How to Tell a Video Story with Green Screen

Learn how to apply greenscreen effects to a window, windshield or door. Examine how we planned out our video shoot to utilize a greenscreen to create an outdoor environment consistent with our storyboard.

Video Transcript

This time on tips and tricks we’re gonna take a look at how we put together a small story with the use of a green screen.

First off, in our story we wanted someone to be home enjoying a quiet winter evening. A friend comes home to invite him to a party, which he promptly drives to and then he dances the night away. We had to use a green screen in every shot since we couldn’t drive at night, didn’t have the proper weather, and needed a dance floor. Let’s take a look at how it worked out.

First off we grabbed a portable green screen since we wanted the look of a nice, winter-like scene. So we had to decide where we wanted to place the green screen and how we would composite the shot in order to eliminate any distractions from the illusion. We decided to use a medium shot so that when we looked out the window we wouldn’t see anything that would lead us to believe that we actually shot during the daytime, in the afternoon. The things that we had to consider were: how would we react to the winter scene based upon what the subject would see, how would we composite the subject with the background plate, and at what angle the scene would be shot so we knew how to scale down the video that would be inserted.

Our next segment of the video centered around our subject being invited by a friend to the big dance-off. First off, we had to post up the green screen outside the door, giving us enough room so that when our subjects came in the door it looked natural. We had problems dealing with the sunlight as well as posting up the green screen itself. The big issue was making sure that when we recreated the scene, that the depth of field was just right. First up, we grabbed a couple of different takes of the talent opening the door and his reaction. Then we shot the same person entering the door in front of a green screen. This allowed us more freedom when compositing both shots together.

To shoot the drive we needed to set up the shot so that we can later add moving video to make it look as if we were heading to our destination at night. We first set up a shot inside the car, compositing it so that only the green screen would be visible. We simply laid the green screen on the hood of the car and placed the camera directly behind the driver. After shooting a nighttime road trip we were able to insert the shot into our window to give off the illusion that we were taking a late night drive to the party to go dancing.

The last segment required the use of some disco lights and the amazingly sick moves of the talent as they cut a rug in front of the green screen. First we needed to make sure that we could separate the talent far enough away from the background so that the disco lights wouldn’t interfere with the green screen lights, or else we would run into the problem of bleed through when we put the video together. Again, the main concern was knowing how far away we needed to be from the green screen to make sure that the video didn’t bleed through onto the talent.

Now let’s take a look at our final video.

So there you have it. Preparation is key when you’re trying to maintain your illusion when using a green screen.

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Hi, nice tip. I had a ques

skeller61's picture
Hi, nice tip. I had a question about the window shot, though, as I noticed a lot of green bleed in the final video. How do you light that green screen without a lot of unintended spill be reflecting off of the window? Thanks, Scott