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He said Mr. Corral introduced him to areas he had no idea about.

Oscar will go anywhere and ask anybody anything, which is one of the main keys of being a good reporter,” he said, adding Mr. Corral also instinctively knew when to turn off the camera so as not to interfere with an interview.

When Mr. Wolfe first arrived in Miami, he knew little about the grittier aspects of life in the Magic City, or about how Cuban immigrants no longer came to Little Havana but now flocked to the suburbs of Hialeah, which plays a major role in the book. Once famous for its racetrack, the city is now a mix of minimansions on undersized lots and one-bedroom, concrete homes where newly arrived Cubans cram together.

Mr. Corral said he had long thought Miami would be the ideal setting for a book by Mr. Wolfe, whose past work includes nonfiction like “The Right Stuff” and “The Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test.”

“It’s almost unreal to outsiders. It might seem preposterous, but it’s real,” he said.

Mr. Corral, who is a Cuban-American, should know. He received death threats, and his family was forced to leave their home for two months after he wrote a 2006 expose about fellow reporters who were also getting paid by the federal government for their work for the U.S.-backed Marti broadcasts. The broadcasts are beamed into Cuba and often take aim at the Cuban government.

When Mr. Corral heard about Mr. Wolfe’s desire to write about Miami, he took a chance and wrote him a letter, including the experience. That led to the phone call.

Mr. Corral said it wasn’t easy filming the sometimes elusive Mr. Wolfe, who would pop into town at a moment’s notice or fly in and not call at all. He hopes some of Mr. Wolfe’s techniques come through in the film.

“He’s a journalist at heart. He listens. He wants to know your position, and why you take it. He is the master at getting people to reveal themselves,” Mr. Corral said.

Mr. Corral plans to release the film, now in post-production, in time for the book’s expected October release date. He aims to provide a new glimpse into his beloved hometown, and he hopes to attract a new generation of multimedia enthusiasts to his literary idol.