Green screen for movies?

ibelulu's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/18/2011 - 2:24am

My daughter is 14. She has a Flip video camera and a Mabook and has made some great short movies. For Christmas I wanted to see about getting her a green screen, or body suit and software. I have no idea what she needs to use it. She s pretty darn good on the computer but she is new o this. We need Mac compatible stuff. Any ideas?

Luis Maymi's picture
Last seen: 4 months 6 hours ago
Joined: 09/26/2008 - 4:58am
Plus Member

Hello Lauren

You will need a couple of things to make a successful greenscreen production, being lights the most important. The greenscreen fabric is not that important because you can use any cloth that is green (or blue). For better results you can get a muslin backdrop, which works great and is relatively cheap. As for lightning you need at least 4 lights (2 for the greenscreen itself and the other two for the talent). You will also need to consider where are you going to setup your greenscreen studio and how much space you have available. As for software you can manage with iMovie and get got quality results, as long as you light the greenscreen right.

I suggest you to visit, they have everything you will need regarding greenscreen and they can answer any question regarding equipment. They also have a 50% weekly deal (every Thursday) which you could get everything you need for half the price. Also check Ebay for greenscreen backdrops.

Here is a video I made about Lightning a Greenscreen a la Guerrilla Style. Enjoy.


"The meaning of a movie are the characters, the life of the movie is the music, but the magic is in the editing" –

waxart's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/19/2011 - 5:00am

Very funny movie - but also helpful. Thank you!

Jennifer O'Rourke's picture
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 03/07/2008 - 10:44pm

Hi, Lauren, I'm Jennifer O'Rourke, Videomaker's managing editor. Here are a few more links you might want to share with your daughter about Green Screen work. It's really getting much easier than in the old days, due to the camera and keying technology, but you can still improve your video with good production techniques. [Lighting for Green Screen] [Making Green Screen Believable] [Directing Talent in the Green Screen]

And it might be nice to have someone her own age to follow for inspireation. We've been following the career of Daniel Hart, a 16-year old producer who has been making videos for 10 years. Here's a profile we recently wrote: [Daniel Hart - Up and Coming Producer]

You're a terrific mom to encourage your daughter in this very rewarding career or hobby. Good luck to her and tell her to keep on making those videos, it only get better!

Managing Editor VM Customer Support: 1-800-284-3226

Moab Man's picture
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 11/02/2010 - 3:35am

Another option, if you have the room, is to paint a wall. Unless someone has it handy, i will post the color code and you can have a can of paint mixed at Home Depot or Lowes.

ibelulu's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/18/2011 - 2:24am

Hi all- I went to Tubetape and they said there is no video software for Mac. They have all the green screen stuff of course. I have seen things that have space ship back grounds etc. I think she would love that but is it true there is nothing for Macs? My daughter has iMovie but where do you get the cool back grounds?

Thanks Luis for the great video. I am going to show it to my daughter after Christmas.

Thanks Moabman for the green painted wall idea. That sounds ideal but my hubby would kill me :)

Thanks Jennifer for the links. I will check them out. She will enjoy the Daniel movie too.

You guys are great!


D0n's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

Lauren somebody misinformed you... imovie 11 does indeed do green screen and does it very well for your intended uses.

also final cut pro x and final cut express as well..

what mac os are you running? what version of imovie?

here is a simple how to video for creating your own backgrounds:

doabgah's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 week ago
Joined: 11/21/2011 - 9:09am

FCP(Final cut pro) is a profesional editing softwear.How can a lay man edited on it without any guidance.

doabgah's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 week ago
Joined: 11/21/2011 - 9:09am

Why only FCP it is adobe which also supports Mac.

harlockr's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/11/2011 - 7:10pm

Hi lauren. Like someone said above, it's very cool that you encourage her :)

And all the advises sound good. However, if I were 14 years old and learning myself how to do green screen stuff, I probably would reach the point where I say to myself: "Oh, all that seems easy. I just need a green material for background, light it separately, then light my talent. Load it to the latest iMovie, and that's it! Oh wait... I don't have lights.. mm but any lights would do, right?"

For me, the hardest thing to get, are good lights. The rest is pretty much a do it yourself project, and the learning process.

Lighting is everything : ) (at least most of the time)

D0n's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm


and some simple clamp on light fixtures (either halogen worklamps, or metal dish reflector type clamps, cand be bought for $10.00 or less each..