Flyovers have been around the marching arts for DECADES! I remember seeing one of my first flyovers when I was at WGI Finals in 1987. I watched the great Union H.S. perform their famous mannequin show where they pulled one over the entire UD Arena floor. I remember as a teenager sitting with my jaw on the floor as all of their performers disappeared under the gigantic black fabric. Only the mannequins remained when the last bit of fabric cleared the floor, not a performer in sight… it was WGI Magic, and I was hooked!
What is a flyover exactly?
It is a LARGE piece of fabric (usually flag material/poly-silk) that is attached to several tall poles. The fabric is typically fan-folded up in a secretive way, the element of surprise is one of the flyover’s biggest strengths.
Performers grab the poles and RUN like mad! The result is a humongous piece of fabric washing the field or floor with color and hiding everything underneath. The flyover (or sometimes called a pullover) flies over the top of all the performers and gets pulled to a different area of the field/floor where the fabric collapses to the ground in another pile.
One of the coolest and most effective reasons to use a flyover… to transform something or create an element of magic. You can easily make everyone disappear, create a costume change, set change, or major drill change in the moments that fabric is lingering over the performance space. Voila!! Once the fabric collapses to the ground, the transformation is revealed!
You only have several seconds but a lot of effective transformation can happen during that time with a solid plan.
Here are some things to consider when using a FLYOVER:
- What size do you want your flyover to be? What are you trying to cover up?
- Be mindful that if you make it too big or too heavy it will not “fly” very well
- How many poles will be best to keep the flyover tight and flying high?
- Usually, a pole on each end and then one in the center (at least) works well.
- 6-foot wooden poles with an eye hook screwed to the top will work well. I would tape the poles to help strengthen them and blend in with the background more.
- HOW DO YOU CONSTRUCT IT?
- Picture a flagpole sleeve at the top end--- but instead of a pole going through the fabric sleeve, picture a rope.
- The rope would have a few loops on it that would clip with carabineers to the poles.
- The poles would have an eye loop at the top of each pole that a carabineer can easily clip to.
- You need to be able to hook and unhook your flyover to keep it safe from the elements. Get a large plastic bin with a lid to store your fabric/ropes.
- A WET FLYOVER WILL NOT FLY VERY WELL IF AT ALL!
- OTHER TIPS
- I recommend using a locking carabineer that you can screw on and off. They seem to have a stronger hold.
HAVE FUN WITH IT!!!
Flyovers can be an easy and somewhat inexpensive way to really transform a moment. Field and Floor FX can digitally print any design that you desire on your flyover for added effect.
Rosie Queen is a color guard lifer and creative writer who currently resides in Huntington Beach, CA. Rosie has been blessed to be deeply involved in the marching arts since 1983. Rosie is obsessed with her dogs, color guard/marching band, national parks, and traveling.