In 2010 I interviewed John Turner, a retired aerospace engineer, in his home in Los Angeles. He turned 94 that year. His wonderful interview was part of a larger feature film called The Elders that I completed in 2011.
John’s interview was 3 hours long, but only 7 minutes make it into the final film. This short project was an attempt to see if I could cut another short (very short) film from that interview that was just as compelling without using any of the previous 7 minutes of footage that I had used already.
Working with the theme “heights” I felt this re-edit was appropriate and my subtle use requires the viewer to connect the book-ends at the beginning (footage of earth), and at the end (a description of John’s space career). As outer space represents, for me, the ultimate “height,” John articulates some lessons learned at the height of his own life without ever mentioning in this cut his life’s work: safely putting mankind into orbit.
Music is by Lee Strauss, and is from my film The Elders. theeldersfilm.com
Thanks to NASA for the timelapse images.