Last week we had the opportunity to shoot client testimonial video interviews at the Charles Schwab IMPACT Convention. We shot all of the interviews in front of a large, anti-wrinkle, portable green screen and tested the footage on-site to make sure it would look right in post-production. Although shooting with a green screen can certainly be a lot of fun, there are a few things to keep in mind when using one:
- Uneven lighting
- Light Reflection
- Subject Positioning
Wrinkles on a green screen can be detrimental to the background image used in post. An uneven surface will not display the image correctly and will ruin the entire interview. No one is going to take a corporate video with such glaring flaws seriously. Keeping your green screen flat is always important. Our DP uses one that is “virtually” wrinkle-free and, when stretched tight with special clamps, will give no cause for worry.
Uneven lighting on the green screen will also effect how the image appears in post. Some portions may seem darker or brighter than others and look fake. Business videos should be eye-catching and professional; amateur oversights will significantly impact the effectiveness of your video marketing campaign, so it is necessary to ensure that the entire screen is lit evenly with no shadows or highlights.
Light reflecting off of the green screen can also be a problem, particularly when your subject is pale-skinned or light-haired, as they will often appear green. Making sure to light your subject well and distance them from the screen is imperative to avoiding light reflection. If you know that your subject is light-haired, you may want to devote extra time to lighting them just right to make sure that your footage is captured unmarred.
Positioning your subject too close or too far away from the screen can also raise issues, especially if the floor sneaks into frame. This can cause the image to look unnatural or oddly angled and distract your viewers from the interview. It can also create weird shadows that don’t make sense in the frame. Blocking the subject equidistant from the camera and the screen is usually the best option, but you may need to experiment with blocking before you find the spacing to be just right.
While green screens enable us to do some really cool visual effects in post, how it is used during production is indicative of the quality of the final product. Utilizing a professional video editing company is a sure way to create an effective and properly executed project when using a green screen.