As normal as drum corps may seem to Drum Corps International and Drum Corps Associates fans and veterans, the activity may seem just a little bit crazy to outsiders looking in. Just ask documentary filmmaker John E. Maher, who recently completed “Throw It Down!,” a documentary chronicling The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps’ 2006 season.
Initially, Maher wasn’t thrilled about the assignment when co-producer John Thomas Kelly—who had become interested in drum corps through a co-worker—approached him with the project. But after being exposed to the tour, Maher recognized the power of the activity.
“I think it is a little crazy,” he says. “I didn’t know anything about drum corps. … But what got me was the dedication … the incredible rush they got from working together.”
Maher hopes that the film can faithfully convey the grit and determination that go into a drum corps tour including being on a bus all summer. Following The Bluecoats also provided an opportunity to chronicle a rising corps looking to move up in the standings.
“It’s very different than what you see out there with DCI and from the corps,” Maher says. “It’s not a ‘rah-rah’ film about drum corps. If you come away from the film thinking, ‘I think these people are nuts,’ that’s fine.”
Co-produced by Edward Maher, the film was released in December 2008 by JEM Films and was well-received by The Bluecoats in an early pre-screening last August.
For more information or to order the film, visit the website www.throwitdownthemovie.com.