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Edel Rodriguez
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John with the film marker, Jose on the camera, Mario de Varona directing, and Joe Cardona does the interviews.
I'm not sure how it got to this, but Thursday I found myself on the other side of one of those film markers that say "roll", "scene", and "take".

The guys from KIE films in Miami are putting together a documentary called Celia the Queen, about the Cuban singer Celia Cruz.  They asked me to work with them on some of the visuals for the film—an image for a poster, art for the website, branding, and so on.  They also wanted to interview me for the film and weave in some of my stories about emigrating to America, along with my family's connection to Celia Cruz as new arrivals in Miami.  The crew also filmed me working on one of her portraits.  It's a bit tense to be filmed while one works but I just tried to forget they were there and just looked straight ahead while I painted.

The day started off at TIME magazine, where the film crew interviewed me in and around my office, while my friends at work walked by shaking their head, smiling, and wondering what was going on.  The crew is working in film, not video, so there's a bit of planning involved.  We finished there around noon and headed home to my studio. 

Joe Cardona is the interviewer.  It turns out that he went to the same schools I went to while I was in Miami, so we talked about that quite a bit and it allowed me to forget some of what was going on around me. 

The film crew also interviewed my father several weeks ago.  Through this post here at Drawger, they learned about my dad's story and thought it would make a good father/son story addition to the documentary.  My father is a big Celia Cruz fan and they were very happy with the footage they got of him (They spent an afternoon driving with him on his truck and shooting him while he worked).

So, thanks to the entire crew for dropping by.  Mario, Joe, Gabriel, José, Michael, and John, great group of guys.  Wer'e still in the middle of working on this project, some of the sketches and ideas are below.  I'll put up the final art when we've figured it out. 
Some sketches and ideas on the wall and working on a painting in the studio.
Initial concept sketches, rough profiles, loose ink drawings, etc.
Here I was working with a younger image of Celia and combining it with a native flower from Cuba.
We like the idea of the profile because it has more of an African queen look. It also works better as a small image/logo for the film. This seems to be where we're at right now. I'm still working on it.
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