A video shot at a small cigar factory at Miami's famous 8th St. In "La Calle Ocho" is where most of Cuban exiles choose to have their factories or at least a token front when dealing with cigars. Tobacco is planted the world over and cigars are rolled everywhere that plant is harvested but for reasons I'm sure many people are unaware of, Cuba has an overwhelming preponderance when it comes to tobacco and particularly cigar’s topmost quality. Connoisseurs say the tobacco from this island is the best there is and name the plants, soil and microclimate as the main reasons. But debatable as these may be there is little doubt on who makes the best cigars in America. Another elusive dictum is why Cubans choose Miami as their Cosa Nostra. It can’t be just geographical proximity (the city of Key West is about 130 miles closer). But the thing is this is the city where you can find the best Cuban made cigars, and in all of Miami, in “La Ocho” is where you find them en masse.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Sandy Cobas, owner of “El Titán de Bronze” for so graciously allowing me to invade her factory and so patiently field my obnoxious questioning. I would also like to thank all of her generous staff that unflinchingly went around their normal business with a short focal lens camera over their heads, arms and shoulders and a blinding LED light shinning on their eyes. Special thanks to Don José Paredes for taking so much time to explain me the ins and outs of the shop. Thanks also to Luis Gallardo, Pedro Vázquez, Orlando Guerra, Juan Manuel Díaz and Martica Payán whom make the magic happen. Last but not least, thanks to my dear brother-in-law, Laurent Lecuyer, for so disinterestedly providing me with the better 50% of this film in the form of the gorgeous score that is a work in progress of his, soon to appear in a new album by a famous Venezuelan Jazz singer.
Shot mostly with available light on a Canon EOS 60D, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8, Juiced Link DT 454, Audio-Technica AT875R's, LitePanels MicroPro LED light, Switronix Power Base 70, 7" Lilliput LCD monitor, Handy Base X support rig, Manfrotto Head and tripod.