While watching Mindfreak this evening, I realized how many thoughts were swimming through my head while watching it, and to clear my mind, I decided to type it all out here on good ol' Penguin.
First off, camera tricks. We all know he uses them, why do people even try to deny it? And now for my opinion: I think that camera cuts, used to save time, are perfectly fine... but actually editing what happens, and when it happens, to achieve an effect, is wrong. For one thing, it sets the bar too high. I've noticed a trend lately... when I perform for people I haven't performed for before, the conversation always turns to Criss Angel, and how "awesome" he is. At this point, I always explain that I cannot replicate anything he does because I don't have a camera crew and editing team with me. It usually works, but the question I pose to you is:
"Does this prompt internet exposure?"
What I mean by this is, will it get the lay people's tempers riled up? Will they search for internet exposure just to see if he really does use camera tricks? Or, worst case scenario, will they watch the show over and over until they figure out an effect, then post a video on YouTube explaining the illusion?
Now I have heard many people over the years saying that internet exposure doesn't effect their performances, and blah blah blah. And I agree with them most of the time... but there are exceptions. Just a couple of weeks ago, I had a girl say to me while performing, "I was watching a video online on how Criss Angel levitates," and then went on to explain it. I finally got her to quiet down so I could continue with my performance, but I know that a lot of the people in the classroom at the time went home and looked up the video online. Criss Angel's Levitation has been something I've wanted for a while now, and now I wont be able to perform it for those people, for fear of being caught. I don't know, just some thoughts.
The last thing I will talk about that involves Criss Angel is his attitude. Personally, I think he is a little cocky. I will use tonight's first two episodes as examples. In the first one, he was bragging about how many fans he had, how "loyal" they were, and all that. I don't know, just seemed kind of cocky to me. The next one was the Naked Jail Cell Escape. It seemed like he was trying to prove that he was better than Houdini, his supposed "hero".
Once again, these are just thoughts that ran through my mind while I was watching. I know the first thing I will hear is, "If you don't like it, don't watch it." That's just the thing, I don't like the effects, but I think Criss' performances can be very entertaining at times. So... I watch it for the entertainment value; I do like the show.
Now this is veering off topic, and could almost go in another topic by itself, but after watching Criss Angel, I had this feeling come over me... a "love" for the old time magic. Such as the Linking Rings, the Cups and Balls, Sawing a Lady in Half, etc. Something draws me towards it, and is pulling me away from the newest "street" effects like E and theory11's new stuff.
I would love to hear your guys' discussions on this. These are just my opinions, and I know there will be several of you that disagree with me, and that's fine. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to a good discussion.