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You can't walk away from the Elevator levitation method but it looks great and that'ss three of the most common close-up levitation methods. Stage levitations usually have a bit more setup, and the results are smoother.
Criss Angel uses Jacob Spinney's levitations. Just for fun though, look up the Balducci method, get in front of a mirror and practice a bit with the angles. The levitation looks great if the angles are right.
If you want really fantastic levitations, you need a hoist. Sometimes, the best looking illusions have really simple gimmicks, and sometimes, there's an entire crew involved. I prefer the illusions with simple gimmicks. When they start bringing out big hokey-looking boxes, my interest drops.
Lawman, order a few books from Tannen's Magic Shop. They'll ruin magic for you forever, err, they'll enlighten you about the methods and the gimmicks.
When I see a live, outdoor performance of the Hindu Rope Trick, I might start to think about aliens.
joined:Dec 3, 2002
The other thing I am wondering is how they got the camera to pan around them so fast, if there was no track...
I am guessing they just make the whole show look like it is live on the street. Either way it was quite entertaining.
Excellent guess. Blaine does the Balducci levitation, they film the crowd's reaction, then they do a hoist levitation to "show how other levitations are performed", then they cut that with the crowd reaction from the Balducci levitation. The tricks aren't "edited", but that doesn't mean continuous shots are used and that the camera angle isn't dictated by the performer.