From the time the Canon EOS 5D Mark II was introduced to the market, Hurlbut became one of the pioneers of DSLR filmmaking. While shooting with this format is fraught with many challenges, the DP feels the single largest challenge has been getting access to all the accessories required for transforming a still camera into a cinema rig. He’s referring to the myriad of support gear, of course. This includes, but isn’t limited to, lenses, shoulder rigs, car mounts, helmet cams, matte boxes, filters, follow-focuses and 15mm rod systems. Just like a clock, if one cog is off or one wheel is missing, it’s not a clock, it’s just a box of parts.
Although the idea of having his own rental house was appealing, Hurlbut wasn’t interested in merely renting out camera bodies with a few accessories. What he really wanted to offer people was a complete camera system. He wanted to give people the very camera system he had perfected over several months of shooting on three features, more than a hundred commercials and several short films.
“The DSLR is a very quirky device, and you have to understand how to not show the cons of the format and really bring out the pros, and that’s what our system does,” says Hurlbut.
THE RISE OF HURLBUT VISUALS
In an effort to give back to the film community, Hurlbut began chronicling his 5D exploits by writing about them. So, in late October 2009, he and his wife and business partner, Lydia Hurlbut, began telling his story through weekly blog posts, in which Hurlbut shares his experiences and shortcuts, and tirelessly speaks as an ambassador for DSLR filmmaking. Since that time, Hurlbut has been imparting his wisdom to all who would listen free of charge. The HurlBlog grew, attracting a global audience. As their readership increased, so did the demand for Hurlbut to formalize this education.
After several months, the blog garnered a cult following of professionals and enthusiasts who demanded more. People wanted Hurlbut in the flesh, and thus Hurlbut Visuals HDSLR Boot Camp was born. The boot camp was the most intensive, hands-on course ever, where Hurlbut and his Elite Team crewmembers shared what they have learned firsthand in the field.