What is a camera trick?

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Re: What is a camera trick?

Postby P.T.Widdle » November 27th, 2014, 8:31 pm

Tom Moore wrote:if we chose the most commonly used mantra of "its TV magic/camera trick if it can't be done live for a real audience" then several things we often call "camera tricks" aren't actually camera tricks.

That mantra/accusation enables too much leeway to sidestep the initial issue, which is the authenticity of the TV magic in the first place. Magicians like Angel and Yif can (sometimes) respond to that accusation by performing the trick live. However, as we can clearly see with the example of Yif's baguette trick, the two versions are not equal. The Happy Camp version is far inferior to the cafe video version. But even that is not the real issue. The cafe video used post-production CGI, period. It should be judged on it's own merit, not compared to some alternate version performed at a different place and time.
Whether or not Copperfield or Angel perform versions of the TV effects live is not the issue. The TV versions of those effects should stand on their own. After all, it was Yif's cafe video that was shown on the Ellen show, not the Happy Camp version.

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Bill Marquardt
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Re: What is a camera trick?

Postby Bill Marquardt » November 28th, 2014, 6:24 pm

I humbly request permission to renege on my self-removal from this thread long enough to post a forty-four year old photo of me walking on water. The photo is absolutely un-retouched, taken in front of Wheatshocker Hall near Wichita State University. I was in my AFROTC uniform, walking with some friends who challenged me to walk across the swimming pool. There is NO trick photography involved and NO editing - even the blemishes due to age remain in the photo (The brown spots near my feet).


Criss Angel has nothing on me.

John LeBlanc
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Re: What is a camera trick?

Postby John LeBlanc » November 28th, 2014, 8:06 pm

That's cold, Bill. Just sayin.

Brad Henderson
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Re: What is a camera trick?

Postby Brad Henderson » December 8th, 2014, 11:51 pm


Sorry I abandoned the conversation. Had travels for shows and I didn't want to reply with my thumbs!

i will provide three examples. The first, Copperfield flying over the grand canyon. While it is true that, as I understand it, the images captured on the film were not edited in post, the implication of "floating over the grand canyon" implies that there would be nothing overhead as means of a support - that if one were present they would witness the scene exactly as it played out on camera. While magicians DO use wings and the proscenium for concealment, the selling point of this effect is designed to convey that those techniques are not in play - or at least if they are, they would be invisible to someone viewing.

Case two and three: Criss Angel floating from building to building and on top of the Luxor. Let's begin with the most damning of the two, the Luxor incident. As reported by eye witnesses, the support was CLEARLY visible from any person viewing from the streets. The image produced for the public was completely non representative of that which occurred in real time. Likewise, it is my understanding from people involved, that the building levitation was also exposed to anyone who happened to be viewing it at the time. In both instances, editing was used to create the illusion of an illusion which never occurred.

Again, both of these instances imply in their premise a specific condition - a condition which was altered post production to created an un-ordinary environment.

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Re: What is a camera trick?

Postby MaxNY » December 9th, 2014, 2:05 am

With 30 years of New York Post Production under my belt, (including about ten of those years in the MTV studio,) and with over 60 gigs a year for the past forty years...I feel very honest about all of the directorial and editing shenanigans that I have written about here.

...and I have kept pretty quiet about the following too, but I wonder??? That skewer that David Blaine pushed through his wrist (from his last special) was that trick photography? Or was that surgery performed by an unlicensed/ non Doctor? And, if so...could he be arrested for performing such? According to stories from (I think Richard himself) he skewered himself at his book signing years ago in DC...

Where were the censors? And did they even wonder if he was performing "surgery" in front of kids? I could be wrong, but that sh!t looked pretty REAL to me.

...and where was my credit, as I sent him a video and proposal 18 years ago to do such a trick (but with an ostrich plumb, and napkin cover) for his "Grand Bus Tour of the United States!?!? Don't believe me? I also mailed myself a copy, registered mail, (but that will probably never hold up in court.) I know the trick was done Centuries ago, but does that mean it's not surgery?

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: What is a camera trick?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 9th, 2014, 10:25 am

Why so coy about post production cleanup?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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