Getting Almost Run Over By a RollerCoaster

Monday, October 17, 2005 7:14 PM
I haven't ever seen this video, but it looks a little dated.

This Las Vegas magician Lance Burton narrowly escapes death by tying himself down to Desperado in Las Vegas. At the time it was built, looked like one of the talles/fastest in the wolrd, ousting Magnum for the biggest drop.

Anyway, check here is the video of Lance Burton.

> Although looks like he was shackled down, how real do you think this escape was? Was his escape really that close, or is that just a bunch of smoke & mirrors, because it just seems a little unbelievable that he escaped sooooo close.

Monday, October 17, 2005 7:34 PM

"I Hate roller coasters!"

Monday, October 17, 2005 7:47 PM
I doubt that it was done in a way that he could actually be in danger. What advantage would the Casino have by letting a magician get slaughtered on their ride? Plus the liability.
Monday, October 17, 2005 8:10 PM
Well, he summed it up well. "That was stupid."
Monday, October 17, 2005 8:21 PM
Also notice that in one shot, he's working on the chain going around his waist while the train is still on the lift hill. I think a lot of creative editing went into this one..

A little off topic, but if you want to a really good magic show while in Vegas, you can't go wrong with Lance Burton. Everything from slight of hand to giant illusions (and the price is reasonable, relatively speaking).


Monday, October 17, 2005 8:22 PM
I remember seeing that many years ago. Long before I was into coasters.

DawgByte II said:
how real do you think this escape was?

Lance Burton is a magician. How real do you think magic is?

Monday, October 17, 2005 8:33 PM
Well, there's an escape artist which is also sometimes classified as a "magician" like Houdini who can put themselves at great risk, and then there's the illusionists of Copperfield & David Blaine who usually put themselves in less danger.

Monday, October 17, 2005 9:13 PM
I wouldn't necessarily agree with that statement. I remember a long time ago, David Copperfield did a special on broadcast TV where the big finale was him tied into a straitjacket and suspended above a large pit of flaming spikes. Then they lit his rope on fire and he had to free himself and somehow manage to swing away before it burned through. That sounds pretty dangerous to me.

And Blaine is in his own category too. The ice block stunts aren't so much illusions as they are endurance tests, in my opinion. Unless there's something else going on that I don't know about -- and since these guys are professional magicians, I'd say that's a fair bet.

EDIT: If you watch the very end of the video, when he jumps away, it looks like his foot SHOULD have hit the coaster car. And remember that it doesn't look like there was any audience for this. Creative editing, anyone?

*** Edited 10/18/2005 1:22:10 AM UTC by Nitro Dave***

Monday, October 17, 2005 9:21 PM
Maybe it's just my cynical world view, but I think you guys are giving these people too much credit.

The guys on "Jackass" put themselves in harm's way more often and to a greater extent than the magicians in question.

Monday, October 17, 2005 9:27 PM
Did he really escape? Maybe and probably!

Did he really get free just seconds before the coaster hit him? Most likely not!

He was free well before waiting for the coaster to come closer for the exciting foolish ending. It is magic? Maybe entertainment, with excellent timing.

Was it foolish? Well heck yeah! One small slip and that could have been pretty painful!

Monday, October 17, 2005 10:19 PM
Wow, that looked fake.

The camera was completely static during the "escape" shot, so imagine this illusion could have been easily created with some skillful editing. If it's real, then yes - it was extremely stupid.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:21 AM
If you talk to those in the industry, you'll find that there's a HUGE difference between an Escape Artist and a Magician. Escape Artists do stunts, Magicians do illusions. Illusions are done with "smoke and mirrors" and if an illusion goes wrong, in most cases the magician will just be humuliated. Stunts involve real danger and if a stunt goes wrong, it can lead to injury or death. Most magicians usually know a few good stunts and most escape artists usually know a few good illlusions, but rarely are one trick both an illusion and a stunt.

As for this one, I'd say if it was done live (either on TV or infront of a live audience that wasn't payed off), then it's probably a really good stunt, but if it was prerecorded, than I'd bet good money that it was all smoke and mirrors.

Upon further review, I'd say it's smoke and mirrors, or more specifically, as previously suggested, just good camera editing. Notice how the sun is on the right side of the frame. You can see the shadow of a nearby palm tree on the side of the coastercar as the train passes by, but mysterously Mr. Burton casts no shadow on the train dispite being seemingly only five feet from the train. Unless someone can prove how this could be otherwise, I rest by my decision tat this is just two shots edited together. *** Edited 10/18/2005 4:35:05 AM UTC by Coaster Lover***

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:54 AM
It's absolutely a composite shot. If you watch the first replay you don't see his shadow on the train, even though you should.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 2:13 AM
That video was obviously edited. He was already free when the train was about to hit. The other part of the escape was done while the ride was not operating. I rated the video 2/10 on that site. To me it makes Slash at World of Fun look like the best magic show in the world.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 7:03 AM
I would say it's either fake or he fully intended on escaping RIGHT before the coaster flew by just to make it more dramatic.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005 8:50 AM
I saw Copperfield about 13 years ago in Cleveland. Granted, it was a great show. The climax was him, supposedly stranded on a elevating catwalk with flames and flashpots going off like mad. It explodes and all of a sudden, he's three rows behind us on a Harley.
My sister saw him in Vegas and told me what to look for. He was never on the catwalk and if you pull your eyes from the boom-booms, you actually see him walk down the isle to the harley.
Still, it was a great show, if for no other reason the flashpots and the showbabes.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 9:57 AM
If it was MY coaster, Lance would be OUT of harm's way before the train released from the guess is Buffalo Bill felt similarly... ;)
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:34 PM
The best way to prove if it was legitimate or not would be to have an audience witness the event... that's only common sense.

...but if one is not readily available, then another way would be to strap on a on-ride cam to the train & actually see the train narrowly miss him from the coaster train's point-of-view. It's a lot harder to fake that then having a static camera where just about anything could be edited together (3 trains one after the other could have been possible).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 1:24 PM
Not necessarily. An audience watched coperfield make the statue of Liberty Disappear, walk through the great wall, etc. It's still an illusion.

Granted in this case, yes, I believe the illusion relied heavily on camera edits and video effects.

Jeff (...seen Copperfield live a good 5 or 6 times over the last 20 years...amazing performer!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 1:42 PM
Lance Burton is both a magician and illusionist, and from one who saw the tv broadcast a few years ago, I have to agree this was clever editing. There was no live audience for that illusion.

I have seen Lance Burton live in Vegas at the Monte Carlo and the most impressive stuff is his slight of hand. the things he does with birds and matches, even though you know there's a lot more to the tricks, were still amazing.


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