Home Cinematography Showcase YOUR work: Filmmaker’s Spotlight

Showcase YOUR work: Filmmaker’s Spotlight

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

HV Filmmaker’s Spotlight

I probably get asked on a daily basis why do I share? It is very simple – because it is the right thing to do. We offer a blog, which my wife and I were so passionate about creating, and we personally financed it for the first year before adding the sponsor component. Why would we choose to do this? Simply put, Lydia and I believed in the vision and wanted to give back to fellow filmmakers.

Our content is unlike no other on the Internet. I give of my time and expertise to educate filmmakers across the world while shooting feature films and commercials. I answer every blog comment personally and I am incredibly responsive on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. I am here for all of you and in turn, I would love to hear about what you are learning – to have more back and forth dialogue. Every question or discussion is an opportunity for us to learn. The HurlBlog takes an extraordinary amount of time and commitment to deliver the quality that has been present since Day One and your input takes it to a higher level.

Just a quick note that blogging is not my full-time job, though I enjoy doing it. I am an experienced cinematographer with 18 feature films under my belt, over 500 commercials and hundreds of music videos. This is not something I need to do to puff my feathers or make a name for myself. I am a member of the ASC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I write from my heart because I am passionate about educating and inspiring and always wanted a resource like this when I was beginning my career. My mother was an educator for over 30 years and it is in my blood. Giving back and sharing is a core value that my parents instilled in me.

It is important to remember that this educational resource has remained free thanks to the support of our amazing sponsors and a phenomenal team that has given because they too believe in this vision. Your comments on posts and interactivity take it to an even higher level. We are asking for your participation and support. Tell your friends, your colleagues, film professors, students and anyone who might be interested about what makes this blog special. Now that we got all this straight, let’s move onward and upward.

Many of you have asked for feedback on your latest work of art. Here is your opportunity. We are now launching the HV Filmmaker’s Spotlight, which is all about fanning your creative flame as storytellers and cinematic artists. Quarterly, we will select a filmmaker that we feel has what it takes.



You only need to answer a few quick questions along with a link to your work. Here is our first Filmmaker’s Spotlight winner.

Olympic Hopeful, Up & Coming Filmmaker

Meet Iain Trimble
We would like to congratulate Iain Trimble of Kansas City on winning a reel review with Shane in our recent blog contest. Iain’s submission was a Trailer that he did on a fictitious movie, entitled RCvT: RoboCop vs. Terminator.

We were delighted to get to know our reel review winner a little better. Iain is not only an up and coming filmmaker; he is also an Olympic Hopeful. Iain is currently training for the javelin events within track and field for the 2016 Olympics. We wish him all of the best in both endeavors.

Iain is a recent graduate of the University of Kansas Film Studies. He has aspired to be a filmmaker from a young age. He started filming his family and friends back in the 3rd grade and participated in several film festivals in high school. He and two friends started a production company called Rock Haven Films, devoted to creativity and innovation, producing high quality content for film, television, digital, and commercial purposes. From the earliest stages of conceptualization all the way through to the launch, everything is done in-house, including motion graphics and sound design.

Josh Doke, the Director of the film, came up with the concept for the trailer. It is based on one of their favorite video games. Iain found the Hurlbut Visuals website while conducting research for this project. Iain reported that he now follows the Hurlblog and Roger Deakins’ website faithfully.

The budget for the project was $2,000. Their goal was to make a cinema quality trailer using the equipment that they already owned. The wardrobe in the trailer looks authentic. However, it was all a product of this talented team’s ingenuity. Iain’s colleague, Mark Schroer, was the genius behind the creation of the Robocop suit. They modified and painted Nerf guns to make the weapons. We think they did an awesome job and look forward to great and wonderful things from these young filmmakers.

Iain stated that he was inspired by our blog posts on how to be resourceful by using what you have available to tell your story. Here is a great example of Iain’s ingenuity with lighting.

A homemade ring light built with a holiday wreath frame and holiday lights that Iain created for a music video.

A homemade ring light built with a holiday wreath frame and holiday lights that Iain created for a music video.

Iain shared that reading the HurlBlog helped him gain confidence and be less intimidated to tackle any project. He has tried to adopt Shane’s philosophy of focusing on the emotion in a scene, developing a simple and well thought out plan before executing. We think it shows in his work. Don’t you?

We received this amazing thank you note from Iain after his Skype conversation with Shane:
“Thanks again for the discussion and mentor-ship last week. Your desire to help those starting out or that don’t have the means really shows your passion for filmmaking! At first, I was, of course, intimidated but soon felt very comfortable talking with you. You are incredibly personable. Since we spoke, I watched The Greatest Game Ever Played for the first time and wow! There are few films that bring a tear to my eye and The Greatest Game is now one of them. Very powerful and moving piece!!! The lack of catch light in Elias Koteas’ eyes really helps visualize his character.

I also love the unique work when Ouimet and Harry Vardon’s characters focused on the hole and everything else fades away. But my favorite shot was looking down at Vardon’s club and seeing the reflection of the aristocrats that tore down his home.

DAMN! Thank you for helping turn on the light bulb in my head! You’re a great craftsman and mentor. Thanks again for the opportunity. It means a lot to folks like me.”

Comments like that inspire us to keep delivering the content on this blog. We hope that it inspires you too! Iain, we love tossing gasoline on that creative flame that is YOU!!! Go out there and move and shake things up!

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Actor Elias Koteas

Actor Elias Koteas

The Greatest Game Ever Played

The Greatest Game Ever Played


Filmmaker’s Spotlight Entry


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Cristian Carceller November 7, 2013 at 2:52 PM

18 years old, LA. All digital

Shane November 10, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Cristian – Thanks for the link and comment. Please fill out the form linked within the blog post for consideration. Looking forward to checking it out.

jnichols@grandblancschools.org January 8, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Shane, I too was inspired by my parents who were also longtime teachers. Long story short. I’m an AVID Master editor who cut a ton of different stuff by day at Vidcam VMS, in Grand Blanc Michigan since 1992. My father passed away last year, and I knew our local High school was looking for a “Multimedia” Teacher. I knew this was a MAC friendly FINAL CUT X class basically, so I decided to call it Broadcasting and Video Productions. Your Blog has inspired me too to become a better person, outside of this editing profession and TEACH my craft!! Thank you so much for all that you have done for me, and my incredible students!!! Please keep up the good work.


James Nicholson

AVID Master Editor
Apple Certified Professional
NFL Instant Replay-Detroit Lions
BigTen Instant Replay Official
Broadcasting Teacher • Grand Blanc High School • Room 506

Shane January 8, 2014 at 1:37 PM

jnichols@grandblancschools.org, these are the comments that keep me going. Thank you so much for all the kind words and support. That is so cool that you are doing that. Exciting blogs to come in 2014. Need for Speed in March and a new movie on the horizon with Spielberg again.

Criss January 28, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Few days ago my wife and I have watched “Drumline”. At the end, on the scrolling credits I pointed my finger at your name and said: “Thats my teacher, and a friend of mine!”.
She: “Yeah, tell me about it, you live in a country maybe he never heard about, and he’s your friend and teacher, don’t make me laugh!!!”
“Maybe he don’t know me personally, but through his site we are connected, and for me is like I said, teacher and friend.”
On my browser always are open your site, it’s a holly grail for me (to be honest another one is still open next to yours, a Roger Deakins site…)
Just keep going we need you.

Shane January 28, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Criss, I am not leaving and tell your wife that I am your teacher and your friend. Mentorship is something that is being forgotten in this world of needing it yesterday and no commitment. Mentorship takes time, passion and compassion. All three things that I have and continue to share with all of you. Friend

Chris R August 15, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Hi Shane. Just want to thank you for sharing your knowledge. I`m from South Africa and it is impossible to find good training or books that can help out here. There is so much on the internet, but none of it is any good. Thanks again. What you are doing is going to make a big difference to many aspiring cinematographers/filmmakers. Regards Chris

Shane August 15, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Thanks so much for your kind words. It is your attitude and thirst for knowledge that inspires me everyday to keep on educating. I hope that I am able to continue to make a difference for you.

Mulk Raj September 28, 2014 at 2:41 AM

Mr Hurlbut, you and your blog are like the character of Malone in The Untouchables, whispering the words “what are you prepared to do?”. That’s my way of saying, you inspire me. Thank you.


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