Things By Simon

When Magic, Photography, and Late Nights Collide

Shuttersleight is a website run by three members of the Melbourne magic crew: YC Lo, Yao Wong, and Julius. Even though it’s been sitting dormant for a while, there’s still a bunch of great stuff there that reflects kind of a golden age in Melbourne Magic. There was a period of a few years from about 2005 to 2009 where many of us were meeting regularly to session, work on material, and generally be creative and silly.

Since DSLR cameras were starting to become more accessible as well, many of the moments from these sessions were captured for posterity.

The quintessential shuttersleight post usually involved playing cards in artistic and/or amusing situations. There were statues palming cards, our friend Irwin getting his ass kicked by a girl at card manipulation, the famous Death By Cards series (including part 2part 3, and part 4), and all kinds of other photographic miscellany.

There’s also a photo that I feel strongly ambivalent about. One part of me wants it to stay buried in the archives, never to be seen again by anyone. Another much larger part of me thinks it’s frigging hilarious and deserves attention. It’s this one:

Quite a few years back, a few of us were hired to do roving magic at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. We were performing in an area with several other attractions, including one of those buckets that you stomp grapes in if you’re making wine the low-tech way. At one point a Japanese TV crew turned up to cover the event for a show they were working on.

This was long before any of us had been on TV much, and so we were jumping at the chance of getting near the cameras. However, they were more interested in getting footage of grape stomping than magic. So, media whores that we were, we offered to be the grape stompers. So a few minutes later I found myself with my suit trousers rolled up, stomping grapes in a bucket while doing card manipulations in the vain hope that I could somehow leverage this into some magic related Japanese TV promotional footage.

In the end though we never even found out the name of the show, let alone whether it aired. I like to think that somewhere in Japan, about five years ago, a bunch of people were bemused at the sight of a guy in a suit stomping grapes while doing card tricks.




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