You’ve seen a movie trailer about sharks in a swimming pool. Now, check out an actual music video about the same irrational childhood fear.
Federico Torrado, a Colombian director based in LA, grew up scared of seeing sharks in a pool. Many years later, still fascinated with the irrational childhood fear, he decided to make a music video – even without actual music.
“I made this music video without having a band attached to it,” he told Lost At E Minor. “I had this idea since I was a little kid and I decided to make it first and then pitch it to a band.”
His video depicts two lovers exploring the city, and eventually trespassing into a public pool for a round of night swimming. The twist, however, is that they’re not alone.
Torrado later on teamed up with Memphis-based psychedelic rock band Spaceface to use his video for their single Radiator. The result is the perfect union between a powerful song about addiction and a surreal clip based on fear.
We spoke to Torrado to find out more about his filmmaking, as well as how he came up with the music video.
How did this project for Spaceface come about?
“I made this music video without having a band attached to it. I had this idea since I was a little kid and I decided to make it first and then pitch it to a band.
“After finishing production, I started to look for music that could work for it. One day, while eating a donut, I stumbled upon a poster of a music festival where Iggy Pop was headlining and Spaceface was part of the lineup. I started to listen to Spaceface and felt that their music was going to work with the feeling of the video.
“I reached out to them and Jake Ingalls, (the band’s singer who also plays for The Flaming Lips) got back to me right away. Jake and I decided that their song Radiator was the best match to the video. I cut it to that song and it merged incredibly well with the footage we had.”
Where did the idea for the video emanate from?
“The idea for the video came from a childhood fear I had of getting eaten by a shark while swimming in a pool. When I was 10-years-old my parents took me and my brother to Universal Studios where we experienced the Jaws ride. Since that day I started to think that a giant shark will come out from anywhere that was water-related; like showerheads and toilets.
“That fear later evolved into the idea of having a scene in a movie where a shark attacks swimmers in a public pool.”
Tell us about the logistics behind creating the video?
“I was very lucky and I got to make this music video with my closest friends in a very supportive set. We did it over two nights.
“The craziest thing about it was controlling the shark and recreating its fin movement. I had a friend who does lobster diving and we attached this fake shark fin to his back and had him swim as fast as possible helped by a small water propulsion system.
“Then the other big problem was that the shark’s head was floating at a weird 180° angle so the production designer ended up sandbagging him like crazy to get the proper attacking angle and while that was happening we also had two people under the water manually controlling the shark’s jaw.”
Which other Colombian creatives are inspiring you right now?
“My biggest Colombian inspirations are Ciro Guerra who directed Embrace of the Serpent and who also made my favorite Colombian film called Los Viajes del Viento (The Wind Journeys).
“Another big inspiration to me right now is a Colombian director from Cali, called César Augusto Acevedo who directed a very poetic and touching film called La Tierra y La Sombra (Land and Shade).”