May 22, 2018

Lorena Lourenço – Class of 2011

Lorena Lourenço - Class of 2011

Lorena Lourenço – Class of 2011 is a filmmaker, director and producer.

After graduating from The British School, Lorena Lourenço (Class of 2011) studied a year at PUC before transferring to UCS (University of Southern California – School of Cinematic Arts – USA) for a course in Cinema. Since then, her #resilience and #creativity have clearly continued to develop, and we are extremely pleased to see that she has won the IndieFEST Intenational Film Award, at San Diego (USA) for her short film “Joy” – written, directed and edited by Lorena!! Congratulations, The British School is proud of your achievements! Some more information about the Film and International Award at

Check out this interview, elaborated and conducted by Gabriela Delamare – Class 11 student (2018).

1- How did the IB Diploma prepare you for your career as a filmmaker and when did you develop an interest in it?

I always knew I wanted to work with something creative, but as I started appreciating the mastery in films such as American Beauty and City of God I realized my passion was filmmaking. My dream of a career in film began to solidify when I was told during an IB curriculum presentation that one person who had recently graduated from the IB Diploma had gone on to pursue a degree in filmmaking. Once I realized that filmmaking was an actual degree I could pursue and that the IB helped you prepare for that I was ecstatic. By the end of that presentation I knew what I would go to college for. I was also extremely lucky in being prepared with the English and Drama courses I took throughout the IB. I started college fully versed in Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Beckett and Shakespeare, which was a great advantage, and to this day these teachings help shape my filmmaking.

2- What is a day in your work like and what challenges do you face as a filmmaker?

It varies depending on the project I am working on. If I am directing a project it varies between adjusting notes to a script, to running lines with actors, to meeting with the Director of Photography and Producers to fine tune the last details of a shoot. If I am producing it goes from location scouting, to coordinating shoots with cast and crew, to sitting in the editing room with a director helping them make creative choices. If I am editing it is usually just me in a dark room cutting and tweaking footage for hours on end. I believe the biggest challenge I face as a filmmaker is finding the platform to portray my work. There is quite a lot of saturation occurring in several areas of the entertainment industry, so there are fewer opportunities for the amount of qualified and talented people trying to break in. Therefore, finding your niche and place in the industry is one of the greatest challenges.

3- How did the school support you on your path to university? Did anyone specifically impact your career choice?

The school was extremely supportive in all the university choices I made. I first chose to go to a college in Brazil, for which I went to all the Vestibular classes TBSRJ offered. Those classes not only prepared me for the vestibular but broadened my horizons and taught me a lot. Six months into PUC I decided I wanted to study abroad instead, so I went back to Mr Garry Nash for help and he was an amazing mentor throughout the entire college application process for an international transfer. I also had amazing support from Mr Guy Smith, who had been a teacher, counselor and friend throughout the entire process.

4- Why did you choose to transfer from PUC to USC and what course were you taking at PUC?

I realized that unfortunately there weren’t as many opportunities in the film industry in Brazil and that most of my curriculum at PUC was not directly focused in film, as I wish it were. So I chose to transfer to an American college to take a stab at Hollywood. I was extremely lucky to have been accepted to USC (University of Southern California), which is lauded as the best film school in the U.S., and the connections and lessons I obtained at USC still help me every day. At PUC, I took many of the basic communications curriculum courses, as well as some Film and Philosophy elective courses. Ultimately, theoretical knowledge I was offered at PUC was extremely important and formative to me.

5- What inspired you to write your short film ‘Joy’?

“Joy” was inspired by an insane year of visa applications and when that visa, which established myself as a female Brazilian working filmmaker in the U.S., was derailed by the Trump administration, all I could do was anxiously wait without any support, security or stability because of my otherness. The longer I remained in that position the longer I realized that the world I lived in was not built for me; an immigrant, a woman, a latina. “Joy” is my cinematic expression of that harrowing experience as well as a way to emotionally process everything I had been through. I could not be more thankful for our actress, Joy Sunday’s, heartbreaking and raw performance in delivering something I had for a long time hidden deep inside me. Through “Joy,” I was able to offer my perspective as an immigrant Latina woman striving to work and live in the current American social climate – one where, unfortunately, xenophobia, sexism and racism seem to run rampant. But that doesn’t mean we can’t fight it.

6- What do you think was the most important thing you learned as a person at the school?

I think BSRJ taught me most of all to express myself, and have the courage to go all out and find what makes me tick, using every creative bone in my body. All of the amazing teachers I had at school validated my voice and perspective as a writer, as a creative and as a person. So much of that initial support is what helped me get to where I am today.

7- Are you planning any other films or other big projects at the moment?

Creating “Joy” and hearing such great responses to it has been extremely validating and has empowered me to dig deeper into a subject that means so much to me. Therefore, I am currently working on a feature-length script about how immigration can play into the fabric of human relationships and sometimes bring us together, but also break us apart. Whilst that script is underway, I work as the production coordinator on a documentary about sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood.

Lorena Lourenço - Class of 2011

Lorena Lourenço - Class of 2011

Lorena Lourenço - Class of 2011

Lorena Lourenço - Class of 2011


October 5, 2016

Giovanna Coutinho’2011


It is always an honour and great feeling to receive news from our alumni. This week, Giovanna Coutinho, Class of 2011, shared her ‘life after TBS” experience with us! Congratualtions for all your achievements, Giovanna. The British School family is very proud of you!


“I started at The British School in Nursery and went through all the way to Class 11, always being one of the “shy kids” in my year group. I always took an interest in the art classes and opportunities that were offered, and I can remember clearly that Class 5 was a pretty big arts year for me. I still remember one of the pieces I made very vividly – it was a clay sculpture based on Henry Moore’s work – and I was incredibly proud of it, even though I didn’t particularly know why at the time.

As I went on to Class 6, that interest in the arts continued to grow, and I started drawing and exploring different crafts more frequently during my free time and also in the classroom with Mrs. Arlete’s and Mrs. Leah’s support. As it was, Art quickly became my favourite subject at school, along with ICT and later ITGS, and looking back at it today it’s actually no wonder that I ended up in the 3D/CG industry. I recall enjoying all graphics-related content in IT class, including some extra-curricular “challenges” that were created to help us learn more about different software such as Microsoft Word and Photoshop. I had no idea at the time, but those opportunities definitely helped me shape a path that I would follow for my career in the future.

When we were told to find an internship opportunity near the end of my school years, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do yet – so I picked animation, since it was something I grew up with and legitimately enjoyed from a very layman perspective. It was actually very difficult to find an internship in this area – most opportunities we found were with design and advertising companies, since animation isn’t necessarily a big industry yet in Brazil. When I did find something in actual animation, it was at a small advertising studio which was working on a 3D ad about mosquitoes, which at the time didn’t particularly peak my interest since I was convinced I wanted to work on 2D, traditional animation.

University applications started rolling out, and I applied for the animation program in a number of art schools in the USA. I had a lot of help from different teachers at TBS, and ended up being accepted into a handful of art schools that peaked my interest. Cue September 2012, when I started my animation program at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

I always saw myself as one of the more diligent, prepared students in my yeargroup at SCAD, and I know my education at TBS was largely responsible for that. It was clear to me that people around me weren’t quite as prepared to try their hardest even in our core design classes, or even as comfortable to stand in front of the class for reviews and “dailies”. If you knew me during my time at TBS, you’ll know I wasn’t particularly comfortable with public speaking, but I’m very thankful that we had so many opportunities to improve those skills in school. I might not have known (or wanted to accept it) at the time, but those public speaking skills were essential to my success in university, even at an arts school. Before getting to SCAD I was under the illusion that I’d be able to continue to be my shy, quiet self, and when I got there I noticed many others were also surprised to learn that even as an artist, you must be able to communicate your ideas clearly and coherently. This made me wish I had taken advantage of more of the public speaking opportunities TBS provided, but even though I didn’t participate in too many of them, the ones I did take part in were enough to give me an advantage over most other students around me.

After taking some introductory courses to 2D/traditional animation, I figured out it wasn’t for me, and that I enjoyed computer animation a lot better – more specifically, rigging. Rigging is the stage of the animation pipeline which comes between modeling and animation – think of it as making a puppet. Modelers make the pieces and build the look of the puppet – riggers add the strings which allow the puppet to move – animators move those strings around to make it look good in motion. That being so, rigging is a very important step in the process, as it defines how good the animation will be able to be. It’s an art, but it’s also very technical and involves a decent amount of math as well as problem-solving skills and creativity.

I decided to become a rigger in 2014, graduated college in November 2015, and started my career at an animation studio called Rooster Teeth in March 2016.

Rooster Teeth makes web-based content, animated and live action, and has millions of fans. In 6 months of work here, I’ve rigged for 3 different shows – Mercs, RWBY Chibi and currently RWBY, which will premiere on October 22nd. For each project, I’ve worked on a pretty high percentage of assets, be they characters or props – we only have 3 members in our team, so I’ve had my hands on a lot of stuff and been responsible for some pretty big developments here.

Here are some examples of my work – all very motion-dependent.

RWBY Volume 4 Character Short – Premieres Oct 22

RWBY Chibi season 1:…

Red vs. Blue (mainly episodes 9, 10 and 11) season 14:…

RWBY season 4 isn’t out yet, but the trailer will be published next week – for now I’ll link to this Tweet with a tease of the trailer:


Thank you TBS for providing all the most important foundations skills I would need.”

By Giovanna Coutinho – Class of 2011