# where to find a really really big green screen

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### #1 Michael Rizzi

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 09:01 PM

Hey all,

I've got a music video coming up where a band will be playing in front of a green screen. The band's "stage" if you will is a footprint of 40'x24'. I know, huge right? My calculations tell me I need a green screen of about 80' wide. I've seen 40x40 screens but is there anything larger? And what might another option be, besides a painted cyc on a stage?

Thanks.

Rizzi
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### #2 Tshaka

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 10:12 PM

Hey all,

I've got a music video coming up where a band will be playing in front of a green screen. The band's "stage" if you will is a footprint of 40'x24'. I know, huge right? My calculations tell me I need a green screen of about 80' wide. I've seen 40x40 screens but is there anything larger? And what might another option be, besides a painted cyc on a stage?

Thanks.

Rizzi

The only 2 ways I know to approach this is a painted cyc or a large fabric greensreen. I wish Brad Rushing were reading this. He and Mike Dronge would have an answer for you based on old fashioned experience.

Well these days ultimatte is incredibly advanced and forgiving.

Are you going to be outside or on a stage?

You could skin 2 40'X40' Greenscreens together on a 40'X80' Frame. Speedrail or Truss Frames would be your choices. I'm guessing you would probably opt to go with speedrail since your budget seems to prohibit you from painting a cyc. If you use Speedrail you would have to reinforce the 80' sides with 40' uprights spaced at least 20' apart (This already sounds time consuming and labor intensive). The 2 40'X greenscreen rags can be butted together using lumber and spring clamps. Sandwich the 2 inner edges together and secure with the spring clamps. Fasten the frame directly to the grid using either cheesboros or dedhang it with manila rope or chain. However your Key Grip seems fit (He probably would prefer not to do it this way at all.).

You could track down a 40'X80' greenscreen and have them ship it to you. Or you could have one custom made for you. It's really an option to consider. if you do it this way I think a Truss frame is the way to go. Check in with Modern Studio Equipment about the availability of a 40'X80'. If they don't have one they might know someone who does. Also check in with Jirier of Equip the Grip Rentals (Pretty much the same as Modern except you can rent Modern's products instead of buying them). Excellent customer service. Modern Studio staff and owners are paragons of customer service. They are my model for being a better Grip; the kind that works to solve problems and accomodate the client's needs.

I really think you should just paint the cyc. I know it's very dogmatic but it works. Is there a reason you don't want to do that?

I can't wait to see the responses to this post. My imagination is so limited by conventional approaches to this particular problem.

Good luck with your production.
Tshaka
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### #3 Michael Rizzi

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 11:48 PM

I really think you should just paint the cyc. I know it's very dogmatic but it works. Is there a reason you don't want to do that?

It's not that I don't want to paint a cyc...I mentioned that because I already knew that as an option. So I guess what you're saying is that a painted cyc is the best answer. The other catch is that the concept calls for greenscreen from all four angles. I of course suggested simply rotating the band 90 degrees accordingly but they were adamant about the fact that it would take longer to re-orient the band plus all their equipment and everything than it would to re-light in a different direction. Apparently there is a massive amount of gear and stuff that they play with onstage. I think I need to have another conversation with them.

Oh also...it will be on a stage. And there are 8 members in the band.

Edited by Michael Rizzi, 01 September 2006 - 11:49 PM.

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### #4 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 10:53 AM

You could replace the band with computer animations of themselves)
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### #5 Tshaka

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 08:03 PM

It's not that I don't want to paint a cyc...I mentioned that because I already knew that as an option. So I guess what you're saying is that a painted cyc is the best answer. The other catch is that the concept calls for greenscreen from all four angles. I of course suggested simply rotating the band 90 degrees accordingly but they were adamant about the fact that it would take longer to re-orient the band plus all their equipment and everything than it would to re-light in a different direction. Apparently there is a massive amount of gear and stuff that they play with onstage. I think I need to have another conversation with them. :D

Oh also...it will be on a stage. And there are 8 members in the band.

Put the band on a large turntable. Is that a realistic option that you can explore?

Did you hope to use the 40'X80' Greenscreen so that you could move it around?

Can you film the music video in 2 to 3 days or is the plan to do this in one day?

I'm not sure if I'm helping you with all of these questions.

Tshaka
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### #6 Michael Rizzi

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 11:49 PM

Put the band on a large turntable. Is that a realistic option that you can explore?

Did you hope to use the 40'X80' Greenscreen so that you could move it around?

Can you film the music video in 2 to 3 days or is the plan to do this in one day?

I'm not sure if I'm helping you with all of these questions.

Tshaka

A turntable would actually be great although do they make turntables big enough to hold a 40'x24' area? And price is somewhat of a concern. (I have expressed concern to the band about the size of their area and asked if they could condense it a bit too)

Unfortunately it's one day shoot but we do get a full day to pre-rig before...and the whole video is just in front of the screen from 4 angles.

I was hoping that maybe we could do just one giant green screen at an angle in the middle between 45 and 90 degrees which would allow shooting from three angles (front, side and side) and then doing one 180 degree band/set rotation so that we are now looking behind the band giving us essentially 3 more angles. This would only require really one lighting set-up but a heck of a big one. But if we in fact HAVE to shoot in all different directions...I guess I'm looking for the most moveable greenscreen situation.

So as far as rigging...I was thinking either a pulley system from the rafters with the screen attached to speedrail, or truss lifted by crank-o-vaters maybe??? I guess I'm looking for the most versatile as far as being able to move it around. But safe and sturdy of course. The cloth isn't too heavy I don't think.

Thanks.

Rizzi
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### #7 Tshaka

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 10:04 AM

A turntable would actually be great although do they make turntables big enough to hold a 40'x24' area? And price is somewhat of a concern. (I have expressed concern to the band about the size of their area and asked if they could condense it a bit too)

Unfortunately it's one day shoot but we do get a full day to pre-rig before...and the whole video is just in front of the screen from 4 angles.

I was hoping that maybe we could do just one giant green screen at an angle in the middle between 45 and 90 degrees which would allow shooting from three angles (front, side and side) and then doing one 180 degree band/set rotation so that we are now looking behind the band giving us essentially 3 more angles. This would only require really one lighting set-up but a heck of a big one. But if we in fact HAVE to shoot in all different directions...I guess I'm looking for the most moveable greenscreen situation.

So as far as rigging...I was thinking either a pulley system from the rafters with the screen attached to speedrail, or truss lifted by crank-o-vaters maybe??? I guess I'm looking for the most versatile as far as being able to move it around. But safe and sturdy of course. The cloth isn't too heavy I don't think.

Thanks.

Rizzi

This is a tall order but not impossible. I was just thinking on a big budget scale. There are 40' diameter Turntables but I don't think they get bigger than that. A 40'X24' stage wouldn't fit on it and it's probably expensive.

It would probably be easiest to move the stage and the band than move a 40'X80' greenscreen. Instead of striking and reseting the stage and instruments you could build the stage on wheels and push it into a new position. Things to consider with this option is damage to the paint job on the floor (which may not be an issue since the stage is the new floor) and securing the instruments so that they don't fall over while the stage is moved (sandbags/ screwed in/ ratchet strapped). Of course it would take everyone's help to push it but it shouldn't be too difficult. Obviously the band doesn't have to be on the stage while this is happening.

The Staging system that I'm thinking of for this is Steeldeck? available from the company of the same name. Completely modular system easy to setup, strong and very heavy. Get a professional crew who knows what they're doing to set it up. If your Key Grip is familiar with it already then you're in good shape. It also falls under the knowledge base of the Art director and his crew. The stage shoud be put together during the later half of your pre-rig day.

Steeldeck? sections come in different sizes and the largest size is 4'X8'. It looks like you need 30 Steeldeck? sections to make the 40'X24' stage. It uses the same wheels as scaffolding parallels. Check out the website www.steeldeck.com and see for yourself.

The moveable greenscreen option may prove to be even more expensive and laborious. When you're dealing with Overhead rags that size on a soundstage it is best to use a Truss frame and Motorized Chain Hoists. Just the 40'X80' rag is pretty heavy and awkward to handle when folded. If the soundstage has motorized I beam Trolleys you could hoist your frame up from one side of the set, move the I-Beam trolleys over and lower the 40'X80' frame onto the other side of set. Pretty cool, huh? Except it sounds expensive and impractical.

I really like the Steeldeck? idea. It's simple and efficient. Also it's relatively cost effective. Your Key Grip might have an even better idea though so I'd check in with him too. You know the production designer/art director is another good person to check in with.

What do you think?

Tshaka

Edited by Tshaka, 03 September 2006 - 10:05 AM.

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### #8 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:18 AM

I confess to not reading everything in the thread so apologies if I repeat ...

Instead of a giant lazy susan, maybe you can build the stage in sections and have the sections on wheels. Don't know how big the job is, but it's certainly possible to have a stage set built on casters. Or, if you're using steel risers, you could probably get a pile of those wheels the props use to roll cars on ...

Further, how important is it that the greenscreen be perfect and wrinkle free? I did a week on the greenscreen unit of some "major motion picture" and we just dead-hung a bunch of 40x40' greens from the grid and made sure to overlap the seams. Of course, we didn't allow BIG wrinkles, but the greens were far from perfect. Check w/ your compositor. Maybe you can just ring the stage w/ green, w/ out having to get some huge custom screens.

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### #9 Michael Rizzi

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:52 AM

The saving grace is that the greenscreen doesn't necessarily need to be perfect. Since I last posted I found out that the band WILL be able to re-setup at a different angle instead of us having to spin them or move around them. So now my thoughts are using several 20x20 or 40x40 screens hoisted by speedrail and deadhung from the rafters. What would be the best method of hiding the separations between the screens? Green chroma tape? or just simply overlap them close enough to each other so as to not have any shadow?

Thanks everyone for your help with this.

Rizzi
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### #10 Dan Goulder

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 12:05 PM

What would be the best method of hiding the separations between the screens? Green chroma tape? or just simply overlap them close enough to each other so as to not have any shadow?

Definitely avoid shadows. As far as using tape, I would be careful that the color matching is close enough to be invisible to the naked eye at the approximate focal length and distance you are planning to use. Consistent color and uniform lighting (no hot spots) should give you a good background to key off of.
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### #11 Mark Allen

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 12:16 PM

The saving grace is that the greenscreen doesn't necessarily need to be perfect. Since I last posted I found out that the band WILL be able to re-setup at a different angle instead of us having to spin them or move around them. So now my thoughts are using several 20x20 or 40x40 screens hoisted by speedrail and deadhung from the rafters. What would be the best method of hiding the separations between the screens?

Probably clamp them and light the seems. Don't add tape - you're just adding more variation - also it might mess up the screen's surface.

I'm confused by the discussion of moving the band around to match the screen. In my experience these screens are pretty easiy to move around. I would shift the main screen around to fit most of your shots and then just use the double one for the extra wide shots where the seem if well lit would be small enough to be shrunk into oblivion during the keying process.

If you move the screen you need to move it and the lights for it. If you move the band, you have to move the band and the lights for them. So, seems like it would be better to keep the screen mobile.
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### #12 Prem Edpuganti

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 02:58 PM

This post may be out of place but I would like add my two cents worth. When large sturctures are involved, safety becomes an important issue both for performers and crew. Recommend that the structure be designed, built and erected under the supervision of someone like a structural engineer.
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### #13 Mark Allen

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 05:54 PM

This post may be out of place

Not out of place at all, in my opinion. Safety is huge and always comes into play when you're pushing the norm a bit.
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### #14 timHealy

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 06:40 PM

Here a shot of the green screen rig on war of the worlds. They were 12 ' high and just over lapped to create a large area. the sides were covered in additonal cloth and tape. Some of these were attached to lifts so that they could be put anywhere needed.

Best

Tim

#### Attached Images

Edited by timHealy, 05 September 2006 - 06:41 PM.

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### #15 Tshaka

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 04:32 AM

The saving grace is that the greenscreen doesn't necessarily need to be perfect. Since I last posted I found out that the band WILL be able to re-setup at a different angle instead of us having to spin them or move around them. So now my thoughts are using several 20x20 or 40x40 screens hoisted by speedrail and deadhung from the rafters. What would be the best method of hiding the separations between the screens? Green chroma tape? or just simply overlap them close enough to each other so as to not have any shadow?

Thanks everyone for your help with this.

Rizzi

Hey Rizzi I have some more interesting and pertinent information for you. There is an explanation so bear with me a moment.

I was speaking with a very knowledgeable and seasoned co-worker named, Rico Sands, briefly about Greenscreen a few months ago. He was telling me that Digital Greenscreen doesn't seem to exist here in NYC. At first I didn't know what he was talking about because I could have sworn that I did jobs where the DoP specifically requested a Digital Greenscreen and there never seemed to be a problem. Apparently there is a communal ignorance in effect here. The only Greenscreen Butterflies and Overheads I have ever worked with are made from a material with a foam backing called Tempo. On past jobs when we all thought we were using "Digital Greenscreen" we were actually working with a Tempo Greenscreen that was more fluorescent than the Chroma Key Green also made out of Tempo. We just thought the more fluorescent Tempo was what made it Digital Green.

As Rico explained, the difference between Greenscreen and Digital Greenscreen was that Digital Greenscreen is more fluorescent than regualar Greenscreen (Uh-huh, yeah Rico tell me something I don't know...) and it is made of an elastic nylon material that doesn't have a foam back or grommets (HUAH?! You don't say. Never seen that before.) I never interrupt people when they're explaining something to me even if I think I already know because chances are even if I do know, which I didn't in this case, I'm still going to learn something new. It doesn't matter who it is. So, no grommets on the Digital Greenscreen. Instead you use Garter Straps with ties to stretch and attach the Digital Greenscreen to a frame.

This is the same material that the Greenscreen body suits and flag and sandbag slipcovers are made out of. Apparently it's lighter and much easier to handle than Tempo Greenscreen.

Fascinating stuff. Follow the web address below to a company located in L.A. for more information on Digital Greenscreen. It's very informative. Also to answer your original post question it's where you can find really, really big Greenscreen. They'll probably be able to answer every other question you might have on the topic.

Keep us updated.

Why don't we have that here in NYC? Spread the word because it needs to catch on over here.

Digital Greenscreen - Composite Components Company

Check out the section named T Matte Technology for a little history lesson.

I hope this isn't too late.
Tshaka

I don't know what you guys in L.A. must be thinking right now....

Edited by Tshaka, 06 September 2006 - 04:35 AM.

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### #16 Michael Rizzi

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:20 PM

Hey,

Just an update...we shoot this coming Saturday and pre-rigging tomorrow. The studio we're shooting at is supplying all the grip and lighting including the green screens. We told them the dimensions we wanted and somehow they are getting them for us. We asked for an 80' x 40' cloth and a 60' x 40' cloth and we're getting both! So that should work out nice. The next big issue was lighting it all! I'll make sure to take pictures and when I figure out how to post them I'll post here. Thanks again for all the input.

Rizzi
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### #17 Michael Rizzi

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:15 PM

Hey,

So we shot the video yesterday. Everything went very well. Here is a picture of the green screen setup.

Some specs:

Greenscreen behind the band - 80x40
Greenscreen on the side - 60x40
screens lit with cyc lights on the ground with 216 and ND3
15 parcans on the grid, medium lens, spread evenly throughout the stage
you can't see them in the picture but there are 2 maxi-brutes through a 216 frame and then through a 12x12 of 1/4 grid lighing the front of the band.

4 aaton XTR cameras with Eterna running simultaneously.
canon zoom lenses...shooting stop was generally a t/4 1/2

Telecine tomorrow night...can't wait too see it. Thanks for all the input.

Rizzi

P.S. I'm in the blue shirt.

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