THE DRUM MAJORS
Story and Screenplay by Steven Scaffidi and Lisa McKenzie
Screenplay WGA West Registration # 1291149
Best friends Charlie Dumas and Victoria Reed have been to every single game of their beloved college team – the BSU Grizzlies – since they were babies. Like the entire community, being a BSU football fan is a long-standing tradition and a way of life. In this town, people bleed the team’s colors -- purple and gold. And this year, the frenzy has never been greater because BSU, for the first time in its school history, is heading to the National Championship game.
Like everyone in the city, Charlie and Victoria want to go to the game. The problem for these post-college thirty-year olds, however, is that both of them will have to make a few sacrifices if they get tickets….sacrifices that will ultimately test whether they are responsible adults or true die-hard fans.
Charlie is working his way up the corporate ladder as an aspiring advertising executive. He lives with his girlfriend Sara, who is becoming increasingly perturbed with his football obsession. On many occasions, he has put the “guys” and football first over Sara and his responsibilities with the ad agency. Although Sara likes BSU just as much as the rest of the town, she can’t in her right mind understand how anyone would pay outrageous prices to attend a football game.
Victoria (known to her friends as “Vic”) is Charlie’s best friend, and although she is very attractive, she is considered “one of the guys”. Having grown up as a tomboy in a family of all brothers, she has always felt more comfortable hanging out with her male friends. Her idea of a perfect afternoon is pizza, beer, a few rounds of the Rock Band video game – and of course – watching a great game of football. She has a laid back approach to life and has never quite found her nitch as an “adult”. She is extremely talented as a drummer – and has a dream of someday playing in a big-time rock-n-roll band. But with no clear-cut path of how to achieve her goal, she remains a mall employee selling instruments at the Boughta-Bing Band Store.
With the great news of the national championships just a week away, the town begins to go wild and seats suddenly are being sold at a premium. Sara convinces Charlie to save his money, and Charlie – in an attempt to save his relationship – reluctantly agrees to stay home with her to watch the game on TV. Vic, on the other hand, is absolutely miffed that her best friend would pass on the game of a lifetime.
As Charlie begins to feel guilty about missing the game, ticket-fever takes over and the two friends suddenly find themselves jockeying for tickets. After a crazy week of trying everything, Charlie feels triumphant when he learns that he is the winning bidder of two premium seats on Ebay. When the two friends arrive at the “Will Call” window, they are informed that the tickets Charlie bought on-line were bogus. Not only do the two friends miss their first game in 30 years, but Charlie gets fired from the ad agency for blowing off a huge client proposal; Vic gets fired from the Boughta Bing Band Store for missing her shift, and Sara – who was blown off again by Charlie, kicks him to the curb.
Vic tells Charlie he can move in with her, and the two friends now find themselves as unemployed roommates. While watching season highlights on television, Vic makes the statement that the “band geeks” have the best seats in the house. For Charlie, the light bulb goes off as he realizes that “all of their problems” can be solved if they re-enroll in college and join the marching band so they can attend all the games and get really good seats.
With nothing to lose, the two friends decide to show up for the band try-outs. Charlie assumes that getting in the band will be a piece of cake, saying, “How hard can it be to beat a drum?” But to his surprise, when he and Vic try out, Charlie becomes the laughing stock of the day, and Vic – because of her natural talent with drums – makes the cut.
Although she’s initially disappointed that their plan didn’t work out to find a way to go to all the games together, Vic suddenly finds herself enjoying the limelight of being the band’s shining star. Charlie, on the other hand, is now an unemployed college student taking music classes that he doesn’t even care about. Vic and Charlie’s lives start going in completely different directions, and as their friendship starts to wane, Vic realizes that life is not as fun without her best friend at her side. When Vic makes the announcement that she is leaving the band, the band Director tells her that there is an opening for a bass drummer – and if Charlie practices hard, he can get a spot on the band.
Vic talks Charlie into trying out again, and in true “Rocky” style, gets her best friend reconditioned, using the Rock Band video game as a training tool. Charlie gets a second opportunity to audition, and this time he nails the prerequisite. As he strolls on the field with his newfound confidence, he is quickly reminded that being a band member includes long hours of practicing in the hot sun, marching in parades, wearing ridiculous outfits and the pressure that comes from hanging out with the “geeks”.
Charlie and Vic’s initial goal of joining the band was to find an easy way to get the best seats in the house. But, over time, the two friends begin to grow sympathetic for the bass drummers, tuba players and flag twirlers – who are constantly snickered at because of their physical appearance. Reverting to his advertising know-how, Charlie concocts a plan to “re-style” the band and give them a new image. With a new look, new dance and new song, the band suddenly goes from boring half-time performers, to the ultimate half-time motivators.
Thanks to Charlie, the band now has a new image and the dance he taught them becomes a nationwide phenomenon. Sara, who recognizes Charlie’s patented dance move, forgives him and the two rekindle their relationship. As the season draws to an end, the BSU Grizzlies find that they are going to the National Championships again. Charlie receives VIP tickets in the mail to join his father and advertising giant Walter Haven at the final game. Not only are these truly the “best seats in the house”, but this meeting will give Charlie the opportunity of getting his life back on track in the advertising world.
Charlie has to make a decision: Does he attend the meeting, or does he stay with his band mates to play at the final game of the season? Charlie’s friends, including Vic, encourage him to attend the meeting – claiming that this is his destiny. As the two friends stare at the VIP tickets, Vic reminds him that “the seats don’t get any better than this”. Charlie reluctantly agrees to attend, and as he is sitting in the stands, he realizes that for the first time in his life that his contribution to the band was the most meaningful thing he has ever done.
To the band’s surprise, Charlie runs out on the field to join them for their final half-time performance, which invigorates the fans and rallies the BSU team to a victory. Charlie and Vic were on a quest to find the best seats in the house, and in the end, not only do they learn that destiny has a funny way of revealing itself, but that the pursuit of friendships, football and following dreams -- really does matter.
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