HUGO and Georges Méliès

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JohnCox
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HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby JohnCox » November 12th, 2011, 12:50 pm

It's not all that clear from the (wonderful) trailer, but the new Martin Scorsese movie, HUGO, is all about Georges Mlis. Lots of things for magic and film buffs to love here. Robert-Houdin even gets a namecheck in the movie.

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2011/11 ... -hugo.html
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P.T. Murphy
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby P.T. Murphy » November 17th, 2011, 1:46 pm

The movie was inspired by this wonderful book. A wonderful read!

http://www.theinventionofhugocabret.com/index.htm
"Those who do not believe in magic
will never find it. " -Roald Dahl

David Moore
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby David Moore » November 19th, 2011, 1:58 pm

Check out this scene from the film. I don't remember seeing the cable when Richiardi did it.


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Q. Kumber
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Q. Kumber » January 29th, 2012, 5:55 am

David Moore wrote:Check out this scene from the film. I don't remember seeing the cable when Richiardi did it.


In spite of the number of threads about HUGO on the forum, I didn't know anything about it when I went to see it on Friday at the suggestion of Mark Elsdon.

It is an extraordinarily magical movie. The 3D added a great deal, including some snow landing in my popcorn.

I recognised the broom suspension visual as being close to the original Robert Houdin version, though the pole seemed a tad too far from the arm crotch. I assumed she was also supprted from a bar at the rear, especially as what appears to be a Blaney hoop was used. Interesting to see David's link in the photo. Thanks David for that.

I watched the credits to see if a magic consultant was listed. If it was, I didn't catch Paul Kieve's name.

I predict that HUGO will go down on the list of perennial Christmas movies shown on TV along with The Great Race and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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Magic Newswire
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Magic Newswire » January 29th, 2012, 9:38 am

There's a great segment on the film on CBS Sunday Morning today.

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Matthew Field
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Matthew Field » January 29th, 2012, 10:20 am

imdb (the Internet Movie Database) lists Paul Kieve as Magic Consultant under "Other Crew".

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Magic Newswire » January 29th, 2012, 11:58 am

Yes... Paul and I have been exchanging emails since just before the movie release and you should soon hear a show with both he and Dick George who built the Automata for the film.

LA Times Interview with Dick George

Guardian Article on Paul

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 29th, 2012, 12:59 pm

Did Robert-Houdin have the board on two smaller stools, one of which got pulled away?
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Magic Newswire » January 29th, 2012, 6:20 pm

As I first mentioned while it was airing above, there CBS Sunday Morning covered the Oscar nominated Hugo in great detail with segments on the Automata that inspired the book as well as on the Making of Scorsese's first 'family film.' You can now watch them online and I have collected them here: http://bit.ly/xSQGN1

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Magic Newswire » January 29th, 2012, 6:36 pm

I've also added some videos from and links to the Franklin Institute exhibit of the Maillardet Automata at my site.

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 29th, 2012, 6:56 pm

Here's a great video of the droz android and it's upcoming exhibit.

http://www.youtube.com/user/MontresJaqu ... 1gqYwy9fOs

Not for newswire distribution

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Magic Newswire
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Magic Newswire » January 29th, 2012, 7:15 pm

Readers interested in this topic may also want to visit the site of the Morris Museum which is also mentioned in the CBS News segment and which has more than 700 mechanical musical instruments and automata from the collection of Murtogh D. Guinness on display. Vist them in New Jersey or Their Website.

Though I feel certain that most of you will know about this, of possible additional interest to readers on this topic is the 2002 book "The Turk" (Wikipedia) by Tom Standage ([url=http://www.amazon.com/Turk-Famous-Eighteenth-Century-Chess-Playing-Machine/dp/0802713912
]Non Affiliate Amazon Link[/url]) which was beautifully recreated by John Gaughan (Wikipedia)who was recently interviewed on my podcast.

Brad Henderson
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 29th, 2012, 7:24 pm

For those who like to get information not just borrowed from other peoples blogs, a little digging (or knowledge of the actual news) would have revealed that some of the Morris items are on display at the San franacisco airport museum.

http://www.flysfo.com/web/page/sfo_muse ... omata.html

Not for newswire distribution.

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Magic Newswire » January 29th, 2012, 7:34 pm

Here's a fun clip from YouTube that was filmed in 1976 that I just found as well. It is said to be from the collection of Jack Donovan. This is from the YouTube channel of The House of Automata which consulted with Dick George on Hugo as well.

Brad Henderson
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 29th, 2012, 7:41 pm

I reported on the house of automata and it's hosting of the Hugo automata ages ago. Hey, and least he's pretending to try now.

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 29th, 2012, 7:55 pm

Before these very popular links get passed off as news:

http://www.artomic.com/automata/automata_page.html

Amazing artist and great guy. Came to the public show at the history conference. Has another magic themed item in the works that promises to be amazing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcWkfOEV ... ata_player

Pablo lavezzari is an amazing builder. This piece is a wonder to behold. Be sure to check out his video for facing a fake foe, one of the great automata of all times.

Also visit the website of the Martha Stewart show and search automata to see several wonderful examples.

Not for newswire distribution.

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Magic Newswire
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Magic Newswire » January 29th, 2012, 8:15 pm

I typically don't see anything that Brad posts these days other than a tagline that says *** You are ignoring this user ***, but I was emailed a copy of his message.

So, here is a link to an earlier post of his that I didn't read where he talks about a very nice Hugo exhibit at the House of Automata which was posted to the Dug North blog on December 12th after being "borrowed" from the Hollywood Props and Costume blog posted on November 15th. BTW, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Dug North's Automata blog and highly recommend it for anyone interested in this topic.

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IrishMagicNews
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby IrishMagicNews » January 29th, 2012, 8:20 pm

Brad,

I'm just gonna come straight out and say this. What the heck is you issue with Dodd?

For my money and I reckon a lot of other peoples he provides a superb service for our industry and no cost to the end user.

With respect I really find it absurd your so affected by it.

Dodd, from the rest of us rational thinking people, thank you.

B
Brendan

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http://www.IrishMagicNews.com

Shenanigans the irish magic convention 2-4 May 2014 Dublin
http://www.IrishMagicConvention.com

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Joe Naud
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Joe Naud » January 29th, 2012, 8:36 pm

I could not agree more with the above post. I greatly appreciate your work Dodd and your website.

Joe

Steve Hook
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Steve Hook » January 29th, 2012, 10:51 pm

Hear, hear re BH's puzzling bashing of Dodd. Something a bit strange there.

Thanks for the links, Dodd..... and everyone who shares information.

Steve H

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 30th, 2012, 1:02 am

Yeah, I'm tired of it, too. And I keep deleting messages and more get posted.
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Brad Henderson
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 30th, 2012, 3:41 pm

Magic Newswire wrote:I typically don't see anything that Brad posts these days other than a tagline that says *** You are ignoring this user ***, but I was emailed a copy of his message.

So, here is a link to an earlier post of his that I didn't read where he talks about a very nice Hugo exhibit at the House of Automata which was posted to the [url=http://blog.dugnorth.com/2011/12/see-props-from-movie
-hugo-online-and-in.html]Dug North blog[/url] on December 12th after being "borrowed" from the Hollywood Props and Costume blog posted on November 15th. BTW, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Dug North's Automata blog and highly recommend it for anyone interested in this topic.


This post is misleading as it implies dug north (who I quoted, credited, and provided a DIRECT link to his site) "borrowed" news of the Scotland exhibit from the Hollywood blog. That is simply untrue. The news of the scotland exhibit was NOT borrowed from said blog and was valuable content added by dug in bis article Dug does a great job of linking to newstories and adding value to that content, not just reposting information having circulated on Facebook for days.

What is my problem? It's Dodd using other peoples actual work in order to force them to visit his ad sponsored site. If this truly were a service he was offering, he would post only direct links to the content, not ride on the backs of those who are actually creating it. Many people post news in various forms, here on their Facebook pages etc. To then have that taken by Dodd only discourages people from posting. If Dodd were truly offering something of value - as some believe his original content does - then it would not be threatened by someone simply providing a direct link to information that many of us have been aware of for days before it becomes "news.".

If collecting this information is a valuable service, which many have suggested it is, then making it easier for people to access that information with direct links should be equally valued as well, yes?

I guess aggregators don't like being aggregated. So much for rational thinking

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 30th, 2012, 8:00 pm

Please, Brad, just cut it out. If Dodd wants to post news here that links through his site, I'M HAPPY. I appreciate the links to news! I think it is a valuable service, and I don't care if I have to click twice! If I had arthritis in my finger and had to measure each mouse click in pain, it would make a difference. But I don't.
So let it be.

End of discussion. End of these types of posts.
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Brad Henderson
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 30th, 2012, 8:12 pm

And if Someone wishes to post news which doesn't link through his site?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 30th, 2012, 8:14 pm

If he's already posted the link, then I think that's sufficient! There is no need to post links more than once unless it happens unintentionally, which it sometimes does.
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Brad Henderson
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 30th, 2012, 8:16 pm

Popularity = protection. I get it.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 30th, 2012, 10:59 pm

No, you don't get it.
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Dustin Stinett
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 31st, 2012, 12:01 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Did Robert-Houdin have the board on two smaller stools, one of which got pulled away?


JT: Your question was lost in the muck; sorry about that.

If one believes the accuracy classic woodcut of Robert-Houdin's performance of the illusion with his son, the answer to your question is yes.

Dustin

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 31st, 2012, 12:25 pm

Thanks Dustin,

It's an impressive print and the scene in Hugo duplicating that image brought the question to mind. Was he using steel tubing or folded steel for the support back then? Even if his sone was less than fifty pounds weight that's a considerable amount of (force times distance) going along that board down to the stool on the other side.

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 31st, 2012, 2:03 pm

Sorry, but I cant answer that.

The veracity of the woodcut was always questionable to me because of the stool as well as the connection point being at the boys elbow. Then I saw a photo of David Ben, with Julie Eng, and what appears to be a suspension with the contact point being at her elbow.

Jonathan Pendragons new suspension has the assistant resting on a large (ostrich?) feather. The hoop starts at the feet and is pulled across the body and through the feather. Its a stunning illusion.

Dustin

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2012, 3:37 pm

The scene in Hugo was not done using convention illusion technology. In other words, they didn't just perform a Broom Suspension. The actress who was suspended was on a rig holding her from above for safety reasons. The rig was digitally removed in post production.
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 31st, 2012, 8:20 pm

Right. But what (I think) JT wants to know is did Robert-Houdin actually remove the legs from under the board (on the opposite end from where the assistant is resting) as seen in the movie and in the R-H woodcut. He's also curious about R-H's materials for the suspension. (Then I started blabbing about David Ben's and Pendragon's versions...)

Dustin

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 31st, 2012, 8:43 pm

Thanks, yes asking about R-H's levitation. That woodcut shows what's in the movie and IMHO that's quite an engineering feat - if he did the stools under the board holding up the rod and his son too.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2012, 8:50 pm

Yes, Robert-Houdin did remove the legs from beneath the board.
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 31st, 2012, 9:11 pm

Thanks Richard, just this moment came across a picture from the Feb 2003 issue with David Ben doing a recreation of that illusion. :)
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 31st, 2012, 9:52 pm

I have some links to truly jaw dropping automata - because I do not wish for someone to profit from them or the effort in locating them, I will send them to those who PM along with a promise not to distribute.

That seems to be the only way to protect one's efforts these days. I'm sorry I cannot post them openly. Poachers abound.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2012, 10:32 pm

Please don't be obnoxious: either post the links or just keep them to yourself.
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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby Brad Henderson » January 31st, 2012, 11:13 pm

Requesting a PM is obnoxious but forcing people to go to one's commercial site isn't?

Richard, why should my efforts become the source of profits for others? I would like to share - and have with some genii members - but if the only thing I can hope for as reward for my effort is for someone to make money, and get not even credit for it, then what other option does one have? you've said you don't mind clicking an extra link to get to "news' - is a PM too much of an inconvenience? Seems to be a double standard.

But I will honor your wishes. I am sorry. I will no longer be sharing the information I had uncovered.

I ask the guys who received it enjoy it and keep it to themselves.

Night night

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Re: HUGO and Georges Méliès

Postby erdnasephile » January 31st, 2012, 11:53 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:Sorry, but I cant answer that.

The veracity of the woodcut was always questionable to me because of the stool as well as the connection point being at the boys elbow...


Dustin:

Stan Allen did that exact illusion (broom suspension with one support stool pulled out as a kicker) at one of the Long Beach Mystics' "It's Amazing" shows back in the 70's.

He told me that when he first saw the woodcut, he figured it was an error, but an illusionist (? Robert Harbin or Eric Lewis) clued him in on how it could be done, so Stan had it built and performed it (with "Clarissa" if memory serves--someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

Interestingly, the suspension with one support is shown in the illustration in Christopher's Panorama of Magic, while in Curry's Magician's Magic, the drawing has been "corrected" with the second support in place.


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