It’s not everyday that Hollywood calls. Especially not seeking a small high school band for an emergency shoot for a nationally syndicated television show. But that is exactly what happened last Thursday for the Blanco High School band.
The band director, David Shirk, received the call from a casting agency requesting that the band come to San Marcos to star as the marching band for a new episode.
Friday Night Lights is a television adaptation of a book and movie of the same name. The book, written by HG ‘Buzz’ Bissinger, details the 1988 season of the Permian Panthers, a high school football team in Odessa, Texas. The book was written as a work of journalism and is assumed to be completely factual. The Universal Pictures film stars Billy Bob Thornton as the coach. The film is also based on real-life residents of Odessa in 1988.
The show is based in fictional Dillon, Texas, and they are the Panthers. The show focuses on the trials of living in Middle America, and has won a Peabody Award, an Emmy Award and a Television Critics Award.
When the Blanco band marched onto set to the same cadence they enter the stadium by on Friday nights, Band Director David Shirk said the cast and crew started dancing.
The band members were fed and then wardrobe outfitted each of the band members with a San Marcos Rattler band shirt, and they were sent to their first spots. They were instructed to walk slowly to the stands as the crew filmed them arriving at the game. Once seated, they got to watch the procedure for filming a TV show. The majority of the actors were not stars, but local people. The football players were all 1A players.
Before the night ended, the band had to play “Hey You” and “Land of a Thousand Dances”. They were told not to tune their instrument; to make them sound more like a high school band. The director said that they did an outstanding job.
The band will debut in the third episode of this season, sometime in November. The show is broadcast by NBC on DirectTV channel 101. You can also catch shows online.