Presenting of “Green vs. Gold”

By: Samantha Finch 

After months of planning, production and editing, “Green vs. Gold,” the Pace University documentary on Brazil’s struggles over the environmental and social impacts of the back-to-back World Cup and Olympics, premieredTuesday on the Pace Pleasantville campus and yesterday on at the Manhattan campus.

The film was extremely well received by audiences composed not only of family, friends, students and staff, but also community members with an interest in Brazil or sports.[Photos from the premiere can be found on the PaceBrazil Facebook page].

After weeks of piecing together our story, the team felt a mix of exultation and exhaustion, but exceeded all of our expectations. Without further delay, the spring 2014 “Producing The Documentary” class of Pace University proudly presents:

Green vs. Gold: Brazil’s Race to Balance Its Sports-Fueled Tourism Boom

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Rio Faces Olympic-Size Doubts About Its Preparations for the 2016 Games

By: Samantha Finch

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As the days countdown to the 2016 Olympics, everyone is watching to see if Rio will be ready. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

As our countdown continues to the release the Pace Brazil Documentary “Green vs. Gold,” so does the timer in Brazil. With Brazil struggling just to finish preparations for the 2014 World Cup next month, is it even possible to consider that the country will be ready for the Olympics?

In a recent New York Times article, John Coates, a member of the International Olympic Committee, said that Rio’s effort to prepare for the 2016 Olympics is the “worst I have experienced.”

When it was announced on October 2, 2009 that Rio de Janeiro, a city that has risen through the power ranks over the past few decades, was selected by the Olympic Committee to host the 2016 summer games — beating out Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid — the country erupted with joy.

But concerns have built for months, both inside and outside Brazil, about the status and of Rio’s sprawling, multi-billion-dollar Olympic plan. Continue reading

From Class Time to FaceTime in Final Film Push

By: Samantha Finch

 The final sprint is on with only one week left before the Pleasantville and New York City premieres of “Green vs. Gold” – our Pace University documentary on Brazil’s efforts to manage sports-fueled growth.

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Showing our professors the documentary via computers during our Sunday editing session. Photo Credit: Elise Vaux

Since returning from our 10-day filmmaking journey in Brazil, the May 13th deadline of our Pleasantville premiere has been a constant reminder that we were in a race. As a result, every student in this production class contributed several hours a week outside of our scheduled class time, we are now in sight of the finish line.

In last Sunday’s editing session, Cassie, Dallas, Vinny, Elise, and I continued to add and adjust the last pieces of video and sound to the film, which spans three locations and includes a host of interviews. After lining up all the clips, adjusting the “lower thirds” (the text blocks identifying people or scenes and providing translations), replacing a few shots here and there, and creating fades and other transitions, all we needed was feedback from our professors.

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A Gluten-Free Gourmet Finds a Culinary Haven in Rio

By Elise Vaux 

 Of all the luxuries of life I enjoy, my favorite combination is food and travel. A homegrown meat-and-potatoes Iowa girl, I love the thrill of dining like a local and expanding my culinary horizons. From gazpacho in Barcelona to freshly steamed crab in Deep River, Connecticut, the fear of the culinary unknown never trumped the potential satisfaction of discovering my next great foodie obsession.

A dietary obstacle revealed itself, however, when I was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 22. An intolerance to gluten, celiac disease can pose big challenges for any traveler in a foreign country facing a language barrier and unfamiliar cuisine.

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The sign of Rio’s Zaza restaurant. Photo Credit: Elise Vaux

Gluten is an elusive enzyme most commonly found in wheat flour but can hide in cream sauces, on the breading of fried fish, even in mashed potatoes or fries. In the mood for an Asian dish? Better check on a substitute for soy sauce, because gluten is hiding there, too. Gluten can be hard to avoid on home turf and in your first language, but is even tougher to avoid abroad.

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From Rio to the Editing Suite

By Samantha Finch

On our last morning in Brazil, two crews woke up early and conducted the final interviews closing out our reporting and taping. Next stop, post-production.

Alex, Cassie, Dallas, and Chad interviewed Professor Claudia Green, the Pace University business professor who has led students through Brazil for the past 14 years, teaching them about marketing, sustainability, and tourism in this fast-developing country.

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Capturing footage of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas during our interview with Mario Moscatelli. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

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Favela Living, Step by Step

By Charles Cooper

After days of travel on buses and boats, on our final full day in Brazil the Pace filmmaking team, along with Prof. Claudia Green and her business students, got to explore Vidigal, one of Rio’s soaring hillside favelas (informal urban settlements), the way countless residents do – step by step by dizzying step.

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The view overlooking one of Rio’s largest favelas, Vidigal. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

Our guide there was Theresa Williamson, the head of Catalytic Communities, a nonprofit group that is trying to help Rio’s several million favela residents press their case for more rights and services. Vidigal has roots dating back 117 years and has gone from being a haphazard, lawless slum to a functioning community, albeit one that still has a significant crime problem, inadequate education and other issues.

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