David Blaine And The Balducci Levitation
Effect: The magician raises his arms up by his sides and slowly appears to rise a few inches off the ground for a little while before returning to earth quickly.
Balducci Method: The Balducci method involves positioning your audience about 8 to 10 feet away at a 45 degree angle. You need to keep your audience small so they are within this field of sight.
This is a very restrictive angle trick and it is essential that the angles are practiced, preferably with a friend or in front of a mirror.
The Balducci levitation involves pretending to float off the ground by going on to your tip toes on just one foot ( the one furthest from their view ) while the nearest foot is raised a little off the ground.
This looks fantastic as the foot on your tip toe is hidden by your trousers, the nearest foot and the angle they are watching at. You only rise a few inches off the ground but the impression is fantastic. This trick is all in the presentation with you appearing to rise slowly, wait for a second or two and then return to the ground quickly so as the audience do not have time to figure the trick out.
The picture here shows the beginning on the left and the climax of the trick on the right.
David Blaine Version : David Blaine used various camera shots in his TV special with the audience reaction being filmed close up and linked to other clips of him in mid air with some of the angles showing the Balducci levitation.
The view that shows him rise a good few inches in the air and does not show the audience, would possibly have been done with a bar attached to a pivot like a seesaw.
The end of the pivot could have had a hook which clipped onto a harness attached to his belt and a member of the crew would have pushed down on the other side of the bar lifting David up in the air. The camera angle would have hidden the props.
This film would have been mixed in with the audience clips in the studios later.