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chris reynolds

green screen lighting nightmare

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evening all


i was hired recently for a job to do green screen shots using a 10x10 drape and the usual lights, which is fine as id done this sort of job before (sit down medium to medium close up shots) . Unfortunatly, the client had neither told me or the bookings girl that what he really wanted was to film 4 girls 'head to toe' in charlies angels poses for the title sequence for a new show. After many frantic phone calls, i'd ordered a 20x20 drape and and as many 1k and 2k lights that my Facilities company had to offer ( the time constraints were more pressing than getting and setting up the proper lights). oh....and i had an hour to set it up!!


As far as lighting positions i had 2 1k's lights lighting the screen with primery green gels on, a 800w and 1k as back lights (peeking over the drape) and a 2k key light (with diffusion) as key, with a 4foot 4 bank kino as fill!! ;)


Now i dont need anyone to tell me that what i did was without a doubt the wierdest way to light greenscreen. As i said, i used all the lights i was given. No more could be sourced at such a late stage.


I presume that i should have used 2x 2ks as the screen lights (on dimmers) and 2x 1ks as the back lights (on dimmers). So my question is (finally!!), what should my key and fill lights have been? Considering that i had to use floorstanding lamps!!


The end result (oh and they had me shooting on a Sony Z1) was usable as they there were no shadows cast on the background and the backlights picked out more than enough detail for the girls to taken of by a computer spod. MY only problem was that because it was head to toe and i had them standing on the green drape, i had soft shadows cast around their feet :o


Sorry its such a long one ( i have checked the old forums) but what advice can you give...apart from telling the client to be more organised?


chris reynolds

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