You’re currently working on a new video with Pitbull, can you tell us more about that?
The song is called Free.k, it’s a new single he’s releasing and we shot it here in Miami within two days.
He’s also working on the New Years party right?
Yeah we’re working on that as well. We’re hosting the New Year’s special for FOX, Puff Daddy is going be there as well as other celebrities. The video was shot onboard The Escape, which is Norwegian’s new billion dollar boat that holds over 4,000 people. The idea of the ship is that there’s various rooms named after songs that he’s done and every room has a theme. For instance, there is a Give Me Everything room. We redesigned the rooms with The Most Bad Ones. We shot one day on board with Pit, his dancers and Gia, a beautiful Ukrainian model from Wilhelmina. The second day we shot at M3 Studios where we did all of the other rooms.
What is Pitbull really like? Is he more fun or more serious?
He’s a little bit of both. He’s serious in the sense that he’s a businessman because overall, music is a business. At the same time, he is very fun. He has a lot of passion for the fans and the music and loves collaborating with others, as well. I’ve been working with him for 10 years now.
How did you guys meet?
We met through a couple of mutual friends. One day we were at the same studio, started talking and hit it off. We come from similar backgrounds; we’re both from Little Havana with Cuban parents.
What has been the most expensive video to film?
Rain Over Me because it was shot in the desert in Palm Springs. We had a waterfall effect so we had to bring tanks filled with water out to the desert. All of the sets were built on the desert and we had windstorms that would knock them down. It was 136 degrees out when we shot. There’s a scene with a scorpion walking over a bottle and it was interesting because after the temperature reaches a certain heat, the scorpion stings and kills itself so we had to ice the floor and the scorpion could only come out for 2 seconds.
How long did the Rain Over Me video take you?
That was about a 16-hour shoot. What people normally don’t get is that the artist is doing this on their day off. They’re either on tour or doing promotion, so you only really get them for a short amount of time. When I shot one of my videos with Marc Anthony, he had just done five concerts back to back in Mexico.
Who has been the most enjoyable artist to work with?
[…] I like working with Pit because he likes to keep it fun; it should never be about so much work that you hate what you do. I remember when we did the Men in Black video, we had to recreate the set– the Chinese restaurant, the vault, etc. Pitbull was so excited for something like that because we shot our first video in a car wash in Little Haiti and now we’re building sets with Men in Black and Will Smith. That shows you that he’s still very humble. We always wanted to evolve. I told him that the I Know You Want Me is a very Euro song and from then on it was the evolution of Mr. Worldwide. We shot Wild, Wild Love at the Playboy Mansion and that was another adventure. We were shooting scenes and Hugh Hefner was just sitting there watching; that doesn’t happen everyday. We do pinch each other every now and then to say we’ve come a long way.
What has been your craziest experience?
The desert was one of them and the other one was in Trinidad. We were shooting with Lil Jon and we were on a mini bus on a cliff and the tire got stuck on the ground and as he was trying to go forward, the bus was going backwards. Pit, my producer, and I were sitting in the back seat of the van wondering, “Should we get out”? Then we turned around and all we see is a tree that said “RIP Will” and I grabbed him and was like “We’re getting out of this bus!”. That would’ve been a great headline- “Miami Director and Pitbull die alongside Will off a cliff in Trinidad”. There have been a lot of experiences like that throughout the years.