When I was in college, I watched an amazing short french film called La jetée,which is the basis for the film 12 Monkeys. The film was made in 1962, was in black and white, and was actually just a series of still photos put into a film. The amazing thing is that years later, I remembered it as being an actual motion picture film, not simply still images. When I watched it again recently, I was somewhat surprised by the stills – almost thinking it was the wrong film.

And as I was thinking about writing this post, I again misremembered the movie as not just simple still images, but containing some motion, where the film pans around the still or zooms in. But I am wrong again.

The amazing thing was that my mind seems to fill in the blanks, adds motion where there wasn’t any. Who is to blame for that? Is it the director who tells such a compelling tale? Was it the actual story, which is quite interesting to begin with, or was it just me, prompted with gaps (lack of motion) that needed to be filled in, and so I filled them in for myself. Really, it’s a combination of the above things – good story, excellent direction, and a fertile imagination.

All of these things not only make a motion picture an excellent vehicle for entertainment, but for magic. You can’t simply do a trick and hope people like it. There are numerous tricks that are self working (for example, Neither Blind Nor Stupid, which I’ll be teaching later), but doing them as is does nothing to enhance the effect. But telling a story about the cards, or building up the suspense, or using the proper form of misdirection, and you can create miracles in the minds of spectators.Do you have real life example of the above?


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