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Byron Werner Uses EPIC DRAGONs to Capture both the Future and the Past in California Roll

July 30, 2015

Byron Werner shoots California Roll on EPIC DRAGON

Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, and Stevie Wonder recently teamed up to shoot the music video for their collaborative single, California Roll. Shot completely on EPIC DRAGON—the music video’s DP, Byron Werner, was able to shoot the entire video in just a single day, using two EPIC DRAGON cameras with zoom lenses. With both the past and future being represented in the video, Byron had to ensure that he was able to capture shots that encapsulated the vintage vibe of the past as well as accommodate the visual effects that would be used in the futuristic shots.

Byron’s approach to shooting music videos is to prep as much as possible prior to shooting, ensuring that the right stages and treatments are being used in order to capture as much footage as possible. Setting up with blue screens, versus a traditional green, allowed him to be able to get a shot that was as similar as possible to the night time setting of the video as well as daytime skies—allowing for reflective objects, such as the car driven by Snoop Dogg, to be easily blended with the CG items in post production. Using the REDs allowed for Byron to quickly shoot takes and be confident that the footage would be both high quality as well as flexible in terms of color.

“…the great thing about RED cameras is that you’re working with a significant amount of data. I have two DRAGONS, I have a RED ROCKET…I can have my DIT on set transcode everything, they can do it offline, and then especially something like this that’s so visual effects heavy, they can go back to the original R3Ds and really work on visual effects and color…there is a lot of times that they color off of R3Ds."

Purchasing a SCARLET MYSTERIUM-X when they were first introduced, Byron has grown his arsenal over time to include two EPIC DRAGONs. Although he originally purchased the SCARLET M-X to use in conjunction with a Super 16 lens as a small camera option, it quickly became a fully kitted out cinema camera. As Byron continued to get jobs on feature films, commercials, as well as music videos—Byron was encouraged by RED’s dedication to OBSOLESCENCE OBSOLETE® and upgraded his camera to an EPIC MYSTERIUM-X and later to EPIC DRAGON.

“Because RED offers a trade-in program, people like me can own these cameras. It’s because RED has such a great program to allow people to buy a camera, and upgrade it, and get some of your money back…it’s very big for me. That’s the reason I can do it when I shoot these videos and I can offer two cameras for the price of one sometimes because I have them and RED makes them affordable.”

“But I do really think that it’s incredibly important that you give us access to great tools for a great price…none of my projects 15 years ago would have been as cool as they are now. I wouldn’t have been able to afford anamorphic, I wouldn’t have been able to afford multiple cameras.”

RED is proud to support cinematic visionaries and continue to foster their growth through our value of OBSOLESCENCE OBSOLETE. Check out Byron’s website to see more of the content he’s shot on EPIC DRAGON.