Greenscreens are the biggest lie ever told.
“Make Hollywood calibre pictures right from the comfort of your own home.” Said the mustache twirling magnate that managed to overprice a gosh darn colour.
First you’ve got to put up a whole bunch of green on your wall, either with some cloth or by painting your wall, which way you choose doesn’t matter it just has to be flat and has to be a solid shade. You could try using a blue screen, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it, so no one uses it unless you’re making The Hulk or Green Lantern.
Secondly, you have to light said greenscreen, which must be done completely evenly across the entirety of your greenscreen(God help you if your greenscreen has a corner.) Light it up bright and keep whatever you want to put on the greenscreen away from the greenscreen: A shadow creates a matte and is incredibly difficult to get rid of.
Thirdly, light whatever you need to shoot in front of a greenscreen. Yes, your subject and your greenscreen require two different sources of lighting, one to make the greenscreen look suitably green and the other to light your subject in a somewhat competent way.
After all of that rigmarole, you won’t end up with this…
You’ll end up with this!
However, this is blog post is not a complete trashing of greenscreening. What should be acknowledged when creating a film on a small, or even no budget is one simple technique:
You have a tripod, that’s a resource. You got a garden with goalposts, that’s a resource. You got a stubbly moustache and can kinda do a half decent Pablo Escobar impersonation, that’s a resource.
Find something that you’re interested in and make something about that, budget doesn’t matter, neither does academy grade acting nor stellar visual effects. If it is truly good, an audience can forgive a whole lot. Make something with the things that you already have, films always trip over themselves when trying to outreach their grasp. *cough* Gods Of Egypt *cough*
Ralph Sepe was a high school student who had $500, rather then spend that on 62.5 weeks of Neopets membership.(Trust me, I did the math.) Ralph made what just might be one of my all time favourite films: King Candy.
Effects do not make a story: Style, Story & Substance make a masterpiece.