DJ Khaled’s strangely alluring inclination for jam-packing his songs with hip hop megastars serves to show us the artist’s most eye-catching characteristic: the man likes to do things big. From Justin Bieber and their 2017 summer bop “I’m the One” to Rihanna & Bryson Tiller’s satisfying raunchification of Santana’s Latin-American classic “Wild Things”, DJ Khaled spares no expense when working with the creme de la creme of the music industry.
And there’s certainly no shortage of star power in his latest dream-team track “Top Off”, which features Jay-Z, Beyonce and Future all together. The song garnered explosive attention at its release, not just for the hype of Jay-Z spitting fire and Beyonce lighting up the verse, but also for the accompanying promo video featuring DJ Khaled’s literally taking the top off of his Maybach convertible.
Check out the promo video here:
While DJ Khaled’s brute force approach towards music is something to be celebrated, the music videos help to really give his songs. The electrifying promo video for “Top Off” is the brainchild of Director Ivan Berrios, DJ Khaled’s right-hand man, and DP Mike Marasco (founder of Raw Media House), Ivan’s right-hand man for video production.
“Everyone who was part of this project had worked together before, and better yet, are my friends outside of work,” said Marasco, Director of Photography on set. “Ivan had seen a location from the movie Batman with the LED ceiling, which was Popsicle LA. He knew we needed DJ Khaled’s Maybach parked inside, so it was almost as if they were made for each other.”
Much like his previous work, Marasco wanted a way to keep everything smooth and efficient on set. What’s the best way to achieve this? By going wireless! Marasco got his hands on the new Teradek 703 Bolt, which was added to the 3-camera setup used on set.
- 1x ARRI Alexa Mini
- 1x RED Helium 8K
- 1x RED Epic Dragon
- 3x LOMO Anamorphic Square Front
- 3x Teradek Bolt 500
- 3x SmallHD 2403
- 1x Teradek 703 Bolt
The 3 cameras each had different rigs: Steadicam, handheld and crane. Each rig had its own Bolt 500 transmitter, sending video to receivers on the 3 monitors. The crane’s video feed also went to Marasco’s 703 Bolt, which Director Ivan carried with him to be more mobile on set. LOMO Anamorphic Square Front lenses helped to achieve the emphasized blue look.
Small & Lightweight
The goal was to reduce time on set while achieving that quintessential “hype” factor in all of DJ Khaled’s party anthems. Being wireless and handheld allowed Director Ivan to work more closely with the talent and camera ops instead of being bogged down in video village.
“The Bolt 703 is the perfect tool for any Director or DP. Rather than having one place to watch the footage, you can bring it anywhere on set,” said Marasco. “Not to mention, it’s extremely light and the hand grips are the best I’ve seen compared to any of the grips on the cages that have existed before.”
Instant, handheld AND lightweight? Guess you could say this device adds “another one” to Teradek’s collection of new cinema technologies.
Check out Mike Marasco’s awesome production life in Hollywood on his Instagram @mikemarasco.