Advanced Film Students Capture Marching Band’s Performance


by Jardin Jacoby

The band during their showcased performance, which was captured on film by Advanced Video & Film students.

Jardin Jacoby, News Editor

On Fri. Oct. 18 the Hillsborough marching band performed their well-rehearsed routine, At the Dawn of Darkness, in front of friends, peers, and family members. The moment was caught on camera by James Arndt and his Advanced Video & Film group. The film crew was made up of students that he selected from his Advanced Video & Film Level 2 & 3 classes, who have more knowledge and experience. This special project has been taking place annually for the past four years and has connections to the well known CBS network. 

It started when Michael McHugh, a father of a girl who was in the marching band, reached out to Arndt about filming the band’s half-time show. He needed help filming since he wanted to capture it from multiple angles while doing a very professional job. His job of being a CBS producer and editor proved to be very useful and during the time that McHugh’s daughter was in the band, he would do all the editing of the video. Last year was the first time that a student was asked to edit the video. Senior Ailyn Del Rio proved to be the right choice, and due to the tremendous success, Rio was asked to edit the video this year. 

Arndt majored in Studio Art and Film Production in college, while getting his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Francisco Art Institute, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He has spent the past twenty-two years teaching at Hillsborough High School and is also an HHS alumnus.

This year five seniors were chosen:  Del Rio, Marcelo Denegri, Matt Stroka, Noah Levinson and Ethan Ries. To prepare for the challenge, students watched films from previous years to get an idea of what shots are used and what they must capture during the performance. On the day of the event, the students met Ardnt and McHugh at the front of the school and help carry his cameras, tripods, and audio recording equipment back to Ardnt’s classroom. Each student is then assigned a job, that they then carry out throughout the night, eventually returning the equipment to McHugh. 

The students who get to participate in this activity are usually dedicated film students who are looking to continue with their passion after high school. One, in particular, Levinson, hopes to major in Video and Film. When asked what he loves about the subject, Levinson answered, “I really appreciate the care and the grace of taking raw footage and putting it into a sequence of events that turn something mundane into something special.”

This project does not only make a big impact on the students who film it but also on the students who are featured in it. The film was shown to all the marching band members and their families, during their banquet last week.

“It was really good,” senior Drum Major Alan Ji said. “We usually don’t get to see our performances, so it was really awesome getting to see it how our audience does.”