Monday, May 18, 2009

WMF Chriss "Isn't she something?" Angel

Criss Angel. Some may have heard of this person. Was on TV a few times. But why does she deserve to be a Weekly Magic Failure. Two words: camera tricks! There are conditions in magic under which certain effects have to take place. In a coins across it is crucial that the hands do not come together during the effect. That is the condition for coins across to be perceived as a magic effect.

TV magic has yet another condition. No camera tricks! In fact not even cuts. If you take a look at David Copperfield's TV-work one will notice that he really makes a big deal out of this. Lines like "one continuous camera move" come to mind. If one fails that condition, the effects are not perceived as magic, but as special FX.

Criss Angel obviously didn't get it. Sure Criss has fans (just like any other woman) and sworn enemies (just like any other magician) but still. This practise of her and her crew tears down TV magic.

And we are not talking about cheap camera tricks like doing stuff out of frame. Not even about editing out crucial parts of her tricks. Not even about digital wire removal in her levitations. We are talking about digital compositing. Pictures of different performances put together to appear as one.

Of course this creates much more impossible effects. Effects that Criss can hardly match in a life performance.

Which brings us the the downfall of Criss and her crew. Her Cirque Du Soleil show. "Acclaimed to be the all time worse show ever produced by a reputable company on the Vegas Strip... proof that Angel forgot how to do a live show free of camera tricks, creative editing and careful stooging."

So this creative woman, driven by need for admiration and money hopefully has dug her inspirational grave.
Bonus: She can sing too. What an angelic voice! What a pun!


Einmaliger said...

So camera tricks are unfair? What about staged actors as spectators? Like David Copperfield used, or the great Houdini for that matter? Makes the most spectacular tricks extremely easy. Same with short cards, mirrors, or earth magnets.

No, sir, I don't think any of these tools is a sign of a "bad" magician. There's no "unfair" in magic, since it's an inherently dishonest art. As long as the effect works and gets an audience reaction, I don't care at all how cheap or simple the means to achieve it are. It's just that magic on TV is a lot easier that magic for a live audience, so we can rightfully say that what Criss Angel does is nothing special or spectacular, as he has much more possibilities for his illusions.

Still, his presentation is quite good. Queer, but good.

Roland said...

ou said: "As long as the effect works" and it is not. It looks like a special effect and not like magic. It screams camera tricks.