by Flávio Silveira
When I was 16 years old, I came back to Brazil after six months in the USA as an exchange student. I wanted to make some money from my (newly) fluent English, but hated the idea of being an English teacher–I wanted to work alone, at home.
Then I read a story in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper about some “uncommon jobs”, and “subtitler” was one of them. And I loved cinema and TV series.
It was 1996, so I picked up the phone book (yes, no internet at the time) and started calling all the video producers, distributors and other businesses I could think of.
Some weeks later, someone called me back:
– You must have a VCR or two, because they’re gonna break frequently.
– Come pick up the tape near Avenida Paulista.
– Oh, and just one more question: we work only with porn movies, do you have any problem with that?
Well, it wasn’t even legal to give porn to someone under 18, but that work soon opened other doors: São Paulo International Film Festival, HBO Brasil, and MTV, among others.
From primitive computers and broken VCRs to sophisticated software and everything in the “cloud”, sixteen years later, here I am: a happy freelance linguist, and a journalist.