Shane and Lydia Hurlbut “On the Couch” at Cine Gear

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Cine Gear wrapped up a few weeks ago but this is an interview that is worth your time to watch.

Our good friends Shane and Lydia Hurlbut sit “On the Couch” and cover a huge variety of topics.

They kick off the interview discussing gear at Cine Gear and what excited them:

– Movii M15.
(He talked about using 2-3 Movii M10 with a C500, Cooke glass and gemni recorders that weighed about 17 lbs. So much for light gear).
Hawk Anamorpic Vintage Anamorphic Glass
– Zeiss new line of Wide Angle Zooms
– Cineflex
(He wanted them for Need For Speed because their technology
Zacuto's new EVF. High resolution perfect for the C500. They showed off a mini EVF shootout so you could see all three versions in their booth.

Next they discussed why an accomplished ASC would be so open to sharing knowledge. Lydia decided to push Shane into sharing what they were doing on the films Shane was shooting.

Great Quote- “I only figure the camera out once I've shot the whole film.”

For Act of Valor when he was done he didn't know the 5D. It wasn't until the film was fully completed until he totally understood the camera.

C500 was released Jan 2013 and Shane started shooting with it on Jan 15th, 2013 at 100 miles per hour.

Act of Valor reinvigorated Shane to innovate and push the boundries of the new technologies. This is what drives them to share and the discussions on their blog.

Other notable discussions are about budgeting. This is a huge issue for most fimmakers and really anyone shooting a video. They go through a simple example of their short film the Ticket.

Additionally, they talk data management. On the Need for Speed they shot with 40 cameras and shot over 400TB of footage.

To wrap up the interview they talked about balancing work and a private life. I think this is a great topic and something we should be discussing more. We get to work in a great industry but with travel and the work hours (not to mention the swings in revenue) can be hard on peoples personal life.

The total interview is a little over an hour. Even if you don't want to watch the video play it in the background when you are working on something else. Everything is worth listening to. Check out the full video.

ON THE COUCH from Cine Gear 2014 – Lydia & Shane Hurlbut


Via cinema5D on Vimeo:

In our second session from the Paramount Pictures studio lot during Cine Gear 2014 in front of an audience, we were lucky enough to have Shane Hurlbut, ASC and his wife Lydia Hurlbut on our couch.

Talking points:

Shane is a rare breed of an ASC cinematography, constantly sharing lots of in-depth knowledge and experience on his blog, the Hurlblog. We talked about their reasons to be so open online, and how he came to actually embrace sharing knowledge this much. Turned out that his wife Lydia was the one to get this all started.

We talked about how much the industry has changed over the past 10 years compared to the 50 years before – and what that means for the craft of cinematography in this day and age. Being at Cine Gear, I also asked Shane what excited him most, and he specifically mentioned being particularly excited about the new MoVi M15 which was on display at the show, together with a Easyrig-like contraption that helps support the weight of the rig.

Touching on his recently wrapped shoot of Need for Speed 7 and Fathers and Daughters (starring Russell Crowe), we talked about the different challenges on sets. In Need for Speed 7, Shane had up to 50 cameras (including many Go Pro's and 1DC's as crash cameras) rolling at a time. And shooting the drama Fathers and Daughters by director Gabriele Muccino, he was surprised that for the first time in his entire career, he had shooting days that were sometimes only 6 hours long – because the production needed to save money, which allowed him to have more budget for the tools, crew and equipment he needed on the shoot.

shane and lydia hurlbut

Talking about budgeting, I asked Lydia and Shane about how to budget correctly with a set budget – something a lot of filmmakers struggle with. Running a production company on their own, Hurlbut Visuals, Lydia and Shane also produce their own shorts or commercials from time to time – e.g. the short “The Ticket”, which demoed the 1DC. Shane mentioned how expensive acquiring the location permissions was (the ferris wheel in Santa Monica, for example) and what that meant for the rest of the budget.

Among many other things, we touched on storage workflow on sets like “Need for Speed” and how the DIT managed to keep track of all the cameras and store all the footage safely including backups. They shot over 400 TB of footage on that movie.

Lastly, we talked about work / life balance and how to achieve it. Lydia had very interesting things to say about that, having a lot of experience with Shane's crazy schedule over all the years they have been together. She talked about how it is never a balance, because the partner is away for so long at a time during feature shoots – but then the time for family has to be made after such a job is done. It's a tough industry to work in to have relationships for sure, but Lydia and Shane seem to be one of the few couples that have been together for a very long time successfully and happily in an industry that is not exactly relationship-friendly.

To watch all ON THE COUCH episodes so far, click here:

Produced by cinema5D
Hosted by Nino Leitner
Shot by Johnnie Behiri
Guests: Shane Hurlbut & Lydia Hurlbut
Edited by Misa Garcia
Sponsored by: G-Technology, Vitec Videocom, Rode Microphones, OWLS Media & Post Magazine.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

Barry Andersson

Barry Andersson is an award-winning director and cinematographer. Mr Andersson takes his real world experiences and shares those images and lessons with everyone from the US Marine Corp combat camera teams, many of the leading teams of the four major sports leagues, leading universities around the US as well as leading productions looking to take advantage of the latest technology.

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