On the night of a highway truck robbery, 14-year-old Jamie is told by his older brother to stay home. Determined to prove himself, Jamie sneaks out and joins the others, inserting himself into the center of the action.

Created as a senior project at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts by Evan Ari Kelman, ‘Bandito’ is an effective tale of a young teenage brother making the jump into adulthood with the disapproval of others.

There are pivotal moments in our lives when we have to decide: Do we act true to ourselves, or cave for the approval of others? What if those ‘others’ are the people we look up to the most? This plays into an interesting transition that I wanted to explore, where childhood ends and adulthood begins. For some of us, that’s the moment when we understand our idols may not be the heroes we expected. We’re confronted with the reality that their approval is not be the best compass for our decisions. At that point, we have to choose to look inward and not outward for morality and character. For me, this is Jamie’s origin story, setting the course for the rest of his life as he discovers who he’s really meant to be, and at what cost.

The film put through an exceptional production while aiming at valuable character development as well as an intriguing turn of event. Attention to details in the layouts of the scene is quite evident from beginning to end.

Because many of the locations were far away from our base in NY, and many set-ups required large scale set-pieces, Cory and I had to get creative with how we conceptualized the coverage.

To do this, we used white-board, and miniature models of people and vehicles. On the board, we’d draw out the camera angles and movement. Then we’d take photos from the top-down to reference later.