The Most Famous Focuses and Exposing of Them
Probably it is not possible to find a person who would not like to see a focus. To see the magic of illusion will be interesting for everyone, from child to old man. The conjurer knows how to create a unique atmosphere of mysteries and enchanting show for his audience.
Performance is always on the verge of magic, but everyone knows that this is just an illusion, correct to say, it is a secret, that audience can try to unravel. In many ways, this kind of performances reached the level of art. The names of many magicians have made history and became known around the world on a level with Hollywood celebrities, singers, musicians, writers and so on. Such personalities like Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, Bartholomew Bosco glorify this kind of activity, they have inspired people to write books, staging musicals and shot more than fifty movies.
Today, magicians have a special peak of popularity. They shoot their own programs, take part in different TV shows, organize school of illusion, write books and give advises to producers about special effects for movies.
Special popularity got people and programs that reveal secrets of performances. Conjurer has to be really ingenious, so his focus could be remained a mystery for a long time.
Here is a list of most famous focuses in the history and exposing of them.
1. Focus with a saw
For the first time this tri ck was shown in one of London’s theatres in 1921. Since that it appeared in repertoires of many actors.
The main idea of this trick is to cat human body in two pieces with a saw. Usually assistant lay down in a box, head and legs are outside, sometimes hands also, but the main body is hidden from audience. Conjurer saws this box in the middle and separate parts of it, to prove the partition. There is now blood during this show and assistant smile all the time and even can move his legs. At the end body is connected and everything is in its place.
Exposing: The truth is that in this show two assistances are taken part: one person is shown for audience and pretends to be cut up, while another one is hidden from the very beginning, his role is to be the lower part of body. There is secret place for hidden parts of people, usually it is in the bottom of the box or in the table where magic attribute stays.
This is how this trick happens and there is now other way.
David Copperfield transformed this focus and created show “Death Saw”. Here there is now magic box and body of David is cut by huge circular saw. The secret is in a equipment: narrow table 20 cm plus platform 20 cm gives 40 cm of space, and it is enough to hide body. Conjurer uses fake legs, only feet are real, everything else helps to create illusion. From other side body of conjurer ends with plastic housing, it has to be little bit longer so person could hide rest of himself, but it mast have natural look. Special effects and show in general designed to divert attention.
2. Escape from the Chinese water torture chamber
Escape from a trap is a whole trend in the art of illusion. Great Harry Houdini gave its start and made it popular.
This show is going like this: assistant is hanged by the legs and after is lowered headfirst into the chamber full of water. This box is locked to the set of locks. In few minutes later person escapes from the trap and appears in front of audience.
The secret is in locks. The whole structure and the system of locks invented so, that it would not be dependent on the number of barriers, locks and bolts, the cover of chamber has to be opened in one motion. More often, the conjurer distracts attention with additional locks, while it is enough for assistant to pull the pin from the loop and to lift him self with muscles.
3. Focus with walking on water
Famous British illusionist Steve Frayne (Dynamo) demonstrated the trick of walking on water. A large number of people and TV viewers were able to watch as the man walked on water of the River Thames.
The clue is a secret platform that was submerged before show started and anchored. Material plexiglass allows creating of not sinking platform that is stable enough, its transparency can help to hide the attribute in the muddy water of the river.
Conjurer have not yet revealed the secrets of his show, so this is just a suggestion. But the evidence was a small ripple on the water, which appears only in the shallow water.
4. The disappearance of the statue of liberty
To become famous throughout the world, David Seth Kotkin had not only to take a more beautiful name but for a few minutes to deprive Americans of their national dignity. In front of big public he made his famous trick "disappearance of the statue of liberty." For sure David shot the show and added it his video records, that later had appeared on TV shows and video discs.
If to take into account the glory of the focus and its artist, the trick worked. Many witnesses can confirm that their eyes have seen how statue disappeared and reappeared.
How did this happen? This illusion was successful thanks to the peculiarities of the human eye. The statue is located far from the city lights. For this trick, additional lighting was established slightly ahead of the monument, but its own light was turned off. White fabric was thrown over the statue. Conjurer thought of everything. When the fabric was pulled from the statue, the bright spotlight was turned on. It has blinded people and created specific effect - the statue, that appeared behind a wall of light, perceived by the eye as a dark place without outlines. That is no longer the eye to discern and see the statue. Other words human eye stopped to see and recognize statue. Some seconds later people got used to the surrounding situation and monument appeared for them again.
What about video record? Also it is very easy: video editing.
Focus "Metamorphoses" was invented by illusionist John Neville Maskelyne in the XIX century and in the XX century it has acquired status of legendary. Many conjurers, from Houdini to Mark Wilson, tried to perform it and each of them brought to the focus something new. Jonathan and Charlotte Pendragon deserve special attention. They masterfully fulfilled focus that culmination occurred at record two seconds. With these pathetic seconds Pendragon entered the jubilee 50th edition of the Guinness Book of Records.
In fact, in this focus everything happened so:
- First bag, everyone have to understand that it is part of the show, and the fact that one end of it is tiered above the man's head, does not mean that it has no hole in its bottom, especially when it is hidden in the trunk.
-Lock is also part of the show and it distracts the viewer's attention, while the people inside the chest gets out of the bag and prepares for the next step of stunt. Chest has a system of levers which moves the trunk lid. When Charlotte climbs on the chest, she sets foot on its side walls. Next it is work of skill movements.
Within a few seconds, she jumps into the chest, and the man jumps out of it and quickly intercepting tissue.
- While the man removes the locks and playing for time, Charlotte changes swimsuit and gets into the bag.