We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlos Dupouy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carlos, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is the key to success. There’s a saying in my country that translates as “The only lost battle is the one that was never fought” and I tap into that every time I make a career decision. Risks are presented to us in many ways as creatives, whether is by having to push a vision to make others believe in it, or exhausting all of our resources (time, money, effort, etc.) in order to make a dream come to reality. At age 20, I moved to the United States by myself leaving family and friends behind, some who I unfortunately won’t see ever again. Migrating with the dream of becoming a director is the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in life, and coming from a country in the conditions Venezuela has been in the past two decades, I had no choice but to make it work. To me, the fear of missing out is bigger than the fear of failure. The real risk became not seeing the full potential of an idea or a feeling completely unfold.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The one thing that has set me apart for most of my career is my sense of rhythm. My background in dance separates my work from most of my peers and it has been the source of inspiration for most of my work. I believe that as former dancer, it is easy for me to see how music it’s supposed to “look like.” Dance was for sure what allowed me to get where I am today. I’ve always been passionate about the way dance translates in front of the camera, and the limitless possibilities to create from it. For the most part, I always felt my peers didn’t quite get it. I was constantly questioned about my artistic choices or even underestimated as “the dance video guy”, and I used to beat myself about it as if I was a lower category filmmaker for some reason. It took a lot of self work to understand that my role in this industry is essential, as now I get the privilege to direct and edit for top artist all through a dance capacity, in which I have worked for years. The biggest lesson for sure is that being who you are will take you further than fighting it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If the city was open, regularly one of the first places I would take a visitor would be The Getty Center. I feel it’s a good reflection of Los Angeles and the level of culture it offers. It is a one of a kind place, with unique art pieces and exhibitions. For sure one of the few architectures in the city that has lots of character. Another one of my favorite places in Los Angeles, is Mount Wilson. I often go there to star gaze, and I think it’s a good spot to disconnect, recharge and get inspired. El Matador Beach is one of my favorites in Malibu, it’s very small and never crowded, plus the scenery is worth the drive to Malibu. When it comes to food I think my taste is a bit less refined than most: I usually love the smaller, “hole in the wall” type of restaurants. “Rice Wok” in Studio City for a very comforting Chinese food, “Salsa and Beer” in North Hollywood for a good time with friends and for sure “Cariaco” in Glendale to cry my eyes out reminiscing authentic Venezuelan food.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have been very blessed to count with not only one person, but plenty who have supported me through my journey! So many creatives and leaders have crossed my path to sprinkle wisdom and love on me and that has shaped me to be who I am, and to create the way that I do. My first mentor, the legendary choreographer Rhapsody James has been someone who taught me to find joy through life challenges. I consistently give her a lot of credit in my story because she saw far more in me that I could see for myself, early in my career. Many times, I find myself mimicking the way she talks to talent, full of humor and light, even through the rough times. Another person I owe a ton of my knowledge is creative director JaQuel Knight. He has exposed me to the industry in levels that I never thought were possible. I admire the capacity he has to make everyone who works with him believe that they can do anything, and he is somebody who has helped me push pass my limits – I wouldn’t be standing here without him. There’s so many people I would like to shoutout for so many reasons, but I can’t think of ways to express how much their exchanges have marked me. Reason why, I dedicate many of my victories to the people I love, and my ultimate goal is to make anyone who has pour light into me proud. To name a few, choreographers Luam Keflezgy and Lisette Bustamante, director Jamal Sims, producer Julio Mata, director Mel Charlot, producer Frankie Pepper, and so many others. I shoutout anybody who has given me shelter and put food on my table when I had none. I just want to pay forward everything that I received so far.
Juan Veloz, Max Baker, Brandon Esparza, Juan Dupouy