Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - One of Robert-Houdin's great inventions

  • is the light and heavy chest.

  • It was a chest that a kid could lift quite easily,

  • but a strong man, when he tried to lift it,

  • couldn't lift it.

  • In "The Illusionist", they took that idea, that same idea.

  • I'm gonna reveal the method of the light and heavy chest.

  • Hey GQ, it's David Copperfield. This is "The Breakdown".

  • [static]

  • [upbeat music]

  • - [David] First up, "Now You See Me".

  • - [Announcer] It's 11:50 PM here in Vegas,

  • that's 8:50 AM in Paris.

  • Your bank opens in less than 10 minutes.

  • 1...2...

  • - 3.

  • - A number of years ago,

  • a screenwriter named Ed Reichardt came to my show,

  • and we did the show in-the-round,

  • which was very unusual, hasn't been done before.

  • And we did an illusion, also quite unique,

  • where we would vanish, me and a spector,

  • to vanish from the theater,

  • and reappear in location in Hawaii.

  • It was pretty amazing and groundbreaking.

  • And it's what inspired the whole, "Now You See Me" series.

  • - I liked that little French guy. Where'd he go?

  • [horns honking]

  • [apprehensive music]

  • - Wait, there he is. [applause]

  • - Teleporting around the world wasn't ever done

  • in the magic show.

  • And they saw this opportunity to use it in a movie.

  • The magic wasn't just card tricks or whatever.

  • It was something that could be done

  • as a whole basis of real drama.

  • - Inside of your helmet, you should feel a button.

  • Don't press it just yet.

  • Now that's button activates an air duct

  • that connects Paris to Las Vegas.

  • Okay, good, now you can press it.

  • - All right, now Ettian, hold on tight.

  • You might feel a bit of a vacuum.

  • [apprehensive music]

  • [loud fan]

  • [slow music]

  • - In our version, I brought the rain back with me,

  • into the theater-in-the-round.

  • In this version, probably a little bit more cool

  • for the audience, the money comes back to the theater.

  • You know, it's about credibility.

  • When I did this illusion,

  • and people thought it was ridiculous,

  • nobody's gonna believe it, people said it couldn't be done,

  • not credible at all.

  • And we spent three years interviewing audience members,

  • changing bits, little by little,

  • to make it a credible thing.

  • And finally, we got it so the people

  • in the audiences were crying.

  • So when Ed Reichardt saw that in the show,

  • he saw a pretty good version of our things,

  • so it could be credible, it was something that you could do.

  • The cast were incredible in this film,

  • because they really are committed to it.

  • And they did all the steps that we did,

  • that we found we had to do to make it a credible thing.

  • Having proof, having a kind of relationship

  • between the monitor in the theater,

  • and yeah, I think it worked.

  • Our version happened over the heads of the audience.

  • It was surrounded in a circular theater.

  • I wanted, you know, people beneath the illusion itself.

  • They had, in-the-round, and I guess because

  • they didn't have people below,

  • they had the piece collapse up.

  • So it was kind of avoiding the trapdoor idea.

  • To me, magic isn't about making something disappear.

  • It's about really having the audience

  • feel emotionally attached to it.

  • This is an example of that,

  • because this was about characters

  • that you care about, these people-

  • I mean, these actors are amazing.

  • Also the people in the audience who were involved with this,

  • were people that you get to know and care about,

  • or have some kind of stakes in the matter.

  • So it's not about the illusion,

  • it's about the illusion plus caring

  • about why it's happening.

  • "The Prestige".

  • - Because making something disappear isn't enough.

  • You have to bring it back.

  • That's why every magic trick has a third act,

  • the hardest part, the part we call "the prestige".

  • [bangs on glass]

  • - I love the poetry that Chris and his brother

  • put into this movie.

  • We don't use words in magic,

  • like, "The prestige", or all the things he did,

  • but I think it's kind of nice gravitas that he added.

  • Many people say there's seven pieces of magic,

  • seven effects, and it's 100% not true.

  • I'm with my amazing staff,

  • inventing new technology all the time.

  • And I think in this case, with Christopher Nolan,

  • and his brother did, with all the electric currents,

  • the Tesla coil effects, he created a new language,

  • in that way, that doesn't exist

  • in any magic show in history.

  • So I think he had the same kind of instinct

  • as I do in my show now.

  • You know, I'm doing magic with dinosaurs,

  • and spaceships, and aliens, and time travel,

  • nothing that you could find in a magic book.

  • Most magicians, you know, unfortunately kind of do things

  • that have been done before.

  • But a lot of the really great people

  • who are trying to progress the art form, in the past,

  • and also today, are trying to change the language

  • and move things in a new way.

  • You know, they say in there that if you vanish something,

  • you have to bring it back.

  • In that case, the bird was vanished,

  • and they had to make for the child,

  • the fear of something bad happening to the bird, go away.

  • I don't believe it's important

  • to bring things back, necessarily.

  • I vanished an airplane once, and I didn't bring it back.

  • And it was viral before viral existed.

  • And it's because I didn't bring it back,

  • it was kind of unsatisfied.

  • The audience is going, "What happened to it?"

  • If I brought it back, it would have closed the circle.

  • I don't agree with that idea that you have to bring it back.

  • "Now You See Me 2".

  • [foreign language]

  • [intense music]

  • [foreign language]

  • [foreign language]

  • [upbeat music]

  • - My Executive Producer, Chris Kenner,

  • started a whole trend of juggling cards

  • in a beautiful way, and it was called "cardistry".

  • This sequence is based on that entire idea.

  • Andrei Jikh, who took that idea

  • and took it to another level,

  • helped design the sequence, which is pretty interesting.

  • All these moves are based on real moves,

  • real things you can do.

  • Everything you're seeing here really could be done.

  • It would be kind of hard to do it all in that sequence,

  • but they're all possible to do.

  • They helped a little bit, with a little bit

  • of the camera technique to get it to work

  • perfectly each time, but all very risky moves

  • that could actually be really happening.

  • This whole throwing of cards started a whole trend,

  • YouTube videos of people trying to do hard throwing,

  • where they land in specific spots.

  • We did 200 takes to get this one shot.

  • In movies, you know, we all do many, many takes

  • of scenes as actors.

  • In this case, this is a lot of things put together.

  • John Chu, who is a wonderful director of this film,

  • his background is in dance,

  • and choreographing beautiful sequences.

  • So the combination of cardistry and John Chu's direction,

  • comes together quite nicely here.

  • This is very advanced sleight of hand.

  • To make that all work in a real world situation,

  • it would be very risky to do.

  • I was once held up at gunpoint,

  • and I stupidly did, what in magic, called,

  • the pocket dodge.

  • I showed my pockets empty,

  • even though my passports were really in the pocket.

  • That's a real world situation I did.

  • But in fact, I think in retrospect,

  • is pretty, pretty stupid to do.

  • And here they're on a movie set, so it's okay.

  • All these little details are based on real things.

  • And that's what's really rewarding for me.

  • All the sleight-of-hand moments are really based

  • on real palming, back palming, sleeve manipulation,

  • techniques of elastic, all that's real stuff, you know?

  • And they put it into a kind of a nice sequence, I think.

  • [tense music]

  • My friend, Levent Cimkentli, vanishes a jumbo card

  • on stage with that exact method.

  • On the back of the card is a pattern of his jacket,

  • and he just vanishes it.

  • And it really looks great.

  • And then as a gag,

  • he kind of reveals it and shows what happens.

  • So it's okay for me to say the story,

  • but it's a really great thing, and it does work.

  • There's a magnet in the jacket and sticks to it.

  • And when my friend does it,

  • the card vanishes, and it looks fantastic.

  • And then it's really magnetized to his coat.

  • The famous magicians of the past used to scale cards

  • into the audience, take cards with their picture on it,

  • and throw them in the audience,

  • and hit certain marks in the theater.

  • Amazingly, it was a great skill.

  • And this is taking that to another level,

  • it's using it for real purpose.

  • They would skip cards off the ground, like a rock in a lake.

  • And all this is based on that.

  • [playful music]

  • [foreign language]

  • - Hey [whistles]. My eyes are up here, man.

  • How do you like it?

  • - There's also a pickpocket technique,

  • where you're managing people to move a certain way.

  • You can pick their pocket here, you can touch 'em there,

  • they're gonna look this way, you can steal their watch.

  • It's that kind of technique, all combined in this piece.

  • "The Illusionist".

  • - Might I borrow a handkerchief from someone?

  • You, madam.

  • Thank you.

  • [audience chatters]

  • Thank you.

  • - Using audiences' personal artifacts

  • has always been part of magic.

  • Even the street performer would use things

  • from the audience.

  • I think it makes the audience feel they're part of it,

  • and involved, also makes it more impossible,

  • when you're using one of their objects.

  • In the real version of this, it was a ring

  • and a handkerchief that would vanish and reappear.

  • - Time.

  • From the moment we enter this life,

  • we are in the flow of it.

  • We measure it, and we mark it.

  • We cannot defy it.

  • We cannot even speed it up or slow it down.

  • - They did something really nice here.

  • In magic, you know, there's manipulation of all kinds,

  • cigarette manipulation, which is a no-go right now.

  • But that was a thing, you know,

  • manipulation of coins, and cards, and billiard balls.

  • Billiard balls who appear between your fingers, all that.

  • And I think in "The Illusionists", they did something

  • kind of cool to make the oranges small enough

  • to do actual billiard ball moves.

  • I think that was a really good idea.

  • When the orange goes up, or goes in slow-motion,

  • we can do that.

  • They did it with special effects,

  • but as long as it can be done,

  • it has a lot of credibility for me.

  • Ed Norton's character really was a wonderful magician,

  • a lot of skill.

  • I know Ed Norton worked very, very hard in his technique.

  • One of the illusions he did