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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » The Magic of The Pendragons (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Josh Chaikin
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New from L&L (who else?)

Stage illusionists historically have been extremely secretive about their craft. Not just about the secrets to the illusions themselves— the mechanics are just a small part—but about the real secrets of what turns a stage illusion into a breathtaking moment of pure magic.

Now, for the first time ever on video, Jonathan and Charlotte Pendragon, the “First Couple” of magic and perhaps the greatest exponents of grand illusion ever to grace a stage, lift away the veil and show you the real secrets of stage illusion —the insider information that could only be gained by performing in over 50 countries for the last quarter of a century.

Keep in mind that while these unprecedented DVDs are not so much about the illusions as much as the illusionists (in other words, there are no building plans included though the secretsare frequently disclosed and discussed), Jonathan and Charlotte share their personal philosophy of performing and the inspirations that led to the creation of their most famous illusions. You’ll also learn about the importance of transition effects, chor eography, staging and a myriad of other details about how to stage a professional illusion show that only a handful of people in the world are truly capable of sharing. Electrifying live performance footage of the illusions is interspersed with discussions about them with both Jonathan and Charlotte. Also included as bonus material is a fascinating interview with Jonathan by magician Patrick Martin.

This four-volume DVD set will be fascinating for all who love magic. However, for those who actually perform—or aspire to perform—grand illusion, they’re absolutely priceless.

Volume 1
2 hours 18 minutes

THE HINDU BASKET
Introduction
History & Concepts
Why Not To Use Fire
Sword Choice And Safety
Basic Swordsmanship
The Foulard
How To Get Into The Basket
Placing The Swords In The Basket

COLOR OF EMOTION
Introduction and Concepts
Materials, Preparation and Presentation

THE SHADOW BOX
The Work

CLEARLY IMPOSSIBLE
History and Discussion

BONUS MATERIAL

An in-depth interview with Jonathan Pendragon by Patrick Martin (Part 1)

Volume 2
2 hours 10 minutes

METAMORPHOSIS
History
Trunk Props
Foulard
Trunk
Costume Change
In And Out Of Bag
Trunk Switch
Hourglass
Split Foulard
Safety

BONUS MATERIAL
An in-depth interview with Jonathan Pendragon by Patrick Martin (Part 2)

Volume 3
2 hours 10 minutes

THE LINKING RINGS
The Linking Rings Explanation
The Linking Rings Timing And Safety

SANDS OF EGYPT
Sands Of Egypt Explanation

THE KELLAR ROPE TIE
The Kellar Rope Tie Explanation

HEAD TWISTER
Demonstration And Explanation

THE WORLD’S GREATEST FEET OF MAGIC
Performance And Explanation

BONUS MATERIAL
An in-depth interview with Jonathan Pendragon by Patrick Martin (Part 3)

Volume 4
2 hours 12 minutes

THE BROOM SUSPENSION
(SWORD SUSPENSION)
History
Harness Explanation
Demonstration
The Hoop

LEVITATION
360 Degree Levitation Discussion
360 Degree Levitation Demonstration
360 Degree Levitation Hoop Passes

THE IMPALEMENT
Advice
Description
Demonstration

THE ELECTION
Introduction And History
Blammo And Explanation
Leg Drop Switch

INTERLUDE
Interlude History
Futureal
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If I see them doing Metamorphosis again I'm going to scream.
dahih beik
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Any review
magicjack1977
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IMO, these dvd's will be kinda like watching the masked magician shows, but in this case it'll cost you $120. I guess the set may be invaluable to those maybe wanting to break into the large stage production kind of magic but a lot of what is available on those DVD's seems available for a fraction of the price from books. I mean, METAMORPHOSIS - really? They have an entire DVD dedicated to this classic Houdini effect, but does it really need 2 hours and 10 minutes to describe this effect and the performance methods?
Domino Magic
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The DVDs are great and you shouldn't be so quick to judge the content unless you've seen them.

What you're getting on these is history of the effects, the performance, the theory and the method. The illusions The Pendragons perform are carefully selected. The don't just do an illusion because "it's cool", they are chosen carefully and routined with purpose. If you listen to them, you will no doubt become a better performer and select better material for your act.

These DVDs aren't limited to just illusionists. Hey, if you're just looking to learn secrets, maybe these aren't for you. However if you want to learn how to improve your magic - whether you're doing illusions, close-up or mentalism, there is A LOT to learn here.

The Pendragons are giving the magic world a gift and that is the experience of 25+ years with unrestricted insight into their act. Why should YOU pay attention to them? Well guys like David Copperfield do and Copperfield pays a lot more than $120 dollars to listen.

Sure, you can learn to do the sub trunk from a book. But wouldn't you rather get step-by-step instruction from THE BEST practitioner of the effect? No, you don't have to do it the way they do it, but I guarantee if you want to do the effect or are already doing it, paying attention to what they have to say is going to improve your performance.

Honestly, I can't imagine someone spending hundreds of dollars for a sub trunk(or more depending on your prop) and not INVESTING $34.95 and 2 hours of time to learn from a master. I wish I had this information 25 years ago! It would have saved me a lot of time.

I thought I knew everything about the Broom Suspension. I used to own the Owen version. I was always fascinated by what The Pendragons did with theirs. The gimmick is diabolical. Nothing like I expected.

That's the thing about these DVDs - you may think you know everything about the classic illusions they perform, but you don't know as much as you think you do. I've got an extensive background with illusions and they taught me a lot.

I haven't performed an illusion in years. I perform as a mentalist now, but I knew that The Pendragons would have a lot to offer - and they do. When it comes to magic theory and performance strategies, these DVDs are right up there with Tommy Wonder's DVDs.

Magicjack - since you haven't seen these, all I can say is that you're embarrassing yourself by comparing the masked magician shows to the step-by-step training by two of the best illusionist (sorry - Grand Illusionists)in the world today.
magicjack1977
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Domino, everyones entitled tot heir opinion and I've seen the Pendragons perform live, and although it was very entertaining, it was also nothing new. Everythign they did was old hat and there was nothing really innovative or original that I saw. That being said, I have not (nor will I ever see) the Pendragon DVD set, but saying that I'm "embarassing" myself by comparing the DVD's, even slightly, to the MM shows is a bit of an overstep for you. It's not like they picked some yahoo off the street, Valentino is a very skilled and experienced magician and although they don't go in depth on the performance methods I can't imagine the Pendragon's DVD's are THAT much more detailed on the workings of the illusion apparatus. Sorry, I just can't imagine spending $120 to watch the Pendragons spend 2+ hours explaining the method and performance nuances of the Metamorphosis or the Hindu Basket.
Tom Cutts
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An "opinion" from an uninterested and uninformed source is, well, useless. It is no opinion at all.
Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2009-01-20 07:59, magicjack1977 wrote:
I have not (nor will I ever see) the Pendragon DVD set...

I can't imagine the Pendragon's DVD's are THAT much more...

I just can't imagine spending $120 to watch the Pendragons spend...


I can't imagine why you would waste your time commenting on a product you've never seen and have no interest in. Must be a lot of free time.
popcalinda
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Pendragons are great and DVDs are nice to have in collection.
But, all these effects are well known and whats the worst kids can find explanations on youtube...
Domino Magic
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The attitudes on this forum about The Pendragons is mind boggling. I guess the mentality for some of you guys is this - "I just want to know the secret of a trick and if I already know the secret, then I know everything about it."

Yes, these effects are well known - they are classic illusions. I haven't bothered to do a search for these on YouTube, but an explanation of an illusion is completely different from learning theory and being trained. THAT is what you're getting with this DVD set.

First of all, the negative comments are coming in on 3 illusions - the basket, broom suspension and sub trunk. These illusions and others in which The Pendragons helped to create, innovate and popularize have taken them around the world and on international TV. But those 3 illusions aren't the only one on this set.

I guess it's the amateur attitude vs. the professional attitude. The pro knows that this set is priceless because you're getting advice from a couple of the top pros in the business. The Pendragons have succeeded far beyond any degree most of us will ever know. I'm a professional performer, so when another pro gives up their act for my benefit, I want to learn.

For a more positive discussion on this DVD set, hop on over to The Magic Woods:
http://www.themagicwoods.co.uk/forum/vie......6&t=6728
paw
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Domino Magic,
I could not have said it better!!!
Kjellstrom
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Jonathan Pendragon
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The greatest book on magic I ever read was "Secrets of my Magic" by David Devant. It was written 70 years ago. David Bamberg's "Illusion Show" is a relatively old book as well. The information in these books is valuable, or rather, invaluable. Magic isn't created in a vacuum. My videos aren't anything like the Masked Magician. Do you really think someone could actually perform an illusion from the light weight, cynical and often wrong information presented on those ridiculous shows. Remember he also did a show aimed at David Blaine and close-up magic in general, If someone watches that show could they throw away their copy of "Stars of Magic"???? Newton said, "If I saw farther it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants." He was talking about foundation, without foundation there can be no growth.

Illusion plans don't give you much information on "How to give a unique presentation." Our DVD's try to give the viewer a base on which to build a performance and there are very few Books or DVDs that do that. Yes, we discuss the method, but most of the DVD is about the "why"? Harry Anderson taught me that the reason for performing an effect is critical to the presentation. In lecture after lecture I would ask a magician why they did a particular trick. Normally, the magician would tell that they saw someone else do the effect, thought it was cool and learned it. That's not enough if you want to be a pro or even just a good magician. Not every magician can do every trick. This will sound like I am going off on a tangent, something I do all the time. Robert Downey Jr. in the satire/parody "Tropic Thunder" is making that point. Actors can't or rather shouldn't do every role regardless of superficial facades. Some roles were written for somebody else. The magic your friend or favorite pro does may not be right for you.

We go through our work on classic illusions (By the way I am off to Maui for a show and I am taking Metamorphosis and the Sword (broom) Suspension with me). We also go through the process of how I came up with Clearly Impossible, my variation on the thin model sawing which we first presented in 1991. Ambitious Card is much older, how many magicians still present that card effect? We talk about Interlude and how JIm Steinmeyer's concept became real and then one of the most popular illusions in the world.

"Color of Emotion" is a really visual mental effect and there are not very many of those. "Sands of Egypt" describes the version of that effect I presented on the "World Magic Awards" that even fools those who know about prepared sand. "The Greatest Feat (feet) of magic" is the card effect I invented (originally published in Rudy Coby's Genii issue). This was the piece of magic seen on Johnny Carson, a man who loved good card magic. I don't hold back and I don't fill the DVD with junk I never perform.

Finally, yes, I agree with Magic Jack, I have presented Metamorphosis ad nauseum. It's because people keep asking for it. Charlotte broke her foot several years ago which forced us to cancel our appearance on It's Magic. As Charlotte healed we were able to do a show with more of my "in one" magic and one of our chief assistants working with me in a few of the illusions. We performed at a theater and after the show we did a meet and greet. An audience member told me that he had traveled 200 MILES to see us do Metamorphosis live. I felt terrible. Judy Garland talking about her performance of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" admitted there was a time when she hated the song because she couldn't escape it. Eventually she came to appreciate the "Signature" piece for what it was, a song she sang really well and that people still wanted to hear. That is the trap of a signature piece, should you ever have one.

With Respect
Jonathan Pendragon
MrGem
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There are a lot of experts on here. You can always tell a movie critic who walked in, watched ten minutes of the film and then wrote a review. A critic from USA Today watched Speilberg's A.I. and never figured out the creatures at the end were advanced androids, he thought they were aliens. When the DVD came out he printed the same review!
Lord Freddie
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I for one am looking forward to watching these DVD's. As anyone who performs magic to people other than their parents and friends will know, the "secret" itself is a small part of it and the performance skills are the more difficult to aquire.
The Pendragons have years of performance experience behind them and this is the knowledge that will be valuable, wherever you apply it.
Tom Cutts
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I watched volume #1 and all I can say is these are like getting a master class on each illusion. Anyone who has seen Jonathan lecture knows he is very detailed and thorough. On top of that there is thinking and philosophy which applies to every piece of magic you do.

Step by step detailed instruction from a true master is a bargain at these prices!
Steven Conner
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Jonathan and Charlotte are also two of the nicest people that you will ever meet. When you reach the age that you think you don't need coaching and there is nothing new, you've reached the age of ignorance. We all have our likes and dislikes, but the Pendragons are still two of the best.

Steve
"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. "
Bryan Drake Show
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Wow Jonathan, it's great to hear from you on this topic. I want to say thank you and Charlotte for the DVDs and the care you put into them. It's clear through watching them, especially Metamorphosis, that these illusions are more than just boxes and movement, but they are very near and dear to you both. Thank you for your insight and your incredible experience you have chosen to share with the magic community.

To the others on this topic.

Buy these DVDs you will not be disappointed byt the wealth of information and experience shared within.
Josh Chaikin
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I got the DVDs in the mail yesterday, and I'm on volume two now. I should state forthright that I am not an illusionist, nor do I have any plans on performing them. Having said that, I think I've gotten my money's worth already. There is a lot of detail that goes into the explanations of the illusions, and it becomes a fascinating study in theatrics. I've taken a few acting classes, and it's nice to see the attention to such minute detail that might otherwise go unnoticed by other magicians.

I primarily did purchase the set because I wanted to see Jonathan's work on the Sands of Egypt, I vividly remember seeing it on the World Magic Awards some years ago, and own the prop, but have never been able to make it work for me to any satisfaction (which is largely a character and scripting issue for my part).

What it comes down to, for me anyway, if you're not an illusionist or you're not interested in making things more theatrical, you probably won't take much away from the set.

I do agree with Steven, Jonathan and Charlotte are two of the nicest people you will meet. I had the pleasure of seeing their Ghosts of Broadway show a few years ago, and got to spend some time talking with them after the show and they could not have been more gracious.
Tom Cutts
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I skipped forward to volume #4 because it seemed to hold the next degree of interest for me, and I must concurr with Josh above. Even some items I have little or no interest in have details which are invaluable burried within the time Jonathan and Charlotte put into this project. As an example, I have no interst in Blammo, but the Leg Drop Switch info within that section is truly brilliant, dead on, and points up why so many switches telegraph what they are to the audience.
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