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April 11, 2013, 12:00 AM | posted by in Filmmakers
Magic is about the mystery: How did he pull that rabbit out of that hat? How did those cards end up in my pocket? But “Magic Camp” isn’t only about the magic; it is a documentary that not only focuses on the excitement of the magic, but also the growth of the unique individuals that learn about themselves in the week-long camp.
Tannen’s Magic Camp is one of the most prestigious magic camps around. Kids from all over the world come to learn magic. They learn how to do sleight-of-hand and vanishing tricks, stage magic, and close-up magic. But the lessons of the camp go beyond just magic—they also foster self-discovery in campers.
“It’s where these kids can be themselves, find themselves,” director Judd Ehrlich says. “The camp is more than just about taking a trip.”
Ehrlich knows from personal experience because he attended Tannen’s Magic Camp during his youth. “I know what a special and unique place this is,” he says. “So many people don’t know it exists and that there is this subculture of kids who are really obsessed with magic.”
These are the kids who aren’t the captains of the football teams or presidents of student council.
“It is a place to congregate with like-minded people from all over the world who are, all of a sudden, not the only magicians in their towns,” he says.
Each aspiring magician is different from the last, and that is what makes it so accessible to the audience.
“It’s a film where there are characters you care about and can relate to,” says Ehrlich. “When they’re at camp, they wear their heart on their sleeves. It’s not difficult for them to really open up about other aspects of their lives. You can see parts of yourself or people you know and can travel upon their [the characters’] journey with them.”
Photo: Director Judd Ehrlich and Hiawatha Johnson. Photo by Janet Macoska.
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