It was a simple concept to me. I wanted to add something for the audience. “It would be like being in a magic theatre. You sit back and watch things come to life.” To do so, the characters would have to move, or change, or perform magic, while the audience would be watching. It did sound ambitious. “I think a magician who wants to be considered a serious entertainer will always be a magician, simply because they have a talent. You know how many people get up there and play tricks. So why not have a magician who just has a natural talent?” It took 10 years to come up with the idea of this film. It was the last project I worked on, and it was the first film I did for my own money. I had no idea what was going to happen with it. The director didn’t know how to go about shooting it, and the producer thought it was an interesting idea but felt it was too far and too complicated to be on the screen in the way he envisioned. “I wanted to add something for the audience. It would be like being in a magic theatre.
“I found out by accident. I happened to stumble across a recording of a magician I had worked with. I listened to it and realized that he had made the same thing a couple of weeks earlier, but it had not gone over well. I decided to try it. I found out that he had made it up in a simple, easy-to-do magical act based on the same idea. That was one of the elements that helped the success of the project.
I also felt that I needed to give the audience a glimpse at this other world, which required the magic to happen. I tried a handful of different ideas like the magic of a man who had lost his mind, and some of the supernatural elements, but I just couldn’t get them to work, that it would be an exercise in “being there”. One day I was taking a walk, and I remember coming across a huge manhole in the street that I thought looked like it would need to be climbed, but there was no time. The next morning I went back to it and found that the manhole had been broken in half. The man was gone, the lid, and the manhole itself was just a part of his new body. There was no need to go through the effort required to get the man to come out of the hole. For years I just thought of it as the man was just
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