Green screening or Chroma key can be an awesome tool in your arsenal as a filmmaker. It can save you hundreds in set building or securing an exotic location however, it is also a matter of practice to perfect it’s use and then even more experimentation.
Now I am talking to all the neophytes like me who could not afford film school and have to guerilla their way through movie making. I have been working with Chroma Keying for about three years now and I am starting to get some decent results, but not for the reasons you may think.
The key thing I have found about it is that distance from actor to screen is essential and I do not have the greatest or largest of spaces available to me. If I keep my actor 6-9ft away from the screen the results are good any closer and the green color will cast on their skin and clothes ruining the results.
Lighting is also crucial. You must keep the green screen lit evenly and then light you actors again, I do not have soft boxes just clamp lights and homemade diffusers.
For our new project “The Realm” We are talking about an extensive amount of chroma key to bring the fantasy world side of The Realm to life and what better place to solve both of my problems than shooting outdoors!
The sun is the ultimate soft box a rich source of diffused light plus nothing gets bigger than the great outdoors.
Now we will have to do some things inside a studio but with what I have learned from my recent experience I am confident we will succeed.
Here are some sources for more on Chroma key.