Even before the first episode of Smoke Signals finished premiering back in August, viewers were already asking where Claudio Sgroi would go next. After months of pre-production and planning, Claudio and Director Thomas Bowerbank have just finished filming the second installment of what will eventually be a 10 part series. It is said that filmmaker makes something three times – once when they write, once when they film, and another when they edit. With filming wrapped, their next task is to arrange the best footage in a way that tells the most compelling, authentic story. In addition. there is a limited release associated with each episode – like the Volute cigar that launched alongside the Peru video.
Both the Master Blender and Director were careful not to disclose their location, even when sharing teaser images on social media. While there were many guesses, some correct, it was actually an enthusiastic Ruggiero Mascellino that confirmed the next episode’s location in a quick instagram update shortly after Sgroi’s and Bowerbank’s return. Mascellino is the very skilled Composer, Arranger, Pianist and Accordionist behind the series’ score. He is also a Professor at The Conservatory of Palermo in Italy, an institution that has been teaching music since 1618. Of Mascellino, Sgroi says “his musical sensitivity is rare, he knows how to transform images into a symphony of emotions!”
Ahead of the series launch, Sgroi explained that “I am extremely proud to create what I feel is the best video content ever created in the premium cigar industry. This is exactly the type of project that needs to be worked on during times where the premium cigar industry desperately needs to get back to the history and beginning of tobacco itself, to showcase the essence of it. Join me on the best cigar journey anyone has ever taken on film.” It’s been less than three months since then, and Episode 1: Peru has already been seen by nearly 40,000 people. Ranging from captivating and beautiful to downright dangerous, each episode invites viewers to experience something new.
While no official information has been confirmed regarding a release date or what tobaccos were explored, Mexico may be most well known for San Andrés. Even if it doesn’t end up being used in a blend during the episode, the beloved tobacco will almost certainly be talked about. Thought to pre-date Cuban seed, San Andrés is said to have come from Peru prior to reaching Central America, Mexico, and eventually the Caribbean. Sgroi shared a heartfelt message shortly after production was completed, “I want to thank the tobacco family we visited, their warm welcome and kindness gave us the feeling to be part of this legendary family! Many thanks to the local people that helped us and to the all production crew, these guys rocked.” Depending on how familiar one is with the history of Mexican tobacco, that quote will either add to the intrigue or reveal a very small pool of potential candidates.
Have you seen episode one? Do you have a favorite San Andres cigar? Where would you like to see Claudio go next? Please let everyone know in the comments below!