Nitpicking My Alma Mater For Disappearing People

A nice thing about using WordPress to host my blog is that the backend dashboard has a user-friendly site stats system that tells me what search terms led people to my blog. Yesterday, one of those terms was “jeremy levine emmys.” Curious how far someone had to scroll through search results to get here, I plopped that phrase into Google. My personalized returns had Component Parts as the 4th result.

The top result was a profile of the Emmy award winner that is part of Ithaca College’s “new brand identity campaign,” READY. I was proud to see my friend promoted as a success story, but I was disappointed in the factual errors of his write-up:

The story of documentary filmmaker Jeremy Levine’s rise to professional success reads a little like a movie script itself. During the summer between his sophomore and junior years, he traveled to Arizona with former classmate Landon Van Soest ’04 to produce a 10-minute short about tensions along the U.S.-Mexican border for an IC film class. Realizing their project was worthy of a full-length documentary, Jeremy and Landon slept in cars; interviewed outlaw pastors, impoverished immigrants, and armed vigilantes; spent a year editing their work and then realized: We have a film. Now what?

Now, it is true that Jeremy and Landon traveled to Arizona during that summer, but it wasn’t their first trip there on that project. And they weren’t alone together on their previous trips. Their project began in a Documentary Research class, in which they worked with several other students in the initial stages of what became Walking The Line (watch it here!). It is true that Jeremy and Landon continued the project after the semester ended and made it into the award-winner that it became. But it seems odd to me that the other students who worked on the initial project would be written out of its origin story, especially on a website promoting the great things you can do at Ithaca College. The subtextual message is “do great things or you’ll be forgotten!” This isn’t the first time an IC-related publication has simplified this story and ghosted some of its participants.

No, I wasn’t one of the students who worked on the initial project, though I do remember visiting them one night as they edited in Jeremy’s Terrace single. I just can’t resist when someone is wrong on the Internet. And I needed content for this blog.

Speaking of wrong, the same Ready profile of Jeremy said that Walking The Line “ended up playing at more than 2,000 film festivals.” A high level source at Transient Pictures (or is it Transient House?) tells me that it is unlikely “there are even 2000 film festivals in the world.” Indeed, another Levine profile on the IC website (they love this guy) informs me that the film “was screened at more than 25 film festivals around the world and it was broadcast nationally in six different countries.” Watch the trailer:

Watch all of Walking The Line here.

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One Response to Nitpicking My Alma Mater For Disappearing People

  1. Pingback: A Brief Return To Nitpicking | Component Parts

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