Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Walking the Line: High praise, lots of press

Walking the Line, a documentary produced by Park student Jeremy Levine and alum Landon Van Soest (a project from Ben Crane's Doc Research class....) is getting rave reviews and making news at film festivals all over the country.

Here's the latest from the Boston Phoenix. Ben says the overflow crowd filled two theaters to see the film....check out the last paragraph: http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/movies/reviews/documents/05010949.asp

(OK, OK, for those of you who don't have time to do the link thing, here 'tis:

If Our Lady’s has a flaw, it’s lack of balance: no one from the archdiocese gets to give its side. That’s not a problem with Jeremy Levine’s Walking the Line (October 6, 9 pm) — based on what I was able to see, the Best of the Fest. At first the film seems a mockumentary as it follows the wacky members of various vigilante organizations who have taken it upon themselves to halt illegal immigration from Mexico. But other points of view are deftly raised and explored, and by the end the issues unfold with clarity and without comment. Crucial and engrossing, Walking the Line is the kind of film that demands the existence of festivals like this.

And in other Doc Research news, a group of students who have been working on a project on strong men and women (body builders) are headed to Finland to attend the world competition with their subject.

You guys need to explain this to me: Ben says he could handle at least twice as many students in the course as typically enroll. I can never understand why you're not all standing in line to take this course...it's transformative, inspiring, and the most challenging experience you'll ever have as a college student.

What's not to like?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dean Lynch- I heard that this documentary will be showing somewhere in Cornell sometime soon. Can you post the specifics? Thanks.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What's not to like?"

It's a fabulous class in theory, but I'm sure time constraints with other classes and the financial aspects (like driving to other parts of the country to film) are two of the biggest reasons why students don't take it. Perhaps something could be worked out with your office and those students so they don't have to spend their life savings on travel? Or avoid the class because they don't own a car?

10:23 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Good questions about time and resources. But the doc films are made in teams, and it's always the case that *somebody* has a car. And my office does provide support for these projects -- so finances should never keep anybody from participating.

If you want to do it, you can.

If you have questions about that, talk to Ben. He'll confirm it.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a myth that you need a car and a lot of money to take Doc. I took Doc freshman year with no car to speak of, and only a few hundred dollars to my name. I ended up spending about $250 the entire semester on Doc. That might sound like a lot, but let's put it in perspective: just the books for some classes on campus cost that much. Plus the costs of film and processing for a lot of film students' projects often cost four or five times that. Remember, all of your equipment is free, and all of your subjects are volunteers.

Think of it this way: is it worth a few hundred extra dollars to get the greatest experience you'll ever have in the Park School?

Secondly, the time commitment is not over-bearing if you're hard-working and dedicated. I took four other classes (including a second production class) the semester I took Doc, and I also worked on three different ICTV shows. I had a very busy week, but I managed it. Plus, I still had time to go out and have fun on occasion. And here's the kicker: that semester, I ended up getting a 4.0 GPA. Doc actually made me a more productive and more efficient in my other classes.

Anyway, don't make lame excuses. Take Doc. It will be one of the greatest experiences in your life.

-Pete Berg

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Laura Seivert said...

I'm taking doc right now and it's the best experience of my life. I just finished our first shoot in New Mexico and have learned more in the last week than I could have ever imagined. I'm as poor and busy as anyone... so if you use money or time as an excuse not to take the class, I honestly think you're making a huge mistake.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doc Research is hands down the most realistic experience you could ever gain during your time at Park. I was also busy with ICTV several days a week.

You learn not just how to shoot and edit a documentary, but how to communicate with anybody. Because there's usually only one shot to get what you need in documentary work--and because things will always manage a way to go wrong--you actually become a better thinker and problem solver.

Everything about resources is true. A car is not required, Dianne is very supportive, and so are Ellen and David when it comes to special equipment access.

If you are on the fence about taking Doc Research, just look at all the comments and accolades the class receives. Then ask yourself again if you're ready to challenge yourself and produce a product unlike anything else Ithaca College has to offer.

PS: I also had my highest GPA during my semester of Doc. It just flat out forces you to budget your time better than ever.

---Matt Antalek

12:36 AM  

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