It was this relationship -- these two boys, total strangers now bound forever by one horrible deed -- that was the initial inspiration for "Levity."
In researching the movie, I spent time with a lot of people who had committed murder when they were kids. I met some through youth groups, others through church and community programs. Some I interviewed extensively, others I just followed around for a while. They were all different ages, yet each had in common that he was trying to come to terms with the consequences of what he'd done. Some (those who believed in God) were trying on a spiritual level, others (those who didn't) on a secular level. For all of them it was a kind of obsession.
The first images of Ed Solomon's thought-provoking film, "Levity," came to the writer-director while tutoring in a maximum-security youth prison in Calabasas two decades ago. "One inmate kept a photograph of the boy he had shot, and he kept touching it, fingering it," he said, speaking quietly and intensely in a Santa Monica cafe on a recent afternoon. "He was struggling to understand that it was a human life he had taken, but he was only 17 and serving the first year of a life sentence. And that haunted me. I began wondering, 'What would he be like as an adult? Where would he go if he were let out of prison and what would he do with the photograph?'"