London Prestige: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
Carlos Freire: I’m a documentary filmmaker born in Ecuador. I came to the United States for vacations in 1985 when I was 11 years old, and that was the time that I had a video camera in my hands for the first time. It was a VHS camera that I used to interview everyone in my family and anyone that would be around. Later on in my life I came back to the United States looking for a change, and I found out that my thing was the visual arts. At first I started as a web developer until I got my first experiences working with video, since then I knew that story telling is my thing. After that, I went to college where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Film, and a Master in Fine Arts degree in Media Communication Arts focused on documentary production.
London Prestige: Did you have any specific influences growing up that lead you towards the film industry?
Carlos Freire: To me it wasn’t about being influenced by any filmmaker or specific kind of movies. I was exposed to the equipment at an early age and it caught my attention towards becoming a communicator.
I remember sitting down in front of the television with my family laughing when we played the interviews.
London Prestige: What are you currently working on?
Carlos Freire: I’m working on a documentary called “Outsiders” It is about homelessness in New York City.
London Prestige: What were your main responsibilities on this film?
Carlos Freire: I’m the producer, director, and editor. My responsibilities are to manage the schedules and the logistics of the shoots. Also, I have to prepare the equipment and the team members that we will need every time we go out to shoot. As the director I call the shots, supervise and setup the set, the lights, and I conduct the interviews.
Editing is one of my favorite parts of the process. I can spend hours sitting in front of my computer working on my projects. It is a very fragile thing to do because I want the message to be delivered in the right way, no misconceptions.
London Prestige: Can you tell us about your experience in working with the director and actors in this film?
Carlos Freire: As the director of my documentary, I get to interact with the characters that are being portrayed in the film. I learn so much from every one of them. The variety of stories that I’ve heard makes me think about the simple things in life, and that happiness doesn’t depend on how much you have, but it depends on what kind of person you are.
London Prestige: What was the most important thing for this movie to achieve from a narrative and character standpoint?
Carlos Freire: The most important thing to achieve is to communicate and to open the audience’s eyes to the truth of the issues in our society. Sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to these things.
London Prestige: What other films have you produced?
Carlos Freire: I have produced other documentaries such as Terraza7 , My dream at the other side, and Qween amor. All of them touch different issues of society, gentrification, immigration, and gay rights.
London Prestige: What makes a film interesting for you? What are three qualities that you look for in a movie?
Carlos Freire: I find interest in a film when it creates an impact, enlightens people’s points of views, and brings change when it is needed. The media as a tool for change and social development, will enlighten people’s minds and make us a better society.
London Prestige: What project helped you launch your career?
Carlos Freire: I have worked in many projects and I would say that the beginning of my career as a media producer was doing editing videos for “fashion week” and producing television shows in public access television, such as Business in Queens for the Chamber of Commerce in Queens Public Television (QPTV), and Guerrilla Mosh TV (Metal show) in Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) as well.
London Prestige: What are you most proud of? Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
Carlos Freire: So far I can say that one of my biggest accomplishments has been to finish my education and to work in what I love to do. Everything else is a product of it.
London Prestige: Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re super excited about?
Carlos Freire: Looking forward to do something about families torn apart.
London Prestige: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to enter the film industry, especially as a producer?
Carlos Freire: I always share this piece of advice that I received from my mentor Terry Parker.
“Filmmakers make films and writers write.
The only way to find out if you are a filmmaker is making films.
If, while you are making your film you are thinking on what’s your next film is going to be like… then you are filmmaker”
If you are passionate about film and it makes you feel alive… Why not?
*Cover Photo: Wigner Duarte and Carlos Freire (Photo by Innovation Media New York)