Rob Cantor / YouTube

Here's How You Get Shia LaBeouf In Your Cannibal Music Video

The creator of "Shia LaBeouf" explains how this bizarre epic came to be.

Rob Cantor, the man behind the "29 Celebrity Impressions" viral video, has struck again with another multimedia masterpiece – this time, with the help of an actual celeb. His new live performance video for the original song "Shia LaBeouf" recounts a horrific story involving the "actual cannibal" Hollywood superstar through interpretive dance and choral singing, and features a cameo from the actor who has recently been in the news for some…shall we say, "touchy" behavior.

We sat down with Cantor for an exclusive interview on how -- and why – this production came to fruition.

MTV News: How did you originally come up with the idea for the song?

Cantor: The inspiration came from my friend Andrew Laurich. One day, for no reason at all, he started dramatically whispering the words "Shia LaBeouf!" It was hilarious. The whole cannibal-prowling-the-woods thing grew out of the dramatic whisper. I recorded a demo of the song and posted it on my SoundCloud. Much to my delight, it caught fire. A guy named Coz Baldwin tweeted about it, and that started the viral ball rolling. That was back in 2012.

MTV: Why did you decide to make a video now, years later?

Cantor: I had always wanted to make a great video for the song. I figured Halloween was the right time.

MTV: How did you come up with the concept for the video?

Cantor: The idea of such an absurd song in a very serious setting just seemed funny to me. Passionate choristers, interpretive dance, string quartet bowing away -- all taking itself very seriously. And then the song is about Shia LaBeouf being a cannibal. I found out recently that's called bathos -- serious and absurd juxtaposed. I like bathos!

MTV: What was the process for organizing the choir and orchestra like?

Cantor: A lot of communicating. I don't think I've ever written more emails for a project than I did for this one. I recruited the groups one at a time, just emailing and pitching them the concept. I got really lucky that these amazing ensembles were into the idea -- I didn't have much of a budget, so it would have been impossible otherwise.

MTV: What about those giant Shia heads? What are they, and how were they created?

Cantor: Those 3D Papercraft heads were whole project unto themselves. I contacted a talented artist named Eric Testroete, to see if he could create one with Shia's face. He sent me digital files, which I printed, and I invited some friends over for what I thought would be a 5-6 hour craft job. In the end, it took five of us 16 hours to put them all together. Lots of folding, cutting and gluing. It took a long time, but to see them go from a stack of cardstock to those 3D heads was definitely satisfying. Plus they look cool on the dancers, so I'm glad we did it!

MTV: How long was the actual shoot, and how many takes did you need?

Cantor: We had the venue for twelve hours, and we used every moment of it. We shot the video in short sections and edited it together.

MTV: OK, the most important question: How the hell did you get Shia LaBeouf to agree to this?

Cantor: I looked up Shia's manager online and sent him an email. I explained that I was a fan, pitched the video concept, and invited Shia to participate. I knew Shia had heard the song, since he tweeted it out last Halloween, but it still seemed like a crazy long shot. I sent the email nonetheless. Three days later, unexpectedly, Shia's manager replied with a yes. I was shocked and delighted.

MTV: I assume you didn't have a movie star budget for Shia. Why do you think he agreed?

Cantor: I think he just really liked the concept and thought it would be fun.

MTV: What it was like to work with him?

Cantor: On set, he was extremely kind and gracious. Unpretentious and professional. And he nailed every single take, as you'd expect.

MTV: C'mon…Tell us the truth! Isn't he even just a little bit nuts?

Cantor: Like I said, my experience with him was smooth as silk!