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Act of Valor: Reinventing the Action Genre

When Scotty Waugh and Mike “Mouse” McCoy, the incredible directing team at Bandito Brothers, asked me to shoot Act of Valor, I was excited, especially after listening to their unique vision for the making of this movie. I was ALL IN. The idea of reinventing the action genre was our mantra. To be able to immerse an audience in a 3D experience that was shot 2D; to capture POVs that felt like you were in an intense first person shooter video game; to move a 2.5 lb camera in ways that you have never seen before. These were the ideas that started to swirl in my head after our initial meeting.

We Have A Winner To Our "Where’s the 5D" Contest

The “Where’s the 5D” contest was so close that the winner Josh beat our runner up Tim by a single shot. Josh will claim his prize this Wednesday when he visits me on the set for the day.

We decided to add a runner up prize…

Inovativ Carts on a Game of Thrones Promo

Recently, I shot a promo for HBO’s enthralling television series “Game of Thrones” and had the opportunity to put the Inovativ Echo cart through its paces in a real set environment.

Camera Configurations: Your Best Ally

Speed and production value are intertwined. Production budgets are shrinking and companies are asking for more from cinematographers and crews that ever. One way to meet that need is by increasing your speed without sacrificing quality. Specifically, when using Canon 5D Mark II camera for a project…

Camera Checklist for HDSLRs

Here is a little instructional video from our Hurlbut Visuals HDSLR Bootcamp. A huge thanks to editor Chris Fenwick (Slice Editorial) for taking the time to cut this footage!

I have talked in the past about the power of the hybrid approach. Taking the best from still photography and the best from motion picture photography and colliding them….

The Cineped: Full 360° Rotatable Slider

As a cinematographer, movement is an integral part of conveying your creative vision and the storytelling process. Whether subtle or dramatic, it’s another tool in your box of creative options.

Navy Swimmer: Mountain Rescue & Sea Rescue Sequences

Here is the breakdown for the Mountain Rescue portion of Navy Swimmer.

– 1-camera in deep water housing which captures underwater and split level shots
– 1-camera mounted on the Navy Swimmers helmet to capture him exiting the helicopter and being lowered down in between the rocks…

Lens Test with Zeiss ZE and CP2s, Canon L Series and Leica R Glass

Part of being a cinematography intern is not only knowing all the gear, but how it can be used to enhance your visual story telling. The characteristics of a lens can infuse a mood, a style, etc. Being obsessed in the subtleties is key. Shane encourages us to use all our tools and test them in the line of fire. We have been using Canon, Leica, and Zeiss lenses but haven’t had the chance to compare them all side by side.

Filtration: Beware Of The Reaper Of Cheap Glass

Making HD look like film has a cocktail and one of the essential ingredients to this flavorful recipe is Neutral Density. You have to keep your exposure on a 5D around a 5.6 to get that beautiful shallow depth of field. The 7D should be around…

Still Lenses That Can Grace The Big Screen

On the still lens front, you have a variety of options. I am addressing this topic from a 40 foot screen digital projection perspective, not a still photography one.

Zeiss ZE primes rock. Their resolution is spectacular and they are lightweight. Their focus is a little more cinematic then…

Turning Still Cameras Into PL Mount Movie Makers

It seems like everyone is jumping on the PL mount 7D bandwagon and I have to say it is very unfortunate that the 5D does not have the same energy. All the specs on a PL mounted 5D have shown that the vignette is a big issue. Most cinema lens…

Nikon Lenses: Sharp and Soft

I love lenses and examining the subtle differences with each one so I am confident in the resulting image.

Nikon lenses are sharp with a little softer contrast than the Zeiss lenses. The older A lenses are nice because they have a wider

Final Days of Deadfall: Giving the Stag Horn Saloon Life, Texture, and Color: KINO FLO

It is so sad saying goodbye to Montreal. I love this amazing city. The crew was the [...]

Lighting Basics Series I: Where to place your KEY LIGHT

One of the most popular requests was for lighting instruction. In the HD world and film, lighting is king. Knowing how to light and not just rely on available light is what being a cinematographer is all about.

Lighting Series Number 3: The Natural Look of Crazy/Beautiful

My next picture was with a director named John Stockwell. After signing onto this project I came to realize that John’s style and sensibility would change me forever as a cinematographer. We both felt this needed a fresh look: something that was…

Top 10 Hurlblog Posts of 2013

We run down our top ten most read blog posts from 2013

The Canon C300 on an El Pollo Loco Spot

The current spot was for El Pollo Loco, and the concept was a very action oriented camera, with snap zooms and quick handheld push ins and pull outs. I thought the Canon C300 would be the perfect camera for this job, lightweight and maneuverable.

Herb Ritts Exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum

From 1991-1996, I had the unique opportunity to work with one of the most talented still photographers of the 20th Century. Not only was Herb Ritts a great artist, he was also an amazing human being.

Tiffen/Lowel Tiffen/Lowel