The Mormon Channel recently started airing episodes of the touching new series Two Brothers Two, which is a part of the larger documentary series The 5,000 Days Project that interviews children about what it is like growing up in the world today. We chatted with director Rick Stevenson about how he came up with such an incredible project.
What inspired you to start The 5,000 Days Project?
I totally stumbled into it. My wife wanted me to do a project that would keep me at home, so I started interviewing kids. Of course, now the project is on six continents and we’re traveling constantly.
Why hone in on the brotherly relationship between Sam and Luke?
I used to take Sam, Luke, and their younger brothers Tommy and Joe along with my kids to the local sports club most Saturdays in my quest to be “the best uncle ever.” They were great kids, but there was always tension between Sam and Luke. I was always wondering where that came from. Of course, when they discovered what amazing brothers they could be, they brought that same intensity to it.
What aspects of their relationship are relatable to a wide audience?
We don’t get to choose our siblings, and sometimes they just drive us crazy. I think that sometimes we have to find ways to love them, and in doing so it makes us better people.
How has your life and faith been affected by this project?
Even though I’ve made 14 feature films and 100 hours of television, I am confident that this project will be my life’s work. This is what I care about and where I will make a difference. As for my faith, I think it has both deepened and expanded. It has deepened as I’ve seen how Heavenly Father gives us all of the necessary emotional tools to heal ourselves as long as we open our hearts and minds to Him. It has expanded my faith in that I’ve seen Heavenly Father’s hand in the lives of people with sometime divergent ideas of life. I’m not sure any of us fully know the full extent of His plan.
What do you hope viewers will gain from watching Two Brothers Two?
I hope people gain appreciation for the gift of struggle—how it forms our characters and makes us the men and women God wants us to be. I also hope that with Sam, Luke, Tommy, and Joseph being willing to share their most intimate selves, other people will feel compelled to do the same, and in doing so we’ll realize we’re not alone and that we are all connected.