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Derren Brown : The Events Fridays 9pm


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Can someone explain to me how the UV light thing works? Surely if you can't see it, you can't see it. How could you see it subconsciously? Or was that bit just all bollocks.

It's all just bollocks.

Surely that was the most obvious trick on the show. The card that said 'lose' and had the UV writing on the back was not on the table when she picked a card. How it managed to be there when Derren turned the card over is just magic!

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The tramp thing seemed utter bollocks, I don't believe for a minute that was down to the subliminal messages and positive language stuff

Now I'm not suggesting that it was actually done for the program, but I suggest reading Malcom Gladwell's book Blink especially the stuff about priming.

There are a number of studies that show you can alter people's behaviour with priming - examples talked about in the book are doing something with a list of words (like the program) to make people walk slower or be more polite, there are others with thinking about subjects (being a professor, football hooliganism) affecting results in tests. It's an interesting subject.

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I really don't buy any of this editing talk, the more I think about it. It just seems too complicated a process for what are essentially just tricks that are only a couple of steps up from basic card tricks. It's far more likely to be misdirection of some sort than 'every trick is faked with editing'. Surely it's along the lines of card forcing writ large?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I would expect that someone from the production team would have blabbed by now as well. DB's been farming this stuff out for quite some time hasn't he? Of course, if they already have, link me up daddyo!

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No, the trance state has never been discredited, but like most of this stuff it's open to endless debate. As I and many others see it, it's simply the state when you're using more of your imagination than the conscious. Concentrating on an idea, if you will.

You can be in the trance state in every normal situation - driving, walking, sitting in a chair, fighting a tiger...it really doesn't matter. But watching TV is a real trance inducer. Your example is a good one. People move in and out of trance all the time.

Allowing oneself to believe an idea shouldn't be taken lightly. Take smokers, for example. A hypnotherapist can help them to allow themselves to believe that they don't need to smoke, and so stop, whereas they might find it impossible to pretend to themselves that they don't smoke through their own conscious effort.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, don't forget!

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Has anyone here read his books? They're quite interesting and he goes into some detail about most of the subjects discussed here. For all the skeptics who think it's all camera trickery, editing and reshooting give them a read, they're dead good and he goes quite a way to teach you the basics of most of the techniques he uses.

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This might have already been covered, but...

The one last week with the bloke who chose the green chair and a pen. Derren had a large envelope in his right hand which magically contained the photos of the chair and stuff. He and the bloke got mic stands with crocodile clips on them, to hang the pictures off of. Derren got two stands from off stage, with his right hand going completely out of view for a moment, allowing him to switch envelopes.

Now, I'm not pretending to be super at spotting the trick. I wondered where he got the envelope and rewinded the show to find out. What's important is that the camera cut to the other bloke at the crucial time (he had to get a stand too, though I don't think it even ended up being used). I think this is along the same lines of a camera trick, though not as strong. Rather than misdirecting us and getting us to watch the other side of the stage, they used editing so that we coudn't see it at all.

Fair point on what some people have said though; it's not the trick that's important, it's getting people to accept some clever explanation rather than just going "it's not real, it's on telly".

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Was watching some of his older episodes the other day, the one where he tries to get endorsed by 4 different people who are the heads of certain beliefs. So for the psychic one he got the lady to go into another room so he could shout to her through the wall and he would transcribe what he thought she was drawing. So it starts and he says something like... "Ok let you mind just sail away..." "...but don't go overboard with it..." And of course she draws a boat on the sea, the usual thing that "psychics" always seem to predict people will draw. So what I'm asking is is this just trickery again with editing or did the references to boats and the sea actually make her draw a boat?

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I just don't think suggestion like that can work. If it's really powerful I can imagine it increasing the chance of her drawing a boat- if he's a mastermind, maybe as much as a 50% chance. But I can't see it reliably working without camera tricks, or filming lots until he gets it right. Its the same with most of his tricks. Psychology just isn't as powerful as he says it is.

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Was watching some of his older episodes the other day, the one where he tries to get endorsed by 4 different people who are the heads of certain beliefs. So for the psychic one he got the lady to go into another room so he could shout to her through the wall and he would transcribe what he thought she was drawing. So it starts and he says something like... "Ok let you mind just sail away..." "...but don't go overboard with it..." And of course she draws a boat on the sea, the usual thing that "psychics" always seem to predict people will draw. So what I'm asking is is this just trickery again with editing or did the references to boats and the sea actually make her draw a boat?

I first tried this with just a random friend of mine. He drew a toilet and a penis.

Then I tried it with a friend who I knew was susceptible to this kind of bullshit (ie he watched Most Haunted) and used the sailing away one, plus a couple of my own invention involving cars (using words like drive and steer) and the sun (using heat and light). He drew a boat for the sailing one, a road for the car one and a radiator for the sun one. Could've been luck, I agree, but I think this does work for people who are not immediately skeptical/want to make it go wrong.

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I just don't think suggestion like that can work. If it's really powerful I can imagine it increasing the chance of her drawing a boat- if he's a mastermind, maybe as much as a 50% chance. But I can't see it reliably working without camera tricks, or filming lots until he gets it right. Its the same with most of his tricks. Psychology just isn't as powerful as he says it is.

I imagine he kept filming, with different groups of idiots, until he got it right, whether it went right first time or fifth.

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I really don't buy any of this editing talk, the more I think about it. It just seems too complicated a process for what are essentially just tricks that are only a couple of steps up from basic card tricks. It's far more likely to be misdirection of some sort than 'every trick is faked with editing'. Surely it's along the lines of card forcing writ large?

I think you're right in everything you say there, other than the part of misunderstanding what we're saying about editing.

They're absolutely all just steps up from basic tricks, and the editing is just part of the misdirection. The editing is not at all complex, and you can see it is edited just by watching, whenever he reveals a prediction the cameras cut from one angle to another to another. It's no harder to do this with footage edited out as it is leaving it in.

However, this is just to add an extra misdirection on the TV, and to hide any conceal/switch that would be easy to spot with multiple replays. The girl there at the time is still genuinely surprised that the name is in the bag, as even though she knows what has or hasn't been re-shot, and is there for any edited out material, he still manages to do the switch in a way that she doesn't notice. There's a kind of double layer to the misdirection. He has to misdirect her convincingly with any playing for time waiting to get an appropriate name tag, and getting it into the bag without her noticing - then he has to misdirect the TV audience with an appropriate level of editing to make it look even smoother.

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Note with the giraffe trick that the giraffe is not already in the shopping bag, which would have been truly impressive. There is merely a piece of paper, which would be relatively easy to plant. All this ignores the possibility that he used a stooge.

There was a huge giraffe outside the store though.

I thought this show was better than the lottery one, more of the old Derren stuff. The pen in the picture wasn't the same as the one the bloke picked though. Didn't get stuck in my chair but I'm with the bloke who still found it interseting to sit there and try. That was enough for me.

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I thought this show was better than the lottery one, more of the old Derren stuff.

I agree with that to an extent, but only because the lottery one was all a load of nonsense in the context it was given. Some of the tricks in it, particularly the cup stomping, would have been a lot better if we weren't all sat there thinking "what the hell does this have to do with telling us how you faked predicting the lottery results??".

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Listen, the sticky chair thing was just a basic hypnotic induction, which he did rapidly before the 'subliminal pattern' bollocks. It was just about quickly implanting the suggestion about the feelings that people were going to have, if they WANTED to feel them.

The only thing that the rest of the show had to do with it is that if you want to believe that DB can stick you to a chair, demonstrating how clever he is with other tricks will help to reinforce that belief.

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Is she a stooge?

She's not a paid actress (she works at the Science Museum), and I'm fairly confident she's not a stooge either.

I'm not actually watching it at the moment (clashes with Strictly), but flicked over to see if this week's was the one with her on. Am recording it though, so will watch it tomorrow.

She reckons she worked out how the trick was done though, but wasn't going to tell us until it had been on TV.

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