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Stay Indoors Education: Shane Hurlbut’s (Free!) Lighting Workshop

Hurlbut Academy offers its Illumination Tour Workshop, streamed online for free for the next three months

Free time sounds great, but free time is also free of income. If you want to spend eight hours of your free time some time in the next three months, why not learn something, like the basics of of film and television lighting? 

Hurlbut Academy, founded by Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (ASC) and his wife Lydia, is offering their Illumination Tour Workshop, streamed online for free for the next three months. Hurlbut has over 30 years of experience in filmmaking working as a DP on films such as The Rat Pack, We Are Marshall, Semi-Pro, and Terminator Salvation. Valued at $500, the offering is a direct response to the isolation much of the world is experiencing due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The eight hour course is broken down into six sections which range in time from 20 minutes to over a hour and a half.  The sections are:

– Key Light: Where, When & Why 

– How to Prep Narrative Storytelling

– Rehearse, Block, Light & Shoot 

– Back Light: Where, What, When, Why & How

– Fill Light: Where, What, When, Why & How

– Night Street Lighting

The courses were shot at an in-person workshop with Hurlbut lecturing to the live crowd. You will see the images and video presented at the workshop, as well as the hands-on demonstration and training. 

More from Hurlbut Academy

Literally in the Trenches: Analyzing the Camerawork on 1917

How Joker Was Inspired by the Memory of Gritty ’70s Cinema More Than the Films Themselves

Color Theory: Building Your Palette

Watching the streamed courses seems to be the best seat in the house. Sitting a few rows back in the ballroom, where the courses took place, would make it impossible to see a lot of the subtle lighting changes achieved in the live demo, so watching the streamed version gives you the best view.

Hurlbut demonstrates the basics of film lighting with a wide array of professional lighting fixtures, but also offers a lesson on how to light a scene with $200 worth of equipment from Home Depot versus the $20,000 value of the pro lights.

He also champions the use of some older equipment, which has fallen out of use in the digital age, such as light meters, color meters and color charts.

This course is ideal for students, professionals in another department who might want to transition to camera or lighting or just want to know more about the craft, actors who want to understand why they are lit the way they are, and even the non-pro who wants to understand basic lighting technique for shooting with their DSLR, digital point and shoot, or even the camera in their phone.

Go here to learn how to shine a little light in the darkness.