We caught up with Director David Rousseau. If you don’t know, he’s the man behind many recent videos from Pitbull, Lil Wayne and the rest of the YMCMB crew, along with a slew of others. In 2010, we named him as Director Of The Year for our Best Of list – and in 2011, he had an even more amazing year. He’s the definition of Miami and represents our city like no other. I got a chance to meet with him at Casa Larios to catch up a bit and then got a chance to do a quick year-end Q&A. Read below to catch up with David Rousseau and what he’s been up to with his company, CreativeSeen….
305: So, last year we named you Director of The Year after having an amazing 2010, you had an even more amazing 2011. How’s the last year been? Highlights?
First off, I found out about the award that morning from all my friends and colleagues. Everyone I know friends and artists are on the 305.com so they were the ones who told me that day. It was an amazing way to start the new year. The 305.com has been with me since the very beginning, so thanks for the continued support.
As for 2011, once again we were blessed with great opportunities and even more chances to work on some really cool projects, among them continuing creative relationships with Pitbull and Young Money/Cash Money.
305: Tell me a little bit about the work you’ve done with Pitbull over the last year. I know you guys got nominated for a couple VMAs and have had a helluva year visually.
We actually got two VMA nominations for the Give Me Everything video, including Best Pop Video of the Year. People say being nominated is an honor, and it really is. To see Pitbull and myself, two 305 locals being on that global stage, nominated alongside Britney Spears and Lady Gage is a real accomplishment and dream come true. We didn’t take home an award, but we took home a certain satisfaction knowing our work can compete with those global icons.
This year we got to work with three amazing artists in Pitbull’s music videos Ne-Yo, Marc Anthony and Chris Brown. The Rain Over Me video with Marc Anthony was my personal highlight. We shot the video on location just north of Palm Springs, California. It was by far our biggest production with helicopters, cars and shooting in 103-degree desert conditions. I’m very proud of that video and the way Pitbull came across as a leading man.
305: You also have done quite a few things with Cash Money. How’s it being on set with Wayne and the YMCMB crew?
Just recently, we did two projects for YMCMB Bow Wow featuring Lil Wayne and Lil Twist featuring Busta Rhymes. Those were both great videos to be a part of. YMCMB, they’re great artists and great businessman. They’re always ahead of the curve in both respects. Working with them, you see firsthand why they’re on top of their game both creatively and in business.
305: A lot of people might remember that you did that marathon shoot with Wayne before he went on his vacation. Is there anything that was never released, or did they release everything already?
Altogether from that shoot, 20 videos were released including features, and videos for DVD release. It’s amazing that everything shot ended up being released. It shows you how it was a brilliant idea by Birdman to make that happen. It kept Wayne on TV and on the net while he was gone.
305: What goal did you accomplish in 2011 that you are most happy about?
One of the goals we had was to visually showcase the evolution of Pitbull from Mr. 305 to Mr. Worldwide. By shooting two out of three videos in L.A., we were able to show how Pit has taken it to the next level, and is now on a global stage.
305: What’s the craziest or BEST place that your job as a director has taken you this year?
One would definitely have to be the middle of the desert for the Rain Over Me video, and second, shooting the Give Me Everything video at the historic Alexandria Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles were movies such as Se7en and The Runaways were filmed. That building had an amazing vibe and Pit and Ne-Yo were able to bring it to life. Another highlight was filming on Malibu Beach with Nayer and Mohombi. It was a gorgeous location and it looked even better on camera in the finished product. That’s one of the best parts of my job, being able to go to new places and film them, which helps expand our visual palette.
Our goal now is to challenge ourselves with new projects in commercial work, television, and concert filming, keeping CreativeSeen moving forward. CreativeSeen started as a dream and because of hard work, a great team and a little luck, we’ve made our dreams come true, but there’s so much more to do.
305: A lot of things have changed over the last couple of years in Miami, not only in entertainment, but also politically and financially. The city is on a cultural and economical rollercoaster. What are your thoughts on that, and how does it apply to the growth of CreativeSeen? Overall, what do you think of the direction Miami is heading?
First of all, while the rest of the country figured out how to cope with a recession, Miami was already ahead of the game. Miami is used to doing more with less. The people in Miami have always had to overcome things, and the recession just made them hungrier and more resourceful. Out of this recession, moguls were born, Fortune 500 companies were built, which shows how Miami always has that spirit to rise above. With all the cultural influences Cubans, Brazilians, Venezuelans Miami will be even bigger after the recession than before.
CreativeSeen was founded in the middle of the recession, and our business model was to turn a negative into a positive. We were the anti-establishment production company. We bucked the trend, and found a way to make things happen. We figured out a way not only to survive, but to thrive.
305: For the youngins out there starting to pick up a camera or going into film school, what’s the WORST thing they can do if they expect to make a career out of the film and movie industry?
[The worst thing they can do is] believe that it’s as easy as it looks. Technology has made it so everybody can think they can do it, but in reality, not everyone can. It takes a lot of passion, commitment and hard work, way more than the most people are willing to give. But if you really want it, and really give it your all, this new technology makes it a little easier for more people to get a shot.
305: And lastly, what can we expect in 2012 from you and the rest of the CreativeSeen team?
Expect more hard work, surprising people by working with new artists and new genres of music, and finding new ways to present our work other than the typical mediums.
For More Information on David Rousseau: www.creativeseen.com