David Blaine is undoubtedly the biggest name in magic today, and his new ABC special Beyond Magic follows the illusionist on another of his escapades performing for public figures.
The 42-minute special begins with an apt contradiction: a light quote from British writer Roald Dahl and the first inklings of an ominous score by audio studio Antfood. From there, the richly animated opening produced by Buck takes a plunge down the rabbit hole into voids of blue and black and red, into shapeshifting and body horror, into unanswerable questions and Dalí-esque landscapes – the heart of the ineffable.
“He wants to thrill us. He wants to get our attention,” says the voice of actor Christopher Walken, his stilted and strange cadence tying together Cheshire Cat grins and bubbling eyeballs. A figure is slammed through spirals and space, maneuvering that crazy edge between the real and the supernatural. This sequence bears its own magic, a wily and adroit skill that borrows from the past but uses the technology of today, hiding its tricks for the sake of the impression. At its end, and the picture’s start, there is nothing to ground us, no title card – just an image of a spade, the stylized “db” of David Blaine.
Directed By: Buck
Executive Creative Director: Orion Tait
Creative Director: Thomas Schmid
Creative Director: Daniel Oeffinger
Executive Producer: Anne Skopas
Senior Producer: Kevin Hall
Production Coordinator: Alexi Yeldezian
Storyboard: Justin Fines, Olivia Blanc, Thomas Schmid
Design: Daniel Oeffinger, Jaedoo Lee, Justin Fines, Lucas Brooking, Olivia Blanc, Thomas Schmid, Yeojin Shin, Yker Moreno
Cel Animation: Benjy Brooke, Gonzalo Menevichian, Harry Teitelman, Jake Armstrong, Jaedoo Lee, Kyle Mowat, Olivia Blanc, Thomas Schmid, Tim Beckhardt, William Trebutien, Yeojin Shin
After Effects Animation/Composite: Andreas Bjoern Hansen, Alex Perry, Daniel Oeffinger, Fede Reano, Rasmus Bak, Wei Shen Wang, Yeojin Shin, Jaedoo Lee
3D Animation: Arvid Volz, Bill Burg, Bill Dorais, Chris Phillips, John Karian, Tao Ye
Editor: Chad Colby, Daniel Oeffinger
Narrator: Christopher Walken
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