Three Fly

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
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Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » July 25th, 2002, 1:45 pm

Can someone please explain to me why they think Paul Wilson's routine is an improvement on Threefly?
Other than the last coin being a tad clever, in that it is a subtle vanish of the last coin, there were no improvements on handling (Imo only of course) and certainly not in originality. What is the big deal with this routine? Am I alone on this one. I am willing to reconsider my viewpoint on this.
Please help!
Jay

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 25th, 2002, 2:36 pm

Paul's routine utilizes a new manner of vanishing the coins, by sliding them behind the other coins with the thumb. He published this in his lecture notes, several years before anyone else utilized the idea (and several have, now).
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Re: Three Fly

Postby Eric DeCamps » July 25th, 2002, 3:01 pm

Richard:

In what lecture notes did Paul first write up the method of vanishing a coin by sliding a coin behind the others and when was it published?

The reason for my question is because Gary Kurtz uses the same concept in the transposition section of his routine Trio published in Unexpalinable Acts. Did Paul come up with it before Gary? I really was under the understanding that this was Garys.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby thecardman » July 25th, 2002, 3:14 pm

Paul's lecture notes were entitled "Chaos Theories" and were brought out in the mid-90s (I cannot find my copy at the moment, so cannot give a more accurate answer - bummer, they were good notes!).

I've known Paul for longer than he or I care to mention (or admit) and saw Paul (Three) FRY (get it?) me with the routine at least a couple of years before the manuscript came out.

You would have to ask Paul about the actual creative genesis of the move from his standpoint. Personally, I was not aware of the Kurtz move and so I am unqualified to even think about commenting on that part of the thread.

Peter
:-)

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Curtis Kam » July 25th, 2002, 8:27 pm

Wait a minute, Eric. Richard is supposed to have written the Kurtz book in 1990. Surely he would know if Paul Wilson's technique was around then. Unless he didn't really write the book.....Hmmmmm

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » July 26th, 2002, 2:33 am

I remeber in Jornadas Escorial a lot of years ago seing my friend, the german magican Stephan doing that kind of sliding vanish.
I agree with Kaufman that Wilson was the first in widespreading it by publishing in America. Of course he could have invented indepently to Kurtz, like more magicians.I don't know, the best it's he talking about the origin of this move. By the way Wilson routine its very good.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby pduffie » July 26th, 2002, 3:08 am

Quote from Paul Wilson's Chaos Theories (1995):

Crowded Coins:

"This is a variation of two fine routines, Gary Kurtz' Trio and Chris Kenner's Three Fly. In actual fact, Trio is the real starting point since Three Fly borrows heavily from it. This is easier than both routines and, for me, a little more practical."

Crowded Coins also appears on Paul's video "Knock 'em Dead" (1999) but the Kurtz credit seems to be omitted there - possibly due to the haste in which dealers make videos...

I can't locate my copy of Genii with "Scottish Fly" in it. I would have expected the Kurtz credit to be there?

Best Wishes

Peter

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » July 26th, 2002, 5:05 am

Originally posted by Peter Duffie:
I can't locate my copy of Genii with "Scottish Fly" in it. I would have expected the Kurtz credit to be there?
I just looked it up (Genii, July 1999). This is what it says: "While prior handlings by Gary Kurtz ('Trio') and Chris Kenner ('Three Fly') provided the basis, Paul has made great strides in simplifying the routine. This first appeared in Paul's Book Chaos Theories four years ago, however I thought many readers of Genii who were not familiar with the routine would enjoy it."

So, it does establish the fact that Kurtz's routine provided inspiration for this one, however later on it states: "(Paul was the first to apply this sliding principle to a fingertip coins across.)" That's referring, of course, to the thumb sliding a coin behind the others.

So, I don't know.

-Jim

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Mike Powers » July 26th, 2002, 7:19 am

On p. 74 of "Unexplainable Acts" fig. 26 shows a shell hiding behind a spread of two normal coins held in your right hand. Prior to this, the shell was visible above the other two so that the audience sees three coins in a spread. Here's what causes the vanish of the shell:
"As you turn away from your right hand, tilt the coins toward you slightly so the audience sees more of their lower edges and less of their faces. At the same time, your thumb pulls the shell downward and inward behind the two coins (fig. 26). Your third finger prevents the two visible coins from moving. Produce the finger-palmed coin from your left hand by pushing it to the fingertips as the hand turns palm toward the audience..." The book is copyrighted 1990.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Pete McCabe » July 26th, 2002, 11:54 am

When Daryl taught his version of ThreeFly (ThreeFly III) in a workshop setting, the question of credits came up. He uses the sliding the coin behind the other coins concept and a question was asked directly on this subject.

Daryl answered (and I am paraphrasing here so if you have any issue with what it is say, your issue is with ME and not with Daryl) that he had independently come up with this move many years ago. He didn't know if this happened before or after the same basic handling was created by other magicians.

He also said that he thought this particular move was rather obvious, and he was not surprised that it had been independantly invented/reinvented by other magicians trying to vanish one coin from a spread of three. I can vouch for Daryl on this point; about four years ago -- before I had learned this move in the context of Threefly -- I recreated this exact handling while working on a variaton of Larry Jenning's "The Hook."

I want to make it very clear that Daryl was NOT claiming credit for this move. If anything, he seemed to think that it was not the kind of truly original thing that is worth arguing about (again, this is my interpretation of his attitude).

But this is a point that is sometimes lost in this kind of credit discussion. If a move is reasonably straightforward, it becomes increasingly likely that multiple magicians, working on the same plot, will create the same move. Certainly, the idea of hiding a single object behind a fanned out group is not new, having been used with playing cards for hundreds of years.

Perhaps the bulk of the credit for people like Jonathan Townsend, Gary Kurtz, Chris Kenner, Paul Wilson, and Daryl, goes to their use of these moves and only a smaller bit for their creation. Certainly, all of these men have contributed a great deal of outstanding magic, for which their credit is uncontested.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Curtis Kam » July 26th, 2002, 12:13 pm

While we're on the subject of credits, this has been bothering me: Regarding the visual re-appearance of the coins, (from the finger palm, not hidden behind the spread) didn't the exact handling, for that specific use, appear in Michael Ammar's Topit book, which I believe predates even "Unexplainable Acts?"

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Eric DeCamps » July 26th, 2002, 1:17 pm

Curtis:

You can take the coin production that you mention even further back than Michael's Topit book.

Although originally used for the miser's dream, The Inertia Coin Production (credited to Charlie Miller)pre-dates it.

When done correctly this sleight is , IMO, far suprior to just pushing the coin up with the thumb to the finger tips.

Eric DeCamps

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Curtis Kam » July 26th, 2002, 1:24 pm

Wow, thanks Eric, you're right.

IMHO, that sheds some light on the extent of Chris Kenner's contribution to the routine.

Did I mention that you can find Greg Wilson's "Pitch and Ditch" described by T. Nelson Downs? See the new Dover pub.

Thanks for the history.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 26th, 2002, 2:10 pm

My brain hurts!
Maybe Kurtz was first ... hmmmm. I don't have time to go back and reread my old books. Maybe Mr. Wilson will step in?
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Re: Three Fly

Postby Bill Mullins » July 26th, 2002, 4:08 pm

Originally posted by Curtis Kam:

Did I mention that you can find Greg Wilson's "Pitch and Ditch" described by T. Nelson Downs? See the new Dover pub.

It is also in a Linking Ring Parade from the late 1960's.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Charlie Chang » July 26th, 2002, 5:21 pm

As Peter Duffie correctly stated, I credit Gary Kurtz' routine as a direct influence on my handling. This credit appears in both Chaos Theories and The Little Black Book.

That said, whilst my handling of Three Fly appeared first, i have since learned that several people have applied the same techniques, in similar ways, to this plot.

Daryl, Hooser and, according to information received, Geoff Latta have all explored the same idea. For me, the techniques employed in "crowded coins" are the most direct way to achieve the fingertip coins across effect.

It is not surprising then that several people have walked a similar path. The fact is that I am happy to share the idea with all of these people (it's not a bad group to be associated with for any reason).

It should be pointed out, however, that Crowded Coins was the first "3Fly" to see print using these methods. In the future the question of "who had what first" will be decided by the published record, not by when people say they had an idea. Extremely similar routines have appeared since Crowded was first published and the credit to me has often been either omitted or stated in such a way that it seems to say "Mr X. had this way before Crowded Coins, so there!".

Crowded Coins was published in Chaos Theories but the routine was with me for several years before that booklet. Like those who published their handlings later, I too had it earlier.

I did NOT, however, have it before Unexplained Acts by Gary Kurtz. My routine grew from Kurtz' and was fully formed around 1991.

My position is this:

Three fly is a Kenner routine based on a Jonathan Townsend idea. My approach was conceived independently of similar ideas by Hooser, Daryl and Latta. The timing of these ideas is moot.

Whilst I get credit for publishing first, I gladly concede that credit for this approach should be shared by myself, Hooser, Daryl and Latta, with a heavy nod to Kurtz for the influence of "Trio".

To those who don't "get it" when reading my handling (or similar ones by Daryl and Hooser), they should try to understand that the purpose of variation is to improve or simplify. I think the sliding coin makes the routine WAY easier than the original approach and allows for some extremely easy transfers that look very natural and draw no suspicion. The sliding coin also allows the performer to get the timing just right (timing is the key to this effect).

I hope this carifies matters a little.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Mike Rubinstein » July 26th, 2002, 5:34 pm

Hi guys,
Paul, it was a pleasure meeting you at the SAM convention in NY. I have a question regarding the last coin vanish that perhaps either you or Eric can answer. Who originated the last coin fingerpalm vanish - I am referring to the basic premise, not the handling variations.Is it Kenner's (I think that's who you credit), Townsend (so says Sol Stone, but Eric differs in that opinion), or someone else? Thanks, Mike

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Eric DeCamps » July 27th, 2002, 7:35 am

Michael:

As far as I know and when I originally asked Jonathan, the fingertip vanish is his concept.
The method or variant that was published by Chris belongs to Chris.

The technique that I use in my routines is what Jonathan taught me. Allow me to add that when Jonathan performed this vanish it was a thing of beauty. His timing was such that he managed to obtain a visual persistence of vision with it that I have never seen duplicated by anyone using any kind of similar technique. In all honestly I do the sleight very well but I never felt that I do it to the level that I first saw Jonathan do it. The coin just seemed to visually melt in mid air every time he did it. The burn he was able to get was incredible.

In reference to giving credit in the future, whether or not who publishes it first will not be the final say. The truth is the truth. I and the few lucky others who witnessed Jonathan perform the routine back in the day know the truth of his contribution to this part of our craft. This is one of the great advantages of internet forums such as this that give us the opportunity to do it in such an accessible and wide spread medium.

Hope this helps Michael. BTW, I enjoyed the new coin material you showed me at the SAM convention very much.

Eric DeCamps

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » July 27th, 2002, 8:08 am

Thanks Paul for a great post. I understand now that your variation allowed for an easier secret transfer of the coin.

Let me see if I have this right........

Townsend (although unpublished) is the true originator of the effect. I must say the jury is still out on the Downs reference. There has to be more proof of its existence before I will be able to believe it.

After Townsend we have Kurtz. The Kurtz sequence in 'Trio' was the first "fingertip" coins across to see print.

Kenner came along shortly thereafter and published ThreeFly (the name by which all these effects now fall under). Also I have heard that his true handling has never been published.

After that came Paul Wilson with 'Crowded Coins' which applied the action of the thumb slide to affect an easier secret transfer as well as the vanish (which Kurtz used it for). He claims no originaltiy in inventing the slide only its application.

Following that came all others Hooser, Latta, I will add Daryl's name even though his routine bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Wilson's routine with the exception of the final coin.

So is that it? Did I miss anything? Have we succsesfully traced the origin?

Eric I'm sure I speak for a lot of people, Is there anything any of us can do to expedite the process of publishing the Townsend routine?
Cheers,
Jay

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » July 27th, 2002, 8:23 am

Originally posted by Jay Wethington:

Kenner came along shortly thereafter and published ThreeFly (the name by which all these effects now fall under). Also I have heard that his true handling has never been published.
It's only the final vanish of the last coin that was not published.
Eric I'm sure I speak for a lot of people, Is there anything any of us can do to expedite the process of publishing the Townsend routine?
Eric, he sure speaks for me, one only needs to look at the amount of posting in this thread to see the obvious interest in it.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » July 27th, 2002, 8:35 am

Originally posted by Dan Watkins:
Eric I'm sure I speak for a lot of people, Is there anything any of us can do to expedite the process of publishing the Townsend routine?
Eric, he sure speaks for me, one only needs to look at the amount of posting in this thread to see the obvious interest in it.[/QB]
Yeah! He's speaking for me too! I can't wait to see the routine!

-Jim

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Mike Rubinstein » July 27th, 2002, 9:31 am

Eric, thanks for clearing that up for me! BTW, I don't know if I told you but your finale for the egg bag was the best I've seen - It blew everyone away at SAM!

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » July 27th, 2002, 9:48 am

Jay W. writes:
....
Townsend (although unpublished) is the true originator of the effect.

well,,,
that depends....
If Kurtz developed it idependently (and evidence suggests he did.) & If Kurtz has notes on the trick that go back to 87 (and David Ben saw him do it in 84...)

then (my mantra now) Kurtz is Da-man

I guess we'll wait to hear more from David Ben...

ya listening David?

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 27th, 2002, 9:54 am

I don't believe Kurtz came up with it independently. I recall someone (guess it was not DeCamps) telling me that they explained the basic idea to Kurtz at some point.
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Re: Three Fly

Postby David Acer » July 27th, 2002, 11:36 am

Hi Richard,

That someone was none other than Richard Sanders, though he went uncredited in the book.
Now tweeting daily from @David_Acer

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 27th, 2002, 3:42 pm

David ... finally ... a memory that turns out to be correct! So, Richard Sanders explains (at least) the basic premise to Kurtz. So Kurtz ain't "d'man."
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Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » July 27th, 2002, 5:13 pm

Who told Sanders about the plot or was he one of the chosen few who actually saw the Townsend routine?

Guest

Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » July 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
So Kurtz ain't "d'man."
Regardless of this one specific issue, I would not say that Kurtz ain't "d'man". He definately had some skill that ranks amoung the best I have ever seen.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby David Ben » July 27th, 2002, 7:31 pm

Richard:

Don't be so certain that you're memory is correct. It may be...it may not.

I cannot access my files at this time because I am moving into a new office. However. To add further fuel, I can't say at this time whether or not Gary came up with the concept independently. (I do recall him working out the last hang or vanish of the last coin in the hanging coins.)

I met Jonathan Townsend in the early 1980s. (1981 or 1982) We corresponded for a short period of time. I do not recall him ever showing me the routine. (This is not to discredit him. He could have very well decided not to tip it.)

I met Chris Kenner in St. Louis in April of 1986 at the Ed Marlo lecture sponsored by John Mendoza. I do not recall Chris performing the routine at that time. (Oddly enough, Daryl was also at that get-together.)

I know that Gary was performing the routine at some point during the run of "A Little Night Magic" at Harper's Restaurant. I was with the show in the first year (1983-84) and then left for law school (1984-1987). I would pop in, now and again, to see the other performs and do the odd spot or appearance myself.

Gary, Jay Sankey and I used to attend the early NY Symposiums. Everyone went their separate ways once in New York.

I believe that Gary moved to Montreal in the fall of 1987. He started producing more notes in commercial form, ie. covers and illustrations rather than just typed manuscript instructions - at that time. Many of these booklets have fingertip coin work or routines in them. Gary's hands are very large. He became obsessed with silver dollar coin work in the early 1980s. (One routine that got him thinking about fingertip work was John Carney's slow-motion vanish.)

Now, Gary was also the student of Willis Kenney. A VERY FINE card and coin handler. Willis passed away last year. Willis used to attend a lot of the gatherings. He was definitely in the loop.

I was the Co-Chair of the NYCAN Convention in 1990 in honour of Stewart James. Gary Kurtz was on the show - as was Chris Kenner. Chris performed his 3-Fly at the convention. Although nicely performed, it did not surprise us as Gary had been performing the same type of routine. (Chris' rubber band routine was the talk.)

Chris, when touring with Copperfield, performed 3-Fly as staged entertainment during David's intermission. The 3-Fly was projected on to large screens. I'm not sure how many times he performed it in this manner. He certainly did so in Toronto.

So, I'll check my Townsend correspondence and my Kurtz correspondence. (I have also placed a call to Gary.)

Gary could have developed the material independently or he could have been inspired by a variety of sources. He could have met Townsend in New York at an early Symposium, he could have heard about the work from Willis Kenney (who could have met Townsend). He could have also been tipped to it by Richard Sanders, but I don't know when he first met Richard. He was certainly performing it in the mid-late eighties, well before it came into vogue. I would also suggest that, regardless of whether or not he created it independently or was inspired by others, Gary was DA MAN in the sense that he toured the world extensively, performing and lecturing. I also believe he was the first to publish a handling. I bet that more magicians had their first exposure to the routine and its methodology through Gary's performances,lectures and writing.

As I said, I have tried to call Gary but he appears to be on the road. I'll try to track down whatever info may be in my files but I may not be able to do it at the pace required by this modern medium.

David

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Eric DeCamps » July 28th, 2002, 5:29 pm

Michael:
I am pleased that you enjoyed my egg bag routine. I am very happy with the piece and the response its gotten since putting it together. However, that is a discussion for another topic folder.

David:
I did not know that Gary was a student of Willis Kenney. Sometime I would like to tell you the story of my first meeting with Willis. It was at the first New York Magic Symposium back in August of 1982. He taught me a very important lesson that day. I really respected his work and enjoyed the few visits I had with him through the years.

I look forward to reading your findings regarding the fingertip coins across in your files and/or your conversation with Gary.

Eric DeCamps

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Re: Three Fly

Postby EdAndres » July 28th, 2002, 11:49 pm

Dave Neighbors slid a coin behind two others for a vanish in his "coins to pocket" routine....YEARS ago.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby mike cookman » July 29th, 2002, 11:03 am

I'll settle this---I created Three Fly. All the moves, all that stuff. Hee hee. By the way, how does Kenners Three Fly look? I've never seen it. I've seen Kurtz', but not Kenner's or Townsends or any of the others. Sorry.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Mike Powers » July 30th, 2002, 5:55 am

One thing unique about Kenner's routine was his unpublished (I think) ending. He did it for me years ago when it first came out. At the end he dropped three coins in my hands. I looked for coins falling from his sleeve but there were none. OUCH! I got hurt on that one. Chris saw my pain and was gracious enough to tip the method, which was diabolical. I'm going to my grave with that one....

Mike

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » August 2nd, 2002, 5:41 am

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
Frankly, 3 fly (to me) is almost a 1 on 1 for magicians to view - laymen? A lot of easier, better stuff is around.
As usual, Mr. Biro hit the nail on the head.

At the height of the "3-fly" buzz, I performed a little experiment (forgive me): When a bunch of the neighborhood children were in my basement playing with my kids, I popped one of the recent "instructional videos" into the VCR and asked them to watch the performance of one of the "big names" (unnamed here to protect the guilty ;) ) performing his "3-fly".

After they watched, I asked them two questions:
  • Did you like it?
  • How did he do it?
Answers?
  • Moderately well
  • (without hesitation) He had four coins
Basically, the whole thing was taken by the children as a "playful interlude" rather than as "magic". I doubt that they would have had the same reaction to Gary Kurtz' coin work.
regards, Doug

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Guest » August 2nd, 2002, 10:24 am

With all do Respect Doug you are mistaken.

3 Fly when done well is very magical. The dead eye of the camara does not do justice to magic most times. I been fryied in many occasions by things that looked like junk on film.

I would take your test a bit futher before you discart this effect as a 1 on 1 or not useful for the public...but then again the less people doing it the better for the few of us that are blind to whats good!

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Re: Three Fly

Postby thecardman » August 2nd, 2002, 3:56 pm

I have to agree with BJBueno.

I saw Paul Wilson perform "Crowded Coins/Scottish Fly" in the Parlour at the Castle a couple of weeks ago to audiences mixed with both magicians and lay people and the reaction that he was getting during the routine was fantastic. In fact, it was audible. People had NO IDEA what was going on, let alone how he did it.

I think that this can prove that it is not strictly a one-on-one effect, but that it can play for fairly large audiences as well.

Just my 2-cents worth.

Peter
:)

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Brian Marks » August 2nd, 2002, 9:04 pm

3 fly requires misdirection as does alot of good tricks. Cameras arent fooled by misdirection that a live audience would be. I fry people all the time. The trick works.

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Sean Piper » August 2nd, 2002, 11:09 pm

Speaking of 3 Fly on tape...

There's a young German guy by the name of Denios Behr who has a couple of 3 Fly vids on his website, among many other moves and flourishes.

VERY good technique, but not sure how much of this stuff he's actually allowed to perform on the internet?

As far as I knew, you needed permission from from the tricks/moves creator. Richard, did he get your OK for the Up and Up Change???

The site is:

http://www.cip.physik.uni-muenchen.de/~behrd/

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Re: Three Fly

Postby pduffie » August 3rd, 2002, 1:11 am

Hi Sean

I don't see why he should seek permission to perform a published trick. He's not selling or explaining anything. These are performance only.

Best Wishes

Peter

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Re: Three Fly

Postby Sean Piper » August 3rd, 2002, 5:32 am

Okie Dokie!

I had heard of some people who were asked to remove clips of various moves by their creators, but I guess it's a personal preference.

Cheers,

Sean.


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