Marines: Where’s the 5D Contest II, “For Us All”

This 60: commercial was filmed over 5 weeks on 3 continents. My Elite Team members and I brought to life a public service announcement for the Marine Corp that humanizes the warrior. Three and four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan have weighed on the American public.  The concept is a story called FOR US ALL that was to show what the Marines do for us every day. While we have our hot cup of coffee, the Marines are defending us in Iraq. While we tend to our livestock, they patrol the mountains of Afghanistan. While we go to work, they protect our freedom abroad.

This was such an ambitious concept. I knew that we could do it using our Hybrid Film and HDSLR HV Moviemaker, my Elite Team, great forward thinking production company Bandito Brothers, and an amazing producer, Greg Haggart (who can draw money from a stone). This was our cocktail for success.  I took my 1st A.C. and B Camera Operator Marc Margulies, my 2nd A.C. and C Camera Operator Bodie Orman, my Key Grip Dave Knudson, and my media manager Julien Lasseur.

The first curveball thrown to our budget was that the commercial had to shoot over 5 weeks time period to fit with the Marines operations schedule.  That always makes budgets soar because you have to keep a crew on for that amount of time.  Greg and I knew we had to keep our crew footprint small. The other curve ball was 7 states and 3 continents.

Montana’s version of a Chapman Apollo crane supplied by Filmlites

15 Lite 6K Par Musco light brought in from Montana when the sun would not come out of the clouds

15 Lite 6K Par Musco light brought in from Montana when the sun would not come out of the clouds

RC Helicopter “Flying Cam” brought in from Belgium to shoot at the Prague U.S. Embassy

Greg Haggart would have to make this budget work for 4.5 weeks of shooting.  The first question was, what could I not live without to tell the story and give this commercial scope. Not the Elite Team that makes me shine, not the make shift Montana version of the Chapman Apollo crane in the mountains of Montana, not the 50’ Technocrane brought down from NYC by Panavision Remote Systems to film at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington D.C., the 30’ Technocrane brought up from Miami by Cinemoves to Parris Island South Carolina to shoot the morning colors at sunrise, not the 15 light 6K Par Musco light brought in from Idaho to Parris Island when we did not get a sunrise, and not the RC Flying Cam brought in from Belgium for the U.S. Embassy shot in Prague when the government told us that we could not fly helicopters in and around the embassy.  The power of the platform is seen in every frame.  This is why as a director/cameraman I feel the Canon 5D is one of the most powerful brushes that I have ever used.  Expanding your vision, pushing the boundaries, and setting your sites on the unachievable.

We thought it would be fun to do another contest.  See if you can figure out which is the 5D, 7D  and 1D footage and which is the film footage above. Give us a break down shot by shot using the form below (there are 28 frames total). The most accurate entries will be named winners. First place wins Adobe CS5 Production Premium. Contest entries will be accepted up until Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 11:59pm. Full contest rules and additional details can be read here.

  1. Charles 5 years ago

    My Dutch phone number does not fit into the boxes. So I can’t participate?

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Hi Charles,
      The permissions on the form have changed – you can now use an international number. Thank you.

  2. John Hall 5 years ago

    Really fantastic video. Thanks for sharing.

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      John Hall, Thank you so much for your kind words.

  3. Charles 5 years ago

    Almost forgot, great commercial, great style. This is the way to do it and thanks for the interesting background information.
    In the Netherlands there are many people who say you can not handle the 5D as a real camera. Nonsense! Of course, some things are harder. But we are in the profession because we like to improvise, right! Is that the Musco-sunrise in the desert?

  4. Oli Kember 5 years ago

    Fun Idea for a competition. Had it been simply Canons vs. Film I might have had a chance, but I quite honestly can’t tell the individual Canons apart from this. I’m most impressed by shot 9- there’s bright sunlight combined with shadows and we’re seeing into both. If that’s dslr I’d be stunned, and a part of me hopes it is.

  5. Mike Howe 5 years ago

    My UK phone number does not fit the format so can’t enter, rules don’t say anything about having to be in the USA

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Hi Mike,
      The permissions on the form have changed – you can now use an international number. Thank you.

  6. Chris R 5 years ago

    Shane, I appreciate both the powerful and moving commercial you helped to create but also the honor that you give to our soldiers in uniform. Thank you for sharing with the larger community through this blog. You have inspired me.

    Chris in Minneapolis

  7. Darren 5 years ago

    WOW – Just wow! Incredible feel to this commercial and I think you do them great honor shane. I’ll give the contest a shot.

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Darren, thank you so much for those kind words. Good luck!!!

  8. Travis Guerra 5 years ago

    Wow..this is tough..because you guys are so good at grading and matching footage!If you would of givin us raw..might of been more able to pic it out! LOL Still this is VERY fun!

  9. Chris R 5 years ago

    Shane, what impacted you the most during your time and interactions with our soldiers?

    Chris in Minneapoils

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Chris R, How professional they were, their values, their spirit, their support of family and their love for this country.

  10. Oli Kember 5 years ago

    In my impatience I completed the form with a random US number so it’d definitely through. Apologies for that. If by some miracle I get anywhere near being right my UK number is an email away. Looking forward to finding out the truth!

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Oli Kember, copy that. Good luck and cannot wait to reveal.

  11. Joseph J 5 years ago

    Still gives me chills whenever I see this, Shane.

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Joseph J, thank you so much my friend. How are you doing?

  12. Brynn 5 years ago

    Beautiful piece. I’m curious to know what’s going on with the tree trunk in the far left of screen (from where it meets the roofline and up) in shot 6, is that some kind of reflection?

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Brynn, yes that is the reflection from the hot sky off of the Primo Glass.

  13. Andrew Wehde 5 years ago

    What lenses did you use on the film camera to match the 5d/7d/1d. I am assuming you shot all the canons with Leica R. Did you use primos?

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Andrew Wehde, Primos and Kowas on the film camera.

  14. Bona 5 years ago

    Hello Shane, I am a filmmaker and in this part of the film world ( BErlin) we do not get a lot of people to work with as cinematographers and it makes me want to learn a bit what it is all about. This is because I will want to be able to shoot my films and not be tied down by another. What would you advice me to get, 5D or a 7D? And for the lights, what cheap lights could you suggest that could also be effective? And, please keep in mind that I will be shooting a lot in Africa.

  15. Wonderful work, Shane!

    What I am curious about is how you managed to do the Tube/train station shot…

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Richard van den Boogaard, Thank you so much for your kind words, that was a 15mm Leica Prime. We go permission to be up on the mezzanine deck with our small footprint.

  16. Matt Short 5 years ago

    I shoot in these kinds of environments everyday so I can really appreciate how tough it is to get this quality of footage. Once again, Shane, you and your team did an amazing job! Giving our men and women in uniform the honor and respect they so deserve.

  17. karlo 5 years ago

    when the contest is done can we get a video making off? the iwo jima shots are beautiful

  18. Marcus 5 years ago

    Phenomenal work Shane! Frame 20: Just darn cinematic. Looks like it’s a scene of a Hollywood movie. Frame 27 gave me the creeps. Just in awe at the soldiers standing in front of the statue. The angle and camera movement just effin’ awesome. Overall, great work. I’m INSPIRED!!! This piece definitely puts reality into perspective.

    Thanks for Sharing,

    Marcus From Philly

  19. J-dog 5 years ago


    You and your team continue to challenge us, to strive to push the limits!

    I’m really at a loss for words to explain how excellent I think this piece is … and you know, that’s a rare occasion for me! Was great to touch base with you in Vancouver, thank-you.


    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      J-dog, great seeing you too. Thank you so much for all of those kind words. We will continue to push it. Heading to Montreal to shoot my next feature “KIN.”

  20. chphotovideo 5 years ago

    Will you post a list of camera/shots now that the contest is over? Just so those of us that may have been way off on what was what can see what WAS what? Amazing video, absolutely breathtaking. My brother and girlfriend were both in the corps and they loved it when I showed them

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      chphotovideo, yes we will. We are interviewing the 1st and 2nd place winners and then we will release that in the blog post. Thanks again for your interest and support of our blog.

  21. Travis Guerra 5 years ago

    Hi Shane,
    Can I have my prize now? LOL

  22. Julian Jones 5 years ago

    Hi Shane, I enjoyed the video. Since, it’s after the Feb. 1st date, I wanted to share what I thought might have been what was used. I read the paragraph above the video carefully, and saw that the 5d was your most important resource that you couldn’t do without. Also, on another part of your site is a scene of the helicopter taking off, and it was shot with the 5d mark ii. Also, there was an outdoors scene with three cameras setup, where you were shooting the flags. And there was a 5d and an arri being used. These were in earlier blogs on your site. So after doing some reasoning, and thinking back to grade school, where the teacher hands out a sheet that says sign your name to get points, I selected that all scenes were shot with a 5d mark ii, and that the using the other two cameras were a ploy to get a person to really check the footage.

    Now I didn’t submit my answer until after I reviewed the scenes many times. I can tell a difference between the shots:
    • I know that the 1d mark iv was used for slow motion, hd, and low light shooting.
    • the 7d was used for slow motion and hd footage.
    The 7d and the 1d mark iv are the only ones that have variable frame rates using frame size up to 1920×1080, but the 7d was limited in some areas which is where the 5d comes in.

    About the extras, I know that once a camera is put on a rig or on a helicopter, it’s not going to come off until after the scene is done, too much time and work assembling. So if in fact there were three different cameras, the 7d or the 5d mark ii was used and with a wide angle lens. I wouldn’t put a mark iv on a heli due to the weight of the camera and it’s expense alone.

    I had to share my thoughts, I’m anxious to see which were in fact used.

    • chphotovideo 5 years ago

      BRILLIANT! All scenes were shot with the 5d and the other two were a ploy. I did the same as you, reviewing the other posts for hints. Shane responded to my post saying they were interviewing the winners now. lol obviously I didnt win then, BUT I too am excited to see the responses to which scenes were shot with what

  23. Julian Jones 5 years ago

    Funny, I didn’t see “film” as the 4th selection in the drop down menu…

    Congratulations to the winner though. This was a fun contest. Will be looking forward to the next one!

  24. S Martin 5 years ago

    Nice. Months ago my brother told me he saw a crew doing dolly shots on the upper level of the Gallery Place Metro while he was on his way to work. Had no idea it was you until I saw the video.

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      S Martin, that is exactly where we were.

  25. Brian 5 years ago

    Shane, Great spot here. I love following your blog, but as a google reader user, can you please disable the auto-play feature on this post. Every time I go to your feed, it starts playing and I have to scroll and scroll and scroll to find it and get it to stop playing so I can actually read the most current post.


    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Brian, I will have my team look at that. Thanks so much.

      • Author
        Shane 5 years ago

        It is fixed now so that it will not autoplay. Thanks again.

        • Brian 5 years ago

          Perfect, noticed it today. Thanks again and thanks for everything you share!

          • Author
            Shane 5 years ago

            Brian, you are so welcome and thank you for your support. Welcome to the Hurlblog.

  26. Thuy Oms 4 years ago

    I only wrote Marines: Where’s the 5D Contest II, “For Us All” | Hurlbut Visuals into Ask and I found your post. I added at as I know they will probably appreciate this kind of thing on that site.

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