“On the Starting Line”

Can’t get enough of drum corps? Now that the season’s over, check out “On the Starting Line,” a narrative feature film about a “quietly determined teenage girl” who aspires to join the color guard of a championship drum corps.

The film will be released in early fall 2008 and features members of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps. Producer Linda A. Vito says she used Vanguard members as actors in the film in order to make the film feel more authentic.

“It’s a narrative feature true to the activity and what anyone would go through,” Vito says. “I am just in awe of what these young men and women sacrifice and do for their passions, for their performing within this art of pageantry. Their dedication is just amazing to me. It’s a wonderful activity.”

Wendy Menara, a former member of The Blue Devils color guard, approached Vito’s production company—LinV Films LLC—with the script. Even though Vito has never participated in drum corps herself, she says that the drum corps activity has a particular appeal that makes the story come alive. She also notes that, although there have been documentaries about drum corps, no one has taken the plunge to create a narrative feature about the activity.

“If you look at this film, you could put anything to the backdrop of it—it could be golf, it could be tennis, whatever it is— but there’s just something about how much they sacrifice and how much they enjoy it,” Vito says. “It’s such a positive experience, such a positive activity.”

The film features an original score by Key Poulan. And in an effort to remain true to the drum corps activity, it contains performances by live musicians rather than synthesized tracks.

About author

Eddie Carden

Eddie Carden is an editorial intern for Halftime Magazine. He is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California (USC), with a major in public relations and neuroscience. He has been playing the trumpet since the fifth grade and served last year as the drum major for the USC “Spirit of Troy” Trojan Marching Band.

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