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Magician Marco Tempest Talks 'Open Sorcery'

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the despite-the-cheesy-music dept.

Graphics 83

bLanark writes "The BBC have a piece about illusionist Marco Tempest who uses technology to generate magical illusions. As he says in the interview unlike most magicians and illusionists he shares his techniques in an act that he calls 'open sorcery.' The techniques include using iPhone apps, and high-speed digital cameras. There is a growing band of people using and contributing to the field."

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Apple. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472453)

You know this is newsworthy, because it mention the iPhone.

Re:Apple. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472465)

Have you seen his tricks? They're actually quite impressive, he's bringing some new ideas to spice up the dusty old "pull-white-rabbits-out-of-a-hat" magician community.

Re:Apple. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472505)

Have you seen his tricks? They're actually quite impressive, he's bringing some new ideas to spice up the dusty old "pull-white-rabbits-out-of-a-hat" magician community.

Though there still are some dusty old "pull-white-rabbits-out-of-a-hat" magicians around I think this is an unfair comparison. The modern "conventional" magicians like David Blaine, Derren Brown, and eve Penn and Teller have moved on quite a bit since then.

Re:Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472573)

Though there still are some dusty old "pull-white-rabbits-out-of-a-hat" magicians around I think this is an unfair comparison.

If by "dusty old", you mean magicians who rely on misdirection and sleight of hand rather than...

David Blaine, Derren Brown

...camera tricks and outright ying about the parameters within which they operate, then yes, there are many dusty old magicians.

Technology: rather than giving us a chance to live the relaxed life of the average man 40 years ago but working only half the days of the week, we have to employ it in ever more unnecessary distractions to keep us on that treadmill.

Re:Apple. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472753)

The 'outright lying' has been a part of magic since the very beginning. The tricky part is getting the audience to believe the lie.

Re:Apple. (1, Funny)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472861)

All glory to the Hypnotoad...

Re:Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472919)

Simply no. You can ramble amount mysterious magical forces or whatever crap adds to the fun of it, but you don't say "street magic" or "not using camera tricks" or "no plants in the audience" or "randomly selected" when your method is to use staged scenes, actors and camera tricks.

IOW you can keep the audience guessing but you can't simply lie to hide that you're acting the role of a magician in a fictional production. Derren Brown and David Blaine are magicians in the sense that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a futuristic android.

Re:Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473265)

> "street magic" or "not using camera tricks"

I tend to agree there.

> "no plants in the audience" or "randomly selected"

Simply no. As the GP said, magicians have been saying these things since magic began. However, for really good tricks, these parameters won't matter.

Re:Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39475119)

IOW you can keep the audience guessing but you can't simply lie to hide that you're acting the role of a magician in a fictional production. Derren Brown and David Blaine are magicians in the sense that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a futuristic android.

Ice Cream Sandwich ?

Re:Apple. (2)

wed128 (722152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39475247)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a futuristic android.

Which he is. right? RIGHT?!?

Re:Apple. (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472963)

That's not the deal at all. The magician comes on stage, tells you he's going to saw the girl in half, but no-one believes the lie. He presents an effect that is seemingly impossible to achieve, but the audience knows it and gains their sense of wonder from not knowing how he did it. Derren Brown has to tell you the incredibly clever bordering-on-the-psychic method he (didn't actually) use, because the kind of effects he presents aren't really that impressive, particularly on TV.

Re:Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474443)

"Technology: rather than giving us a chance to live the relaxed life of the average man 40 years ago but working only half the days of the week, we have to employ it in ever more unnecessary distractions to keep us on that treadmill."

This is a social problem. We *accept* this.

Re:Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39481831)

outright ying, lol

u r a stoopid muthafucker

Re:Apple. (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472561)

If that BBC video is a good example of his tricks, I'm not impressed at all. _obvious_ projections, videos on iphones. I've seen better projector tricks (3D projection mappings) that didn't even call themselves magic. Even Penn and Teller's "magic reveals" are more interesting (I think there was at least one where they reveal the trick but then later do something which makes you go "wait, how the heck did they do that?" since the trick they revealed can't apply to that scenario).

BTW something simple like pulling out cards from "nowhere" can be impressive when taken to the extreme:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmraxBgEZog [youtube.com]

Re:Apple. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39475263)

I'm especially fond of Penn & Teller because they put a good spin on it beyond "I'm wearing a glittery shirt and eyeliner, and that is mysterious."

Like, for instance, their flag-burning routine [youtube.com] . Not only do they do the trick, but they get a good point across, too. One of my favorite bits.

Re:Apple. (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472799)

Have you seen his tricks? They're actually quite impressive, he's bringing some new ideas to spice up the dusty old "pull-white-rabbits-out-of-a-hat" magician community.

Can he make software patents disappear? No? How about patent trolls? <sigh>

Re:Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472873)

Can he make software patents disappear? No? How about patent trolls?

Yes thats the best trick, he lives in a country where those things are laughable, not everyone has a society where the measure of success is a number in a bank account and how many possessions that other people created you have

Re:Apple. (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472905)

While I haven't seen him personally I will give a big bravo to the whole "open magic" movement we have been seeing as of late. look we ALL know its a trick, alright? this ain't the 1600s. Does knowing its a trick ruin it? FUCK NO because it the ARTIST and how they sell it that makes it kick ass. I mean we all knew Heath Ledger wasn't crazy but it was the way he sold the character that has people debating to this day how much was madness and how much was a Zanatos Gambit.

So I'm all for getting rid of the "ohhhh..it's MAGIC!" bullshit like we saw for years so we can get rid of the kayfabe and just concentrate on these folks being damned good entertainers.

Re:Apple. (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478833)

so we can get rid of the kayfabe .

Shhh Dont mention those terms around here, you will be blammed for bringing down the quality of the SyFy channel.

Re:Apple. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39479881)

I think the whole kayfabe bullshit actually makes wrestlers lives WORSE as people just go 'oh its just fake" and then ignore the truly horrible abuse these guys take in the ring. Yeah sure its fake but in reality its like being a stuntman in that things can and DO go wrong. The hospital my mom worked at treated many a big name wrestler and the amount of "Jesus Christ look at him!" injuries these guys got was just nuts. Compound fractures, guys that had had their bells rung so many times their brains behaved like a 70 year olds when they were 28, just truly rough horrible injuries. my mom said even treating the boxers wasn't as bad as what she'd see on the wrestlers yet they are treated like 'Oh its just all fake' so those injuries don't count.

Re:Apple. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482245)

I had to google both Zanatos Gambit and kayfabe and I still have no idea what you're talking about regarding Heath Ledger.

Open? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472461)

The hypocrisy is strong with this one.

If you are using an IPhone... stop your bitching and preaching about "open".

Re:Open? (4, Insightful)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472493)

The hypocrisy is strong with this one.

If you are using an IPhone... stop your bitching and preaching about "open".

why not? An open source windows application is still an open source application

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472507)

why not? An open source windows application is still an open source application

Yes, but it is not Free as free in beer sense because it depends on proprietary non-free software.

Re:Open? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472569)

If we're going by that logic, literally no software is free. You have to buy a computer, after all!

Re:Open? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39475285)

I dunno, aren't there lots of stuff being made nowadays that's open-source hardware? Sure maybe not something you can pick up in Best Buy, but I am pretty sure there are things like the Arduino with all the specs available. Unless you want to get pedantic about not having the blueprints for the chips in such a device that's about as open source as hardware can get.

Re:Open? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472577)

Yeah the beer isn't free if you have to provide your own container to carry it home (and transportation too).

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472915)

The new business model:

Free Beer

Coin operated loo

Profit!

Wait. Didn't MS already embrace and extend this niche?

Space that MS and HP can dominate?

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/ILoo#i-Loo_controversy [wikimedia.org]

There's a cross between a Zune and a Sony Robot Turd in there somewhere.

Re:Open? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472817)

why not? An open source windows application is still an open source application

Yes, but it is not Free as free in beer sense because it depends on proprietary non-free software.

Do you think Linux include the microcode of the CPUs it's been compiled for? Ask Intel and AMD. No software stack is entirely free. Get over it.

And so... (5, Funny)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472467)

And so it begins, the legends of the Technomages..

Re:And so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472627)

As Arthur C. Clarke said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", sadly enough, this 'sufficiently' is getting less and less spectacular

Corally to Clarke's Third Law (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474691)

Arthur C. Clarke's Third law states "Any Technology Sufficiently Advanced is Indistinguishable from Magic". The Corally to that law is "Any Magic Sufficiently Exposed is indistinguishable from Technology" and as Albert Einstein supposedly Said "Quantumn Physics is that Spooky Stuff" as he didn't like it. In reality, both Clarke and Einsteind are correct about Quantumn Physics and Events. It's magic under the hood and by another name.

Once we harness magic, we'll be doing Warp Speed and dealing with Vulcan's before you know it so "hang onto your bustles girls, the wicked witch of the west is dead and her sister is madder then a wet cat on a hot tin roof"

Re:Corally to Clarke's Third Law (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39475255)

Someone noticed my tagline!

Re:Corally to Clarke's Third Law (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39476471)

Einstein, speaking of his son's career in channel hydrology, also said "I'll stick to theoretical physics, it's easier". What makes it hard is that sediment loads can create a non-Newtonian fluid, the modeling and understanding of which is a black art. So is channel hydrology magic?

Re:Corally to Clarke's Third Law (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39476931)

Sounds like a material for a failed college ad: "Come to the department of channel hydrology and study the subject that scared off Einstein!"

Re:Corally to Clarke's Third Law (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488355)

I think it would attract a certain crowd.

Re:Corally to Clarke's Third Law (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482279)

What makes it hard is that sediment loads can create a non-Newtonian fluid, the modeling and understanding of which is a black art. So is channel hydrology magic?

Just because something is currently impossible to model with complete accuracy doesn't mean it's magic. Weather forecasting is just as much a black art, at least when looking more than a couple of days ahead.

Re:Corally to Clarke's Third Law (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488333)

What you just posted, specifically "because something is currently impossible to model with complete accuracy" makes no sense. It will never be possible to model accurately.
1) The foundation of complex non-linear systems implies accuracy is impossible
2) Even if theoretically possible complete accuracy is impossible since the systems are modeled by numerical methods which have built in limitations to accuracy (error terms)
3) What does accurate mean? How accurate are our measurement methods? Can we measure with infinite precision without changing what we are measuring (e.g. the instrumentation changing the turbulence patterns).

Such are the challenges of modeling....

Re:And so... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482175)

Only 1/2 hour. Not bad.

I have wondered... (5, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472487)

Given even a little of the technology becoming available now, it'd be very easy to 'cheat' at magic. For example, an e-paper playing card. The processor might make it a little thick to handle, but it'd look just like a normal card... except it changes face at the command of the magician or his assistant. Suddenly, every card trick is a joke.

Would this suck the fun out? While magicians may still take pride in their skill, it'd be much harder to impress an audience who realise that those tricks could be done with ease and gadgetry. I imagine television magicians have been through similar issues too: How can you convince the audience that what they see isn't all achieved with camera trickery, short of revealing your method after the trick?

Already happens (5, Informative)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472523)

As a magic fan, it's incredibly annoying seeing so many street magicians using camera tricks. The whole point of street magicians is that you're not in a studio, you've limited avenues for preparation and you don't have control over your environment.

I blame people like David Blaine for popularising camera tricks, his 'hovering' trick is the worst. The actual trick is to position your feet in a way where the heel of the other foot blocks people's view of you standing on tiptoes on the other foot, giving the impression you're hovering a few inches off the ground. Neat trick but not impressive and it's very obvious what's happening when it's on camera. Knowing this, David then some point afterwards let himself lifted by a crane, got some actors to wear the same clothes as the people who were in the earlier trick and shot himself being lifted over their shoulders (wire was then CG'ed out). He spliced that footage with the people's reaction from the real trick and it gave the impression he genuinely performed an illusion where he hovered several metres off the ground in front of some random people.

Rule of thumb: if a street magician has any cuts in footage, something is up; there's only a single camera and he only gets one stab at a trick with a set of people, he shouldn't need to ever cut. Also, most "how did he know my birthday and get it in that passing bus?" trick almost always involved them having an interview when the camera isn't rolling or them having filled out a questionnaire beforehand.

Re:Already happens (3, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472551)

The Masked Magician did one trick just to show this rule flawed: He made a tank disappear. Tank was there, he lowered a screen over it, waved hands, tank gone. It was a camera trick: Camera, screen and magician were all mounted on a moveable platform. While the screen was down the whole lot shifted position to point away from the tank.

Re:Already happens (2)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472585)

That one gets a bit fuzzy because it's the method David Copperfield used to make the statue of liberty disappear but he also did it with a real audience on location.

Re:Already happens (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472673)

The voiceover on the MM show mentioned this: He said that any time it appears to be done with a live audience, the audience is in on it.

A TV magician doesn't really need an audience though. If you just intercut the trick with *any* audience shots, even from another trick or another show entirely, I doubt the viewers at home would realise.

Re:Already happens (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472619)

This street one is cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwqJlv0bIjE [youtube.com]
It's likely the burger is coming from an assistant behind that "display", but it's done quite well.

And I'm not sure how this regurgitator guy does all that stuff - part of his illusions are achievable using the usual tricks (duplicate lock and keys), but the other stuff he does...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ethCJ4bfJkg [youtube.com]

This one is not as amazing but still good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmraxBgEZog [youtube.com]
I hate to be the one practising it every day though - imagine setting up all those cards over and over again.

Re:Already happens (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478175)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp_wJlGDD98 [youtube.com] is a good one, it's card manipulation with CDs. And he uses a screen for some of the tricks, so it fits the tech aspect nicely.

editing is a necessary evil with most tv magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472901)

There's an adage amongst magicians that "you can't misdirect a camera". There's a lot of truth in this, and it requires a shift away from the traditional approaches to magic, if you want to ensure that the audience is fooled. Tricks that can kill live, when the only visuals that are left over reside in the memory, frequently can suffer if your audience has a "replay" button.

So, yeah, take TV magic with a grain of salt, but keep in mind that the cheating isn't always full-on. With Blaine, for instance, he was filming legitimate reactions to a legitimate trick -- pardoning the jargon, but that was a huge paradigm shift in magic performance -- but the performance wouldn't have been sustainable if he was always using the same technique each time. The suspended shot added just enough mystery to keep people guessing about how he could have done it. And, in fairness, a lot of the people who were on camera freaking out, if they saw the suspended shot, would say "Yeah! It was just like that!" It's still cheating (magic always is) but it's still a bit fair, in its own way.

Re:Already happens (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39474479)

While the Balducci can be used on camera, it does not need one to be effective. One of the key things a "magician" must be aware of at all times is the angle of performance. There's almost always one (or more) angles where a misdirect, shuffle, palm, whatever can be viewed from and thus one must maintain control over those angles to prevent being caught out.

Of course, some would say "but that's cheating and it's not really magic!" and I'd say "HA! YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC YOU FUCKING MORON!". It's entertainment. If we can believe that the latest pop-diva actually writes her own songs, that Hollywood doesn't churn out formula movies, or Iraqi WMD to justify a war, a guy pretending to have the power to levitate for OUR AMUSEMENT isn't a big deal at all.

Re:Already happens (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478199)

"Magic" is impressive because it shows the skill of the performer. It's like gymnastics with jokes. A well done trick will be impressive even if you know how it is done.

Re:Already happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39478355)

I blame people like David Blaine for popularising camera tricks

And Criss Angel who can't seem to do a single trick without one or two shills. Sometimes the entire audience are just actors. I guess the best magic will always be live and up close.

Re:I have wondered... (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472593)

Not every card trick would be a joke. Try doing this guy's card trick with e-paper playing cards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmraxBgEZog [youtube.com]

I know he's taking the cards from his suit (and I think there are a few mistakes), but it's still impressive.

Many magicians have been using cutting technology for their tricks. They do it well so audiences don't realize it. Powerful magnets, projectors, cameras (to peek at stuff) etc.

Re:I have wondered... (1)

s.t.a.l.k.e.r._loner (2591761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472635)

This is a good point. Largely, though, most of the people in any given audience aren't the inquisitive type, they're just there to be mystified and entertained. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but the rest of us are in the minority of people who are always looking to figure out how everything works.

Re:I have wondered... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482321)

Figuring out how a magic trick works is what people do afterwards. The point is that at the time you are unable to see how the trick is done.

An analogy is with the "locked room" type of murder mystery. When you're reading, it is the increased nightmarishness in atmosphere provided by the apparent impossibility of the crime that is important. You know logically that at the end you will be given a mundane explanation, but during the course of the book you gain an extra shiver of horrified delight.

Re:I have wondered... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473279)

When it comes to magic, there's no such thing as a "cheat". Magic is nothing but cheats. That's part of the draw of it, the "how in the hell did he do THAT?" feeling, which is why magic is always better live than on camera.

Which is why technique is supposed to be and should remain secret. It's no fun if you're in teh audience and know how the magician did his trick.

When I was a younger teen I was into magic, probably started around age 9 or so until I was maybe fifteen. I read every book I could find on the subject, including half a dozen biographies of Houdini and had quite a few tricks of my own. This guy will be ostracised by the magic community.

Re:I have wondered... (2)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39476077)

I'm not really sure he'll get ostracized...at least, not by everyone. Like you, I've read umpteen books on magic. I'm still "active" (so to speak) in the bizarre magic community. Magic has frequently relied on some form of technology throughout it's history, even if electronics didn't exist yet. It used tricks of gravity, hydraulics, chemistry, and probably a few I can't think of at the moment. Any new tech is almost immediately utilized, the newer the better so that the audience is not yet aware of it, or unlikely to make the connection.
Someone up above mentioned that you can't fool a camera; yet it seems you can. If "classic" magic is vulnerable to the camera, it seems the answer -for commercial magicians anyway- is to change the nature of magic to leverage the camera to it's advantage. It's not my thing, but it'll happen.

Personally, I could never stand the big illusions and illusionists. Some dancing guy on a huge stage (presumably with trap doors) and hidden assistants hiding behind curtains, all manner of custom made bright colored boxes which bear no resemblance to anything one sees in everyday life ("oh, that's not rigged or anything....").. it bores me to tears. So, the tech angle is not a huge paradigm shift, for me, it's just more of the same, but a different medium.
But a guy who can take, say, my pencil, a coin, and a rubber band, and do something with them that should be physically impossible, right in front of my face... that I find entertaining and mysterious, if he does it well. (I'm over the card tricks though).

Re:I have wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39476413)

Which is why technique is supposed to be and should remain secret. It's no fun if you're in teh audience and know how the magician did his trick.

Speak for yourself.

When I was a younger teen I was into magic, probably started around age 9 or so until I was maybe fifteen. I read every book I could find on the subject, including half a dozen biographies of Houdini and had quite a few tricks of my own. This guy will be ostracised by the magic community.

If so, a pity. I had a similar experience - gave it up because it was the pre-Internet era, and it was hard to find out what the "secrets" were. Seeing the Masked Magician on TV rekindled my love of the art. If a performer can still manage to fool you, even when you know how he's doing it, it's all the more fun. If you could figure it out before he revealed the trick, you felt great. If you didn''t figure it out before the reveal -- or if he did it in some way that you would never have thought about trying -- you felt even more awesome, because not only were you entertained by the performance, you learned something.

Guess I was always more of a scientist than a magician. Knowing about Rayleigh scattering and gravitationally-induced fusion of hydrogen and helium doesn't diminish the joy of a beautiful sunny day. If anything, it adds to it.

Re:I have wondered... (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39478577)

I strongly disagree that it's no fun if you know how the trick was done. It's no fun if the trick was easy. Magic is a display of skill, the "how was that done?" factor can arise purely from a "how can anyone be that good?" feeling. For example, the people who can palm CDs and other large objects. The tricks are obviously the same as the classic palming tricks, there's rarely anything truly new, but the difficulty alone is impressive.

Re:I have wondered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39475441)

Revealing your method is better anyway. Penn and Teller's Cups and Balls using transparent cups after explaining the trick is _still awsome_. You can see exactly what is being done and it's still just as impressive as when the cups were opaque.

This gives me mixed feelings about Derren Brown. Sometimes he tells you what was really going on (Seance has several examples) and sometimes he lies (the Lottery prediction is in this category). When he walks over broken glass that's because _you can just do that_ but when he determines what's written on a hidden piece of paper it's obviously a trick and his explanations are just more bullshit, which I don't enjoy.

Re:I have wondered... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482351)

I disagree about Derren Brown. His whole point is that he is messing with your mind, and it is difficult to separate what is trickery and what is psychological or physical technique.

For example, in one of his books he explains the whole memory palace idea, which can be used to achieve what look like impossible feats of memory. But that doesn't mean that he won't do a trick that looks similar but would actually be impossible (e.g. remembering incredibly complicated in a ridiculously short space of time).

Neat ideas but... (4, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472489)

Watched a youtube video of him doing a street magician style trick involving an umbrella. Was pretty obvious that it was a setup given that the woman just happened to have a plain bright red umbrella on what looked to be a warm sunny day. When a magician resorts to using tricks like I just can't enjoy the illusion. If you're going to use actors, off-camera interviews/questionnaires (so you can get info needed for 'psychic' tricks), you may as well go the whole hog and fake every aspect (you could even put in some CGI explosions) .

I would rather see a simple trick done very well than a complex, impressive seeming trick where an unknown amount is has been completely faked (well, technically as it's an illusion it's all fake but I'm sure you know what I mean). One of my favourite tricks is a simple slight of hand: Paul Daniel's Chop Cup [youtube.com] .

Re:Neat ideas but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472637)

awesome video!

Re:Neat ideas but... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472729)

Tricks with plants make me cringe. Check out Dynamo 'walking through glass' [youtube.com] at some party with Rio Ferdinand. Quite simply everyone within 6' of the glass has been prep'd, including the "presenter" whose reaction is just hammed up beyond any believability. You can even seen the doorman watch the trick for a little while, then step back so he covers the exit of the "magician" through the door.

I did like his Polo mint trick the first time I saw it, though; Simple, yet effective.

Re:Neat ideas but... (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472777)

Watching the people outside was cringe-worthy. All except about three of them were told to remain absolutely still for the trick (so their head movement wouldn't give it away) and three of them were allowed to acteout a 'shocked' reaction. A lot of work to try and disguise what isn't really that great of a trick.

Re:Neat ideas but... (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39475613)

Watch again. The top of the door frame does not show the door moving. There would have to be no glass there, or a hole in the door. A moving door would show some reflection. If they are going to bother bringing in actors, then they might as well do some video editing.

I think that the real trick is that there is video editing. Watch the guys holding the coat up. They don't move their faces even when the magician stands up. The Star Wars prequels had this problem. There was so much CGI, that some the actors might not have reacted realistically to some events.

Re:Neat ideas but... (1)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473149)

you may as well go the whole hog and fake every aspect (you could even put in some CGI explosions) .

Micheal Bay magic!

Re:Neat ideas but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39474827)

Penn & Teller or however you spell their names had some show where magicians came in and tried to do a trick and if P&T couldn't figure out how they did the trick then they got a show in Vegas or something. Pretty cool show, all "old school" magic done really well, and with a show like that you can be pretty sure they didn't seed the audience.

Saw him on TED (3, Informative)

YurB (2583187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472519)

He has two videos on TED, here's his TED profile [ted.com] .

Obligatory (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472521)

As he says in the interview unlike most magicians and illusionists he shares his techniques in an act that he calls 'open sorcery.'

In related news, a magician working for Microsoft has issued a press statement claiming that this dangerous new trend could well destroy the magic industry.

Have the Magicians' Alliance been informed? (4, Insightful)

tosh1979 (909809) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472653)

I thought they'd be all over it!

Re:Have the Magicians' Alliance been informed? (2)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472805)

Have the Magicians' Alliance been informed?

I doubt they'll really care. While some people are impressed by his presentations, I wouldn't call it magic. You know exactly how it is done.

wikipedia: Magic is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means. A performance, yes. Magic, no. There are no secrets here.

8SHIT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39472783)

One common 'Goal -

Magic vs Open (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39472975)

If it's open, it's not really magical anymore...

Technomage v0.1? (1)

Crookdotter (1297179) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473005)

I'm suprised no one has mentioned that.

More in common with Kenny Everett... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39473023)

...than "magic". I mean, sure it's impressive use of modern techno-gadgetry to create cool effects, but there's nothing mystifying in the performances, just entertaining. Excellent performer. Bad promotion.

Shadows (1)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39473131)

I'm unimpressed. To me, magic tricks are supposed to be 'hand-crafted', wherein the person learning the skill has it come from intelligence, predictions and natural sources. As someone else said, this is a form of performance art, not magic or illusion. It's probably cool to watch, but I wouldn't say it's sorcery. It's pressing buttons and standing there moving in time with prerecorded shit.

For anyone arguing that this is better than 'rabbit in the hat' magicians, go watch this [wimp.com] .

Only otaku are supposed to understand this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39476373)

> uses technology to generate magical illusions

That didn't fare too well with the audience in Kaleido Star, did it?

The Prestige (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39476509)

Sort of off topic but somehow linked, if you haven't seen it I recommending seeing this movie. It features magic, technology, and Nicolai Tesla. (So we also now have the obligatory Tesla reference as well). :)

Re:The Prestige (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482429)

Sort of off topic but somehow linked, if you haven't seen it I recommending seeing this movie. It features magic, technology, and Nicolai Tesla. (So we also now have the obligatory Tesla reference as well). :)

Is that the lesser known brother of Nikola Tesla?

Re:The Prestige (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488517)

Yeah, typos happen.

I was always suspicious of this video (1)

tanot (1105061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39497989)

Brendan Patricks is billed as a close-up magician but I really can't see how this is done without some camera trickery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MRi7KNBALY [youtube.com] (O2 advert)
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