by George Wolf
It might be more fair for someone who wasn’t an Ohio State graduate and/or rabid Buckeye fan to review TBDBITL 141.
But no one fitting that description lives in my house, so…
For the sadly unwashed, “TBDBITL” stands for The Best Damn Band in the Land. 2018 brought the Ohio State Marching Band’s 141st edition, and director Joe Camoriano takes us inside that memorable season with unprecedented access. (Camoriano’s role as the University Communication Director of National Broadcast Media might have helped.)
From summer practice to tryouts, headline-grabbing halftime shows to the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, Rose Bowl and Disneyland, we get a captivating look at how hard Band Director Dr. Christopher Hoch, his staff and band members work to achieve a status that is – in the words of former football coach Urban Meyer – “elite.”
Camoriano is wise to humanize the experience via three engaging band members. There’s Konner, who is realizing a lifelong dream as Drum Major; Sydney, a charming trombone player with boundless enthusiasm; and Thomas, the lucky sousaphonist who gets the honor of dotting the “I” in the incomparable Script Ohio.
These three are likable personalities and easy to root for, which naturally increases our investment in the entire process, and is especially helpful for anyone coming to this film wondering what the hype is all about.
Despite an over-reliance on video fades and some rough patches in the background sound mix, Camoriano’s footage is always informative and engaging, even occasionally thrilling.
And for those of us always ready to answer a cry of “O-H!” there might be a goosebump or three.
TBDBITL 141 is available now on Vimeo.