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Your help is required please. A UK magician named Derren Brown performed an effect on one of his TV specials, where he placed his hand over a lit candle for a long time without burning himself. Does anybody know where to find insructions (book/video) on this effect?

Many Thanks

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Profile of Symmatrix
Interesting Article....Hmmm.... Smile Smile

Waiting for someone with the material...

Hope that there is one...

What We See Is Mainly Depend On What We Look For.
Only Those Who Can See The Invisible Can Do The Impossible.

Symmatrix Magic
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Profile of EddyRay
Can you give some more info, how long did he really have his hand there? A trick comes to mind where a lit cigarette is held between your thumb and index fingers. The magician comes away without a burn.

Numbing your hand with ice would seem possible, but I am not sure about a candle. Post some more details if possible, Ed Smile
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Profile of ns
I haven't seen this done so I don't know how he did it. I do know that I do it from time to time by holding my hand about 6 inches above a candle. It looks easy until someone else tries it. All you have to do is move your hand ever so slightly and the heat will not concentrate on one spot too much.

Please be careful of numbing with ice. Anytime water comes in contact with the skin it removes the natural oils from the skin. As any learned fire performer knows the natural oils are your best protection from burns and will do far better than any amount of numbing. The cigarette trick from Scarnes book seems to be the exception.
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Derren Brown was at a circus and he got about 5 people in row, he then placed his hand over the lit candle and had the first person do the same with another candle. The first person lasted a minute or so and gave up, the second person placed their hand over the flame,the same thing happened. This went on with all the spectators. Remember this Derren still was holding his hand over is the candle flame. Only when the last person had given up Derren took his hand off the heat, with no damage to his hand. A true miracle!

For anyone who does'nt know the trick with the lit cigarette, where you hold it between your forefinger and thumb, it can be found on Tom Mullica's "Expert Cigarette Magic Made Easy" Vol 14, I think its callled "No Burn".

Hope this info helps.

Thanks Guys

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Profile of johnathanblades
Ouch! I'll keep trying.
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Profile of hackmonkey
This effect was discussed a while back. It is not Derren's effect, it is a very old effect and there are many methods. But the thread was removed because of safety rules. This thread will probably be removed when a staff member sees it. Just to give you a heads-up that this thread will vanish.
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Profile of Dr_Stephen_Midnight
I'm not too sure about holding the hand in one spot, but an excellent demo can be made of running the hand leisurely over a flame (candle, butane lighter, etc. The idea here is to keep the hand moving casually, so that the heat cannot concentrate on one spot. By spreading the fingers you can add the spectacular visual effect of the flame licking up between your fingers as your hand passes over.
At the end, be sure to show the black soot that remains on your fingers; it makes the hand look 'lightly singed.'

Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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Profile of tim_mantis
It´s a while since I saw the TV special, but for those of you who have seen it recently, do you think there is a chance that clever camera angles/editing were used to help achieve the effect? I was interested when I saw it, but have not yet stumbled across a reliable method in the literature.

I´ve never seen or heard of this performed by Derren Brown live, so perhaps it´s another trick created and performed solely within the medium of TV. Watching most recent TV magic specials makes me wary about this kind of method!

Just a thought!

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Profile of tylerdurden
My money is on using different camera angles.
Matthew the Magnificent
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Profile of Matthew the Magnificent
Well, my 3point26 cents worth: first, I LOVE the 'debate' over originality ... it is NOT 'stealing' to find and utilize something published, of course...but, to just imitate or emulate SOMEONE ELSE'S APPROACH or presentation IS stealing, really...

As to the question at hand (pun unintended)... I remember in Lawrence of Arabia seeing 'Lawrence' do this, over a match... and THAT led me to 'experiment' many years ago... what I found is that 'spreading the fingers' as someone above describes is a sure way to suffer MORE, for the skin of the palm and 'inner surface' of the fingers gets calloused and toughened, whereas the 'sides' of the fingers, especially where they tend to contact each other, stay relatively tender...

I have NEVER seen ANYONE do this sort of effect, short of that very old movie, so in reading what has been described I would be tempted to THINK that whatever I might do along these lines would be 'guiltfree'... HOWEVER, I now know that IF I used a group of specators as did the mentioned magi, I certainly WOULD be infringing upon his originality, regardless of whether I 'gimmicked' the trick, or used a method totally different from his...

As to 'camera angles' ? Well, again, not having seen it... but, realistically, PER the description... unless all the 'spectators' are actually 'stooges', it seems highly unlikely...

NOW for 'the inside dope'... I amazed and 'fooled' many a magi by DOING FLAMING FINGERTIPS 'for real'... no silly modified 'thumbtips' or such... I would take a flaming torch, and wipe a small 'puddle' of burning gasoline on the tips of my fingers, and hold up all five fingers aflame, and 'wipe' a goodly amount of flaming liguid into the palms of each hand, and so on... those clumsy and awkward 'flaming pots' that others use ? Hah ! How did I learn to do this ? Years of Fire Eating, and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE !!! SURE, it burns initially, and all that... but eventually you either become inured to it, or 'build up a callous of sorts' to it... I got to the point where I could have HUGE and long lasting flaming hands... this CAN be done, it requires some nerve, and willingness to develop the degree of becoming accustomed to it... eventually I NEVER even felt any real discomfort, just a bit of heat...

AHH, but beware, once I had a bit too much fuel on my torch, and the LIQUID ran down around my palm and onto the BACK of my hand, and THAT got burned, and quickly... but, after all, THAT was because I had never bothered to expose that portion of my hands to the flame... in other words, I feel confident in saying that I could just as easily have continued and gotten to the point where I could have entirely covered my hand in flames... but why bother, Magis were always assuming that it was 'all gimmicked' anyway...

AND THEREIN LIES THE TRUE SECRET... no matter what the method used, many will always tend to think it CAN'T really be what they 'see'... even when that IS exactly what is happening !!!

One last observation... flaming gas was 'cooler' than doing the equivalent to what is described here... candles are more concentrated... an open flame has more surface area, the heat is more dispersed...
Many years & Many experiences in Magic and Related Arts
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Profile of User101
To necro this thread in this weeks Fool US episode a magician does this effect with ALison-and she isn't stooged.
Steven Conner
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I think since this post started, several effects have materialized such as Rex Ignis and others in print.

"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
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