December 2002
Tat-TAT-Tat-TAT-Tat, TAT-Tat-TAT - BOOM! Drumline : Chatting with Director, Charles Stone III

Interviewed by Shelby J. Jones

Director Charles Stone III on the set of DrumlineTat-TAT-Tat-TAT-Tat, TAT-Tat-TAT - BOOM! Drumline : Chatting with Director, Charles Stone III

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., Dec. 3 - The film DRUMLINE will beat its way into your heart, literally.

Sitting across from Director, Charles Stone III, you are warmly aware of the fact that this man has been raised properly. Oftentimes, most people will wonder, how could someone dream of an elaborate beer commercial, without including a scantily clad blonde, but rather, a few brothers, a couch, a few phones and vocal chords screaming, “Waz-up” or any similar version? Initiating as a spark from Mr. Stones calm nature and understanding of the human character is where such a thought blossomed. Following the successful “Waz-Up” commercials, Stone recently was in the spotlight with the release of his first feature film, “Paid In Full, ” which starred Mekhi Phifer.

BOOM! He’s back on the scene with a film from Twentieth Century Fox, DRUMLINE. Anyone that’s ever been to an HBCU football game, especially in the south, is well aware of the enormous power offered from high-steppin, 360 degree, batton swirlin, smooth groovin' marching bands. In DRUMLINE, Stone brings that flavor to theater screens across the country. “Initially, what I wanted to do was a sports movie. The studio approached me with the script, but initially the hero was from the midwest. After working on the story we arrived at Devon coming from New York City to turn this band around,” says Stone. Devon, played ultra-convincingly by Nickelodeon star, Nick Cannon, is a young music thoroughbred bringing Director Charles Stone reviews his "troops" on the set of DRUMLINEhis city slicker moves and rock-hard attitude to the world of southern band music. “I consider filmmaking like this chaotic organism. We shot the film in 45 days and I tried to deliver a ‘sort of’ coming of age story full of emotion and spirit. Devon’s character encompassed all of that.”

At the ripe age of 36, Stone is destined to make an impact on the film scene in more ways than one. “In the film, I really wanted to have a hero that possessed all the qualities to overcome the obstacles he faced. You know he’s the underdog, but he has pride, handles pressure and is a team player, ” explains Stone. “So many times in film, if it’s a black film, it's more than likely considered urban. I wanted to make a film that contained normalcy. No over-exaggerated stereotypes just simple normalcy.”

That’s the beauty of speaking with Charles Stone, III and what you will like about DRUMLINE. It’s normal. Normal in the since that it’s a film about a marching band member, and the band just happens to be from a black school in the south complete with a full story of its own. From the old-school band president who doesn’t think much of Dr. Dre’s beats and the college president whose eyes are on the bottom line. When you sit down to watch the film, think of the director, Charles Stone, III. He is normal. He is calm. His directing is pure and "Waz-Up" was a thing of the past. Welcome to the new Charles Stone, III, DRUMLINE is his latest weapon.