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  • - 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.