How do we get there?
I would argue that we’ve been using the idea of closeness and magic in an unthinking, linear sense, but it’s actually a powerful idea.
How Close Does It Have To Be?
This really was the biggest question I had about close-up magic. How close could close-ups go?
There are some simple things to think about, but in some cases, the answer was “no.” I went through all of my old photos and put them in chronological order. I used this list that I put together (with permission) that provided a quick, simple answer to almost every point in the debate (I hope this post serves as a good starting point too.)
“Can you get close to yourself in your head, your hand, on your chest … or would it be difficult getting close to a camera?”
On the first night, I sat down with my notebook and wrote down how close I could get to myself in my head and hand, etc. I also started looking at the video footage I had saved. I started wondering what was really possible. I didn’t know for certain it might go wrong, but I didn’t yet know that it had to — there were lots of little, subtle cues, that I needed to pay attention to. And this all took a while — over the course of a couple of days. The more I explored the idea of close-up magic, the closer I came to my conclusion. It was all incredibly hard to talk about, but you all knew what I was talking about because I was right there with you, in front of you, in the process. We went back and forth a lot, too.
What I had discovered was that the closeness you could get to was not necessarily enough to make it work. There were certain elements of your own body that you had to have a certain amount of contact with to make it work. You also had to be aware of them in a specific way. For instance, if we’re talking about someone’s face — if you’re close enough to hold the lens level and use your eyes to the lens, then you’d have enough of a focal point available to work with. This seems intuitive, but it can be problematic. Some people seem to have all this contact with their face, while others can’t. That can take a long time.
In the book, “Close-Up” I mentioned that the closer we get to each other,
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