Meet the Community Media Entrepreneurs
The community media entrepreneurs were a diverse lot. They ranged in age from 18 – 25 and came from different areas of Sáo Paolo. Before joining the program they were office assistants, delivery men and air conditioner installers. They had all been involved with community media projects before. The profiles below were written by them as part of the application process to be a part of VCU.br. They were added to during an exercise in which the entrepreneurs developed their pitches for media professionals.
You can read about their individual video projects, watch some of them, and learn how much they earned from the videos here.
LEILA (COSTA) BANA
My name is Leila and I live with my parents in the neighborhood of Jardim Miriam in south São Paulo.
I am 24 years old and have had several jobs. I was an office assistant, a salesperson, did telemarketing, taught literacy to seniors for two years, did promotion work in supermarkets and for news stands, and I still work handing out fliers in the street. These jobs enabled me to pay my college fees. I graduated in audio visual technology.
Today I am part of the VCU.br project which trains young people to be videographers.
My name is Ricardo Trevisann and I am 25 years old. I am an only child and I live with my father in Guarulhos in São Paulo. I finished high school with some difficulty because I had to change school several times due to my fathers work.
When I was 13, I saw reporters working in my neighborhood and I thought to myself, “I also want to do that.” So I asked the reporters how I could do this work and they told me I needed to do a professional course. They recommended contacting Senac, which is a private school of professional training, but at that time I had not yet finished my studies and had no money to pay for college. I could not sign up.
When I was in high school, I started doing a course in video PROJOVEM, which is a social inclusion program run by the federal government. Today I am part of VCU.br, a project that trains young people to work as videographers, and I am determined to be a cameraman.
I’ve been a car-washer and a security guard. My last job was as a delivery car driver.
I decided to be a cameraman to show actual images of all that is absurd.
My name is Renato. I am 18 and live with my mother and my brother in Guaianases, in the east of São Paulo.
I’ve been a gas delivery man, worked in the trade as a sales man and helped my mother make deliveries of marmitex (take out food delivery). My dream is to be a video editor.
I have participated in an editing workshop and learned how to use various editing programs. Now I am participating in VCU.br and learning many new things. The video I am producing now tells the story of two residents living and working in the region of Itu.
My name is Juliete. I’m 18 and live with my mother, my father and my brothers in Guaianases, east of São Paulo. I have already had several types of work. I have been an embroiderer, a perfumer, a saleswoman in the jewelry store, a fast food worker, and a children’s nanny.
Today I am part of the VCU.br project and I am a producer of videos. I want to work with video, because it is something with which I identify a lot.
I have liked this profession since a workshop I did in audiovisual issues. That’s when I realized I had found something that aroused my interest and my curiosity.
Video is important to me because I believe that using it we can bring to people’s eyes what is not shown in the media, and show many realities that they cannot usually see.
Video, for me, is a way of showing everything that TV and society hide from the eyes of viewers. It can show the difficulties and joys experienced by people who live in the face of so much misery; where there is a lack of solidarity. I think that video cannot change the life of a person but can help to transform it.
My name is Beatriz. I’m 20 years old and live in Guarulhos in São Paulo.
I finished high school and took a course in art for children. I studied music theory for two years at the Conservatoire Municipal of Arte in Guarulhos and took a course with the production collective Our Screen, in Heliopolis. Today I am on the VCU.br fellowship.
I always worked as a freelancer; I’ve been a make-up artist, monitored children in a school, distributed condoms at the airport during Carnival and sold books. The only fixed work experience I have is as an office assistant–it lasted two weeks!
I have never had a formal contract! I believe in thefreedom to work in many places. This is how I grow and learn many things without worrying about salary at all costs. Money is important, yes, but not what motivates me. I admire all those individuals who work in a profession that does not suit them in order to make money to survive – making a personal sacrifice to support those that depend on them financially. Those that work doing what they enjoy whilst earning little are also courageous.
HENRIQUE EIJI SAWAKI
My name is Henrique. I am 20 years old and I live in Ermelino Matarazzo, east of São Paulo. When I was 6 years old I went to Japan with my parents, who were working as migrants. Despite the initial difficulty I managed to adapt and studied for 3 years in a Japanese school before returning to Brazil when I was 9 years old.
After finishing high school I studied design for a while. Then I worked as a freelancer, mainly as a bartender and event waiter, and also helped my mother with her sewing workshop. I did a course in audiovisual production for two years and then had the chance to be selected for the VCU.br project.
Like most people, I thought long and hard about choosing which profession I wanted to pursue. I always liked movies, but within the VCU.br program I learned that there are many possibilities to work with audiovisual technologies. I know now that I can perform professionally if I work hard.
My name is Allan Jones. I am 24 years old and live in the Guarulhos municipality of Greater São Paulo. I live with my mother and my three brothers, a pair of twins aged 12 years and a girl of 3. I finished high school last year because the work I was doing did not give me the opportunity to study.
I’ve worked in several areas; for example, I worked as an installer of air conditioning and it was with this job I had the opportunity to meet several theatre groups and see many shows.
It was this job that sparked my desire to work with theater. I started doing some workshops and making some plays. When I attended the project PROJOVEM, I had the opportunity to produce a short film. From there I began to get interested in the production of videos. I tried to learn more about it by participating in workshops on film.
Today I’m part of the VCU.br project which teaches young people how to work as independent videographers. I want to work in the area of script and production. I also want to be a teacher because, in my opinion, video is a very important tool for the dissemination of news that the major television stations do not show. I intend to use this tool to record what happens in communities.