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RayJ

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MagicOrthodoxy recently did one of his typically great reviews on a project called "Social Media Magic Volume 1".  

This got me to thinking about magic "designed" for social media.  Interesting concept, right?

Magic began in the streets, was elevated, literally, to the stage and then began to appear in film and then on TV.

At every stage of its development magic has been created that takes advantage of the medium.  That is certainly natural.  Stage performances made possible the use of wires, trap doors, mirrors, etc. that just weren't conducive to street magic.  Television brought about even more "helpful" techniques such as cut-away shots and editing.  We've seen this recently in performances that appear impossible because we don't have access to things that happened and were edited out.  Sometimes just a simple cut of the deck edited out can turn a "how on Earth did they do that" to "OK, they cut to the breather."

Speaking of taking advantage of the "medium" there have been many examples both recent and past.

Taking it to the extreme there was the Hooker Card Rise, which was much more than just a rising card effect.  In this instance the creator designed an entire room for the illusion to be performed in.  Certainly not for table-hopping!  But the point is that every choice in the room right down to the decorations and wallpaper was integral to the effect.

But now it has gone even a stage further.  The stage in this instance is a small screen such as an iPhone or Android or perhaps a tablet or a PC monitor.  The magic is done from the best angle in the best lighting and it can be recorded over and over until it is just right.  Or dozens of live demonstrations are recorded but only the best is ever shown.

I don't know how I feel about that.  On one hand I say "camera trick!" and I recoil.  On the other I say, well, so long as the viewer is impressed does it really matter?  I don't know.

I have many more thoughts but don't want to exhaust them and kill a potentially interesting thread.  

So let's hear what the rest think.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
No opinions?  Wow, I thought this was an interesting one that folks would chime in on.  
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Jed

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Reply with quote  #3 
Good topic!
I think every modern magician must put thought into this topic. IMHO, it's a very good development in the magic evolution. Listen to how people speak about these magicians on TV, they love them, they're impressed by them and entertained by them. Now, for us magician's it's annoying because we work hard to practice slight of hand moves, while some other fellow just did a camera trick to pull off something way more impressive. Although, bottom line, there's nothing wrong with what he did, he impressed the audience. just like stage illusions use creative thinking, so do camera tricks.

But, it's important to realise that many people do assume some of those tricks are actually camera tricks, and will appreciate your classic slight of hands routine.

Bottom line - although camera tricks (or tricks designed for cameras) may seem like a cheat, it's what God has gifted reality with, and we can use it to achieve our ultimate goal - entertain our audience.
Thus, do not drop everything and switch to media magic, because people will still appreciate magic that happens in front of their eyes, or perhaps in their own hands. Especially skeptical people who know many TV tricks don't work in the real world.

Waiting to hear other opinions...
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Anthony Vinson

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Meh. There's nothing new under the sun. Or on the screen. Like you wrote, Ray, magic - or pretty much any art form - always takes advantage of medium. Steinmeyer's ingenious Statue of Liberty vanish made Copperfield a television star, and they were truthfully able to assert no camera tricks. Franz Harary really exploited the possibilities. And Tony Chapek was an innovator when it came to adapting magic to the video medium. And so the game continues...

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RayJ

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What is new under the sun is a project devoted to tricks that really only work on social media-type presentations.  To me that is new.
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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
What is new under the sun is a project devoted to tricks that really only work on social media-type presentations.  To me that is new.


Okay. But again, it's merely magic meeting the medium, right? It is certainly true that new mediums require new methods, but that's the nature of the beast, right? What'd they do at Delphi? Built the temple to accommodate the method!

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RayJ

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I still find it fascinating that here we have creators, creating magic that really is impractical for anything other than "pre-recorded" videos.  Set ups that cannot be done "on the fly" but have to be staged prior to hitting the start button on the camera.

Oh well, maybe some things are interesting to me and not so much to others.  That's OK.
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Anthony Vinson

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Don't misunderstand me, Ray, I'm not saying the subject isn't of interest. I am merely piggybacking on your statement that there are lots of examples both recent and past. Here's a short clip of Tony Chapek from 1991. At the time this was cutting edge. Now it appears almost archaic!



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RayJ

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Great clip.  I've seen similar but not that one.
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Bizzaro

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Reply with quote  #10 

I think about this a lot. Video/social media magic is a new genre. It's not going away. We need to accept and/or embrace it. Plain and simple. I am waiting for the major magic companies to start being more honest about the products they sell. "Great for social media! Good for camera! Etc." So far the only company to really embrace this and be honest about it is Sansminds. Say what you will about them, at least they know their market. The other major players won't do it anytime soon because they are afraid it will affect their bottom line but mark my words.... one day...

On a similar note, I find it interesting that Black Art has seen a resurgence through social media because you can control your light levels. There is some amazing stuff being done on video because of it. (Even if it's obvious to us)


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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizzaro

I think about this a lot. Video/social media magic is a new genre. It's not going away. We need to accept and/or embrace it. Plain and simple. I am waiting for the major magic companies to start being more honest about the products they sell. "Great for social media! Good for camera! Etc." So far the only company to really embrace this and be honest about it is Sansminds. Say what you will about them, at least they know their market. The other major players won't do it anytime soon because they are afraid it will affect their bottom line but mark my words.... one day...

On a similar note, I find it interesting that Black Art has seen a resurgence through social media because you can control your light levels. There is some amazing stuff being done on video because of it. (Even if it's obvious to us)



Thoughtful points. You are right, there have been lots of angly, situational tricks presented as "do anywhere, anytime" when they clearly aren't.

Regarding black art, yes there is a resurgence and that can be a good thing in the right hands. Some of the black art from days of old bordered on goofy or cartoonish. But it can be a deadly weapon if played right.
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
...

Now it appears almost archaic!



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The magic in the clip is well-thought out - a nice blend of sleight of hand and technology. 

What really amazed me was Bob Saget's suit and tie!  Is that what we were wearing 25 years ago?
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