The Challenge:

The Blue Devils came to me not only with the challenge to communicate through the internet their diversity as an entertainment group and life skills program, but they also requested that it be accomplished primarily through video and they needed it to serve two audiences: the avid fan and the nubile viewer. Additionally, this was to be done while they traveled in a six bus and semi truck caravan across the US. And, oh yeah, by the way, they politely requested that this timely content be released as close to real time as possible.

The Solution

The solution was to create a video web series that would engage and challenge internet visitors to get right smack dab in the middle of the corps’ experience: producing captivating clips that would educate and entertain while attracting fans to attend performances, purchase merchandise and donate resources. A series that entertained while capturing the Blue Devils inviting celebration of life. And so with this, “Get the Feeling” was born.

The Series

To execute the web series I hired five cameramen and four editors while I enlisted the members themselves to tell the stories, share the insights and provide the window into the extreme dedication, perspiration and reality of what life on the road with 150 other individuals was like. Some of the spots were completely scripted and relied on non actors to extend their imaginations and deliver lines beyond their immediate realities while other spots found their truth through the trust and intimacy developed though the filmmaker and performing member relationship.

The Result

Over the ten week period my crew and I posted over fifteen webisodes that revealed the grand story of these young peoples discovery while sharing the competitive details of a corps that, by the way, was on an undefeated path towards a World Championship Title.

And while the drum corps excelled, the campaign also intensified, growing rapidly with an increase in viewers and in brand recognition for the organization. The ultimate reveal was when fans and members alike began using, “Get the Feeling” in their everyday references to the drum corps.

Ultimately, “Get the Feeling” created an invitation for all to participate, to share and support. It’s accomplishment was both a testament to the design as well as the execution of a series of videos that entertained and enlightened. And yes, in case you were wondering, the Blue Devils did complete their season with fifty-two undefeated shows to win their 13th unprecedented Drum International World Championship.

Michael Zapanta

series creative director & producer

the work

“Get the Feeling” is a

branded entertainment experience I created and produced for the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, Summer 2009.

• the call
• mars
• tour
• world champions

The Story:

The Blue Devils are a non-profit youth organization committed to the education of young men and women in the performing arts. At the center of the organization is their award winning and world renown drum and bugle corps: a one hundred and fifty person “professional” marching band that is an intoxicating blend of musical  virtuosity and visual artistry. Each summer the drum corps competes in 36 states across America as they fine tune their show for the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis, IN.

From an audiences point of view the Blue Devils are an extraordinarily entertaining live experience. But the story only begins there as the youth organization is an equally powerful life skills program that teaches individual excellence, commitment and personal responsibility.

Get the Feeling
• the captain