find that many of my designs have evolved over time, either as I become aware of new principles or just as I think about it some more (I do most of my illusion thinking in the shower and at the gym, or just daydreaming of finished performances). Often something will start off complicated, but the more I think about it the more I cut out the clutter and find better, simpler ways.
I don't doubt that this is the norm. Andrew Mayne pretty much said this in the foreward for his "Bisection" illusion. I may or may not have a notebook full of cool ideas today (I think they're cool, but who am I?), but if I hang on and let them mature not only will I avoid wasting people's time peddling rubbish (and getting a reputation as a timewasting moron to boot) but the cool ideas will be that much cooler and more attractive.
I love the motto in the Grolsch advert, "we only let you drink it when it's ready". That "shtop, shtop!" guy is a hero.

3) Related to point 2), while an illusion may seem too big and expensive for you to do anytime soon, a little thought may bring it within your means sooner than you think.
One of my designs is for a "melting girl" illusion, this started out totally theoretical because it involved a lot of skilled modelling and expensive quantities of latex, but my partner wanted to do it and we thought of some new methods and changes which brought it into do-able territory. Now it's my current research and build project.

4) Some just plain aren't useful on a practical basis, at least not yet. My first properly realized illusion (as distinct from the set up photos and computer fakes I'd done previously) was my "floating gypsy" levitation-above-water/walking-on-water routine, which someone told me I ought to try and sell. The problem is, it requires having a wading pool of water set up with the spectators on the same level (a lot of the effect is that you can see into and through the water under the performer's feet), so is limited in where it can be performed effectively; about the only place I can imagine it fitting is at a garden party. But it may yet evolve into something useful elsewhere, or on a stage.
Message: Posted by: ofrmagic (Feb 1, 2006 03:20AM)
I think you should keep some of your ideas for your self and some for sell that way you can grow as a performer and a builder.
Message: Posted by: reedrc (Feb 1, 2006 11:43AM)
I've learned that is great to get feedback from users, but agree with ofrmagic. Its better to get feedback once the things are released / finalized. Helps you grow as well as protects your concepts from getting snatched, before you have a time to release them properly. I love the ideas. I think they're all great.

Its a crazy biz. I understand wishing for the feedback. Its so hard not to show everyone what you got.
If its validation that you need: Doode. your stuff rocks man. I feel your going to be among the elite designers one day. Keep up the great work man. I feel your defanatley on your way. So don't worry. Pleanty of time for recognition and feedback. Its all about timing......Dont rush a good thing brotha.
Message: Posted by: Face (Feb 1, 2006 04:21PM)
It`s all here...in the Café, there is a place in this forum, where you can discuss about marketing and sales and etc.
Message: Posted by: freefallillusion1 (Feb 2, 2006 01:14AM)
I think the ideas are terrible... now can I have the methods?:)
Message: Posted by: discjockey (Feb 3, 2006 09:13AM)
It seems like the notion of "surrounded vanish" is intruiging everyone.
Message: Posted by: Lusion (Feb 3, 2006 03:00PM)
There are some problems with being a new designer as I have foundout the hard way. There may be designs that you think are original but in turn have been thought of by someone else. I found this out when my design ideas collection that I made about 40 different illusions that about 31 of them are thought of in some way shape or fashion. I was very sad at this. Such as productions and vanishings that look like the Zimmerman base or style. As a new illusionist you will not know this. I have been a working pro for years of that I sat down for 3 years designing and building my own illusions mostly I was upset at the work that some big name illusion builder did. And the ones that did great work were so expensive (but worth it) I wanted to have my show stand out from others and it takes a lot of time and trial and error. As I have stated before Rand Woodburys Illusion Works helped a great deal!!! But most of all you need to do your own reasearch and make sure that you are not duplicating someone else work. This takes ALOT of time but you will see that its worth it! So to all designers I tell you to keep up the notes and if you are low on funds then do what I did...do it your self you will SAVE!!! There are a lot of resources to help you bring your ideas to life and a lot of pro builders that will take it the next step for you such as Owen Redwine who is a builder/consultant who I believe is beyond business , he connects with you and what you are trying to do.
Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: reedrc (Feb 3, 2006 04:52PM)
As a Caviat to Lusion's post, An important part of R&D is studying whats been done. What works and what has not. Who's doing what and who is not. Understanding the needs of the market and what's missing or whats needed. There are many simple basics of magic most things have been done its up to us to present things in new and interesting ways not nessasarily re-invent the wheel. New things are ALWAYS being developed. Whats important is always and continualy pushing that envelope. Creating new and interesting effects but most importantly expanding and changing the existing one's. More than one way to skin a cat per say....
Just my thought...