Vanishing the Statue of Liberty

Vanishing The Statue Of Liberty

Vanishing the Statue of Liberty

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Description:
Making the Statue of Liberty seem to disappear on live television (in 1983) is the creation of Jim Steinmeyer and Don Wayne, and it is still unpublished. In the illusion, Copperfield raises a giant curtain on Liberty Island before lowering it again a few seconds later to reveal that the space where the statue once stood is now empty. A helicopter hovers overhead to give an aerial view of the illusion, and indeed the statue appears to have vanished and only the circle of lights surrounding the statue remain. To prove that it is really gone, Copperfield then passes two searchlights through the space where the statue stood, to show there is nothing blocking the way. A live audience sits in an enclosed viewing area, and most of the camera shots are from the same area.

Method

Unknown to the audience, they (along with the home audience cameras) are seated on a large rotating stage. After the curtain is brought up to obscure the view, the stage is rotated into a new position overlooking empty water. The lights are extinguished from the Statue of Liberty, which now cannot be seen in the darkness. The helicopters fly into a new position while a second ring of lights, identical to the ones around the statue, are lit in the open water. The curtain is then lowered, allowing the audience to observe the empty ring of lights, completing the...
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