We shot these interviews in the back room of the workshop. Alvaro Gonzalez Martinez assisted with camera B and translations
Mariano and his son work together 5-6 days a week to create custom guitars that range from 3,000 euro to 40,000 euro. They have made guitars for Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, and Leonard Cohen.
Mariano Jr. and his father switch off with various parts of the guitars to make consistent progress. The tattoo on his forearm reads: "Mariano" in Arabic.
In 2016, I started an independent production company called Roen First Films. Plans to start RFF had been in motion for several years, but the company finally came to be with the production of my most recent (and most unique) short film: "MARIANO"
During the last month of a year-long sabbatical in Madrid, I found myself walking through the historical Opera Plaza district, looking for a guitar for my father. Drenched in a torrential rainstorm; I ducked into the first shop I could and pulled back my hood, to find a dust-covered custom guitar workshop. A father and son stood focused, sanding beautiful pieces of wood and hand-carving "mangos," or necks of traditional Spanish guitars; which their family has fabricated for over 100 years.
I asked to see a price list and quickly realized their one-of-a-kind guitars were out of my budget. I thanked Mariano, the son of shop owner Mariano Conde, and stepped back out into the rain to catch the metro. The entire ride home, I couldn't get the images of the shop; the wood; or the two men working side-by-side; out of my mind. I emailed Mariano that night and asked if he might be interested in making a short documentary about their work. That conversation led to six days of filming inside their traditional workshop and the discovery that Mariano Conde, and his son Mariano, are heirs to one of the most prestigious dynasties of flamencan guitar makers in history.
Credits: Andrew Day