Ai LIVE: Producer & Directors Discuss Mercado Documentary “Mucho Mucho Amor”
For producer Alex Fumero and directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch, creating a documentary featuring their childhood hero is a career highlight. Their film, “Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado,” is currently streaming on Netflix and features powerful scenes where superfan Lin-Manuel Miranda meets Mercado.
In this edition of Ai LIVE, E. Vincent Martinez talks with Fumero, Costantini, and Tabsch about the experience of spending two years building both friendship and trust with Mercado as they filmed. The team quickly discovered that Mercado remained the confident, cape-sporting hero of their youth—still holding onto his “old school star magnetism.”
But they wanted to know more. In addition to years of interviews with Mercado himself, they reached out to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who’d also grown-up watching Mercado. Costantini said that the stars’ first meeting was a very special moment for Puerto Ricans, signifying the past and present/future of the culture within the entertainment industry.
In addition to discussing the filmmaking process, the producer and directors provided insight and advice for those currently studying filmmaking. They stated that it’s important to set goals—while understanding the industry is very competitive and demanding.
Fumero adds that knowing the field inside and out helps to build trust and credibility. “I tried to do every job [on set] . . . so when I took on the job I have now, I understood what everyone was going through.”
Tabsch also encouraged students to ask questions, watch films from all decades and genres, and show that they have a very strong work ethic.
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