Home Camera The Canon C300 on an El Pollo Loco Spot

The Canon C300 on an El Pollo Loco Spot

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

The Canon C300 had just been delivered to my door step, and I got a call from John Krueger, a director whom I met at our HV Bootcamp 2 years ago. John and I first worked together about one year ago. The current spot was for El Pollo Loco, and the concept was a very action oriented camera, with snap zooms and quick handheld push ins and pull outs. I thought the C300 would be the perfect camera for this job, lightweight and maneuverable. Taking advantage of Canon log to expand my latitude for the day exteriors as well as interiors for shooting with flaming chickens would be essential. We rigged the C300s with lightweight zooms and readied for ACTION!

D.P. Shane Hurlbut, ASC and director John Krueger discussing a shot.

D.P. Shane Hurlbut, ASC and director John Krueger discussing a shot.

We scouted two stores and settled on the one in Long Beach with many windows and orientation to the sun. John wanted the look and feel to be fresh, filled with early afternoon sun.

 

El Pollo Loco exterior

El Pollo Loco exterior

Paskal Lighting Truck

 

Derek Edwards and Marc Margulies pulled focus and were getting used to a new platform once again. They felt really positive about the focus on the job, and I was constantly at an f2.0 most of the day.

 

Elite team member Mike Svitak slating the shot

Elite team member Mike Svitak slating the shot

Elite team member Marc Margulies checking distance.

Elite team member Derek Edwards checking focus.

Elite team member Derek Edwards checking focus.

 

Here is the finished spot. I think it has a fresh look. Vashi Nedomansky did the edit on Premiere Pro, and Matthew Macar did all the graphics. Thanks to Derek Johnson for the BTS photos in the post. Enjoy!!!

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67 comments

Stas Tagios March 28, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Thanks for the detailed info and pics, Shane! As usual, you continue to be a great source of knowledge and inspiration. Very much appreciate you taking the time to share with us!

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Thierry Dauga March 29, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Completely all right with you Stats. Thank you very much to team and you Shane for this excellent sharing! 😀

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Thierry Dauga, you are so welcome, thanks for the support

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Stas Tagios, thank you again for all of your kind words and support

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Stas Tagios March 28, 2012 at 4:43 PM

BTW, the spot looked great:) How are you liking working with the C300? Are you impressed with the quality of the image you’re getting? How does it hold up through post?

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vashi nedomansky March 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Post went very smoothly. It lasted 15 days and I cut and colored at my studio in Santa Monica. We cut a 30 second spot, a 15 second lift, a 15 second Spanish version, and 2 alternate versions in English and Spanish. I edited on Premiere CS 5.5 natively with the C300 MXF footage. I used Davinci Resolve to color grade and outputted Pro Res HQ (1920×1080 @29.97) for QC and final broadcast. Shane got the image so close in-camera that my grade was just tweaking the C-log footage to make it pop and add contrast. In a couple shots, I added power windows to flag a couple areas and direct the eye towards the talent…but never had to adjust white balance or overall hues. Shane destroyed it with his consistency and raw image creation and capturing. Made my job easier and quicker to the finish line. I created the sound design in Audition and Margarita Mix in Santa Monica did the final mix in 5.1 and Stereo for broadcast. Hope that helps!

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Stas Tagios, the C300 looks a little video for me, trying to figure out the right cocktail with it. I think Vashi did a great job coloring it. Looked sweet

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Edward Martinez March 29, 2012 at 6:13 AM

Dear Mr. Hurlbut

I just want to really thank you for putting up post like this show which lights you used and the finally product. It really helps students like me in school ensure want were learning is currently used in the industry.

Thank You,
Edward Martinez

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Edward Martinez, you are welcome and that is why I am hear and what makes the HurlBlog different. Spread the word my friend.

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KShaw March 29, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Great post and insight, Shane. Interested to know what kind of lenses you used for your setups. I assume PL glass but could be wrong. Thanks for sharing!

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:49 PM

KShaw, Thank you so much for your kind words. I used Panavision lightweight zooms on this. Loved the look and feel. 17-35, 28-70mm.

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Nacho Martinez March 29, 2012 at 8:06 AM

Really nice, illustrative and Interesting Post as always!!! Thanks very much to all the team for the time and effort sharing so valuable and detailed info!!!

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Nacho Martinez, you go it and you are very welcome.

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Oli Kember March 29, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Wow. Such an incredible amount of thought and attention to detail. End result? You are thinking solely about the product and the brand. Mission accomplished. Thanks so much for sharing. Impressive package too. (Lighting..)

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Oli Kember, hello my friend. Thank you so much for those wonderful kind words

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Joseph March 29, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Hey Shane, if you don’t mind me asking what was the total cost to rent all the equipment minus your own Shane Hurlbut equipment a day? With the C300 being an awsome low light performer did you find that you did not need all of that lighting?

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mel haynes March 29, 2012 at 9:18 AM

I’ve always wondered what it would cost to have a truck like that with all those goodies in it would run too.

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craigc March 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM

fairly easy to do the cost for Grip and lighting for this one, you can goto the equipment house and pull all the info from their webpage,, looks like standard 5 ton grip package, then add the day rates for the HMI and Kinos, add the supercranks, these items and the lights are usually as used on a spot like this, add the 1200 amp gennie thay had to bring. take 20 to 30% off the day rates, for the local PM who always uses this equipment house. there are no discounts for the fuel costs, that gennie drank about 60 gallons that day at 5$ per gal. base truck package no discount, gennie maybe discounted somewhat. add the expendables, gaff tape snot tape gel etc,, add the drivers day rate A strong 5 figure invoice from the grip and lighting provider.

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craigc March 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM

I sould have said strong 4 figure invoice from grip house,,,

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM

mel haynes, the grip truck goes for like 550 a day and then the lights for this spot without discount were 10k.

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craigc March 29, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Spots like this need to pop, hoping that the low light ability of the camera will save you is not the case here, Ya gotta light it up to make it pop. Shane gives very detailed information here about the light and color selection,, ( adding CTS ) etc. even with the stills to help ya out you have to read it two or three times to grasp the setups.. Thanks Shane for the details.

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Joseph March 29, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Hi Craig, I didn’t mean any disrespect to Mr. Hurlbut, he is by far a hell of a lot more knowledgeable than myself and has done a lot more and larger projects than I have, but I know that the C300 has a crazy low light iso range and I was just wondering since it sounds like this is Shane’s first shoot with the C300 if he found that he didn’t need to use as much of the kit than he thought he would need. I have a small production company and I can only dream at this point to rent this amount of equipment, but even at my level of productions I find myself loading everything but the kitchen sink, but I found in this business it is always good to be safe than sorry.

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Shane April 1, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Joseph, This is a great question. Just because the camera has a sensitive sensor means absolutely nothing if you are shooting with the influence of mother nature. If you put your self in a darkened stage then you can light with a flashlight if you want to. But I have to balance windows, I have to balance to the flames. Flames are about a f16 at 850 ISO, so I have to bring the level up so the flames look real and not some nuked out junk that you see when people don’t light. Just because this camera has high sensitivity it doesn’t mean that can lower you’re lighting budget or that you don’t have to light. Biggest disservice to this revolution, is not to light.

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Frank Paul Perez October 26, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Shane,

First great job! Yes, I agree with you 110% and love this statement at the end…”Biggest disservice to this revolution is not to light”.

PS. I was in the audience when you came to San Mateo to talk about shooting with 5D on “Act of Valor”. Also, a great talk and really loved your energy!

Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Joseph, 10K was the total price.

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mel haynes March 29, 2012 at 9:21 AM

great post as usual Shane. I guess this spot was also the marking of the end of the Hurlbut family expansion. Steam…ouch

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM

mel haynes, LOL, yes that seems to be true, boy that was steamy

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Donald Bérubé March 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Looking good Shane!

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Shane April 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Donald Bérubé, thank you so much for your kind words

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jlevy March 29, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I’m sure shane doesn’t know the actual cost of the lighting and grip equipment, but thats a pretty standard 5-$6000 dollar package, then you are talking about 10k in crew needed to run and manage it all.
also, thank you shane for the tiffen indie filter kits you put together, just got mine and have to shoot my first video on the 5DMK3 by myself this weekend, no assistants! so this is going to help me immensely. what a nice sweet package and well worth the price.

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Joseph March 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Thanks for the dollar amount jlevy. My production company is realitivley small and I haven’t had the client yet that will pay for a large productions as this. For small production companies like myself were always looking for dollar amounts to better our knowledge for posible future shoots. I rent lens, but beyond that I own most of my gear for the level of shoots I do.That’s what I appreciate about Shane is that he’s always helping the little guy like me better ourselves by giving all this wealth of information, thanks Shane.

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jlevy March 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM

no problem, yes I’m impressed with shane’s explanations and transparency on his lighting techniques. i know that most DP’s would never give away what they do. i find that’s the reason why the articles in American Cinematographer magazine are so vague.

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Shane April 1, 2012 at 6:38 PM

jlevy, that is correct. I am an artist, and I am transparent. The days of holding shit close to the chest are over. I love giving back and pouring gasoline on this revolution.

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AJ October 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

very rare, indeed. i’ve been locked on the website for the past couple hours…thanks shane!

Shane April 1, 2012 at 7:06 PM

jlevy, That package was 5500K. Big discount as well. You are very welcome, I am glad you like them. I love those filters.

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Aaron March 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Is that part at 0:23 a zoom or a push in? Looks cool.

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Darryl April 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

@Aaron, That looks to be a push but speed ramped in post, pay attention to how well the focus pull was executed, Nice!

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Darryl April 1, 2012 at 12:49 PM

@Aaron, On a second look, it actually could be a zoom, then cropped and keyed the position, Not sure now need to ask vashi.

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vashi nedomansky April 1, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Hi Darryl… That was pure Shane manual in-camera-snap-zoom action! Luckily for me…no digital zoom, keying and repo-ing needed!

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Shane April 1, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Aaron, that is a snap zoom on a 17-35 lighweight Panavision zoom. Loved the feel of this baby.

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Aaron April 2, 2012 at 6:51 AM

Very cool.

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William Tuke March 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Many thanks for sharing so much detail on your blog. It is now on my ‘must watch’ list. Much appreciated.

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Shane April 1, 2012 at 6:31 PM

William Tuke, thank you so much for your kind words and support. Great to have you. We do things much different here. We actually create!!!

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Aydin Odyakmaz April 1, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Great commercial, thanks for posting this on the C300. By the way what was the total production budget on this?

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Shane April 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Aydin Odyakmaz, I think it was just around 350K.Thank you so much for your kind words.

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Roberto Seba April 4, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Thank you for taking the time for writing these posts.
Your website has been a great source of information for me.
I´m hoping I can get to watch Act of Valor here in Brazil.

Keep up the good work!
Congrats!

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Shane April 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Roberto Seba, thank you for those wonderful words of support. Love to hear your comments once you see it.

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Shane April 5, 2012 at 10:11 AM

We’ve got a release date of June 15th for Act of Valor in Brazil.

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Roberto Seba April 18, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Wow! That´s great news! Looking forward to it!
Thank you!

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Oren Arieli April 4, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Great spot and BTS post. As others have already mentioned, your willingness to share is a great testament to your character and stills. I’m looking forward to learning more in future posts.

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Shane April 7, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Oren Arieli, thank you so much for your kind words and support. Much appreciated

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Bridger April 5, 2012 at 7:34 AM

Shane, love the spot. Your blog is one of my favorites. Thanks for the transparancy and doing what you do. Earlier you talked about lighting for flames. Was the idea to bring up all the light around them so they weren’t so bright in comparison? Am I understanding this correctly? Also, any quick tips for lighting food? The salsa and avacado shots look great.

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Shane April 7, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Bridger, you are very welcome and thank you for your kind words. Yes I had to bring the levels up so that the flames did not blow out and look all video clippy, if that is a word. The food photography I did not do, that was another DP.

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Shane Muir April 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Thanks for the info! I definitely appreciate articles like this. You can’t just find stuff like this anywhere.

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Karl Stelter April 6, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Shane – I just found your blog after recently viewing the Act of Valor behind the scenes, and I have to say thank you so much for the in depth analysis and honesty across the board. Such an excellent source of info!

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Shane April 7, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Karl Stelter, you are very welcome. Glad to have you aboard.

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Shane April 8, 2012 at 10:07 PM

You are so welcome and thank you for your kind words of support

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Steven Moses May 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Steven Moses was the Director/DP on the food scenes which he did with the Alexa camera w/ T-Rex & Arri Macro lens systems.

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paolo July 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Shane,

Thanks as always for sharing precious info.

I would like to know if you have any tips for setting up the picture profiles on the C300, or any settings you may recommend.

Thanks!

Paolo

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Shane July 9, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Hi Paolo. I shoot in either Canon log or use a custom picture profile with the Cine 2 gamma curve with R-G channel set to -8 If I don’t want as flat of a look. Check out this site for more detailed info on recommended settings http://cpn.canon-europe.com/files/news/video_expert_produces_eos_c300_report/Alan_Roberts_on_the_Canon_EOS_C300.pdf. Thanks for the comment and support.

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paolo July 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Shane,

Thanks a million!!

Paolo

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paolo July 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

ooops the site is missing….could you please re-post it?

Thanks again!!!

Paolo

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Bob Demers August 11, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Hi Shane:

Great spot; nice and snappy. On your footage, how did you accomplish the delightful flames on the grill, yet not cause the chicken to burn and smoke? They come off as an neat caricature of grill flames.

Cheers.

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Shane August 14, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Bob Demers, those were all flame bars under the chicken, not a true grill, so we could control the size and color. I think the C300 handled it very well.

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