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Shooting A Music Video w/ Cristian Dennis (Behind The Scenes & Shoot Breakdown)

Shooting a music visual can be fun and exciting, but it can also be stressful if you don't know what you're doing. Even on the most basic of sets, the process from start to finish has a lot of moving parts that will either make or break your production based on how things run! In todays post, we'll be going behind the scenes of my latest music visual project, and showing you all how we managed to bring it to life.

For those of you who want to jump right into the info, here's an overview of everything we'll be covering.

And for those of you who'd rather watch than read, we got you covered! You can check out the vlog version here!


For this shoot, I arrived about 1 hour ahead of time to find parking and bring my equipment in. Arriving early is something that I do for pretty much all of my shoots, and that I'd highly suggest doing if you don't already. We were on a strict time schedule since we were renting the studio, which meant that being set up and ready to go was crucial.

Pre-Planning & Previs Pro

Once my equipment was all set up, I took some time to review notes from the script while Cristian (the client) continued to get ready. This is another tip that can be a major game changer for your projects - take the time to script out your shots. This can be done using whatever method you like or have available - writing them out in your notes, drawing out pictures or sketches, etc. Personally, I like using an app I recently discovered called Previs Pro.

Previs Pro is an amazing tool for really nailing the scripting & pre production phase of your project. With full control over virtual cameras, actors/actresses, props, and film sets, it's perfect for planning out all of my shoots. For those of you who want to know more about Previs Pro and how It can help you for your projects, I’ll be doing a walkthrough/review of the program and dropping some more content on it soon. I dropped the app link itself in the here, so feel free to check it out yourself if you like!

Scene Setup

After reviewing all of our scenes, it was time to set up props and scenes to streamline our workflow. We had a small crew that day, and were working mostly with Cristian’s friends/family. This was a plus because it meant a lot of us were already on the same page, which allowed things to flow much smoother. Again, when you’re doing these projects, there’s usually a lot of different moving parts. So staying on schedule, working efficiently, and keeping track of everything is very important.


Once we had all of our bases covered for setup, it was time to jump into shooting! We started out with some of our most simple shots and worked our way down the list from there.

When shooting, I’m obviously focused on getting the shot we have planned but when I’m able to I will try to run the shot a couple different times with varying focal lengths/angles. This is helpful because it gives your client more opportunities to to run their take, actually see what the scene looks like happening in real life, and it gives you more ammo in the editing room, which is always a plus.

This was one of my first shoots testing out my easy rig. I'll be dropping a full review on this particular easy rig, and my experience using one in general very soon.

Check Ins, Energy On Set

Besides doing multiple takes, I do like to check in with my clients and hear their feedback on what were filming during the shoot. I’m big on communication, so if there's something that they like or dislike while we’re on set I want to know about it so it can be addressed.

I also like to make sure that people i’m working with are having fun and enjoying themselves. Again getting all of the shots is a must, but providing a positive experience overall is just as important.

Creative Direction

At this point, we were about half way through our shoot so it was time to switch some things up. This included rearranging a few things on set, and Cristian getting a wardrobe change.

Another point that I want to touch on that I think is important here is creative direction when filming. Something that I know Cristian and a lot of my clients really appreciate is not being afraid to step in and help direct the shoot. While this isn’t technically your job, it does help everyone out (including yourself) tremendously on set. Providing this creative direction on set can help your clients feel more at ease, and show off more of your professionalism.

Final Shots

Finally, it was time knock out the last shots on our list. While Cristian switched to his final look, the crew and I worked on setting everything up for one of the more complicated shots. We wanted a rotating shot around Cristian with him as the center piece, and the surrounding extras ( his siblings and friend) providing more dynamic movement.

We ran this a couple different times, and experimented with timing/movement to make sure we got the right look. This was a trickier setup, so sticking both me and Cristian opted for sticking it at the end of the shoot to save time.

Conclusion/Closing Thoughts

So that is everything you guys! Overall, the shoot turned out amazing, and we were both super happy with the results. With all that being said I have 2 final questions for you. The first being, what do you mainly like to film when you're out filming? Is it music videos or visuals like what we filmed, is it vlogs, something else?

The second question is: what do you all want to see more of in our next shoot breakdown? Do you have any questions or things you’d like highlighted? Would you like to see more clips or pictures showing the process? More info on gear? let me know in the comments below!

As always I hope that you were able to gain some value from this, be it entertainment, education, or inspiration. If you enjoyed this blog post please like comment and subscribe to our newsletter so you can be locked in for more content like this. Thanks again for tuning in, I’ll see you all next time!

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