Can you tell us a bit about Brother Film Co.?
I feel like pictures speak louder than words, and films even louder than that!
What got you guys into filmmaking?
We started making skate films as a hobby when Hugo was about 7 years old, and it kind of spiralled from then! We borrowed our dad's VHS camcorder which had no battery and therefore had to be connected to the mains at all times…not ideal for filming skate movies outdoors!
What do you think is the Brother Film Co. flavour that makes your work unique?
I think this probably comes from a combination of two things. Firstly, we're Brothers. We grew up together and started making films when we were all really young, so we have had a lot of practice filming together. We’ve been making films together for 18 years, so we instantly have a good idea of what each other are thinking and have a workflow on set that just feels quite in sync. I think this just takes a lot of time to evolve, so its maybe harder to find in other film companies. Secondly, none of us have been to film school or had any formal training. We think this self taught element is really strong - we learned how to do everything we know when we needed to know how to do it. We would have a problem to solve, or something we wanted to do creatively, or a request from a client, and we would have to work out how to do it. I think this brings an honesty and energy to our work.
Can you tell us a bit more about your music offering?
Yes! Hugo has always been into music - he plays so many instruments! He studied music technology down in Falmouth and started building a name for himself as a house producer (Après). Last year we brought Après under Brother (we’re releasing a number of tracks this year on various labels), and also started Brother Music which offers bespoke soundtrack solutions for video. We’ve got our own small library of music which people can license, and we also make bespoke soundtracks for about 80% of the films we make. We are all continually surprised (apart from Hugo I guess!) about the range of different tracks he can write - one minute its a Bhangra track for an Indian restaurant on Deliveroo and the next its classical piano for National Geographic!
Luke is a licensed drone operator - what do you think that adds to what you offer?
Luke was in the first few hundred people in the UK to be licensed by the CAA to fly drones, and at the time (2013) almost no other film companies were licensed to do this kind of work. Obviously the market has expanded a lot since then, but I think being in very early on really gave us a big push and helped our work stand out when we were still really young. We think aerial shots generally add a nice extra element to a film, or depending on the project can be central to the entire premise, why we try to stay at the forefront of the technology and regulations. Hugo is currently taking his CAA license so we will soon have 2 pilots in-house, and we try to keep our kit as up-to-date as possible - we just got the Inspire 2 drone with X7 camera. It's sick!
Your client list is nuts - both in terms of the number and calibre of your clients. Can you tell us about some of your favourite shoots?
Yeah we’ve been super lucky to work with some awesome clients, especially in the early days when some big name brands gave us a chance as young filmmakers. It only takes that one big client to show other agencies and brands that you can deliver - then slowly each new project kind of comes off the back of the name and results of the last. As for favourite shoots there might be too many to choose from! We did an awesome project with Badger Beer last year filming some custom beer sheds which ended up being one of the most successful brand videos of all time on Facebook, which is pretty nuts! And we’ve had some epic projects with Red Bull and Red Bull Racing over the years - the two that stand out most are The Life Of A Bolt (which is still the film that gets the best reaction when we show it), and F1 Scrum which ended up on primetime news as far away as Australia! We did a project in January this year near Paris with LifeProof phone cases where we got to build and film a skate/bmx/wakeboard playground in an abandoned waterpark - the entire experience was like being kids again, which was a great way to begin 2018.
Where do you see Brother in 10 years?
Still making films, along with a record label, music studio, photo studio.. and a half pipe in the office!