Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

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Zig Zagger
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Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Zig Zagger » July 28th, 2019, 5:53 pm

"On June 16th 2019, Norwegian award winning illusionist Alexx Alexxander attempted to do something no illusionist has ever done before. He made Oslo´s sole source for drinking water, Lake Maridal, disappear. In front of a live audience and with all of Norway watching, he did the absolute impossible."
Alexx says there were no camera tricks involved.

Have a look at the video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYhxwuqbq1k

Despite trying hard, the video certainly lacks the "Copperfield Touch" (= production value and air), and the plastic pitcher is a bit deplorable, yet this is quite an accomplishment that could have played much bigger.

What do you think?
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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 28th, 2019, 8:26 pm

We have seen this done before by Franz Harary and Lance Burton and so on.
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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Tom Moore » July 29th, 2019, 12:39 pm

Don Wayne was involved in / consulted on this which is why it has copperfield overtones and a more familiar method but doesn't have the full production values.

I quite liked the concept of the pitcher (it fits perfectly in to illusionist logic) my only comments on it would be the clash of high and big budget ideas with actual production realities & budgets which gives the routine an uneven tone.
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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Zig Zagger » July 29th, 2019, 12:54 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:We have seen this done before by Franz Harary and Lance Burton and so on.

Yes, I am aware of some of these illusions, like Franz Harary vanishing the London Tower Bridge or the Taj Mahal many years ago.

But I am wondering whether this "empty / refilled lake" concept is an original one?
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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Travis » July 30th, 2019, 7:19 am

As noted by Richard, similar methods have been used by Franz Harary, Lance, and others. And even earlier by filmmakers like Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd, if we want to really draw comparisons. I think this particular arrangement most resembles Lance’s vanish of elephants in the Nevada desert on one of his tv specials, as it used a similar type of frame for the viewing perspective of the camera. But, yeah, this is classic movie technique applied to a magic trick.

The general public is much more savvy today about filmmaking, though they may be less aware of older, analog methods than they are of the current reliance upon all things computer generated. But I find it difficult to believe that anyone viewing this would think that the live viewers had the same perspective through the frame as the camera. Clearly, they did not, so it’s no surprise that none of their reactions ring true. It’s very easy to make ‘true’ statements like ‘What you’ll see is exactly what you would see if you were here with me’. Well, yeah, that’s true, but misleading. You can also claim that reactions are genuine by performing other magic (to warm up the crowd), recording reactions to that, and then intercutting them with the featured illusion. You’ll note that every time the video went to the audience there was a cut.

Getting back to perspective, again, people recognize that things change when perceived through a 2D medium. Anyone who’s ever blocked out the moon with their thumb understands that large objects become small at great distances.
I actually think this technique works better in the opposite direction: a large empty space, cloth is held up, car suddenly appears. It still uses perspective, and still uses the framing of the camera lens itself (without the need for some prop frame to view through), and is more surprising (again, on camera) because a large, physical object appears close to camera/audience, not far away.

But, I digress. In the end I’m not a big fan of these kinds of things presented as magic illusions, though I love these old-school techniques when used for cinematic illusions.

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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Jack Shalom » July 30th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Mr. Chaplin, Modern Times method:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBSpuZDKaKI

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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Zig Zagger » July 30th, 2019, 1:35 pm

Very enlightening! Thank you for your thoughts and comments, Gentlemen!

Only still wondering whether this was the very first magically emptied and refilled lake???
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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Tom Moore » July 30th, 2019, 2:41 pm

I’m struggling to remember who it was who did it before but my instinct says this wasn’t the first ever lake emptying; I have memories of seeing it performed before. Frankly if it’s the first doesn’t really matter; promo mega illusions like this are all about getting instant press for the actual effect rather than earning footnotes in the history books years later.
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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 30th, 2019, 3:16 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Mr. Chaplin, Modern Times method:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBSpuZDKaKI


The Harold Lloyd stunt in Safety Last is the most famous of these. It was widely accepted for half a century that he had actually done the stunt.
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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Zig Zagger » September 4th, 2019, 4:51 pm

Recently, I've asked Alexx Alexxander a few questions about the background of his major illusion. In our interview he says that there were major obstacles, both in terms of method and circumstances, and that they actually had to develop a new solution for the vanishing and reappearing lake:

Just over a year we worked on it to be able to do it. We actually had to come up with a brand new concept in magic to be able to pull it off. We couldn’t use old principles. It didn’t work.

Alexx also says that he has/had been working closely with both Don Wayne and Tim Tønnessen on his illusions for years.

You can read the full interview in English here: https://zzzauber.wordpress.com/2019/09/ ... lexxander/

There's also the video of the vanishing Lake Maridal plus a link to his first cooperation with Don Wayne, the vanishing and reappearing gas station shop!
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Re: Magician Empties and Refills a Full Lake Live at Cyberspeed

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 4th, 2019, 9:50 pm

How is this one different from others involving views through a frame?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time


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