LOS ANGELES — The aing time you do a crossword puzzle, anticipate of David Kwong.
At age 30, he accomplished his adulation of puzzles could advance into article more. Now, the 37-year-old is a adviser on the new ABC drama, “Deception,” crafting abracadabra tricks that admonition producers acquaint the adventure of a superstar archimage assassin by the FBI to t criminals.
The No. 1 rule: “Don’t ruin anyone’s abracadabra show. Don’t acknowledge a abstruse secret,” Kwong says. The illusions acclimated on the ball are either so accustomed you can acquisition the secrets online or they’re created by Kwong and aggregation for the series.
David Kwong, who’s a co-producer and adviser on “Deception,” offers abracadabra admonition for the new ABC series.
“Some things accept appear up and I’ve alleged my accompany and said, ‘It this OK if I do this?’”
Chiefly, the ambition is not to await on appropriate furnishings to cull off a trick. “We do it all for real,” Kwong says. “Another way about that is to absolutely get into how magicians think.”
Misdirection is key to all magic, the crossword addle architect says. “It’s animal attributes to chase the motion of the magician’s hand. You’re activity to absence what’s accident with the added hand.”
Because television cameras can absolute area a viewer’s eye goes, “the camera is your friend. We can alike be beneath the lens, handing actuality up to the actor.”
On “Deception,” Kwong says, that hasn’t been necessary. Amateur Jack Cutmore-Scott (who plays archimage Cameron Black) came into the alternation alive a bit about magic. In aerial school, a acquaintance did abracadabra tricks. “I was a guinea pig for his tricks,” he says, and, through him, abstruse some of the basics.
When the Kwong and Cutmore-Scott aboriginal met, they talked about “palming” cards.
“Jack, you can additionally access it on the aback of your hand,” Kwong remembers saying. And Cutmore-Scott said, “You beggarly like this?” and did it.
Executive Producer Martin Gero says added abracadabra consultants accept accepted Cutmore-Scott’s abilities. “He could about-face pro if he capital to.”
Kwong says abracadabra usually starts with conjuration of hand. “You accord them the basal moves and they convenance that. Afresh you go to the aing level.” Cutmore-Scott, he says, has been acrimonious up books and DVDs to become alike added refined.
Working on “Deception,” from left: David Kwong, Martin Gero, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jack Cutmore-Scott, Chris Fedak and Sarah Schechter.
Among the attempt Kwong teaches: Suckering in an audience. “Especially back you’re assuming to die or you get the amiss agenda and you aback change it to the new one,” Kwong says. “The cerebral assumption works: ‘I one-upped the magician. He’s declining in advanced of me.’ And it has a abundant adjustment effect.”
While abracadabra includes aggregate from mentalism and analgesic to simple agenda tricks, it never seems to stop evolving.
ABC’s “Deception” stars Laila Robins as Appropriate Agent Deakins, Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black/Jonathan Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Amaury Nolasco as Mike Alvarez and Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon.
IPhones, Kwong says, represent the aing akin of magic. “The internet has absolutely afflicted things because a lot of the answers are out there. It’s about actuality transparent. We’re three accomplish advanced of you. Maybe we’ll accord you a little blink and afresh we’re activity to aberration things afresh at the end.”
While Kwong spends a lot of his time as a “cruciverbalist” (or crossword-puzzle constructor), he has provided codes for “Blindspot” and tricks for films like “Now You See Me” and “The Imitation Game.” At Harvard, he advised the history of abracadabra and now speaks frequently about the ball form.
“For me,” he says of the series, “this is the acute man’s banal abracadabra show.”
A archimage at 7, he grew up on David Copperfield and Penn and Teller. Today, he says, the closing are still “really relevant.”
“I adulation their access to magic,” he says. “They’re allotment of the one percent that does not pretend to accept superpowers in any way. That’s my access as well. It’s all science. It’s all a puzzle. It’s all about actuality a footfall advanced of your audience.”
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