The Songs in “Scouts Honor” (so far)

Music is an essential component to “Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood”. In some ways you could categorize the film as a music documentary. ?It certainly follows a music based activity, and while it is essentially a character focused story we take the music very seriously in the film.

Part of the idea for this film in the first place were the 5.1 audio recordings that Director/Producer Mac Smith heard from Co-Producer ?John “JT” Torrijos. ?Years before the start of this project, JT had made it a personal goal to figure out the best method to record the audio of a drum and bugle corps on the field. He had been a fan of the activity for decades and took on the challenge that would make even the most experienced audio engineer nervous of capturing the wall of sound that is sometimes spread from end zone to end zone on a football field. ?When his recordings are played back in a movie theater it truly sounds like you are right there in front of the drum corps. Like we’ve said before it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when you hear it.

Being first time filmmakers the process of music licensing was very foreign to us. ?We spent months trying to navigate the waters of sync clearances ourselves and weren’t making the kind of progress we had hoped. ?The easiest way to explain it is in order to put songs into a movie, you have to get permission from the companies that hold the publishing rights. ?Without the proper agreements your film can’t be released.

While Mac was in Los Angeles at the American Film Market he met another film industry professional who was able to give some valuable advice. ?While we thought all along that we were going to save money by not hiring an experienced music supervisor we were probably wrong. ?So, a couple of weeks ago we brought on a music supervisor to take on the task of getting the proper music clearances for the film. ?It’s an enormous, and time consuming task, but we are confident that this person can represent our film well to the music publishers and get us the best deals possible.

Many of you are curious which songs we are working towards licensing. ?For those of you that are familiar with the Madison Scouts, you can probably guess many of the songs on this list. Also knowing the timeframe that we were on the road with the corps you many know what they were playing at the time. But we also wanted to dive into archival material to show the corps performing during other eras.

Here’s the list of songs that are currently in the cut of the film:

? Empire State of Mind

? Malaga

? Remembering (from “The Way We Were”)

? Malague?a

? New York, New York (On the Town)

? Celebration (by Kool & the Gang)

? MacArthur Park

? You’ll Never Walk Alone

These are not obscure songs. The Madison Scouts are known for playing well known pieces that are, as Artistic Director, James Mason would say, “songs with million dollar melodies”. ?That’s part of the appeal of the Madison Scouts and one reason why they remain a crowd favorite. ?We spent countless hours deciding which music should be in the film. ?The show music from 2012 is essential, and the corps song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is mandatory to put into the film. ?In the film, the corps plays this song and also sings the song a cappella.

We also want to include “Empire State of Mind” not only because it does have significance to the story that we are telling, but because DCI wasn’t able to secure the sync rights for the 2011 Finals DVD and Blu-Ray release. ?Thousands of drum corps fans were disappointed that they weren’t able to see the performance since the video had to be blacked out during the closer of the Scouts’ 2011 show. ?It’s a complicated issue, and by no means is it the fault of DCI or the Madison Scouts for the sync licensing trouble with that particular song. ?If we were able to get this into “Scouts Honor” it would be a bit of redemption for the corps and the fans.

NiseiMatchingChallenge_GMS.01All that being said, this music costs money to secure. ?That’s the main reason that we are having this current fundraising campaign. ?The Nisei Ambassador alumni trust have been incredibly generous to us to give us a matching grant of $3000. ?Our goal is to reach $6000. ?Will that amount pay for all the music? No. To be honest, that amount will only pay for a small fraction of the music expenses for the movie. ?It would not only be disappointing if we had to cut any of those pieces on our list out of the film, but it would also affect the story we are telling.

Please help us out by talking to your friends about why you’re excited about the movie and encourage them to make a contribution. ?Any amount helps us get closer to finishing the film.

To learn more about the Nisei Matching Challenge click here to see the video.

Thank you,

The Scouts Honor Team

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