The Bandito mantra started back in 2003, while shooting Dust to Glory. They were trying to achieve a really immersive experience of riding a motorcycle or a car down to Baja by creating this authentic POV film, and the only way to do that at the time (pre-GoPro) was with inferior helmet cameras or pen and lipstick cameras. But, ultimately, the images from those cameras were so small that they weren't able to use them.
"I think it goes back to delivering on the promise of what you're making," Rosenberg posits. "I think that all of our format choices are based on what we know about the experience that we're delivering. So when we have really kinetic action, and the only way to get that action is with an 8-bit camera device, we don't worry that the audience will be thinking about the capture format because the action scene itself will be so visceral and immersive.
"I think people get excited about technology, and they put it first," he continues. "When that happens, you're not totally engaged to the storytelling component, which is way more important than the technology. We think it's essential to have our style and this commitment to the storytelling, then to find the camera that delivers on that. And it's okay if it's an 8-bit or has certain image anomalies. There are all sorts of rolling-shutter artifacts in Act of Valor, but we also feel that those things became the aesthetic of it, and Scott and Mouse really embraced that."
Another major trend that Bandito Brothers is witnessing has been ad agencies adding their own in-house postproduction operations. Rosenberg says that they used to be hell-bent on doing commercial production and the post at Bandito so they could remain fully invested in the product, but that today the agencies are servicing their smaller content on their own.
"Our model is a completely vertically integrated, small studio," Rosenberg concludes to the question of their growing and continued success as an innovative company in a competitive market for content creation. "What's empowering for us is that our brand and the quality and the type of work that we do defines what we are. So there can't really be another Bandito Brothers. What there can be are other companies that have distinct points of view and styles that have a vertically integrated organization where they do their own production and post."
"We're a transmedia shop," adds Waugh. "Whether it's a 30-second broadcast spot on TV or a two-hour feature—if it moves, we want to tell its story."
For more information on Bandito Brothers, visit their website at www.banditobrothers.com.