This project originated as an assignment for my first actual Cinematography class in Fall 2006 at Western Carolina University. The assignment was to create a montage of life on campus at Western Carolina University. As I was a member of the band, and it was one of the things I was most passionate about, I convinced my group to use the band for our montage. We were told to set the montage to music and we were not allowed to use speech of any kind. I set my original version to two mp3 practice recordings of the drumline exercises written by Matt Henley for the Western Carolina University Drumline.
Then, in the Fall of 2007, I decided to start from scratch with this video and create a new version set to actual music. The impetus for this desire was the track used in this version of the montage, “Rise Today” by Alter Bridge. I did a lot more with the video in terms of effects. When I showed it to my professors, they all thought this version was much better.
Then, I wanted to have the Marching Band feature this on their website. So, I decided I needed to contact Alter Bridge themselves to make sure this was okay. After many calls and a bit of Phone Tag with their Manager, Steve Wood, I finally spoke directly to Mr. Wood. When we spoke, two of the other band members were present. I explained that the video was strictly for promotional purposes for the University’s Marching Band and they gave me their blessing to have the Marching Band feature it on their website. They are credited for that in the video. Sadly, even after being given the media, the Marching Band never did feature the video on the website.
Then, there’s still more to the story. In May 2011, I went to see Alter Bridge in concert and prepared for the possibility of meeting the guys after the show because I knew they loved to meet their fans. So, I burned a few playable copies for each band member and a few extras as well. I also included a Data DVD with the HD encode and an iPod/iPhone compatible version. What I didn’t know was that fate would have me going in the venue early for Soundcheck. So, I got to meet them all after the Soundcheck. When the lead singer, Myles Kennedy, came down the line to meet us all individually, I heard him tell someone else that he was a huge band geek in High School. So, when he got to me, I said that if he was a huge band geek in High School that he might actually remember hearing about me. I told him the story about talking to Steve Wood about the video and Myles did vaguely remember (this had been almost 4 years ago at this point). I told Myles that I had copies for the band and he gladly accepted them. He even said he’d make sure to put the iPod/iPhone version on his iPod.
All field level rehearsal footage shot by me. High cam rehearsal footage shot by Sarah Malliette. Tournament of Champions Exhibition Performance footage shot by Aaron Putnam.
As stated above, this piece does use the song “Rise Today” by Alter Bridge from their 2007 Universal Republic release “Blackbird.” All rights have been granted to me by the band for use in this specific video.