A Quick Note About David Blaine As mentioned above, David Blaine is not the originator of this illusion. He has made the illusion popular, once again, with his recent television special, "David Blaine: Street Magic." The unfortunate reality is, however, that we never really get to see Blaine performing the Balducci Levitation. We watch several times as Blaine performs it for others, but we never get to see it for ourselves.
For the television special, Blaine performed the Balducci levitation in front of several different groups of people, and the camera was there to catch their reaction. The method he used for this is the Balducci method, described below. While videotaping these various performances, the producers keyed in on the audience members with the most visual reaction. After the Balducci levitation, the producers of the show had these same people stand by for another taping of the illusion - this time the camera would shoot from behind the audience members to get a
clear view of Blaine in action. The audience members were told that this second performance was to show them how magicians could use wires to levitate. And this is exactly what happened. A small harness and rig (just out of camera view) was set up and Blaine performed a standard wire-suspension.
What Blaine did was a camera trick - known as a post-production edit. The audience at home watched the second (wire suspension) levitation performance, with the audience reaction of the real levitation edited in. It was said, in the television special, that no strings or wires were used to perform Blaine's levitation. This is true, no wires or strings are required. Unfortunately, we never got to see Blaine's real levitation - we saw a wire-suspension.
Other than a few camera edits, Blaine did a wonderful job with his first television special. This is one magic special worth owning on videotape.