Four years ago this week Wolfgang Held and I ventured to Michigan to interview David and Jared Milarch. It seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago.
I hear you: “David, Michigan in February? Why didn’t you go in May?” We had shot Soleri in the desert the previous fall, now I wanted contrast. I wanted winter, I wanted cold, and I wanted snow! And boy, did I get it.
We captured nine hours of footage, some of which can be seen in the “trailer.” The first thing that comes to mind about that shoot was the Milarch family’s generosity and openness. The next thing that comes to mind was how much driving we did. Michigan’s a big state and it seemed to me we were crisscrossing its entirety, but I know that’s not true at all. We stayed in Traverse City and drove to Interlochen, Buckley, Manistee, Leland, Copemish (Milarch’s home) and a few other places whose names escape me.
In a certain way, A Life’s Work is a travelogue: now we’re in Arizona, now were in Michigan, now we’re California, now we’re in Texas. I always ask the cinematographer to get shots of the landscape we’re driving through, just in case I want to use them as transitions. Michigan was no exception.
As I looked at this road footage I was reminded how variable the weather was: one minute the sky was blue and the sun was blinding, the next it was snowing and approaching whiteout conditions.
So here’s some road footage, just a taste of all those miles. What do you think? Would you like to see more?