Dustin Stinett wrote:The other common denominator in all three of these presentations is that neither the trunk nor the bag is inspected. Audiences know about trap doors but it doesnt matter. No one can move that fastor so it appears. Done properly, its still one of the greatest illusions ever.
Henning's presentation had a volunteer come up and inspect just about everything. I first saw his live show in Vegas about 1978 and was chosen to come for the illusion.
He had me kick the trunk, examine the lid, check the locks on the shackles once the girl was locked, hold the top of the bag up while he tied it, examine the knot and then help him run the chain around the trunk and he locked it in the front. He gave me the key to hold and I watched it from the side. After the exchange, the girl took the key, had me check the lock and then I went back to my seat. Now this all moved very quickly. Doug was pulling me from one thing to the other, so it didn't slow the pace down.
The interesting thing about the three presentations you've described is how different each trunk is. Henning's was just a beat-up packing case. Doug had a couple of them and years later had a chance to really examine one after he sold everything and was surprised how small it actually was.
I've owned three trunks over the years and have worked with others with the various illusionists I've worked for and I think the best direction is to have one custom made. Mock it up with cardboard first and see how easy it is to move around. Someone above stated that bigger is better, personally I think smaller is better, but not so small as to hinder what needs to make everything work smoothly.