Green Screen Interviews | What You Need To Know

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FEBRUARY, 2017

Green Screen Interviews |
What You Need To Know

There’s no doubt that Green Screen (or Chroma Keying) is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to professional video production. It allows you to superimpose your subject onto any background you like. Whether that be an animated digital background or a backdrop to a totally different location. However, as useful as they are, there is definitely a time and a place to go green.

Before we get into the pro’s and cons of green-screen, let’s quickly outline what it is and how it works. Green-screening (or Chroma Keying) is the process of filming a subject against a solid color background (usually green or blue) and then superimposing your subject onto a different background in the edit.

The reason that the colors are green and blue is because these are the colors that are furthest away from our skin color. Editing software is used to pick out and remove the background color, to then leave only your subject on screen.

“Green-screens are definitely handy, but we would always recommend a natural interview where possible.”

So now you know a little bit more about what green-screens are and how they work, lets have a look at some of the pros and cons of green-screen interviews?

 

Pros

 

It Saves Time – Green screen gives you a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to the logistics of a shoot. For example, if you wanted to film a large number of interviews in 1 day, then you would probably want to film green screen. As this would mean that the crew don’t have to spend time moving from location to location, looking for a different spot to do each interview. The crew can just set up in the one location and film each interview one after the other.

Be Anywhere – this would seem the most obvious benefit, but it allows you to place you subject in a location that might not to available or possible to film at. For example; you may have wanted to film the interview in a public area, but it’s just too noisy. This is where green screen can help you out. All the crew then need to do is go and film the background you need and then it can be put together.

Can Save on Cost – Where time has been saved, inevitably that will mean that money has been saved. If you were to wanting to film loads of interviews naturally, this could take more than one day. But, if you filmed them all green screen, you’ve got a better chance of being able to get this all done in a day. Meaning you will have saved a lot of money.

 

Cons

 

Can be Tricky – Whilst it may look straightforward, like with most things in video production, green screen interviews can be notoriously difficult to get right. The reason for this is because the background needs to be lit 100% even. Otherwise, it can mean that it won’t key correctly in the editing process. We’d recommend that, if you’re going to go with green screen, you hire the professionals. There’s nothing worse than an amateurish looking green screen interview.


Takes a Long Time to Edit –
Another downside to green screens is that it can take a long time in the edit suites and, ultimately, ramp up the costs of editing. Due to the heavy amount of effects going on to the clips, it can take a long time to work with, render and export.


Just isn’t the Same – 
Ultimately, the bottom line is that it just doesn’t look as good as the real thing. At the end of the day, what you are trying to do is fake a realistic looking interview. Even if you manage to pull off the green screen well, there are still lots of things that can make not look quite right. For example, the background needs to be the same color temperature as the subject, the perspective needs to be just right and also the scale needs to work. It just isn’t the same as a beautiful and natural interview set up.

 

 

 

 

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