Editing magic: History’s
By Randi Altman
When asked about magicians or illusionists who push the boundary, most young people would immediately think of David Blaine or Criss Angel. But before either of them drank fire or locked themselves in a water-filled box in front of a crowd, there was Harry Houdini. An inspiration to this current spate of illusionists, Houdini was the subject of an eponymously-named miniseries that premiered Labor Day on the History Channel.
The Uli Edel-directed Houdini tells an old-fashioned story in a new way, grabbing the attention of a new generation of fans of magic and illusion.
Houdini, shot with the Arri Alexa camera on-location in Budapest, was edited on Avid Media Composer 6.5 by Sabrina Plisco, A.C.E.
(Smurfs, Smurfs 2, Charlotte’s Web, Sky Captain and the World of
Tomorrow, Into the West). For help with the show, she brought in editor David Beatty, assistant editor Jered Zalman and, later in the process, another assistant editor Paul Alderman.
There were many “fun challenges,” as Plisco referred to them, for the editorial team that involved individual scenes shot at multiple locations, bluescreen shoots, visual effects and a tight domestic turnaround.