Filming a Drummer: Behind the Scenes

by | May 1, 2022 | Behind the Scenes

In this blog post, I take you behind the scenes of a recent project where I filmed a talented local drummer, Sam Barnes. This project was not just about capturing Sam’s drumming skills but also about showcasing his unique style and services. Let’s dive into the details of how we achieved this.

The Project Brief

Sam, a local session drummer and teacher, reached out to me to create three short promotional videos. These videos were meant to be portfolio pieces, demonstrating his drumming skills across various styles and songs. The challenge was to make these videos stand out in a space dominated by self-shot phone and GoPro videos, without being overly showy.

The Gear and Setup

  • Cameras: Sony A7S3 with Sigma 24-70 lens for the main wide angle, and Sony A7III with Tamron 17-28mm lens mounted overhead.
  • Audio: Scratch audio for syncing in post-production, with Sam handling the professional drum recording.
  • Lighting: We Light Ninja 400 COB LED with a 70cm parabolic softbox, and two small RGB lights set to blue for subtle backlighting.

The Filming Process

  1. Multicam Setup: To capture different angles, I used a multicam setup with the Sony A7S3 and A7III.
  2. Audio Syncing: Sam played to a click track, starting each take with a stick click for easy syncing in post-production.
  3. Gimbal Shots: After recording wide and overhead shots, I used a gimbal for close-ups and moving shots, ensuring Sam played consistently for syncing with the previously recorded audio.
  4. Additional Coverage: For the session recording video, I captured extra footage of Sam setting up microphones and preparing, to communicate the message effectively.

Editing in Final Cut Pro

  • Importing and Organizing: I imported all footage directly from the SD cards and took time to organize and label everything.
  • Multi-Cam Editing: I used Final Cut Pro’s multi-cam feature to sync all takes and audio, manually aligning tracks where automatic syncing was not possible.
  • Final Touches: I added cuts, a subtle grade, faked camera movements, and a vignette to focus on Sam and reduce lighting spill.


This project was a fantastic experience in filming a musician and capturing the essence of their art. While I can’t show the finished videos here due to copyright restrictions, you can find links to them in the description of the YouTube video.

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I'm Will Chidlow, passionate about creating visually captivating content that tells a story. Whether it's through video production, photography, or content creation, I'm here to help you share your ideas with the world. Learn more about my work. Follow me on Instagram and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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