New Blaine Special

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Carl Mercurio
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New Blaine Special

Postby Carl Mercurio » November 20th, 2013, 10:05 am

The new Blaine special was just brilliant--the best by far since his first breakout special. I couldn't help laughing and smiling like a big old goofball the entire time I watched. He's really hammered the combination of cool magician and carnival freak-show performer into something entirely new and different. Just great stuff.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 20th, 2013, 10:20 am

Carl Mercurio wrote:The new Blaine special was just brilliant...



URL or link so we can see it too?
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Bill Mullins » November 20th, 2013, 11:05 am

Jonathan -- it was on network television last night.

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Matthew Field
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Matthew Field » November 20th, 2013, 12:39 pm

I thought it was very good. Blaine first turned the idea of a magic TV show around by focusing on audience reaction. Now he turned it around again by focusing on celebrities relaxing and reacting to his magic.

All very well done, a mix of celebs to appeal to young and old -- great!

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » November 20th, 2013, 12:41 pm

THE BLAINE AND NOT-SO-SIMPLE TRUTHINESS

I’ve written a lot about David in the past, most of it laudatory. He has true audacity and now he fully expresses what he (at his beginnings) intuitively understood. There is a new calm and congenial demeanor to his presence. He stands at the center of his own cyclonic persona. Effects of terrifying penetration and inexplicable restoration will now cause the young magicians to shift their focus. The shaky ground under magicdom’s terra firma shifted a bit. Perhaps too the new standard for achieving the Wow Factor is to have your audience scream and run away as through fleeing for their life. It’s a joy to behold. Houdini would have been secretly proud, publically challenged, and happy in his celebrated, permanent retirement.

Bravo, David. Keep stirring it up! Raise a whirlwind.

Onward,

JR

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 20th, 2013, 4:05 pm

Ok

here's something for the LA folks tonight:

http://boingboing.net/2013/11/20/los-an ... ore-269390
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby M.Lee » November 20th, 2013, 4:37 pm

The shaky ground under magicdom’s terra firma shifted a bit... ????????

Perhaps too the new standard for acieving attention, is to have your audience scream and run Sorry BUT 2 words that MANY seen to Forget -

DAVID COPPERFIELD

Houdini had MANY imitators, BUT Few he truuly respicted & admired .....Ol Houdini ,

Would have Admired & Respected David Copperfield.


ML

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 20th, 2013, 5:04 pm

It's time to stop comparing Copperfield and Blaine.

Copperfield performs something like 400 to 500 live shows a year.

That is not what David Blaine does.

Apples and oranges, and both very good (or better) at what they do.
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby mrgoat » November 20th, 2013, 5:45 pm

Matthew Field wrote:I thought it was very good. Blaine first the idea of a magic TV show around by focusing on audience reaction. Now he turned it around again by focusing on celebrities relaxing and reacting to his magic.

All very well done, a mix of celebs to appeal to young and old -- great!

Matt Field


How did you get to see it in the UK?

I'd love to watch it. But obviously don't want to pirate copyrighted material. I assume, as you've seen it, there is a legal way to watch it? How can I see it?

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby John Tudor » November 20th, 2013, 6:17 pm

...I loved the special, but friends asked me if regurgitation is the next "big thing'!
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby baabaablacksheep » November 20th, 2013, 6:46 pm

I have a question.

Most times when magicians use a card that will be revealed they force it in some manner. But in the new Blaine show, for all or most of the cards he asked the audience member to think of a card. Is there a known method that he can use in this manner to divine the card or is the audience member in on it?

For instance the trick where he makes the reveal on the barrel of a Sharpie Marker, on Jimmy Kimmel he used a deck and force, but on the special he used the think of a card.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Brad Henderson » November 20th, 2013, 6:50 pm

Richard - aside from the occasional tv special, what exactly does Blaine do?

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby mrgoat » November 20th, 2013, 6:54 pm

baabaablacksheep wrote:I have a question.

Most times when magicians use a card that will be revealed they force it in some manner. But in the new Blaine show, for all or most of the cards he asked the audience member to think of a card. Is there a known method that he can use in this manner to divine the card or is the audience member in on it?

For instance the trick where he makes the reveal on the barrel of a Sharpie Marker, on Jimmy Kimmel he used a deck and force, but on the special he used the think of a card.


Things get very different when a TV crew is involved.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby baabaablacksheep » November 20th, 2013, 7:01 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Richard - aside from the occasional tv special, what exactly does Blaine do?


He does major stunts a la Harry Houdini.

Buried Alive
Frozen in Time
Vertigo
Above the Below
Drowned Alive
Revolution
Dive of Death
Electrified: One Million Volts Always On
Bullet Catch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Blaine

All of which he spends a lot of time planning, getting physically fit for and promoting. These stunts all have major coverage from various media outlets throughout the world and are staged in compelling venues throughout the world.

Beyond that he wrote a interesting book called Mysterious Stranger and set a Guiness World Record for holding his breath over 17 minutes.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby baabaablacksheep » November 20th, 2013, 7:06 pm

mrgoat wrote:Things get very different when a TV crew is involved.


Are you hinting that the card was suggested?

One interesting point is that he had some of the best actors in the world (Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, to name a few) on the special, so if they were in on it, who better to act surprised then them.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby I.M. Magician » November 20th, 2013, 8:48 pm

I find this thread to be very interesting. I agree with much of what is being said. When I was watching the show, I kept wondering if he is using effects I just have not heard of yet or there was more to it. I have been around magic for more than 40 years and do not know everything but some of the things he was doing did not seem to be using any of the principles I have ever learned. Does he take advantage of cameras and shills in the audience? If so, then of course he can do extra amazing things.

I admit I am old fashioned when it comes to magic and prefer more traditional presentations and audience reactions. I do understand that audiences have evolved and the times are just different than they used to be. That being said, I find the running away, overreacting, and over the top reactions to be a bit ridiculous. I just do which also makes me question the legitimacy of his spectators.

Richard is correct in that you should not be comparing Blaine to Copperfield. Different genres.

After watching Blaine's latest special and sleeping on it, I feel that it wasn't much different from his earlier specials. I am speaking of the magic and segments and not his death defying feats. More of the same really. If you enjoy what he does, then you were happy with his latest outing and that is certainly OK.

I think that Blaine is a dedicated magician who has done good things for magic by bringing it to a huge audience over the years. Let's say that he is a good promoter of magic as entertainment. What I don't like is that he leans towards doing dangerous things to get a reaction. Are we at a point where danger must be present? I hope not!

So there is my take on the whole thing for what it's worth. I look forward to your reactions.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Doug Thornton » November 20th, 2013, 10:05 pm

I thought it was a great show. Using well-known people (I think the word "celebrity" has lost true meaning) was a nice touch. (PK pun implied.)

David did use a few well-known magic effects and made them work in his inimitable way. (I wonder if Simon Aronson smiled at the Stephen Hawking segment.)

The physical stunts are a bit unnerving but are his style.

The greatest joy I got was seeing David smile. He's one of the good guys. There were a lot of good guys in the "magic consultant" credits.
(And, yes, David Blaine and David Copperfield are two different guys and both continue to elevate the art of magic.)

Thanks to David Blaine and all those people that brought this show to us.
Smiles all around
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby mrgoat » November 21st, 2013, 8:34 am

baabaablacksheep wrote:
mrgoat wrote:Things get very different when a TV crew is involved.


Are you hinting that the card was suggested?

One interesting point is that he had some of the best actors in the world (Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, to name a few) on the special, so if they were in on it, who better to act surprised then them.


Well, either that, or he can really do magic. Take a guess.

And I don't believe for a second that he used stooges, you just don't need to.

Not that I've seen the special as you can't view it legally in the UK yet.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Tom Moore » November 21st, 2013, 9:43 am

Just remember that every 1min of recorded screen time takes AT LEAST an hour to actually shoot. You don't need to use "stooges" or plants when you've got 59mins of unseen time to do preparatory effects, implant ideas and select "compliant" spectators so that once the camera is rolling you can present much more powerful and direct effects than you could if you were performing for just 1min out in the real world.
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Tom Frame » November 21st, 2013, 10:32 am

baabaablacksheep wrote:I have a question.

Most times when magicians use a card that will be revealed they force it in some manner. But in the new Blaine show, for all or most of the cards he asked the audience member to think of a card. Is there a known method that he can use in this manner to divine the card or is the audience member in on it?

For instance the trick where he makes the reveal on the barrel of a Sharpie Marker, on Jimmy Kimmel he used a deck and force, but on the special he used the think of a card.


It's likely that Blaine forced the cards on the participants using any of a number of methods that don't require the participant to physically touch the card. They only see the card.

Then Blaine cognitively restructures their perception of the selection procedure by repeatedly referring to their sighted card as “the card you thought of.” He never uses the words “saw, looked at, chose, or selected.”

That’s not much of a psychological stretch. After they see their card, the participant must remember it. To remember it, they must think about it. Blaine reinforces the “thought of” perception and lets the actual, visual selection procedure fade from memory.

Omitting the card selection procedures from the broadcast was a good decision. It saves time, allowing the show to move along briskly and spend more time on the reactions. It also enhances the viewers’ perception of the strength of the effect, without resorting to “cheating” per se.

In the broadcast version of the effect, when Blaine says to the participant, “You freely thought of one card.”, the participant doesn’t feel like she is lying by responding affirmatively. Blaine’s statement is vague but true. She is not an instant stooge.

This is my favorite Blaine special. I loved his relaxed, playful demeanor, his choice of material and his performances. My wife thought the show was terrific and she howled every time that the crowd screamed and ran away. Their reactions, however hyperbolic, were a highlight for her.
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 21st, 2013, 1:02 pm

I think he read the David Berglas book.
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Steve Bryant » November 21st, 2013, 1:05 pm

I really liked the opening title sequence, flashing word after word that described him. Talk about establishing your identity!

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 21st, 2013, 3:59 pm

Anyone see what the ratings were for Blaine's special?
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby James » November 21st, 2013, 4:40 pm

According to Deadline.com...

"David Blaine’s Real Or Magic celebrity special from 9:30-11 PM drew a 2.5 rating in 18-49, winning its time period, posting ABC’s best numbers in the time frame this season and helping the network score its best 18-49 finish on the night since premiere week.

Even more impressive, Blaine topped Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2.3) as ABC’s highest-rated program of the night on a fraction of the budget of the superhero drama. It also did better than ABC’s scripted magic franchise, Once Upon A Time, has been doing this fall.

Since TV is a copycat business, expect more magic specials to pop up soon. Fox already has one in the can with close-up magician JB Benn, which could be scheduled soon."

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Travis » November 21st, 2013, 4:51 pm

I don't know JB Benn personally, but he seems like a skilled magician and nice guy. Unfortunately, everything I've seen him do on television just seemed like so much aping Blaine. And not very well, at that.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 21st, 2013, 5:04 pm

That's about 3,275,000 viewers. Good news for Blaine.
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Brad Jeffers » November 21st, 2013, 5:54 pm

John Tudor wrote:...I loved the special, but friends asked me if regurgitation is the next "big thing'!

That would be good news for Stevie Starr.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby baabaablacksheep » November 21st, 2013, 8:59 pm

Tom Frame wrote:Then Blaine cognitively restructures their perception of the selection procedure by repeatedly referring to their sighted card as “the card you thought of.” He never uses the words “saw, looked at, chose, or selected.”


I get it, so he uses a traditional force off camera and then on camera when he says "think of a card" the audience member is instructed to then say the card that was "selected" earlier. That makes sense.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Shaun » November 27th, 2013, 4:09 am

The reaction from Harrison ford made the show for me, That was just killer lol

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby erdnasephile » November 27th, 2013, 6:51 am

I saw the first half last night.

I think part of the brilliance of Blaine's strategy in this special was his choice to choose to perform for celebrities (many of them actors or those with significant screen time).

1) It gives him instant credibility with audiences. ("If Will Smith lets him come into his home, he must be good.")

2) For the most part, these are people whose profession it is to emote and react in front of a camera. While the reactions are, of course, real on some level, I'm fairly certain the actors' skills made them more so for the folks at home. (Notice that one non-actor celeb, Katy Perry, alludes to her lack of reaction to previous takes--it's not easy acting natural before the camera)

Blaine played to his strengths, and was himself. While I personally don't care for his laconic, descriptive style, I'm looking forward to watching the second half and think he did a really nice job.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby user_241 » November 27th, 2013, 9:57 am

... what do you mean you saw the "first half"? I thought the 90 minute special was one and complete?

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 27th, 2013, 11:14 am

It means he just watched the first 45 minutes.
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Michael Kamen » November 27th, 2013, 12:19 pm

Ba-boom.
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erdnasephile
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby erdnasephile » November 27th, 2013, 1:30 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:It means he just watched the first 45 minutes.


Yep--DVR is a beautiful thing! :D

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby user_241 » November 27th, 2013, 1:42 pm

Lol, my bad.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Pete McCabe » November 27th, 2013, 5:39 pm

baabaablacksheep wrote:
mrgoat wrote:One interesting point is that he had some of the best actors in the world (Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, to name a few) on the special, so if they were in on it, who better to act surprised then them.


Yes, but I'm not sure I would trust a secret to someone whose career depends on publicity.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby erdnasephile » November 27th, 2013, 6:10 pm

I.M. Magician wrote:... I do understand that audiences have evolved and the times are just different than they used to be. That being said, I find the running away, overreacting, and over the top reactions to be a bit ridiculous. I just do which also makes me question the legitimacy of his spectators...


I think it's the juxtaposition of Blaine's low key approach and the spectator's over the top reactions on his specials that tends to draw the ire of some magicians.

After all, we are traditionally taught that our magic should have relevance and meaning and that the most important vehicle by which this is expressed is via presentation.

Aside from "I do everything with my hands", it's hard to find a lot of overt meaningfulness in Blaine's presentations. For Blaine, magic is largely presented as stunts.

The incongruous over the top reactions serve only to point up Blaine's minimalist leanings. The high concentration of a network special makes the contrast that much more glaring.

It may well be that in this age of the "low information" citizen, getting anyone to sit still for a thoughtful presentation will become more and more difficult.

However, I'd like to think that there are (and always have been) different audiences for different magicians. Those that like the minimalist approach will enjoy the Blaines and Benns of the world. The more intellectual may prefer the Mavens, Cohens and the Burgers that I so enjoy. Some may like both depending on their mood.

It's all good, IMHO.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Michael Kamen » November 27th, 2013, 8:11 pm

Guimaraes and Delgaudio appear to be doing very well in NYC with card tricks, a lot of personality, and great presentations.
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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby erdnasephile » November 27th, 2013, 10:12 pm

Yep. Cohen and Jay have had lots of success with sophisticated presentations as well.

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Re: New Blaine Special

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 28th, 2013, 3:30 am

I think it was his best special, including his first.

I recall quite well all the chipping many did—myself included—about his “look-look-look … watch-watch-watch” presentations. Yes, he’s still low key, but there is far more personality coming through and he’s likeable; a guy you would have in your home versus the creepy dude who stopped you on the street to get you to “check this out.”

Tom Frame, I believe, nailed his methodology. There is plenty in the literature about how to create the perception of a “thought of card.” I still use the simple version from Marty Nash’s “Jacks or Better” routine. With help from TV, the sky is the limit. For example, do you really think the only trick Blaine did while in Harrison Ford’s home was the Card in Orange? We just didn’t see when he (David) introduced the card into Ford’s mind.

Without a doubt, though, my favorite moment was Stephen Hawking’s smile at the revelation of the card. What a wonderful—if ever so brief—moment.

Dustin


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