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Cinematography Trainee Opportunity with Hurlbut Visuals

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

Why start a DSLR rental division? I have been asked this question many times. You cannot be a pioneer if you do not know your format inside and out. You cannot innovate if you don’t shoot.

I started out at a camera, lighting and grip rental house in Boston when I was 21 years old. It was the best training I ever received. Starting from the bottom, understanding how the equipment works, how you fix it, how to punt when everything goes wrong and curve balls are thrown your way, is essential to learning the format. A rental house teaches you so many skills. Four of our Elite Team members: Bodie Orman, Mike Svitak, Derek Edwards, and Andrew Laboy went through the two year long camera trainee program at Panavision/Hollywood. The program taught you the essentials in becoming a assistant cameraman or woman.  If you ask any of them, they will tell you it was so worth it.  Hurlbut Visuals is offering a version of this program, by not only learning the ins and outs of the camera system but hands on experience that will teach you cinematography, composition, lighting and organization.

Team in the tundra on “Deadfall”

We are expanding our rental division and if you aspire to become a cinematographer, this is a great option. If you possess a strong work ethic, prior experience in the HDSLR format, a great attitude, a big smile, and infinite passion, then you have met the necessary requirements. Demo reels are welcome, but hard work and determination are what we want.

Currently, we have four filmmakers who are training to be cinematographers in our rental division. They have received hands- on experience that builds instincts. They are learning to think in the moment on a project by working on productions with a variety of talented people. Immediately you are thrown into the fire to see if you can rise to the challenge.

Going gun to gun with the Navy SEALS

Elite Team member Darin Necessary readies the 15 Canon Camera Package

We are designing and testing gear for the future, pushing the DSLR, HD and film envelope. Story, composition, lighting, mood, style, camera movement and organization are all essential to becoming a Director of Photography. We are looking for interns to work with us in the DSLR Rental Division.  To help blaze the trail.  Please note that this is an unpaid position. If you are ready to learn more, please follow these three steps.

1. Download and fill out the Hurlbut Visuals Personal Information Form


2. Be sure to tell us why you would be a good addition to Hurlbut Visuals and include any links to your work.

3. Send resumes/links to Hayden via email only with the subject line “cinematography trainee opportunity”. Your resume must be submitted by 11:59pm PST on June 9, 2011.

Hayden Houser
Director, Hurlbut Visuals DSLR Cinema Rentals

3115 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(888) 514-0967 ext. 110




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Wade Yamaguchi May 20, 2011 at 2:19 AM

I’m really excited about this opportunity. I’ve been searching awhile now for a program like this and I think it fits perfectly for what I’m looking for. I’ve been shooting on the DSLR format for a little over a year but I really want to learn how to shoot on film. How long will the internship last? Thank you for pushing the art of filmmaking forward, I really respect what you guys are doing!

Shane May 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Wade Yamaguchi, please send a resume and fill out the form, we look forward to reviewing it.

Liam Hirrell May 20, 2011 at 5:21 AM

How long does the position last for? I would love to get this experiance but as i live in ireland i dont know how long i could afford to do it for. Thank you for your blog it really inspires me. liam

Brendan May 20, 2011 at 7:47 AM

Shane, would we have to travel to California or the midwest? Because I live in CT.

Shane May 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Brendan, yes this is a full time in position based in Los Angeles.

Andy Clancy May 20, 2011 at 2:06 PM

This sounds great, when does it start and how long is the internship for?


Shane May 20, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Andy Clancy, the trainee program is basically a trial period for possible full time employment within Hurlbut Visuals.

jason May 20, 2011 at 4:49 PM

How long is the program? Very intrigued but the financial logistics are intimidating

Shane May 20, 2011 at 6:40 PM

jason, the trainee program is basically a trial period for possible full time employment within Hurlbut Visuals.

Thaddeus Setla May 20, 2011 at 5:23 PM


This is a great opportunity after watching all of your educational videos and putting them into practice on my productions I would be honored to be considered for this position and look forward to hearing from you. My Resume and Application have been submitted!

Shane May 20, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Thaddeus Setla, looking forward to it, thank you so much for your kind words. I will be reviewing them very soon. Spending some much needed family time this weekend.

Thaddeus Setla May 20, 2011 at 7:28 PM

as you should… have a great weekend!

Matt Nicholson May 21, 2011 at 4:08 AM

Are people from countries outside the USA able to apply? I’m from Australia…

Shane May 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Matt Nicholson, absolutely. We would love to extend this program to the world.

Ted Kieniewicz May 21, 2011 at 5:48 AM

Is it possible to apply from Europe for this “course”. I’m planing to move to LA and I would love to try my passion over Shane’s wings. cheers.

Shane May 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Ted Kieniewicz, Absolutely, this sounds perfect for you if you are planning on moving to LA. Please submit your details and resume to Hayden.

Ted Kieniewicz May 21, 2011 at 4:16 PM

allready done!

Angel May 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I have always loved film and until recently I shot a short film and i fell truly in love with directing, cinematography, and editing. I was raised in Bakersfield, California and from that small town migrated from Los Angeles to San Diego where I have managed to get some good internships with well known News and Film companies; However it is quite difficult to find opportunities like this one offered by Hurlbut Visuals aimed specifically towards cinematography. I am about to get my bachelors in communications concentration in digital media and in my submission I will send a link of my movie which I took over fourteen hours editing. I captured it with rental Panasonic camera i rented at school, but nothing I have ever done in my life, not a painting nor a photograph has giving me so much self worth and great sense of accomplishment as this short seven minute peace. I hope you enjoy it and see the potential that is lurking within me. All i need is the opportunity.


Shane May 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Angel, We would love to consider you for this opportunity. Please send necessary info. onto Hayden.

Trev May 22, 2011 at 5:54 AM

Hey Shane, in what month are you looking to start the new people in the position? Thanks!

Shane May 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Trev, we are looking to start in mid June or beginning of July.

John May 23, 2011 at 8:34 AM

that looks like such a great opportunity for an aspiring cinematographer. I would love to take the chance. to bad I live in Germany 🙁

hisonni May 24, 2011 at 9:13 PM

I submitted last night. I’m still excited at even the prospect of learning from the best. I hope to hear from you.


Shelika Emmanuel Jnr May 25, 2011 at 2:34 AM

Uncle Shane, is opportunity also opened to people out side America?

Shelika Ee’mman Jnr- Nigeria

Shane May 25, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Shelika Emmanuel Jnr, yes this is a worldwide internship, but you do have to provide housing and a car. Two very important pieces of the pie.

Travis Guerra May 26, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Wow. Shane if I would of had this opportunity 25 years ago! Wow. just Wow. Have you thought about some kind of contest where the winner could work with the team for say 3 days on a different projects you are doing? You know like “3 days with Shane” ? I would be all over that!!!!! Heck im a CEO of my own very successful business and would jump at such an opportunity! Just planting a seed in your mind.
Big Fan!!!

Shane May 27, 2011 at 1:57 AM

Travis Guerra, thank you so much for your support. That sounds fun. I will run this up the flag pole.

Anderson William May 28, 2011 at 1:18 AM

Hey Shane,

First of all, thank you for already putting so much information into the world of DSLR users through your blog and videos. Your willingness to share the knowledge you have attained throughout your career is very appreciated. I look forward to the possibility of working with you through this opportunity or sometime in the future.

Darren May 31, 2011 at 10:10 AM

I see you say its a training period leading to permanent employment withing your organization…. but do you have any idea how long the period of time will be? 2 months? 3? 1? thanks.

Amila C June 2, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Can i apply from overseas? I’m from Sri Lanka. Hope u r reply.

here is my Vimeo : http://www.vimeo.com/amilac

And my personal web here : http://www.lsmworks.com/

Thank you . .

Shane June 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Amila C, absolutely. But you will need to find a place to stay as well as have a car.

Amila C June 5, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Oh sounds great. So how can i find the cost for that? i mean accomodation cost and travelling.

Because if i come, i have to prepare with that cost and i can be there . . .

So Will see Mr. Shane. Thank you . .

Mark Watson June 9, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Mr. Shane Hurlbut: This is by far the most generous offer I have seen in this industry. I commend you. We are huge fans of your work and believe you are helping create a new, more accessible standard with higher expectations than ever. You will be an amazing gift for the right fit – wish I was 25 again!

Best and Good on You!

Shane June 10, 2011 at 12:41 AM

Mark Watson, I want to thank you so much for your kind words and support. We are trying to go at it a different way, that is what the HDSLR platform inspires us to do.

Themba May 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Wow, what a great opportunity! When will this program be open for new trainees in 2012?

Shane May 17, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Thanks Themba, we are currently accepting applications for the 2012 trainee program. Send your resume and contact info to anne@hurlbutvisuals.com

Themba May 17, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Thank you for such a quick response, I will indeed.

Matt Smith December 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Hey, I’m traveling to LA for school come February, and was wondering if this program was being offered in 2013 also?
Sounds like a fantastic opportunity, and I’ve got my resume prepped to send over if you all are looking!

Shane December 30, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Matt Smith, yes we are. We would love to have you send it over to anne@hurlbutvisuals.com and we will get back to you soon.

Neil van Zyl June 20, 2013 at 10:02 AM


I am from South Africa currently finishing my bachelors degree in film.
My speciality is cinematography and I am very interested in the opportunity you have to offer.

Are there any openings in 2014?


Neil van Zyl

Shane July 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Neil van Zyl, yes there are. Please reach out to anne@hurlbutvisuals.com so that we can start the process. Look forward to hearing from you soon

Neil van Zyl July 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Hi Shane,

I did send my details via email about a week ago, not sure wether you received it.
Is there anything specific that you require?


Shane July 31, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Neil van Zyl, did you reach out to anne@hurlbutvisuals.com? I will look into it. Thanks

Julia P October 16, 2014 at 4:06 PM

I just came across this post, I know its a rather old post but I was wandering if this program is still going on? I graduated for Savannah College of Art and Design in 2012 majored in film, specializing in Cinematography. Thank you for doing this blog its been a great resource.
Dillon Oberhansli


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