In the summer of 2015 The Illusionists filmed their NBC TV special at the beautiful Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles.
In the summer of 2015 The Illusionists filmed their NBC TV special at the beautiful Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. Tim got a call from Simon Painter, producer of The Illusionists, a couple of weeks prior to filming. In addition to the illusions currently in the show (many of which were designed and built by Illusion Projects) he wanted some additional pieces for the opening and background decoration. As luck would have it, they had just finished a steampunk style smoke chamber that was a fun, in-house design/ build project. The prop was in the showroom at Illusion Projects along with some other pieces in stock that Simon wanted to use for the show. Arrangements were made and the illusions were shipped to the tours location prior to going to LA for the filming. Director Neil Dorward was able to block and rehearse the illusions in between shows while on the tour. Unfortunately on the shipment from Vegas a forklift destroyed the side of the smoke chamber. Luckily Illusion Projects still had the CNC files from the original build – so a replacement panel was cut and shipped next day to meet with the prop and be installed. Because Illusion Projects designed the prop in the 3d CAD system (Solidworks) every hole on the replacement part lined up exactly, making it fast and simple for the crew on site to install the new part.
Tim flew to LA on the morning of the filming. The Orpheum theatre is beautiful, but like many older venues, there is not a lot of backstage space. Add in a full filming crew for the show and the theatre was literally overflowing. Two parking lots behind the theatre were being used for excess storage – one for TV equipment and one for show props. This meant the illusions were sitting outside in the hot LA sun. Tim did some clean up and adjustment on the props that Illusion Projects had built, all while getting a nice tan (sunburn). Tim sat in on some of the filming and had a bite to eat with Don Wayne. Don is one of the world’s top magic consultants and was also working on the show.
The producers, performers and everyone involved on the special put together a fantastic television event. If you didn’t catch it you can watch the full special here