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Start Your Engines: Creating an in the Moment Docu-Style Approach

  • October 1, 2014
  • Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Start Your Engines: Creating an in the Moment Docu-Style Approach

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Start Your Engines: Creating an in the Moment Docu-Style Approach with Cheerios Protein

We all have seen the documentary style and how it looks and feels with real people. The director XanderTM over at Backyard Productions had a different idea and it was so unique and fun to shoot that I wanted to share it with all of you. I was finishing Fathers and Daughters in Pittsburgh when the call came in. I was standing in a large parking lot that used to be the location of one of the biggest steel mills in the city. Back in the early 1900s, this baby was pushing some major pollution. Cough, Cough!!!!

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XanderTM and James Blom, the producer, got on the phone and described the concept. After hearing it, I told him I thought I was born to shoot this baby.

So two weeks later, I found myself flying to Charlotte, North Carolina, NASCAR country, to embark on this once in a lifetime experience with a very talented director at the helm. Many of you have asked how this relationship works with director and cinematography. This was a wonderful collaboration where XanderTM challenged me out of my comfort zone with shooting in a style that was very unique, in the moment and lightning in a bottle performances as well as hacking the GoPro to deliver images that usually are supplied by a much higher quality camera system. Armed with a couple elite team members from LA, a wonderful local camera, grip, lighting team, three Canon C500s, ten hacked GoPros, a Canon 1DC and three Canon 5D Mk IIIs, I was up for the challenge.

New and Different

I thought it would be really cool to show you this not only from the cinematographer’s perspective, but from the director’s. XanderTM has been very gracious with his time and offered to collaborate with us at the HurlBlog. This will be a two part series where XanderTM will go into the discovery and the creation phase of the project. Part two will be the execution. Hold onto your short shorts.

XANDERTM, TAKE IT AWAY

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“The Discovery” by XanderTM

@xanderis on Twitter and Instagram

Normally, when my Executive Producer emails a project to me with the subject “Would you be into this?” he knows damn well I will be. This particular email laid out a unique idea coming out of Saatchi New York for Cheerios Protein. It was just the type of crazy I like. I believe my reply to my EP was, “Jesus. Hell yes.”

I end up doing a lot of commercial work. It’s a particular world with its own set of rules and structure. Since it’s such an insular industry, it’s hard to find information on how commercial jobs run. So I’d like to share with you wonderful people some of the inside information I’ve gathered along the way.

“The Creation”

The most important part of landing a commercial is digesting the boards, listening to the creatives on the call, and then creating the treatment that incorporates those elements and adds your flavor. The treatment is critical on every job, but I felt like it would be especially important on this one. I’m going to share my treatment with you – it’s something that not a lot of people get to see.

Members of Shane’s Inner Circle who were members in October 2014 received Xander’s treatment as part of their membership.

If you would like to view the rest of this article, it may be purchased in Shane’s Store, as can all other educational content of interest.

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