Unveiling the Inspirations and Artistry of Filmmaker Serr Villasano

Serr Villasano, a multifaceted artist, wears the hats of a filmmaker, DP, colorist, and content creator.

Serr Villasano Filmmaker

Hailing from the vibrant city of Los Angeles, California, filmmaker Serr Villasano draws inspiration from the timeless aesthetics of classic cinema—an influence clearly reflected in the captivating visual narrative of his films. Keep reading to learn more about what keeps him inspired, his advice for new filmmakers, and how he uses Musicbed to find the right music for his work.

Musicbed: What sparked your passion for filmmaking/storytelling?

Serr Villasano: Growing up I was never a “creative” person. It wasn’t until I found photography that I started exercising muscles I hadn’t used before. There’s a certain fulfillment that you get from finishing a creative project from start to finish. I’ve been holding on to that fulfillment ever since. Along with that also comes collaborating with other talented artists. In a career that can sometimes feel isolating, it’s nice being able to find connections and community through a common love for the art. 

What keeps you motivated and creatively inspired?

Creativity is an ebb and flow of consciousness. Whenever I feel I need more of it, I try to find inspiration through different art forms. Music, paintings, film, photographs. They all can fuel your creativity in different and unique ways. Music is usually my favorite way to find inspiration, as I find myself wanting to tell stories through visuals and sound rather than dialogue most times.

Serr Villasano with camera

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

As a filmmaker and cinematographer, I love being a part of the image-making process. And knowing what can make a story visually appealing is part of the job. Lighting, composition, and use of color(or lack thereof) all work together to create a film that is enticing visually. Aside from the visuals, sound is also an important aspect that can help enhance the tone and emotions of the story. And music is one way to drive the emotion home. Visuals and sound always go hand in hand.

What elements do you think are essential for crafting a compelling story?

A compelling story shows confidence and commitment to the style and narrative. Elements of emotion and tone are important to solidify early on to have a film resonate with someone. Once you know the mood you want to set, then you can focus on enhancing that mood through the color grade, music choice, and editing. I firmly believe the audience can read when you’ve put a lot of care and thought into each one of those elements when watching. 

How important is music in your work?

Music is always the cherry on top, it’s the last piece of the puzzle that brings the story home. Sometimes, music is the first part of the process when creating a film, and serves as the starting point for an idea. I actually think I might use it as a crutch creatively sometimes, but maybe that’s the way I love creating at the moment. Finding music is usually always one of the hardest and most time-consuming parts of my process. Especially with Musicbed, there are too many amazing song options to choose from. 

Serr Villasano with camera in field

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

Find what unique stories or styles you have to offer in the filmmaking world and run with it, as that’s what’s gonna separate your work from everyone else. Too many people focus on the gear or what everyone else is doing. That doesn’t allow you to find your unique way of telling stories. Always try and think outside the box, and find a way to connect it with who you are. This is easier said than done, but it’s always been at the back of my mind since the beginning and has pushed me to try new things creatively. 

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

I always find that once you establish a certain look and style to your work, clients and audience earn a sense of trust in you. So being confident in your style will make others trust your vision no matter what. Then you don’t have to compromise on your certain style or vision. On the flip side, I think being open and allowing yourself to experiment can always be a good thing. This can help challenge you and further lock in what you like and don’t like. 

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

Work/life balance is the most challenging aspect of being a creative. It’s hard to shut your creative mind off when you’re so excited and inspired when working. I think it’s one of the few cons of working in such a creative industry where you are your own boss most of the time. Finding a way to balance out your aspirations and goals with living your own life outside of that is hard. But I guess that’s also a good sign that you’re in the right field.

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

My “on film” series are definitely my favorite films I’ve created. They encapsulate the type of work I want to be creating going forward and have a strong sense of my personality in them. It takes me a while to appreciate my work sometimes but every time I go back and view those videos, it’s a reminder of what I can create when I start letting my creativity flow. There’s nothing I would change about them! The tracks, color, and edit all suit the narrative perfectly.

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

My first step is to always go to the genre filter category, then from there choose a mood. Usually, I’ll find what I’m looking for that way. Or if I have no starting point then just check out what different playlists have to offer! Luckily it’s easy to find quality songs on Musicbed! Rather than having an issue of lack of options, you’re left with too many good options, which can be just as hard sometimes! If all else fails, using Musicbed’s team of experts to find your perfect song is always a solid option. 

Why do you utilize Musicbed in your work?

I’ve always felt that Musicbed has a very unique and professional library. They have a wide array of music to choose from, but it always feels high quality, no matter what type of music you’re looking for. I find if I need inspiration I can always count on Musicbed’s roster to feed me something. I have the Musicbed app on my phone, and I find myself using it just like I would a music streaming service!

Explore a curated playlist of Serr’s go-to songs for inspiring and elevating his work—available to license exclusively on Musicbed.