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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Something to think about... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ms. Morgan
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Hello all,
Recently my new escape box was completed. I premiered it at the 14th Battle of Magicians over the May 6th weekend.
As we were building it there were a lot of name changes..."box, hamper, this-will-never-work, P.O.W. box..." Finally John suggested calling it "The Cell" and it stuck.
It's now time to get to work on the all important promotional photos. This is were everyone from the Café' comes in...I think it will be fun to see what you think will make a good promo shot.
Just so you know, in performance about 7 feet of chain is padlocked, in the center, around my neck. I back through the door into the box and pass the ends of the chain out the holes in the sides. My hands go through the holes in the top and are handcuffed outside the box. Door is closed, chains pulled tight around the front, over the door and padlocked again. Finally the hasp on the door is locked with a combination lock. The box is in full view throughout the whole escape.
You can see the cell here: http://theescapist.smugmug.com

Okay, I'm really curios to see what you'll come up with. What do you think will really "sell" this escape? Oooh, this should be fun Smile

Thanks for your ideas on this!
Morgan
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
www.EscapeChick.com
www.illusionbiz.com
www.WackyDracky.com
CARNEGIE
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Well, let me throw my hat in the ring on this one. However, not so much as a Promotional Photo idea but instead a presentational idea, which might naturally lead to ideas for photos.

The routine is called, "le cadre de vertu cachée" which translated from french means the Box of Hidden Virtues. The story behind the box or cell, is that it was originally built by a french nobleman in the 16th century who was married to an extremely beautiful woman. But due to the noblemans own extra marital affairs, he never trusted his wife. As his affairs grew, he created this device to keep his wife from straying while he was away enjoying himself.

So there's an idea to run with.

It's a fine looking prop, good luck with it and with the photos.
Ms. Morgan
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Carnegie,
Very nice, I like the story. Now that the bolts on the box are all blacked it looks older so it would fit..Hummmm? And the French angle and title adds an air of truth, which is always good.
I had told Rick about the box in an e-mail sometime ago. Then called it a POW box, he also came up with a neat routine for it. I will never be at a loss as to what to do with this prop, that's for sure. Thank you.

Ms.M
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
www.EscapeChick.com
www.illusionbiz.com
www.WackyDracky.com
RJ_Silmser
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Hi Morg...

How about a good clear shot of the box, locked up tight, and a triple ghost image of you on top of it. The fist image is you coming through the top, the second is you on your knee just going to stand up and the third is you standing up holding the chain, cuffs, etc. above your head.

The ghost image has amazing possibilites with shading, lighting, inner shadows, etc. All can be done in Photoshop.

The ghost image is a triple over lay on the same photo of the cell (crate)

That is a beautiful prop, Morg, be proud ! Everytime I see a new pic of you I fall in love again...LOL j/k !

~Rick~
"A man is only as young as the woman he feels"



-Groucho Marx-
Wolflock
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I like Carnegie's story. Really good. I like the box. Stunning.

If you are still looking for a name, you could call it Morgan's box (like pandora's box) and go with a story of Morgan La fey (King Arthur and Merlin). You could say that it was the magic box that Morgan finally used to trap Merlin the magician. Would he be able to escape the trap...

Just an idea off of the top of my head.

Regards
Wolflock

P.S. Rick - I know what you mean.
Wolflock
Pro Magician & Escapologist
Member of JMC (Johannesburg Magic Circle)
South Africa
pastorclyde
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Ms. Morgan,

Great effect! Might you borrow from the homeboys and call the escape something like: "Threading the Crib" or take it from a box strung onto a chain and call it "Jeweler's Nightmare"

BTW, I love your shots- it is inspiring to see the high level of professionalism that you and John provide your audiences. Okay, and yes, I admit, you are fun to look at also. Smile

Clyde
drwilson
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This is a really beautiful piece!

I think a good promo shot would be a shot of you in the box the the chains and the cuffs in place with the door open so that we can see you in the box with everything in place.

It is a difficult choice that frames your entire act. Do you show the escape artist in the pose of triumph, as in Rick's suggestion, or do you emphasize the impossible peril of the escape by illustrating the means of confinement? I have chosen the confinement approach for my publicity. I think showing the escape artist in triumph takes a bit away from the climax. If you don't show the victory shot, you audience literally can't imagine it because they haven't seen it.

Look at how George Lucas does it. The poster doesn't show Luke Skywalker standing over a defeated Darth Vader; the poster shows him holding his light saber with a look of grim determination and hope against a background of an epic space battle. The struggle is what is interesting, not the moment of victory.

Yours,

Paul
Cliffg37
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I would love to see a picture of you sitting on top of the box, the cahins and stuff nearby, and you possibly with your arms folded across your chest and a look of "no problem" on your face.

This will have a couple of effects,

1. confidence - written all over your face
2. curiosity - That pose doesn't imeadiatly tell the audience exactly what will happen. you will make them wonder, and hopefully want to pay to find out.
3. Amazement - she is going to get out of all that?!?

The rest is how you play it.

The helpless female who rises above is an old plot, but it works for both male and female spectators. (Sandra Bullock milks this well)

The "I'll show you" take charge strong female, doesn't reach as wide an audience, but it still works. (Think Michelle Yoh)

What ever you do with it I love the box, it is really a work of art. When you do the escape, what will the setting be? Are you in trouble? are you hidden? etc.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
CARNEGIE
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Here's an idea. (sort of a mix of everyone else's actually) A tight shot of the box locked up. YOU inside. But a ghost image, as Rick calls it, of you inside the box chained up. I'd probably suggest a serious or concerned look. No smiling, nothing over the top because you want to draw people in. As suggested above, "WILL SHE GET OUT????" instead of 'of course she gets out'.

Carnegie

Another idea is a shot of you inside the box, chained up, the door is open however. The box is sitting on a blackened stage with a single spot shining down from above.

Or the same thing with the door closed but with the ghost image. Much like the Houdini Milk Can poster where you can see the person inside the can. In fact, that might be a cool photo too. You locked inside, two police officers standing on each side of the box, and a 'cutout' revealing you inside.

Carnegie
Ms. Morgan
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This is what I'm talking about...a nice think-tank sort of vibe going on here! I knew you'd all come up with some cool thoughts.
Thanks for all the ego-stroking Smile (..blush...)
I have to send all the comments on the prop John's way, he built it. I designed it and did finish and stain.

We plan to do the photo shoot around June 1, or there about. Sooo keep the thoughts coming,.....please.

Cliff, I closed with it so as a closer I tell the audience that because they have been so kind to me I want to give them something. Something they don't get to see in an escape show..I'm going to let them watch everything I do, no cover this time.
(of course that's not quite true, they can't see what I do with the padlocks on the chain...and the strait jacket is full veiw earlier in the show.) Still because the box isn't covered they feel they're really seeing everything. I also "allow" myself one tool and I ask the audience for it, nearly anything someone whats me to use. This way they now feel part of my escape, they have a stake in it.
Of course with all the ideas floating around for this thing that may change.

One more thing. I added two more photos that John found. They are shots of the cell as we were building it. Sorry for my less than neat appearance in them but, hey, I was working!...girl's allowed to be a mess once in a while. Smile Smile

Thanks again!
Morgan
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
www.EscapeChick.com
www.illusionbiz.com
www.WackyDracky.com
Allan Given
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Hey, you can have pics of you being a mess anytime! Especially when you look that good! Smile

I would agree 100% with Paul's comment. I would have your publicity shot be something that shows you in peril to strengthen the audience's pathos with you. If you show you triumphant pose of you free from the Cell, it dilutes the audience's reaction when you do escape. They have to be presented with a problem. Something that looks and seems impossible to escape from. This will make the climax much more effective.

My suggestion would be to have a picture of you standing with all of the chain wrapped around your neck and the chain being threaded through the box. With the door of the box open and with you standing in front of it, it will create a juxtaposition of size that will add to the element of danger. It will also show what is about to happen. The audience will know that you are about to be stuffed into a small box and that the chain is holding you in place. I believe this will create a photo that tells a story and wets the audience's appetite.

Hope that helps! The box looks great by the way!

Allan
Ms. Morgan
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Thanks Allan Smile
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
www.EscapeChick.com
www.illusionbiz.com
www.WackyDracky.com
KerryJK
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A key aspect to that box that I can see is that it looks >really< small, I like the use of wide panelling to suggest the sides are of thicker timber, so giving even less space. With this in mind, much as I love to see your face in these things I'd suggest a shot of the box locked up, chains protruding tightly (we haven't seen them, but I'm sure you have some evil looking chains for this!) and your hands, fingernails painted in scarlet laquer, visibile reaching out through the holes in the top and cuffed in place. The shot would probably be in a slightly raised perspective (say about 40 degrees), enough to make the hands (and therefore the plight of the damsel inside) the focus of the shot while still allowing a good shot of the cell. The right perspective at the right distance will also make the box seem even smaller in comparison to the size of the girl inside, as indicated by the hands.

As human hands are capable of a lot of expression, this way you can create the tension of someone being locked inside while maximising the mystique of how on earth anyone could fit inside in the first place, let alone get out.
Ms. Morgan
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Helen, you think it looks small? Good! We kept chopping it down until I was sure if it got any smaller my butt wouldn't fit through the door Smile

Okay, I admit it..I really had nothing to say...I'm just trying to keep my post from moving to the back page.

Sneaky girl Smile
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
www.EscapeChick.com
www.illusionbiz.com
www.WackyDracky.com
mark2004
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From my experience of commissioning PR shots I would say always try for as many variations as you have time or money for. This is partly because you can only really judge a photo when you've got the finished full-size image and that's often after the shoot is finished - so try to make sure you've got a selection to choose from. Also, you might find you want different images for different circumstances or different audiences.

Having said that, I reckon you should include the following

1) Shots of you inside the box with all the chains and cuffs fastened - aiming to show you in an impossible predicament - but with the door still open so people can see it's you in there.

2) Shots of you just posing with the props - eg. sitting on the box holding the restrains in your hands - maybe beginning to put the restraints on.

A good photographer will try to get a range of expressions out of the his/her subject. So hopefully you'll end up with an assortment of wide smiles, come hither looks and expressions of concern or deep concentration reflecting the challenge of escape.

Its always worth playing around with your look generally when you're working on launching something new. There's probably not much I can tell you about that as you've obviously got a strong presentational sense anyway. But seeing as you seem to have some really neat costumes I would advise making the most of those and trying to get shots of you in several different costumes. (eg. more and less revealing variations for different audiences)

And finally, it was great to see the more natural looking you in those pics you posted. I think all the pics I've seen of you before that had you in costume and with your hair fastened one way or another. Better stop here or I'll start drooling and embarassing myself...

Mark
Kevin Ridgeway
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Ms. Morgan...
Great looking piece. I really like the different finishes and colors.

In my opinion some photos of it barely open with you peering out. Cuffs, chains, locks, etc should be visible. The picture should include most of the box, but the main focus should really be on capturing the emotion in your eyes.

Good luck with it, let us know how they turn out.

Kevin & Kristen
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
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