Paulo Botelho, Director at Estúdio Ícone Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
Have you heard that water has a memory? That's something I’ve learned during this quarantine. And only if you’re a dad and have watched Frozen II about 64 times you’ll understand me. Over here, mine is around two, and the time we’ve recently spent together at home has allowed me to follow her growth in a way I’d never been able to before. The routine at the studio used to leave me no more than the early morning and a few other hours to see her. Spending all this time with my daughter, in spite of the present circumstances, is being an amazing experience.
And now we’ve come to the main point in this chat: how to separate my home routine from my daily work? Well, I think the secret to succeed here is not separating at all. Sometimes I’m in the middle of producing an image and Gabriela asks me to watch a cartoon together. And that’s ok with me. We also happen to be playing our favorite game and a job steals me from her. This period at home has shown us how easy adapting to new circumstances can be. In just a few weeks what looked like looming chaos has become an organic routine. Today I am feeling much more creative, although I often have to run Estúdio Ícone in pajamas.
By the way, moving the studio to home office was not an easy task, especially at a moment when the company was on a roll, we were opening a new business front in São Paulo and expanding our international partnerships. We had to step on the brake, take a deep breath and take the way which seemed the safest for us. We had always had artists working remotely for us, but never our entire staff. However, this new experience has made us regard ourselves as team more than never. I think the irony about social distancing is that it has brought people even closer together, in a way. We feel more empathy for one another; we can clearly see what each of us is going through.
In our work routine we've had daily meetings with all the artists of the studio in order to keep on the same timeline along the day. It’s a way to preserve the exchanges within the team and to stay aligned with our projects, even if we’re all working from home. And do you know what? It’s going very well. When social distancing started I didn’t know I’d be able to cope with it. But now I'm sure I wouldn’t cope without it. After all, I still need a few screenings of Frozen II.
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