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On ‎8‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 10:32 PM, general_tsos_chicken2 said:

Most importantly, music  arrangements that we would want to listen to on their own without watching the visual.

Absolutely, many of us dinosaurs still prefer CD's over Video. Although Phantom's music is not the first thing I would put on a CD it would make the playlist, maybe not last year but this year was a step up. Something the build on next year. IMO

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On 8/14/2018 at 11:32 PM, general_tsos_chicken2 said:

stop trying to do what they think the judges want them to do and just do what they do well. Prioritize the audience over the judges. A program designer with vision, who wants to do a drum corps show, not a wgi show

Both PR and Scouts this year had this feel to it. Like film scripts written to fit hot current trends instead of to fully represent a writer's passion and vision. 

I liked the show this year and hope it makes 2019 PR comfortable enough with the evolving activity so that they have confidence to avoid check-boxing all the judges notes and competitors' gimmicks. 

Even just touches of the traditional stuff works for me. Like that Phantom leg extension. Keep a few of those in for 2019, please!

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3 hours ago, mjoakes said:

Both PR and Scouts this year had this feel to it. Like film scripts written to fit hot current trends instead of to fully represent a writer's passion and vision. 

I liked the show this year and hope it makes 2019 PR comfortable enough with the evolving activity so that they have confidence to avoid check-boxing all the judges notes and competitors' gimmicks. 

Even just touches of the traditional stuff works for me. Like that Phantom leg extension. Keep a few of those in for 2019, please!

I'm somewhat confused about your comment.  If you think that both PR and Scouts (or their designers) were "playing to the judges".  Didn't they miserably fail at that?  Or, were they confused at what the judges wanted? I'm also not convinced that either "played to the audience".  I'm guessing that they didn't know what they were doing.  And that never works.  Or is this too harsh?

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17 minutes ago, PamahoNow said:

I'm somewhat confused about your comment.  If you think that both PR and Scouts (or their designers) were "playing to the judges".  Didn't they miserably fail at that?  Or, were they confused at what the judges wanted? I'm also not convinced that either "played to the audience".  I'm guessing that they didn't know what they were doing.  And that never works.  Or is this too harsh?

no, rather spot on in both cases. What they think they were doing and what they actually were doing were probably two different things based on the objective standards of where they placed.

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1 hour ago, PamahoNow said:

I'm somewhat confused about your comment.  If you think that both PR and Scouts (or their designers) were "playing to the judges".  Didn't they miserably fail at that?  Or, were they confused at what the judges wanted? I'm also not convinced that either "played to the audience".  I'm guessing that they didn't know what they were doing.  And that never works.  Or is this too harsh?

Good point. My comments may not be all that clear. And frankly, I’m never successful on DCP with an extended explanation. Despite that, here goes…

Maybe what I mean is that as some people listen to judges and pay attention to what others are doing, they can interpret all this in sometimes too literal or too superficial ways. The result is a rather formulaic response that appears to have all the right show elements, but just doesn’t quite come together as a thrilling piece of entertainment.

Goose-bump worthy drum corps shows - like good films - take a lot of the standard elements and deliver them in creative ways that thrill us and surprise us. I think Phantom and Scouts might have tried too hard to mirror what they view as a new model of drum corps show. But the result was something without the thrill of an original interpretation. Something on the flat side. Something that seemed to lack authenticity.

The props seemed too contrived, for example. Like someone was thinking we have to have these unusual props, and a cumbersome tarp, because that’s what judges appear to have rewarded.

Judges, after all, like film critics, are commenting within a context. When a film critic says the story pacing is too slow, that doesn’t mean a film story pace must always be very fast. It means given all the other characteristics of the story within the context of that particular film, some critics found the pacing too slow. Another film with an even slower pace might be very well received by audiences and critics alike. Because all those other things resulted in a different film package, a different context.

A drum corps show is a kind of creative stew. I don’t presume that either judges or experienced designers get it right all the time. I’m only guessing the best results come from those who boldly pursue what they fervently believe is a great show - given their read of what will excite marching members, audiences, and judges. Surely, sometimes these folks get it wrong. A lot of times, they probably get it right.

I want PR in 2019 to be bold and show us their own interpretation of modern drum corps. Not just a study of SCV and a conclusion that, well, staging is now necessary. So let’s stage. And maybe we should do some hip hop routines, too. Did the Vanguard show come from designers who were trying to hit bullet items from judges comments? It almost seemed as though the show designers said the h*** with expectations. Here’s what we want to do.

Phantom 2019 should think like that.

All this asserted here by someone who has no idea from any personal experience the challenge that confronts drum corps show designers. My hat is off to them no matter where their corps placed.

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Manslaka’s Symphony 4 has some good dark stuff!! Especially around the transition around the 3 minute mark. The first theme reminds me of a sunset, and kinda transitioning into night! Good stuff definitely, if you haven’t listened to it. https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=kHwt0qQVpFY

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On 8/10/2018 at 8:48 PM, Sideways said:

Two letters...GE

To my simple mind, GE = Visual + Music.  Of these 2 components, the fall of the Regiment since the Rennicks and alumni JDShaw left after the 2010 and 2011 seasons, respectively,  is largely tied to the failure of my corps to figure out and/or apply the Visual components at a medal level.

In the 9 seasons from 2003 through 2011, the ordinal rankings of GE Vis and Total Visual exceeded the Regiment's finals placements only once (2011) and only twice equaled this (2005 and 2006).  Strong Music performances and rankings usually offset these deficiencies.

In the 7 seasons since then, only once, in 2012, did their GE Vis and Total Visual match their finals placement. Since then, the caption slides have spiraled downward with GE Vis ranking 15 and Visual ranking 12.

By the way, the Percussion team, in a very competitive environment,  has stabilized this caption and it is on it's way back.

It is galling to me that DCI's Best Visual Performance Award, which honors John Brazale, a former Phantom Regiment guard and visual designer in the 70s and 80s and DCI Hall of Famer, has rarely, if ever, been won by the Regiment.

It is annoying to me that in 2013, Triumphant Journey was dominated by a laughable Puppet Queen; that in 2015 a show about Paris, the City of Light, was turned into celebratory shopping exhibition; that in 2017, Phantasm was mocked because someone thought that seductive moans and groans were an appropriate trademark of the production and in 2018, an abstract program attempted to help express it's ideas by using mobile gymnastic vehicles which simultaneously muddled and covered up terrific guard activities.

So, what can be done.

First, I would recommend that the Design Team be expanded to include all Caption Heads and that all be included from the beginning of the design process. It is my hope that these specialists will be encouraged to speak up when certain design choices are introduced that may sound great when voiced but that are likely to be really problematic when they are attempted to be applied on the field. 

Second, understand the judging rules well enough to be able to present competitive top 6 shows without having to accept DCI's current artistic inclinations.

Third, return to programs based on classical, elegant music programs performed by brass lines powered by mellos, euphs (the Buicks) and contras   Return to our musical roots.

Concentrate these programs on musical and design parameters which do not require a detailed libretto to explain what and why the Regiment chose it.

Let the music rule and let the visuals speak for themselves. 

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8 hours ago, 1956OPR said:

It is annoying to me that in 2013, Triumphant Journey was dominated by a laughable Puppet Queen; that in 2015 a show about Paris, the City of Light, was turned into celebratory shopping exhibition; that in 2017, Phantasm was mocked because someone thought that seductive moans and groans were an appropriate trademark of the production [...]

This is a good summary, methinks.

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I think some of you are over-thinking the topic. The problem is that PR's programs the last few years can all be best summed up by the word "dull."

It doesn't matter WHAT they play in the years ahead - they just have to program with at least a few moments that are so in-your-face cool that audiences will pay attention. The general vibe of late has been going for "artistic" rather than impactful, and they have the scores to show it. SCV shows how to be artistic while still being showy, in the right way - in fact, pretty much everyone in the top 6 this year did the same thing (and all of them except BD and Bluecoats played at least some pieces that would nominally be in PR's musical wheelhouse).

Doesn't matter who's on staff; if they approach their first design meeting with the concept of "ok, what are the big GE moments of the show?" (and understand that simply putting 15 people or whatever on quads doesn't qualify), they'll already be off to a better start.

Edited by Slingerland
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