In this blog, Hurlbut looks at what it means to be a filmmaker in terms of sourcing and generating inspiration. This topic was surprisingly relevant to our Studio 1 unit as he discusses his own filmmaking influences and why. In particular, he refers to still photography as his biggest inspiration as he hopes that each frame he creates holds its own meaning and story.
“I’ve always loved the idea of all my movies just being a series of stills and that at any moment, you can pause the movie and see a story within that single frame.”
Coincidently, this week we have been conceptualising for our ‘story in a shot’ project which presents this exact challenge only on a smaller scale. Thus, learning where Hurlbut finds his inspiration for such tasks has been considerably beneficial.
In terms of his blogging style, Hurlbut keeps it simple and relatively visual with images and videos throughout. His language is informal and personal, writing in first person and reflecting on his own experiences. Continuing the simplicity, he uses black ‘PT Sans’ font in size 10.5 and his paragraphs are no longer than four sentences in length.
This post was interesting and easy to follow.
Globally renowned for his cinematography, Shane Hurlbut is an ‘innovative cinematic pioneer’ shooting multimillion dollar blockbuster films around the world. He challenges himself on every one of his projects to enhance the quality of his storytelling through employing new techniques and seamlessly blending various camera emulsions.
In Hurlbut’s most recent post Freefly MŌvi: Shifting the Paradigm, he discusses onscreen emotion provoked through the movement of the camera. Drawing attention to the action packed opening scene of Terminator Salvation, we can see that the jolty camera movements set a pace and tone for the narrative and initiates the ‘frenetic energy’ attached to the films discourse.
Terminator Salvation (2009)
Through creating/ portraying the POV of the flying missile, audiences are immediately immersed in the film as a result of its inclusive camera movement which, not only sets the scene, but provides the full scope of the action that follows. This technique allows the audience to be a part of the story, it evokes an interactive experience as opposed to merely being a digital spectacle.
Hurlbut denotes his use of this technique to the MoVI products, in particular the MoVI Pro (a gyro-stabilised device). In his own words, “this device is literally going to change the movie business in every way, shape and form”.
In the film Fathers and Daughters the MoVI Pro created a new found freedom for both the filmmakers and the actors. With this device, Hurlbet employed a camera set up which he refers to as ‘the three MoVI camera ballet’ which can be seen below. This system enabled the crew to capture seven shots, all within the one take which, in turn, saved on both production time and costs. Having such simple yet effective equipment which gives actors the liberty they need to move freely within a scene, encourages a greater performance and ultimately creates a unique onscreen energy.
I agree with Hurlbet’s view that these devices are going to be significant in shifting paradigms within the film industry, specifically due to their efficiency and costings.