Summoning Yoruba Spirits And Turning Day Into Night In Criolo’s New Video For “Mariô”
According to the religious traditions of Candomblé and Umbanda, Ogun is the Orisha of metals, and that’s who rapper Criolo is calling to with the phrase “Ogum Ajo E Mariô” in the song “Mariô.” Interpreting this reference to mythology was director Del Reginato’s biggest challenge when creating a visual component to the song.
“It’s a difficult subject to work with (because we were dealing with beliefs), so we came to the conclusion that it would be safer and more interesting to deal with elements and symbols that represent Ogun in a milder way. Criolo participated in the conception after talking with (musician) Kiko Dinucci, who suggested some interesting ideas,” said Reginato.
The method he chose was to represent symbols from the song using special effects, as well as 3D and 2D animation. Thought it appears to have been shot at night, all the shots are actually daytime. The dark, gloomy aspect was synthesized in post-production, where they literally turned day into night. “There was initially a heavy process to correct the colors to get that ‘American Night’ look, a technique used to turn day into night. From then on, there were lots of compositional changes to make the blue sky into a heavier sky, to create a denser atmosphere, with more dirt and smoke,” the director says.
Most of the scenes were shot at a train repair shed near Campinas in Sao Paulo in one day. “Next to that shed there’s a rail track with this beautiful station. Everything’s very vintage and full of history. The work was all done around that location. The whole crew got up on a train platform and we went out to the rail track looking for the best locations (whenever we’d find something interesting, we would jump off the platform and set up the camera).”
Criolo, a visceral artist, found himself in an unusual creative setting, where movements and marks had to be followed exactly because of the effects that would be applied afterwards in post-production. According to Reginato, the rapper was a great sport about stepping out of his comfort zone. “Criolo is a great artist and he helped build the character. He’s got amazing acting talent, he likes what’s real, and he carried an 80-pound anvil the whole time. His suffering is real,” the director says.
“We were lucky to be able to shoot on a beautiful sunny day, and almost the entire film was shot with natural light, so we got some great images that gave us the possibility of reaching any result we wanted, as long as it was well manipulated.”
The video was released last Friday on the web and it’s already competing for Video Clip of the Year at VMB, Brazilian MTV’s awards ceremony to be held in October. “We’re all happy with the nomination, but we know it’s going to be very hard, because we’re competing with great artists who also have great videos, like Racionais MC’s, Emicida, Edi Rock feat. Seu Jorge, and Mallu Magalhães.” The public can vote for their favorite videos here.