For the last two and a half months, I have been working with an amazing director on an incredible commercial campaign. I have not been able to tweet or blog about this incredible experience because I have been under NDA. The director’s name is Gil Cope.
I worked with him in the early nineties, when I was starting out as a gaffer. It was so great working alongside and collaborating with Gil after all these years.
The Warrior Wedding Project
The spots are all about innovation, exploration, community service, and supporting veterans. We chose a very unique way to capture this. Each tool had its place in the storytelling process. We chose the Arri Alexa as our A camera, shooting with the Codex M recorder on Arri Raw, which was done for all of the intensive visual EFX work we had.
Our C camera was the new Canon 1DC 4K DSLR, which was used to get in very tight places and deliver unique angles.
All of the media was downloaded, conformed, and transcoded by Light Iron Digital.
What a journey this has been, traveling all over the Northwest scouting, prepping, and then shooting these spots.
It was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with Gil, and listen to his passion for his craft, his family, and his unique abilities as an amazing photographer, which is where he started. Talking on the many four-hour bus rides, we really came to understand each other’s interests as well as each of our commitments to giving back.
Making An Impact
On one bus ride, Gil read a letter to me that a Marine had sent him after he shot his wedding. I was like, “WHAT, you do weddings?” He laughed and said that it was this amazing foundation that he and his wife Andrea had founded. It was a way of giving back to the many warriors in the military service who give their lives to protect us so that we can have many of the freedoms that we love and cherish.
The letter from this soldier was so touching. It expressed how much it meant to him, his bride and his family to have had Gil photograph his wedding. Gil shared some of the photos, and they just blew my mind. Gil is not only a master at photography; he is also a PhotoShop magician. The way he treats his digital negative is incredible.
The Warrior Wedding Project
Browse Gil Cope’s work
It inspired me, and I feel that it will do the same for all of you.
We are all on a mission to create, tell the best stories and become talented filmmakers, but giving back is also part of the creative process. At Hurlbut Visuals, my wife Lydia and I created this blog to inspire one filmmaker at a time, giving of our time and experience. We also regularly donate equipment and resources to projects like In True Fashion, a competition-based entrepreneurial program that builds self-esteem and work ethic in low-income students through hands-on participation. I served as an in-class mentor, and we donated camera gear.
The Hurlbut Visuals team has also supported documentaries like Waiting for Lightning, Secrets of the Sweat, Marley’s Pit Stop Rescue, An Unbroken Chain, and The Bottle School Project. We’ve recently provided camera packages for the Right to Play PSA, a promo shoot for the Branson Cares telethon, and the Paddle To Live Project with Lance Armstrong.
I encourage you all to make a difference like Gil has — support a cause, give of your time, change a life, and shape a person. I think this process expands your vision and makes us better human beings.
Looking for mentorship in the film industry? Schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with Shane Hurlbut, ASC today! This is where you can get expert advice from an industry professional on your career or a particular project.
About Filmmakers Academy Cinematographer Mentor Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Director of photography Shane Hurlbut, ASC works at the forefront of cinema. He’s a storyteller, innovator, and discerning collaborator, who brings more than three decades of experience to his art. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the International Cinematographers Guild/Local 600, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Hurlbut frequently joins forces with great directors: McG’s Netflix Rim of the World and The Babysitter, plus Warner Bros. We Are Marshall and Terminator: Salvation; Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed and Act of Valor; and Gabriele Muccino’s There Is No Place Like Home and Fathers and Daughters. His additional film credits include Semi-Pro; The Greatest Game Ever Played; Into the Blue; Mr 3000; Drumline; 11:14, which earned Hurlbut a DVDX nomination; and The Skulls. Notably, his television credits include the first season of AMC’s Into the Badlands.