By Bill Milling
SoundStage Rental Tip #4
Today, I’ll discuss green screen stage rental.
We all know that so much shooting now is being done on green screen. Producers, directors DP’s realize that they can greatly increase production value while reducing cost by shooting on green screen.
So, are all green screen stages the same?
No. Here’s what to look for.
First, don’t assume you need or even want a cyc (cyclorama). In the dawn of green screen photography, just a few years ago, it was critical to have a flat surface with perfect compound corners to get a good key.
But software improvements make getting a great key on green screen much less critical.
One negative with the cyc is that you are sometimes asked to pay for painting a white cyc green and then back to white or if you need white pay to paint white and then back to green after the shoot.
Another negative is: if you are shooting the stage facility as a practical location, and then also want to shoot green screen, you may be better served with a portable green screen , or white or black or whatever.
The quality of the green foam cyc’s for Eefx is amazing. It’s made just for green screen photography and it has a special surface which can be lit perfectly flat and give a key superior to shooting green cyc.
The green screen foam fabric we use is preferred by DP’s, producers and digital VFX artists for many reasons. It’s made up of a three layer laminate layers. It features a foam center, a nylon- mesh backing, and a chroma key diffusion face.
This nylon backing makes it almost impossible to tear. The foam core center gives it the ability to stretch and also bounce back from wrinkles. The face layer is very strong and is composed of a series of tiny loops that diffuse light for a more evenly exposed backdrop.
There is no other fabric like it.
The great thing about this material is that you can instantly expand or contract the green area.
Another advantage of the portable green screen is the fact that you don’t want the unused portions of a green cyc funneling green light onto your subject and creating issues in post.
For another, you may need your talent to walk a good distance toward the camera or left to right … or both. So a large sound studio with plenty of high quality Eefx green can often be much more useful than an unmovable hard painted cyc.
And lastly, consider if the stage has been set up and operating as a green screen stage for years. Is its in-house crew experienced green screen experts? Or is this a traditional stage or photo studio that the owner decided to make “green” because that’s where the action is?
Note: EEFX.COM is owned by a visual effects artist that has worked on projects ranging from feature films to commercial spots and has used all different types of chroma key fabrics and paints. Foam-Backed Fabric is superior because of its versatility, durability, ease to evenly light, thickness, color fastness, diffuseness, and strength.