This past month has brought a lot of progress on this documentary. We’ve been collecting archive material, filming interviews, editing our rough cut, and preparing for continued production. Here our some details on the work that’s kept us busy since our last update.

Casa Chuck Archives #TiaChuck
Archive Digging at Casa Chuck

Casa Chuck Archives #TiaChuck
Chuck Ramirez’s Personal Photo Collection at Casa Chuck

We visited Casa Chuck, the former home of Chuck which is currently serving as an invitational residency for critics, curators, and writers. Casa Chuck holds Chuck’s personal archive, including hundreds of photographs of family, friends, and his travels. We spent time carefully reviewing the material in Chuck’s office closet and scanning photographs and slides we believe may be used in this documentary. Thank you to Casa Chuck Residency Director, Anjali Gupta, for aiding us in accessing Chuck’s archives.

Casa Chuck Archives #TiaChuck
Chuck Ramirez’s Personal Photo Collection, 19th Birthday Photos

Casa Chuck Archives #TiaChuck
Chuck Ramirez’s Personal Photo Collection, Traveling with friends and a portrait of Chuck (L to R)

Lori and Joel Dunlap Interview #TiaChuck
Film Still, an interview with Lori and Joel Dunlap

Our interviews since our last update included Lori and Joel Dunlap, Jeff Adams, Charles Ramirez, Amelia Cruz Haley, Carol Martelle, Pat and Bud Smothers, Chris Hill, and Rudy Choperena. The Dunlaps shared their stories of traveling with Chuck, as well as Lori’s perspective of Chuck’s struggles after the 2008 financial crash and Joel’s memories of Chuck’s open heart surgery. Jeff Adams has the unique distinction among our interviewees of being close friends with Chuck during Chuck’s high school and college years. He had stories of Chuck’s early interests in art and Chuck’s first parties at his apartment in college.

Charles Ramirez Behind the Scenes Interview
Behind the Scenes Interview with Charles Ramirez, Photos courtesy of Patricia Marcus

We had been looking forward to our interview with Chuck’s father, Charles Ramirez. He and his wife were very welcoming of us into their lovely home and he spoke with us about many aspects of Chuck’s life, from Chuck’s birth to the time when he realized that Chuck had achieved success as an artist. Amelia Cruz Haley and Carol Martelle discussed their friendship with Chuck through their work as graphic designers and their close friendship during Chuck’s early art career and beyond.

Pat Smothers Interview #TiaChuck
Behind the Scenes Interview with Pat Smothers

Chris Hill Interview #TiaChuck
Behind the Scenes Interview with Chris Hill

Pat and Bud Smother’s hosted an interview session at their home, inviting Chris Hill and Rudy Choperena over so we were able to film four interviews in one evening. They shared their memories of traveling all over the world with Chuck. Bud recalled first meeting Chuck at Liberty Bar in the early days and Chuck’s innate ability to lead and gain followers. Chris Hill shared his stories of his connections to Chuck through Chuck’s work on Chris’ home in Carayes, Mexico and the Carayes and Broom Series those trips inspired. Rudy was very close with Chuck and talked about Chuck’s influence on his transition into becoming an artist.

Rough Cut Screenshot #TiaChuck
Rough Cut Sequence, Stills of Jeff Adams’ Interview and Chuck during his 2002 Artpace Opening Talk (L to R)

We’ve taken last month’s 3 hour long timeline and edited it down to an 1 1/2 hour Rough Cut. We also transcribed our rough cut into a script which we will follow as we continue production on supplemental scenes and recreations. We’ve been editing our new interviews and are currently adding those additional comments into our Rough Cut. We hope to keep the Rough Cut length at around 1 1/2 hours, so some additional editing will be happening over the next few weeks.

Chuck Ramirez Birthday #TiaChuck
Chuck’s Childhood Birthday Party, Photo Courtesy of Charles Ramirez

Chuck would have celebrated his 53rd Birthday tomorrow, April 28th. Thank you to Chuck’s father Charles Ramirez for sharing his family photo album with us, which contained these beautiful birthday moments during Chuck’s childhood. We appreciate all the participation and support from our interviewees this past month. Thank you to everyone who shared their stories, photographs, and archive material to help us make this film possible.

Chuck Ramirez Birthday #TiaChuck
Chuck’s Childhood Birthday Party, Photo Courtesy of Charles Ramirez

We’ll be continuing production on scenes and recreations for the next few months, editing along the way. If you have any questions or if you have have archive material (photographs, audio, video), please don’t hesitate to contact us!

– Angela