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Showtime FX at the GC Theme Parks


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I was listening to the most recent episode of the Park Life podcast over the weekend, featuring Warren Luff (who is one of the key leaders in the Hollywood Stunt Driver shows). At one point they discussed how when the Hollywood Stunt Driver changed to HSD 2, Showtime FX was given the contract to create the show, etc. (This was something I did already know, but just giving some background info). Mike Croaker said how the older shows in the main arena where created in house and operated by VRTP. 
 

Now, I am not bagging out Showtime FX because I can only imagine how much time, effort and skill goes into the shows and they are pretty good at what they do. They have a very talented team. However, I do wish the shows were still created in house. I’m sure the VRTP team still have their say on the shows, but they would mostly be directed by Showtime. Hollywood Stunt Driver was a great show (not quite at the level that Police Academy was), but the second version has never really got to that level. Great stunts, but the storyline has always seemed a bit confused or unpolished. And now Thunder Lake Stunt Show. The stunts are also great, but the story just isn’t the best. 
 

My point being, should the parks go back to creating these shows once again? Or how could Showtime improve/expand the current offerings?

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The showtime FMX shows are average at best. Showtime FMX are best destined to do shows where there is no creativity, just stunts, fire and loud noises. Movie Worlds entertainment and shows used to be first class, now, well they are essentially just fillers to say they have entertainment. 
 

Village can do good entertainment, the shows at Paradise Country and AOS are prime examples of good showmanship. They should show that good showmanship in their parks as well. 

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No. But Showtime shouldn't write the shows either. Outsource the writing and get a proper production company to produce the shows, and hire Showtime FMX to execute them.

 

FMX shows are pretty ordinary, but the ones written and produced in house aren't any better. Has anyone actually watched Seal Guardians or Affinity?

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It’s kind of a mixture between both, it’s not as if vrtp go here’s the money just put on a show they would still have a say and over see it. Everything would be ok’d by vrtp and watching/visiting the parks enough you see a lot of vrtp management in the crowds from time to time. It’s not like vrtp don’t have a glue what’s going on in their own backyard. 
I think we can all agree we all like pa 

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Thing is I’ve always had a belief that the idea of a theme park is to escape everyday life. 
By that reasoning I don’t want to see shows I can see at any random event, regional show, etc etc. And the FMX offerings of “give it up for”, loud revs, all motor based stunts/tricks really are the same thing you see everywhere. No matter what the wrapping. 
 

Great shows written by talented people are definitely what’s called for as mentioned above. But they also have to be curated by seasoned park management to ensure what is delivered is sustainable long term. 
As someone said this has been proven possible time and time again at their Outback and Paradise Country shows so roll this out further. 

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11 hours ago, joz said:

Has anyone actually watched Seal Guardians or Affinity?

In my personal opinion, someone must have croaked to produce these abominations.

8 hours ago, rappa said:

As someone said this has been proven possible time and time again at their Outback and Paradise Country shows so roll this out further. 

+5000 to this

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1 minute ago, SnowyRiverSam said:

Do you think the Police Academy Stunt Show would still be a popular show if it was still here today? 

Yes? I would make an effort to see it. The only thing "stunt driver" has going for it is removing a large portion of the crowd from ride queues.

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2 hours ago, pin142 said:

Yes? I would make an effort to see it. The only thing "stunt driver" has going for it is removing a large portion of the crowd from ride queues.

And now imagine how much it would remove if the show was decent.

My 7 year old loves the show, but even then we only watch it (at his request) every other time or if the queues are just too much effort and I CBF waiting.

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Entertainment is hard to get right, and the easier route for a park is to just dump their millions into a flat-ride or rollercoaster that can operate during the entire day, has visible appeal and has guaranteed results. I'd love to see VRTP focus on enhancing their entertainment because I'm also not a fan of HWSD2, but generally it's fine for the families that visit once in a while and always packs a crowd.

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I saw the Police Academy show almost every time I went to Movie World throughout my childhood and teenage years (even when I occasionally went to the park on my own as an 18 year-old with a yearly pass to utilize). After moving to Melbourne in my 20's, every time I revisited the park while on holidays on the Gold Coast I never bothered to see the new stunt show. Maybe it was spite for Movie World having removed something as fun as Police Academy, maybe it was the mediocre word of mouth. My point is that the personality and humour of the Police Academy Stunt Show was something unique and something I remember more fondly than any of the car stunts or explosions.

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I remember several theme park shows from my younger days that had no IP association to them, that were well produced. 

The reason given for the closure of PASS was that the IP was outdated and kids didn't know the police academy story. 

It's arguable that the show stood on it's own without the police academy backstory, though, and it probably could have continued on for many more years than it did. Perhaps with some updates to technical effects and some new stunts every now and then.

It's been a long time, but I had heard the main reason PASS was removed was that the show was too expensive to operate, and the very well trained stunt performers were a cost that the bean counters preferred not to keep shelling out for when they could down-skill the cast by having a car\drifting show that had many more capable folk out there able to perform the role.

I guess a little like the Dreamworld railway story - replacing the steam train with a lawn mower so you don't need qualified steam engineers to run it every day.

I would however like to see them do something more with HWSD than the current "live at the ekka" performances we currently see.

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The Showtime shows are terrible and VRTP have gone for the cheapest executions possible... BUT... It's worth remembering that VRTP have to make shows that can be understood by both adults and children, as well as international tourists that can barely speak English (if at all).  That is a very difficult thing to do well on a reasonable budget.

I think the biggest missed opportunity currently, is Village not using IP that they actually own - specifically MadMax.  The Fury Road film was released in 2015, had very little dialogue and was a massive success in Asia.  Some heavily themed cars and costumes could reduce the need for as many stunts and some basic car 'stunts' combined with some circus acrobatics could result in a visually spectacular show with a very simplistic 'stop the bad guy' story set in the MadMax universe.

I doubt it will happen though.  The cost of transforming the arena and building the new cars is money that they will likely spend on a new ride to replace Arkham.

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On 03/05/2021 at 8:32 PM, joz said:

FMX shows are pretty ordinary, but the ones written and produced in house aren't any better. Has anyone actually watched Seal Guardians or Affinity?

Worth noting Seal Guardians has not been showing since COVID reopening, they have a "behind the scenes" (behaviour) presentation instead.

5 hours ago, Original said:

But then I can't imagine HWSD was a cheap show with the amount of time the cars would get smashed up and require repair. 

My understanding is HWSD 2 and bringing in ShowTime cut costs quite a bit from the original show.

1 hour ago, wikiverse said:

I think the biggest missed opportunity currently, is Village not using IP that they actually own - specifically MadMax.  The Fury Road film was released in 2015, had very little dialogue and was a massive success in Asia.  Some heavily themed cars and costumes could reduce the need for as many stunts and some basic car 'stunts' combined with some circus acrobatics could result in a visually spectacular show with a very simplistic 'stop the bad guy' story set in the MadMax universe.

 

They certainly did investigate Mad Max as a replacement for PA originally, the licensing was complicated so the decision was made to "go generic".

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32 minutes ago, Park Addict 93 said:

Worth noting Seal Guardians has not been showing since COVID reopening, they have a "behind the scenes" (behaviour) presentation instead.

My understanding is HWSD 2 and bringing in ShowTime cut costs quite a bit from the original show.

They certainly did investigate Mad Max as a replacement for PA originally, the licensing was complicated so the decision was made to "go generic".

Thank god JFK didn’t think going to the to moon was too “complicated.” 

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14 hours ago, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

The reason given for the closure of PASS was that the IP was outdated and kids didn't know the police academy story. 

I'm sure there's millions & millions of people who have never seen or heard of "Water world" but still some how get a kick out of watching the live show every time.

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This touches on a much a bigger topic that I won't explore to its fullest here, but its worth mentioning ;to me it comes down to big thinking verses small thinking. Big thinking is how how do we make this the best it can possibly be? And small thinking is 'What's the cheapest we can do and still get the same result?' I think all our parks are properly capable of both, but HSD being in the state it's in for years, but that's fine because it's cheap and uncomplicated is small thinking.

 

Incidentally, it's not just a theme park thing; The proposals for Brisbane Olympics is a classic external example of small thinking. Did you know they're going to totally rebuild the Gabba, and when they're done it will have 5,000 more seats for a total of 50,000? Meanwhile Stadium Australia for the Sydney Olympics which they did some big thinking for was 110,000. Same with the GC comm games too. 

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1 hour ago, joz said:

Incidentally, it's not just a theme park thing; The proposals for Brisbane Olympics is a classic external example of small thinking. Did you know they're going to totally rebuild the Gabba, and when they're done it will have 5,000 more seats for a total of 50,000? Meanwhile Stadium Australia for the Sydney Olympics which they did some big thinking for was 110,000. Same with the GC comm games too. 

Isn't this plan to add the extra 5000 seats also super complicated? Like lifting the whole stadium and demolishing a good portion of it to be rebuilt? So much unnecessary money and work for such a little return. (though I feel that could sum up anything the government does) 

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