Filmmaking (and Life) Insights from Lydia Hurlbut – An Inspiring Conversation

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I'm pretty sure most of you don't know about the woman behind the man Shane Hurlbut. Lydia Hurlbut is a force to be reckoned with and is a massive inspiration to me.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lydia (and Shane) back in 2010 I think it was at the “Collision Conference” and we've been friends ever since. It is a blessing every time I get to spend time with the Hurlbuts and it frankly isn't often enough!

If you'd like to also hear Lydia, check out the Digital Convergence Podcast episode where Carl, Chris, and I had a long chat with Lydia.

3 Insights into Fearless Living from a Big-Time Filmmaking CEO

Via Stillmotion:

A keen businesswoman, mother of two, and wife to Shane Hurlbut ASC, Lydia has spent her life striving for innovation. She’s the CEO of Hurlbut Visuals and it was her idea to launch Shane’s Inner Circle.

Growing up in a small town on the east coast, she has gone from dreams of saving the world through medicine to running a major multi-media company in Los Angeles. I’m sure folks in our community are familiar with Lydia and Shane’s company Hurlbut Visuals, and in particular Shane’s Inner Circle, which is celebrating its first anniversary—but more on that later.

First, we’ve all hit creative walls or career ruts. We keep moving with the flow of the things because it’s just easier. And soon we find that we’re nowhere near where we thought we’d be professionally, either in terms of skill level or success—or both.

We’re going to share Lydia’s three most revelatory and experiential insights into living fearlessly, from how she remains at the forefront of innovation in her industry, to how she managed to co-found and run a multi-media company as one of the few female leaders in the business.

Lydia Hurlbut


Mistakes are our greatest teachers.

In our chat, Lydia described an “epic fail” that she experienced—it happened when she was 24 and on a journey to become a doctor.

Early on, Lydia felt ignited by a desire to change the world through a career in medicine and so she became a pediatric nurse.

While doing so, Lydia saw holes in the hospital system that she felt prevented progress but, as a nurse, she lacked authority and often felt unheard. Lydia decided that the solution was to become a doctor, but one hurdle stood in her way: she was horrible at standardized tests.

What do standardized tests have to do with becoming a doctor?

A lot, actually.

The MCAT is a standardized test that is a massive deciding factor in whether someone is accepted into medical school or not. Lydia took the MCAT several times, only marginally improving her score each time, and was denied acceptance to all the medical schools she applied to but one, the Chicago Med (short for Chicago Medical School), which waitlisted her.

Outraged at being put on the waitlist, and feeling that Chicago Med had made “a big mistake,” Lydia jumped on a plane to Chicago and went straight to the hospital to address this egregious error.

Lydia waited, without an appointment, outside the dean’s office door to demand that he reconsider her application. Finally she was let in to make her case. She managed to persuade the dean to accept her into the next year’s class and she returned to California victorious.

But her relief at being accepted quickly turned into hesitation. She remembered that she hated hospitals, and that she didn’t want to be away from Shane. Was she the one who had made the big mistake?

After all the feelings of indignation, dreams of being a doctor, and flying to Chicago to plead her case, Lydia decided that being a doctor was not for her. It had been a failed attempt to change the world.

But she didn’t see it like that. Instead it became a learning experience.

Lydia recognized the power of dedication.

She didn’t see her shortcomings in standardized testing as a reflection of her intellect.

And she didn’t see her change of course as a failure.

She saw past the negative to focus on the positive.

By seeing the potential to learn from failure, Lydia has embraced taking risks, and this has resulted in many positive decisions, the decision to create the Hurlblog and Shane’s Inner Circle being one of them.


Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from Stillmotion)

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