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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Real life performing is not a 2 minute TV shot. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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This is what I see happening with some magicians. You watch a magic effect performed on one of those TV specials (Blaine, Mindfreak, THEM, etc..). You see the effect and the reactions of the spectators. Now you want that trick because you want to get the same reaction from the people you perform for.

I can understand that and I hope to get those reactions too. But there's a huge difference between a 2-5 minutes spot on a TV screen and real life performing. For one thing the TV can only pick up one angle at a time. Even when they do that little mini screen on the corner you are still only seeing it from the point of view of those cameras. Real life isn't like that. You can't zoom their eyes into one point at the moment you need them to. You can however focus their attention to one point. But you're not performing for one set of eyes in most cases. You're working in 3D instead of 2D.

The other thing to realize is that camera editing can do miracles to a magic effect. A good director can make the lamest trick look like a miracle by jumping from the reactions of people at the right moment then back to the effect being performed. I could do a simple vanish of a coin then edit in the reactions of something more stunning with that vanish. In other words I could perform a very stunning effect and gets some shots of people reacting to it. Then edit those reactions into a lame trick and all of the sudden that simple vanish looks like it got a stunning reaction. I'm not suggesting that I know of anyone doing this (I suspect a few) but I'm only saying that you should judge the effect for what it would be like in real life, not just the spectators reactions you see on TV.

There's also the matter of performing style. Will that trick you saw on TV get the same reactions from you? Does it fit your performing style? Do you even have a performing style and is it your own? Could you perform that same trick they did on TV in such a way that doesn't make it look like you are copying them? If not shy not save yourself the trouble and give them a video of the other magician doing it?

I guess the point I'm really trying to make here is be sure you think about yourself when deciding what to perform. And realize that you'll have to build the presentation and it'll be different in real life then it is on TV. Popular doesn't always mean better.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
sunnydolan
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Opelika, Alabama
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I don't know, if Angles building to building levitation was as angle proof as he says it was, I think it could fit anybodys performing style... And get better reactions then anything else we do...
An amatuer practices untill he gets it right, a professinal practices untill he can't get it wrong.

Don't wait for oppurtunity to knock, throw open the door, grab it by the throat and drag it inside kicking and screaming.

Magically yours
JackScratch
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Sunnydolan - If you think that, then you have an awful lot to learn about magic. Jaxon is attempting to teach some of it to you. Listen carefuly to what he is saying.

No, a levitation from building to building would not fit just anyones style. No, it would not automaticly get a better reaction than anything we do. It has that potential, as all effects do, but of itself, it does not. Large effects or "illusions" serve a different purpose in a different manner than small closeup work does.
sunnydolan
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Oh yes, I agree completely with what he was saying. But think about it, an angle proof, 2 story high, building to building levitation. You can't tell me, even with the worst presentation (as long as the method isen't exposed), that it wouldn't get an extremely good reaction, better then what most magicians are used to.
An amatuer practices untill he gets it right, a professinal practices untill he can't get it wrong.

Don't wait for oppurtunity to knock, throw open the door, grab it by the throat and drag it inside kicking and screaming.

Magically yours
Matt Malinas
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Romania
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Building to building and angle proof???
you could start a whole religion with that!
and I am not joking

-Matt
Your One Stop Booze Abusing Comedy Magic Show!
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-06-02 00:14, sunnydolan wrote:
Oh yes, I agree completely with what he was saying. But think about it, an angle proof, 2 story high, building to building levitation. You can't tell me, even with the worst presentation (as long as the method isen't exposed), that it wouldn't get an extremely good reaction, better then what most magicians are used to.


And have you seen such a thing? Even with exposure it could be all that and more. Of course it takes a lot more than just floating from building to building to entertain an audience. Floating and flying are not uncommon acts for magicians. So you take it outside, is that realy that giant a step? Not to mention there has to be some setup, even without the effect needing it. How do you address your audience? How do you form your audience? What do you give your audience, other than a far away glimpse of a man floating from building to building? They can see that on TV.

Say it with me. "The effect does not make the performance."
SOHA
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NJ
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I do enjoy the latest magic on T.V., and think these guys are do a great job for their target audiences.

That said, I agree with the main purpose of Jaxon's post "I guess the point I'm really trying to make here is be sure you think about yourself when deciding what to perform".

Wil
airship
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In my day, I have driven
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Real-world story:

I once went to a small computer conference, and as part of the gig the organizers had arranged a group trip to a comedy club (to see Carrot Top, of all people, but that's another story). They were filming the gig for TV, and once we had settled down the director came out and told us that they wanted to film some 'reaction shots' before the show started. He coached us on how we should just cut loose and pretend we had just seen the funniest comedy bit we'd ever seen in our lives. He was very engaging, and told a few good warm-up jokes to get us going. Even though we were a hardened, grizzled old bunch of programmers, we wanted to make his job easier, so we complied. He actually directed us like a conductor on when to laugh, and they took about 8-10 takes. Then, after a short break, the warm-up comic came on.

When I saw the show on TV, I was appalled. They had taken bits that had gotten very few laughs - sometimes the lamest bits the comics did - and had cut our belly-laughs in to make it seem like we'd just loved it. Not only that, they edited in a laugh track, too. I remember seeing jokes and bits that had barely gotten a murmur from us that sounded like they'd brought the house down.

Not that we hadn't laughed. We had. But from watching the show on TV, you had absolutely no clue which bits were met with actual uproar, and which ones were duds. They all sounded like winners on TV.

I think we were all naive enough to believe that they would cut in our 'reaction shots' only when we had really reacted. Uh-uh. TV is a business, and they are NOT going to make something look like a dud, not when they can make it look and sound great.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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That's a great story airship and it's also very common.

Magic on TV is a kind of strange thing. On one side of the coin it's very easy to "fool" a camera and make an okay trick look fantastic. On the other side of the coin it's hard to make it look real (as in make the observers feel it would be the same in person).

Remember those worlds greatest magic specials? They had to redo many of the trick without an audience so they can get close up shots. This makes a lot of sense to me because if they recorded those close ups while the audience was there then the camera men would be in the way of the live audience.

Like I said before. It's very different in real life. We can't edit out moments we don't like and fill them with moments that make it looks better. It's happening in real time and we gotta take what we get. So if you're inspired by a trick or performer you see on TV then that's great. Just make sure you make it your own.

I also enjoyed the last Mindfreak episode. I won't comment on the building thing here (if you watch a video of it you can find a huge mistake) but I do like the fact that he showed some presentation and not all glitz (unlike some other famous ones we see on TV).

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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