Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Derren Brown Book and Survey Results

BBC News posted a piece called "Inside the mind of Derren Brown" today. They didn't delve too far into DB's mind, giving us a brief sampling of well-known biographical facts.

They did, however, provide the following juicy news:

...Brown is planning his next project. He is writing a book for the general public, which will explore many of his techniques. Although many of his tricks and illusions are hard to believe, he insisted that all it takes is practice.

Although the article does not provide much more information about the book, it strongly suggests that the book will reveal secrets of Derren's tricks (we'll believe that when we see it).

A new post on Derren's official site today does not discuss the forthcoming book, but does reveal that a new DVD set containing four of his TV specials is on the way, as well as a TV broadcast of his "Mind Reader: An Evening of Wonders."

Poll Results

And, finally, I have the results of this week's AboutDerrenBrown survey. As you will recall, the survey asked whether DB's recent shows had too much psychology in the place of actual tricks.

The 31 respondents said that DB's shows have:

1. Too much lecturing -- not enough magic. (5 votes or 16.13%)

2. Too much magic -- not enough psychological lecturing. (3 votes or 9.68%)

3. Just the right mix (23 votes or 74.19%)

In summary, then, people who read this blog are pretty happy with Derren's shows. I suppose that makes sense. Here are some of the specific comments people left:

1. Its been a trend of a lot of individuals as of late, being all denouncing of people who use such tech for their own gain. Its not just him, but after a while a lot of magicians and scientists and the like seem to fall into it. I say bring back the awe of magic, and avoid too much lecturing. Teller is a rolemodel of mine (not so much Penn) because he doesn't speak on stage, he just wows people with good performance. A true entertainer.

2. I like the current approach, but I can understand those who don't.

3. The psychological aspect is the reason why this show is above all the other magic-shows/programs out there. The lecture part of that is just fine (not always his Derren tells the truth). Lets face it - "just magic"; is kind of boring.

4. He uses both his psychological skills and his magician skills to create the perfect show.

5. I came to the Derren Brown party a little late, being an ex-pat Brit living in the US. However, I have watched a lot of his programmes on YouTube and find him to be generally very entertaining. I would agree, though, that "The System"; and the latest series of "trick or Treat"; seem to be more about how we can create our own illusions by false thinking than they were about Derren doing any major magic or mentalism performances. In his current TV work, he seems to be expanding upon the views he expresses in his "Tricks of the Mind" book. Given that he has just finished a lengthy tour performing regular stage mentalism, perhaps he wanted to do something a little different for his TV shows.

6. Although good moral messaging, can only be watched once, maybe twice unlike the classics which i can watch forever (russian)

7. He does a service to us all by the 'preaching' - hopefully some people who are superstitious etc will take this into account!

8. I'm not entirely convinced there's a dichotomy, but I really like the psychological stuff. I really wish I could tell when one or the other was being employed. :)

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