The threads about haunt illusions have me wanting to build something.
Can anyone recommend a book/plans??
I see Osbournes books sonline but there isn't much info. on what you get..
I know from bad experiences with magic tricks that sometimes what you think your getting
and what you get aint the same thing.........
Especially when books are "home" published (IE plastic ring binders)
Paul's illusion books are absolutely excellent, especially the Halloween one. Many consider him the acknowledged master.
However, this is important. He does not assume that you are a newbie, and his books only contain conceptual designs, and not actual building plans. Here's why: he has no way of knowing how big your assistant is. He can't very well create a master set of designs, assuming that your assistant is, say, 5'2", whereas she is really 5'5" or 5'7". That may not seem like much, but that can make a huge difference if you are talking about some sort of Dollhouse illusion and she is stashed away in there, waiting for her cue. You can be out there, dancing around to the music, making grand, flourishing jestures, and striking a pose, while she is cramped in there, getting a severe crick in her neck. Likewise, if the projected measurements are for someone very petite, and your assistant is rather busty, that would create issues as well.
So, that being the case, the designs only give you rough dimensions, with the idea that you will hard dial in the specific specs, based on your actual needs, and the real world measurements of your assistant.
Ergo, his books are not for newbies, but for pros.
Now, that said, I think Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic has some excellent illusions which do give you more specific - and more forgiving - measurements, and that would be a good place to start as far as getting your feet wet.
The reason why Mark's designs are more forgiving than say Paul's is that Mark's designs are old standards that don't depend heavily on your assistant's abilities as a contortionist. Paul gets the big bucks cuz, apart from some really cool looking stuff, his stuff works on the idea that when you look at the box, there is absolutely no way that an assistant can be stashed away somewhere in that apparatus, contortions and all. Part of that is masterful application of optical illusion, and part of that is giving your assistant just enough space to squeeze in.
Incidentally, why did you want to build illusions? Looking to do a Halloween Magick Show, or were you looking to work some effects into your haunt?
Thanks, I actually started learning magic from the Mark Wilson books.
Those old basic tricks are very under rated...
I should have been more specific, I want to build "The Headless Woman" and "Spidora"
I was just a little apprehensive about forking out $50 for something I can't look at first.
I hate when they don't give previews or anything..
WHen I look at the headless woman, it looks like it's just a "mirror box" on her shoulders with some
tubes and stuff to keep your eye from looking to hard...
You are buying secrets that people actually still use to make money. If they gave you a preview, what would be the point of secrecy? Magic and illusion is separated from laypersons by a single door. However, it is an unlocked door in which the layperson can open and gain all the secrets they could ever want. You gotta fork over the money to gain it, to open that door so to speak. Gotta take the leap of chance and just go for it, or don't. Just keep in mind that Osborne's illusions are some of the base of many of the modern illusions to this date. Yes, David Copperfeild, Jim Steinmeyer, Dan Sperry, Jeff Mcbride, etc. all perform illusions that are based off the principles held within the books.
As far as your general description of the effect, well, I'm not sure what else you were hoping for. There are only so many ways to take someone's head off theatrically without actually severing it.
The Spidora illusion is also a classic, and gets an equally thorough treatment.
As far as paying $50 a pop, well, you could get the whole book, with both illusions, plus 25 more, for $52. Click here. It should still be available.
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