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Derren Brown : The Events Fridays 9pm


Capwn
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It's not that he didn't reveal a geektastic method. It's the he didn't reveal anything. At all. What he "revealed" is obviously not what actually happened.

That's the thing. For me the actual 'prediction' was awesome and an amazing piece of showmanship.

But to then feed us this drivel under the pretence of a genuine explanation makes me so angry I don't think even an OMG emoticon can express my madness.

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Penn and Teller did an excellent trick once, where they stood around in Picadilly Circus or somewhere similiar, and asked people to pick a card, and then they'd guess it correctly each time, because they had a camera behind them reading the cards the people were picking, and then they'd send this to the people in the control room controlling the advertising hoardings, which would change to display what the card was, so Penn and Teller could see what it was

I remember that one. I like Penn and Teller.

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He's done essentially the same trick loads of times before with a live audience. Hell, David Blaine did it close up in the programme after. I have no idea how either did it, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't build a whole trick around something as vulgar as a camera trick.

I'm with you for a number of reasons, but people's utter refusal to now consider other options than split screen is...odd.

"But the camera 'stops' at certain points"

And? What does that prove? Did it actually 'stop'? Who is to say it had anything to do with the show at all?

Some of you have been running with wild technological theories and are now running with them to extremes in cases.

As ben-k pointed out; Blaine did (basically) the same trick on his show after and in the street. No split screens, no inks, projectors, 'deep maths' or cows being weighed under knives held with mice. Just very clever magic.

The more you lot ramble on about technological theories the more I think the whole studio setup and 'show' on wednesday was a massive sleight of hand trick, like a lot of the tricks he does in his live shows.

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Penn and Teller did an excellent trick once, where they stood around in Picadilly Circus or somewhere similiar, and asked people to pick a card, and then they'd guess it correctly each time, because they had a camera behind them reading the cards the people were picking, and then they'd send this to the people in the control room controlling the advertising hoardings, which would change to display what the card was, so Penn and Teller could see what it was

It was more clever than that even - Penn fanned the cards out and a computer looked at which one was missing. Gillette then send the details over a modem (mid 90's shit) to Piccadilly Circus. They claimed the trick cost £50k.

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Cos an entire channel 4 production crew with uber budget and months to prepare would be shitting themselves replicating what some random just knocked up in his flat.

I'm not saying it's definitely split-screen. I'm saying it definitely isn't any of the deep maths twaddle he was banging on about tonight, and split-screen's an entirely plausible explanation.

So...

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True that. He clearly understands all that, and an exploration of all that stuff (Monty Hall, security theatre, that amazing false positives problem that catches everyone out) could have made a brilliant special. Would have been loads of fun, and educational too! Instead of stupid (though I enjoyed the filler bits I saw, like the knife/mouse. That's the Fun Derren, I'll catch what I missed at the start of the repeat).

Agreed. I don't care that he didn't give a real explanation of how he did the trick... the problem was just that this was one of his weakest shows, and felt very padded out (it didn't really need both of the tricks involving mice). He could have mentioned things like Monty Hall, without his show necessarily becoming a maths lecture.

And considering that earlier in the thread people were discussing the way sceptics haven't really criticised him because he goes out of his way to make clear that mediums are charlatans, this time the show finished with a lot of people left with the impression that willpower can influence random events.

Having said that, his presentation of how I would have done it (phrase © OJ Simpson) was pretty entertaining. "Hypnotised the security guards..." ;)

And if it gets lots more people to play the lottery this week then that's more money they can distribute to good causes, so hooray for that!

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Just very clever magic.

I'm sorry. What?

I do have an open mind to other possibilities but I simply cant come up with any others which are reasonable. You yourself said you have no idea how he did it. Part of his act is that he plays his chances down but he is nearly ALWAYS bang on the money. Occasionally he will get something slightly wrong but its almost part of the act to make him seem more human. He has an amazing understanding of historical techniques and the power of suggestion. He has studied them all his life. His books are very entertaining and go into a lot of detail about the history of this sort of thing.

All I would say is that the ONLY feasible explanation that has been offered is a simple camera trick. It has been proven by demonstration by someone with no budget that it can be done. I therefore have no reason to believe that a show with a budget of lets say £500k would not be able to pull off a live camera trick like that with a lot of planning. There is no way on earth using any method of calculation that he could nail it like that on the night and there is no way the draw was rigged in any way. Therefore the simplest explanation is the only thing. That the balls were not placed until after the draw was made.

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Let's just say I would be extremely disappointed if that were the case.

I've seen the YouTube vid and, while it's impressive, I wouldn't want to risk it live on four channels...

That last point I think is key here.

I've mentioned it before but it's just open to so much potential problems. People have pointed out the 'moving ball'. Now whether it does or doesn't is one problem but then if you concede that it does you have to consider why and how. Once you start thinking about that I fail to see how it's rational to believe that he'd take the risk of human error into account by having someone, however well trained and practised, adding balls to the holder very quickly. What if they sneezed? What if they dropped a ball in haste? What if they placed the wrong ball on there? What if they had a heart attack? which, given the odds Derren quoted earlier, is more likely than for him to have 'guessed' the numbers.

He's not one for 'camera tricks' and the split screen theory leaves too much room for error.

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Are you on the wind up? How does that ball move if it's not split screen?

No idea. Does it actually move? we're looking at zoomed in, pixellated shots of a ripped tv show and people are arguing about millimetres.

And besides, so what if it does, doesn't mean that it's a split screen, it's just one theory.

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Once you start thinking about that I fail to see how it's rational to believe that he'd take the risk of human error into account by having someone, however well trained and practised, adding balls to the holder very quickly. What if they sneezed? What if they dropped a ball in haste? What if they placed the wrong ball on there? What if they had a heart attack?

Well they had a live Coronation Street once and that went without a hitch.

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And considering that earlier in the thread people were discussing the way sceptics haven't really criticised him because he goes out of his way to make clear that mediums are charlatans, this time the show finished with a lot of people left with the impression that willpower can influence random events.

He's run out of ideas and sold out.

So C4 have just advertised the repeat saying "find out how Derren Brown predicted this week's lottery numbers and how you can do it too". Surely this is just a clear-cut case of false advertising now?

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That last point I think is key here.

I've mentioned it before but it's just open to so much potential problems. People have pointed out the 'moving ball'. Now whether it does or doesn't is one problem but then if you concede that it does you have to consider why and how. Once you start thinking about that I fail to see how it's rational to believe that he'd take the risk of human error into account by having someone, however well trained and practised, adding balls to the holder very quickly. What if they sneezed? What if they dropped a ball in haste? What if they placed the wrong ball on there? What if they had a heart attack? which, given the odds Derren quoted earlier, is more likely than for him to have 'guessed' the numbers.

He's not one for 'camera tricks' and the split screen theory leaves too much room for error.

But I don't get why you think this sort of trickery is anything special.

Think of every large scale magic trick you have seen in your life. Nearly every single one of those tricks uses a method similar to what is being suggested here. Whether its a woman sneaking out of a box or a car being driven out from under a sheet via an angle that the audience cant see. How many times have you seen one of these tricks go wrong? I cant think of any. The only thing that is different here is that it is 100% live which makes it seem a lot more dangerous. But think of stage shows where the same distraction and sleight of hand are needed. It very rarely goes wrong. Even if it had, so what. There was a tiny chance of human error but if the stooge had of sneezed and sent the whole set flying I am sure he would have had a get out plan. He is a gregarious enough entertainer to have all bases covered.

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I don't know why people are saying it's disappointing or a huge let-down. He was never going to predict the numbers, we knew that. In the past three days he's got much of the country discussing how he did it and then he's fooled a huge percentage of them with well-thought out lies. It's been a huge success. If you were expecting more then that's a bit silly.

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That last point I think is key here.

I've mentioned it before but it's just open to so much potential problems. People have pointed out the 'moving ball'. Now whether it does or doesn't is one problem but then if you concede that it does you have to consider why and how. Once you start thinking about that I fail to see how it's rational to believe that he'd take the risk of human error into account by having someone, however well trained and practised, adding balls to the holder very quickly. What if they sneezed? What if they dropped a ball in haste? What if they placed the wrong ball on there? What if they had a heart attack? which, given the odds Derren quoted earlier, is more likely than for him to have 'guessed' the numbers.

He's not one for 'camera tricks' and the split screen theory leaves too much room for error.

It's not exactly brain surgery.

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I don't know why people are saying it's disappointing or a huge let-down. He was never going to predict the numbers, we knew that. In the past three days he's got much of the country discussing how he did it and then he's fooled a huge percentage of them with well-thought out lies. It's been a huge success. If you were expecting more then that's a bit silly.

NAIL. HEAD. HIT.

For an entertainer of his standard though it generally was a bit crap.

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I don't know why people are saying it's disappointing or a huge let-down. He was never going to predict the numbers, we knew that. In the past three days he's got much of the country discussing how he did it and then he's fooled a huge percentage of them with well-thought out lies. It's been a huge success. If you were expecting more then that's a bit silly.

I expected a better (false) explanation.

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No idea. Does it actually move? we're looking at zoomed in, pixellated shots of a ripped tv show and people are arguing about millimetres.

And besides, so what if it does, doesn't mean that it's a split screen, it's just one theory.

It doesn't need to be zoomed in to see it. I easily saw it on youtube and watched for it again tonight on TV and I could see it. It's pretty clear once you know it happens.

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I don't know why people are saying it's disappointing or a huge let-down. He was never going to predict the numbers, we knew that. In the past three days he's got much of the country discussing how he did it and then he's fooled a huge percentage of them with well-thought out lies. It's been a huge success.

The first show live was amazing.

This one is a let down because he's always taken a skeptical stance before, going out of his way to defraud charlatans, promoting 'the god delusion', etc. So for stuffy old pedants like me making out that it's been scientifically proved 'will' can influence cause and effect is a betrayal of everything he used to claim to stand for.

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NAIL. HEAD. HIT.

For an entertainer of his standard though it generally was a bit crap.

Maybe so but I can't really see how he could have fooled more people or got people talking more, which were probably his two main targets for the show.

I think he's steadily declined over the years but he's always watchable. I'm looking forward to his next three shows anyway.

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But I don't get why you think this sort of trickery is anything special.

Think of every large scale magic trick you have seen in your life. Nearly every single one of those tricks uses a method similar to what is being suggested here. Whether its a woman sneaking out of a box or a car being driven out from under a sheet via an angle that the audience cant see. How many times have you seen one of these tricks go wrong? I cant think of any. The only thing that is different here is that it is 100% live which makes it seem a lot more dangerous. But think of stage shows where the same distraction and sleight of hand are needed. It very rarely goes wrong. Even if it had, so what. There was a tiny chance of human error but if the stooge had of sneezed and sent the whole set flying I am sure he would have had a get out plan. He is a gregarious enough entertainer to have all bases covered.

But that's kind of the point. He doesn't do this kind of trick, it's not his style and frankly, if he has done it this way, it's a very odd way of doing it.

As the Blaine trick later showed, this seems to be 'doable' by magic of the traditional sense and whilst I'm not saying that the split screen/stooge idea is amazingly inventive or implausible, it seems an odd way to go about doing this trick.

There's alot more to it, I'm sure. Half of the show was about getting people to predict something through fear and yet the lottery selector actor people weren't scared of anything, so what was the point of that part of the show? Is there more to this than we're thinking? Unlikely, but then so is the idea of having e-ink balls and split screens.

The more I watch Wednesdays show, the more it looks too 'real' to be a technological trick. The way in which he moves towards the balls and the lack of any real sign of post-production manipulation (save for a 'moving ball') just makes me think that there's something alot more interesting and perhaps basic behind this.

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I liked the live Quatermass remake on BBC 4 a few years back, where halfway through one of the actors forgot his lines, and just stared into the distance in silence for 30 seconds until the camera cut away to the next scene

That show remains both brilliant and a horrible mess. Like s shit radio play gone wrong, and yet still utterly terrifying at the end.

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This one is a let down because he's always taken a skeptical stance before, going out of his way to defraud charlatans, promoting 'the god delusion', etc. So for stuffy old pedants like me making out that it's been scientifically proved 'will' can influence cause and effect is a betrayal of everything he used to claim to stand for.

Yep - this was my original point. I was almost willing to overlook this given how exciting this has all been up until tonight, but yeah - millions now believe in the power of collective thought. If he'd have throw a little pseudo-quantum physics in there about observers changing the results or some shit like that he'd have set rational/scientific thinking back in this country by - dunno, 25 years? We're back to Gellar on Wogan's couch.

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