Kevin Reylek was on the scene for the three days of David Blaine's upside-down endurance feat, the Dive of Death. NYMP was able to capture exclusive video footage and photos from this event. Since the end of the event we've had the opportunity to gather some new information on the event.
We've heard that viewers at home weren't necessarily able to see what the final stunt really looked like. This was our POV.
David later explained that due to high winds, the stunt did not go as planned.
Dive of Death Final Impressions September 27, 2008
In the few days since the conclusion of the Dive of Death, we've heard a lot of questions and differing reactions to David's endeavor. We've been able to assemble some additional information about the finale, including the official word from Blaine himself. We're also hearing some buzz about his next stunt!
My personal thoughts about the Dive of Death stunt as a whole: it was an amazing experience. I covered the event for much of the three days, and personally seeing David hanging in the air with his eyes nearly swollen shut really brought home the difficulty of his endeavor. The magic special itself on Wednesday night was one of the best we've seen from Blaine. There was much more magic than in the Drowned Alive special, and I really loved the focus on Blaine's early days, investigating the influences that his mother, local library, and Harry Houdini had on him.
The special also featured two incredible stunts David had filmed ahead of time. He demonstrated incredible strength as he took not one, but TWO gut punches from mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice. He also pulled off an incredible bullet catch, which was filmed down in Florida just days before his stunt in Central Park. We haven't heard the final word on the bullet catch—was it an illusion? It seemed very real.
Alex Pandrea experiences what it's like to hang upside-down like David, and even tries his hand at a bit of upside-down card manipulation
Blaine successfully met his goal of hanging upside-down for three days. We'd heard that prior to the stunt the longest he'd been able to go in training was about 6 hours, so we're very happy that David was able to go the distance. It was medically necessary for Blaine to be briefly inverted every few hours for a few minutes at a time intermittently throughout the stunt, which has drawn some criticism. We challenge any naysayers to try to match Blaine's incredible endurance. Alex Pandrea was able to speak to David on the phone briefly on Thursday, and David said that he's feeling good and that so far there don't seem to be any negative health effects.
Blaine has weighed in officially on the final stunt. He appeared on Live! with Regis and Kelly on Thursday morning, and explained that due to time delays, winds had picked up in the area and the stunt did not go as planned. I guess that's how it goes with live, unrehearsed TV.
Alex and I also had a bit of a surprise when we saw ourselves appear on Thursday night's episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, in the Triumph sketch. Good job to Alex for forcing Triumph to hang upside-down with David! Not so easy, is it Triumph?
Ultimately, it was a great few days, filled with surprises, and I think it's definitely something that people will be talking about for a long time to come.
David halfway through his stunt, around 3 AM on Tuesday
We've finally posted our photo galleries from our coverage of all three days of the event. We've uploaded several new videos, including our POV of the final stunt, an interview with David's doctors, Alex and me trying out being briefly inverted in the harness, and more with David himself. Check it all out on our YouTube channel.
You can be sure that David and his team are already hard at work planning for the future. Regardless of what's in store, we'll be there to provide you with in-depth coverage and behind-the-scenes peeks. We've heard whispers for some time now that Blaine is interested in testing his ability to endure sleep deprivation, so that may be a possibility for the next special.
As September comes to a close we'd like to remind you that there are still three months left in 2008. We have a lot of fun new items in store for you from the New York Magic Project. Stay tuned!