If you think back to years ago, directors needed to go all over to different countries and different places to scout out locations for movies and even build sets from scratch. Now we are in the 21st Century and we don’t need to fly all over to find the perfect location we can create it using a green screen. What is a green screen you ask? A green screen is the basis of the effects seen in everything from the latest Hollywood movies to even your Monday morning weather is used on a green screen. If you shoot a video on a colored background could be green (that’s where green screen comes from) or blue you can replace the color with a video clip or still photo. You can put yourself on Mars or even on a beach instead of snowy weather. This is a great way to save money when creating your setting.
Can you guess 5 movies that use a green screen? I’m sure you can! Star Wars, Avatar, Harry Potter, even Mary Poppins was shot on a green screen. The green screen technique has been used for years in the film industry but recently more and more people have been starting to use it for photography as well.
Digital backgrounds are key to creating great video and photos. We will take you step by step to how to create your own green screen at home. First you need to build your background. Some backgrounds can be a little but more expensive but if you have a something bright green it will work. You are going to wait to purchase sheets of material, large fabric or a few gallons of green paint and get your paintbrush ready. Second step and a very important one, lighting your screen you need to be careful any different shadows will throw your shot off when you go to put the digital background in your shot. If you take fluorescent lights to light the screen it might help to use them on the top and the sides. This will create an evenly lit shot. You are also going to want to lock down your shot. You don’t want to have your background all jumbled this is a must. We will show you a picture of what happens when you do. Keep in mind also you do not want to zoom in and out when you are recording your subject will start shrinking and getting bigger in your background and it will start to look like Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and we wouldn’t want that. Once you have everything ready you are ready to press record and shoot your subject in space or in a circus ring. The options are endless.
Using a green screen is a great time save and a great money saver if you do it correctly. Come up with a story, set up your screen and get to shooting. There is a story in there somewhere! Need help with your video, take a look at our Online Video Editing post.