Video Chats: Carlos Lopez Estrada on 'Carried Away (Tiësto Remix)' by Passion Pit

Posted by Doug Klinger on January 28, 2013 in Interviews

Staff Post

Carlos Lopez Estrada

The first time we talked to Carlos Lopez Estrada, he told us that “Me Voy” by Jesse and Joy was shot in his roommate David’s bedroom. The last time we talked to him, he discussed getting Isaac Ravishankara to come with him to Mexico, basically without any food, to star in “Walking World” by El Sportivo and The Blooz. This time, he convinced the crew for “Carried Away (Tiësto Remix)” by Passion Pit to chew on reptile sand, and fall over lots and lots of times. We talked to Carlos to find out more about the video, and about how he convinces his friends to do crazy stuff for him. 

Doug: Where did the idea of this video come from? Did the idea build the way the video does?

Carlos: I think it actually happened in reverse from how it is presented in the video, which is funny. It all started with the concept of “human fireworks” that I’ve had stored in my idea pot for a while now. I hadn’t been able to shoot it but things somehow fell into place for this video. They liked the idea and some storyboards I had put together for it so then I sorta developed it backwards.

Carlos Lopez Estrada

Doug: Michael Angelakos from Passion Pit, when releasing the “Take A Walk” music video, was quoted saying, “From now on I want every music video to be like its own small short film.” Was Michael heavily involved in the process of this video to make sure it met up to those standards?

Carlos: The process for this one was a bit different. The video actually started as a different project but somewhere along the process, Saul Levitz from Columbia heard about it and liked it for this remix that the label was about to release. He talked to Michael and he seemed to like the idea as well. After getting his thumbs up, they decided to adopt the concept. Passion Pit has made some really memorable videos so it’s a real honor to have this one on their list now.

Carlos Lopez Estrada

Doug: Is the powder that everyone is eating supposed to represent a drug or something addictive? Or is the video a bit more light hearted than that?

Carlos: It was really supposed to be some kind of color gunpowder that they ignite with matches. I think it made more sense when all the explosions happened as fireworks - but then we added more explosion scenes and it became this other weird thing. People think of drugs because everyone in the video is 20-something and looks reckless, but the real story behind the casting is that we couldn’t afford actors for the shoot so everyone you see is in it is either a friend of mine or someone in the crew. There are cameos from literally everyone who worked on the video including Cameron our VFX supervisor, Mishka our DP, Sarah our producer, CK our production designer, etc. It is definitely meant to be a lighthearted video though. I mean, there are chickens exploding to techno beats in it, I don’t think anyone can take it very seriously. I guess I may not be helping my case with that last sentence. Chickens (and babies) do explode in the video, but in a cute, lighthearted way. I hope.

Carlos Lopez Estrada

Doug: Obviously, eating matches is dangerous, but the ability to multiply myself spontaneously would be awesome! Was there any concern that people are going to try something similar to this video at home?

Carlos: I really hope everyone who watches the video tries it at home. That would be amazing. Especially children - just kidding.

Doug: How did you guys achieve the effects? Were some of the multiplication effects done differently than others?

Carlos: It’s a pretty simple process. You basically just stand on a mark and throw yourself around 5 or 6 times, then someone rotoscopes all of those takes for weeks and then Cameron Clark puts all the takes together in After Effects and makes it look pretty. I think most of them were achieved that way.

But since you ask, we decided to put together a little behind the scenes video… and HERE IT IS!!!!!

Doug: You make an appearance in this video, how did that come about? Did you want to be in the video, or was it out of necessity?

Carlos: I think every decision in the video was made out of necessity. We wanted to buy colored sugar for the “gunpowder” but it was too expensive to buy the amount we needed - so we got reptile sand instead. And everyone had to chew on it so many times. It was great. But yes, this cameo happened because it was getting late and we had to leave the location. We had like 5 minutes left and I thought it’d be easier to do it myself than to spend time explaining it to someone else. We also didn't have money to hire stunt men for the whole shoot so I ended up having to do some of the stupider falls myself. You can find me if you press pause during a couple of explosions.

carlos lopez estrada, carried away (tiësto remix), passion pit, video chats

Doug Klinger is the co-founder/content director of IMVDb and watches more music videos than anyone on earth. You can find him on twitter at @doug_klinger.

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