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Chicago Director Making Maya Angelou Documentary

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Maya Angelou is such a national treasure, that when a local film maker began looking for films about her a couple years back, he was stunned to find there weren't any. That's about to change.

Roseanne Tellez sat down with one of the directors of "Maya Angelou, The People's Poet."

Three years ago, Chicago filmmaker Bob Hercules teamed up with Rita Coburn Whack, a producer and friend of Angelou's and got permission to make a documentary for public television. He says Angleou said something prophetic.

"Oh Mr. Hercules, one other thing. You better get moving."

Angelou sat through hours of interviews, talking about everything from her poor childhood in Stamps, Arkansas to writing her first book "Why the Caged Bird Sings" - to the death of her friend Dr. Martin Luther King.

"You can see in the footage, the pain that she must have felt and how deeply it affected her," said Hercules.

Hercules says she loves to laugh though, and turn a funny story.

"She has an amazing ability to take you back to that moment she's riveting as an interview subject," said Hercules

He says it's an honor to be involved in the story...but it's a daunting project.

"She was such an icon and she means so much to people all over the world that we have to do this story right," said Hercules.

The documentary premieres on PBS's American Masters in 2016.

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