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Escapology

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samivel
169974.  Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:12 pm Reply with quote

Do you think they get a lot of orders from people who have no interest in escapology?

;)

 
Burrell
169975.  Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:32 pm Reply with quote

I see where you are coming from, but I do not think there are many buyers with that outlook.

The nearest analogy I can think of is the difference between Top Gear Magazine and the Haynes Manual for a Fiat Uno. Both contain cars but that is where the similarity ends.

I think that it is also a common question that Escape Artists find themselves having to answer. Some take a more philosophical standpoint and argue that mankind is always overcoming the bonds of the oppressor whilst others state simply “Look if I got off at being tied up why would I get out so fast?”

 
Burrell
170346.  Sat Apr 28, 2007 6:59 am Reply with quote

If we take a more wide reaching view of Escapology, for example as people making daring escapes then the following examples must also be given consideration.

Winston Churchill in South Africa 1899.

Giacomo Casanova from the Doge’s Palace in 1756.

The Great Escape in Word War II.

The escape of 109 Union Officers from the Confederate POW camp at Libby Prison in 1864.

Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin escaped from the 'inescapable' Alcatraz Island.

Tim Jenkin, Stephen Lee and Alex Moumbaris escaped from South Africa's maximum-security Pretoria Prison in 1979.

And Jack Sheppard escaped from prison several times.

Therefore Escapology is far more than just the life and work of Harry Houdini.

 
Burrell
178899.  Tue May 29, 2007 4:17 pm Reply with quote

I will post some information on the Fenton Lock on the F Board in the next few days.

 
Burrell
198865.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:29 pm Reply with quote

I thought I would share this link with you as it fits well with what we have discussed before about modern escapology being alive and well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hwBOc6j-gM

This is of an escape / performance called “Destination Valhalla” and was performed by ‘The Dark Master’ Steve Santini, in Canada, earlier this year.

You will be pleased to know that Mr Santini is still alive and well and that the escape was a success.

 
ceefax
212115.  Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:29 am Reply with quote

I dont get that escape Burrell...like he could have had those chains off and got under under the raft by the time they lit the damn thing..then just burst out after a dramatic length of time...am i missing something with this escape.

 
Burrell
212755.  Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:09 pm Reply with quote

Hi Ceefax.

Yes and no.

Yes because the escape was called Valhalla, and, from what I have gathered from talking to the Escape Artist in question, he wanted to obtain a ‘Viking funeral' style effect. I am given to understand that he wanted to prove he was on the raft when the crew lit it, thus removing the quick escape option. I think he wanted to make sure people knew they were not just watching a burning raft.

I also said no because the angle you have proposed is just as valid and would work equally well just not with the version of the 'Viking funeral' concept on which the idea was based and promoted.

If you know of a body of water where it could be recreated I am sure there are a number of UK based Escape Artists that would not mind giving your version a go.

It would probably sell too.

 
ceefax
213341.  Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:36 am Reply with quote

hmmm...this is what im not getting...he gets in the box, they close it..this as far as i can see is the last you see of him...i dont see how he proved he was in the box all the way...in effect people are just watching a burning raft. So i dont see how that is different to what ive proposed...

im saying hes on the raft all the way but not in the box..like in a box underneath the rafts platform. He has the time they take to light it and a little bit more before it gets going to get into a false floor beneath the flames then burst out when the tensions at its peak. with that you get the viking funeral effect but dont have to be in the box all the way.

If youve talked to the guy and hes said hes in the box all the way and we assume hes being hones then thats cool, otherwise i think its more of a showman type escape rather than an actual clever escape.

 
mckeonj
213350.  Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:57 am Reply with quote

The Valhalla escape reminded me of one of Houdini's stunts, where he was chained and padlocked into a box; a wooden shed was erected around the box by a number of overalled assistants; one assistant threw a fizzing 'bomb' into the shed and closed the door; the shed exploded into fragments, revealing a free and unharmed Harry.
The trick here was that Harry was one of the overalled assistants, they did so much rushing about and clowning that it was difficult to keep track of the number.
I think the same trick was used for a 'hanging' escape by someone else.
In the Valhalla escape, there are three torch bearers, one is behind the crate and all you see is the torch.

 
Mr Grue
213402.  Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:35 am Reply with quote

I'd have to say, "what's not to get". What you have described is a method for performing this effect, but the effect remains the effect. Escapology is a mixture of all sorts of things, from locksmithery to illusion, but none of that matters. It's like arguing what is better for a conjuror, to use a gimmicked prop, or to employ a sleight of hand - if it makes no difference to the audience, then the dispute is academic. It's what is presented that is key.

 
ceefax
213776.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:42 am Reply with quote

Its just that if i with very limited magic knowledge can work out a way he got that effect then im not going to be impressed by it...there needs to be a how did they do that factor about it and with this trick i just feel i miss that.

i dont want to get into an argument about what our preferences in magic are. but i disagree with what you said. For me watching magic id rather see the magician using sleight of hand than a gimmiked prop, even if the effect is the same, i just seems more honest to me. This is a bad example but if someone goes to me "this bottle is real" and then the trick turns out to hinge around the fact the bottle isnt real, im less impressed than if he manipulated a real bottle to the same effect.

 
Mr Grue
213780.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:53 am Reply with quote

Hence my conditional. If you can't tell which, then it doesn't matter.

 
Burrell
213839.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:22 pm Reply with quote

I see where you are coming from now Ceefax, sorry about that, my error.

You have identified one of the key division lines in Escapology. There are some that view it as a progression of magic, an allied art if you will.

Houdini himself, above all else, was still a very gifted magician (with reference to the Vanishing Elephant and also the illusion indicated by mckeonj).

There are others that view it as simply a trial of strength and skill.

The problem comes down to this. At what point, to save time, to keep up with the music, to guarantee a crowd is entertained does a performer use an illusion rather than perform what is, in effect, a trial of strength and skill, with a lock, chain, rope and or handcuff?

One argument is that an illusion can be detected by eagle eyed members of the crowd. The motivation is that, above all else, the Escapologist / Magician / Self-Liberator / Locksmith has been booked to perform and entertain and there is a risk of a challenge not going to plan and resulting in injury or delaying the rest of the show.

The counter argument is that it becomes Magic and not an 'Escape' as a result.

If you want to see a 100% undiluted escape then I suggest you watch a World Record attempt as there is no chance of it being an illusion. The down side is that, as it is against the clock, very little showmanship is used. It is all about escaping as quickly as possible.

If you pay to see someone perform, you will see a performance. That does not mean that there are no risks involved even if he/she/they use an illusion.

Some illusions have turned out to be quite deadly. See the film ‘The Prestige’ for examples.

 
Burrell
213841.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:38 pm Reply with quote

Also, the main reason I chose that clip was because it showed an event going off without an accident, which given the use of fire and water, was a possible outcome.

All I really wanted was to show that, unlike most clips on the web, Escapology / Illusion does not go hand in hand with Accident and Emergency.

 
samivel
213886.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:39 pm Reply with quote

Good point, although anyone trying out that escape without any previous experience will probably have to disagree with you.

:)

 

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