Thursday, January 16, 2014

TV Magic

I hear this argument a lot when it comes down to justifing TV magic: The job of a magician is to use fool the eye and mind to create the illusion of magic. Therefore any method that is available to accomplish said illusion can and has to be used. Therefore camera tricks and editing tricks are just another addition to the arsenal of the magician.

Oh boy is this missing a contextual frame!

I agree that camera tricks and editing tricks can enhance or even create an illusion. And I think that it shouldn't be out of the question to use them. However.... if you use the medium of TV, you have to obey the conditions that the medium demands.

If you say you make a coin vanish and then close your hand around that coin and then the fist goes to your pocket, emerges from the pocket and is shown empty... you have not done a bloody miracle. You have done a gag. One condition of the coin vanish is that the coin either never leaves sight or that the hand holding the coin never leaves sight. With me so far? Good!

On TV the main condition is "the continous camera shot during the magical phase of the act" no cut is allowed. David Copperfield understood this clearly when shooting his magic specials.

This is 22 years old:

for contrast: (starts at 0:34)


funnybaldbloke said...

What's really sad is that this young man has the ability to do most sleights very well yet he chooses (or is badly advised) to present this sort of dross instead.

Wonder what he'd do if he had a live gig? Probably sponge balls and invisible deck!

It's a shame that it's going this way. I blame Criss Angel.

Krab said...

It would look like this

funnybaldbloke said...

Thanks for that, I've just watched it, and another one as well and this might just be me but there's a certain nieve charm about him.
He certainly has some skills, is trying to be different and it's a shame he was moulded into what he is today as I think if he'd been left to mature on his own we'd have a great performer in front of us, rather than a product of the 'quick edit/naff tv generation'.
Im remember meeting him at a convention a few years ago and he seemed like a really likeable talented lad.

Thanks again for the link, most interesting.

Bizzaro. said...

Don't get me started on this. We are no longer making magic, we are making reality TV with "magic" in it.

Sam Phillips said...

I feel like about 20 people with attention deficit disorder edited this video.