Michael Ammar

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Philippe Noël » 12/31/01 02:23 AM

I have just posted the following message on the AMMAR BULLETIN BOARD.
What do YOU think about it?
"Michael,
I was wondering how you choose the material you do on TV.
Some performers take literaly no risk when performing on TV.
In your case, you performed floating bill, Himber's Razored deck, the vanishing deck, effects that may be considered as risky.
Can you tell us what is your opinion concerning this topic?"

Philippe Nol
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Postby Brian Marks » 01/02/02 03:23 PM

Television is dangerous for magicians as well as other performing arts but if you screw up on tv, you can ruin your career. Clients wont hire magicians who do bad on television. Layaudiences will think all magicians are bad. Television executives will feel the same way and won't put magicians on future programs.

Magicians are not in control. Television directors are and they aren't magic friendly. You must adjust to them. Camera angles immediately need to be taken into consideration. Second the effects must be quick and instantaneous, no counting tricks. Third cameras cant be misdirected so any tricks dependant on that cant be used.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/02/02 05:17 PM

So, did Ammar answer?

If you do tv you should do two things:

1: Only do material you know backwards and forwards and never fail.

2: Make sure the director/crew, etc. allows a run through.

And, if possible, entertain them ahead of time, compliment them, make sure they are on your side.

:cool:
Stay tooned.
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Postby Philippe Noël » 01/03/02 01:08 AM

Dear Pete,
Michael has not yet answered.

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Postby Philippe Noël » 01/03/02 01:21 AM

By the way, I think that a lot of you out there have had the opportunity to perform on TV. Can you tell us about your experience?
What did you choose to perform, why?
How was the TV staff?
What advices would you give to a friend that would have to perform on TV?

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Postby Guest » 01/03/02 09:30 PM

I've never performed on TV, but if I were I would follow the advise of Gary Ouellet. In short:

(I assume your doing close-up in an uncontrolled environment i.e. at the mercy of the producer and director.)

- Choose something simple DO NOT try something new.
- Avoid threads and such.
- Avoid angle problem effects.
- Prepare for things that could go wrong and work on the "outs".
- Try to get a "front only" camera shot.
- Avoid any kind of backlighting.
- Do the trick for the Director and tip him/her to the secret, so they work with you.
- Do not show the trick to the host, you want a real reaction.
- Play to the camera "home audience", completely ignore the live audience.
- Talk to the camera, which is two feet away.
- Choose short effects.
- Choose visual effects, (color changes for example.)
- Forget about the magi at the club, your audience doesn't even know about the club.
- Do magic in the hands close to your face, if possible.
- Plan on only one take.
- And last, but not at all the least: SELL YOUR PERSONALITY and not the trick. Do a trick you and everyone else really enjoys.

Audition your audience ahead of time, walk around performing card tricks while the director is getting ready, and watch for people who react to your magic- these people will be placed near you before the red light goes on. Also, add lots of comedy, it greatly helps you be likeable.

If you really want to be on television you can do it. Never give up. It can can make your career blast off. Just ask Michael Ammar (hopefully he answers), The Amazing Johnathan, Lance Burton, Alain Choquette, David Copperfield, Brett Daniels, Bill Malone, Luis De Matos', Melinda, The Pendragons, Mark Wilson, and a host of others.

For a more detailed explaination of the above go to www.camirandmagic.com and click on the Gary Ouellet link. Good Luck!
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Postby Philippe Noël » 01/04/02 01:46 AM

Thank you Steve,
I went on Ouellet web site and read his advises.
Would it be possible to read live experience???
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Postby Brian Marks » 01/06/02 11:54 AM

I was at a taping of a NY magician doing some magic for the news. Actually it was done live during a weather report and outside in front of the studio. He did card to box. I think it was a John Kennedy box wherethere is a card with a string attached to the inside of the box. he used a shuttle pass to ring in the seleced card. It worked really well and I was in the backround with a crowd of people. It was quick and he had only a minute to do a trick, it was visual and it was something he had done a million times.

Since it was done outside, there was only one camera. I got to watch the setup. He had done tricks on the news with them before so they were friendly and willing to work with him. This magician has performed several times on morning shows and other NY related news shows
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