“Scouts Honor” Documentary

Photo courtesy of Gigantic Cranium

Mac Smith and Tom Tollefsen bonded over movies when they marched with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 1995. Now, their full-length documentary about the Scouts, entitled “Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood,” is set to release this summer.

The film revolves around three main “characters”— Brandon, Jo and Hunter— Madison Scouts members who have a unique story to tell. Smith explains that he and Tollefsen framed the film this way to make it more accessible to audiences who were unaware of drum corps.

“I think that anyone could really get into the story,” says Smith, a post-production sound editor for films such as “Toy Story 3” and “Tron: Legacy.” “The whole drive was trying to find people who had those unique experiences and explain DCI, but not dumb it down for the hardcore drum corps audience.”

Many of the shots in the film were taken during rehearsals. Crewmembers had to be sensitive to the movements of the performers as they rolled film. “Part of the deal that we made with directors was that we wouldn’t hinder anything they were doing,” Smith says. “We couldn’t make people stop and do something again. Originally we somewhat kept our distance, but as trust developed between us, we got closer.”

The movie will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and video on demand as well as by request from an independent movie screening company, as yet undecided by the filmmakers. Their intention is that marching band programs across the country will set up screenings as fundraisers. “If [band programs] get enough people to go, we will give part of the money back to their programs,” Smith says. “I think that a lot of programs are looking for money, plus it’s a social event for them and a great way for us to give back.”

The producers also plan on donating some of the proceeds to the Madison Scouts.