Frames of Inspiration: Exploring the Cinematic World of Andrew Beresnev

Andrew Beresnev fuses cinematography and music to captivate global audiences, expertly bringing life's moments to vivid fruition.

Filmmaker Andrew Beresnev

When he’s not sharing educational and inspirational content with his global YouTube audience, cinematographer Andrew Beresnev creates award-winning short films and works with brands like Purina, Honda, and others. Read his interview below to learn more about what keeps him inspired, his advice for new filmmakers, and why he turns to Musicbed for the right music to elevate his films.

Musicbed: What sparked your passion for filmmaking/storytelling?

Andrew Beresnev: My mom bought me a Motorola L6 with a 0.3-megapixel camera in middle school. I filmed a few silly stories and edited them with Microsoft Movie Maker. It was so much fun that I started making videos that I could edit with music. I captured video games on my PC and edited them, creating animations with Adobe Flash MX. All my free time was spent making and editing videos. It was my passion. An inner energy awakened in me, seeking an outlet in visual and musical forms. Year by year, I gained access to more budget-friendly and accessible tools to create something new and cool.

What keeps you motivated and creatively inspired?

Music is a significant inspiration for me, fueling my filmmaking aspirations. I’m constantly filled with ideas and images I want to bring to life visually. Movies also inspire me greatly. I enjoy replicating interesting references from films, although this can be challenging due to the monotony of familiar lighting schemes. Talented cinematographers offer fresh perspectives that encourage me to enhance my work. Lastly, I draw inspiration from people, particularly those who transform ordinary things into extraordinary creations. Gwax, whose storytelling through drawing is remarkable, is one such artist who pushes my creative boundaries.

Andrew Beresnev filming on airplane runway in front of airplane

What makes a story visually appealing? What role does music play in storytelling?

Genuine experiences are captivating for viewers, resonating with authentic emotions and challenges. Behind-the-scenes (BTS) videos often garner more interest than staged productions, highlighting the allure of real stories. True art emerges from narratives where viewers can empathize with protagonists (or authors), prioritizing character and events over form. Visual storytelling can express the story by utilizing colors, attire, settings, and lighting to enhance the narrative’s impact. Equally crucial is selecting appropriate music; meticulous curation of playlists ensures harmony with the video content. 

How important is music in your work?

Music plays a crucial role in the author’s filmmaking style. The selection of music enhances the storytelling experience and reflects the creator’s good taste. Consider Quentin Tarantino’s films; their impact would be significantly diminished without his curated soundtracks.

What advice would you give other filmmakers/creators just starting their careers?

Everything we do is ultimately for the audience. Whether it’s providing utility or entertainment, our aim is to engage viewers. Unfortunately, much new content is created merely for visual appeal or to showcase new equipment, and it quickly loses its appeal. I’ve fallen into this trap myself. However, by focusing on providing value or entertainment, I can connect with my audience and monetize my work, and I recommend remembering that moment. Creating purely for personal expression risks going unnoticed or unsold. While I admire spontaneity and pure creativity, diving into it fully at the outset can lead to burnout and financial struggles. Finding balance is essential.

How do you balance pushing boundaries creatively and delivering what your client wants or audience wants to see?

I make a clear distinction between my art projects and commercial work. When I’m hired as a DP, I prioritize serving the client and Director, ensuring their satisfaction with the final result. However, in my art endeavors, I am both the customer and the servant. I have the freedom to experiment and express myself using any tools I choose. As I’ve built my portfolio and reputation, I’ve been fortunate to find that many clients and directors are receptive to my creative input. This allows me to incorporate my style and signature into various projects. However, in the early stages of my career, breaking into commercial work with my style was challenging.

Filmmaker Andrew Beresnev with camera

What is the most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker/creative?

The most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker or creative is maintaining self-belief and sustaining energy for new ideas and inspiration to keep working. Many persons I know have transitioned from filmmaking to IT due to its perceived stability and higher income potential. Therefore, it’s crucial to support oneself and remember why we chose this field. Additionally, passion and creativity can wane over time, which is normal. It’s essential to reignite the creative spark by engaging with new works, watching great films, listening to amazing music, and connecting with fellow creatives.

What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on?

The most incredible project was the one I worked on with my friend Ted Young. He discovered my YouTube channel and reached out to collaborate on creating a fairy tale film together. It was an 8-day production in Georgia where we filmed a fairy tale featuring characters with intricate VFX makeup to resemble fairy animals. The experience involved meticulous planning and shooting, considering that each character required 4 hours of makeup preparation. We carefully planned our timing to ensure we captured everything we needed. I love challenging projects like this one. 

Andrew Beresnev filming couple in the sunset

How do you search for music on Musicbed? What are some tips that you’d give other filmmakers to search on Musicbed?

Initially, I sought out exclusively cinematic music, curating my favorite tracks into a playlist. Over time, my musical tastes expanded to encompass a variety of genres. When I conceive a new project, I turn to my favorite music to select 5-7 tracks that resonate with the story I envision, creating a dedicated playlist. These tracks set the tone for the film during the planning stage, guiding the mood and atmosphere. After filming, I already have a clear idea of the music I will incorporate into the final product.

Why do you utilize Musicbed in your work?

I’ve never encountered such a vast array of incredible composers gathered in one place before. While I’ve tried other services, none could match the caliber of performers like Hammock, Tony Anderson, Ryan Taubert, or Jordan Critz. I also appreciate the structure of Musicbed for my projects. It’s incredibly useful to be able to create playlists for each project. I’m very grateful for how Musicbed supports new creators with accessible subscription plans for social media platforms like YouTube. I remember Musicbed from 2016 when I had to pay for each song license. It’s incredible that we now can access so many songs as part of a subscription for art and YouTube projects.

Explore a curated playlist of Andrew’s favorite music to use in his films—all available to license only on Musicbed.