A new kind of Magic

Sep 21, 2015

Who doesn’t like magic? Many of us are fans of magicians like David Blaine, David Copperfield and similar geniuses, but you know what? , magic is changing. And who is the driver behind that change? Technology, which is becoming so much more affordable and accessible. Yes, there is a new kind of magic.

Magic is all about creating convincing illusions, making us dream and experience an alternative reality and possibility. Until recently, complicated magic tricks had to be prepared and carried out quite mechanically and physically. It was all mostly about the physical actions of the magician. Of course magicians like David Copperfield have involved technology in their tricks since long ago, but the average magician didn’t have access to that kind of resources.

That is quickly changing. Enter Zach King, 25 years old and one of the magicians of these new tech generations. Check his work at https://vine.co/Zach.King. Zach creates magic through technology, specifically through video production. He makes people disappear and reappear just like the classical magicians used to do but this time it’s all done through clever visual tricks combining physical props and lots of meticulous postproduction work on the computer. If you like this kind of magic start researching about tools like Adobe After Effects and techniques such as Rotoscoping and masking.

What is really amazing is that these kind of complex video post work can be done today combining a decent camera, such as a canon 5D and small laptop. Really that’s all you need on the tech part, combined with the physical props you may need, the actors involved and sometimes assistants to hold stuff or support you in other ways. Once you have exercised your creative muscles enough, you can walk around the streets with your camera and a few friends and improvise new videos, visualizing in advance what tricks and changes you are going to do later with your laptop.

You incubate ideas on the go and then the implementation of those insights happens in two phases, the first one through the filming of the people and props involved and the second one later on at your studio, masking, Rotoscoping, blending, adding and deleting stuff during the postproduction phase. If you are into video production I encourage you to try to craft your own magic in similar ways.

Creating these types of videos is a wonderful exercise for your creative muscles because the premise you start from is that anything is possible. You look around, at the objects, the people, the scenarios and your context and you feel free to connect any of them with absolutely any event or outcome. Technology gives us this wonderful gift. The gift of total divergence, the gift of truly making anything possible, combining the real and the virtual.

For the launch of The Torch Principle we created a few videos with the same spirit and we share them with you here. And remember, it is magic so send your analytical thinking on holidays and enjoy the ride!