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#1
Old 11-19-2013, 10:17 PM
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Hey, one of you smartasses spoil David Blaine: Real or Magic for me...

I'm watching the show and trying to figure out his tricks. I admit he's pretty good.

He supposedly stuck an ice pick through his hand. Ouch!

He chewed a glass that Katy Perry had. That didn't impress me. I know they make fake glass out of sugar. Sure was crunchy, though.

He spooked the hell out of Harrison Ford by making a card disappear from a from a deck, then having it reappear rolled up in an orange (that he cut open with a knife). Han Solo (looking like a 1970s hausfrau) then told him to get the f*** out of his house. It freaked him out pretty severely.

Anyone know how he did some of this stuff?
#2
Old 11-19-2013, 10:27 PM
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If you could figure out his tricks, you'd be rich and famous like him

Just enjoy the show. If someone explains the tricks for you, that'll just spoil it for you.
#3
Old 11-19-2013, 10:32 PM
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Just use the board's search function.
#4
Old 11-19-2013, 10:36 PM
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Sorry, but even the prospect of Olivia Wilde in a bikini couldn't get me to watch David Blaine.
#5
Old 11-19-2013, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Sorry, but even the prospect of Olivia Wilde in a bikini couldn't get me to watch David Blaine.
Why, exactly? Just curious.
#6
Old 11-19-2013, 11:57 PM
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I normally scoff at shows like this, but there was nothing else on so I watched it. Loved Han Solo's reaction, loved Ricky Gervais' reaction, but the Hawking bit made me sad, sad, sad. The bits with people on the street were cool, too.
#7
Old 11-19-2013, 11:59 PM
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I don't care for Blaine's endurance stunts, but I'm watching this show and enjoying it.
#8
Old 11-20-2013, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippy Hollow View Post
He spooked the hell out of Harrison Ford by making a card disappear from a from a deck, then having it reappear rolled up in an orange (that he cut open with a knife). Han Solo (looking like a 1970s hausfrau) then told him to get the f*** out of his house. It freaked him out pretty severely.
A card inside the orange is prepared ahead of time. The magician then (a) forces Han Solo to pick the matching card from the deck and (b) palms it or otherwise makes it disappear, neither of which is terribly difficult for a top-rank magician.
#9
Old 11-20-2013, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippy Hollow View Post
I'm watching the show and trying to figure out his tricks. I admit he's pretty good.

He supposedly stuck an ice pick through his hand. Ouch!

He chewed a glass that Katy Perry had. That didn't impress me. I know they make fake glass out of sugar. Sure was crunchy, though.

He spooked the hell out of Harrison Ford by making a card disappear from a from a deck, then having it reappear rolled up in an orange (that he cut open with a knife). Han Solo (looking like a 1970s hausfrau) then told him to get the f*** out of his house. It freaked him out pretty severely.

Anyone know how he did some of this stuff?
I think the dollar bill version is more effective. Here's how to do it:

http://themagiccafe.com/forums/v...67&1&start=0#0
#10
Old 11-20-2013, 12:42 AM
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Okay, I just finished and that Ricky Gervais bit had me rolling with laughter. I loved his summation of the needle-through-the arm. "Either that's the greatest close-up illusion I've ever seen, or it was real and you're a maniac. Either way, good job."

Last edited by Tangent; 11-20-2013 at 12:43 AM.
#11
Old 11-20-2013, 01:46 AM
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I haven't seen the show but in the previews they show one (black) lady on there with her man behind her and she looks like she's about to have an orgasm. Every time I see that, I keep thinking to myself "Damn, what kind of tricks is this dude trying to pull?"
#12
Old 11-20-2013, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent View Post
Okay, I just finished and that Ricky Gervais bit had me rolling with laughter. I loved his summation of the needle-through-the arm. "Either that's the greatest close-up illusion I've ever seen, or it was real and you're a maniac. Either way, good job."
Just a wild guess regarding the ice pick through the hand or arm.

I have not had any piercings, but I think most women (and men) who have had a simple ear pierced, can easily take out and put in stick pins.

So assume for a minute that David Blaine had a "partial" piercing of his hand - in other words, he had a needle put through (but NOT completely through) his hand and let it stay there for several days. Then he took it out and put it back in, over and over again. Eventually, there would be just the tiniest of holes on the FRONT of his hand, but not on the back (thus the gross protrusion as he sticks needle through without breaking skin).

So, when he pulls the needle out, there is no blood (as there is no blood from ear piercings) and nobody exactly has a microscope to check to see that entry wound is, in reality, simply the entry point of the piercing.

Ditto for the arm - which he might have done later after seeing the success of the hand.

Just my 2 cents.

The rest of the tricks? Well, most have been done by other magicians, but Blaine does always seem to find a bunch of people on the street who would also give money to Nigerians on the Internet - and they over-react and mug to the camera.

I think these are the same people you see in TV ads outside of movie theaters saying, "After Earth is the best film ever made! You have to go see it!"
#13
Old 11-20-2013, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Why, exactly? Just curious.
Blaine just tips my annoyance meter.
#14
Old 11-20-2013, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Blaine just tips my annoyance meter.
Yeah, he comes off as smug or something. I can't stand the guy. He has no charm or showmanship. Just kind of blah and odd, and boring. He could perform literal miracles and I wouldn't care because his presentation just blows.
#15
Old 11-20-2013, 07:36 AM
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I've seen Penn and Teller (and indeed Harry Anderson of Night Court fame) do the "needle through the arm" trick, and I'm pretty sure neither of them actually skewered themselves. It's a good trick that takes a talented magician to pull off well, but it's still a trick. And no, I don't know how it's done.

And David Blaine sets my annoyance meter ringing like a smoke alarm at an indoor barbecue. He's a smug self-important jerk. I know the flash and sizzle is a big part of the act but for close-up magic I much prefer magicians who just do the damn trick and leave you with "I have no freaking idea how he (or she) just did that" to those that attempt to make you think that they're "special" (mysteeeeeeeeeerious! <waggles fingers>) while doing it, leaving you with "neat trick but that guy is overcompensating for something".
#16
Old 11-20-2013, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
Why, exactly? Just curious.
IIRC, his first TV special claimed not to use camera tricks, but that was only true if you take a really narrow view of what constituted a "camera trick".
#17
Old 11-20-2013, 11:01 AM
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I LOVED the reaction of a bunch of the people off the street. Those four kids who just booked it when he changed the dollar bill to a $100 bill were hilarious.

The one that amazed me was the guy with the cards over his heart. First it was ten, then thirteen, then twenty-two. Really cool.

My guess with most of these is confederates, but I'm sure there's a mix of techniques.
#18
Old 11-20-2013, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 42fish View Post
A card inside the orange is prepared ahead of time. The magician then (a) forces Han Solo to pick the matching card from the deck and (b) palms it or otherwise makes it disappear, neither of which is terribly difficult for a top-rank magician.
He didn't have Harrison Ford pick a card. He had Harrison Ford think of a card that he then named out loud.

It would be hard to have 52 pre-prepared OMG! locations for a card in Harrison Ford's own kitchen, but I guess it could be done.

I liked it. The Ricky Gervais trick had to just be prosthetic flesh on top of Blaine's real arm, right?

I liked the people on the street that just ran after the reveal of a trick.
#19
Old 11-20-2013, 11:29 AM
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The mention of audience members freaking out and being over the top and completely incredulous is another reason I hate him. Those people are ridiculous and totally ruin it for me.
#20
Old 11-20-2013, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bup View Post
He didn't have Harrison Ford pick a card. He had Harrison Ford think of a card that he then named out loud.

It would be hard to have 52 pre-prepared OMG! locations for a card in Harrison Ford's own kitchen, but I guess it could be done.
I've read of tricks where this was exactly the method used. As many magicians say, tricks often work because ordinary people never conceive that anybody would go to such trouble just to fool you.

Quote:
I liked it. The Ricky Gervais trick had to just be prosthetic flesh on top of Blaine's real arm, right?
Google needle through the arm trick explained. It can be done with real flesh.
#21
Old 11-20-2013, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Google needle through the arm trick explained. It can be done with real flesh.
It said rubber cement, but that only works if you are doing it through the skin. It looked like Blaine was doing it right through the middle of his arm.
#22
Old 11-20-2013, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bup View Post
He didn't have Harrison Ford pick a card. He had Harrison Ford think of a card that he then named out loud.

It would be hard to have 52 pre-prepared OMG! locations for a card in Harrison Ford's own kitchen, but I guess it could be done.
Without having watched the show I will guess that what YOU SEE is Harrison Ford name a card out loud and Blaine then does his thing.

What you do NOT see is all the stuff that they didn't show and that can go a long way towards explaining why Ford named the card that he named.

And I'll bet that Blaine knew well in advance exactly which card Mr. Ford was going to name and it's not because he is psychic, magic or a good guesser
#23
Old 11-20-2013, 02:07 PM
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Keep in mind, not only are magicians professional liars, but so are actors.
#24
Old 11-20-2013, 02:10 PM
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The Jason Sudeikis / Olivia Wilde card trick was lame as hell. They didn't even show the sleight-of-hand deck substitution he probably did after they shuffled the deck.
#25
Old 11-20-2013, 02:13 PM
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Just curious, what card was named? Something like 50% of people choose one of these four : ace of spades, ace of hearts, king of hearts, queen if hearts.
#26
Old 11-20-2013, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DigitalC View Post
It said rubber cement, but that only works if you are doing it through the skin. It looked like Blaine was doing it right through the middle of his arm.
I didn't watch the show but I know on past Blaine specials they have creative editing where the trick you see on TV is not the same as the one the live spectators are seeing.
i.e. his street levitation. If I recall he was performing the Balducci Levitation to people on the street and they were awestruck. However when they cut to him doing the trick they showed a shot from his knees down and him levitating a good foot into the air.
I wouldn't doubt that Gervais was watching the needle through the arm using the surface skin prosthetic while us at home were watching a needle through the middle of the arm via creative editing.
#27
Old 11-20-2013, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
I didn't watch the show but I know on past Blaine specials they have creative editing where the trick you see on TV is not the same as the one the live spectators are seeing.
True enough, but here's the Ricky Gervais segment. Looks like he's seeing the same thing we are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valgard
Without having watched the show I will guess that what YOU SEE is Harrison Ford name a card out loud and Blaine then does his thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell
Just curious, what card was named? Something like 50% of people choose one of these four : ace of spades, ace of hearts, king of hearts, queen if hearts.
I say no to both. Here's that segment. He may have somehow guided Harrison Ford to one of a few choices before we joined (that's my best explanation for how he could do the part where 'your card is not in the deck'), but he did not out and out fake the card pick (And the card was the 9 of hearts).

I know another thing he's sometimes done is play the odds (like your 4 cards people usually pick), and we only see the segments where he was successful.

Harrison Ford also might have been a confederate, in which case the whole thing is trivial.

Last edited by bup; 11-20-2013 at 03:15 PM.
#28
Old 11-20-2013, 03:24 PM
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I say no to both. Here's that segment. He may have somehow guided Harrison Ford to one of a few choices before we joined (that's my best explanation for how he could do the part where 'your card is not in the deck'), but he did not out and out fake the card pick (And the card was the 9 of hearts).[/QUOTE]

It seems pretty clear to me that Blaine slipped the card in there with his left hand while he was carving the orange (~1:11 in that clip). If Harrison Ford had grabbed the orange and opened it himself without Blaine handling it at all, I'd be more impressed / confused.
#29
Old 11-20-2013, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Morbo View Post
I say no to both. Here's that segment. He may have somehow guided Harrison Ford to one of a few choices before we joined (that's my best explanation for how he could do the part where 'your card is not in the deck'), but he did not out and out fake the card pick (And the card was the 9 of hearts).
It seems pretty clear to me that Blaine slipped the card in there with his left hand while he was carving the orange (~1:11 in that clip). If Harrison Ford had grabbed the orange and opened it himself without Blaine handling it at all, I'd be more impressed / confused.[/QUOTE]

In looking at all the fruit that there was to pick from - Blaine definitely guided him to that orange very specifically - I also agree that the card appeared to be palmed in, but how he managed to 'insert it' so cleanly with Harrison watching so closely is definitely a 'trick'.

As for the 'picking of the card' - IMHO - Blaine told him to pick a card and that his card was not there - then had harrison look for the card that was 'not there' - its not unreasonable to think that Harrison then 'chose' the 9 of hearts because it was missing.
#30
Old 11-20-2013, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bup View Post
He didn't have Harrison Ford pick a card. He had Harrison Ford think of a card that he then named out loud.

It would be hard to have 52 pre-prepared OMG! locations for a card in Harrison Ford's own kitchen, but I guess it could be done.

I liked it. The Ricky Gervais trick had to just be prosthetic flesh on top of Blaine's real arm, right?

I liked the people on the street that just ran after the reveal of a trick.
Why would he need cards placed in the kitchen? All he needed to do was have 52 cards on himself (memorized locations or a system), get Harrison to state the card( did that), retrieve the card from himself(talk, gesture etc and draw attention away from the retrieval task), cut open an orange and use slight of hand to either insert the card or make it look like he was pulling the card out of the orange. Notice he didn't just slice the orange in two. He sliced it part way and then pried his hands into the orange.

The partial giveaway was that he had Harry state the card name out loud. Blaine needed to know the answer before he could retrieve his card.
#31
Old 11-20-2013, 04:05 PM
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The trick of pulling the alligator out of Katy Perry's bag was some of the worst camera editing I've ever seen in one of these up close magic programs.
#32
Old 11-20-2013, 04:14 PM
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The needle through the arm is pretty awesome. I fail to see how even trick video editing could accomplish that one.
#33
Old 11-20-2013, 04:20 PM
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I didn't see the David Blaine special but I have seen the "needle through the hand / arm trick" a lot. When I was young I used to watch Steve Allen's late night show and sometimes his guest would be someone that practiced yoga (or whatever) and they would do the exact same thing. I was a kid and thought it was real and figured they went to Tibet for five years and found the secret of how this was done.
My point being that was fifty years ago and so it is not a new trick. I'm guessing it goes back even further than 50 years.
#34
Old 11-20-2013, 04:25 PM
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A little googling turns up a bunch of different explanations, none of which apply to a serious gauge needle thrust through the middle of his bicep.

I think the options are: (1) he actually just pushed a big ass needle through his bicep; or (2) the whole thing is fake and Gervais was in on it.
#35
Old 11-20-2013, 04:51 PM
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[QUOTE=bup;16864484(And the card was the 9 of hearts).
[/QUOTE]

Yeah, that's one of the rarest cards named in a "think of a card" situation, at least according to this. Sort by "verbal accessibility." It's basically the 6th least popular choice.
#36
Old 11-20-2013, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by simster View Post
As for the 'picking of the card' - IMHO - Blaine told him to pick a card and that his card was not there - then had harrison look for the card that was 'not there' - its not unreasonable to think that Harrison then 'chose' the 9 of hearts because it was missing.
Yes it is unreasonable. He picked the card before he checked the deck. And if you can see where any part of his hand came close to the inside of the orange you have been eyes than me.

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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Keep in mind, not only are magicians professional liars, but so are actors.
This is Harrison fucking Ford. He doesn't need publicity. He doesn't need money. I would be shocked if he was acting.

I heard Blaine on the radio the day of the airing. He said that he put this show together over several years. He would bring a camera with him to different events and private gigs. None of the celebrities were filmed knowing it would later be on a special and none were paid. Which is how he got all of them. If you went to Harrison Ford, Woody Allen and George W. Bush and asked if they wanted to film something for a magic special I'm sure they would say no. Especially if you tried to get them to be shills. I'm not a fan of Blaine's stunts but he is a pretty damn good close up magician.
#37
Old 11-20-2013, 05:13 PM
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I've been playing with magic for 20+ years. A card force is one of the easiest things to accomplish. Loading an orange/envelope/pocket beforehand is easy.

I'm sure you can Google any trick and find the answer, so I won't spoil things, but I've been doing the needle/arm trick for years for Boy Scouts and kids parties. The older ones love it, and I can promise you there's no unhealed or fresh piercings, or jamming a needle right through your arm.

It's all cleverly crafted illusion, misdirection, and outright lies.

What David Blaine does is no better than a 10th grader who got a magic set for Christmas. He's an arrogant, smug asshole who preys on the stupid or uneducated.
In any video you see of him performing on the street, everyone is in on the trick.
Their surprise and awe is simply people wanting to be on camera, so they go along with it. It's ridiculous.

Conversely, Penn and Teller are great magicians, and they tell you up front they're full of shit, and they're going to trick you. That they still can speaks to their ability.

David Copperfield made me mad when I saw this crap as a teenager.
" No camera tricks!" Uh-huh. What about having a dozen hand-holding "volunteers" move out of the way while a dozen or more guys push the damn thing behind the back curtain? The whole thing is a god-damned lie. I could do that. You could do that.

It takes practice and skill to do real close-up tricks with coins, cards, and whatnot.
It takes no skill whatsoever to lie and hire people to lie and pretend to be amazed.

This is why David Blaine and David Copperfield don't impress me.
#38
Old 11-20-2013, 05:15 PM
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So, you do a trick in which you take an ice-pick sized skewer and appear to jam it through the middle of your bicep in such a way that you cannot have just folded skin around the skewer?

Because it seems more likely than you do the Harry Anderson version of the trick, involving folding skin around the skewer. But if not, then I will be much more impressed.
#39
Old 11-20-2013, 05:29 PM
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He's an arrogant, smug asshole who preys on the stupid or uneducated.
I know. His claims are just all so...unbelievable!
#40
Old 11-20-2013, 05:41 PM
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One possible way to do the skewer thing without doing a puncture (at the time).

Have a small rod surgically inserted into your bicep, wait for it to heal, etc.

When doing the trick, feel for the near end of the rod, push the rod forward until it starts pushing the skin on the other side.

Note that he has Ricky doing the pulling, not the pushing. No need to line things up for that. I do note that the skewer does seem to "pull out" and stick to the skin. So it may have been a collapsible rod with some goop on the skin. (Or Ricky was shown ahead how to fake it like the rod was actually being pulled out, sliding his hands to simulate the motion.)

OTOH, a piercing type hole would be easier.
#41
Old 11-20-2013, 05:42 PM
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I heard Blaine on the radio the day of the airing. He said that he put this show together over several years. He would bring a camera with him to different events and private gigs. None of the celebrities were filmed knowing it would later be on a special and none were paid. Which is how he got all of them. If you went to Harrison Ford, Woody Allen and George W. Bush and asked if they wanted to film something for a magic special I'm sure they would say no. Especially if you tried to get them to be shills.
I've been around long enough to have realized what you see on produced television shows is exactly that, produced. Reality shows are written, shot, reshot, edited, and ultimately produced into an entertainment product.
Why this would be any different just because David Blaine "said" I have no idea.
Really? The celebrities weren't paid? They weren't in on it? These were impromptu performances? How do we know this? Because the guy who's trying to fool us just told us?
#42
Old 11-20-2013, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Yeah, that's one of the rarest cards named in a "think of a card" situation, at least according to this. Sort by "verbal accessibility." It's basically the 6th least popular choice.
Am I reading that right, that the top four cards are almost fifty percent of choices, and the top card is almost 25%?

That's kinda crazy. I figured it would be non-random, and some cards would "spring to mind" more often then others, but I didn't think it would be anywhere near as heavily weighted as that towards the top few cards.
#43
Old 11-20-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
I've been around long enough to have realized what you see on produced television shows is exactly that, produced. Reality shows are written, shot, reshot, edited, and ultimately produced into an entertainment product.
Why this would be any different just because David Blaine "said" I have no idea.
Really? The celebrities weren't paid? They weren't in on it? These were impromptu performances? How do we know this? Because the guy who's trying to fool us just told us?
Because David Blaine can't afford Harrison Ford.
#44
Old 11-20-2013, 05:51 PM
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The celebrities weren't paid? They weren't in on it? These were impromptu performances? How do we know this? Because the guy who's trying to fool us just told us?
Yes. Because you can't get Harrison Ford to do something for scale. If it was one of the Real Housewives I'd be right there with you. But you don't get $20 million a film stars, directors who won't even give interviews and former presidents on your show for a paycheck. Or publicity.
#45
Old 11-20-2013, 05:53 PM
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One possible way to do the skewer thing without doing a puncture (at the time).

Have a small rod surgically inserted into your bicep, wait for it to heal, etc.

When doing the trick, feel for the near end of the rod, push the rod forward until it starts pushing the skin on the other side.

Note that he has Ricky doing the pulling, not the pushing. No need to line things up for that. I do note that the skewer does seem to "pull out" and stick to the skin. So it may have been a collapsible rod with some goop on the skin. (Or Ricky was shown ahead how to fake it like the rod was actually being pulled out, sliding his hands to simulate the motion.)
Ok. I follow this set up for the "insertion." The notion is that the skewer is subtly collapsible, and he's pushing it against a rod that is inserted through his bicep. When he collapses the skewer sufficiently, he pushes it against the rod to make the rod poke out the other side.

Meanwhile, he's placed some goop on his bicep such that he can extend the skewer. But then...how exactly does it work if Gervais isn't in on it? Doesn't he pretty much have to be faking pulling it out for that to fly?
#46
Old 11-20-2013, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ducati View Post
I've been playing with magic for 20+ years. A card force is one of the easiest things to accomplish. Loading an orange/envelope/pocket beforehand is easy.
Yes. I used to do the orange trick as a card force. It's not a routine card force the way he does it though. Watch the video. He asks Harrison Ford to think of any card in the deck. No physical force is involved. (Unless it's somehow edited to omit a part where there was a card force--which is possible.) One possibility is that it was edited such that there was a force before, and the "think of any card in the deck" is an audio overdub, and he's actually saying something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
Am I reading that right, that the top four cards are almost fifty percent of choices, and the top card is almost 25%?
That is, indeed, what it states.

Last edited by pulykamell; 11-20-2013 at 06:16 PM.
#47
Old 11-20-2013, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Parker View Post
Ok. I follow this set up for the "insertion." The notion is that the skewer is subtly collapsible, and he's pushing it against a rod that is inserted through his bicep. When he collapses the skewer sufficiently, he pushes it against the rod to make the rod poke out the other side.

Meanwhile, he's placed some goop on his bicep such that he can extend the skewer. But then...how exactly does it work if Gervais isn't in on it? Doesn't he pretty much have to be faking pulling it out for that to fly?

There is nothing that magicians love more than people who refuse to believe that tricks are tricks.
#48
Old 11-20-2013, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
There is nothing that magicians love more than people who refuse to believe that tricks are tricks.
And if the trick in question were making an elephant levitate, this observation would be meaningful. But in this case, it's physically possible that he jammed a skewer through his arm, just like it's physically possible that he stood on top of a column and jumped off into a pile of cardboard boxes.

That's what makes his tricks interesting to me.

But anyway, you say that like you think it's obvious this was a trick and not just a feat of pain resistance. Why?
#49
Old 11-20-2013, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Keep in mind, not only are magicians professional liars, but so are actors.
Especially with Blaine's case, as we know he lies about camera tricks. At least with other magicians, you might think there's some pride in performing a trick that would amaze you, even if you were actually there. Or, at least, they have a live show where they've done the same trick.
#50
Old 11-20-2013, 06:32 PM
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Harrison Ford is an actor. It is literally his job to appear on screen for money. When you see him appearing on screen, it is because he is doing his job. If Blaine couldn't afford to pay Ford, then he certainly couldn't afford to not pay him, as that would be a heck of a lot more expensive.
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