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Act of Valor: A Case Study in Out of the Box Filmmaking

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

Many of you have been asking lately for video of my speaking appearances. We are working to edit some of these for release in the Inner Circle, but I remembered that we did have this one available. In February 2012, I spoke at “Adobe Tips and Flicks” in Washington, DC about “out of the box” filmmaking with the Canon 5D MkII on Act of Valor. It reveals some of the trailblazing we did to be the first studio film shot primarily on DSLR and addresses the challenges faced with this then new camera.

Enjoy. Hello from Sydney, Australia, where I am speaking tonight about pushing the boundaries again, shooting Need for Speed and Fathers and Daughters on the Canon C500.


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Suriel Capodacqua August 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM


Rick Shorrock August 21, 2014 at 5:48 AM

Saw this when it was originally posted online. Good to see it again. Thanks for being a wealth of information, Shane. Congrats on “Need for Speed.” Love the golden-brown street light look in the night scenes.

Act of Valor: A Case Study in Out of the Box Filmmaking, by Shane Hurlbut | wolfcrow August 21, 2014 at 6:42 PM

[…] Shane Hurlbut presents a case study on using Canon 5D Mark IIs for Act of Valor: […]

Jeff Andrew August 23, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Wow! A true trailblazer in the DSLR revolution.

Nicolas Belokurovl August 24, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Great to see it back online, thanks a lot for sharing Shane, an amazing inspiration.

Paolo August 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM


Thanks so much Shane!

Hope to see you in FT Lauredale next month!

Aliev O August 25, 2014 at 10:25 PM

It was amazing. I loved it. Will watch it few more times.

Elisha September 1, 2014 at 1:43 AM

This is so great. I went to Walmart and bought the DVD to watch it. I have a 65inch screen and it really looks as good as a movie I have(Book Of Eli) that I know was shot on the RED.When you said what would take to shoot in 5 days with a film camera your crew shot it in 4 hours!! Would you shoot a project with the 5DMarkIII with the Magic Lantern software for RAW on it?–I saw a short film shot with it and the detail in the shadow and highlights was amazing.

Vance February 23, 2015 at 9:39 PM

Very inspirational and thinking now how other affordible cameras such as Blackmagic and GH4 matched with primo glass would serve as well!

Shane February 24, 2015 at 9:58 AM

Haha. I like it Vance. Love those Primo babies.

Vance K March 20, 2015 at 4:22 AM

Shane, I just want to say that when I watched this film again several years after my first view, the appreciation of what was accomplished here has increased so very much in proportion to how my film making studies have grown. Of course this is true for most films I watch but in knowing now the main cameras used here, the amazement is even greater in what you so very much accomplished as DP. In general with most films I think the credit given to the DP, the editor, the sound/audio dept., music composers and yes so very much also to the colorist, is far too dimished! These aspects of film making are what make a movie great just as much as the actors, the story and the director! Yes there is the emotional content of the story, the acting etc. but the more one learns about all these other aspects of how films are made, the deeper the love and appreciation for the art form and all the components that come into play for a finished masterpiece!

Shane July 23, 2015 at 8:04 PM

Absolutely true, and one thing I find is the more you gain experience in all these facets the better filmmaker, cinematographer you will become. Thank you for your kind words and support. Act of Valor was a very unique experience not only the camera tech but in the way we made this baby as well.

Lux May 7, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Wow Shane you inspire a lot of people with your passion for cinematography. Hoping to find a collaborator like you one day.

Shane July 12, 2015 at 2:15 PM

Thank you so much for your kind words and support.


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