Yaar Billa

music video shoot experience

Murphy’s law & Planning in Filmmaking

Let’s cover the what, why & who of this blog real quick…
because your time is kind of important to me too.



Last week, I shot this music video for a famous Indian Rapper Muhfaad in collaboration with Deathcure productions, and want to share how planning in filmmaking plays a crucial role and on any set, big or small.


I don’t want you to scratch your head and juggle your hands in nervousness while wondering “What now?” when you have only an hour left and 75% shoot hasn’t been done yet.


Level: Beginners, Intermediate

Profile: Film Director, Cinematographer, AD, People interested in filmmaking.



Before jumping into “How” an introduction seems a must to creative souls still reading this…


Hey there,
I’m Deepak (a.k.a. Yaar Billa). This blog series “My journey” is about my experiences as a filmmaker. It is my attempt to inspire you & help you by sharing practical advice weekly.

Btw… How’s that creative journey going on?
Having fun! Of course, you are…

And I think it’s the best time to pause that song you’re listening to and bring a coffee maybe…

Because this story is interesting and I promise you will be more ready the next time you pick your camera to shoot.

Let’s go for a ride…




Murphy’s law is inevitable in filmmaking.
In case, you’re wondering what’s it? 


Murphy’s first law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Or in other words, expect the unexpected.


IMO, Nobody can agree more with this than a filmmaker.
I am sure you have been there once, so am I…


I was in Delhi when I got a call from the Deathcure team to work as a DP on their next project for Muhfaad. We were shooting this video for Innovura Entertainment.
We were all excited and dreaming of our next projects with Badshah or Raftaar already (A+ artists in India).


video shoot in Delhi, DLF building


Director Honey shared his ideas for the video and after deciding the look, I gave him the list of equipment required.

We had 8 hrs to shoot the thing. (Due to the schedule of the artist.)`
We planned both exterior and interior shots as you do in a typical scenario.
All the cast & crew lined up for 01:00 PM.



Finally, the day came…
It was a bright sunny afternoon in Delhi.
I decided to have lunch while I was waiting for the team to arrive (It’s a 6-7 hours drive from our hometown Chandigarh).

(Quick Tip: Don’t eat a lot before the shoot because it makes you lazy.)



By the time I came out Bamm!
It was grey outside.
Thunderstorms, Lightning…
Yeah… you guessed it right.
Rain… Rain… Don’t come again. :/



Our schedule began to fall apart.
We arrived at the location just about in time.
But, Was that all we needed?
We were supposed to reach there 2 hours before.


It was just another Villa that needed to be converted into a set with props, lights, and gears lying around.
You feel it, right?


color graded picture of antique glass


We never visited the location before, so we decided to take a look around.
Generally, we look for good props or the best spots to shoot. We have decided to build our master frame in the hall.

Made some rearrangements.
Swapped brown sofas with grey ones, moved them further from the wall.
Then, after an hour or so…
There came a point when we needed lights and dancers to rehearse the shots.
Oh! did I mention even the camera team was not there yet.


All the teams were late due to heavy rain.
We waited helplessly!
And we waited more…
By the time everyone came, it was 4:30 PM already and they were hungry.


Let me remind you once again we had only 8 hours to shoot because Mufaad (artist) had to leave at 9:00 PM. 


Guess what?
To make the matter even worse the gaffer forgot to bring the boom poles which was key to our lighting setup idea.

Ahhhhh… I mean and It turned out to be a miscommunication between our line producer and the rental house.


So what was before 8 hours was now 4 hours (on a stretch).
Without wasting any time, It was time to get that Makeup done!

Make up artist doing make up


First things first, we asked our producers to order food for everyone. “Doesn’t matter how dope the set looks and how cool the lighting is if your crew and cast have an empty stomach you won’t move an inch anywhere.”


Coffee cup


We initially thought of top lighting, but when the gaffer forgot those boom poles we used a 3 point light system as we were left with no choice.


Despite the fact that we didn’t have much, still we took our time for master shots.
But we compensated the time by working on multiple sets at a time.
We shot on one set while preparing the next, it saved us a lot of time.

(Quick tip: As a rule of thumb the bigger the set the slower the things move. Keep this in mind while planning numbers for crew and cast.)


Music video Artist


The director talked to the manager of the Muhfaad to buy us some extra time. Then, we shot the group shots first with the dancers and the female model. We kept the solo shots of the artist till the end.

(Quick tip: Ask or share your problem with your team, somebody has a solution.)

Finally, the shoot was completed around 11:00 PM, and we packed up and yes we missed some shots and improvised our shot list.

It went a little off from what we were expecting, but hey, this is life.
Not everything goes according to your plan, Isn’t it?
And you don’t lose by committing mistakes. You learn…



Believe me…
These challenges, problems are inevitable in one form or the other.
It will happen on your next shoot and the next time after that…
But, what you learn over time is to plan and face them better. 


If anything goes wrong you can always improvise a plan but you can’t improvise a “no plan”.




A plan is a must before you go and shoot & here are few steps that you should consider while planning:

  • Check the forecast.
  • Consider buffer time.
  • Double-check your checklist.
  • Craft services are a priority on a set, not secondary.
  • Leave room for improvisation.


I know you didn’t miss out the smallest detail as every filmmaker in the world.
Let’s find out if you got this inside out.

 Hope! you enjoyed the story and learned something new. Though, I run a blog called “MasterClass” where I thoroughly covered this topic, “how to plan for a shoot”.

And there is one more challenge we filmmakers face.
Any Guesses?


Organizing all these information pile-ups in never-ending bookmarks.
It is pain in the @ss, right? So I optimized this information for Instagram and created this post for you.

Save it for future reference. Also, follow me for more content like this.


And coming back to planning again…
Have you ever faced such a situation?


Share your story with us in the comments…




Next week is very special.
I am planning to shoot a vlog for you guys on “How to make/find locations interesting to shoot”.


Hey! come closer…
I want to share a secret

The plan is to launch it in the first week of October because I want to have a buffer of a few videos before I drop the first one for you.

What? We are family now
We can share secrets, right?

Though, It is a hell lot of work. 


Wish me luck! 
See ya…

I am a filmmaker with 5+ years of experience based in Copenhagen, Denmark. I tell stories by creating, editing, and color grading images. With this blog series, I wanna help my filmmaking community by sharing practical tips, advice, and experiences.

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