1.38. Green Screen Workshop

One of my week 6 (enhancement week) workshops was the green screen workshop, where we learned about how to use lighting to make the subject of a film appear well-lit as well as well as making sure the green screen had no shadows or ripples, as this tends to ruin the effect.

Green screen 1
1. Shown here is an example of the green-screen technology working. Dave, who had to step in to run the workshop as Angus was away, explained that despite the name ‘green screen,’ the process can work with a screen of any solid colour. Green is often used because it is not a colour that often appears on clothes.
Green screen 2
2. Umbrella lights – useful for creating a soft, white glow that encompasses a large area.
Green screen 3
3. A ‘black screen’ – black is not often used as a screen colour because when the image is imposed on black, it often shows up in the shadowy areas of the subject being filmed.
Green screen 4
4. These lights are small, but bright, and are very easy to move around. Also, the angle from which the light comes (from the floor) is useful to remove any shadows from a green screen.
Green screen 5
Green screen 6
Green screen 7
7. Getting the camera at the right distance to focus on the subject is vital.
Green screen 8
8. The angle of the lighting is extremely important. It depends what kind of effect you are going for, but in general, lighting the subject evenly rather than from just one side helps them appear contrasting enough to the screen for the effect to work properly.
Green screen 9
9. Filming the subject in the dark is also an option, but the screen would still have to be well-lit; also black would not be an ideal colour to use for this exercise because of the obvious shadowy areas – the whole point is to contrast the subject as much as possible from the green screen.
Green screen 10
10. Sometimes shadows may be what you’re going for in a film, but if working with a screen it is important to adjust the lighting so the subject casts no shadow on it – a shadow will be clearly visible and ruin the effect.
Green screen 11
Green screen 12
12. Sometimes low-tech is best – although unconventional, a reflective surface such as tin foil can be useful for directing light exactly where you want it.
Green screen 13
Green screen 14

The green screen workshop was brilliant – I had never done anything quite like it before, and it was fascinating to learn about all the different elements of using screens. The things I learned in this workshop were extremely useful when making our films in the spring term.


Published by William Fowler

Hello! I'm studying Art and English Literature at the University of Reading, and I'm currently working with art films to investigate philosophical ideas of the 'real.' As always, my aim is to create pieces of art that are more than the sum of their parts.

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