Last night saw the Concept:Magic team pull off our 3rd mega illusion. Teleporting the Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI in front of 16,000 people makes this the BIGGEST teleportation mega illusion we have staged to date.
The combined draw of the Straits Times Part of My Life contest and “Destination X” attracted the biggest turnout ever and completely filled the Raffles Place park and surrounding buildings. Check out this guy’s blog to see photos of the crowd from inside Chervon House. Bear in mind, our stage is about 100m away across under OUB Centre. http://zig-a-zack.livejournal.com/7113.html
But, the action for us started the night before on 21 Aug at about 8pm when we started loading in from the Concept:Magic studio. We assembled a great illusion crew for this project (our biggest yet) as the illusion set-up was very extensive and we had to be fast in order to rehearse on site.
The challenge with a mega illusion (as we define it; uncontrolled environment, usually outdoors, mega scale and performed live in thousands of people) is that we cannot fully rehearse the illusion on site until the actual day or hours before the actual day. In our previous two teleportation mega illusions, we never even rehearsed the illusion fully.
For “Destination X”, I had planned for almost complete rehearsals due to the complexity of the illusion. However, due to delays in the event logitiscs set-up, we were delayed by 3 hours. Time was critical so I reorganized the set-up of the illusion equipment to be set-up concurrently with the logistics set-up.
Reinforced stage being set-up to take the weight of the car when it teleports onto stage.
Illusion crew unloading our illusion equipment. The solid blocks that would eventually see the car teleport on each weigh 42kg for a combined weight of almost 130kg. There have to take the weight of a 1.4 tonne car.
The curtain ring being set-up. This is the only cloth shield that encloses “Destination X”
Sound, Lighting & Video console being set-up
Several issues cropped up during the set-up but were subsequently solved. One critical issue was with part of the illusion method. Ning had a “told you so moment” but we reworked it and honestly it made for a better solution. Problem solving delayed the production schedule by another hour. We started our first blocking through only at 3am.
This particular teleportation is so different from our past and brings a whole host of challenges because we are teleporting a large inanimate object. When working with people, the human body can move, contort and change shape. With a car, there are absolutely no variables. The sheer size and weight make this so challenging which is why you hardly see any illusionists in the world teleport a car LIVE (not just for TV) in front of thousands of people.
We employed 9 different illusion techniques/ methods to create this singular illusion. There are so many parts to make the illusion successful, which means there are multiple points of failure. Given this is a one-time act with no cuts or retakes makes it very difficult.
Compare to “The Impossible Record” which we set two month ago, this mega illusion is a completely monster. While less physically tiring, the mental composure combined with teamwork creates a different stress.
The uncontrollable outdoor environment does not help. Singapore’s humidity and the thunderstorms that were taking place over the past few days makes such an illusion even harder. Finally, we were attempting the illusion in full daylight, with no cover of darkness.
We finally finished rehearsals at 6am, which still some touch up work to do the next day. But, at least, we knew it would work.