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The Learning English Video Project


Thoughts from Brazil

Posted 30th September 2010 by Daniel Emmerson


Brazil Video Blog

Posted 3rd October 2009 by Daniel Emmerson

Greetings! I hope that you enjoyed the production notes from Sao Paulo over the course of the 12 days that we were filming there. As is customary with each location, I have put together a short selection of material shot throughout our stay in South America. This 2-minute film is a supplement to the blog posts filed under ‘Brazil’.

I had a wonderful time filming in Shanghai and Sao Paulo and hope that you enjoy these video blogs! Keep checking the ‘Director’s Blog’ for more information about the project, particularly for release dates and production updates. Remember, there are still 4 more films to be released as part of The Learning English Video Project!

Best Wishes,


Sao Paulo day 12

Posted 24th September 2009 by Daniel Emmerson

Our last few hours in Sao Paulo!

We packed up our belongings and said goodbye to some friends at the hostel before making our way towards Avenue Paulista in the pouring rain. It was first thing in the morning and the streets that led to the Clinicas metro station were extremely busy. The rain got so heavy that Joel and I had to take shelter under the roof of a small cafe… the manager soon came outside and asked us where we were from. Upon informing the bubbly gent that we hailed from England, he immediately began singing Elvis songs (!?). Before long, all three of us were standing in the pouring rain singing ‘Can’t help falling in love’!

We took the metro to Consolação and shot back and forth, up and down Avenue Paulista in an attempt to capture the frantic Monday morning rush. This proved a challenge due to the unrelenting rain, but still we were able to get some good shots of the avenue and round of the Brazil video blog (this will be available to watch soon!).

The real estate on Avenue Paulista is expected to be the second most expensive in South America!

We returned back to our hostel with enough time for a cup of coffee and a delicious slice of chocolate cake before making our way to Guarulhos Airport. The taxi journey from Vila Madalena to the airport marked the end of another production spree for The Learning English Video Project. However, there is still a huge amount of work to be done in crafting the experience into two new films for the series… I really can not wait to share our findings with you in video form!

I have since returned to Poland, where I am working on detailed reports on Shanghai and Sao Paulo. I will then get to work on video blogs from each city before I set about editing the rest of the series.

Keep checking the blog for more updates, pictures, videos, information and questions!

Stay in touch!


Sao Paulo day 11

Posted 21st September 2009 by Daniel Emmerson

Today was our final ’full day’ in Brazil! Tomorrow we shall head to the airport at 15:00 and say farewell to South America for the time being. It has been a phenomenal experience to say the least and I am so excited about working on both the Shanghai and Sao Paulo films in order to share what I have learned about the English language while travelling across these two drastically diverse continents.

Due to last night being our final Saturday in Sao Paulo, Joel and I joined a group of people from Rio De Janeiro at a Samba nightclub. I shall divulge more information as to what occured in my Sao Paulo write-up later this month… However, evening soon turned into morning and we did not  start filming until mid-day on this, our final afternoon in Sao Paulo!

After a quick breakfast at one of the local cafes in Pinheiro, we took a taxi to Ibirapuera Park with a German architect we had met at our hostel. She proved to be a great help in that she knew the park well and was able to show Joel and I the best places for filming the various activities that were taking place. We stayed in the park until the sun went down, filming everything from kite flying to skate boarding as the Brazilian’s made the most of their free time by relaxing in the summer warmth.

Drummers outside Ibirapuera Park

Filming at the Ibirapuera Auditorium

We managed to get some more great footage from the park that I feel well and truly reflects the (surprisingly) relaxing ambiance of Sao Paulo on a Sunday. To contrast today’s shoot, Joel and I will head to Avenue Paulista tomorrow in order to capture some of the frantic Monday morning rush at one of the busiest business districts in the city!

All the best,


Sao Paulo day 10

Posted 20th September 2009 by Daniel Emmerson

The Butantan Institute is a biomedical research centre in Sao Paulo. It is well known in South America for the development and production of various vaccines against a multitude of infectious diseases. The institute has been around since 1901 and is perhaps most famous for it’s collection of 54,000 serpents! Joel and I had discussesd the possibility of filming at the institute with some other guests at our hostel and they decided to come along with us. Anna from Russia and Evelyn from Mexico joined The Learning English Video Project as we made our way across the city in order to try and get some additional footage for the project at the Butantan Institute.

Even though both Joel and myself are at a massive advantage in that English is our first language, we still feel it necessary to try and learn other languages as well. Anna is fluent in Spanish, so we also spent a great deal of time speaking in Evelyn’s mother tongue. As an English teacher, I find it helpful to be able to speak foreign languages as it becomes easier to find out how and why students from different countries make different mistakes… I also find that learning foreign languages not only enables you to communicate with more people from around the world, but you begin to think differently about the way people behave and the way they perceive their surroundings. Due to the fact that Joel, Anna, Evelyn and myself were all foreigners to Brazil, this led to an extremely interesting debate about the importance of English as a dominating language in the world, even though it not the widest spoken.

We walked around the Butantan Institute all morning; filming at the microbiology department and serpent compound before retiring from the sun with cans of cold Guaraná Antarctica. We managed to get some excellent footage at one of Brazil’s largest biomedical research centres and bonded with our new friends on the way.

After leaving the institute, we took a taxi back to Vila Madalena and headed towards one of the Saturday markets. Amidst an array of designer materials, classic Bossa nova vinyl, cracked antiques and lemon couscous, I shot some footage of tourists and locals haggling over everything from pink latex gloves to cold coconut milk. It was a frantic afternoon in the Brazilian sunshine and an excellent opportunity to continue filming additional footage for the project.

Daniel and Evelyn - Filming at Benedito Calixto Flea Market

Sao Paulo day 9

Posted 18th September 2009 by Daniel Emmerson

We woke up early and had breakfast at the hostel, the idea was to drink as much coffee as possible in order to remain alert while filming in the city centre of Sao Paulo. Both Joel and I had been warned that this would not be an easy thing to achieve due to the amount of crime in the area, but we were both determined to get some footage of Sao Paulo Cathedral. We walked from Vila Madalena through the busy streets up to Clinicas metro station where we bought our tickets and submerged into the depths of the underground.

As with any major city in the world, the tube was busy; we were pressed together tightly as the underground train propelled us towards the city centre. After arriving at Subprefeitura da Sé, we began to make our way to ground level. Masses of people surrounded us but we felt no initial concern as to our well being; having filmed at many busy locations around the world before, Joel and I were both confident that the warnings we had received from the local people we had met were perhaps exaggerated a little. Upon embracing the daylight and being slightly taken back by the beauty of the cathedral, I reached for my tripod. Within seconds of me taking it from my bag, we were surrounded. A group of men advanced on us right outside the metro station and we had to make a run for it. I felt torn between my desire to capture the action on film and the need for me to keep my camera! We made it about thirty metres across the square when we found ourselves witnesses to a mugging; an angry man had a pick pocket pinned up against a wall and was demanding his wallet back. We ran in the opposite direction, taking cover in a fast food restaurant called ‘Giraffes’.


Sao Paulo day 8

Posted 17th September 2009 by Daniel Emmerson

It is easy to underestimate the size of a city. Even when you have spent the last few days trecking around, it is still sometimes easy to think the city is a a lot smaller than it actually is, just because certain things appear more familiar. Today we decided to walk from Vila Madalena to Escola Lourenço Castanho and it took us about an hour and half to do so. We were able to shoot as we strolled, capturing some footage of one of the busiest streets in the city. However, time was of the essence and we had to run to Escola Lourenço Castanho in order to get there for break time.

The school runs on a similar programme to most in the UK in that there is a scheduled 15 minute break in the morning. The only difference with this school is that everybody accumilates in the central outdoor concorse to discuss their lessons while listening to the rock music that pours from huge speakers all around the room. We were able to film some of the students we interviewed last week as they spoke to their peers and conversed in English. It certainly made a change from what we filmed at Juan Uribe School, but it turns out some of the students at Lourenço Castanho had studied there when they were younger.


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