Today’s the premiere of the latest documentary film from the Bandito Brothers, “Waiting for Lightning.” To celebrate the film’s release and honor their team’s hard work, we sat down with Bandito Brother’s Director/CTO Jacob Rosenberg to discuss how technology has helped make it possible for them to shoot and record in some very untraditional locations.
Q: As with most of the Bandito Brothers films, Waiting for Lightning looks like a very hands-on film. Was it difficult for your team to have access all the necessary equipment to shoot, record and edit in a remote location?
A: We did have days in the field, and tents set up with crewmembers working on set. We had HP mobile workstations so all our content could be reviewed while on location. When the shot was done, we were always able to download to the laptop, which was our media management station and, because of the HP DreamColor monitor, we could review the files in a color accurate setting.
Q: It’s great that you had such versatile tools at your fingertips to make shooting in difficult places a bit easier. Were there other tools you used on location to ensure you got the shots you needed?
A: We brought the new HP Z1 Workstation out into the field with us while shooting. While it’s a bigger workstation, it’s all in one, and we were able to review all content in the same system. The Z1 can actually do just a little bit more work than the mobile workstation since it has a little bit more screen real estate, but both systems are really powerful. Using this system enables us to shoot and then have instant gratification as to the quality of the shot and to determine if it needs to be redone.
Q: Can you share what other hardware and software tools you used to aid in the creation of Waiting for Lighting? A: We used the HP Z820 as well as the Z1 and the HP Mobile Workstations. Software-wise we used Adobe Production premiere, Avid and a handful of VFX software tools as well as Blackmagic Da Vinci Resolve. We’ve been using HP Workstations on the hardware side for some time now, but this was our first time using the new Z1.
Q: What was it about the Workstations that made you look towards using the new Z1 to produce this film? A: Working with the Z Workstation is a great experience because it was so stable and fast and allowed us to bounce files back and forth. We were also able to import thousands of hours of shooting, which is unprecedented. We’re always shooting in different formats and frame rates, however everything in the end needs to be conformed and the HP Z Workstation has always been that solution for us. Our artists rely on these tools because of their 64 BIT optimization and because they never have to wait on the processing systems. Waiting hinders creativity, but this is never a problem when using HP workstations.
Q: In addition to using some Adobe productions tools, it seems as though HP workstations really helped to bring this film to a finished state. Given that you’ve been working on a few different versions of the HP workstations, what would you say are the best new features in the Z1? A: I really like the size of the monitor on the Z1, for editing and even 4K materials you can do a lot without feeling like you need an extra monitor. Additionally the USB 3 ports are great and the fact that you can update your RAM or put 2 drives inside it in order to created a RAIDED drive config is amazing! It’s a heavy device so I know a lot had to go into properly supporting it to stand up right and be able to bend and adjust the monitor the way you want.