Film ID: YFA 3358 Video of YFA_3358 Stephen The Magician 1962 STEPHEN THE MAGICIAN 1962 Visitor TabsDescription A playful film by Eric Bolderson using trick photography of his son Stephen performing magic tricks for his sister Janet. The film opens showing Stephen in duplicate having a pretend pillow fight with his double. As he moves about, he pulls funny faces at the camera. Then in the living room we see him in a black cape and a small bucket as a top hat and wand. As his sister sits on the sofa, he stands at a small table and starts to perform magic tricks. He gets a bucket and places it on the table and taps it. He then lifts it to reveal a small dog. We then see his sister hold a box of movie film. He taps the box again and produces a stills camera; she takes it but gestures that it is not right for the film. He taps it once more and this time produces a cine camera which he presents to her. She holds both the film and camera up. Context A young magician impresses his sister by making a dog appear from under a bucket, and by demonstrating the magic of film itself. A playful film by Eric Bolderson of Castleford of his son Stephen performing magic tricks for his sister Janet. Although only an amateur, and with the limited equipment to be had in 1962, Eric here demonstrates his exceptional filmmaking skills and inventiveness as he uses several trick photographic techniques, including Stephen having a pillow fight with himself. Eric Bolderson ran a bookies in Castleford, following in his father’s footsteps, and was well known locally, especially for his sense of humour. This shows in many of the films he made in the 1950s and ‘60s, which he would show in a makeshift cinema in his small attic, raising money for charity. The post-war period in Britain was a period when amateur magicians, and children’s magic box sets, were much more in vogue than they are today. This film may well have been inspired by the comedy genius of Tommy Cooper, who toured extensively during this time, and had been on television many times. That other television magician, David Nixon, also had his first programme, Comedy Bandbox, first broadcast in 1962.