Scold that I am, I recently “called out” some Ithaca College-based media reports for their incomplete telling of the origins of the working partnership between my friends and fellow alums, Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest. So, it is only fair that I note that Landon told The Ithacan the missing parts of the story last week:
Kelsey Fowler: How did you and Jeremy Levine start working together
Landon Van Soest: Jeremy and I actually met in Ben Crane’s doc research class at Ithaca College. We were in a group of eight people. Basically the premise of the class is we go through the entire process of doing the research and all of the pre-production on a feature documentary, so a lot of the class is about pitching ideas and talking about what makes a good documentary concept — all of the work that goes into laying a foundation for a documentary. Jeremy and I, and six other people, got pretty invested in a story on the U.S.-Mexico border and the vigilantes down there who were talking the law into their own hands, doing their own private patrols of the boarder. We spent quite a bit of time in Arizona during the semester shooting some footage and interviewing these guys, and I guess as time went on, obviously the class ended and I graduated, but Jeremy and I were still interested, so we went down and finished the film, “Walking the Line,” we had started in that class together. We really kind of built our partnership off of that film.
To be clear, I don’t think the original story line of Jeremy and Landon being just a duo from the get go was disseminated with any maliciousness in terms of erasing other people’s work. Stories get simplified when they’re being translated into press releases and press reports. Sometimes details get lost in translation.
But as Landon says, it was a group of eight people who did “all of the work that goes into laying a foundation for a documentary,” which Jeremy and Landon then built on by doing all of the work that goes into completing a film. It’s a pretty great documentary too. Everyone involved should be proud.
Once again, watch Walking The Line here.