The nature of a mega illusion (as we define it: a large-scale illusion spectacle that is performed for a live audience and in an uncontrolled environment.) is that it is staged under “test conditions”.
Modern audiences are exposed to a lot of magic (whether on TV or Youtube) and may also be privy to magic methods due to exposure shows (Masked Magician) or exposure videos (Youtube again).
For the mega illusion to be believable, the apparatus used (if any) has to be minimal and motivated.
When we made 3 spectators teleport over the Singapore River in 2008, the various “teleportation chambers” were simple affairs that were surrounded by onlookers.
In the upcoming “The Aerial Exit”, we are employing multiple illusion methods to create a singular effect.
Currently, there are 7 illusion deceptions/ methodologies utilized to try to visually deceive thousands of people who might be surrounding the illusion as we attempt it. As with most illusions, it is what you don’t see that enables the illusion to work, as opposed to what you can see!
The specific challenges for this illusion design was:
Deception & methodolgy – Creating an illusion solution to enable the mega illusion to be staged. Given the “test conditions” of the illusion, this is not your typical illusion design. As far as I’m aware, this specific combination of illusion methods and overall design has never been employed by anyone else in the world.
How it would break down for transport – As the main apparatus is a fairly large and heavy prop, we had to ensure it could be packed down and moved easily from location to location. Especially, if we intend to use this illusion overseas in the future.
Strength & safety – This all-important aspect is crucial as we are elevating people into the air. Rigging and ensuring the prop is strong enough to maintain the weight of the people and movement into the air affected the choice of materials used to build the apparatus as well as the methods of connections and securing parts together.
For the past weeks, the various apparatus to be used in the illusion have been in the process of fabrication. As with most of our illusions, we have a number of vendors working on different parts and we will do the eventual assembly in our studio to preserve the secret of the illusion.
Even so, the illusion can ultimately be set-up in its entirety only when we set up on site at the mega illusion venue.
Our team has been overseeing different aspects of the construction and everything is coming in order. Final adjustments still have to be made but we are on schedule. Here is a “work-in-progress” photo from our secret workshop: