This Friday at Festival Park opposite the Luxor, he takes his frightening risks even farther. His eyes and face will be duct taped. He will be hoisted five to 10 stories high and walk from one side of an I-Beam to the other, but he must avoid a 2-foot break in it, which would plunge him to his death if he fell.
Criss Angel continues his filming for his Spike series BeLIEve, but even as he prepares for a public illusion this week he is still firing back about criticism over a demonstration last week.
In a statement released through Robin Leach, sources described as “Top Spike executives” take direct aim at (without naming) Jan Rouven. It had been reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Angel sword illusion was similar to Rouven’s routine.
Criss is the only magician to whom Clive has given his permission and blessing to re-create this demonstration, and no one else should be performing it without Mr. Barker’s permission.
Criss himself addressed the matter later in the article.
The demonstration I undertook to re-create was in a movie from 1995 that shows this very illusion. To say I stole it is absolutely crazy when I had the permission to bring it to life from the original movie.
As for what looked to be a technical error captured in a video Lax released? Angel says it was just the way the effect was filmed for television.
We built up the drama of the demonstration especially for television, so immediately some critics said I was screwing up and getting it wrong. But it was designed that way, and they don’t understand television nor are they appearing on it. We had to have the tease and the excitement before the commercial break before the final 6 minutes of the falling swords.
From my vantage point, these are two sides that will not be reconciled. In general, the “magic police” investigation into who owned what and when they obtained permission for it is a fruitless pursuit that inflames more than it solves. That won’t stop magicians criticizing the every move of a highly visible magician, simply because there is much more of his act out in the open. It’s a natural part of the game and one that I would argue can be healthy expression if understood in the proper context.
Oh well. With the bulk of his Spike filming ahead of him Angel has a lot to worry about beyond magic’s nattering class of myself, his peers and the press.
Criss Angel made his return to Fremont Street last night with his first big filming for his upcoming Spike series. It would be safe to say that he’d probably like things to run a little smoother than this in the future.
Entitled Death Premonition, Angel was tied to a bed with swords suspended above him and dropped one by one. All but one were positioned to fall near him, one sword was positioned over his heart.
The filming hit an hour delay and was then beset by some technical malfunctions. A video by Las Vegas Weekly reporter / author / magician Rick Lax shows a pretty big tech error during the finale of the trick which left some in the crowd that hung around pretty miffed. PLEASE BE AWARE OF STRONG LANGUAGE.
And then there is the creative origin of the trick itself…
His Bed of Death routine was designed for the German version of Phenomenon and is currently in Rouven’s act.
Angel’s camp says the illusion was inspired by the Clive Barker film Lord of Illusions which indeed features a hanging sword demonstration. You can catch glimpses of it in the trailer below. Angel even went as so far to film and release a blessing from Barker himself before the filming last night.
Angel tweeted pictures of the LoI scene last night while thanking Barker for the permission to bring his movie to life. Rouven’s team says that his illusion was inspired by Lord of Illusions, even if Angel’s demonstration was inspired by Lord of Illusions it still had to be developed into a theatrical magic effect which they claim Angel lifted from them.
Either way, Criss Angel has to be hoping that his next big demonstration (an effect called BLIND, according to his Twitter) goes a bit smoother than this one did.
Criss Angel has begun shooting his return to television, wrapping up his first day in front of the camera, according to Twitter. He asks anyone in the Las Vegas area that would like to help out with the series to head down to the Luxor production office. You could be part of one of Criss’ new demonstrations, of course, if you are… feel free to let us know what’s going on in the comments.
His Las Vegas flagship show Believe is turning five years old. It’s an achievement for a Cirque show that’s had critical ups and downs but endured to become synonymous with “Las Vegas magic”. Meanwhile, he returns to television on Spike later this year with 11 new hours of programming.
And it looks like there is news on both fronts today. Robin Leach is reporting that Angel’s Spike series will debut this fall to coincide with Believe’s anniversary. Meanwhile, the show itself will get a new opening and a new signature levitation wherein audience members will float with Angel.
The unnamed Angel series will begin filming this month and iTricks has heard some whispers on the names involved in the on-camera creative capacity. One of which is quite interesting.
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