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How about that $21 (CDN) Video Green Screen

During my time at home during the pandemic I found that I had the time to put both my past video skills and new found audio studio recording skills to the test. Inspired by all of the music artists I was watching on Facebook, my goal was to start recording my guitar playing.

Most individual artists I saw were streaming live primarily by themselves or multiple musicians using collaboration technology to generate content. Since I’m still learning guitar and prefer to continue playing on my own, my aim was to create 80’s style MTV type video’s of the music I was playing for release on Facebook.

I also wanted to employ a modern approach to my video making employing the most of my on hand camera’s (most a decade old) and today’s “dirt cheap” video technology that has emerged from the mainstream cellphone market. I would edit my materials using Pinnacle Studio 23. I chose it because for a consumer video editing package it does a lot. I’d been using it on and off for the past 20 years and it adapts well to many different types of video formats, lens types etc. that one has to deal with these days.

All that said I decided a green screen was in order to provide locations given the pandemic stay at home situation. Turns out there is a plethora of information on how to build thrifty green screens on the Internet. I actually watched this video in advance of my build.

So here’s what I did;

I made my own for $21 and it’s working very well. I could expand it if I had the wall space and its reusable. To construct it I bought 10 of these lime green bristol board sheets at Staples ($10). And two packages of Staples Reusable Adhesive Putty. It’s been hanging on my wall for over a month now and only one pane dislodged which was easily placed back up.
IMG_0974

Shadows can be an issue in green screening and the practice must be to reduce them as much as possible. With modern day digital editing software much can be done to rebuild a perfect green screen background around shadowing and the seams on this kind of green screen.

If lighting is an issue 5 Hacks For Film & Video Lighting or The Down and Dirty DIY Lighting Kit videos give lots of ideas.

In addition to shooting the video with my decade old SLR, I’m experimenting using phone, tablet and laptop camera’s that I have lying around the house. I found this selfie light phone holder to be extremely useful for $32. The light you see on the green screen above is a combo of those floor lamps bouncing off the ceiling and the selfie light on my face.

For a little less in Dollarama I found a $3 phone holder with the flexible positioning arm and a clamp to hold the phone and I just got this selfie vanity ring that appears to be more versatile working with phones, tablets or laptops.

Other out of the box ideas for green screens are a simple as dying your own or purchasing green fabric from Fabricland. Green Screen products start to get complex and expensive quickly. Photography backgrounds start at $45 without stands and require a basic Background Support System around $50. I always found them to be a bit of pain in the rear. My favorite back in the day was always the popup type screen and or a roll down on a wall but they are pricey when you have time and a dyed bed sheet or bristol board array works just as well.

Hopefully I’ll have something to share on Facebook shortly but right now I’m having too much fun experimenting.

….brad….

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