Interview with foudner of the main "Walking in Rio de Janeiro" youtube channel"

  • Posted: 04.05.2021
  • Interview with Brazilian Video Blogger

    1) How did you develop an interest in videography and why did you choose to pursue a career as a film maker?

    Carlos Vort: First of all, I would like to greet all Sam Sarkisyan readers and also to thank Sam for the opportunity to talk a little about my work, it is with pleasure.

    It is a long history that involves other arts.

    My first interest was in music, due to a family influence, it was the first art that sparked my interest.

    So I became a music producer, a profession that I practiced as a freelancer for about 10 years. During this period, I developed my interest in photography, as a hobby. I bought my first semi-professional camera. I was dedicated to learning how to take photos as a professional photographer, studying, looking for technical readings about it. And I developed a good skill and knowledge.

    Another story that connect is: I always liked sports, I had a powerful motorcycle and I started flying paragliding. It was at the same time that the first GoPro cameras appeared, I wanted to film my paragliding flights and motorcycle rides, with unique perspectives that until then were little known at that time. It was there that a friend, who was a paraglider pilot, realizing my knowledge in photography and videography - which I was still developing - called me to carry out a project in partnership for television: a series on acrobatics with paragliding. It was an ambitious project. None of us had the knowledge to develop such work and put it on TV. But we accepted the challenge and worked hard. We managed to film a pilot video for the project, we developed all the written part ... It was a lot of work! Realizing the needs of this project, I gradually invested in the filming equipment we needed, such as stabilizers, lenses, supports, drone, a better camera ... And I ended up assembling a kit of filmmaker equipment. But I still didn't work for third parties with filming, it was all about developing my paragliding project. At that time, I was already filming our project a lot, so I learned a lot.

    Until an opportunity arose to shoot for a musical band and while I was filming with my stabilizer and camera - equipment that draws attention - I ended up being observed by a director who had a production company. He came to talk to me and asked me to do some work, because I had what he needed. And so I became a cameraman and started filming for companies. They were institutional videos and TV commercials.

    One subject led me to another and I was always dedicated to being good at what I set out to do. And I started to really like this film work, the whole production environment, it was great for me and it took me to where I am today.

    2) How has video changed the world of tourism today, and what does this script mean to you as a filmmaker?

    I think the popularization of videos in recent years and their dissemination on social networks has brought a new form of dissemination. Not only of the main tourist attractions, but also of other attractions that the cities offer and that the tourist did not know.

    My type of video "walking videos" brings the possibility of taking the viewer to an immersion in these spaces and to visualize how human interaction takes place. Making them feel part of the experience, as if they were there themselves. Being able to feel this environment on a daily basis, observing people's habits, customs and culture.

    I think it helps the tourist a lot when deciding which places he intends to visit.

    I get a lot of comments from people who, after watching my videos, say they need to visit these places. It makes me very happy, because I feel that I was able to contribute. In short, I think the videos bring more variety and depth to people about places and their cultures.

    As a filmmaker in this scenario, I try to make a difference, bring more and more diversity and immersion. This is my goal with the Vort-C Ambience channel. Hoping that this will translate into a benefit for the viewer and help travelers in choosing the destination and attractions they like. In addition - and not least - I like to think about the historical value that these videos can offer in the future. New generations will be able to see what cities and people were like in a given period of time. Now we don't think about it much, but we are going through a historic period, a pandemic, I'm sure it will pass, things are back to normal and these records were left to posterity.

    3) From your point of view, what makes a good video?

    This is a very relative question. It depends on the observer and from which perspective the question is inserted.

    As you know, I have a YouTube channel. And if there’s one thing I’m pursuing, it’s making a good video.

    When we make a video, we take a photo, we make a song, we don't do it for ourselves, but for others.

    So, the feedback from a creation to me has a very different meaning than it does for others. And that answer, as creators, we are constantly looking for, because we don't know how to answer it exactly, but we always look for it.

    I can make a video that I think is very good in the historical aspects that it can represent, in its montage, in the quality of the image, etc.

    But this same video may not have as positive a result from the audience as I expected, which would give me an answer that the video was not a good one.

    On the other hand, I can make an unpretentious video or without elaboration and it has a very good result for the audience, which brings me the feedback of being a good video.

    So this question is something that I am constantly looking for an answer to. And every feedback from the audience puts me in one direction. Because as the YouTube channel lives on the result of the public, it is necessary to follow this direction and consider the public as an answer to this question.

    4) What inspires you and what is the highest pleasure of the filmmaker?

    What inspires me is the public's response. The fact that work impacts people in some way. Being watched by a large volume of people and those people interacting with it. That's my inspiration.

    I don't care about the content of the answer, I care about the answer itself.

    Of course, positive responses always leave us flattered, they show us the direction we took at work was right.

    But the negative comment, if it is constructive, also indicates the direction.

    The "haters", something so common today, also bring me something good. Because if they are watching and feel they have the right or need to express an opinion, it means that I have impacted them.

    So this is my inspiration.

    As the greatest pleasure of the current work that I do on the Youtube channel is the possibility that it gives me to be able to get to know new cultures, new places and travel. It is true that due to the pandemic, I have not yet been able to start my travels, but I see that horizon.

    So this current job brings me the pleasure of getting to know new cultures.

    But as a filmmaker of advertising videos, I like teamwork, the integration and independence of each professional in his specialty and also the possibility of knowing and learning new things.

    I've been to places that ordinary people would never have imagined going, like filming all sectors of an industry, filming all its processes and understanding them. These are things that I find incredible. I've worked with famous artists and we had the opportunity to interact and talk a little. I even filmed private meetings between politicians and businessmen. Everything I'm going to film I need to understand how it works, for represent it in the best way, so I end up learning. Being able to learn is really cool, I'm a curious guy in several areas.

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Photo: © Carlos Vort

    5) What inspired you to start your channel on youtube?

    As a filmmaker for corporate advertising jobs, I am a freelancer. And, as a freelancer, there is no work every day of the week, like normal work. I have been working very little, if at all, for weeks, and that leaves me idle. Idleness made me look for something with which I could complete my time, something that I enjoy (of course, filming) and that reconciles with my work as an advertising filmmaker.

    So I was experimenting with other subjects, but when the idea for the Vort-C Ambience channel came up, to make "walking videos in Rio de Janeiro", I felt from the beginning that I could do this work and it would be completely plausible to reconcile. The theme of the Vort-C Ambience channel, I chose because somehow, since when I practiced the hobby of photography or filming when I travel, I have already done something similar to what I do today on my channel. So it was an integration from useful to pleasant.

    6) Can you tell me the story of your favorite video part that stands out?

    Today, when I answer your interview, my channel has 76 videos published. Incredibly, even with the probability in favor of the volume of videos, during filming I did not find any extraordinarily surprising facts.

    But there were a number of curious little facts that I witnessed in front of my camera and that were recorded:

    There was a person falling off his bicycle, a woman walking down the street with several salon devices in her hair.

    For many it can be a normal thing, but I was very surprised to see people walking their dogs inside the mall.

    I saw a capybara (a giant rodent from Latin America) sitting calmly on the sidewalk while people photographed it. I once saw a woman, clearly a foreigner, walking the streets in a bathing suit, still wet, after leaving the beach. We usually see people with little clothes on the beaches, but not in the middle of the street. This is in the video thumbnail

    I was recording a walk video in Arpoador and I came across another filmmaker who apparently did the same as me. We were watching ourselves off camera (laughs). I don't know who he was, but it is recorded in my footage.

    There was a man who was shopping with a street vendor and he saw me filming and he looked and said: "What are you filming, what is this news about?"

    Once, walking in a mall, I saw a child who mumbled with his father, in front of the camera, and gave him a push. Then, they passed me and off camera I saw the father pulling his ear. These are some situations that I remember ...

    7) What are some of your ‘can't-live-without’ accessories? During walking in Rio de Janeiro?

    As I walk a lot during filming, "I can't live without" good soft, lightweight shoes. This is essential. I also like a cap very much, it helps to keep my vision focused on work and, of course, to avoid reflections of light in my vision.

    8) Tell us 5 things to do in Rio de Janeiro until leave :)

    • 1) As a first thing - and I am suspicious to speak because I am a practitioner - it is: go for a free flight in São Conrado. As I like emotion, I think this is an emotion that can be marked in the traveler's life. You can fly by paraglider or hang glider, it doesn't matter, but go fly. São Conrado is an upper class neighborhood, but it also houses the best known favela in Rio de Janeiro, the Rocinha favela. This neighborhood is surrounded by a chain of rocky mountains, where Pedra da Gávea is the largest monolith in the world by the sea, with a height of about 820m. Next to it, another mountain called Pedra Bonita, houses the free flight ramp, which is 520 meters high, facing the sea, to São Conrado Beach and has an incredible view. From there it is possible to fly to Cristo Redentor, where you fly a few meters from the statue, I already did that. The condition for this flight is rare, it is not always possible so do not create an expectation of being able to fly to Christ the Redeemer. But any simple flight from there is fantastic!

    • 2) The classic and cliché places of Rio de Janeiro I will host them as part of the same attraction, which is to go to the most famous postcards in Brazil: the statue of Christ the Redeemer and the Sugarloaf Mountain. These places really are clichés when we talk about Rio de Janeiro, but they don't go out of style, you can get a very beautiful view of the city and understand why it is special.

    • 3) Go to the beach! Yes, we also have cold and rainy seasons, but most of the year it is sunny enough to go to the beach, get some sun, bathe in the sea and maybe practice a sport. I recommend the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon. They are the favorites of the authentic carioca. Copacabana Beach is the most cliché and that is why the resident Rio de Janeiro prefers to avoid it, but tourists should also visit it! At Ipanema and Leblon Beaches you will find the middle class and upper class Carioca public (nothing against the other classes, but just describing the place). This beach has a beautiful look. To the right side of those looking at the sea with Morro Dois Irmãos, where the sun sets behind the mountain, like a movie scene, with the applause of bathers. On the left is Pedra do Arpoador, another good place to visit, where many people go to sit on the stone, in the late afternoon, to watch the sunset show.

    • 4) Waterfalls. I would say that this attraction would be a complement to a day at the beach. I really like to go to the beach in Ipanema or Leblon and in the middle of the afternoon go out there to bathe in one of the waterfalls or wells that exist in the Tijuca Forest. And who knows how to return to the beach, just in time to watch the sunset ... In the city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the largest forests in the world. All city is around the forest. The Tijuca Forest, in the period of the Coffee Cycle, of logging and sugar cane in Brazil, which was from 1800 to 1930, was completely taken over by crops. Still in the Brazilian imperial period 1862, in the second reign, the emperor Dom Pedro II ordered that the area be completely reforested, because with the plantations the water of the city became scarce and its quality compromised. Since then, the entire forest has been replanted and today it is a true oasis in the middle of the city. It has several streams with puddles and small waterfalls available for bathing. But to go to one of them the tourist will need a local guide, due to the risk of getting lost in the forest.

    • 5) The city of Rio de Janeiro is very plural. There is a huge variety of attractions and possibilities for tourists. And with only 5 choices I am excluding a lot of good options. So my fifth tip is, interact with the carioca, he is very receptive to the visitor. Try the local cuisine. There are many places visited by tourists here, such as: Lapa, Mureta da Urca, the gastronomic centers of Olegário Maciel, Praça Vanrhagen, Baixo Gávea, Baixo Botafogo, Cobal, the restaurants on Rua Dias Ferreira in Leblon. If you like social impact, you can take a guided tour of a Rio favela with complete security. If you like mountaineering and hiking you can climb Pedra da Gávea or Pedra Bonita. If you like the sea you can take a sailboat tour of Guanabara Bay. The possibilities are very great!

    Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro

    Photo: © Carlos Vort

    9) Your favourites places in Rio de Janeiro and why?

    This is a very difficult question to answer. There are many places that I like in different ways.

    I love being inside the forest at the waterfall. Going to restaurants with a pleasant atmosphere with my girlfriend. Sit down on Mureta da Urca. Being in the air, flying a paraglider, a sport that I stayed away for 3 years, but that I am returning to the practice little by little. I like quiet places and vary them. If I go to the same place too many times, I get bored. Before the pandemic we used to have outdoor jazz band attractions in the neighborhood of Urca, I loved going there.

    Something that I like to do a lot and do with a lot of frequency is riding a motorcycle around the city, going through various places and seeing how things are going. It also helps me to come up with ideas for filming.

    10) How has the pandemic affected domestic tourism and videographer services?, and what tasks for the future?

    Tourism was very affected. Not only in Rio de Janeiro, this was a global event and the whole world determined blockages of circulation.

    I feel impacted by the tourism issue because I am interested in making trips myself, this is part of my work with the YouTube channel. And for now I can't and I am still waiting for an improvement in the panorama.

    My services as an advertising filmmaker were greatly affected. I can say that today I am practically not working with this anymore. During the entire year of 2021 I had only 3 freelance jobs. In a normal year, in this same period I would have done at least 15. But I keep waiting for this market to recover so that I can start acting in it again.

    On the other hand, my Youtube channel was not affected by the pandemic, in the sense of creating content and audience. I could even say that the audience ended up rising because many people end up staying more at home and consuming more content on Youtube.

    So today I can say that my main activity is my YouTube channel.

    For the future I hope that medicine and science can eradicate the pandemic, things can return to normal and with that I will be able to film other Brazilian and foreign cities. These are my expectations for the development of my work. As future tasks for this to happen it is to continue my work in Rio de Janeiro and nearby cities, in order to always create and invent videos that can keep the audience engaged.

    Rio de Janeiro

    Photo: © Carlos Vort

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    It was big interview and absolutely great, it’s a honor to have an opportunity interview with Carlos from Rio, thanks!!