Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

David Blaine?

  1. Jun 23, 2003 #1
    David Blaine??

    Yo, d00dz, any of you familiar with David Blaine's levitation act?

    Assuming it's not just a cheap camera trick, any ideas as to how he might do it?

    My friend noticed that it's always shown to people or the camera from one specific angle, if it is an illusion somehow, but there's no evidence of anything hidden
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2003 #2
    David Blaine is magic. He does it by using his magic.

    How else would he stay in a block of ice for so long?
  4. Jun 23, 2003 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    It is a very good trick. I've "puzzled and puzzled 'till my puzzler was sore" over it and can't figure out exactly how he does it. I have seen people's reactions to it (as he normally does it on the street in front of witnesses) and believe these reactions to be genuine and not "acting". So, almost certainly it is not a camera trick.

    The best explanation I could come up with is that it is done using some variation of the oldest magician's trick; mirrors. Ordinary mirrors would not accomplish this, but here in the Forums we have frequently discussed an invisibility technology involving the use of a camera and a flexible projection screen to project on a surface the image of what should be seen behind that surface (if the serface were not present). If Mr. Blaine has such cameras in the toes of his shoes, with projection screens on the souls of his shoes, he could simply be standing on his toes.

    Anyways, that's my best guess. The effect itsself is really quite stunning.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2003
  5. Jun 23, 2003 #4
    The explanation:

    He just stands on his tip toes, and because people are expecting him to do magic, they just believe it.

    It is an amazing feat of propoganda.
  6. Jun 23, 2003 #5


    User Avatar

    Yep. Hence the angle. When he lifts up the body with the toes of his right foot, while the camera is positioned behind the left heel, his left foot would hide the sight of the toes and produce the illusion. When sprung unexpectedly, it is very effective.
  7. Jun 23, 2003 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    You're saying that he has 'holes' cut in the bottom of his shoes, and he basically just stands on his tiptoes and the shoes hide it?

    Or did I misunderstand?
  8. Jun 25, 2003 #7
    you misunderstand enigma, he simply raises his body with his foot. Shoe and everything. Its all about the angle, the witnesses are fakes too. It was in some tv show explaining all this street magic. Cool stuff, i think it was on tlc or something.
  9. Jun 27, 2003 #8
    Why would he need them to stand behind him if they were fakes? He could just have the camera behind.

    I do not think that the witnesses are fakes.
  10. Jun 27, 2003 #9
    Im just repeating what was on that show
  11. Jul 6, 2003 #10
    it may either be a mix of real witnesses and actors or just witnesses but either way the real ones are exspecting to see him levatate and hope he dose so they dont bother looking around he also pretends like he is tired like unberrably tired.

    I think it would be fun if they burned him as a witch in some retro-village
  12. Jul 6, 2003 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What about David Copperfield flying in a glass box ?!
  13. Jul 8, 2003 #12
    my mother taught us a truism of magic. there's a reason they're called "tricks", that being they're designed to trick the senses into believing something happened when it really didn't.
  14. Jul 14, 2003 #13
    A man I know is great friends with David Blaine and is also very good at this trick.

    The trick is to stand at an angle where your right foot is behind your left foot. Then you bring your left foot up with the heel of your right foot but keeping your right toes on the ground. The way your left foot is positioned infront of the right foot according to the perspective of the audience is the trick.
  15. Jul 21, 2003 #14
    If I'm not mistaken, there were two different angles showing him "levitate".

    In the one with street witnessed, he was performing the trick Ploegman described.

    In the angle where both feet were shown not touching the ground (which had no witnesses) I believe he had either used two tables and kept his feet off the ground for a few seconds like that, or he used a crane type system to hold him above the ground. This part was probably just to add misbelief to those who weren't already convinced.
  16. Jan 15, 2006 #15
    check this out:
    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=blaine+Levitation+&so=0 [Broken]

    it really is a neat little trick
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  17. Jan 15, 2006 #16
    Wow 2 and a half years old, and brought back to life. Is that a record?

    Is it just me, or in that video does the guy use his forearm/elbow to hold himself up?

    After another look, it seems as though he uses his hand and arm strength to hold himself up.

    Look at his right arm (specifically his right elbow/arm moving up), and the top of that entertainment center.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2006
  18. Jan 15, 2006 #17


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    They still need to work on the camera angle a bit; it's still a bit obvious that he's standing on tiptoe with the foot furthest from the camera. :rofl:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  19. Jan 15, 2006 #18
    Ahh yes that too MB, I did not even notice that!
  20. Jan 15, 2006 #19


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes, and the arm against the TV cabinet is probably for balance.
  21. Jan 15, 2006 #20


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Is anyone else watching David Blaine's special right now on TLC?

    and BTW:

    EDIT- go to "levitation" in the menu and click the link about he balducci mothod
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook