Doug Henning flying illusion in Merlin musical

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fabricemagic
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Doug Henning flying illusion in Merlin musical

Postby fabricemagic » November 17th, 2013, 9:38 pm

HI ,
I remember that version of the flying illusion perfored from Doug in his Merlin musical,

who builded it?

can be available today on the market?

thanks.
Fabrice

Jonathan Pendragon
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Re: Doug Henning flying illusion in Merlin musical

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » December 29th, 2013, 1:40 am

I don't recall a "Flying" in Merlin. That term has come to mean a fairly specific methodology. In my 360 degree levitation, Charlotte flew around my side and through a hoop, but the method differs from what David Copperfield would present a few years later that would become very well known as "Flying." There was an effect where Merlin flew through an archway, again, a different method from David's.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Doug Henning flying illusion in Merlin musical

Postby Dustin Stinett » December 29th, 2013, 3:01 am

There was a scene in Merlin where Doug Henning "flew" (floated) around the stage and, most remarkably, around the pillars on the stage set. Jim Steinmeyer had something to do with the solution to that. I believe John Gaughan built the very complex equipment installed for the show. But as Jonathan says, the term "flying" means something completely different from what was in Merlin. That illusion (from Merlin), coincidentally, is based on the Astarte levitation performed at this year's Los Angeles History Conference (video can be seen in the January issue of iGenii).

As far as its availability, it is not something on the "open market." But John Gaughan also built that one and perhaps could be contracted to build another. But it is extraordinarily complex to build and perform.

fabricemagic
Posts: 73
Joined: October 16th, 2013, 2:40 am
Favorite Magician: G.Jarrett

Re: Doug Henning flying illusion in Merlin musical

Postby fabricemagic » December 31st, 2013, 10:24 am

Thanks for your replay.
You are right it's a lot similar to the Astarte illusion ,

the only thing is that Doug was using more freely also the right and left move ( and not only the up , down and revolving ) .

For what I remember it was a flying illusion ( yes totally different from the one Performed from DC) but in to my eyes it was a flying and not just a levitation,

anyway it's a good alternative to the Gaughan system , what do you think?

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Doug Henning flying illusion in Merlin musical

Postby Dustin Stinett » December 31st, 2013, 3:15 pm

First of all, it was (essentially) Astarte that was used in Merlin, just adapted. (I have seen the rig that Henning wore.) Astarte can indeed go right and left along with up, down, in, out, etc. But it was adapted by Steinmeyer and his team to go in and around the pillars that were part of the set—of course the set itself was part of the illusion, and that is the larger point: What was seen in Merlin was a permanently installed illusion. It could not be packed up and trouped to your next venue with any practicality at all. So unless you are fortunate to work in the same theater all the time, you should put the Merlin version of the illusion out of your mind.


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