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Zachary

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This thread is dedicated to the discussion of Doctor Money's main site article which can be found here: http://bgwfans.com/outsourcing-entertainment/

There are only two rules:
  1. Read the article first.
  2. Keep it civil.
Seriously, keep it civil.
 
Apr 5, 2011
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I will start off saying that I do feel that the main page has a place for editorials. I will also start off by saying that I don't care about the opinions in the piece, but rather the content. I also preface that I've seen this before and it has indeed caused a bit of controversy.

Despite being a fan of the park, had I first come to the site and read that piece, I would leave the site never to return after the first paragraph. We live in a media environment where 24 hour news networks and political commercials have made a lot of people disenfranchised with the political process. To the point where I've started walking away from most conversations regarding politics. I've even started to hesitate watching 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report', two of my favorite shows for this reason. The first paragraph does just that, it talks about a huge controversy a lot of people are sick of. To be blunt, while political conversations have a place, they do not have a place on a theme park web site. This piece would be suited better for the forums, where people understand that these are individual views and not one supported by the site.

What I tried to do when I read that article is view it as somebody who had first found the site, this was because I knew this was a test editorial as part of the site's expansion. Part of an expansion is being able to attract new people and not turn them away. When I read it in that manner my thought was, "This is Pro-Romney and will make the site come off as Pro-Romney." I understand editorials are not supposed to reflect on the beliefs of those who run it. However, that is simply not the case today. Executives dictate what views should be expressed, what news to ignore, what view to spin, ect. This skewing has blurred the line between news and opinion which is why such a hook is wrong for this site.

I felt the article would have been fine without mentioning the politics, but first paragraph made me want to close the window. I fully understand that it's supposed to be a hook but the infusion of politics into it on a theme park site was very distracting and off-putting. I feel that any new person coming to the site will be alienated due to that content as well, which is why I feel it is wrong for the park in it's current form. If the polarizing content were to be removed from it (i.e. names, actual events, ect) to make it sound generic, I would be fine with it. However, I feel that it is unacceptable in it's current form as something to be on the main page of the site.

Editorials would be a great addition to the site. They don't all have to be something that deliberately tries to stir up controversy though. This "balls to the wall" approach of writing opinions is a poor way to start off something new. I think the site should be doing more to indicate that these are opinions of the individuals and not of the site.
 
Jul 13, 2011
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PzP said:
When I read it in that manner my thought was, "This is Pro-Romney and will make the site come off as Pro-Romney."

While I agree that a park fansite is no place for politics (I was shocked when I first saw that this site had a politics thread), I thought the portions in question came off as politically neutral, simply encouraging the reader to think of outsourcing in a different way.
 
Sep 8, 2010
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PzP pretty much nailed it. While I could care less of what the actual Political View is, as Haber stated they have no place on a fansite. I think editorials would be a great addition to the site, but religion and politics should be left out. As the two threads created for those showed, they really have no place on a fansite.
 
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Oct 7, 2011
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I think the entertainment-related question being asked is a fair one. But the question can stand on its own. There is no need to bring national politics in as some kind of tie-in to bigger things, or as a source of referential legitimacy, particularly when the tie-in doesn't really bring much to the table. If a nod to other issues may cause more distraction than insight, it's a good general rule to stick to the conversation you want to have. My editorial preference would have been to see the first two paragraphs and the last two sentences of the piece dropped.

One other thought: invoking politics is a very effective way to make people feel edgy, frustrated, or angry, even when the political reference attempts to appear neutral. That emotion is probably the opposite of most people's motivations for visiting either this site or an amusement park! The contrast is jarring, or was to me anyway.

Having said all that, I enjoyed reading the entertainment "meat" of the discussion and it rings very true. In my personal opinion there is a clear difference between most in-house live shows and the offerings from companies like Landmark. Speaking of whom, the beloved old Nostramos show was a great example of what outside firms can produce under contract. I still hear people talking about that show from time to time when Busch Gardens comes up in conversation. They remember it fondly from childhood. That's a pretty remarkable stamp of approval!

And who wouldn't want to run a park full of shows as beloved as Nostramos was? If it didn't cost a fortune, that is. I suspect the main motivation for increasing the amount of in-house production is money, but perhaps in Busch Gardens' case it is simply a medium-term strategic experiment rather than a permanent directive. Frankly I do see a difference between in-house and contracted shows in production quality. Busch Gardens is such a great park and a top-notch operation, so hopefully this will not be seen as a insult to the folks who have worked hard to put together the newer shows... but beholding the contrast between one group of shows and the other makes me appreciate the skill of companies like Landmark all the more.
 

Zachary

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As Haberdasher said, I thought the political hook did a fantastic job of sticking to the facts and contrasting what he was talking about with the mainstream view of outsourcing that we hear talked about constantly today. There were a group of people who did take issue with the first paragraph but I'd hope the people who did would be willing to state their opinion on it in a respectful manner (as people above did) and move past it and discuss the actual idea behind the piece. I've seen a lot of hate for what the park has done in Entertainment since Scott took his position as Vice President and, though many possible causes have been presented, this is the first time to my knowledge that anyone has brought the lack of outsourcing into it. I thought it was a very unique way of looking at it- especially since the evidence and the timeline seem to support the idea.
 

Shane

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Zachary said:
There were a group of people who did take issue with the first paragraph but I'd hope the people who did would be willing to state their opinion on it...
Fine, I've been trying to avoid posting in this thread, but since you asked...

Zachary said:
I thought the political hook did a fantastic job of sticking to the facts and contrasting what he was talking about with the mainstream view of outsourcing that we hear talked about constantly today.
I completely disagree, but you already know that, but for those who don't know...

PzP said:
When I read it in that manner my thought was, "This is Pro-Romney and will make the site come off as Pro-Romney."
Completely Agree

halfabee said:
There is no need to bring national politics in as some kind of tie-in to bigger things, or as a source of referential legitimacy, particularly when the tie-in doesn't really bring much to the table. If a nod to other issues may cause more distraction than insight, it's a good general rule to stick to the conversation you want to have. My editorial preference would have been to see the first two paragraphs and the last two sentences of the piece dropped.

One other thought: invoking politics is a very effective way to make people feel edgy, frustrated, or angry, even when the political reference attempts to appear neutral. That emotion is probably the opposite of most people's motivations for visiting either this site or an amusement park! The contrast is jarring, or was to me anyway.
I think halfabee said it perfectly. I'll add this bit, as an Admin I think its inappropriate for that kind of content to be on the front page even if it is just opinion.

Now for the meat:

I completely agree that the park shouldn't be producing this stuff internally. I highly doubt ICEploration, and Alure of the Ocean were produced in house. I could be wrong as I don't know as much about our Florida sisters, but we don't build coasters in house! Why are we building shows in house. I couldn't have said it better myself Cool Doctor Money; minus the politics.
 
Jul 13, 2011
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Shane said:
Now for the meat:

I completely agree that the park shouldn't be producing this stuff internally. I highly doubt ICEploration, and Alure of the Ocean were produced in house. I could be wrong as I don't know as much about our Florida sisters, but we don't build coasters in house! Why are we building shows in house.

My take is this: previous Entertainment VPs have known their strengths as well as their weaknesses, and therefore knew when to turn things over to the professionals.
...and that Gasparich is basically a vain control freak.
 
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Aug 1, 2010
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I think the lack of hiring professional companies to create a complete show is evedent in the changes to Illuminights. The original series from two years ago had a very cohesive theme. The villages were all tied together with music and that music was then featured in the fireworks. Now, each village is stand alone and the music has been changed as well. The same issues with continuity can be seen throughout Octoberfest. Last year there were all the big changes (Mach Tower, Maypole, signage, flags). The changes continued this year, but items should have remained (Maypole, cuckoo clock overlay, This is Octoberfest) in order to maintain the continuity from last year. Howl-o-scream wasn't immune to bad choices last year. The changes to Monster Stomp were just awful and completely ruined the show. As a pass holder, the changes don't inspire me to want to return multiple times.
 
Apr 10, 2012
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Hey guys! Take it from someone that has seen both sides of the fence. SFA produces their own stunt show and several years ago produced their own version of Disco Inferno for Fright Fest. Handling your own production in house can be a good thing. EFX is also done in house but there are good and bad aspects of that show. On the other hand, last year the park contracted out to RWS and Associates for Survivor which didn't gain any ground.

It can be expensive contracting out a show. I can certainly understand why Busch would want to try their own hand at it. I'm not sure how long they have been trying but it may take them a few years to get things correct. Rome wasn't built in a day.
 
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Okay, I'll put it to you another way. At least Busch Gardens has a budget to do really decent shows. I can tell you when Terry Praether was at SFA, shows were pretty decent. However, they have suffered some serious cuts since then. BGW just added a $50 million coaster, it wouldn't surprise me if the entertainment budget didn't take a hit for this season. You also have to take a look at the history of other parks under Blackstone. Do they support entertainment in their other properties like Legoland?
 
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Shane

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railryda said:
You also have to take a look at the history of other parks under Blackstone. Do they support entertainment in their other properties like Legoland?

They also had Universal Studios for a little while if that says anything.
 
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Shane said:
railryda said:
You also have to take a look at the history of other parks under Blackstone. Do they support entertainment in their other properties like Legoland?

They also had Universal Studios for a little while if that says anything.

I wish I could say that I've been to Universal recently to see their shows. I remember watching the Blues Brothers Show the last time I was there and thinking it was pretty good.
 
Jul 22, 2010
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Party Rocker said:
Its always easier to destroy then to build. I just think this is just a small down period. Things will pick up soon, hopefully.

A small dip in quality is one thing. Complete obliteration of something is entirely different. Being easier to "destroy than build" holds no precedence to any of the events at hand. Not for a park that is supposed to be World Class Service and not when its sister parks are thriving on all out quality. No excuse whatsoever for the despair that has come over BGW.
 
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Nov 14, 2009
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I've been on vacation all week and am just reading all of this, but I did want to comment.

First, I'm not afraid *at all* of reading, posting, being exposed to, content like this, nor am I worried about it's impact on the site. One of the things that sets this site apart is it's willingness to take chances and let the chips fall where they may.

Also, I'd like to commend Doctor Money for the well written opinion. On the critical side, I do think he was stretching a bit to shoe horn the political take into his point, but it was very skillfully done ;)

However, at the end of the day, I don't see where the political aspect added anything to the point of this editorial.
 
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