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Doyle

Crossmen Visual Design

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I just made a comment about the Crossmen's drill design on another thread. The Crossmen drill this year was a failure due to the fact it failed the basic premise of drill design. The purpose of drill is to present the horns. I was fortunate enough to be sitting on the 50 yard line on the upper level in Georgia Dome for the DCI South contest. My daughter looked at me after their show and said "you didn't like them". I replied "they play great, but the drill is a disaster.' I have been a Crossmen fan since I first saw them in Atlanta in 1976 (the night after they were disqualified for an overage member). So for me being a Crossmen fan I was disappointed in their drill design; I expected better. With a better design they would have made finals.

Scott Smith

Respectfully - I think your daughter had it right - "you didn't like them."

And there are many purposes to "drill" besides presenting the horns.

They play well for a corps between 15 and 10, which relative to the rest of the Universe is great but not to the rest of DCI.

I thought their drill was dense and made them appear smaller than other corps with similar numbers.

I think that objectively though, it was far from a disaster.

The problem with being a fan (and I'm a Crossmen fan too) is that other corps we can take or leave. The corps that we connect with either thrill us or anger us. No middle ground.

The team that wrote this visual show can grow and be good enough to get them to around 9th or 10th as currently constituted (IMO).

I think it's far from a disaster.

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I think the design team they have should stay. They are good people.

This shouldn't be discounted.

At worst, to keep the design staff intact, keep Ed Devlin in a central design role and bring a different drill writer on board. But I'd be focused on keeping the design staff happy (thus keeping them around).

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How about Leon May

1999 show was really awesome! Just watched it again; incredible!

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Just making finals is not good enough or should be the only goal

Making finals is good enough for many corps. I'm not sure what you might be suggesting, maybe 1st? At any level or performance you will have some that want more.

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I am suggesting progressive growth in placement. Not on the bubble every year.

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I am suggesting progressive growth in placement. Not on the bubble every year.

And therein lies the rub.

I believe that you're not only correct, but that it's the single important truth for a corps that has lived on the bubble.

You need to keep members, improve show concepts (with more experienced members you should be able to sell more nuanced ideas), and continue to push the envelope as far as your economy and resources will allow.

There's nothing wrong with living on the bubble, if you're that rare corps with a talented membership content to make finals some years and not make it other years. I just don't think that team actually exists.

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1 through 9

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1 through 9

I don't know - lately it seeems more like 1-4; 5-10; 11-15 or 16;

Could change at the drop of a hat though, but hard to imagine cracking 1 - 4 anytime soon. Next one to do it will be Phantom or BlueCoats, although I of course would love to see Boston park up there.

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One of the more fascinating things is 1995-1999. 10th, 8th, 6th, 7th, and 10th. Go back and look at the staff and director who was really the program coordinator. It says it all! And scary at the same time.

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WOW, Thanks for the input guys.

Question for BlooooContra; How does one get started in drill writing? Do you reccomend any free programs to practice on? (besides MicroMarchingLeague).

If you were serious, you would make the investment in the proper tools/software. I might practice being a pilot on a simulator, but not a carpenter with a shovel. If you want to be a drill writer, save your money and buy pyware or envision and practice, practice, practice on your own with drills that hopefully, no one will ever do. Then, when somebody sees one of your drills you post online and says, "Hey, you're pretty good," then you will get your first crack at writing. Here is another hint. Never... Never do it for free and never do it for less than, say, $1500-$2000. The great writers get $8k-$12k a drill, the next level might get $5k-$10k, and most of us get $3k-$5k, maybe $6k.

I see plenty of drills on MML and also on FB that look all flashy with stadiums, guard spinning, and front ensembles, but when it comes down to it, the drill can't be done or it is just bad... but you have to learn somewhere, right?

Achievable, cleanable, musical, don't try to do the Z pull or Diamond Cutter on ever phrase, take your time, develop your ideas...

Good luck. Take your time. And as a wise man once told me when I was younger.... "Don't suck!"

Edited by njthundrrd

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