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Best Cop Ever: An Interview with Joao Bruno

Please tell us about the projects you worked on before making ‘Best Cop Ever’. How did you start, and how did you learn to make films?

Many years ago, I started doing small youtube videos as a kid, small “Action Films”. I was inspired by the amazing things other people were doing in the early era of youtube: the idea that I could take things into my own hands and make the stories in my head come to life was an epiphany for me: I just had to learn how.

 I was always fascinated by the energy, choreography and controlled chaos  in action films, and so It´s a genre that I've loved since the beginning.

And so I bought a cheap camera and started making short films with my friends, learning as we went: I taught myself how to film, edit, build DIY props and everything else, and movies were made.

I was very set on doing things my way, not the film school way: I studied computer engineering to learn how to code my own VFX tools, and later spent some time in the army and in special operations training in order to know how to make better action.

And eventually I decided to give a shot to a longer youtube video, and that project eventually escalated into my first feature film, “BEST COP EVER”.


Director João Bruno

Tell us about ‘Best Cop Ever’. How do you describe it?

BEST COP EVER is a wild, action packed acid trip across several different genres colliding. What starts out as a wacky police action/comedy, turns into a chaotic adventure as two different “movies” unexpectedly collide, dragging the main characters into a spiral of violence, and finally leaving them to confront the true nature of their existence, as forces beyond their world seek to stop their escape…

At its heart, BEST COP EVER is a love letter to filmmaking, where meta-humor playing with the nature of the media meets over-the-top action.


Please tell us about your favorite filmmakers.

I grew up watching old-school John Woo films, especially “Hard Boiled” and “The Killer” had a huge influence on me, the sheer spectacle of a well choreographed action sequence always fills me with hype.

On the other hand I´m also a big fan of deadpan comedy and visual humor, and I still consider “Naked Gun” by David Zucker and everything the “Monty Python” guys have ever made to be the funniest, timeless comedies that exist. I love that they make sincere comedy, with no irony, where these ridiculous situations are being taken completely seriously by the characters!

My third pick that deserves a mention is David Lynch not gonna lie. I always liked his very abstract and visual storytelling, where he presents a world to the viewer that isn't catering to you: the sensation that the world of a film exists beyond the runtime of it it's very important to me.

A weird assemblance of influences I know, explains why my movies are all over the place.

If you were given a good budget, what would be your ideal project?

I would love to make a large scale action film with tons of practical effects, and a big dose of horror infused, my second favorite genre. It would be a super cool experience to coordinate a large production like that and being on set with people way more talented than me, working together to make something that would really blow people's minds it's a lifetime dream for me. I have a large catalog of concept art for a “Magnum Opus” that I have been brewing in my mind and paper for many years that kinda fits that description, and I hope when the opportunity arises I’ll be skilled enough to give that idea the adaptation it deserves.


Describe how you would ensure that production is on schedule. What steps would you take?

Firstly I would plan to the most minute detail the logistic needs of the production: location, food for the crew, transport for the people and gear, which in my experience is the biggest time consumer. I try to make sure that everything is rehearsed well before the process of filming, everyone knows exactly what their job is and what the goals and timelines are for each day of filming, and most importantly: have a backup plan for everything that can go wrong. Because all plans inevitably don´t go as planned, and preparing for the unexpected can save hours if not days of everyone's time.


What was the hardest part of making ‘Best Cop Ever’.

Everything! Seriously now, I have a lot to say here because people need to understand how much we had to struggle to make this movie. We had absolutely no support from any company or government fund, we were all students in various STEM fields without any formal education in cinema and even less money. I had to save for years and deprive myself of a lot of things to get this movie made.

The hardest part was definitely having to handle all the production alone: setting up all the costumes, props and gear by myself, coordinating everything while also acting, and after coming home from a whole hard day of filming, having to prepare everything for the next day with no rest. Having to travel large distances to find places where we could film with realistic props without someone calling the police and sometimes filming for several days and nights in those spots without going home.

Then spending years afterwards editing and honing the special effects alone. I can say for sure that I suffered more doing some scenes in this film than I did in the army!

If possible, tell us about your next work. What plans do you have for your future work?

I have several things that I plan on doing in the near future:  I´m at the moment doing another short film, and for now I want to expand the universe and Ideas that I´ve started in BEST COP EVER, using the experience that I´ve gathered to take the next chapter of this story into another level. I have some very ambitious ideas in the making which I have no idea how I´ll make yet, but not knowing how to make something has never stopped me from doing it. And as long as people keep enjoying what I make, I´ll keep enjoying making them.


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