I am a Film & TV teacher at a Performing Arts School. My youngest class (Ages 6 - 8) are recreating the scene from the 1964 Mary Poppins where she is pulling all the items out of the carpet bag. I've added a link below:
What would be the most effective way to achieve this in a classroom setting? I have an overall understanding of how it could be achieved, but it would be great to know if anyone has any specific techniques that I could use. The children are very excited and I'd like to be able to show them a test of the effect before we do it properly, so they can see that they will be able to do it.
Any help would be much appreciated
Thanks very much!
You'll find some discussion of this on the web. These are good effects; they won awards. It wasn't done in software (didn't exist), but there was some post production apparently. How does Mary Poppins pull all of those large objects from her carpet bag? | Yahoo Answers suggests that, as well as multiple bags, the shot is split top to bottom, with one shot showing the top (things coming from the bag) and another shot showing the bottom (actor under the table to prove there is no trick). Notice the very stilted camera angles in those parts of the scene, so there is no sense of perspective. Split screen can be done in the camera, by masking and rewinding the film but by the 1960s they may have done it another way. Still working with real film though.
Stage tricks like this are often done by magicians, who use mirrors, misdirection and foldable props in various combinations. (Often two different methods will baffle the audience, as they will assume one method and that might really be impossible). Magician's trick books do exist, but magicians are not terribly forthcoming.
How you do the trick is going to depend on what you want to teach them. Taking a video then going to a dark room with software for 2 hours probably won't teach 6-8 year olds very much. A simple optical illusion is likely to teach them more.
P.S. An optical illusion that works only at one viewing angle - where the camera happens to be - would be particularly interesting in a discussion of the difference between film/tv and performing for an audience.
You'll find some discussion of this on the web. These are good effects; they won awards. It wasn't done in software (didn't exist), but there was some post production apparently.
Yes, there was a time before Photoshop, After Effects et al.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer
We're going to try it with a bag with a hole and a table with a hole. I'm then going to have a go at split screen. While this may present some lighting challenges, I think we'll get a good result.
I have a projector in class, so it's quite easy to show the kids how things are put together in post.
Thank you so much again!
May be you should ask a real illusionist. They may have the small extra that is needed to get this working correctly. I love the project... Sound like a lot of fun. Good luck and let us know about your success.
It is likely way too late for your class project but here is something that you might consider.
First, try to create an effect that is similar to the film version ie pulling impossibly large things our of a small bag. One very practical method is to use reflective mirrors to reflect the images on the sides of these mirrors to mimic what is behind the table, Imagine the mirrors placed in a box at 90 degrees to each other. If the box is painted the same on the back as the sides, you can put anything behind the mirrors and it won't be detected. Take a look at this tutorial. IF you make this a relatively small prop, you can store it easily and bring it out when ever you want to show the magic of mirrors!