Today, we shipped out the five cases of illusions that contain the illusions that we will be presenting as a seamless set for “Superstars of Magic 2” in Genting Resorts World.
Produced by Malaysia’s own hotshot magic producer & mentalist, David Lai, this installment will feature many top working pros in the industry. Several names may be unfamiliar to even magicians because they are busy working in the “real world” and seldom participate in conventions or release magic products.
Book your tickets now as most shows have already sold out! There is also a special “Magicians Day” that will include lectures, dealer sales and the show on 1 Sep 2012. Ning & I will be presenting an abbreviated version of our “3 Sides of Magic” lecture.
I’m sure you are intrigued by what’s in the cases. Because, honestly, I’m always curious to know what is in another magician’s case, how they pack their gear and if there are any “tricks of the trade” to learn. Part of illusion designing is to figure out how to break down the apparatus for shipping. I can say 1/3 of my time is designing how components come apart and assemble.
For the first 3/4s of my career, all my illusions were designed to pack completely flat. Now, I try to design the props so there is little to pack down. In the case of many illusions, they literally roll into a case as an assembled prop with minimal dismantling. This is especially for illusions that we regularly perform all over the world like “360 Sawing”, “Crystal Metamorphosis”, “Extreme Burn” and “Shadow Vision”, to name a few.
However, there are some illusions that are a bit too large and have to be broken down. Now, there are two parts to designing the breakdown of an illusion for shipping. One, is the physical construction of the prop so that it can be dismantled yet reassembled so that the prop is sturdy and in working condition. Props with moving parts or that require precision alignment are the hardest to work with.
After designing the breakdown, you have to design the case or cases that are required to house the illusion. You need to pack efficiently and as small as possible. Practical reasons dictate that the case should not be so heavy that it needs ten men just to lift the case. Huge sizes will also restrict movement not just in performing venues but also loading facilities, transport vehicles and even cargo planes. Even though I do not consider our “360 Sawing” case huge, many cargo airplanes cannot take the height of the case and we have to give special instruction to allow the case to be laid on its side for the flight.
Sometimes, cases require special lids, partitions, compartments and fixtures to case different panels and loose parts of an illusion. This is where an experience ATA case builder comes in handy. They will know how to best design the case with the necessary special hardware and component parts. Consult a professional to work with them to build an intelligent-designed case.
We just built two special cases for a large prop that breaks down completely. They include specially designed compartments for all the various parts and are, very importantly, designed to fit into our minuscule cargo lift (the number one reason why we have to move to another studio next year).
Do come by “Superstars of Magic 2” especially if you are in South East Asia. It is a show not to be missed!