Brazil is Breathtaking! Does a more iconic skyline even exist?
Rio de Janeiro
Excitement surrounded us as we landed in Rio de Janeiro ready to explore our first South American destination for Gimme the Beat. We settled into our accommodation and reviewed some cultural details before embarking on an action-packed two days of dialogue and b-reel.
Our first stop was the Rio de Janerio Municipal Theatre (Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro) to capture few exterior shots. The the building was built with great attention to detail. The interior and exterior are both spectacular. The intricate stonework and eclectic design elements, inspired by the Paris Opera, were made to stand out here in Rio. The project coordinators hired the most influential artists of the time to paint interior walls, nothing was done without thought.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian (Metropolitan Cathedral of São Sebastião) was our next stop, followed by the Selaron Stairway (Escadaria Selarón) and Olympic Boulevard. Each landmark has its own unique character, and blended seamlessly into the streets of Brazil. We really got a feel for the vibe of the city on day one!
Next we captured some distance footage of Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor). Completed in 1931 by French Sculptor Paul Landowski, Christ the Redeemer is an incredible art deco statue of Jesus Christ with arms spread wild. The statue is symbol of peace, and is prominent in Rio! Seeing the figure in the distance, standing atop Corcavado Mountain, was everything you could imagine. We were awestruck by the sight. There are more than 30 statues inspired by Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer, but none quite as grand as Rio de Janeiro’s monument.
We wrapped day one of filming in Brazil with a gondola trip to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain to catch the sunset, and some distance footage of our surroundings. It was a full day, and we certainly enjoyed ourselves. A bonus was all of the local company we had!
Our second day was equally as amazing! We took an early morning trip to Telegraph Stone, a picturesque rock outcrop that is widely photographed. If you haven’t come across a photo of the scene it’s certainly worth a look (click here!) People are known to do some pretty wild stunts for a photo here!
We headed west and visited Recreio dos Bandeirantes, a neighbourhood and beach that share the same name. Great exposure and large swells make this beach perfect for surfing! All around the world surfing communities are know for their relaxed atmosphere and beautiful scenery.
Following our neighbourhood shoot at Recreio dos Bandeirantes we made our way to Rocinha for some distance footage. Rocinha was once a shantytown but improvements over time now classify this area as a favela bairro. The area is Brazil’s largest favela, and is mostly unregulated. The community does have access to basic plumbing, electricity, and cable and there are many businesses that operate here.
Next we made our way to Rio’s Botanical Garden. The gardens are home to a brilliant collection of ancient trees, orchids, and over a hundred species of birds. Moving on, we found ourself in Lage Park, and the base of Corcavado Mountain (where Christ the Redeemer stands). The park was fantastic!
We visited Ipanema and Copacabana, two lively upper-class, coastal neighbourhood with a ton of shopping, dining, beach going options. The lifestyles in Rio are incredibly different just a short distance away. Copacabana and Ipanema are both less than 40 minutes from Rocinha.
We finished the day with an incredibly Samba Show with Acadêmicos do Tuituí Samba School. While enjoying our jam-packed itinerary we ran into a Capoeira group called Acorda Capoeria who seriously blew our minds! Check out our highlights on Instagram to see what we did!!
Our first two days in Brazil were incredible, the weather was fantastic and everyone we met was friendly! We spent the next four days interviewing Brazil’s best percussionists. We’ll share on that next Thursday!