What drew you to the subject?
(HBO's) Sheila Nevins had this inspired idea to make a documentary about something festive and celebratory based in and around New York. It seemed a real challenge to keep people's interest and keep our own interest as filmmakers without some kind of motivating incident, whether it's in a fiction film or a documentary.� But there's a less known tradition of looking at everyday things with love and engagement and celebration.
What surprised you in making the film?
The film had us shooting all over New York City, and many of these places weren't places we'd spent much time in before. As a native New Yorker, it's always surprising to me how much of this city I don't really know.
Were there any challenges in making the film?�
Casting was a challenge. Finding our characters, but more importantly, finding an engaging school was an important part of the process. There are many great salsa schools in New York City. And when I say New York City, I'm talking about all five boroughs.� That's how wide our net was initially.� We wanted to find a place that had hot dancing, had a charismatic instructor that had students that clearly came from all walks of life.� And "Santo Rico" met that requirement.