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Hello all.

So I had a nice chat in between corps with my seat neighbor at dci finals. He was the one who told me that he spoke with someone on staff with one of the top 6 world class corps who  said it cost 30k to design and have their props built and 100k to care for and transport for the season.  That seems like a big Chunk of money 😮 .

Do corps restrict $ design and designers? If yes maybe they need to pull the reins in?   

Discuss away....

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Too much, or not two much, that is the inquiry.

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Watching some of the shows again from earlier this decade, as part of the process of putting together these "best of the 2010s" polls, I am struck by how uncluttered they seem!

I'm not opposed to prop set pieces, which have been around since the 1980s, but for the second half of this decade especially, they get in the way as often as they add anything of value to the shows.

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30 minutes ago, Triple Forte said:

So I had a nice chat in between corps with my seat neighbor at dci finals. He was the one who told me that he spoke with someone on staff with one of the top 6 world class corps who  said it cost 30k to design and have their props built and 100k to care for and transport for the season.  That seems like a big Chunk of money 😮 .

Do corps restrict $ design and designers?

Based on that, evidently not.

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12 minutes ago, Triple Forte said:

Hello all.

So I had a nice chat in between corps with my seat neighbor at dci finals. He was the one who told me that he spoke with someone on staff with one of the top 6 world class corps who  said it cost 30k to design and have their props built and 100k to care for and transport for the season.  That seems like a big Chunk of money 😮 .

Do corps restrict $ design and designers? If yes maybe they need to pull the reins in?   

Discuss away....

You bring up a good point - let me term it 'the logistical tail of the current props/electronics/mega-pit arms race'.

The cost is not just the cost of building the props, or adding more amps & whatever it takes to run them, and 12+  marimbas / vibes / xylophones, chimes, tympani, gong(s),  & a Hardart ($0.02 to PDQ Bach) - there is the added cost of dragging them around.  The way I see it is that it takes at least 4 trucks - one for the brass & battery, one for guard and costumiforms, one for the pit, & one for the props.  Somewhere in this the amps, cables, & sound equipment needs to fit as well.  Maybe a 5th truck?  All this requires more fuel (& releases more greenhouse gasses btw), and more drivers (who need to be fed).

At what point will the staff members who are responsible for logistics tell the staff members doing the design "No.  You can't build a 30-yard by 30-yard platform that is 20 feet above the field, with a 20-yard by 20-yard platform 20 feet above that topped by a 10-yard by 10-yard platform 20 feet on top of that.  We just cannot afford to move that cross-country for 2+ months!"?

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21 minutes ago, Triple Forte said:

Hello all.

So I had a nice chat in between corps with my seat neighbor at dci finals. He was the one who told me that he spoke with someone on staff with one of the top 6 world class corps who  said it cost 30k to design and have their props built and 100k to care for and transport for the season.  That seems like a big Chunk of money 😮 .

Do corps restrict $ design and designers? If yes maybe they need to pull the reins in?   

Discuss away....

The $30K figure doesn't sound out of the realm for prop design and build. I imagine some might be cheaper, but consider what BD did this year. Those props had to be built very carefully for the multi-purpose use in their show. That sort of labor and craftsmanship is not cheap, not to mention the cost of materials. I'm not as up-to-date on costs for transporting and maintaining the props. Obviously these corps need the extra space to haul them around. Often times this involves another truck, so with gas, driver, insurance, and daily fees I can see the costs coming close to that 100k. My guess is it's maybe a bit cheaper. 

As always, what a corps spends on props, design of a show, staff, etc., depends on their finances. It's not like the NFL or NBA where there is a cap (a soft cap, especially with the NBA) on what you can spend. DCI World-Class competition is an unfair game in some ways, because money is an issue. Those who have the money will undoubtedly do better. 

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17 minutes ago, N.E. Brigand said:

Watching some of the shows again from earlier this decade, as part of the process of putting together these "best of the 2010s" polls, I am struck by how uncluttered they seem!

I'm not opposed to prop set pieces, which have been around since the 1980s, but for the second half of this decade especially, they get in the way as often as they add anything of value to the shows.

Once again I agree with you here. In some instances I have loved the use of props (BD this year, Bloo in 2014, 2016, 2018, SCV 2018, and others). But in general we are seeing a more cluttered field which does constrict drill to some extent, depending on what the corps is trying to accomplish. 

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2 hours ago, mjoakes said:

How about just letting the corps decide what’s too expensive for them.

 Well to be honest I don’t trust them because costs keep going up  and the number one reason for a drum corps becoming nonexistent  Is money. Do you want  a situation where members have to pay between 8 - 10k + to march for one summer ?

Edited by Triple Forte

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3 hours ago, mjoakes said:

How about just letting the corps decide what’s too expensive for them.

Well, if corps deciding "we need to spend X more dollars" translates to DCI telling show sponsors: "you need to charge X more dollars", then that could be a problem if it drives down revenue.

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