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I think of BD and Bloo’s design staffs as 1A and 1B. Both are on top of their games.

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Not to derail this from a Crown 19 thread, though I'll bring the corps back in...

From an entertainment perspective, I would say the current Bluecoats designers were rivaled only by the Crown design group that ended in 2016. Though I've been entertained by BD from 2014 on, it's not quite the same. 

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43 minutes ago, Jurassic Lancer said:

I think of BD and Bloo’s design staffs as 1A and 1B. Both are on top of their games.

I would put BD then SCV then Bloo but all three are terrific 

Edited by George Dixon
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A great design usually works on multiple levels. There were well designed shows BITD before themes and show names because they had a great intrinsic flow from beginning to end that drew you in and didn't let you go. If a show doesn't have that fundemental level of engagement,  it usually doesn't matter how clever or profound the "theme" is, the general audience will likely lose interest.

Since the Bluecoats designs were brought up here, I'll use their show as an example : On the surface,  it would seem to be a simple "Beatles medley " along with a visual that is in keeping with the Beatles vibe; colorful, whimsical, a bit mystical, and so on. It totally works on that level because the arrangements and viz program draws you in in a way not unlike some of the best pre-theme era shows BITD.

For those interested in finding a deeper meaning or wondering why the choice of this material was made by the designers, with a bit of thought (or the explanation of the designers) it becomes apparent that this show is not really about the Beatles after all but uses them as a model to explore the real subject of the show, "The Bluecoats". The Bloo/Beatles connection is all about how both groups had a massive influence on their art form through innovation,  experimentation, technical advancements, influencial stylistic evolution etc... all while having the desire to appeal to a wide audience. The show has many call backs to many signature elements of their recent ground-breaking shows that can be easily identified if you have been following their work over the past decade. In some ways it is kind of a "Metamorph in Bloo" (with a subtext of a show filled with historic corps references) with a Beatles veneer. As clever as that may be, it wouldn't matter if the surface "Beatles medley" and engaging visual program didn't work as intrinsically enjoyable  drum corps.

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2 hours ago, George Dixon said:

BD 

I don't always enjoy BD. Great corps...not always entertaining. 

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So, back to Crown, I posted these thoughts elsewhere, but I guess I'll share them here as well...

 

This is based off of watching the drone footage posted a few days ago from CrownBEAT.

 

- The guard completely disappears for half the show due to their uniforms. They're really good this year and I believe that they could be vying with Boston right now if it weren't for the uniforms. The staging isn't the issue for me, as they are very well integrated into the show. Maybe having them move the props around could be a hindrance in the guard scores, but I'm not sure that would be counted as they don't have equipment in their hand and they're not dancing.  

- Dirt. There is still SO MUCH DIRT in this show, but it's also the 11th of July and this was filmed 6 days ago. I'm sure some cleaning has already been done, and will continue to be done. Will it be enough? Hopefully.  

- For the love of everything pure and holy, please make sure that the stage is parallel with the pit. That's VERY eye catching. I would also say that the floor of the stage should be painted something other than solid black. Maybe something to mimic the uniforms or the props. Just something that would add some color to the field that could be seen from box level.  

- The props aren't doing anything for me. While they are utilized occasionally throughout the show, I don't think they are being utilized enough. Have members stand on them and play their parts while they are being moved, guard do some tosses on them, just something to bring the attention to them and have them have some sort of use other than just sitting there because for the most part they blend into the field during most of the show, which brings me to another point. They need more color added to them. The stained plexiglass isn't showing up if you're any further than I'd say about 10th row back, maybe further? I haven't seen the show in person but it's certainly not showing up on videos from stadium level.  

- I feel like the moment where the percussion drops out in the closer just slows everything down and breaks down the energy that was built up to that point. Not sure if that's just a personal preference or not.

 

Does anybody know if they are planning on putting something inside the newly added shapes on the stage or are they just leaving them hollow? If they're leaving them hollow they're going to fade into the field, and if they put something inside of them it's going to be a hindrance during the ballad. I still say they should just bring the corps up onto the stage during the ballad.

Edited by Incognito365
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4 minutes ago, dans said:

I don't always enjoy BD. Great corps...not always entertaining. 

thought we were talking about best design team - not the most entertaining drum corps

I guess most entertaining I'd go with some non-finalist and open class corps - but that might just be me

re: Crown - I still think they have a lot of room to grow along with BD, SCV in the top bunch

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7 hours ago, George Dixon said:

Man it’s really too bad Crown show doesn’t have a deep compelling message like a Beatles medley or a show about a kid on stilts lol

I have no issue with shows that aren’t built around a deep theme. In fact, I tend to roll my eyes at themes that are difficult to understand, and even more difficult to understand on the field. 

While I love the videos that these groups are doing about their shows, I don’t want to have to watch a video to understand what’s going on.

I honestly think that Carolina Crown has such a laser focus on them every year, that the expectations are almost impossible to meet. When they finish fifth, it’s like the world has stopped spinning on its axis. Something tragic has happened, something that Hass to be fixed, and “probably in the judging” because they are so great at what they do.

Edited by MikeRapp

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6 hours ago, dans said:

The Bluecoats design team is the best in the business. They typically have a theme that is not dependent on a story line...that is the way to design an entertaining show! Honestly, I don't get (nor do I care to) the story line and how it connects to the theme for most DCI corps. And if you're one of the few that actually understands these stupid story line based shows, does it really add to the entertainment value of the presentation? And this is not a new vs old issue...it is an entertainment issue.

 

5 hours ago, George Dixon said:

They are good but not the best 

 

5 hours ago, dans said:

For my money, Bluecoats design team is the best. They consistently design entertaining shows that hold my interest. Most top tier shows these days put me to sleep.

 

5 hours ago, George Dixon said:

BD 

Yeah. 

I always love visiting the CrownSILO, and find that the discussion has—wait for it—Tilted in a blue direction

Even as an uber CrownHONK, I respect and appreciate the excellence of  both BD and Blooo, but for the love of drum corps, can you please let us just commiserate, armchair quarterback, and otherwise make sacrifices to the DCI Gods, in the hopes of CC being granted a strong finish?!😇

#CrownFAITHFUL

Edited by nsxanax
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8 hours ago, kdaddy said:

Okay.

The interviews I saw with the program coordinator did not suggest that "the show is about sacred geometry." As I mentioned earlier, I didn't find the concept of "beneath the surface" well articulated at all. That I didn't find it well articulated doesn't suggest that Crown doesn't have a "general good drum corps show," as it may be that.

I'll just point out that Tim's focus in his interviews was NOT to explain the show but  instead to give his audience a peek "behind the scenes" at spring training.   I'm sure he came away with a much clearer understanding of Crown's design than those videos reveal because most of that discussion took place off-camera.  We tend to drill deep into any material we can find because we just don't get designers talking about their shows at all.   I often wonder why drum corps don't release all the material they send to judges before the season begins.   No harm in doing so and there are many spectators who'd love to hear what they (the designers) have to say.   Anyway just sit back and enjoy things.  It's a good drum corps season.

Edited by karuna
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