Interview with Sarah Arruda. Talent without borders


It is a well-known fact that Brazilians have creativity in their blood, but some turn this quality into a profession. Such is the case of Creative Producer Sarah Arruda, recognized for her work in the multimedia industry.

In an interview with Wave Magazine, Sarah talks about her international career and provides fascinating insight on the production of web narratives for a Canadian market.

Wave: What made you embark on a career as a Multimedia Producer?

Since childhood, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the creative field – it was always inside me. But I think I had the great fortune of taking a university course (Concordia, Montreal) which opened the doors to the multimedia side of creation. I majored in journalism and communication, focusing on “documentary video, film and sound.” From the beginning of my university education, I was encouraged to work with different media and to have an open, media-agnostic training with respect to narratives.

Wave: You have worked on projects related mainly to the international market. Have you ever done audiovisual work in Brazil?

Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to work in Brazil, because I have been living abroad since I was 18. But I’m always very attentive to new talent and creative projects that come from Brazil. For example, I’m curious about the Latitudes transmedia project by Alice Braga. I would love to have the opportunity to undertake a co-production project with Brazil in the future.

Wave: Before moving to Toronto, you worked as a Producer in New York. Is there a Canadian savoir-faire or is this market a potpourri of already globalized concepts and practices?

I started my career in New York in advertising and on HBO Documentaries. Two very different environments, but both very fast-paced. When I moved to Toronto to work at the National Film Board of Canada (NF), I felt that the pace here was different, with a better quality of life. I was fortunate enough to witness a special moment at the NFB, which was the transition from the traditional documentary to the web documentary. Today, the National Film Board and Canada are world-class leaders in the production of web narratives.

Wave Magazine: Currently, you are a Creative Producer at Helios Design Labs. What type of work do you develop in the studio?

As the name implies, Helios is an innovative design laboratory. I love my work because it always varies, but inevitably it is always a challenge. At Helios, we are expanding the boundaries of storytelling and experimenting with new and current technologies to tell stories to people through the media most used by them, especially the internet. All our projects require a lot of imagination and patience – we joke that we are masters at feeling comfortable with discomfort. We begin each project with an open mind. We have a diverse range of clients, ranging from the NFB to the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, from Harvard University to established NGOs, as well as artists and filmmakers.

Wave: What projects have you and your staff developed that our readers can check out soon?

In October 2013, we launched the OFFSHORE ( ) project, which is a documentary originally made for the web platform. This documentary investigates the next chapter in the exploration of oil at sea and is told in the first person, through a virtual oil platform. We are also working with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra on a super-interesting interactive project: the World Online Orchestra.


Sarah Arruda no Twitter: @ArrudaSarah