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Tutorial: How to Design a Greenscreen Environment for Office Shoots

Recently I had to shoot two greenscreen intros for some screencam tutorials, and it took three hours to produce them. So, just to have ammunition for higher fees next time, I figured I would detail the gear I had to set up and configure to get the job done.
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I produce lots of screencams, and some customers like having a live greenscreen video intro in front of the screencam. "What's the harm," they ask? It's only 30 seconds of video, how long will that take to shoot?" Well, if you're like me and you don't have a dedicated studio and staff for such productions, they can take awhile.

If fact, this week I had to shoot two video intros, and it took three hours to produce them. So, just to have ammunition for higher fees next time, I figured I would detail the gear I had to set up and configure to get the job done.

Figure 1 (below) is the big-picture establishing shot. Sharp-eyed readers will discern two sets of lights—one on the greenscreen, one on me—plus the lens of the Canon XH A1 I'm shooting with and the ProPrompter teleprompter that uses my iPad 1 for the electronics.

Greenscreen establishing shot

Figure 1. The big-picture establishing shot

Setting Up the Greenscreen

It all starts with the greenscreen, of course, which is the cheapest and easiest part. Rather than buying a stand, I pinned the green screen to a scrap piece of 1x4 lumber and hung it on my wall with some picture hooks (Figure 2, below). There's another scrap 1x4 board at the bottom maintaining the tension and minimizing the wrinkles. I'll build a similar one in white for future shoots.

Greenscreen setup

Figure 2. My greenscreen setup