At Cine Gear 2011, we got wind of the news that Hurlbut Visuals and Letus were collaborating on a new line of DSLR support gear, the Master Cinema Series. Today, we got a chance to see and use that gear in person at the Los Angeles launch event. These Letus rigs are inspired and designed directly by Shane Hurlbut and his filmmaking crew, with a focus on “cinemizing” these frustratingly imperfect DSLR cameras that happen to create such beautiful images.

Support and cinema rigs are nothing new in the DSLR shooter world…we all know these things well, and most of us use them daily. So I was skeptical going into this event that we would see anything really new and interesting. And I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. After seeing the thought and focus that went into the design of these systems, and using them at a variety of common set locations they had created on-site, it coalesced for me; these are complete systems…designed to take away the annoyance and complexity of DSLR shooting, and replace it with a solid, comprehensive set of rigs designed for specific tasks. And to drive home that point, there were simulated sets in place at the event, so you could hop on a dolly and test drive a working rig, or handhold the Man Cam while following actual Navy Seals through a raid set where they take down a Somali baddie. Using these systems on a live set really coalesced in my mind how well-designed the rigs are.

Are they right for you? Maybe, maybe not. It’s a very personal thing, and I think it largely depends on how you shoot…certainly, these are rigs that will be very attractive to those accustomed to the traditional Hollywood style of production and camera systems. And there are good arguments that some SHOULD be shooting in this style. We’ll delve more into this in a couple days, but for now here are some behind the scenes photos I captured at the event.

Click through below for a peek at Navy Seals and models with machine guns in a simulated raid set, Film Riot’s Ryan Connolly on a Fisher dolly filming at an art studio set, and detailed photos of a pre-production Letus clip-on mattebox with a traditional round filter tray for 138mm polarizer filters. The full press release follows these photos.

Shane Hurlbut, ASC Offers DSLR Technology with the Classic
Hollywood Film Camera’s Form Factor

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – October, 17, 2011 World renowned cinematographer, Shane Hurlbut,
ASC, (Terminator Salvation, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Drumline) has teamed up with
camera accessory manufacturer, Letus Corporation, to produce a line of products designed to
give DSLR cameras the form factor Hollywood filmmakers have been using since the 1950’s.
After months of development, the Shane Hurlbut Master Cinema Series has been released to the
market.

As one of the first in Hollywood to embrace the power of video capable DSLR cameras, Hurlbut
quickly became known for his visceral images using a camera small enough to be positioned in
creative spaces. Hurlbut and his core crew, the “Elite Team,” began developing a system of
shooting with DSLRs that enabled him to handle the camera like a 35mm Panavision setup, but
at a much reduced weight.

Hurlbut had a vision for using the DSLR camera and enlisted the help of Hien Tu Le, owner of
Letus Corporation. Together, they collaborated on a radical approach that alters the way a DSLR
is handled for filmmaking. This equipment is designed and priced for every filmmaker to enjoy, no
matter what the budget. Whether someone is lensing a wedding, documentary, music video,
commercial or a full-length feature, this is their form factor. Hurlbut and Letus have married 20
years of movie making experience, along with 4 years of DSLR photography into one powerful
rig.

Letus has prototyped and manufactured 16 individual components for Hurlbut’s Master Cinema
Series system. The complete system morphs from one form to another effortlessly and converts
into 4 specific configurations: Studio Cam, Shoulder Cam, Man Cam, and Action Cam. They
have designed a forward thinking rig series to maximize your investment because it will work with
future DSLR camera models.

Hurlbut Visuals, a Los Angeles-based DSLR rental house and production company was started
by Lydia and Shane Hurlbut, ASC to create, innovate and educate filmmakers around the globe.
It began as a way for Shane to share his many years of cinematography experience in both
features and commercials to inspire one filmmaker at a time. The Hurlbut Visuals team has
attracted industry visionaries, expanded to include joint ventures focused on new technology and
generated unique opportunities in production.

Letus Corporation was founded in 2006 to provide camera accessories to the film and television
industry. Starting with 35mm adapters, Letus quickly became known for being a top provider for
quality camera add-ons. Letus continues to design and produce products for the motion picture
industry and will continue to work closely with Hurlbut Visuals on future accessories. For more
information on the Master Cinema Series, please contact Aaron Pinto at 866.620.3566 or email
press@letusdirect.com You may also visit the official site at http://MasterCinemaSeries.com.


2 Responses to “Hurlbut Visuals Master Cinema Series Launch Photos”  

  1. 1 Diesel

    I am kinda surprised by the lack of close-up shots of the actual kits that your article is covering. What gives?

  2. 2 Matthew Jeppsen

    You might have a look at these photos that show a detailed breakdown of the rigs:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/mazama.films/LetusMCSPartsAndAssembly?feat=twitter&fgl=true&pli=1

    -MJ