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5 Ways to Save Money with Green Screens

Shoot Efficiently Using A Large Pre-Lit Green Screen

For the longest time, green screens were only available for big-budget filmmakers that had the technology and resources to handle its post-production needs. But in today’s digital world, a green screen is a simple-yet-effective tool to unleashing your imagination — even if the subject seems mundane — while maximizing your resources. When used smartly, green screens are a fantastic way for productions of all sizes to save money, and here are five ways to do just that:

Get Your Lighting Right First

Sometimes you’ll see a video and know immediately that it was shot on a green screen. The biggest giveaway? The lighting. If the lighting just doesn’t look natural, it immediately makes the use of green screen come off as unnatural rather than seamless. By preparing and testing your lighting before your green screen shot, you’ll save time and money.

Check the Weather

If you had outdoor shoots planned, look at the upcoming weather forecast. Sometimes Mother Nature simply doesn’t want to cooperate. In those cases, you can still rescue your schedule and budget by using a green screen. Shoot location plates for the outdoor backgrounds when the weather is still ideal, then prepare to shoot the same scenes against a green screen. When planned properly, you’ll find that you can achieve the same look and feel while seamlessly using a green screen.

Consider Location Permits

Do you want to shoot in an outdoor location that requires a permit and other fees? Permits take time and additional costs that can add up quickly. Additional expenditures can include security/police (4 hours minimum per officer at $107-$112 per hour); still photography $100, commercials/corporate/music video/industrial/short format/web content $200: film, TV series, pilot, web series, $100-$300 per day; fees for business registration, and the list goes on. Additionally, you will need honey wagon rental for talent, make-up and wardrobe, and don’t forget the permits to park.

You can save a lot of grief by using a green screen instead. By planning your shots ahead of time, you can shoot specific location plates, then film the actors on a green screen with the final shot composed in post-production.

Make Use of Space

A large green screen provides flexibility to shoot simultaneously. If your primary shot doesn’t require the entire stage, then the green screen’s capabilities mean that you can shoot secondary items at the same time. This can be anything from promotional stills against a white backdrop to isolated closeups or other easy-to-frame shots that can be composited in post.

Everyday Shots

Most people consider a green screen for replicating an outdoor environment or filming actors against fantastical setups, like in sci-fi or fantasy. However, if you’re shooting on a budget with limited resources and need efficiency, many of your most common shots can be placed on a green screen. For example, something that takes place in an office can be shot against a practical desk with a green screen, then composited into a standard office background later to save time and money.

Looking for more ways to get the most out of a green screen? Come by San Carlos’ Meets the Eye Studios. Conveniently located off Highway 101, Meets the Eye offers an immaculately kept facility and one of the Bay Area’s largest pre-lit green screens. Contact the Meets the Eye staff today to schedule your free tour.