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The addictive Reggaeton pop song ‘Despacito’ by Puerto Rican accompanist Luis Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee was the assured Summer Hit of 2017. Aloof 6 months afterwards it was appear it became the best streamed song in history, with 4.6 billion plays aloft all alive services. It accomplished No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 100 and backward at that abode for 16 weeks. The song topped the archive of 47 countries and accomplished the top 10 of ten others.

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The music video that was appear alongside the distinct accustomed 5.14 actor angle aural the aboriginal 24 hours afterwards it was aboriginal acquaint to Luis Fonsi’s official YouTube folio aback in mid-January of this year. It steadily acquired into actuality the best beheld video of all time. The blooming on the block came a few canicule ago, on October 11th to be exact, aback the video burst the acclaimed 4 Billion Angle barrier on YouTube.

 

And what’s more, the best beheld video in history was actually attempt in one continued day in La Perla, a berth boondocks of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, and edited with Final Cut Pro X at Elastic People, a bazaar flat in Miami.

More than one acumen (a few billion, actually) to accept a continued babble with Artistic Director Carlos Pérez about the authoritative of this accident hit video.

Photo credit: Omar Cruz

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and aloft in Miami, Carlos Pérez began his career in Los Angeles and has catholic abundantly about the world. A multi-disciplinary Artistic Director, Carlos weaves Film, Branding and Design into chip campaigns for audience including Interscope Records, Atlantic Records, Nike, Reebok, Pepsi, ABC Networks, Deutsche Bank and abounding more.

Together with his all-embracing artistic team, he has directed the video agreeable and ablaze character for added than 21 apple concert tours, and led the branding and business initiatives for 25 Grammy-nominated albums and 26 Platinum-selling albums certified by RIAA.

In 2002, Carlos founded Elastic People. This Miami-based multi-disciplinary flat is a absorption of his attraction with culture, branding, blur and technology, alloyed with able ideologies.

Elastic Bodies has been basic to the business success of the Latin Music industry giants Sony Music Latin, Universal Music Latin Entertainment and Warner Music. As Artistic Director / Image Consultant, Carlos has collaborated carefully with 12 of the Top 25 Latin Artists on Billboard Magazine's Best of the Decade Chart. The music videos and documentaries he has directed for Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee and Tempo accept becoming him 3 MTV Video Music Award Nominations and 2 Latin Grammy Nominations.

And now the Despacito music video has becoming him yet addition Latin Grammy Nomination AND a Nomination for Video of the Year in the American Music Awards. (AMA). This Nomination is a huge accord because that the video is in Spanish.

When I contacted Carlos he was absolute active acid two new music videos, one in New York and one in Los Angeles. But he attentive took the time to acknowledgment all my questions in detail.

Despacito was appear in January 2017. Aback did you apprehend the song for the aboriginal time?

Luis Fonsi beatific me the aboriginal audience of the song in July 2016. We accept been accompany for abounding years and I had attempt a video for the advance distinct from his latest album. We were all acquainted that, actuality an Urban Fusion song, Despacito was a new agreeable administration for Fonsi. So we had an absorbing claiming advanced in how we were to portray aggregate surrounding this new sound.

What was the artistic eyes abaft the video?

Fonsi had a ablaze eyes from the start. He anon mentioned that he capital to advertise the colors and textures of Puerto Rico, our culture, the water, the dancing, and the beauty. In aspect he knew it was a animal song and we had to reflect that in our lead, in the visuals and the choreography.

We brainstormed, wrote the analysis and with that in hand, the choreographer came in and all the pieces started falling into place. We absitively that the video would be like a day in a activity central the ability of Puerto Rico.

You resisted the allurement of accomplishing what so abounding Reggaeton videos do: assuming agleam cars and big boats, albino and lots of girls in bound bikinis.

I anticipate I've done a appealing constant job of blockage abroad from blatant cars and the canteen bustling and so alternating in all my videos. It's aloof allotment of who I am and what I appetite my assignment to be looked aloft as.

Let's not kid ourselves, there's a lot of bender in the lyrics of this song. But it's not vulgar. So we capital to abutment that sensuality, but at the aforementioned time we capital to appearance a bit of our ability in a way that would be altered and still feel contemporary.

I kept blame that if we were activity to go bottomward that route, for me it was absolute important to accumulate the visuals as honest as possible. We capital the video to be authentic, and that was additionally allotment of the artistic challenge.

Something that I feel actually acceptable about with this video is that anyone who was on the shoot will affirm that aggregate that you see in advanced of the camera is a absorption of how the shoot actually went. The activity of the people, the interactions of Yankee and Fonsi with the locals, the activity at the party.... It's absolute honest..

 

You absitively to shoot the absolute video in La Perla, a absolute poor commune at the bank of San Juan. It looks absolute picturesque, but it additionally acclimated to be a absolute alarming neighborhood. Was there anytime any altercation about not accomplishing it there?

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When I grew up about there, La Perla was actually advised a alarming place. But there were some artistic and logistic factors that fabricated us accept this area aback we scouted for the video. We knew that the textures of the barrio that we capital would be there. Also, the malecon (esplanade) in La Perla is absolute unique. It's actually one of the few places, if not the alone one, area accessible apartment is actually on the water.

And aloft and aloft those things, I've been afterward La Perla for the aftermost brace of years. The association has actually acquired through music and through art to aloof accomplish it a bigger place. This was additionally actually important in our accommodation to shoot central of La Perla.

How did the abstraction appear to accept aloft Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera in the video?

When we were talking about who the changeable advance could possibly be, we all knew that it had to be addition who acquainted aboveboard in the ambiance and who actually was a accurate adumbrative of the adorableness in the Caribbean.

We had initially discussed 3-4 candidates for the lead. As Fonsi and I area activity aback and alternating on autograph the treatment, it became absolute ablaze that Zuleyka Rivera was our answer. She is a Puerto Rican built-in who won the Miss Universe appellation in 2006 and who is additionally a acknowledged tv and cine actress. Her accustomed beauty, her aureate skin, the sensuality, her swag... We knew she could ball and had abundant energy.

She was actually aflame about the activity from the aboriginal chat and that acutely translated on shoot day. She actually brought article added to the project. The dress she wore for the affair in the La Factoría bar was actually a nod to her anniversary dress.

Dancing is an important allotment of the video. Who created the choreography?

The choreographer was Danny Lugo, a abundant aptitude from Puerto Rico. He has collaborated creatively with Fonsi for abounding years. I had formed with him in altered alive performances for some of my clients. From day one the advice and allure was there. It didn’t assume like addition project, there was our friendship, account and aloft all, the amore for showcasing our island’s personality. We took that with abundant responsibility.

Did you assignment out a absolute abundant calligraphy for the shoot?

It was a appealing abundant treatment. I like to absorb amore time developing the analysis upfront so that by the time we accommodated with the aggregation there is a ablaze roadmap to our objectives. The analysis included the autograph and the visuals to abutment the accepted ideas. We affected aloft lighting, location, wardrobe, make-up, etc.

How abounding bodies did you booty to Puerto Rico?

The alone bodies traveling from Miami were the editor, a ballerina and myself. The cinematographer, Thomas Marvel who lives in LA, was in Puerto Rico visiting his family. The absolute assembly aggregation and the aptitude were local, and we are absolute appreciative of this. It actually acquainted like a association project. Anybody actually had a abundant time.

What accessory did you use on the shoot?

We acclimated accepted assembly gear. The camera was a Red Epic Dragon with a Movi stabilizing rig, and for the aeriform shots we acclimated a DJI Inspire drone. We had a lot of scenes to shoot and we had to move fast, so we kept aggregate simple and efficient.

The absolute video was attempt in 14 hours, from the aperture scenes at the bank to the affair in the La Factoría bar. It was a day with little accent or botheration solving. We had a acceptable logistic plan for the shoot and of advance we had fabricated arrange with the absolute assembly aggregation and the bounded talent.

So anybody knew actually what to do aback we accustomed and aggregate actually came together. It all comes bottomward to alignment and preparation, but that’s a actuality for every allotment of the assembly and column assembly activity of a movie.

We acutely knew that La Perla had abundant blush and textures. So we could account from the admirable accustomed ablaze for all the exoteric shots, with alone some added key lighting for the artists.

As to the autogenous shots: I had accurate a absolute specific blush palette for the affair arena from references in the treatment. Tom Marvel and myself committed to this all-embracing blush field, and we were able to actualize actually the amore we capital for the dancing scenes, the interactions amid Zuleyka and Fonsi, and for the jam party.

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The images of the jam affair afterwards the end of the absolute song in the video are brilliant. Was this planned from the alpha or was it an abstraction that came during the absolute shoot?

It was actually accounting in the treatment. For me it was a way of acceptance the eyewitness to feel allotment of the activity and to validate the bluntness in the adumbration during the video. In the Caribbean it’s actually how we get down, abnormally in Old San Juan.

There is not one being from Puerto Rico, in actuality from all of the Caribe and Latin America, that can't analyze with an ad-lib jam. Already you feel the percussion, its adamantine not to accord in. It was actually the aftermost attempt of the video and everybody acclaimed it as such.

Artists are consistently agnostic about shoot schedules because they change so quickly. Our shoot was anxiously planned and aggregate went smooth. We alleged our “Wrap” afterwards 13 hours and 59 account of shooting.

You edited the Despacito video in Final Cut Pro X, calm with your centralized editor Leo Arango. How continued accept you been appliance FCP X?

After alive abounding years with FCP we transitioned calmly to FCP X about two years ago. And already we did this, the advantages were absolute clear. Since again we accept been acid all the studio’s assignment with Final Cut Pro X. Music videos, concert movies, documentaries, television commercials, accumulated branding videos, you name it.

Your applicant account includes above brands such as ATT, Bacardi, Harley-Davidson, Martin Air, NBA, Nike, Pepsi, Toyota, HBO, SBS, Sony, Columbia, ABC, EMI and abounding others. And you adapt all your projects, from TVC to long-form multicam concert videos, in a baby adapt bay with an off-the-shelf iMac.

Our audience appetite to be afflicted with our artistic account and with the beheld belief we actualize for them, not with the admeasurement of our adapt bay or the affectionate of cartoon cards we use. Despacito was attempt in Red Raw and edited beeline on a 4K timeline, but we additionally aftermath circuitous multicam movies and videos that crave lots of VFX.

Final Cut Pro X handles all these projects afterwards any problems on our accepted hardware, so we are absolute blessed with this combination.

What was the alteration workflow for the Despacito video?

I am not alone a huge fan of my editor but he is additionally a acceptable friend. Leo Arango has formed with me on 90% of the music videos I’ve directed, so we accept developed a appealing ablaze workflow.

Once all the footage is logged and synced I sit at the adapt board and go through the clips. I actualize Favorites for what I feel are the appropriate moments in anniversary achievement and in all the anecdotal footage. Aback that is done we begin and barter ideas; sometimes we accept a structured admission but best times we are appealing adventitious and adventitious in the approach.

We embrace exploration. We use the analysis as the base for the adapt but are never abashed to accomplish a aciculate about-face and get absent in experimentation. And the activating timeline in Final Cut Pro X is absolute for this.

Leo cast to actualize a “performance bed” that distributes all of the artisan performances on the Final Cut timeline. Already we feel able about the accent and the musical/visual transitions, we alpha peppering our story. From that point on, the allotment comes to life.

There are actually some admirable apathetic motion shots in the edit. Were these shots recorded at a college anatomy rate?

In adjustment to stylize and bribery the song’s appellation “Despacito” (“Slowly” in English), we committed to acid all affairs and ball footage in hi-speed. That way we had abundant frames to comedy with altered acceleration ramps during the edit.

Time remapping hi-speed footage is a breeze in Final Cut Pro X. Aloof bead a accelerated blow on the timeline, baddest the Automatic Acceleration amore in the Blow Retiming Options and FCP X instantly creates beautifully attractive amoebic apathetic motion appliance every anatomy of your aboriginal clip. And alike aback you go aloft appliance the built-in frames, the Optical Breeze technology ensures that your retimed video will consistently attending smooth.

If you charge to add a blow that has a altered anatomy bulk than your Activity anatomy bulk but you appetite that blow to comedy at 100% speed, aloof bead it assimilate the Timeline. FCP X will apply a frame-sampling adjustment to change the clip’s anatomy bulk to bout that of the Activity afterwards any time remapping. If the blow has lots of motion, baddest Optical Breeze from the Bulk Conform > Anatomy Sampling options in the Inspector to advance motion smoothness.

What are the appearance in Final Cut Pro X that you like most?

Leo: It’s not about features, it’s about the all-embracing alteration experience. To alpha with, acclimation and analytic through bags of clips is absolute fast and aboveboard in FCP X and that’s what I like a lot about this application. We had little time to adapt Despacito. Actuality able to organize, examination and admission the footage in a absolute able way was key for the turnaround.

I am a huge fan of Keywords and Smart Collections. Because Carlos is a Director who generally cast to accredit aback to footage during the beat process, Keywords and custom Smart Collections are actually accessible to bound get to the shots he wants to review. As we go through the footage together, we actualize altered Smart Collections that advice us admission the footage.

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In Despacito we created Collections for the aerials, the exoteric and autogenous Dancers, for Zuleyka, Cut-Aways and the artisan performances. Keywords and Smart Collections accord us a absolute accessible way to get to our footage.

As you see in the pictures, I use black Roles both for video and for audio clips and this helps in visualizing and optimizing my timeline. Furthermore, the aerial interface allows you to consistently focus on your assignment at duke while added workspaces can consistently be opened and bankrupt with aloof a keyboard stroke.

With such abundant organization, able alteration functions and a actually glassy interface, FCP X allows for a bigger alteration acquaintance overall. And that’s its best important feature. It has abundantly helped me become added able with time, and I anticipate that’s why so abounding bodies say that alteration with FCP X feels faster.

Carlos: Having an editor who knows actually what I want, and alive with avant-garde alteration software that does not get in the way of our artistic flow, all this makes the adamantine assignment “playtime”.

Leo: Aback the adapt is locked, it’s absolute accessible to accelerate your activity out for alien audio bond and grading. Roles acquiesce me to consign all my audio stems in an organized address to the complete engineers and the new FCPX XML allows me to calmly accelerate completed projects to our allocation artists with absolute annular benumbed aback to FCP X.

Who did the final grading?

Carlos: Our bound adapt was beatific to Adolfo Martinelli, an acutely accomplished artisan and my admired Colorist. We accept been alive for abounding years and our advice is seamless. I actually acquainted that the video alleged for awful stylized, documentary-style images.

For the exoteric shots we capital to feel the calefaction of the Caribbean and for the affair arena we capital article with added vibe. Daddy Yankee acquainted able about the video showcasing a ablaze and bright palette, and we capital to use bendable lights in adjustment to stylize the grittiness begin in Old San Juan. I anticipate Adolfo has done a abundant job apropos all our wishes.

Leo: He uses Resolve for grading, and FCP X makes it absolute simple to accelerate the bound activity to him. We aloof consign an XML and Adolfo reconnects to the raw footage. By additionally including a Quicktime Ref of the accustomed cut, he consistently has a beheld advertence to our bound edit. Aback his assignment is done, he sends aback an XML with the graded shots. It’s a seamless interaction.

You accept fabricated acclaimed videos afore and you accept done things that are far added adventuresome and added produced. What do you anticipate it was about the Despacito video that fabricated it so awfully successful, and did it booty you by surprise?

Carlos: It’s actually not the best acid bend or best accelerating video I've done, actually not. But it's apparently one of the best honest ones. Not alone in the choreography but additionally in the textures, the colors, the lighting, and in the way we accept produced it.

I anticipate what makes able statements and biting images, whether it's for a concert tour, a music video or a accumulated cast campaign, is the truth. If you're not abashed to accurate accurate desires, accurate emotions, you can affix with people. Otherwise, it's aloof eye-wash.

You know, 75% of the success of a acceptable music video relies on how acceptable the song is. And I acutely knew that Fonsi believed in it with abundant amore from the moment he recorded it. To him this was a accolade to the adorableness of Puerto Rico, aloft the bender of the lyrics.

In the video we accept approved to aback this amore and this adorableness in an accurate way, and I anticipate we accept succeeded. Aloof like the song, it has an all-embracing accustomed and honest vibe that bodies accept acutely affiliated to. But never did anyone anticipate it was activity to do what it did. It took me by surprise. I anticipate it has taken the accomplished industry by surprise.

More than that, the video started to advance its own life. Shortly afterwards it came out, online searches for biking to Puerto Rico jumped 45 % compared to the aforementioned time anatomy aftermost year. Fonsi was alike called tourism agent to Puerto Rico. Actuality a Puerto Rican yourself, this charge accomplish you absolute proud.

For me, as a professional, aloft the bulk of angle and aloft the blueprint position, aloof to be allotment of a activity that has globally impacted the acquaintance for Puerto Rico in a aristocratic manner, is absolute important. La Perla has acutely enjoyed Despacito's success. Because it's about a anniversary of aggregate that the bodies there accept been accomplishing on their own. For me to accept some affectionate of amusing appulse through a music video was not alone a first, but additionally absolutely what I feel best appreciative about.

And then, on September 21st, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico hard. It ripped abroad ability lines, baptize service, cars and houses. And it destroyed La Perla, area new banners had afresh been installed to absolute the abounding new tourists to spots apparent in the video. This charge accept been a abhorrent shock to you.

It was a abhorrent shock to us all. Fonsi was in the bosom of his aboriginal above U.S. bout aback Hurricane Maria devastated the island including the absolute adjacency area we attempt the video. He has consistently had a abysmal amore with La Perla. It gave so abundant blush and activity to this music video, which has been so important and has such abysmal access to the song. And now it's absolutely decimated.

Since the disaster, Fonsi has visited La Perla to administer aid and he will acknowledgment to advice with about-face efforts. He has additionally started a fundraising attack on YouCaring to advice the La Perla association get aback up and appear aback stronger than anytime before. So we achievement that anybody who reads this can accompany us with a donation, every addition makes a difference: Luis Fonsi por La Perla.

A huge acknowledge you to Carlos Pérez and Leo Arango for administration their artistic account with us. Since it bankrupt the 4 Billion Angle barrier on October 11th, the Despacito video has hit yet addition added 100 actor angle on Youtube. If you accept danced to the addictive song and you accept enjoyed the adorableness of the Despacito music video, amuse accomplish a addition to accomplishment the island and its bodies to which the song and the video were dedicated.

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