Daddy Yankee "El Amante (opening title making of)"

Daddy Yankee ft. J Alvarez: "El Amante" [Opening titles Making of]

Whether the underwater title sequence in this new Daddy Yankee video sets the tone or steals the show is a good argument, but there's no denying that VFX artist Aaron Vasquez gets that if you're gonna have opening titles in a video, you've gotta make them interesting.

Aaron Vasquez, vfx artist: I had been in contact with a great director friend of mine, Jose Javy Ferrer. I was originally tasked with coming up with an ‘open’ for the video. He wanted something that would pop and really stand out from the rest of the videos he had done, as well as stand apart from other projects currently out on the market. Armed with the knowledge that this project was going to shoot at tropical locations in about a week’s time, as well as knowing the theme of the video, I set out to create a title sequence that was over the top. I wanted to create something that was visually interesting, elegant, yet heroic. Something that was reminiscent of a movie title sequence.

There were two main challenges of the project. The first was the limitation of available footage for the opening sequence. I had to create the majority of the open from scratch without knowing exactly what was going to be shot since I was creating the open before any of the main shoot dates. My ideas for the open were grandiose: I knew I wanted to take the viewer on a journey through a fantastic landscape of colors and imagery. I figured, if I was going to do an open I wanted it to be a hybrid of something that couldn't be shot in camera, nor something that could be done solely relying on CG. The whole underwater sequence is completely faked utilizing some stock still images, a few VFX clips of water splashes and a lot of compositing. Originally the opening animation began underwater and then broke through to the surface revealing the additional two title cards. The helicopter shot that precedes these events was shot much later in the process. 

The second challenge of the project was a technical one, the distance between our locations. Jose was off shooting in multiple South American countries, while I operate mainly out of the New York area. Once the open animation was completed, I expressed my interest in color correcting the whole video. This would have been difficult a few years ago but was actually fine with the technology available to us today. We worked off of low resolution posted web movies that we passed back and forth to each other. This gave him a sense of the direction I was going with the project. He would send me his rough cuts and using Autodesk Smoke 2013 professional video editing software I did all my effects, cleanup, animated open and color correcting on top of these until the video was finally approved. At that point I was sent a high-resolution uncolor-corrected final version. I simply copied all my setting from previous versions and applied it to the new final master.

Watch the full video for "El Amante" or a making-of for the title sequence...