In this post we’ve added some questions we’ve been asked since the last green screen clothing post.
DISCLAIMER: Always consult your producer before your shoot. They know what will work best for the type of production you are filming. Always. Trust. Your. Producer. Always.
This clothing guide is useful for both on location video production, as well as green screen (chroma key) production. Chroma keying is a special effect in post production where a color is removed to show an image behind it instead. Green (or blue) is used because these colors are farthest from skin tone.
Keep Calm and Keep Comfortable
The most important thing is that you are comfortable, especially if this is your first time on camera. Bring clothing that you feel comfortable in or that you really want to wear but bring a spare change of clothes that meets the following requirements. It is always better to have a spare and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Avoid Complicated Patterns
Try to avoid complicated patterns at all cost, especially gingham, tartan, stripes that are close together, or anything similar to these. Because of the way video is digitally recorded, certain patterns will produce a wavy shimmer in the video. There have been times where we haven’t been able to use a clip because of this reason.
I know… you like your shiny things, BUT they may reflect light or worse; reflect the green from the green screen disappear from the video. So shiny materials, shiny jewelry, and glasses are not recommended. There are exceptions to this. Some jewelry is ok and if you need your glasses we ask that you wear contacts, but if you need them you need them.
Whatever the production is, you most likely will be hit by very bright lights on all sides. The reason for this is cameras need light to produce an image. The more light, the better the image. So for this reason, there will be shadows on your face that usually wouldn’t be there. A little bit of makeup will go along way here. Not only will it smooth out some wrinkles on the face, but it can hide the shine on your skin. This is also another reason why not to wear glasses. You’ll be doing your production team a huge favor by wearing contacts so they don’t have to reposition all the lights so as not only to make the shadows from the glasses go away, but also to create dynamic lighting, bringing out your best features.
This is an editors biggest challenge; keying out the areas around your hair to make it look natural. If you have gaps in your hair this makes it very hard especially for lower budget green screen work. If your hair frizzes out like mine does, try to smooth it out with product or do what I do and wear a hat until your hair is smooth and held down.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
Don’t forget to wear a smile to your shoot. A smile goes a long way in your video. We have had to do takes over again, not because the talent fumbled their lines, but because they looked like they were giving a eulogy. I can not stress how important this is to the success of your video. Your a big time Hollywood actor now… so smile!