MERRILL - Sounds of dedication and motivation filled Merrill High School.
"We worked really hard since June and July. A lot of twelve hour days, five and a half hour days," said Antigo drum line section leader, Isaac Cuellar.
"We're just out in the hard sun learning drills, learning our music just doing a lot of reps over and over again."
All that repetition paid off at the Marching Band Competition in Merrill.
Eight teams performed on the football field Sunday afternoon.
"What the bands are getting judged on a series of different categories. There’s a visual execution or just the general effect of whether their show really speaks to the viewer." Merrill band director, Kevin Short said.
"That was like kind of a chaotic thing. It was supposed to be the spy’s running around the neighborhood type thing," said D.C. Everest trumpet player, Jared Bartnik.
"It was like creating kind of an awesome ghetto, not like weird, but fun thing to do. It was like a brawl kind of."
But not everyone was there to compete.
"We just did exhibition again just to kind of show off. Just like yesterday, we did it to have fun, show off our field show and have a blast." Bartnik stated.
Band director say the non-competitive energy rubbed off on everybody.
"It’s way more than just about the band directors. It’s actually not very much about the band directors at all to be honest," Short said.
"It’s about the kids. It’s about the herd of parents that we have here today to make all this happen."
"There’s like no enemies here. It’s all friendly competition," said Bartnik.
"We’re all cheering for each other. We’re all hoping each other to do the best we can. We’re just rooting for each other."
And that’s the product of hard work and team work.
Northwoods filmmaker makes movies for the big screen
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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