Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ramblin' Wreck All Day Long

Back in October we went down to Atlanta for Parent's Weekend at Georgia Tech. As you might recall from this post or this one, my son is in the marching band. Game days are busy for the band and for this game my son also drew roaming band duty which meant he had even more performances than usual. I decided that I would spend the morning shadowing him and see what a game day involved.

For a noon kick-off, the players all enter the stadium at about 10 am with a big parade that includes the Ramblin' Wreck, the cheerleaders, and the band. As soon as all the players are in the locker room, the band breaks up and the two roaming bands go marching around campus hitting all the frat parties and tailgate areas and alumni events.

As I followed him around, the stopped to play about a half dozen times. The would usually do the official school fight song and then the Ramblin' Wreck Song, one of the most distinctive college songs ever played. Another signature GT Band song is the old Budweiser theme song (not in my montage, but you can see it here). When the two roaming bands met up, they played a round of Dueling Buds before heading off to reform the entire band.

That's when I took off for the parent's picnic and catch up with my wife. While I was eating, the band continues to march towards the stadiums stopping at three or four more places. I missed it, but here is yet another YouTuber with great video of the final stop before entering the stadium.

And then at the game, they play Ramblin' Wreck after each score and at the end of the game. By the time the final whistle blows at about 3 pm, the band has been playing straight for nearly five hours. Watch the video again (and I highly recommend clicking through for the hi-def version) and check the time hacks.

For the longest time I didn't quite know what to do with the footage I had shot. I had nearly a half hour of raw film (if digital video files can be called film) that had at least a dozen snippets of various pieces.

Finally I decided to edit it down to a montage of the various Ramblin' Wreck pieces. Besides, this gave me a chance to test out the ease of use of the new iMovie '09 which is supposed to make movie making as painless as possible. It took me a while to get used to the paradigm, but I kept trimming it down until I got it under four minutes. I even got the lyrics to crawl under one of the shots of all three verses. Now you can all sing along.

A fair amount of stuff ended up on the cutting room floor because hi-def is rather unforgiving of camera shake. But as I have conclusive proven with visual evidence that if I had a son, sir, he'd yell 'TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!' like his daddy used to do.

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