Production Planning on Green Screen

When it comes to any shoot, and especially on green screen, meticulous production planning is crucial if you want your creative vision to be fully realised.

So, to make sure sure your production planning is on track, we have compiled our guide below:

Choosing the Right Studio Space

production planning for green screen
Production planning for green screen is essential

When filming on a green screen, having a large enough space is crucial.

Ample space allows for sufficient separation between the subject and the green screen background, as well as from the side walls. This separation helps reduce green spill onto the talent and allows the background to fall out of focus, which is beneficial for the keying process.

Understanding the Replacement Background

A critical, often overlooked aspect of green screen production planning and shooting is knowing what the green screen will be replaced with.

Having a reference for the final output is essential for proper lighting, camera positioning, and managing the talent's movement within the green screen space. Without this reference, it’s challenging to match the lighting on the subject to the scene, leading to an unnatural final result.

The camera's height, distance, and focal length need to align with the replacement background’s settings.

For VFX replacements, the VFX artist will require this information to match the shots in post-production accurately. If movement is involved, mark the green screen with tracking marks using green tape in random X's, L's, and T's to aid in composite placement.

Clothing Considerations for Green Screen

When planning a green screen shoot, the choice of clothing and accessories is important.

Avoid green clothing or any attire with green elements, as these will disappear when the background is keyed out. Additionally, steer clear of reflective clothing and accessories, as they can reflect the green screen and cause parts of the reflection to disappear during keying.

See our clothing guide here for more details.

Camera Selection

Choosing the right camera is vital for a successful green screen shoot.

With the advancement and accessibility of cameras, the selection can be daunting.

A good rule of thumb is to opt for a camera that shoots in 4K and has a high bit rate – 10-bit 422 and up. High bit rates ensure ample color data for a clean key, and higher resolutions are better for post-production keying.

Recommended cameras include the Sony FX9s and FR7s, ARRI Alexa, RED for high frame rates, and the C300 mkII for smaller budgets. These cameras have been tested and deliver excellent results for green screen shoots.

Lens Selection

For the best keying results, your image needs to be sharp with good color rendition. Softer, low-contrast vintage lenses may not be ideal. 

A great combination is the Alexa paired with Ultra Primes, which offer sharpness and superb color science. For budget-friendly options, the C300 mkII with Canon L series lenses provides excellent, sharp results. The L series lenses are fantastic stills lenses as are Zeiss or Sony G Master lenses to produce a clean, sharp image.

The Importance of Lighting

Lighting is the most critical aspect of a green screen production planning.

A well-lit green screen and subject are essential to avoid complications throughout the production process, which ultimately fall on the editor or VFX artist, costing extra time and money. Collaborating with a Director of Photography who understands the technical challenges of lighting and shooting on green screen is crucial to achieving the best results.

A key indicator of green screen use is mismatched lighting on the subject and the scene. Don’t let this flaw undermine your video. The Director of Photography is responsible for ensuring consistent lighting for a seamless composite, an evenly lit green screen, and minimal or no green spill onto the talent.

See our guide on green screen lighting for more details.

FAQ: How to Get Your Production Planning Right for Green Screen?

To ensure your green screen shoot reaches its potential, your production planning must be on the money.

So, when planning your shoot, remember:

1.  Take your time to choose the perfect studio space. This will help to minimise common green screen mistakes
2.  Choose your clothing, makeup and jewelry carefully to avoid issues down the production line
3.  Choose your camera(s) with care
4.  And choose your lens(es) with care too
5.  Finally, lighting can make or break the best planned shoot. Getting it right can help avoid all manner of production headaches.

Everything is in the planning....

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
Yogi Berra

Broadley Studios - THE Green Screen Studio Experts

Ensure your green screen projects are top-notch by leveraging the expertise at Broadley Studios - book your next shoot and achieve professional, high-quality results.

Based in Marylebone, Central London, to get a flavour of what we can do for you, check out our latest showcase and studio specs. Or why not take a virtual tour of our studios.

Contact us today and discover how we can help you and your shoot, on +442077255858 or email us at [email protected].

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