Behind the Scenes: Music Video Director David Rousseau on Pitbull's 'Freak' & Filming on a $1 Billion Ship
The partnership between David Rousseau and Pitbull is not only well-known but a major turning point for both artists. Now the director and the famed reggaeton star are back at it again with the upcoming video for "Freak."
The history between the two dates back to 2005 when they made a street video for the song "Be Quiet." Pitbull's record label at the time was going under and Rousseau was figuring out how make his dream of becoming a music video director flourish.
Rousseau, who notes Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video as his greatest source of inspiration, told Latin Post that the two simply decided that they would create a partnership of mutual benefit.
"We decided that we were going to build together and 'hustle' and work together from that point on," the Venezuelan-born director stated.
From there the fame slowly and steadily grew and the two were able to acquire bigger budgets for bigger concepts.
"He remained loyal to me and I remained loyal to him and I think we both have that hustler's street mentality to make it work," Rousseau noted. "I don't think any of us knew this was going to happen but at the same time we knew that if we worked hard and collaborated and never stopped working that it would work out."
Their collaboration process is a give and take between the two with Rousseau stating that it is essentially "50-50."
"Sometimes I'll shoot him texts with ideas or he's send me an idea for a song or part of a song," he explained.
Sometimes the ideas turn into a growth for the Pitbull brand, as evidenced by the work on "I Know You Want Me Back."
Rousseau noted that this film has a more European style, an "international song," so he suggested that Pitbull wear a suit. The result? Designer suits wanted his brand.
"It was an evolution of his style and his presence," Rousseau stated. "Those are the kinds of things that we do together hand in hand."
"Freak" is playing off Pitbull's recent "christening" of the Norwegian ship "Escape." According to Rousseau, the ship was worth over $1 billion.
Yet the director did all he could to shoot his new video on board the ship.
The biggest issue he faced in the early going was actually getting the cast and crew on the boat.
"There was so much red tape just to get on that tape, it was literally weeks of trying to get everyone from the crew on," he explained. "The paperwork was crazy."
But eventually it came to fruition and Rousseau and Pitbull were able to record their grand vision. The concept for this video is nostalgia and history. A number of rooms throughout the ship showcase themes and ideas related to previous music videos that the two have worked on.
"In a way it's looking back at how long we have come," he stated. "It's something when you think about the fact that we were two kids from Little Havana with minimal resources to start and now we are shooting on a $1 billion ship!"
One aspect of the shoot that surprised Rousseau was finding out how many people actually knew his good friend. He noted that there were people from over 40 different countries on board.
"People were asking him for autographs and they didn't even speak English," he noted. "That was amazing to me."
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