Posts in Category: music video

Ric Serena directs “Making of” films for NBC The Voice’s music videos

Ric was asked to Direct a series of spots with a fast turn-around to highlight the creation of  NBC The Voice’s top 4 talent’s music videos, sponsored by Chase’s Freedom Unlimited card:  Adam Wakefield, Alison Porter,Hannah Huston, and Laithe Al-Saadi.

With extreme deference to the the other production team creating the music videos, Ric was able to create unique pieces that stand alone and share the personality and excitement of the different musical artists, while getting us excited about seeing the final product.

Check them all out here:





To DP or not to DP.

That is the question.


I’ve been in love with visual storytelling for as long as I can remember.  I love directing.  I love editing.  And I love shooting.  As my career began shifting from editing to directing, I would often shoot my own projects mostly because I hated asking others to give their time and creative resources up for little to no pay.  Kia Kiso, a friend and colleague, helped me get over that mindset, convincing me there were DP’s willing to give their time and resources because they believed in my prospect as a director.

And as my directing career progressed, I was given the opportunity to  work with some incredibly talented directors of photography including Tyler AllisonTim AnguloSalvador BolivarTom CamardaJohnny DerangoChuck OzeasByron Shah, & Jake Zortman.  There is nothing like creatively gelling with a DP on set, completely in sync with one another as to the final look of the piece.

I still shoot on my smaller, personal projects, not only for budgetary reasons, but because I like to stay knowledgeable of the photographic process, to better help me communicate with the camera department when I’m on larger jobs.

I recently put together a reel of my camera work to send out on the relatively rare occasions I’m called to shoot.  I struggled with what to call the reel.  In my opinion, my work and skill sets are nowhere near the DP’s I’ve worked with.  My lighting skills are limited as I fancy myself more of a documentary style shooter.  Initially, I settled on “Shooter’s Reel,” however, a few of my favorite DP’s responded with the note that it should be listed as my DP reel, even if I’m not necessarily pursuing that path.

I’ve gotta say… that felt nice.

I love shooting.  But even more, I love collaborating.  They both have their place in the future of my work.  I’m certain of it.

On that note… here’s my DP reel:

A collection of footage Ric Serena has shot on a few projects over the years. Music by Matt Bowen



In January of 2014, our friends at Opus Orange approached us about shooting a music video for their single, “Balance,” in anticipation of their upcoming SXSW show.  Opus Orange scored the original soundtrack for our feature documentary, MILE… MILE & A HALF, and have been friends/collaborators since.

Over the course of the two days we were in the downtown Los Angeles location, one music video evolved into four as the location was just too gorgeous to not take advantage.  In addition to “Balance,” I directed videos for “Artificial Heart” and “Fortress” with Director of Photography, Tyler Allison, on camera.  For the single shot concept of “The Next World,” I stepped into the role of DP for very talented Director, Levi Rugg.  All four videos have a unique approach to them and thematically match the energy and emotion of the songs their meant to visualize.  Jen Serena even took part and shot promotional stills for the band.  We couldn’t be more proud of what we were able to colloborate on.  

Special thanks to Emoto Music for entrusting their baby to us, Kia Kiso for stepping into the role of Producer, Bernard Chadwick & Levi Rugg for their creative direction on Balance, and to all the many talented hands that helped shape these videos.

We wish Opus Orange the best on their first SXSW show!!


Director: Levi Shrugg, DP: Ric Serena

Almost There

One of the things I love about Opus Orange‘s track, Almost There, is that it’s a reminder the journey is often more amazing than the destination.  While Mt. Whitney was certainly an impressive accomplishment, it paled in comparison to the compliation of daily experiences we shared during our 219 mile trek along California’s backbone.

Since we returned from the trip, we’ve begun what will be an even longer (and possibly more difficult) journey of pulling together all the material we shot/recorded on the trail and piecing it together into a gallery exhibition and documentary film.  This week, we took two huge steps.

The first is that we went live with our website,

On the site, you can stay up to date with our progress, and we’ll be releasing weekly stories from the trail.

The second big step is the release of our first video glimpse into our journey this summer.  Please enjoy!