How To Handle A Televised Magic Show..

Filming is an art in itself, and when mixed with magic, you get an explosion of creativity. To have a professional looking film/
video, you must use all of these aspects.
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Angles/Positions:

The angles really depend on the effect, if there is an effect with bad angles, the most logical thing to do is to have your camera in the right position so nothing is exposed. The camera shouldn’t be able to pick up any flashes, so everything must be planned out in advance as it is hard to misdirect a camera.

The first thing you have to realize when filming a performance is that the cameraman will have to act like a spectator because the people who are going to be watching the performance on film, are spectators. You’ll want your camera man to be positioned close to the spectator (behind or next to). But under no circumstance do you want to get in the spectator’s way, because they are the main viewers, and the magician’s job should be to entertain the audience, not the camera, so if at that moment it would be hard to get a good shot of the magician, don’t worry, there will be plenty of other times to get a great shot. Different tricks call for different angles and positions,If possible, have the cameraman film everything (arm + bodies) to get a good view of facial expressions. If the cameraman was positioned on the right of the spectator, the spectator’s arm would be in the way. The camera must have a good view of EVERYTHING so it benefits the viewers on the other side of the screen once filming is complete.

You DON’T want the camera to be shakey, it takes away from the potential of the video. Almost nothing is worse than a shakey camera, make sure that the camera man is calm and cool so that the stability of the camera is normal. You want to have support at the bottom of the camera, so instead of hold both sides of the camera (or only one), simply put one hand into a fist, and rest the camera on top, the other hand will be at the side of the camera. Another way to hold the camera is to hold it while looking down at it. To do this, instead of putting your hand up into the camera strap, put it downwards into the camera strap, I find this gets a lot more stability, but the angles are harder.

Lighting:

I notice sometimes in people’s videos, and even my own it is hard to see the face of certain cards, this is because of lighting. Cards are VERY VERY reflective and light just bounces off of it like there’s no tomorrow. To avoid this, close your blinds so that no light can shine onto the cards, and turn the light off of your camera. Have the light shining behind you, not from in front of you, or the cards will reflect light. “Your eyes and brain can quickly adapt to mixed lighting situations — such as tungsten, daylight, and fluorescent — but your camcorder has a much more difficult time. fluorescent lights often cause a greenish cast, while tungsten makes things orangish; even good ol’ daylight can color your scene blue if you’re in the shade or next to an open window. How the heck do you deal with all of that? The best solution is to try to limit your light sources, and then use your camcorder’s white balance setting adjust for the dominate light source. So if you’re indoors with lots of light streaming in the windows and bright fluorescents overhead, then either turn off the fluorescents and balance for the daylight, or pull down the window shades and adjust for the overhead lighting. Once you start thinking about mixed lighting sources, you can take steps to avoid those situations. When you can’t, try to limit the different types of illumination and adjust your white balance accordingly.

Sound:

Sound is another very important issue, it is very unprofessional to hear background noise, and even the sound of the camera’s mechanisms. “Whenever possible, use an external microphone, either wireless or with a cord, to capture the audio during taping. Resist the urge to go the easy route and use your onboard mic. Not only is it of less quality than a good external microphone, it will also pick up noise from the camcorder’s drive mechanism.

All that is left is the way you perform your magic. If you do all of these things, you should be left with one sweet video. Just remember to inform your camera man about all of these items, if you don’t you could be left with a very unprofessional video which will turn some online audiences away.

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A Trip to the Moon is the first science fiction film, and utilizes innovative animation and special effects, including the iconic shot of the rocketship landing in the moon’s eye. The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès.

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I, having done Magic for TV work a few times, know that the pressures for delivering mindblowing effects the producers want to see with tough standards and near miracle test conditions,will allow the use of these subtle techniques which we call camera tricks..yes they do allow!! I mean when you watch so called reality magic on TV: street magic or theatre show that’s produced and directed for tv audience as well! Tthere you follow a group of people supposedly in their everyday lives or follow theatre audience using cut aways and inserts. Well…. if that is allowed who are we to not sneak in a few quick cuts or different angles to make something that requires skill a bit nicer and more amazing to see.Rather than show fumbles and awKakward mistakes,flashes. We cut them away. Dont we?

Many magicians takes advantage of cameras angles in lots of the illusion they perform on tv. One of these days I was discussing this subject with Erik Visser, consultant and friend of mine, and he said to me that he doesn´t consider that magic. I ask him why? He said to me that in that situations the magicians doesn´t use any ability of it´s own, but relies in camera properties. So that ´s not magic! But I said to him, that the camera properties are equal to misdirection in real life, then he started to see things in a completely different angle.I really dont care if magicians use editing or camera angles to their advantage? How is that bad magic and how is that not ‘real magic’- magic on stage? We cheat all the time in magic, no one ever said it all has to be sleight of hands and gimmicks? I think it’s fair way to cheat to entertain any way you can. Magicians will complain-those who cant copy! but there’s really no logic in saying that it’s wrong and that it’s not magic. Magicians are the most honest people in the world. We say that we are going to lie and cheat and we do. And as we say, the way we cheat doesn´t always relies on sleight of hand or gimmicks…sometimes knowing how a camera works can really be a useful tool.

In the case of DC he uses it in a subtle way, Criss Angel ,Harary ,Blaine use and abuse of it.. That´s the wrong way in my opinion.Use any method properly! There will always be magicians who are unhappy because they see a great trick and then learn that they can’t perform it themselves in real life. The problem is not with the use of camera tricks nor with the magician using them. The problem is with those who have a problem with ‘those magicians’ using them. They’re allowed to do what they want. The public loves it because they don’t know it’s camera tricks. We should have no problems with changing camera angles to replace misdirection that would occur in a live show… We should use it misdirect a camera, but the blatant use of framing to cut out the part of the effect that could be seen if it was a live show is just cheap and lazy, should be avoided. Should be undetectable! Here comes us! The clever camera tricksters! I also don’t have any problem with using a stooge group, say to surround the back side of an illusion where the dirty work is happening, as long as it looks good and convincing from the audience side of things. To me, yes magic is a form of entertainment, but it’s specifically entertaining people by fooling them. If people are fooled by video editing and it’s done in an entertaining way, then what’s not magic about it? What rule is there in magic that the magic must be accomplished by pure sleight of hand? What rule is there in magic that the magic must be “performable” in real life? We use mechanical gimmicks. We use electronic gimmicks. Video editing is simply a step up. Who’s the one who drew the line and said “after this point, you’re crossing the line and it’s not ok”?Most people would draw the line where you can’t wach it live anymore but there’s not a genuine magic video that hasn’t been tempered with from the point of view of the audience, I think it’s OK. If there are cuts or special effects, like green-screen or digitally removed gimmicks.

 

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