The idea for "Life. Support. Music." came from Crigler's family. "His family called and said he was out of the woods and just back at home and they were thinking of writing a book," says Metzgar. "They [also] wanted to explore the idea of doing a film." Metzgar took on the task and began to document Crigler's recovery.
Once he was released from the hospital, Crigler's journey back to his normal life wasn't easy. "It's a constant uphill climb," says Crigler. "Things have gotten a lot better over the years... but I still have the things I work on every day." Crigler was forced to teach himself to play his guitar again. "It was really depressing," says Crigler. "My fingers wouldn't work."
Everything fell into place, though, one night while he was performing. "It just clicked," says Crigler. "Actually, in the film, Eric was actually filming the show in New York where it changed."
"When he got on stage - that gig in particular - he really landed in his element. He was surrounded by friends," says Metzgar. "His sound returned."
With the support of friends and family, Crigler was able to recover and is once again performing. To see the entire documentary, tune in to PBS on Tuesday, July 7th. Check your local listings for more airing information, or click here to visit www.pbs.org/pov.
By Erin Petrun