Master Your Craft

Taking your filmmaking career to the next level since 2009

Who We Are

Filmmakers Academy is a networking hub and educational platform for all things filmmaking. Created by filmmakers for filmmakers, its mentors and masterclass courses not only equip members with the knowledge needed to thrive in the industry, but it packs in information about the nuances of the trade, useful film-hacks, and relevant terminology. We’re a resource for filmmakers who want to master their craft, meet like-minded creatives, and grow.

Filmmakers Academy delivers outstanding online education on filmmaking, cinematography, lighting, production, post production workflows and lifestyle from the best industry professionals in the business.

Our Story

Filmmakers Academy was founded by Lydia and Shane Hurlbut ASC and began as Hurlbut Visuals in 2009 to educate and inspire filmmakers of all skill levels. The company began as a way for Shane to share his many years of experience as a filmmaker, his pioneering spirit with new cutting-edge technologies, and his theoretical and practical knowledge on both commercial and feature films.
The couple began Filmmakers Academy to share what took Shane 20 years of trial and error to learn on his own. Filmmakers Academy’s lessons contain field tested knowledge and innovation from feature films that catapult the career of a filmmaker by focusing them on what they need to know to succeed. The courses save professionals both time and money by directly delivering the experience of industry professionals.

Through the ongoing creation of original content, Shane and his highly-experienced team test new products and experiment with innovative techniques which they share with Filmmakers Academy members. Their goal is to ignite the passion and dreams of artists and filmmakers.

In 2021, the expansion of Filmmakers Academy was guided by Lydia Hurlbut as CEO of the Academy. With all of the advancements comes the growth of the business with new professionals of diverse backgrounds and experiences, who are invited as trusted colleagues that have helped Shane as a cinematographer.

Lydia and Shane’s talents naturally combine to provide an immersive learning experience to help filmmakers fast-track their careers, producing opportunities for themselves that were previously unimaginable.


  • 2009

    Launch of
    The Hurlblog

  • 2010

    Hurlbut Visuals Production Company was founded


  • 2011

    Hurlbut Visuals operated a hands-on educational booth at Cinegear and B&H Photo funded the company’s DSLR Educational Series for Cinema.

  • 2012

    Commissioned by Canon USA, Hurlbut Visuals produced The Ticket


  • 2013

    Brainstormed the vision and concept
    for Shane’s Inner Circle.

    The Inner Circle would evolve into the Hurlbut’s first attempt to formalize their passion for education.

  • 2014

    Launch of Shane’s Inner
    Circle membership


  • 2015

    Mentorship program for Women in Film

  • 2016

    SIC November Workshop


  • 2017

    Shane’s Inner Circle
    Content Shoot workshop

  • 2018

    Created the Hurlbut Academy Ambassador Program


  • 2019

    Launch of the Hurlbut Academy

  • 2021

    The Hurlbut Academy launches
    its new brand identity:


Lydia and Shane Hurlbut - Our Story Filmmakers Academy