How is Filmmaking Like Drum Corps?

Making any kind of art is time consuming and audiences often have trouble?understanding?what really goes into the process of creating something that you are truly proud of. I’ve often said that the two hardest things that I’ve ever done in my life were marching in drum corps and making a movie (which happens to be about drum corps as well.) There are so many parallels between the two activities.

A filmmaker friend of mine alerted me to?this video and it really hits this idea on the head:

You can look at this from two different perspectives when it comes to drum corps. From the corps director (administrative) point of view, and also as a marching member. Some of these fit into both categories.


Corps director/film director (producer) parallels:

? Dealing with business plans, contracts, managing finances

? Constantly modifying schedules

? Non-stop problem solving (equipment breakdowns, location problems, crew drama)

? Coping with bad weather

? Finding creative ways to stretch dollars

? Calling in favors

? Rewrites, show edits & ever changing vision of the final product

? Trying to find a balance between connecting with your audience & judges (critics)


Marching member/crew member/cast member parallels:

? Rehearsing long hours

? Dealing with less than ideal transportation and facilities

? Learning to operate on much less sleep than you are used to

? Figuring out how to work together with people that you may not see eye to eye with

? Live for the heartfelt reactions

? Ultimately the challenging conditions bring everyone closer together, like a family


The best and most important point in the end is that we do this to create something that we hope will affect people, and to be proud that we made this ourselves. Like they mention in the video, filmmaking is a calling; an obsession and the same can be said for drum corps. Both can hardly be achieved by one person alone. They are collaborative activities. We all strive to make something that we are proud to be connected with.

Has the challenges of drum corps connected with your own current professional or recreational challenges? Let us know in the comments below.


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