Little Man Demo

Addresses new and interesting links to other sites (not listed on the Genii website) that merit attention.

Postby Gary Kosnitzky » 01/03/10 11:18 AM

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Postby Mike P » 01/03/10 11:49 AM

I do not like this demo due to the fact it look like magnets or magnetism is the simple answer to this effect.

I also do not think it is worth the price if this is even close to how you need to do the effect each time.
Sorry Rod, Paul and Mark but this effect looks like a stinker to me.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 11:57 AM

It might scream magnets to you, but probably not to laymen since they can make the little man and you can give it to them afterward. Unless they're leaving out the bit where you press ball bearings into his feet and then have to steal them afterward, that would leave out a magnet in a laymen's view.

They say everything is examinable, but I doubt if that includes the black bag which is really a performance platform and must house the hidden mechanics--and they must be pretty damn fancy for $300.

I'm interested--I think laymen will scream when he moves.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/03/10 12:20 PM

it's the box of dough and the formal shoes that look vulnerable to examination IMHO.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 12:22 PM

Yes, of course. There's all kinds of baloney thrown in as misdirection: the bits of paper on the feet, the box of dough, the lid, the dough itself, and so on.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/03/10 02:20 PM

I don't really understand the point of combining an animation effect and a prediction.

This makes the prediction seem so so very unimportant compared with the moving plasticine.

And that isn't as good as floating a bill.

So, all in all, meh.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/03/10 02:29 PM

Oh come on, use a little imagination.

You show them how to make a figure by making one yourself. They make the man as you make the woman, man, dog, idol, whatever. Then all watch as the natural/supernatural/unnatural force of attraction comes into play.

Maybe keep a portable exorcism kit nearby just in case. ;)
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Postby mrgoat » 01/03/10 02:37 PM

It takes a long time to make the little man.

It will take the spec longer. And the spec's will not stand up as he will have made it not balance.

I think I'd just prefer to do haunted deck or float a bill.

But, I'd love to see real world videos of anyone doing this who does buy it to show me how very wrong I am.
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Postby NCMarsh » 01/03/10 03:17 PM

What a cool idea...particularly as a revelation from multiple objects (ala Koornwinder car)...what is more magical than creating life...and the cute/character factor...for the right performer, this could be something very special...
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 01/03/10 03:40 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Yes, of course. There's all kinds of baloney thrown in as misdirection: the bits of paper on the feet, the box of dough, the lid, the dough itself, and so on.

I'm thinking that the bits of paper on the feet are probably necessary to reduce friction so the magnetic field can do its work. The paper there also produces a flatter surface for the figure which probably helps with balance as it slides along the base.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 03:44 PM

Chris--you must be right.
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Postby Jim Martin » 01/03/10 03:48 PM

It certainly is an improvement over this early version knock-off:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USeZ3t78AdA

(I think Chris is correct, also.)
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Postby mrgoat » 01/03/10 04:16 PM

Jim Martin wrote:It certainly is an improvement over this early version knock-off:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USeZ3t78AdA

(I think Chris is correct, also.)


I think you will find that UK children's show Morph was the inspiration for this effect. Here is a clip of him showing his chops.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-zRH0dLJFs
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 04:30 PM

Morph? Dude, you have to back to George Pal's Puppetoons in the 1950s for the inspiration. Or Gumby.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 04:32 PM

I'd like to see Little Man done for laymen in a live environment. Hoping they'll send me one for review.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 04:33 PM

None of us have mentioned the most obvious inspiration for Little Man: Del Ray's effect with his mouse.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/03/10 05:18 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Morph? Dude, you have to back to George Pal's Puppetoons in the 1950s for the inspiration. Or Gumby.


Sorry not to be clear. I was joking.

Albeit not very well.
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Postby flynn » 01/03/10 08:06 PM

I thought the little man was going to be taking steps with its legs.
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Postby Eoin O'hare » 01/03/10 08:25 PM

I can't moonwalk either.
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Postby Tom Stone » 01/03/10 08:32 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:None of us have mentioned the most obvious inspiration for Little Man: Del Ray's effect with his mouse.

I have not seen Del Ray's mouse. Could you describe the effect?

I thought the inspiration was John Kennedy's "Kinetic Crystal", since the setup looks similar. (Though it is probably independent - I had two items with similar setup in my notebooks; an "explanation" phase for the Matrix, where three coins slowly & visible slides toward the fourth corner and a Haunted Deck variation, both before I was aware of the Kennedy item)
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Postby NCMarsh » 01/03/10 10:29 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Morph? Dude, you have to back to George Pal's Puppetoons in the 1950s for the inspiration. Or Gumby.


I was thinking you'd have to go back to the Talmud and the creation of a Golem...or back to genesis with Adam being formed out of mud (Adama), which then has life breathed into it..

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 11:24 PM

In Sankey Panky--1987?--I published a routine of Jay's, a coin assembly, where the coins moved together visible one at a time. (This in response to Tom.)

Regarding Gumby and Puppetoons, I was referring to the illusion of life through manipulation of clay objects filmed for the big and small screens, not printed myths, legends, or fiction.
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Postby NCMarsh » 01/04/10 12:25 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:
Regarding Gumby and Puppetoons, I was referring to the illusion of life through manipulation of clay objects filmed for the big and small screens, not printed myths, legends, or fiction.


"The Sculptor's Welsh Rarebit Dream," 1908

C.F., particularly with Little Man: Le Squelette Joyeux http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBQpmWZ3ckg

There's also a cool, relevant, moment in "Modelling," from the "Out of the Inkwell" series, where the sideburn from a clay bust falls off and comes to life (the whole film is remarkable -- here you have (drawn) animated characters interacting with live actors (in 1921!) and the interaction of live actors with a stop-motion "character" (the piece of the bust.) Genius. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyetrAePLTA
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Postby Nathan Muir » 01/04/10 03:33 AM

I think the method here would be within the reasoning powers of most adult spectators.
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Postby Mats Kjellstrom » 01/04/10 05:21 AM

"Everything can indeed be examined. The bag, the clay, the can, the business card stuff, the matches, the table, the heart, the performer etc."

Text from a magic cafe thread by the Creative Manager :
http://paulharrispresents.webs.com/apps ... how/834064
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Postby mrgoat » 01/04/10 07:54 AM

Mats Kjellstrom wrote:"Everything can indeed be examined. The bag, the clay, the can, the business card stuff, the matches, the table, the heart, the performer etc."

Text from a magic cafe thread by the Creative Manager :
http://paulharrispresents.webs.com/apps ... how/834064


No wais! Misleading copy on a magic advert?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/04/10 09:19 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:...not printed myths, legends, or fiction.


That would often include both product advertisements and the effect section in item writeups.
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Postby erdnasephile » 01/04/10 10:11 AM

Chris Aguilar wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Yes, of course. There's all kinds of baloney thrown in as misdirection: the bits of paper on the feet, the box of dough, the lid, the dough itself, and so on.

I'm thinking that the bits of paper on the feet are probably necessary to reduce friction so the magnetic field can do its work. The paper there also produces a flatter surface for the figure which probably helps with balance as it slides along the base.


To me, one of the weaknesses of the effect is the unnatural placement of the box of clay during the animation.

I wonder if perhaps the business card is shimmed. If it is, then perhaps the box houses a reel that slowly draws in a magnetic platform (hidden inside the black bag--the box is situated very close to the open side of the bag.)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/10 11:38 AM

I'm assuming they feel that everything can be examined once the item inside the bag is ditched or the bag itself is switched.
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Postby erdnasephile » 01/04/10 12:06 PM

Yes, that seems likely.

Interestingly, the website words it this way: "Empty bag and container can be freely handled by audience at end of effect." So if a "secret something" is removed from the bag during the effect, and if it is retracted into the container, the website's statement would still remain true. "Freely handled" would seem to have different implications than "examinable."
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/10 12:22 PM

The thing in the bag that allows the little man to walk around must be reasonably sophisticated for $300. I highly doubt that it retracts into the box. Anything that folds or rolls up would cost more than $300. I'm betting this is something flat, like a piece of hard plastic, with electromagnetics and circuits embedded in it.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/04/10 02:51 PM

I had a quick look at the video, and I think it would be very easy to build the movement mechanism. Not necessarily cheap, but not difficult.

I also don't think what is in the bag is what you think is in the bag. My guess is that the bag can be handled (although not completely free of guile) and the dough tub is the interesting bit.

Having said that, the chances of me ever owning one of these is molecular, so it's all moot.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/10 03:52 PM

Ian, how do you think the container for the clay is involved?
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/04/10 03:59 PM

I'll email you - I don't think it's appropriate to go into that much detail here...
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/04/10 11:09 PM

What next, tales of an IC, two motors and a nine volt battery?

Oh wait, let's add some cogs. Cogs are cool. Make a real Jetsons project out of this. :D
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Postby Steve Hook » 01/04/10 11:40 PM

Didn't Janet say "No batteries required"?

But aside from that, Chief Genii, we'll still never agree about publicly discussing methods. It just seems "cheap". Isn't there 1000% more to be gained from discussing plots and uses?

Tomayto, tomahto I guess.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/04/10 11:44 PM

The are plenty of presentation posts in green land (green acres?).
Angelo Carbone suggested making a clay penguin.
I kinda like the "old film" one using a strobe light.
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Postby John M. Dale » 01/05/10 01:18 AM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:The are plenty of presentation posts in green land (green acres?).


Does that make you Eb? Or only a passing resemblance. ;-)

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Postby The Magic Apple » 01/05/10 02:22 AM

unless I see otherwise...that trick is overrated....WAY OVER RATED
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Postby mrgoat » 01/05/10 05:29 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:The thing in the bag that allows the little man to walk around must be reasonably sophisticated for $300. I highly doubt that it retracts into the box. Anything that folds or rolls up would cost more than $300. I'm betting this is something flat, like a piece of hard plastic, with electromagnetics and circuits embedded in it.


Possibly, or maybe it is being deliberately priced highly as a marketing trick.
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