Bernardo Britto was born in Rio de Janeiro, grew up in South Florida, and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His animated short films, including Yearbook and Glove, have played numerous film festivals and won awards at Sundance, SXSW, AFI Fest, and others. In 2016 he premiered his debut feature film Jacqueline (Argentine) at Sundance in the NEXT section.
- In terms of resources for inspiration, I am a big fan of just talking to people. Talking to family, friends, strangers, anybody. Uber or Lyft drivers are always a great way to meet someone you would normally never get to have a conversation with. It's not so much that you will get stories and characters directly from people but it will help you get outside of your head for a little bit. And I find that makes the ideas easier to come by. Listening is important. And at the very least, you've just connected and gotten closer to another human being. And that's pretty cool.
- I also, of course, watch a lot of movies. I haven't been able to get into streaming things but I like the commitment of buying a blu-ray or going to the theater. I also like watching all different kinds of things. From Mary Poppins Returns to Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Funny Ha Ha to The Saddest Music In the World. I try never to be closed off to any movie. And a lot of times you get as much from something you're not that into as you would from something you love.
- I guess both of those things circle around a similar drain, which is just to be open to all the different things around you. And to try to be present. Museums and libraries are great but there's no reason you can't find inspiration in a park or in an elevator or in your own apartment. It's just about noticing something in a different way. Even maybe noticing something in yourself differently. Meditating on an emotion or a desire. Listening to yourself is important too :)
- Aside from those kind of ~intangible~ things, something which has been really helpful for me over the past few years has been getting back into video games. Especially things like Minecraft or Animal Crossing or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. These are open-ended sandbox games that allow you to craft your own narrative. And they help me think about stories in a different way, helping me expand my scope of what a story can even be. I also think pulling from other arts like video games or comic books or architecture can help your work stand out more than if you're only immersing yourself in movies or TV. So I recommend getting a Nintendo Switch. They're really cool.
- I think the internet is pretty cool too (Youtube and Google images are especially cool) but the one thing I would say is to try to avoid things where you're just reading other people's opinions and hot takes. That's never been very helpful for me and is generally just a waste of time. And then if you're ever feeling unmotivated or creatively drained, I say go to a film festival and watch a shorts block. Go to GLAS animation festival in Berkeley or Borscht in Miami. Go to SXSW or Sundance. Go to Indie Grits in Columbia, South Carolina. Or Rooftop Films in NY. Go somewhere and watch a bunch of new work from new filmmakers. And then complain about the ones you don't like and fall in love with something you've never seen before.
- At the end of the day, nothing reaffirms my commitment to filmmaking more than being completely blown away by something new.
- Also, any time you're able to go to a different country, state, city, place - just do it.