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#1 Chris Burke

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 06:03 PM

A friend and I will be collaborating on a short BW project. Do to budget restraints, we cannot get a whole crew to our location. So, we are going to shoot some plates and then add the actors after the fact, only in some shots. Other times we can shoot with the actors on location. My question:


Can I shoot "green" screen with black and white film? Just use a white or gray background and do everything the same as if it were a green screen? We really want to shoot black and white film, but if this proves to be a problem for keying, then we will shoot color. Has anyone done this? What was it like? did it work for you. We will be using a mixture of 7222 and 7231 in Super 16.
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#2 Glenn Hanns

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 06:19 PM

A friend and I will be collaborating on a short BW project. Do to budget restraints, we cannot get a whole crew to our location. So, we are going to shoot some plates and then add the actors after the fact, only in some shots. Other times we can shoot with the actors on location. My question:
Can I shoot "green" screen with black and white film? Just use a white or gray background and do everything the same as if it were a green screen? We really want to shoot black and white film, but if this proves to be a problem for keying, then we will shoot color. Has anyone done this? What was it like? did it work for you. We will be using a mixture of 7222 and 7231 in Super 16.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Obviously you cant do a colour key but you could do a luma key. Depending on the foreground luma range either go pure white or black. Unless the subject has jet black hair, black might be your best option. Use enough fill and watch for things like dark eyes, shadows on clothes and inside peoples mouths. Very tricky to do. Id stick with colour.
Cheers G.

Edited by glenn@uow.edu.au, 08 September 2005 - 06:19 PM.

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#3 Scott Squires

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 06:35 PM

Lumikey is tough, especially if you're trying to match dalight plates.
I would seriously consider whether it's worth doing this process just to put actors in that might not be able to make it to a local location.
The amount of time and work (shooting plates, greenscreen, matching lighting, compositing, etc)
and the final results (difficult to make convincing even when done) may end up diminishing your final film. The amount of work and the limitation of greenscreen are not to be taken lightly.
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#4 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 08:43 PM

are you finishing on film or video?

if film, then you should avoid any greenscreen unless you have the money/people to do the compositing right, and the knowhow/experience on how to shoot it. any flaws are gonna be impossible to ignore when projected. and there are considerable expenses involved (filmscan, filmout, etc).

if you're finishing on video, then greenscreen is a more viable option as long as you have a good compositor, and you / your dp knows how to shoot for grscr. you'll need to shoot on color (i don't know what your shot looks like, but shooting lumakey would probably require an especially talented compositor... who would hate you the whole time for not doing it on green). if you're concerned about matching the 7222 and 7231, then shoot a color chart at each setup, then shoot the chart on the b/w stock in the same or similar setups. you can have the telecine colorist transfer the greenscreen shots twice, one pass optimized for pulling the matte, and another in b/w matching the reference footage. your compositor can swap out the color for the b/w version after he pulls the matte. just make sure you explain what you're doing to the telecine folks. or you could just do the color's matchup to the b/w reference in post (not that hard to do with decent software, actually).

one thing to keep in mind: think about how many times you see less than perfect composites in hollywood studio films. this happens even though they have extremely talented people (such as the guy who posted right before me) working on those shots. there are a bazillion things that can fudge a greenscreen composite, so your chances in a low/no budget situation are pretty low. i'd try to avoid greenscreen and shoot around the limitations... maybe you can shoot a long master shot in the ideal location with stand-ins and then shoot the real actors in somewhat shallow dof in an accessible location that looks similar. the magic of cinema! (in highly excited voice).

hope this helps,
jaan
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#5 Chris Burke

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 06:00 AM

Thank you all for your great advice. I have a lot to thing and rethink about. If we have to composite, it seems colour is the way to go. We will be finishing on video. Thanks again.


chris
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