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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Are ther categories to illusions ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

la9
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Are there different categories in grand illusions ?

I have a few osborne books but I'm trying to learn the principles behind illusions so I can create my own.

Recommend anything ?
Chezaday
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There are a lot of good books out on the market, especially the Paul Osborne Series. that's a good place to start, but it takes years of experience working with illusions before you start designing your own. I would suggest working with a local illusionist to see what really goes into a show and how the illusions set-up and tear-down. You won't read about that in a book and the experience will open your eyes.

There's a lot more to it then a simple box and a base, so much more!

Steve
magicjohn2278
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Sounds like you need to read "Seven Basic Secrets Of Illusion Design by Eric Van Duzer", it's very readable and details "the" seven different categories of illusion!

I've built a few in the past, yet learned quite a bit from this book.
la9
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Thanks, I'll check out 7 secrets.....
Oliver - Twist
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There're thousand of possibilities in creating illusions. I once amused myself working out a list of all possible trick technics using a different way to create an illusion, using exemples of existing illusions to compare.
It's the apendix from Andrew Mayne's "Illusionbook" that gave me the idea.
Steve is right, it take's a lot of time and I think it's a neverending process, because technologie is always improving.

Oliver.
May all your days be magical



Oliver Twist
Larry Bean
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You might look at the Rand Woodbury Illusionworks tapes or DVDs. Also Device and Illusion by Jim Steinmeyer is a good reference.
Bryan Gilles
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Funny you should ask this! I was just thinking about asking about the fundamental principles of magic as well.

As far as I know, there are seven principals (categories) to our art:

1. Production- making something appear
2. Vanish- making something disappear
3. Restoration- repairing something that has been dismembered
4. Transformation- changing the physical appearance of an object
5. Teleportation- moving an object from one place to another
6. Levitation- suspending or rising of an object by use of powers
7. Penetration- passing through an object

Some will argue that there is an eighth!

8. Prediction/ Mentalism

With that in mind, you can probably consider adding escapes to the list too!

I was going to post a thread asking about the importance of having referenced one of each fundamental in the course of a standard illusion show.

Is this a good format to follow, or would it be to predictable if you were to represent each element? I'm sure in essence, you would show your abilities as an "illusionist" by excersizing dexterity to each category or fundamental.

I'd love to get some constructive feedback on this topic!

-Bryan Gilles

P.S. - Oliver- great post about the fact that technology is changing along with the art. Don't forget that the materials we use now add to a lot of the changes as well! For instance- a base that was once made from 3/4 plywood can now gain a great deal of extra load-space do to the use of extremely thin metals like aluminum or steel over the favor of wood and cloth materials...
Bryan Gilles
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I was just thinking about what I wrote and am sure there are "sub-categories to these seven fundamentals... For instance:

I. Production;
-1. Livestock
---a. bird manipulation
---b. pulling a rabbit from a hat
-2. Coins and Cards
---a. coin manipulation
---b. card manipulation
-3. Assistants
---a. through use of illusions:
------- Shadow Box
------- Crystal Casket
------- Smoke Chamber
(sorry for all the "-", I can't figure the coding to make the correct spaces)

It'd be cool to really dive into this topic and go deep into the theory side of things and see what becomes of it! I'm sure it would help a lot of us on here explore ideas that haven't been utilized in the recent days of the art!

Just a thought,

Bryan
Oliver - Twist
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Bryan,

Fitzkee's book "The Trick Brain", describes 19 basic effects. Here a short list which is, of course not totally set, because magic is not a science :

1) Production
2) Vanish
3) Transposition
4) Transformation (color)
5) Transformation (size)
6) Transformation (forme)
7) Penetration
8) Restoration
9) Animation
10) Levitation
11) Force of attraction
12) Same reaction
13) Invincibility
14) Physical or physically abnormal
15) Doing wrong from the spectator
16) ESP effects
17) Identification

Now all of this basic effects can't be used in stage illusions. You can of course combine 2 or 3 effects for an illusion into an illusion routine.

Anyway,I think it's not important to show every effect in a show. You should vary the effects, but it's more important to vary in lenght, pace, rythme, interactivity and emotion.

There's no existing format of a standard illusion show, but if you're watching magic shows you might find a certain structure, that you could use as exemples.

Good effects in a magic show, stage or close up, should be clear, simple to understand, visual, surprising, sensational, undetectable and emotionally touching.

The best effects are the ones, where the audience can be affected with, due to dreams that humans always had (beauty, being rich, flying, seeing in the futur, invincibility...).

Going back to the standard of a magic show, have a look on Dan Harlan's "Packs small, plays big". He talks about "his" way of structuring a perfect show. There're aswell, the books of Jim Pace and Jerry McGregor "The Restaurant Workers Handbook" and "Real World Magic". J.C. Sum has written a book called "The Event Illusionist" talking about his point of view putting together an illusion show.

Voilà, what I think.

Magically,

Oliver.
May all your days be magical



Oliver Twist
Michael Baker
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I would also like to point up the importance of a book like, The Trick Brain". It not only lists the basic effects, it gives the known methods for achieving those effects. Bear in mind, these methods are more generic in nature than saying hollow base, trap door, false panel, etc. They may describe a method for a production as, "...pulling the object from a secret hiding place". The "methods" given are basic physical principles that may achieve the desired effect.

Examples of these principles are given, relating the specific modus operandi of a particular prop to the principle being described. It would be up to the reader to take the information and put it together into a workable form for other applications. It should also be noted that while not entirely, the examples given largely fall into the categories of smaller prop magic. Translating this to the scale of grand illusion can be done, but it requires some reading between the lines.

As an example, if you wanted to produce your assistant, there would be a list of the possible ways by which something can be made to appear. Depending upon the object to be produced, and the other surrounding conditions, some of those method principles will automatically eliminate themselves. From the remaining, a workable method can usually be found. Specific engineering is not a given, in these cases, though. A roller blind, a mirror, a false wall, or controlled lighting are all capable of giving similar results, i.e., hiding something, but they are obviously all quite different.

That is where a good working knowledge of magic (specifically, magic with apparatus, large and small) comes into play. The more examples of similar effects one can pull from their information resources, the more likely a more detailed method and it's specific engineering will become apparent. Even if the method sought is not identical to a known example, the more info there is to work with, the more likely the possibility that an application of that info can be derived that is unique to the specific effect desired.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Oliver - Twist
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You're right Michael.

This book is excellent for learning and researches on magic.
We often want to show the latest magic tricks seen on television, but forget that we can create our own magic by using exemples in history and studying those for more experience.
We're always overlooking older magic tricks and books, because we think it's to old, but we should never forget, that those "old" magic effects are used in combination we new technology and modern materiel to give new twist in magic since years, and that even the greatest magician study magic history to pick up an old idea and make it "new".
If I'm right this book dates from 1944 and is part of a trilogy written by Fitzkee.

Oliver.
May all your days be magical



Oliver Twist
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