A green screen is a technique used in digital video, designed specially to create special effects, simulate locations, or any kind of virtual background that is necessary to tell the story you want to convey.
As the name suggests, it consists in a green backdrop that hangs behind the person filmed.
Here are some of the most important things to consider when shooting on green screen:
- It’s all about the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important things you need to consider when it comes to creating realistic green screen scenes. Make sure to use a three-point lighting set up; (key light, fill light and back light). You can use some diffusion if necessary, to reduce some hard shadows. Lighting for green screen shooting must be even, with the lamps at an angle of 45 ° from the background. The lights must be far enough away, so they don’t create any bright spots.
- It’s important to mention that the lighting for the talent and the lighting for the background (green screen) must be done completely separate. It’s not just about the green, it’s mostly about keeping the light clean
- Make sure the subject or actor is placed at the correct distance from the backdrop. The correct distance between the subject and the backdrop and camera is usually from 6-10 ft, that would allow you to do a better job at the moment of editing and it will give some separation and depth between the subject and the background.
- Tell your actor or subject to wear the appropriate clothing, and that means no green colors. The background has to be a completely different color from the subject. Otherwise, if the subject is wearing a green tie in front of a green screen, he’ll end up with a transparent strip in his chest where the tie is supposed to be!
- Have some make up available for the actors. Some of them might look shiny or pale, and you might need to do some make up adjustments. Frizzy hair is always difficult to manipulate in post, so I would recommend you carry some hairspray in your make up bag, a little bit of it would go a long way when editing that footage.