Filmmaker Seana Carroll and cinematographer Mark Walpole began filming a documentary about the Washington Redskins Marching Band in September 2008, taking on an idea Carroll formed eight years earlier at a funeral.
Carroll’s late uncle Harry Hinken was a member of the Redskins Marching Band for more than 60 years after he joined as a 13-year-old trombone player in 1939. Hinken also served as drum major and then personnel manager for 35 of those years.
After hearing his friends and fellow bandsmen speak about her uncle and the band, Carroll decided to begin her film, named “The Band Never Loses a Game.”
“My uncle Harry always said, ‘No matter who wins or loses, the band never loses a game,’ and the band still says that to this day,” Carroll says. “The band is there to entertain the fans, to help the fans cheer the team on and to boost the morale of the players.”
Carroll got to know many of the members of the band and laments the fact that she never participated in the activity. “The band brought them together,” she says of the members of the Redskins Band. “It’s a community thing. They’re special specifically because they come from all walks of Washingtonian life. They’re judges, teachers, senators; they work at Pepco [an electric service provider]; these are busy people with full and productive lives. But, through all of this, they take the time away from their family and their jobs, and they’re one.”
Carroll has received a lot of encouragement from the Redskins. “The Redskins executives have been super supportive to me, and I am so grateful to them,” she says. “I would not be doing this without them.”
The film is scheduled to be completed by April 2010 to show at film festivals. For more information, visit www.thebandneverlosesagame.com.