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Top 10 Hurlblog Posts of 2011

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

Happy New Year to everyone from The HurlBlog!


We had a great 2011 and 2012 is already delivering exciting projects. “Act of Valor” directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy will be in over 3,000 theaters on February 24th. The majority of this film (75%) was shot on the Canon 5D. In mid January, I will be shooting a Keith Urban music video and collaborating again with Scotty, of Bandito Brothers on the Canon C300. The song, ‘For You” will be the title track for AOV.  Then, I am going to Sundance to speak about the making of Act of Valor.  From there, I travel directly to New Mexico to lens “We Regret to Inform You,” a psychological thriller, directed by Rupert Wainwright that will also be shot on the C300. I’m looking forward to spinning Panavision glass and taking this new camera technology to its creative breaking point. Stay tuned for blogs about some of the exciting things that are happening in 2012. Now let’s take a look at our top 10 most popular blog posts of 2011.


1. Lighting Basics Series I: Where to Place Your KEY LIGHT

I show examples from “The Greatest Game Ever Played” to discuss my lighting process and the importance of the Key Light.


2. Lighting Basics: Going With What is Available 

I take a look into my Home Depot/Practical lighting kit with examples from when I used them and where can find them.


3. Little Things Make the Big Difference – Editing in Adobe Premiere Cs 5.5

Vashi Nedomansky discusses his editing techniques and the small things in Adobe Cs5.5 that can optimize your editing workflow and speed.



4. Editing Shane by Vashi Nedomansky

Vashi Nedomansky shares his experiences editing for me and some tips and rules to know before breaking them when editing.


5. Dark Energy: Lightning in a Bottle for the HD Revolution

An in depth look at how Dark Energy from Cinnafilm reduces compression noise and artifacts in “The last 3 Minutes”


6. The Need for Speed: The Little Things That Increase Set Up Count

Camera Etiquette, workflow, and tools that increase your speed and setup count on set.


7. Zeiss: A Cinematic Journey on Act of Valor  

A look at how we used Zeiss glass when shooting “Act of Valor”.


8. HDSLR Educational Series for Cinema A Joint Venture with B&H 

A video showcasing the Shane Hurlbut, ASC HDSLR educational series on B&H.


9. Shane Hurlbut, ASC Master Cinema Series

Introducing the Shane Hurlbut, ASC Master Cinema Series camera system from Letus.


10. Tiffen and HV Collaborate to Make Extraordinary Images with Water White Glass

I worked with Tiffen to develop a set of ND filters tailored to shooting on the HDSLR platform.

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Darryl January 13, 2012 at 7:53 PM

2011 A fascinating year for me personally on many levels, But for you Shane I can only imagine the ride you had, But thanks to you 2011 was inspirational and progressive, Thank you for all you share with us.

Shane January 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Darryl, thank you so much for your wonderful kind words and looking forward to a very exciting 2012. Thanks for your support.

K.Wasley January 15, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Hi Shane,

Thank you so much for all the effort put in to sharing your knowledge to help broaden the skills of aspiring and established Cinematographers. You must have a bank full of good Karma by now!

I wanted to ask, could you elaborate on your experience with the C300, and why you went for it over an Alexa, or even the RED scarlet despite it being a similar price? Interested to hear your experience and thoughts on Canon’s new offering.

Shane January 15, 2012 at 12:44 PM

K.Wasley, I am not choosing the C300 over the Alexa. Every camera helps tell a specific story. I did a side by side comparison of noise and the C300 blew it away. The color space and their sensor is the main reason for Canon. Skin looks alive and has vitality. I am not looking for one camera to do it all. I have been making movies for over 16 years and never do we make a film with one camera. If I need a high speed camera I bring one in. I am prepping a movie that takes place at night, and I am incredibly excited as an artist to work in the 6400 ISO range. Using less, smaller sources, reinvent how I light. This is inspiring.

Ben January 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Thank you so much, Shane, for spending all this time helping needy people like me. It’s surprisingly difficult to find interesting and helpful stories and methods that don’t talk down to you, but when I found this site it was like striking gold. It’s exactly what I, and many others, need, but noone ever seems to take the time to put it together.

And I somehow missed #2, so it’s like getting a whole new article, so thanks for this list! Now I’m just wondering what else I’ve skipped over.

You really are the best!

Shane January 15, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Ben, thank you so much for the wonderful kind words. I love what I do and I will continue to be the tip of the spear with what ever new technology comes our way.

Thierry Dauga January 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Hello Shane,
Year 2011 will have been for me the year when I decided to live my crazy dream: work in the cinematographic industry (civil engineer originally). So, I began my first steps. In 2011, I had in spring the Canon 7D, and this summer I read the book of Kurt Lancaster and I discovered you!
I read your blog with a lot of interest and pleasure, learning minutely your excellent advice about speeds, apertures, native iso and variable nd filter.
In November, with very small means, I tried the adventure to make a small movie (5 min) ” Beautiful day ” (http: // vimeo.com / 33937517).
For 2011, I send you Thank you for ALL Shane!
I am very exited that you will use C300! I shall give almost everything to witness your work! I wish you a beautiful and a very exciting year 2012.

Shane January 18, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Thierry Dauga, I love that you found us. I am so glad that our content has helped you fulfill your dream. I will give you feedback once I get into the footage on the C300.

Shane January 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Thierry Dauga, Thank you very much for the kind words Thierry! Keep up the good work. You have some great images in your piece. Having dogs I connect with how you have captured some emotion. Keep on shooting!

Thierry Dauga February 6, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Oh thank you very much Shane for having watched what I have done with my dog! Thanks you too for your support and encouragment!
Your work is a great source of inspiration to me. Of course It’s touching to read your comments and impressions when I see and feel what you want to express through your work. I greatly appreciate your work, your knowledge and inspiration (I saw Mr. 3000, The greatest game ever played, Terminator renaissance, The Last 3 Minutes, act of valor.com, HDSLR Educational for cinema and more). Your sharings with people and especially your fun to shoot interest me a lot an is very contagious!
Since I am inspired to tell the beauty of life, I will sure have the opportunity to share again my discoveries. I will then let you know.
I can’t wait to hear from your C300 experience! Will you use Cooke lens, Zeiss, Canon L or new Canon CN-E?
See you on HurlBlog, by! 🙂

Shane February 9, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Thierry Dauga, You are very welcome and thank you for the wonderful kind words of support. I am trying to figure the C300. It took me about 9 months to finally crack that goddamn 5D but I did. Now we move onto the next one. I will be shooting with Leica on that baby.

Thierry Dauga February 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Ha ha… 🙂 Yes I know Shane, it took us several months to crack 5d or 7d Canon camera body, and now do we need to retry to learn some new digital tools again and again? In November Canon show their new Canon cinema system, the C300 and another C new camera body too… (http://www.flickr.com/photos/thierrydauga/6858088935/in/photostream/) Will it finally go out this month? Perhaps for us all, it will be more near 5d or 7d body! ? … What do you think about this?

Oli Kember January 17, 2012 at 3:45 AM

What a great year, here’s to another! Thanks.

Shane January 18, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Oli Kember, thank you so much for all of your support.

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