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Chaos in Harmony by Kevin Anderson, Rental Manager at Hurlbut Visuals

Being the gatekeeper of the Hurlbut inventory, I see all types of gear come and go every week. Sometimes for a day or two and sometimes for upwards of a month. It took no time at all for these cameras to travel to more countries than I have visited. In the same week, we had two separate kits return – one covered in sand and the other still defrosting from -20* weather. We have even had a camera get hit by a speeding Lincoln Continental skidding across ice…thrice! Needless to say, the camera and lens looked like they went 12 rounds with Tyson (pre-bite, not post-bite) but the shot looked terrific! That’s what I find to be most advantageous with these cameras and their rigging options. You can hang it from just about anywhere and make it look good, as long as you’re dialing in the right settings.

Being a kid from the desert, Malibu is one of my all time favorite locations to shoot.

My favorite aspect about this format is the constant need for progression. There is so much to be discovered. I feel we have handcrafted a system that embraces the pros and devises ways to counter the cons – all while in mid – sprint. Shane, and many others, have fabricated their own formats to better serve as templates for success. Every time I see a final cut of a project from a prior rental, I am utterly amazed by the potential of this camera. People continue to make the argument that this is a prosumer camera. I am not going to disagree with that, but my response is that there are Dodge Neons that can outrace Camaros these days. It’s not so much what’s under the hood, but who’s driving. If there’s no story or creative vision, you’re off to a rough start.

Earlier this month, I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to attend N.A.B. There was literally gear coming out of the soda fountains, tucked beneath my doughy slice of Sbarro’s pizza, and I even sneezed out a CF card. Seriously, gear was everywhere. It was nice to see how far this platform has come, but at the same time, the next draft class is getting ready to tally some stats. It’s beginning to look like a prime example of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest.” People love to comment on some of the drawbacks (converting HDMI to SDI, HDMI splitting, and general in-camera issues) but seeing so many creative minds looking for cost effective solutions made me feel that, if done right, this platform can secure a crucial role in digital filmmaking on a tight budget. I learned a lot in Vegas – what to expect from the industry’s upcoming big releases, the forward momentum this industry is gaining, and that blackjack just simply isn’t my game.

We have had several DPs with credible titles under their belts come through our doors expecting to see a “trend.” I can usually tell when I show them the first slice of our system. They mostly seem apprehensive at first glance of the gear. Piece by piece, they see it come together and flourish into a professional system. The light switch upstairs flips. The mentality changes. Another DP convinced. There are things I cannot disclose at the moment, but we have some serious plans for the future that will help solidify this medium as something to be reckoned with. “Chaos in harmony” is my favorite way to think of this camera composition. There is an abundance of chaos within the DSLR’s development and everyone seems to be reaching for that infamous cookie jar on top of a monstrous fridge. My best advice is to do your own trial and error research to develop something that works for you.

Below is what we typically include in a Standard Kit. We almost never rent this exact kit out as renters love customizing their kits and including add-ons, but will give you an idea of what we get started with in renting gear for jobs like “X-MEN: First Class,”  BMW commercial work, and more.

Hurlbut Visuals Moviemaker Standard Kit

CAMERAS
Canon 5D camera w/ insurance (1)
Canon 7D camera w/insurance (1)

CAMERA SUPPORT
Sachtler 20 w/ 100mm Fluid Head (1)

BATTERIES
Canon LP-E6 Batteries (12)
Canon LC-E6 Battery Charger (3)

LEICA Primes
19mm Leica 2.8 (1)
21mm Leica 2.8 (1)

28mm Leica 2.8 (1)
35mm Leica 2.8 (1)

60mm Leica 2.8 (1)
90mm Leica 2.8 (1)
180mm Leica 2.8 (1)

LEICA Zooms
21-35mm Leica 3.5-4.0 (1)
80-200mm Leica 2.8 (1)

CAMERA AKS
Anti-Fog Z–Finder Zacuto w/Lanierd (1)
Arri Manual Follow Focus (1)
Z-Finder Belt Pouches (1)
Birns & Sawyer 4X5 Clamp-on Mattebox w/ 77 to 105mm rings (1)
Birns & Sawyer Eyebrow (1)
5D/7D Non-Powered View Factor Cage (1)
Ultralight Control Systems Monitor Arm and Bracket (2)
HV Alum. Base Plate (2)
5D Really Right Stuff Bracket (1)
7D Really Right Stuff Bracket (1)

RIGS
Red Rock Micro Bundle (1)
Set of 9″ Rods (1)
Red Rock Rail Bridge w/4” Rod (1)
Red Rock Rail Bridge w/ 8”Rods & 4” Rod (1)
Red Rock Micro Grip (1)
Red Rock Shoulder Studio handheld set-up Bundle (1)
Sets of 24” Rods (1)
9” Rod (1)
Red Rock 90 Degree w/ 2 weights w/AB Back (1)
Red Rock On-Board Monitor bracket (1)
Red Rock Monitor Post w/ 1/4-20 screw (1)
Red Rock Micro Handle (1)

MEMORY CARDS
Extreme UDMA 16GB Flash Cards (6)
FireWire High Speed Flash Card Reader (1)
Pelican 914 Cases (2)

MONITOR
Cineroid Electronic Viewfinder (1)
SmallHD 6” on-board monitor with HDMI/HDSDI/COMP. (1)
HP 2480 ZX Dream Color 24″ Monitor (1)

CASES
1560 Pelican Case w/ Lid organizer and dividers (2)
Back Pack (1)

FILTERS

Set of 77mm WW Straight ND 3,6,9,1.2,1.5,1.8,2.1 (1)
77mm WW Tiffen Pola (1)
Tiffen 77mm 4 hole Filter Pouch (1)
Set of 4 x 5 Tiffen WW Straight NDs 3,6,9,1.2,1.5,1.8,2.1 (1)
4 x 5 WW Tiffen Ultra Pola (Linear) (1)
Tiffen 6 Hole Filter Pouch 4 x 5 (1)

CABLES
1/8” mini 5D AV out to RCA connector (1)
7D composite out to RCA connector (1)
3′ HDMI to mini HDMI monitor cable (1)
6′ HDMI to mini HDMI monitor cable (1)
HDMI Barrel Connector (2)
25′ HDMI (2)
HDMI Splitter 1- x2 w/power cable (1)
Splitter Power Cable DC plug to P-tap (1)

To learn more about this gear or to contact me at the rental division, please see the information and links below.

Kevin Anderson
4111 West Alameda Ave.
#505
Burbank, CA 91505
Office: 818-972-9811
Fax: 818-972-2779

Author: kevin

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24 Comments

  1. Hey Kevin,

    thanks for the insight in your work.
    But I wonder if you guys use the new Technicolor Cinestyle picturestyle on all your HDSLRs?

    Again thanks a lot,
    Sebastian

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks, Sebastian. The Cinestyle is still fairly new in our repertoire. I would recommend staying tuned to the Technicolor website to see if they have any updates. They already suggest dropping the saturation to -2.

      Post a Reply
  2. Kevin is one bad-ass mofo. He is in touch with every piece of gear on the market and can give you the best advice ever on what is available and what works best. Anyone in southern california owes themselves a trip to culver city to check out what Hurlbut Visuals has on hand. It’s literally a candy store of the latest gear, lenses, rigs, toys and shit that will be hitting months from now. I’m lucky enough to edit for Shane and am so happy to know I can stop by and see Kevin and get hands on with the the coolest complementary equipment available. Do yourself a favor and stop in, call or email him to get the low down on the newest and most cutting edge gear to make our story telling process easier and more manageable. Thanks Kevin for the awesome post! Hide the Leicas brother because I’ll be coming by to try to sneak one away from you! You’ve been warned! Vashi out………..

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks for the kind words, Vashi. I hope that shoulder rig is treating you right. The Leicas have now been moved to Defcon 4!

      Post a Reply
  3. Hey kevin I hear your the guru of rigs so if im a lone operator and want to get a low profile rig that i can pull my own focus with. I am on the cheap side and dont know what style rig to get for all purpose shooting. Should i get something like a Captain Stubling or ManCam style rig or something shoulder mounted from Redrock or the Jag35 Field Runner (http://jag35.com/new/products/the-field-runner/).or something with a shoulder brace like the redrock event or the zacuto strike Thanks kevin i would really appreciate your help.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Alex, it sounds like the Captain Stubling rig would work out for you well. You can pull your own focus and get some cool handheld shots. I love the mancam and have had some great times with it – that might work out for you too…just a slightly different configuration. However, if you’re looking for a shoulder mounted handheld rig I would suggest anything with solid counter weights. That’s one thing I see all too often are rigs that are ridiculously front heavy. The rig will be heavier but if it teeters on your shoulder without holding it you’re set!

      Post a Reply
      • Hey thanks Kevin you really are the best and i think ill go with the Stubling but is it hard to hold for long periods of time.

        Post a Reply
  4. Hey. I talked with you for a little while about borriwing one of these rigs for a short film i am working on, but for some reason all the communication stopped after I gave him my list. Could someone help please. Thanks guys

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Brendan, let me know your dates and I’ll see what we can do.

      Post a Reply
  5. Hey Kevin thanks for sharing the insight in your work.

    I had the opportunity to play with part of that gear at La Riviera Maya and I can tell you guys that it’s a very solid system that has been design to let you concentrate in doing your work and achieve your vision. By system I’m talking about all the stuff HV had put together to turn this $2600 camera body into a Filmmaking camera.

    At La Riviera we put it on a tripod, on a JS fisher dolly, we used it hand held, flew it over the pool on a technocrane at 50 feet, we used it underwater, you name it… The point is, we always knew that we had have a system that was supporting us.. Each piece is there for some important purpose.

    JR.

    Post a Reply
  6. Great post Kevin, thanks for the info.

    I am curious though, what is the best way to connect an n-line to a rotary girder?

    Post a Reply
  7. Hi Kevin,

    I’m a regular visitor to HurlbutVisuals.com and I’ve been meaning to ask a question on your use of Leica R lenses.

    Are you able to mount the 19mm Leica 2.8, 28mm Leica 2.8 and the 21-35mm Leica 3.5-4.0 on the 5D Mark II?

    Did you have any custom mods done or just try different bodies until you found one(s) that work?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Siddhu, thanks for being a regular visitor to our site! To mount the Leica lenses to our Canon bodies we use Leitax mounts. Once you get that baby screwed on you’re ready to roll. Zooms and primes use different mounts (6 screw holes (primes) vs. 10 screw holes (zooms)). Here’s the site for Leitax. http://www.leitax.com/. Feel free to email me at kevin@hurlbutvisuals.com for any more questions to help get you set up. Thanks!

      Post a Reply
      • Hi Kevin,

        I’m just a little surprised that you’ve been able to get the 28mm and the 21-35mm Leica 3.5-4.0 to work on your bodies because on the PebblePlace database it says that these lenses may or may not work on the 5D and are “iffy”.

        I know about Leitax I just received a Nikon to Canon mount from them today! ;-)

        Keep up the great work.

        Siddhu

        Post a Reply
  8. Kevin:
    Interested if you do a custom molding for the Pelican cases or pick&pluck? Would love to see a shot of one of the pelican cases laid out with the gear. We are reworking our cases here and would love some inspiration. Thanks.

    Post a Reply
  9. Great piece Kevin. A friend forwarded me a recent article in the FD Times covering the Cooke NAB dinner and speeches, an interesting quote from Danys Bruyere:

    “Today, that’s all shifted. Now, we can provide a 2,000 euro EOS with 100,000 euros worth of lenses, and 60,000 euros worth of monitoring. So that’s where our business is today. And that, for us, is the realization that cameras today are disposable. What stays is the glass. ”

    http://www.fdtimes.com/articles/cooke/NAB2011_CookeEvening.html

    On a side note are you guys giving any consideration to any of Sony’s new offerings? F3, Nex FS 100.

    Post a Reply
  10. Hey Kevin,
    Thanks for the post, really useful. What is that piece of gear that you use on all your rigs right bellow the really right stuff clamp, and that has hole for rodes? Seems ace.. but I can’t identify the brand.
    Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • pierre, that is our custom Hurlbut Visuals baseplate which will soon be available for sale. Big announcement at Cine Gear that will change the DSLR platform from Hurlbut Visuals.

      Post a Reply
      • Looking forward to that, that seems to be the baseplate i’ve dreamed of!

        Post a Reply
  11. Can Shane or Kevin please tell me what handle that is on the cinema style studio set up. It looks like it can take alot of weight…i need something like that.

    Post a Reply
  12. Hi Kevin –

    Are those angled mini-HDMI cables I spy in the pictures? If so, who’s your supplier?

    Thanks
    ian

    Post a Reply
  13. Kevin –

    In the picture of the full rig mounted on sticks, where did you get the battery plate that allows the AB battery to mount directly to the Redrock microbalance plate? I haven’t found such a plate on Redrock’s website.

    Thanks,
    Jeremy

    Post a Reply
  14. Kevin,
    I am a long time admirer of Hurlbut visuals. In fact I used to have an office in a place where Shane once worked in Boston. I think he proposed marriage while wearing a knights outfit?
    Any way, I have been wondering about a piece of gear I keep seeing in photos on the site. Can you explain the device that looks like a small pair of binoculars sitting on top of the 5D body. You can clearly see it in the photo on top page of the blog.

    Thanks

    Post a Reply
  15. Hi!

    Schon kurz nachdem die Kripo die Seite von Kino.to abgeschaltet hatte, meldeten sich angebliche Insider! Sie sprachen davon, dass längst nicht alle Mitarbeiter der Filmbörse festgenommen wurden, man wieder online gehen werde.

    Doch jetzt zu kinoX.to: Angeblich soll die Datenbank von der Urspruchsseite kopiert worden sein und jetzt soll als Klonseite online gestellt worden sein. Ob diese Angabe stimmt, kann zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt nicht nachgeprüft werden, denn kinoX.to ist aufgrund der Serverüberlastung nicht zu erreichen.

    Wie auf dem Partnerportal von video2k.tv seit heute zu lesen ist, soll diese Seite der Klon sein und man solle keiner anderen Seite trauen. Anscheinend wird es hier einen Machtkampft der großen Nummer geben und alle wollen die Lorbeeren ernten. Aber es sieht so aus, dass kinoX.to wirklich der offiziell in die Fussstapfen tritt. Hier wird weiter davon berichtet.

    …macht weiter so!

    Post a Reply

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  1. What Does a Standard Kit Look Like If You Rent From Hurlbut Visuals : PhotoTimes - [...] Hurlbut’s Rental Manager, talks about some of the Chaos his gear goes through and what their “Movie Maker” HDSLR …

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