In Conversation with Gustavo Sampaio

Q&A with multi-award winning editor, filmmaker & Founder of NoHo CineFest

What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?

I look through emails and social media and start planning the things I have that day or week. Even on weekends, it’s hard to break away from my work because ultimately I enjoy it so much.

What gives you energy?

The excitement of something on the horizon that is a challenge and that will unite people to do something great. The North Hollywood CineFest film festival I run is literally all of that. But also in the work I do with filmmaking and even on projects that I’m brought in as a contractor for post-production. I can’t just do one thing. I’d get bored. My motivations come from working with great people.

What daily habit or practice helps you thrive?

I try to seek out things that inspire me. Whether it’s music, a TV show or a movie. I wish I could say that I work out at 5am every day. But it’s not how I’m wired.

Name a book that changed your life.

OK this is a little embarrassing because I don’t read books. I can’t say why because I don’t have anything against them and it’s certainly strange since I am in the business of storytelling. However, I have read numerous screenplays. I love stories but I have a hard time concentrating on books. I’m just more of a visual guy.

Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?

Ha… well, I do depend a lot on my phone, in large part because for a long time I’ve worked as a freelance professional, meaning that text messages and emails need to be replied to immediately to secure jobs. Plus, as a film festival director, I am constantly looking at our promotional efforts and communications with partners and filmmakers. So, it sleeps on my nightstand about a foot away from me.

How do you deal with email?

I like email over text messages or phone calls because it doesn’t require an answer immediately like the other two and it offers a chance to be more complete in thought than text messages.

You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?

Most likely listen to music. It allows me to relax and detach for a moment from things. However, if I have something new I’m looking to research or pursue, I may do that during that short time because, why not?

When was the last time you felt burned out and how did you overcome it?

Back in April I had multiple jobs and projects going on at the same time that lasted through May. I took almost a month off after that and traveled for 2 weeks within that time. Of course I was still connected communicating about future projects but for the most part I relaxed and enjoyed having time for myself and work on some personal endeavors I had been putting off for a while.

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