Magicians vs. Movie Magic Exposure?!

Jan 12, 2010
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0
This post is mainly based on Now You See Me and on Jesse Eisenberg making viewers think of the 7 of diamonds in the beginning of this movie (as could be seen over here in the very beginning).

The replies to this, to be found below the video as well, quite shock me. It seems to be a battle between laymen and magicians on how the heck the trick was done. A layman says he saw more than one 7D in the deck, a magician comes in and says the deck could actually be examined, another person reveals a method actually known to magicians, another magician comes in and admits.. to a method that was not used at all.. what the heck are we magicians concerned about exactly?

Shouldn't we be glad that in the movies the trick (or pretty much any trick and illusion for that matter) is done in a completely irregular way? Everyone could repeat the video numerous times, or even download it and put it in slow-motion, and figure out the method. They will find out that in this case the trick is not clean, the deck would not be examinable, and that the clip is even edited. In my opinion the movie makers protect any actual magic method completely, so why would magicians get mad over people figuring out the method behind the trick as performed in the movie, one which is not related to how magicians usually do it at all? Is it pride? Some sort of magic ego?

Instead, I think that the magicians in this case are completely pushing people into actual magic exposure rather than keeping it at movie magic exposure. So what, that people know or find out the method used in the movie? In real life we can easily prove them it is not done like that at all, and in real life we wouldn't ever rely on video cuts, editing and all kinds of Hollywood methods either.

The above could be applied to other situations as well. I've seen the exact same thing happen with The Prestige, The Illusionist and with Burt Wonderstone. I just don't get it. Can't we just all be glad and enjoy that our secrets are safe?
 
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Sep 1, 2007
3,818
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Is it pride? Some sort of magic ego?

Pretty much, yeah. All magicians are egotists to some degree. We have to be to want to routinely get up in front of an audience and command a spotlight. Most of them just don't know when to turn it off. They can't abide the fact that anyone out there could figure out their precious secrets. They have to fight, argue, and prove how much cleverer they are than the average person.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,737
2,852
Aside from what Steerpike said, people also seem to have this idea that the secrets are what's actually important. So there's that dualistic thing where they can't abide by people saying the wrong method, and also thinking that giving away the secret is some terrible crime.
 
Sep 2, 2007
1,188
16
39
London
Pretty much, yeah. All magicians are egotists to some degree. We have to be to want to routinely get up in front of an audience and command a spotlight. Most of them just don't know when to turn it off. They can't abide the fact that anyone out there could figure out their precious secrets. They have to fight, argue, and prove how much cleverer they are than the average person.

I think we can take some comfort in the knowledge that this isn't just a magicians' trait. If you go on any forum about any subject you can think of (plumbing, coding, reggae soundclashes...whatever), you'll find people desperate to define themselves in opposition to the "laymen" in that particular scene. I think it's just a human failing to want to bolster our frail sense of self by proving to the world that, even if we're not completely the person we want to be, we're slightly closer to being the person we want to be than that idiot who didn't even know how to unblock a sink/what SGML is/who Tenor Saw cut a dubplate for/whether a deck can be examined in a particular trick.
 

Pav

Elite Member
Apr 7, 2012
537
12
It's interesting how a magician deals with these sorts of things. I find that there are a few types of audience member.

There are your skeptics, the ones that all magicians despise with a burning passion because these people seem to be entirely bent on the destruction of your image and the public acknowledgement of their superiority to you.

Then there are the drivers, the ones that don't really pay much attention to the effect itself but will react rather explosively to just about anything. They're the ones that encourage others to freak out, so they can be beneficial. However, they tend to try and "run the show" and have the capacity to turn the magician into a circus monkey dancing for money.

Then there are the students, the ones that are eager to participate and learn as much as possible before you depart.

Then there are the floaters, the ones that don't really react at all. These are the boring ones, the ones that we don't know what to do with because they just aren't intrigued at all by what we're doing.

Finally, there are the hecklers, who aren't as common. They enjoy ruining your trick and faking their own enthusiasm in order to look better in front of colleagues.

These are just some stereotypes that I've thrown together in my head, but all magicians have different ways of reacting to these people. Some try to throw the skeptics off, or foil the hecklers. It's more or less a desire to please everyone, which we all know isn't possible. So if a magician sees someone talking about a method, he may feel inclined to change their thoughts. It's, like mentioned above, an ego thing.
 
May 6, 2013
148
5
www.Ibimania.com
If a movie uses green screen to show a self vanish, and then some person explains it, it is not magic exposure. Yet if you push them to find out how Fearson's goodbye vanish (the only close up self vanish yet) is done, that does count as hurtful to magic.

Unless, it is a magic trick you created, you cannot get defensive about the secrets, especially with classics like card wrap which are being taught by almost everyone out there. We need to accept that this isnt Ricky Jay's era when magic was a preciously guarded secret.

The best we can do to protect our secrets is to let them get the fake secrets, its a sort of misdirection and the best way to prevent exposure. Otherwise they will google and torrent till they find.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,737
2,852
If a movie uses green screen to show a self vanish, and then some person explains it, it is not magic exposure. Yet if you push them to find out how Fearson's goodbye vanish (the only close up self vanish yet) is done, that does count as hurtful to magic.

Unless, it is a magic trick you created, you cannot get defensive about the secrets, especially with classics like card wrap which are being taught by almost everyone out there. We need to accept that this isnt Ricky Jay's era when magic was a preciously guarded secret.

The best we can do to protect our secrets is to let them get the fake secrets, its a sort of misdirection and the best way to prevent exposure. Otherwise they will google and torrent till they find.

Actually, the best thing we can do is perform in creative and original ways, so that not all tricks look the same thus making them impossible to hunt down without actually learning magic.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
15
To a point, accepting that exposure is inevitable is important. A lot of modern millionaires who made their fortune selling information products online embraced the fact that piracy was inevitable. Rather than trying to stop the pirates, they instead focused on incentivizing everyone else to buy instead of torrent.

Magicians need to stop guarding the empty safe and accept that three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. Once the secret is exposed, find a way to work around it. When nail writers were exposed on TV, Rick Maue created a routine that acknowledged the exposure and then went ahead and used a nail writer anyway and no one was the wiser.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,737
2,852
Lance Burton did basically the same thing when the Masked Magician did Mismade Girl on his show.

I've used techniques that other magicians got caught using moments before, because I framed it differently. It's not a matter of being a master magician (I'm certainly not), it's about putting something in front of an audience and making sure it doesn't look like what the guy before you put in front of them.
 
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