The Walk to Indy — A Focus Group Film

Written by Antoinette Ochoa, Class of 2010

In the stands people put their hands together and applaud the corps at the completion of their best show yet.  On the field is a girl using everything she has left to hold herself up.  Once the bass drum hits, signaling the dismissal of the corps, her body goes out and she hits the ground.  The corps begins to exit the stadium as two staff members are left behind carrying her off the sideline.  The conditions in drum corps are less than ideal, yet something in the activity is appealing to high school and college students, bringing them back every summer to sacrifice a vacation for one thing: music performance.

"There is no easing up in drum corps.  There is no off switch," says film director Adam Adorno.  Working with Focus Group Promotions, Adorno and videographer Manny Coronado are following Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps from Southern California on their summer tour.  The 2010 season will be captured in The Walk to Indy showing the corps as they perform their program Maze and revealing that there are more challenges in the season than just the show. 

Perhaps one of the poignant life experiences is losing a loved one.  In November 2009, Pacific Crest lost its drum major, Zach Headden, who had been with corps since 2006 and served as front field drum major for both the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Zach was killed in an automobile collision, and 2010 would have been his age-out season.

A Pacific Crest tradition during the Drum Corps International Age-Out Ceremony is for all the age outs to leave their shoes on the field in the shape of the corps logo, the crest.  This year’s ceremony will be especially memorable for the corps:  On the field that night will be one more pair of shoes than the number of age outs, in remembrance of a young man who had made a significant impact on the corps.  In addition to focusing on this story, a few individuals will be followed allowing us an inside view of their drum corps experience.  As described by Adorno, "The Walk to Indy isn’t just about Zach’s shoes being left on the field, but everybody’s journey to Indianapolis and a celebration of Zach’s life."

Being on tour separates a member from "real life" for a short period of time, but in this film real life finds ways to catch up with people.  It is more than just handling the stress of intense rehearsals and more than dealing with extreme exhaustion and fatigue.  Watching The Walk to Indy will show the audience a deeper layer to this demanding sport.

Adorno and Coronado will continue to film Pacific Crest through the end of tour.  Focus Group Promotions will begin editing at the conclusion of the season and is projecting the release of the film to festivals starting in late 2011.

Click this link to view the trailer.