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  • I attended the World Premiere in Providence, Rhode Island. "From The 50 Yard Line" is a movie that every student, parent, educator and school administrator MUST see! This film is able to sum up in an extraordinary hour and a half documentary, the reason why every music educator, music student and parent/supporter makes the sacrifices that they all make for the love of music and why music should be an integrated part of every school's curriculum across the country! "From The 50 Yardline" will become a motivation tool that every music educator can use to motivate his or her students with and community can use to push for the reinstatement or advancement of their local music program. Director, Doug Lantz and his crew have introduced the country to the world of the marching arts and how it can better a student socially, emotionally and academically. Through this awakening, he might just help our political leaders across the country realize how the choices that they have made over the past twenty years have adversely affected or eliminated our school music programs, music's crucial and vital importance in the development of our children and inspire them to help save music education in America! David M. Marshall Director of Bands: Somerset High School - Somerset, MA
  • ilovecows199216 March 2008
    i am a member of a high school marching band, and this movie portrays EXACTLY how i feel towards the concept of marching band. they are very helpful in aiding you raise money for your school marching band by allowing you to use their movie as a screening fund raiser. you get to keep half the profit you make. i love this movie, and i think it's destined to be shown in schools across America. i love it and i give it a 10/10. if you ever have the chance to see this movie, do it!!! you will never feel the same about marching band after you see it. and if you see it and then ever hear someone say that marching band is easy, i hope you tell them otherwise, because i know first hand that it isn't, and i am grateful to this movie for showing the world that.
  • Excellent! Bravo! A must see for any music educator, student, parent, administrator, and board member. It will be on the top of my Christmas gift giving list when it is released on DVD for members of my local school board.

    The movie made me laugh and cry. Bandology 101 - man on the street segments were to funny. Just picture the Tonight shows J-walk with band terms such as "Battery" and you will get the idea behind Bandology...

    End of band camp student share segment will have everyone in tears.

    I was surprised at the quality of the sound of the marching band during the field show.

    This may be Doug's first film but I hope it is not his last.
  • Director, Doug Lantz, provides an insightful glimpse into the world of competitive marching bands. The film offers the personal stories of how marching band literally changes lives in an affluent suburb in Ohio as well as in an inner city school in California. Powerful, inspiring and revealing, this film will change the way you think about marching band. I was in marching band, myself, and it changed my own perspective on the subject! The students in the featured bands tell their own stories and it is clear that for some, it is a lifeline. Watching the students grow and mature throughout the season is a real treat. In my book, From the 50 Yardline scores big! Looking for hope in America's future? Check the band room!
  • The Columbus International Film Festival is taking place this week. Somehow, I've never made it to the festival before; so this year I made every effort to get there. It probably helped that I have a personal interest in one of the screening films, a documentary called From the 50 Yard Line.

    From the 50 Yard Line is a documentary on marching band. Primarily, it follows The Centerville Jazz Band (the marching band for Centerville High School in Centerville, OH) through their competitive season. Because, I grew up in Columbus and was very involved in marching band (and its big brother Drum Corps), I actually marched with/was instructed by several of the subjects of the film. That being said, I could go on and on about it, but I'll try to be brief and objective.

    First time director Doug Lantz, himself an alumnus of the Centerville Band program, was on hand to introduce the film. The film began with the marching band auditions at Easter and followed the band all the way through their culminating performance at the Bands of America Grand National Championships. The primary intent was to expose the often unrecognized impact of instrumental music education on the development of American high school students.

    Stand out segments included deliberately understated interviews with politicians and academics on the unintended effects of "No Child Left Behind" on education, and a recurring man-on-the-street segment called "Bandology 101" which tested average people on their knowledge of marching band lingo. In what seemed like an attempt to even out the piece, the filmmakers spent some time with the Fairfax High School Marching Band (Hollywood, CA) which was restarted this year from an anonymous donation after an 18-year hiatus from instrumental music at the school. Perhaps analogous to the disparities in the programs' budgets and community support, Centerville dominated the screen time 10:1.

    During the Q&A following the film, Lantz acknowledged that "there is drama that happens in high school…but we made the decision that we really wanted to focus on the band experience." By choosing to include several students (rather than following the more personal stories of one or two members) the film really does emphasize the communal experience. However, at some points these efforts were taken to the extreme: scenes from the "share session" at the end of band camp (in which each band member was given an opportunity to address the entire group) felt more like a lengthy emotional montage than an image of a group united by their goals. However, the film is still being edited giving it a chance to work out some of the "thematic sticking points".

    Most of all, I was impressed by the progress you could see in individuals. A rookie tuba player was featured at the beginning and end of the film with not only a noticeable improvement in his marching and playing skills, but a real transformation from an insecure high school freshman to a confident and coordinated young adult.
  • I am the 2008 tuba section leader for the University of Arizona's Pride of Arizona Marching Band, and I have just seen the viewing presented to a high school band program in Tucson, Arizona. For 8 years now, I have devoted my energy and passion to music and have determined that it has molded my life to the very core. This representation of marching bands and the students who are fortunate to understand and love such an activity is a most outstanding depiction of why the devastation of funds towards music programs is so disturbing. Because of my personal experience, from performing with an award-winning high school marching band to delighting football crowds and Band Day audiences in the renowned Pride of Arizona, I would like to thank the producers of this documentary in hopes of somehow urging those alike who are interested in lighting the fire in school administrators. Thank you for creating this masterpiece; I would be absolutely overjoyed to see this presented to the general public.
  • This is a true representation of the work that our kids put into their marching band programs. It also lets individuals who have never marched have a glimpse from the inside. Marching Band like so many other activities is one that from the outside looking in people just don't get. Without experiencing it first hand it is difficult to appreciate how anyone can be so passionate about something so time consuming and exhausting. The film "From the 50 Yard Line" lets people gain insight into this world. It allows them the privilege of growing through the process with a fine program. It lets them experience a season through the eyes of the students that we do this for. Thank you to Blake House Media and Dave Johnson for making this film happen!
  • I thought this movie was GREAT! I have been to several festivals where this movie was shown and won. As a former band member myself, I remember the close ties I had with all the members of our organization. I believe that the discipline students learn from practicing and figuring out scores of music in invaluable as they move forward in life. This film is a wonderful piece and highlights the need to keep band programs in schools. I was involved with the students and cried right along with them when they lost their competition. This movie should be shown in every school district to remind people why music is so important to life!
  • From the 50 yard line is an excellent film that shows the hard work and dedication of the many young students who participate in competitive band programs. This film does an excellent job of following the Centerville Jazz Band from Centerville OH through their entire fall season from try outs at the end of the year through Grand Nationals in Indianapolis. The key things to take away from this film is the progress that the students in the band and the color guard make through the film. They learn key life skills of discipline, time management and leadership. They also learn the importance of teamwork and dedication to purpose as they work to achieve perfection in their complicated show for the season. While the youth of today are often accused of not caring - this film shows that the band program teaches the youth of America the importance of these key life skills. They grow to be exceptional citizens. If you have never been in band - this is your peek into their world and you will be amazed at what it takes to been in a competitive band. These students will be the leaders of tomorrow and they have a great foundation to build on for those roles. This is a must see film and you will be wanting more.
  • For those who have been in marching band, the amount of effort these kids put into their show is well represented. For bands serious about competition, as Centerville is, the effort put into their performances is even more. I loved the music selection, it ties well to the story. The kids are genuine, their stories tear at your heart.

    I laughed at many parts, cried at others. The awards speak to the universal appeal of this story.

    The drum line does a great job of keeping the beat going, even alone, it draws the crowd.

    It gives great insight to what it takes to be a member of the band.
  • For everyone who has played football or any other sport and thinks they work hard, they should spend a week in band camp! Our high school is one of the few in our area that takes marching band to the serious level of competitions. During band camp our students are rehearsing from 9am to 9pm. How many football teams or other sports teams practice that long? In the heat of summer? On blacktop? I have a daughter that has just finished high school and a daughter who is about to begin high school, so it is certainly a time of great reflection as a parent as we experience this transition. One of the greatest gifts we have given our daughters in life is the gift of music. We are so blessed to be in an area that supports music in the schools. However, we still fight the stereotypical garbage that sports are the almighty activity. How I wish every one of these athletes could go through a season of marching band and see what it REALLY feels like to memorize the music, memorize the marching drill, and then repeat over and over and over again until every horn pops at the right angle, every step is clean, and every flag is in perfect alignment. I believe they would begin to understand what true commitment, hard work and time management are really all about.

    The film really hits on many of the things that both students and parents already believe...that marching band is the hardest, most grueling job you will ever have in high school, and that it gives some of the best life lessons you will ever learn. I applaud the directors in every high school marching program for the many thankless hours of extra work beyond the school day, and for the many small and large triumphs that your programs experience in your JOURNEY. This film should be shown to all students, athletes and parents who complain that they have to walk a little further so that the marching band can practice in the parking lot! Kudos for a great film!
  • This is a fantastic film reflecting with great accuracy the high level of dedication required by students marching in a band performing at a national championship level. First year students & their parents should take the time to see this film so they understand the commitment level needed to have a successful marching season. Student vets & their parents will see their own transforming experience through the eyes of another, showing that this takes more hard work, more sweat & a stronger passion to accomplish than most people realize. High school football teams supported by a marching band should see this film so as to develop a better appreciation for the half time show. Music is so needed in our schools & the desire to make that happen against strong odds is reflected in the struggles overcome by another school resurrecting their music program after many years of being dormant. This film shows the raw emotion, the sweat & the passion behind all marching bands, large & small. Go see it!
  • As a former film maker and band parent this film is a great representation of the high school band experience for high school students and parents. You don't have to love band music to to be touched the emotion that is captured throughout this season of BOA performances. It's an experience of working hard for a team and succeeding together. It's about the fellowship of life and learning values and dedication at that age. And this film captures the experience of kids working together, playing music together and sharing feelings together. It's great if you win but its the process you'll never forget. Wonderful movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I recommend this film to people of all ages. It leaves the viewer with a new understanding of what actually occurs in a High School marching band. The students & educational staff in this documentary are all very REAL people & you can't help but live the dream with them as you are pulled into this film. They work hard & the end result is touching. I have new appreciation for how much time & effort goes into their performance. The band camp portion was incredibly moving. My favorite scene involves the zoo animals responding to the music! Funny, warm & wonderful at the same time! The Lantz brothers' potential is endless. I personally can't wait to see what comes out next!
  • beth-purdy26 September 2011
    As an alum of one of the wonderful bands showcased here, I can tell you it's this and so much more. There is no more enriching experience for life than working and learning with a high school marching band. Not only do you get to learn and play music to which you might otherwise not hear (I'm sure Chick Corea wasn't on top 40 radio in the 80s), but you form life-long friendships. Four years of amazing memories, emotions, first loves, competitions, wins, losses, freezing at football games (which, somehow, was fun anyway because we were all together), in jokes, bus trips, and wonderful parents who supported, loved, cheered for, and watched over us. If you're wondering if marching band is a good environment for your kids, this will sell you 100%, and it's 100% true.