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Q: How does David Blane appear to reach through a solid glass window? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: How does David Blane appear to reach through a solid glass window?
Category: Science > Technology
Asked by: bigjosh-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 04 Aug 2002 10:29 PDT
Expires: 03 Sep 2002 10:29 PDT
Question ID: 50488
In Vertigo, how did David Blane do the trick where he reached his hand
through the store window to grab the specator's watch inside? (I can
guess how the watch got in there, just interested in the
hand-through-glass part).
Subject: Re: How does David Blane appear to reach through a solid glass window?
Answered By: j_philipp-ga on 04 Aug 2002 12:19 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Bigjosh,

Let me answer your question with theories proposed in newsgroups:

------ Theory 1:

Quote Rick in newsgroup alt.magic.secrets, "David Blaine hand thru
"Watch it very closely and you will see it's a different hand inside
the window. It's lighter in color than David's and the movements of
the hand don't exactly line up with the movements of David's arm. As
David pretends to push his hand through the window he is actually
pulling his arm back into his sleeve and the hand you see through the
glass is actually an assistant inside the store."

Section8pidgeon would reaffirm this theory in "David Blaine's powers":
"Blaine puts newspaper in front of window and appears to put hand into
window, but his real hand is actually going into his sleeve. It is his
assistant's hand that is actually reaching for the watch in the
jewelry display, using an angle trick to fool TV audience that it's
Blaine's real hand.  That's the purpose of the newspaper, to hide
where the assistant's hand is originating from in front of the
display, just ahead of the glass. The camera angle helps to hide it
behind newspaper.  If you look carefully, Blaine's arm movements do
not even match movement of hand inside store, and they're not even the
same skin color! So after assistant's hand brings 2nd watch under
display, Blaine pretends to pull hand out, but already has 1st watch

------ Theory 2:

Bill Page quotes Vocalize with a rather different explanation in
"It was his own hand, but more than likely not ever a real jewelry
store. They re-worked the front facade of that shop.
There is more window pane than 'meets the eye.' The glass extends a
few feet into the left window frame and hides the hole. When the
newspaper is brought up to the glass, the whole pane is moved
left-to-right -- extending now further into the RIGHT window frame. Of
course, once the hand is removed, the whole pane again slides left,
and hides the hole. When the newspaper leaves the glass, all appears
as before."

Above is also considered as a possible solution by Tito in, in the thread "DAVID BLAINE : DEVIL???":
"The guy walking behind Blaine and the woman did not take the watch.
He was just a planned distraction. Blaine then handed the watch off to
an assistant behind him (just off camera) which went down the street
ahead of them to the jewelry store. The jewelry store window was
specially rigged for this trick - it could slide side to side in a
large frame. When Blaine held up the newspaper, the window slid to the
side, revealing a hole. Nobody saw this because of the camera angle.
He stuffs his arm through the hole, grabs the watch, and pulls it
through the hole. Then as he's giving her the watch, the newspaper is
still held in front of the hole as the window slides back the other
way, concealing the hole."

------ Theory 3:

And Cghost in "David Blaine's powers" suggests that it's just camera
effects and special tricks from the editing room:
"[David Blaine] does a simple illusion, films it, then does a bunch of
[things] they cut out before its aired and puts it all together. like
with the watch through the window...he probably palmed it to a guy
walking by who put it inside the store. then they stopped the camera,
brought it back out and put all the shots together. i saw this
hilarious outtake footage where he [messes] up a whole lot...he would
[mess] up each trick about 5 times on the street, but they edit it all

I hope this helps!

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bigjosh-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I just went back and checked my Tivo and I vote for the sliding glass
theory. I can see the paper busting through the glass, so I don't
think it is an assisant's hand. There is a move in there that looks
consistant with the glass sliding back after he goes through it.

Thanks for the great answer!

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