In the spring of 2004 I was sitting with my guitar teacher El Entri, in his apartment in Los Carmenes, Madrid, looking over some photos I had taken of him at a concert a few weeks before.
I was saying to him that he should think about putting a tuition video together of his teachings. He said he had thought of that but he had always wanted to make a film about his work but had never found anyone to do it with him. We both looked down at the photos, then he looked at me and said, ‘What about you?’ I answered ‘OK, lets do it!’
I have always loved photography, but up to that point, never touched a film camera – or even thought about making a film. I flew back to Britain, borrowed a camera from a friend and went round to see my great friend Graham Forde – a consummate filmmaker. I said, ‘Graham, I’ve got a day for you to tell me how to shoot a film, I’m off in the morning back to Spain.’ ‘OK Rik, no problem, first of all, try to always use a tripod…’ and so it began.
I arrived back in Madrid and we began shooting, El Entri was full of ideas, and had arranged the interviews.
Ramon Jimenez, - his younger brother and well-know and respected artist
Antonio Canales, - One of Spain’s leading flamenco dancers (we interviewed him during the dress rehearsals for a theatre piece, hence the uniform!)
Jesus de Rosario, - his oldest son and one of Spain’s up and coming guitarists and composer, who has worked as MD for Sara Baras.
Anquilino Jimenez, - his youngest son
El Viejín, another excellent guitar player
Merche Esmeralda and Lola Greco two of the greats of Flamenco dance.
We only had five days, we filmed at the Academia Amor de Dios (Madrid’s leading Flamenco academy), La Pacheca (Well-known venue for Flamenco in Madrid) and around Caño Roto, where he lives.
I got back to Britain with the footage and edited it on my, now old faithful Apple Powerbook G4.
There was no storyboard. As I watched the footage, it just unrolled in my mind how to tell the story.
This is the story of a generous and amazing musician and teacher who has given so much to so many – who has inspired and mentored generations of guitarists, of which, I am honoured to say, I am one.