From real-life to the movies – lessons from Shane Hurlbut
Published on: October 12, 2021

In last week’s episode of Productivity Mastery Podcast, Stoyan Yankov welcomed a very special and exciting guest – the famous Hollywood director of photography, Shane Hurlbut, ASC.

Shane is known for being the DOP of many blockbuster movies, including “Terminator: Salvation” and “Need for Speed”, as well as numerous music videos for bands like “Guns’n’Roses” and “Nirvana”!

His personal story sounds a lot like a movie itself: a small-town farm boy went to Boston to chase the love of his life. They knew each other since they were 3, and ever since their first date at 10th grade in McDonald’s, Shane knew that Lydia was the woman he was going to marry.

“Just give me the best film school in Boston, I’m chasing my future wife.”
Initially, Shane didn’t even want to be a DOP, he thought he was going to be a producer, being very persuasive and good with money. However, he had to face the rough reality after freshly graduating from college.

“Every door was slammed in my face, and I’m like “What!? Is it the suit? Is it the suit that my mom bought?”
That’s why his biggest advice for people who are just starting with their careers is “BE HUMBLE!”
Indeed, so many young people think that great job opportunities are served on a silver platter right after they graduate, but that’s not what it takes to be successful. It’s a long journey and you need to start small and work really hard.
Shane’s first job in the film industry was far from the spotlight. He had to pack film trucks first, then he started driving those trucks, and it was for his huge amount of energy that he got a chance higher up the ladder – be a truck driver for a B-horror-film producer.

“Who’s that person that’s running all over the parking lot…? Can I have him to be MY grip truck driver?” – Shane remembers of Roberto A. Quezada; producer.
Speaking of energy, when Shane was just starting out as a director of photography, he filmed 102 music videos in a year. 102!!!

“Most people work 200 days out of the year…but I was working almost 320 days out of the year.”
➡ So, remember that HARD WORK PAYS OFF; it’s good to have ambition, but it has to come along with effort and a strong will to learn.
➡ Don’t stop exploring and saying “yes” to opportunities that come up your way. And always bear in mind that the environment you choose, the people you surround yourself with will start to define you.
➡ Shane went through being a jock, to DJ-ing, to studying “Mass Communication” before he started considering film as a career path, and every venture he took made him learn more about himself and what he wanted to do.
As you can see, we had a thrilling episode with lots of inspiring stories, especially for our younger or just-starting-up-with-new-career readers. In part two, we will share some of the work principles that Shane learned while working on many sets with hundreds of people in different departments. How do you manage that?

Stay tuned and find out. Listen to the full podcast on your favourite platforms 🎧
YoutubAnchor Spotify Apple Podcast
Written by Ani Nedyalkova
Productivity Mastery is a podcast featuring some of the most inspiring leaders on the planet. Subscribe now and listen to untold stories, productivity lessons and more.
Published by: Stoyan Yankov


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