Home Projects / FilmsFeature FilmsAct of Valor BTS on the Keith Urban “Act of Valor” Music Video

BTS on the Keith Urban “Act of Valor” Music Video

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

When director Scott Waugh called me to shoot the video for the “Act Of Valor” credit crawl song “For You” by Keith Urban, I was excited to have the opportunity to get the whole Elite Team back together. It was equally exciting to hear Keith’s amazing song, which supported the story perfectly.

The concept was to shoot Keith Urban and his band on the same dry lakebed that the Navy SEALs used for recon during the film.  This would be the start of intercutting Act of Valor footage with Keith’s performance.  When Scotty and I discussed the look and feel of the video, we immediately looked at each other and said, “anamorphic on mixed platforms.” The Canon C300 had just come out, and we wanted to use this tool in Man Cam mode to resemble the shooting style of the film, as well as the Arri Alexa with C series Anamorphics.  We thought it was timely that we started with the infancy of the Canon 5D on Act of Valor, and now we were embarking on a new journey with the infancy of the C300.  What anamorphic lenses have you tried?

This project also gave us the opportunity to launch our new production arm at Hurlbut Visuals with a behind the scenes of what it takes to shoot 6 different platforms in a 10 hour day and have them intercut seamlessly.

On a side note, I want to personally thank-you for all of the comments in support of this movie. The Elite Team and I are touched by the overwhelming positive response.

BTS video credits:
Produced and directed by Julien Lasseur
Edited by Vashi Nedomansky
Camera Operators – Nick Kramer, Julien Lasseur
Sound – Brad Flick, Gene Martin
Original Music – Vashi Nedomansky
Stills – Doug Leigh
Produced by Hurlbut Visuals
Special Thanks to Jacob Rosenberg

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32 comments

N.K.Osborne March 9, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Nice work. Liked the song also. Love the shot with the explosion behind the performers.

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 1:04 AM

N.K.Osborne, thank you so much for your kind words of support

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M. Jovanovic March 9, 2012 at 10:28 PM

“Not available in your country”… But loved the BTS!

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 1:03 AM

M. Jovanovic, the video is not released until the film is released in your country. It gives away the ending to some extent

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Don Hankins March 9, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Really cool bts the clip of the cam ops walking in on the band looked like they were moving in on a target. Great work as always, the camera platforms you shot with, was there a long process of matching the different codecs? I’ve only done avchd and h.264. Keep it up guys.

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 1:03 AM

Don Hankins, thanks for the kind words of support. No problem at all. The C300 had some weird blue in the shadows that was a little hard to get rid of, but other than that it all worked great.

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Ted Ramasola March 9, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Really great to see the evolution you guys went from the 5D to the c300. Hope to see what you guys will be doing with the Mark III 🙂 -or the next EOS cinema DSLR.

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 12:59 AM

Ted Ramasola, this whole DSLR world is just getting warmed up. Looking to hold on.

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Matt Harris March 10, 2012 at 8:16 AM

Nice shoot Shane! Was it all natural light on the bands faces? I didn’t see any fixtures.

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 12:54 AM

Matt Harris, yes all right place right time. I used a 1200 par at night to light the guitar strings for the opening shots

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Mike Edwards March 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Hi Shane

I love the look of the Alexa and the C300 together. What lenses did you use on the Alexa and the C300?

Best,
Mike

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 12:54 AM

Mike Edwards, I did too. Panavision

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Jeremiah Gonda March 10, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Absolutely awesome! “No musicians were harmed in the making of this music video, although their lives may have been in danger.”

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 12:53 AM

Jeremiah Gonda, LOL, yes and no live fired used this time. Keith was lucky

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Moh. March 11, 2012 at 2:10 AM

The first music video does not allow for my country …
” The uploader has not made this video available in your country. ”

I hope if you got more deep in BTS …

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Moh., the video is not released until the film is released in your country. It gives away the ending.

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Aaron Almquist March 11, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Hi Shane,

Great fan of your work and tenacity! I was curious what playback/monitoring setup you used when Keith Urban was reviewing a shot in the Pelican case.

Thank you for all that you do,

Aaron

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Aaron Almquist, thank you so much for the kind words. That Pelican set up was the Copter Kids monitor system that they use to operate their RC helicopter. We were looking at the explosions from their perspective.

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Oli Kember March 11, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Hi Shane,

Sadly the video is unavailable to watch in the UK but the BTS looked like an absolute riot. Great to see all these platforms coming together!

Oli.

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Shane March 13, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Oli Kember, Hi my friend, it was great meeting you in LA, and it was as we were prepping this specific job.

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KahL March 16, 2012 at 9:42 AM

I’m digging the mixed sensors work. And, all of my favorite camera bodies w/ the C300, Alexa and 5D together. Even more so, it’s a relatively simple video, even with the explosions kicking off the chorus.

Very nice man!

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camille March 19, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Hi !

Here is a little video we just did showing the 7D fighting against the C300! Feel free to use it in your blog and share it !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoBADOYLXO0

Thanks!

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Jon Chema April 4, 2012 at 7:04 AM

What are your favorite Anamorphic sets? How do you feel Hawk’s compare to Panavsion glass?

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Shane April 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Jon Chema, No comparison, Panavision blows the Hawks away. Flares, contrast.

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Deanna Dawn June 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

I am simply a country music fan. Although I love the music and videos, I always watch videos from the perspective of a director (which of course I am not…maybe in my next life). I pick apart what I think works and what doesn’t. I will say that this is the first video I have ever seen that I am in complete awe of. Everything works brilliantly together. The camera work, editing, design, energy…all of it is incredible. Well well done!!!

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Shane June 11, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Thanks so much for the kind words and support Deanna

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John Jones June 24, 2012 at 9:43 AM

I love the comment about bringing “passion” to the shoot. I teach video production and photography to high school students and when recruiting we’re advised to choose applicants based on past grades. And while that’s important, if the student doesn’t have a passion for this industry, doesn’t have the “I do this because I have to” attitude, then past grades don’t necessarily mean much.

In fact, many of my graduates regroup and we shoot together during sumer months because “we have to.”

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Shane June 26, 2012 at 3:47 PM

John Jones. I definitely agree. Thanks for the comment and support.

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Sajal Sazzad March 29, 2013 at 5:03 AM

Hello shane,
I am from Bangladesh and I am your huge fan specially when I watched “Act of valor”.I watched “Act of valor” so many times and every time I just wondered that how can it possible to make a movie with canon 5d ii .Thats why I bought canon 5d ii with 50mm f1.4 & 70-200 f2.8 is II,but now I see something is very difficult specially when I want to shoot slow motion video because 5d ii have only 60 fps.

Can you just tell me please,Is there any solution ?

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Dawn Todd January 18, 2014 at 12:59 AM

Just an amazing video and an amazing song. The bombs in the background and the timing of the music was very moving. Added just that special touch to the entire video and the message behind it.

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Shane January 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Dawn Todd, thank you for the kind words and support.

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