Published on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 in , ,

Feats like the magazine memory act are classic. However, to my knowledge, this feat hasn't been updated for modern media.

Here's an idea I'm toying with at the moment: remembering a DVD box set.

Most DVDs have a scene selection feature, which allows you to jump to various points in the movie. Usually (and helpfully, for our purposes), the scenes are also usually numbered.

To memorize a single DVD, you would create your links from the number to important elements of the scene, including characters, initial dialogue, and so on. To memorize a box set, you would simply memorize the scene number as a 3-digit number. The 13th scene in the 3rd movie in the series would be remembered as number 313, for example.

Memorizing a DVD has one major advantage. Most memorization teachniques are heavily dependent on visualization techniques, and you can't get much more visual than a DVD. Once you've memorized a few elements of a given scene, many other important elements will quickly come to mind, especially if you've chosen a favorite movie series.

In performance, you would have someone choose one of the movies in the series, and have them put it in the DVD player. While the DVD is loading, you have them pick a number from 1 to whatever the highest numbered scene in the DVD is. You then describe how the scene begins, and who says what before they can get to the appropriate scene.

This idea has several presentational advantages. First, many people in your audience are familiar with the concept of memorizing movies. They themselves probably have movies in which they can recall whole scenes line by line, so you don't have to introduce them to a new concept. What should be new and amazing to your audience is the level of detail to which you have done this with your favorite movies.

Your stage persona can be reinforced by your choice of movies. Whether you perform this feat with Indiana Jones, Willie Wonka or Romeo and Juliet can really say something about who your stage persona is.

One of the big obstacles to doing this routine in a full stage performance is, of course, the copyrights on the movies themselves. I'd imagine any professional who wishes to use this in any piece in their stage show would have to get in contact with the studio and their legal dept. first. If you don't perform professionally, however, I can't see much trouble in performing this at get-togethers with friends and family.

Several presentational ideas for a memorized DVD routine could include:
* ESP feat: Spectator chooses DVD and scene, but keeps the choices secret. The performer secretly obtains the information, and then "divines" the nature of the chosen scene.
* Trade Show routine: If your client has information about their product or service available on a DVD, you can memorize that DVD and sell the product/service as part of your memory routine. If your client happens to be someone like MGM or Paramount announcing their hottest new release, this works even better.

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1 Response to DVD+M

3:35 PM


This is a great idea.

If I may add:

You can give a selection from many other movies (can even be done as a publicity stunt in the local DVD store- with ALL the movies in the store)

And after one (or several) is selected, you can name the scene selected as described.

I will leave the method for the first part of such feat for you to figure.