A Film By The People For The People: Interview with Scott Levy


"I wanted this film to transcend sports "Scott Levy

“I wanted this film to transcend sports “
Scott Levy

Brian Stern -

Scott Levy began his journey filming the Seattle Sounders in the 2011 season. He had an idea, a creative vision and wanted the world to see what he saw.”Soccer is a beautiful game, full of poetry.”

“I was searching for a visual language to translate the game. The game by game recap and story of beginning to the end of the season has been done.” He set out on his mission by approaching the team with an idea and some test videos. “I really wanted to present a visual art which would transcend sports.” Over the course of the next couple of months he joined the organization during some matches and practices and showed the club what he could do, and how he could tell a story, their story. This is the story of his journey.

"Fans Have really been encouraging"Scott Levy

“The fans have really been encouraging”
Scott Levy

Why the movie? Why now?

I wanted to make something worthwhile, to make it deeper. I really wanted to a make a movie which would stand on its own. This is such an exciting time in soccer, if you could travel back in time to the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, to see what they were seeing, that is how soccer is right now, it really is the golden age of soccer. It’s like the NFL was in the 1950s, these guys aren’t getting paid millions of dollars; they are playing the game to play the game. I wanted to present a conversational documentary. I really wanted to present a visual art which would transcend sports, I wanted (the movie) to be intimate and personal. People want to interact with the game after the game, and that is what NFL Films has been able to do, and this is kind of a way for fans to do that.

I wanted to bring a cinematic approach to sports.

Why the Sounders?

There has never been a team in any sport where they have doubled the next team in attendance. I have a background with the organization and there is something truly special happening here in Seattle. They are the most intriguing team out there. I wanted to find out if there was something compelling.

(Scot first traveled with the team in 2011 to Salt Lake City for the matchup against Real Salt Lake)

There was true drama there, they have to accomplish something and then seeing them almost do It was just extraordinary .I wanted it to be real, this is truly a film by the people for the people.

Where you a fan before filming?

No, honestly I can say I wasn’t. I knew about soccer, but I went at it as an artist.

"I was searching for a visual language to translate the game"Scott Levy

“I was searching for a visual language to translate the game”
Scott Levy

Thoughts on interacting with the team:

These players are a very diverse and soulful group of human beings and truly deserve all the adulation they have gotten.

I really wanted to disappear into the background. It was tough to keep my distance but I wanted to show the players as they are. I wanted people to see these are real guys, just like Joe fan. You know following and showing how Zach Scott goes to pick up his kids from daycare; that is real. The way these guys play on the field is who they are, logical, giving, and creative.

I think a lot was made of the (rivalry) between Eddie (Johnson) and Fredy (Montero) and when you see them score, the joy and celebration there is there, there wasn’t really one (rivalry). No, these guys truly are who they are on the field. (Mauro ) Rosales is the same guy on the field, same guy off. Eddie Johnson is a forward on the field and he is a forward off the field and you will see that.

These guys are put in a tough situation, it is kind of bittersweet. They are only together for at most a year and they are expected to perform. I would have loved to shot more with Kasey (Keller) in it but he retired, you can’t go back. You have

Earning Sigi’s trust was a big, big challenge. I was the only one allowed in the locker room. He is a very hard coach, but it is presented with love, and I believe that has to do with his mom and his childhood. He takes them apart with love, and that is the way Sigi does everything. He is demanding but loving. He is a technical genius, but a loving person. His rant after the Salt Lake game in 2011 was the most perfect coaches rant ever! there was not a waisted syllable

What were some major challenges?

Sponsorship has been a challenge. I didn’t want the team to pay for any of it. I have paid for everything out of my own pocket. I am hoping to have this premiere before the season starts. I didn’t want this to be a fluff piece. If you take food from the king you have to do what the king wants. I wanted to keep my independence and the team has graciously granted me that. I am still looking for someone to help with sponsorships.

"Soccer is a beautiful game"Scott Levy

“His rant after the Salt Lake game in 2011 was the most perfect coaches rant ever”
Scott Levy

Technically shooting the film I had to learn how to film soccer, it is too fast to shoot from a normal and I had to experiment with tracking the ball, the player, they aren’t moving parallel with you along the field, they are many times coming right at you, and how do you shoot that, how do you adjust your camera to capture the shot. These guys are running 4.3 40’s (40 yards) at you and you have a splint second to track them. I had to perfect shooting soccer by hand, it was just too fast to film it by conventional methods.

Parting thoughts

I give credit to the team for giving me access and all their support, it was truly unprecedented, and I am very thankful for that. The fans have been so encouraging and they will see themselves in the film and think wow I remember that game or look how young I looked. I have been blown away by their support and that has really fueled me. I am indebted to all those who have emailed or signed up on the website. We didn’t really know what we had until we started seeing the inundation of fan support.

People should sign-up for the newsletter, that is the easiest way to stay up to date on any news about the film. It is also a way for them to interact with me and give their imput on the film.

If you are like me, then you have gone to levyfilms.com every couple of days just to see if there is new content. He is cautious to put too much footage out there because he wants the film to be special, and not something you have seen already.

There will be a release of some new footage in the within the week from the 2011 season.

As of this article there is still no certain release date. He is finishing up footage and indicated he could do a 10 part series with everything he captured and the different stories through the season. If you would be interested in working on/with sponsorship for the documentary, please email us at [email protected]

Tags: Cinema Club Film Interview Levy Films Sounders