Green screen filming

Options of filming with a green screen have advanced massively over the past few years and even on a relatively small video production budget it can work extremely well – provided it’s set up and filmed correctly.

A green screen can add big value to your video production project, allowing filming in relatively confined spaces whilst delivering a film with almost unlimited video backdrops.

Video interview set-up

Filming interviews with green screen is all about lighting. It’s great if you know what background will be ‘keyed-in’ beforehand so you can light accordingly for the video. Otherwise, lighting consistently is the best bet to give you options in the edit. When choosing the background it’s good to utilise something with some depth of field so the focus falls away, making the filming backdrop look more realistic. If using video for the chroma key, rather than a still image, make sure it doesn’t distract too much – as illustrated in the last clip in this film example.

Drama - repositioning full length

When using green screen with actors, you’ll need to use full length shots which means filming in a video studio. In the edit the subject (in this case, actress) can be shifted anywhere in the frame for impressive film effects. Again, if your background has significant depth it’s good for the focus to fall away. In this example, when the actress is in the park, everything is in focus which makes it look artificial. Remember, it’s always good to have an idea of what environment you’ll be using for the scene, before you start the video production process.

Green screen filming is now highly portable and versatile and can add such great depth that you’ll find it hard fathom shooting without it for many video production assignments – especially interviews or short drama pieces. When filming, camera settings are all-important along with allowing enough space behind the subject to ensure shadows do not form on the green screen. Lighting is also crucial. Separating the screen and subject(s) involves experience and care and will vary depending on the amount of movement in the camera frame, plus the space you have in the filming location.