greenscreen_patrick - BFVS


On Tuesday 18 July we had an experimental evening to illustrate how we carry out Green Screen filming.  

Jane and John set up two computers for editing the rushes (the footage) and while this was happening we erected the framework onto which a 20 foot by 10 foot green sheet was attached.  This was pulled tight to eliminate the creases and secured all round with clips.  John used a portable steamer to remove any further creases. Patrick set up two 800 watt lights to light the green screen, and Declan, acting as DoP (Director of Photography), advised adding two layers of defuser, creating a softer light.  This avoided creating shadows from the actors on the green screen.  Next we set up a third light behind the green screen pointing towards the actors (a back light). To the backlight we added a magenta gel, a coloured, transparent material. When filming actors against a green screen, the actor is often lit by green light reflecting off the screen.  This obviously needs to be avoided. Optically, magenta is the opposite of green (sometimes called minus green) and hopefully counteracts the green on the actor. So that was the green screen lit.  Next we added two more lights pointed at the actors.  

Unfortunately, this was too much for the electricity supply, and caused the trip to put us in darkness.  It was also unfortunate that centre management did not know where the trip switch was located.  We were left wondering whether we should abandon the whole project and go home.  Panic!  But then the lights came on again. 

With the screen and lighting in place, Declan used his light meter to check light levels and consistency and Patrick used his App "Green Screener" to do the same. Both methods agreed and gave us satisfactory results. 

We were then ready to begin filming. We had three projects planned, a train carriage, a railway station and finally sky diving. The train carriage project was filmed by Steve, the sound by Caroline, with Merlin acting as a ticket inspector having to tolerate a stroppy passenger refusing to buy a ticket, played by Patrick.  The station project was filmed by Dave, and involved four actors. Julian took the part of a character who carelessly left his case unattended, which was stolen by a petty thief played by Tony.  In the next scene, an impatient traveller, played by Merlin, was waiting for his partner.  However, his impatience resulted in an argument with his partner, played by Sue.  The sky diving project was filmed by Dave, with Tony playing a sky diver attempting to take a selfie while falling. 

The plan was that Jane and John would edit the rushes, combine them with background footage and show the editing process on a large screen. Unfortunately we ran short of time so this couldn't be done.  The three final films will be published in the near future.

The evening proved to be very successful and enjoyed by all.