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Green Screen Made Easy | Keying and Compositing Techniques for Indie Filmmakers | Page 3

Review from Sci-Fi-London

A very nice review from Robert Grant at Sci-Fi-London.

Written with the indie filmmaker in mind ‘Greenscreen Made Easy’ follows a beautifully logical path through the entire process of pre-production, production and post-production from buying or building your greenscreen (or blue, and it explains that as well) through shooting your backgrounds, lighting for greenscreen, positioning your actors, techniques for clean keys, prepping for post-production, getting rid of artifacts, different plug-ins, blending, colouring, making it believable and using CGI backgrounds.

Read it here.

Win a Copy of Greenscreen Made Easy!

Find more videos like this on MyToolfarm

Tell us your greenscreen or keying horror story! Enter to win Professional Keying with Keylight and the book Greenscreen Made Easy. All instructions are in the video. Important: Tag your video with the word ‘Greenscreen’. To do this, go to MyToolfarm.com and upload your video and click “Edit Video” to edit your tags. Due date is Friday, April 10, 2009. Good luck!

Michele Presenting at Ferris Video Festival

I’ll be running a session on Greenscreen and Keying (mainly keying tricks) at the Ferris video Festival on Friday, April 3.

The Ferris student chapter of MCA-I is hosting its 9th Ferris Video Festival on Friday, April 3. The event begins at 10:00 AM with a keynote presentation by Angela Prater, a graduate of the program who will speak on Diversity Online. She will present the awards for the high school award winners. Following the ceremony, there will be concurrent training sessions from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM on a range of topics including the RED camera, Animation in Video Production, Copyright Issues, Special Effects Makeup, Greenscreen tricks, Music Video Production, After Effects, the HD Workflow, and Women in Film and Television. Members of the MCA-I Mid-Michigan chapter will be among the presenters. Everyone is invited. Admission is free. The event will be held in the IRC building which shares a parking lot with the football field on the mother campus in Big Rapids, MI.

Here’s the full schedule of the breakout sessions, from 11am-1pm.

  • Copyright Issues — Denise Glassmeyer, Young Basile Attorneys
  • Special Effects Makeup — Dawn Butler, fxmakeupbydawn & MCA-I
  • Red Camera Demonstration— Jeff Hamlin, Lansing Community College
  • Animation in Game Design – David Baker, Ferris State University
  • Green Screen – Michele Yamazaki, Toolfarm & MCA-I
  • Women in Film and Video – Serenity Sherie, Detroit Women in Film and TV
  • Music Video Production – Chavell Crofford, Vellis Productions
  • HD Workflow – going Tapeless – Glen Okonoski, Ferris State University
  • After Effects – Andrew Tingley, Creo Productions
  • Unions in a Production Environment – William Minihan, IATSE

On Saturday April 4, also in the IRC building room 120 on the Big Rapids campus, the Television and Digital Media Production Program will host a PA Bootcamp from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The P.A. Boot Camp will provide more than just an overview of what is expected of production assistants on both film and video sets. MPA instructors Jax Baker and Mitch Nyberg will engage students with demonstrations, hands-on activities, form usage exercises, and give a review of set/client etiquette. Students will gain job search tips from a panel of production professionals during an informative discussion on local production companies, unions and film organizations, and the resources they offer. The training session is open to the public for $40 and for students at a reduced rate of $35. Seating is limited.

Attending NAB this year?

NAB is just around the corner, it seems. Are you going this year? Is the economy making it difficult for you to take trips like this? Is the absence of Apple and other companies a reason that you would not attend? Is it an event that you wouldn’t miss? How do the parties and things like the FCP Supermeet influence your decision to go? Please tell us your thoughts about the NAB conference. We’re curious.

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure

Preproduction: “Movie Gods” — A greenscreen epic!

"Leeds" Experimental Backdrop

One of the important things with greenscreen production is how much it can open up your horizons as a low-budget filmmaker.  If done properly, it can give an unimaginable edge to the microfilmmaker (or “micro-budget filmmaker”).  However, the fact that we are capable of doing greenscreen does not mean that we should shoot films just for the sake of shooting greenscreen.  The choice to shoot with this production workflow needs to be one that has been thought through and really chosen because it serves the storyline.

Recently, Tom Stern, one of our writers at MFM decided that he would do a film based on a video game, in which the mani character has to live out the mystery of their lives in a virtual world where they keep getting killed.  Obviously, a virtual world is ideally suited to greenscreen and it was necessary to tell his tale.  As it turned out, the amount of greenscreen that went into this film (Titled, Lives Lost) rivals Sin City.

Well, we’re in the early stages of pre-production on a film that equally requires greenscreen.  A time-crossing adventure, the plot of Movie Gods deals with people in the 1930’s.  There are two components to the storyline: one is set in the modern era, while the other is set in the past.  The modern era will not be shot with greenscreen and will be in full color.  However, because of the costliness of shooting a true period piece in the 1930’s with traditional props and set dressing, we will be using greenscreen for this.  To further isolate the modern elements of the story from those happening in the past, the greenscreen footage will be converted to black and white after compositing.  While this may seem like a lazy way to avoid fringing that can result with bad keys, it is actually a very specifically chosen style.

Rather than simply desaturating footage to black and white, we will be blooming the whites and damaging the footage in post so that it is more in keeping with newsreel footage of the ’30’s.  (Oddly enough, the Great Depression was essentially a golden era for actual theater attendance, with more people going to the movies than at any other time in our nation’s history.  For more on this and how it compares with the modern day, check out my editorial on the subject from MFM.)  In addition to going through archives to find believable photos from the 1930’s, we’re also looking at historical locations that look like the 1930’s.  For example, we found the Leed’s theater in historic Winchester, KY, which was build at the end of ’20’s which definitely has that vintage feel.  Using a simple Nikon D40 DSLR in RAW mode, we then experimented both with taking properly adjusted photos and damaging them in post, as well as taking photos where the shutter allowed in too much light.  While white clips completely in digital if the shutter is open too long, a lot of information was still available on noticeably washed out shots in RAW mode.  When contrast, darks, and restoration were all maxed out, the style of look was very interesting, although only time will tell whether this will be useable technique for the film.  (The embedded picture is from the Leed’s with basic black and white conversion and image damage to more closely resemble 1930’s pictures.)

We are currently in story writing mode, at which point the film will be converted to a script and then final pre-production can begin.  As we continue, I will update this information so folks can follow along with our newest greenscreen adventure!

God bless,

Jeremy Hanke

MFM’s Ryan Graham gives GreenScreen Made Easy a 9.6!

Indie filmmaker and reviewer Ryan Graham gave Jeremy Hanke and Michele Yamazaki the coveted MicroFilmmaker Magazine’s Award of Superiority in his insightful review of GreenScreen Made Easy!

If you’re even vaguely considering using green screening in an upcoming low-budget production, don’t think twice about buying this book as soon as possible, preferably before you even start writing your script. In fact, I’d highly recommend it to any indie filmmaker, because even if you’ve never thought of using a green screen before, Hanke and Yamazaki might inspire you to take your ideas to ambitious new levels. Let this book and the awesome and affordable technology it describes inspire you to dream big regardless of your budget.Ryan Graham, MicroFilmmaker Magazine, 9.6 out of 10

To read the full review, just click here.