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Updated on July 14, 2011
“The only thing stopping us right now is time,” said Fernando Coelho of the momentum behind his company, Panteao Productions.
In June 2010, Coelho resigned from the tactical clothing retailer EOTAC that he founded in 2005. When majority shareholder Remington announced its plans to relocate the facility to North Carolina, Coelho decided to step down. He said he still acts as a consultant for the company, but now predominately spends his time and resources on his most current business venture. (EOTAC could not be reached for comment regarding Coelho’s resignation at this time.)
Viewing this as an opportunity, Coelho explained Panteao videos will focus on firearm training from experienced instructors. “What I wanted to do is to create a company that would showcase all the top instructors in the country,” said Coelho, “and give people the option of either purchasing a DVD or watching them via streaming video from the website, which is something that just hasn’t been done in our industry.”
When asked why he started the company, he stated that a wide range of instructors who never received the credit they were due, such as Bill Jeans, Paul Howe and Bob Vogel. “Some of these instructors are 63- or 64-years-old, and while they are known in a very small, tight-knit community, many of their students are actually more well-known than the original instructors.”
Panteao already has 10 videos available for viewing with three videos nearing completion. They have nine instructors scheduled to film in the coming months and new titles to shoot with existing instructors.
“We have enough to keep us busy the next three years,” Coelho said.
Prior to founding EOTAC and an ammunition company Triton Cartridge in 1993, Coelho worked in film. In 1989, he was on a crew that filmed in Malaysia. He assisted the director, set up shots and even played a bad guy in the film. Some days, they would work 24 hours straight, he said.
“We treat this as a high-production, high-value filming with a crew that isn’t just some guys who are into shooting and know how to operate a camera,” states Coelho. “These guys are actually from the motion picture and television industry.”
Panteao’s lead cameraman, Rick Bravo, is no stranger to working behind a camera lens. Having collaborated with his dad, Rick Bravo Sr., on Miami Vice and Field of Dreams, he shoots for the Miami-Dade Police Department’s special response team. “He’s done a lot of camera work, but he’s also familiar with gunplay and how to film it.”
With Bravo’s connections, two seasoned cameramen were added to the production team. One shoots for the Miami-Dade and the other films professional sports games for Miami. In addition, the team also includes a script supervisor, a soundman and assistant cameraman. Depending on location and what is being filmed, a makeup artist or lighting crew may be used.
Most new video production companies would have difficulty lining up experienced instructors to film. Not Panteao. Due to Coelho’s extensive background in the gun industry, he knew who to ask and where to look.
“From 1993 to now, I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of top firearm instructors because either they shot my ammo or they used our clothing,” Coelho said. He explained that only knowledgeable people with a solid background in the tactical field are featured in Panteao videos.
“When someone comes to Panteao Productions looking for an instructor or looking for a specific skill set that they want improve upon, be it how to repair a 1911, servicing an AR-15 or learning how to shoot a carbine or shotgun, I want them to know that they have the best of the best in front of them.”
In addition to covering the tactical side of things, like handguns, carbines, rifle and long gun precision shooting, Coelho stated that they have planned on branching into competitive shooting, gunsmithing and armors repair and dog handling. In the future, he stated they would expand further into other things that are firearm-related. For example, how the 1911 is manufactured.
Panteao Productions will be distributed in various ways. DVDs can be purchased directly from the website. In addition, people can access streaming videos by paying a monthly fee. In combination with this, Coelho states that they plan on providing videos to dealers and mail order companies, as well as assisting other dealers in building up their product lineup.