I can usually pinpoint the moment one of my works was conceived. With A Life’s Work, I cannot precisely state day and date, but I can say with certainty the events that inspired it. When I was nine years old or so I remember being told by my teacher that medieval cathedrals took hundreds of years to construct, that their architects would not see them completed, that generations of stonemasons would work on them. This bit of information made quite an impression on my young mind. To this day, whenever I see a cathedral I become that awestruck nine-year-old.
After completing my previous film, Tango Octogenario, I had decided I wanted to make a documentary. I had several ideas and was researching them. In September of 2004 my mother died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Sometime during my grief, this time of sorrow and contemplation about purpose, mortality, time, and legacy, I thought about the cathedrals, and the idea for A Life’s Work was born–a documentary about people doing work they may not see completed.
But going from conception to actualization is an enormous step, one I’ll write about in another post.