Today was a long but rewarding day as we brought two truckloads of illusions down to MediaCorp studios for the taping of our illusion segments for a brand new variety show on Channel 8 primetime. This segment was custom created for Ning & myself after the producer was wowed by our “Ultimate Magic” show. Each episode, we present an illusion act to showcase our brand of “Urban Illusions in the City” to almost a million viewers each week.
We filmed at the TV Theatre, which is the largest studio in MediaCorp and also where I performed live for the President’s Star Charity show back in 2004. We shot 5 episodes worth of content in a tight 2 hours in front of a live audience of about 250 people. It was an extremely tight schedule but we pulled through because of our careful planning and stringent time management.
This was Ning’s first time taping for TV and what a first time – taping in the biggest TV studio with a custom set in front of a few hundred people! How many magicians have had a chance to do this? She stepped up to the plate once again and proved herself to be a top flight professional. Only a handful of magicians can work under such pressure and execute the technical aspects of illusions flawlessly. But no one can look as gorgeous at the same time!
I have experience working with MediaCorp directors on many occasions; from the President’s Star Charity Show in 2004 to 15-episodes of Top Fun in 2006. While they all are experts in shooting and visual mixing for TV, they do not understand how to shoot magic for TV. There are techniques and rules needed for magic and we had to reshoot quite a number of times at the start because the director did not defer to our ‘expert opinion’. As a result, the magic effect was lost and the TV audience would not be able to appreciate the magic effect due to the way the shots were laid out. But, eventually, after a couple of takes and playbacks, the director finally concurred with our way of shooting the ‘magic moments’ and the illusions came across amazingly well. The set design is superb and the producers went all out of the way to ensure we had the right lighting for the illusions to look good.
Check out some of the photos! Trust me, we watched the playback and the illusions look awesome on TV!
Backstage set-up of our illusions
Our giant industrial fan illusion was too big to fit backstage 🙂
Ning making an amazing surprise appearance!
Crystal Metamorphosis under a beautiful lighting design
Crystal Metamorphosis instant exchange
Ning appears impossibily in a crystal clear trunk
Ning posing in front of Revollusion – an 8ft tall industrial fan
Spiker in performance
Ning vanishes into Light & Space
Catch the first episode of “Five Stars Carnival” on Channel 8 at 9pm on 22 Feb 2009, Sun. This is probably the first time high-end grand illusions will be presented weekly on local TV by a local magic team!
Kudos must go out to the Concept:Magic for ensuring the logistical challenge of transporting two different sets of props from our studio as well as The Arena was well-coordinated and on-time. Without them, there is no way Ning & I could have pulled this off. Good job guys!