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How did David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear? - TechAmok

How did David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear? - [off-topic]
11:37 AM EDT - Apr,06 2007 - post a comment

Before David Blaine was the biggest illusionist on the block, David Copperfield amazed audiences with his larger-than-life tricks. Perhaps his most famous stunt was in 1983 when he made the Statue of Liberty disappear (and then reappear) on live TV. The trick may be old, but people still wonder -- how did he do it?
Copperfield had a setup of two towers on a stage, supporting an arch to hold the huge curtain that would be used to conceal the statue. The TV cameras and the live audience only saw the monument through the arch. When the curtains closed, David waxed poetic while the stage was ... slowly ... and imperceptibly ... turned. When the curtains opened, the statue was hidden behind one of the towers, and the audience was looking out to sea. Voila! The Statue of Liberty has disappeared!

Even if the stage hadn't completely hidden the statue, the towers were so brightly lit that the audience would be nightblinded. Copperfield had also set up two rings of lights--one around Liberty, and another set up somewhere else. When the trick "happened," his assistants simply turned off the lights around the statue and turned on the other set for the helicopters to circle around.
Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can watch the trick again. More than 20 years later, it's still pretty amazing:


Statue of Liberty - The funniest bloopers are right here


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