Creating Inspiration through Visuals and Storytelling
When I joined the team at Hurlbut Visuals, one of my first introductions to Shane’s workflow and day-to-day operations was collaborating with partners of the Hurlblog. In my past, when I have worked in collaboration with partners or sponsors of a project (previous history includes producing television shows), the idea was that they are only interested in “How do we make more money by association with you?”
After a few moments of speaking with the partners of the Hurlblog, I was very surprised by the difference in approach. Their question was simply, “How do we help the filmmakers who read the Hurlblog grow as filmmakers?” It’s pretty nice to hear people say that they are invested in a community and growth, not money.
This was no different while I was on the Illumination Experience Tour and I got to meet the team at Musicbed in person. Not only did they bring us cookies and lunch on nearly every stop, but they had a down to earth approach to helping the filmmakers who were attending the tour. (In a future post in the coming weeks, we are going to dive into more detail on their process that is available to you, which we utilized on the creation of our promotional material for the Illumination Tour).
What is this Film+Music Quarterly Publication all about?
Musicbed and Film Supply have connected both companies with a similar goal: collaboration. This publication is about inspiration and connecting with the audience. Just as you read the Hurlblog or Shane’s Inner Circle or even your American Cinematographer Magazine, you find connections with the people discussed in the articles or blog posts. It is about giving you an opportunity as a growing filmmaker to see and learn from professionals and their experiences out in the world, while on set.
I think back to a few blog posts that Musicbed did in 2013, one specifically with DP Khalid Mohtaseb. I’ve followed Khalid’s work from afar and it was very inspiring to see his work on display in great detail. For example, how he shot the promos for the History Channel’s “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln” docu-series. At this point in time, Musicbed was posting on their blog but you could see their love of collaboration with filmmakers.
Fast-forward to the publication today and you can look at articles like “The Long Haul: A Conversation with Reed Morano” from April 26, 2015. This article is currently listed on their website for everyone to read to give you a taste of what your subscription offers. It only takes three or four lines of text until you can see where this article can connect with you.
“Seven years to begin making the work she wanted to make. Which is why when we asked her what advice she’d give to a young filmmaker, the first thing she said was perseverance.”
A few weeks earlier, an article in the form of a “guest writer” discussed the importance of sound design in the filmmaking process, with Dallas Taylor of Defacto Sound. In one excerpt Dallas writes:
“Sound design is very much an extension of cinematography. Our job is to focus on what’s important within the frame and blur the edges of the cinematographer’s frame — to set the audience inside of it. Sound design allows a cinematographer to work in an additional dimension. That mind-melding between picture and sound is what we’re always going for. We want to erase all of the borders. The funny thing is, our best work is also our most transparent. The best sound design is oftentimes the sound design nobody notices.”
Convinced yet? Well, a few other notes to add would be:
- Quarterly Publication of $15 a quarter
- 100 page physical book delivered to your door
- Visual imagery and reference built around each article
- Online element also included
There are a lot of great publications out there that deliver a lot of the science and the technical discussion on different aspects of filmmaking, of which Music+Film has its fair share. What I think makes this publication the most valuable is delivering a vision – a vision of the people in each article, creating an understanding of who those people are, allowing you to essentially “touch and feel” them, to see them beyond a person on a website or an IMDB page and to see them as a person, just a person, like you and me.
I think back to my very first conversation with Shane on the NAB floor in 2012, which went something like this, “I read that you have an internship and I’d like to see if I could be a part of it,” in a tone of being star-struck, scared and extreme nervousness. I think back to why I felt that way and it’s partially because my view of Shane as a young 24-year-old kid was “Holy crap, I can’t believe I will get a chance to talk to him. Does he even have time to talk to me, does he even care?” (Internal monologue of course.)
Fast forward to the day Shane asked me in Pittsburgh if I was interested in coming back to work for him this past fall. “David, I understand that your internship was finished but we never got the chance to sit down and talk. You were next in line. I wanted YOU to stay on with me and grow as an aspiring Cinematographer. I OWED that to you. I don’t turn my back on the people I believe in. I wasn’t finished with you yet.”
I wanted to share that brief and abridged story of my relationship with Shane because just as Shane and Lydia’s goals are to educate and inspire through their vision on the Hurlblog and with Shane’s Inner Circle, this is what Musicbed and Film Supply are doing with their latest collaboration of Film+Music.