Creating FILTER (and other magic)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RickLax, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Some tricks come to me fast and easy. Like Vertigo. It took me a minute to figure out how to balance the card box on the cards. And then just a second to figure out how to balance the cards on the card box. But FILTER was different.

    I’ve been working on the Coin-Through-Glass tricks for years. There’s a lot on the market, and some of them are pretty good…but I just couldn’t find an impromptu version of the trick that really made it look like the coins were going THROUGH the glass. The one that ellusionist sells was the right idea…but it just looked better on the webcam than it did in person.

    So the result you see now, in the FILTER trailer, is the result of a couple years of hard work. Step-by-step refining. You only see the finished product, which looks good…but you should have seen all the stuff that didn’t work!

    I tell people the same thing when I discuss my writing. Some people know that I’ve published three books. But what these people don’t know is that I’ve written lots of books that haven’t gotten picked up. Books that got rejected. Nobody sees these. Same with the phases of FILTER: you only see the ones that worked.

    In the past six months, I worked with a couple magicians to refine and improve everything I had. You already know Calen, and in the coming weeks, you’ll get to meet my other magician friends Justin Flom and Bizzaro. Also, Jimmy Fingers was a big help. I worked with these four people to improve and refine everything further.

    So if you want to know how I create a magic trick, like FILTER, here is my answer:

    It either comes to me in an instant…or I have to work on it for years and years, refining and improving little by little.

    How about you? How do you create magic? Does it happen right away? Or do you chip away at it little by little? Which do you think makes for better results?
  2. For me I like to read through old Linking Rings and lecture notes from the 70's and try to give them a new touch up and modernize an effect. Then I take it to my IBM ring meeting, demo it and let 30 magicians feed me ideas, constructive criticism, etc. and then keep playing and refining. I guess I am lucky because I have enough older magicians around me that give me access to their "old" magazines or when I go to magic auctions or estate sales, I will buy up all of the old books / notes. There are some hidden gems in them that just need dusted off.

    Chipping away at it through hundreds of live performances and sessioning with other magicians really allows a piece to reach it s max potential.
  3. The only effect I ever created that was good enough for me to actually perform and use is Visual Coin Across (The Wire). For this trick, the idea just came to me while I wasn't even thinking about magic. The method first hit me, and I then worked different handlings from this idea.
    It's great to see a working professional share his creation process!

    Keep up the good work Mr. Lax, I admire your magic a lot.

    Sincerely yours,

    Marc-Antoine Denis
  4. I've got a control I use that I've been working on for ages, that is pretty much the DMB spread control from what I can gather. I independently had the idea after seeing a similar kind of idea in another control, and have been working on it ever since. The result is something I use all the time and I think it looks much better than the published version. Other than that I don't really have any ideas that I've gone with and used.
    Once I saw a trailer for a signed card through window and was completely floored, that night while I was going to sleep, I wasn't even thinking of it, but suddenly the method just came to me, I don't know why but I just knew how it was done, and it was surprisingly simple, that was strange, but its never happened for an original idea of my own.

    In the case of Vertigo, were you trying to come up with a method for balancing the box on the cards, and the cards on the box, or was it random? In other words, do you know the effect before the method, or the other way around?
  5. Regrettably I am not an innovator. I for some reason lack the ability to create original moves or effects. I certainly can take others published material and make it my own via alterations to handling, or patter, but never have I created something original. While I've got some routines I've worked out to some very basic card work that are my own it still isn't anything I would enter into the community as being my original work. Sorry man, I know what I'm good at and being a creator isn't one of them.
  6. I had one idea come to me while I was listening to music. It's simple and powerful. Essentially it's a prediction, but I've reframed the presentation to make it something I've never seen anywhere else. I also came up with my own ace assembly and even a routine similar to Paul Harris's Grasshopper. Some of these tricks took a while, others, not so much. The one that I came up with listening to music was an "instant trick." The Grasshopper like trick has taken me a long time, and I'm still refining it.
  7. YEah, there's so much great stuff in old magazines. Right now Greg Wilson has a #1 trick on Penguin, a download...but he published it for free in MAGIC magazine a year ago. Great resource. Agreed.

  8. That's interesting. I wonder whether any magic ideas have just 'come to me' when I wasn't thinking about the art....guess I'll be on the lookout for that...

  9. With Vertigo, at first, I just wanted to balance the box on the cards. But RIGHT after I did, the idea for doing the converse came right to me. It happened so fast. Wish that happened more often! :)

  10. Maybe it's not so regrettable. I spend so much time creating magic...I think my performances might suffer. For me, not enough practice doing that. Both are important.

  11. Rick do you play that jazzy piano that you put in most of your videos? I'd love to think there are more musician/magicians, you seem like the kind.
  12. I do not play the piano in those vids...but I do have a couple tracks of mine that I could maybe pair with magic vids in the future.... Yeah, there are quite a few magician/musicians out there. You one of them??

  13. Rick you are a big inspiration of mine. However I have trouble creating effects. I find it much easier to create flourishes. With effects I feel that things are not considered original enough to be considered your own unless it is totally different. What I mean by this is if you make a trick based off sleights that have already been published, I fear that magicians will say that it is not an original trick at all. Also I have an annoying thought in my head, and I do not perform to magicians at conventions because of it- I somehow think that every magician is 100% better than me and they will think that all my tricks are very easy even though I like things that are difficult in my opinion such as Tony Chang's sandwiches. So all my tricks are based off fairly difficult sleights because of this fear. I know it sounds weird but I would hate for magicians to be thinking I learnt a few tricks of youtube then come to conventions. Sorry this has been long and may not make much sense, but yeah/... :/
  14. I am, but do not play too much recently, I just saw that lovely piano in the Filter trailer and thought it might be you playing in all those videos, they are really nice tracks.
  15. Hey JP. I hear ya. Sometimes I get shy about performing for magicians...thinking they'll judge me and what I came up with. And sometimes these fears are warranted. (If you don't believe me, head to the magiccafe or learnmagictrick forums and see for yourself.) If you find it easier to create flourishes, I say, keep doing that! For now, at least. Go with what your mind and body are telling you to do. And then, maybe at a later date, they'll want you to create magic.

  16. Hey Rick,

    I had just purchased Filter a couple of days ago..I have fallen in love with the routine!
    It's super fun to practice and play with in the mirror. I'm living away at college right now, and I had to smuggle
    both a glass and a coffee mug from the dining hall back to my dorm room. Unfortunately, the incessant jangling
    of coins can be heard throughout my hall..Fortunately, my roommate doesn't mind it!

    Can't wait to debut this to my family and friends, who are constantly asking to see more magic.

    The plastic glass that I borrowed from the dining hall isn't 'ideal', so I've found myself practicing alot more with the
    coffee mug. The third phase of the coffee mug routine is a killer..can't wait to slay some minds with this routine dude!

    Thanks for this!!
  17. Same.
    I never actually sat down to create something. I have ideas that come and go as I think about magic (which I do 24/7), but never actually created something original (method wise). I do create A LOT of presentational ideas, handling of existing sleights/moves/routines, presentation, misdirection, theory etc.
    I do have a project in mind, the one that includes only presentational ideas, how to handle spectators, how to perform, misdirection, etc. Just don't know who to approach about it.
    Anyways, I guess I am really good at entertaining people and deliver that magic punch, which comes from thousands of performances.
    I like comparing magic and music. In music you have song writers, who writes songs for other musicians to perform. And then you have performers who actually play the music.
    Same thing in magic, you have creators and you have performers. I fall into second category (at least for now). I met some VERY famous magicians who put out TONS of DVD's and original material, and yet when we started performing for real people, they fell flat on entertainment aspect. I even got better reactions using their own material.
    All that being said, I do wish to create something original and amazing, and I will try and do that one of these days :)
  18. I don't think its that Black and White, some good performers create magic.
  19. That's so great to hear, bugboy! I hear what you're saying about the sound. When I was first developing this trick, I had a roommate...and she wasn't too pleased about it! Yeah, a plastic glass won't be as good because the sound wont' be as good, and audio is such a big part of this trick...but with the mug, you should be good to go.

  20. Yeah, the audio is what really gets this effect across to the spectator so well.
    When I get home on break from school, I'll play around with the glasses (actual glass,) I have in my house. They
    should be perfect for the routine.

    My roommate happened to see me perform the first penetration with the coffee mug during
    a practice session..he sat dumbfounded in his chair, saying "I don't know how the f*&% you did that!!"
    The reaction was priceless..I can only imagine his reaction to the routine once I get proficient enough to show him.

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