December 30, 2009

Interesting green-screen montage

I’m kind of astonished at the amount of digital compositing that now goes on, as shown in this set of clips. Sure, in many of these cases it makes obvious sense, but in others, was it really easier/more cost-effective to do a composite than just to have the crew walk outside? Apparently so.


Posted by John Nack at 6:44 AM on December 30, 2009


  • Rich Morey — 7:35 AM on December 30, 2009

    I would bet the reason it is cost effective is because by shooting with green screen, etc. you can completely control the action going on around the characters as well as shoot in the comfort of a warm, quiet, well lit studio rather than outside in the cold, noisy, sometime dark real world.

  • Rob Pieké — 7:42 AM on December 30, 2009

    The Brits are the kings of the green screen ;)

  • Peter — 8:19 AM on December 30, 2009

    @Rob: Yeah, well, the thing is, that video is not that far from reality :)

  • Mark — 8:46 AM on December 30, 2009

    What struck me was the extent to which they do outdoor work with portable green and blue screens for seemingly simple scenes. The benefit presumably is that they need to control far less of the street while working with the actors.

  • Jeff Foster — 9:12 AM on December 30, 2009

    I can see the reason in every shot there. The more you can control the shot you’re shooting in the foreground, the better the final production will be. In many cases, just getting the rights to shoot on locations such as many of these is nearly impossible and very expensive/time-consuming as well. The technology is definitely here, with better motion tracking and MoCo (Motion Control) camera rigs. It’s now all about cost and speed of production.

  • Tom Hart — 9:48 AM on December 30, 2009

    It’s much more cost effective to use green/blue screen to promote the story by compositing the elements and action you want. Also cuts down on hiring extras/security personnel/insurance… It’s generally a lot safer to shoot something in a secluded parking lot with a large screen in the background rather than out on a busy street.

  • Nick Cannon — 10:45 AM on December 30, 2009

    I believe this video is the Stargate Studios virtual backlot showreel with the title and credits removed. It did the rounds a few weeks ago and is a great example of the quality of work that can be done for TV given their limited budgets and incredibly tight turnaround times.
    Lots of other benefits to this technique – avoid cost of moving crew and gear to locations, limited accessibility to locations, using regional production tax credits while able to shoot a location in another region… the list goes on…

  • Michel Chaussee — 11:56 PM on December 30, 2009

    Another reason is that people in charge tend to become paranoid, read on what Drew Gardner says in

  • Mylenium — 4:28 AM on December 31, 2009

    Aside from the cost factor (which, given that you can rent equipment in most bigger cities, should not be that critical in some cases), use of screens is more a matter of other logistics. You may not be able shoot at the right time of year or day, you may not get permissions to block roads and so on. Of course a certain paranoia is also part of the game – not just for reasons of national security, but also due to the strange copyright regulations in the US (and other countries) as well as simply hiding stuff in production from all too curious fans and paparazzi…

  • Ian Butterworth — 12:29 PM on December 31, 2009

    One thing I noticed when the girl walked into the bus shelter was a Starbucks logo. Green screen must help product placements also, giving revenue and therefore reducing the costs to produce these features.

  • Robert Matichak — 8:27 AM on January 02, 2010

    They can’t be serious. It’s got to be a joke.

  • Bob Model — 2:00 PM on January 03, 2010

    Love green/blue screen possiblities, but hate movies that hide behind the special effects with an underlying horrible plot ie; Knowing, 2012…

  • Zev Eisenberg — 7:43 AM on January 26, 2010

    It got pulled by YouTube. Anyone got a mirror?

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