green screen nyc

Tips for a Successful Green Screen Production

tips for green screen production

Green screen productions can be intimidating. But it can also be immensely rewarding, allowing any subject to transform anywhere or into anything utilizing a process called chroma key. The potential that green screen productions allow are endless. The only limitation is wherever your imagination ends. Why is green screening so intimidating? Well, it is not an easy process. However, Bravo Studios are here with a few tips to make sure your next green screen production runs a bit smoother.

Blue Screen vs Green Screen Video Production

Green screen….or blue screen?

I know what you’re thinking – “Wait, there are blue screens out there?” The answer is yes. It can be any color, in fact. However, green is the most used color because green is not present in any skin tones regardless of ethnicity. That is also true for blue, with the exception of talent with blue eyes. It is crucial to consider the colors of the wardrobe, props & set design in choosing the right background color. If your background is green, for instance, the talent should not be wearing green nor should there be plants or foliage in the background. The idea around chroma key is that you want to be able to key (or take out) the green surface areas/background. However, if your production NEEDS green, like on the set of ElfYourself at Bravo Studios where the elves had green costumes, then a blue background is preferred.


greenscreen surface

Consider the surface

Surface material truly doesn’t matter as long as it is one thing – SMOOTH. The green or blue screen can be paper, a painted wall, fabric, or even foam. Just as long as the surface area has no wrinkles or creases. It is also very important that the surface isn’t reflective. Many people prefer a painted wall because it is the smoothest and controlled surface.


green screen lighting

Let there be light.

Don’t just light your subject just to light it. It is very important that you light your space or subject AS IF the space is in the scene you will eventually composite them in. For example, if the subject is meant to be sitting on a beach with the sun setting on the right then you should make sure you light them that way in front of the green screen. Also make sure that green light isn’t spilling off the green screen and onto the talent. We suggest keeping the talent as far away from the screen as possible. Another tip is to avoid shadows! Shadows will be very challenging to key out in post.


green screen nyc.jpg

It’s not all about the moves.

For a green screen production, it is vital that everything exists within the green screen environment. For example, if a talent moves his/her hand outside of the green background, then it is almost impossible to fix a missing limb in post-production. We suggest doing a run through before shooting so that you can avoid this. Or make sure your studio space is large enough to make large movements if that is what your creative vision entails.


details in green screen

Don’t miss the details

Reflective eyeglasses, reflective jewelry, or even a shiny pen can cause problems in the post-production stage of chroma key. Pay close attention to those little details. Another detail to take into consideration is hair fly away which would also be difficult to key out properly. Have a makeup and hair stylist on hand to tame those pesky fly aways!

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6 Uncommon Questions To Ask When Choosing a Studio


Choosing the right studio is one of the biggest decisions in a video or photo production. Consider it the foundation of all productions. The space and what the studio provides (or lacks) can really make or break a shoot. There is no “catering decision”, no “call sheet”, no “final team decision”, or no “production” at all until a space is locked in. And there are many factors to think about in choosing the right space for your specific needs. Here are several uncommon questions to think about when choosing the right studio or stage rental for you —

How much space do I need?

In every production (video or still) you have to consider the amount of space you will need to achieve the creative vision. For instance, will there be movement? Or maybe you have multiple talents taking up the screen? Do you need to capture full body or just portrait? Do you require a huge set design? All of these questions sum up to help answer — Do I need a cyc or just a studio with simple seamless capabilities?

First, what is the difference between a cyc and a seamless setup? A cyc or cyclorama is a fully curved wall used as a background of a stage or studio set to suggest unlimited space. A seamless set up will require a paper backdrop of your choice and will be limited by size (usually 26” - 140”).

If your creative vision requires a lot of space or would rather have the option of having more space, a cyc stage is your choice! If you’re shooting tighter shots, like portraits, then a more simple seamless set up is sufficient. Bravo Studios has many cyc options. To see sizing examples, click here.


To key or not to key?

This question poses to ask you if you intend to use the Chromakey process? Chromakey is the process of shooting against a green screen to then remove that screen color with special software, and adding in a different background. If you need to know the pros and cons of green screen vs white cyc, visit this article. If chromakey is needed, choose a studio that will provide a green screen. Bravo Studios provides many options and sizes for productions requiring green screen. View more information here.


Do you need sound?

This seems like an obvious question but it is an overlooked and vital one to ask. For video productions that require sound, you should ALWAYS ask if the stage is “soundproof”. Many listings don’t state if their studio is soundproof or not, so it’s your job to take the extra step to find out. There’s much to love about New York City like the landscape, the readily available resources, but silence is one thing New York City lacks. Bravo Studios’ 3 stages are all soundproof. Click here to view them!


Studio lighting or daylight?

Lighting is one of the most crucial aspect of every production. Does your video or image production require daylight or studio lighting? There are two things to consider here to answer this. What is the creative requirements, specifically, the lighting requirement, to fulfill the outcome you desire? And do you need consistency? Daylight, which is commonly promoted in many studios, rely on large windows AND sun. However, the sun changes throughout the day and may drastically change your lighting if you intend to shoot for longer than 4 hours. A studio lit space will essentially stay consistent the entire production. Studio lighting is also better if you need many different kinds of lighting. Make sure the studio or stage you rent has the lighting requirement you need. Bravo Studios is studio lighting only and even provides lighting equipment. View our lighting and equipment specs here.

freight elevator

Is there a freight elevator available?

A freight elevator is designed to move goods and materials throughout a building. Compared to passenger elevators, freight cars can carry much heavier loads and are designed to withstand tougher working conditions. At a production, the last thing you want to do is to be lugging up large equipment up a 4 floor walk up. If you are expecting to arrive with a lot of equipment, art props, wardrobe, etc., a freight elevator will be very necessary. This is a question worth asking to avoid the fuss of adding 30 min to an hour of set up. And if you’re wondering if Bravo Studios has a full service freight elevator? The answer is yes.


Will clients or a high profile celebrity be present?

Are you expecting clients or a high profile celebrity to arrive at the production? Does that mean you need a spacious lounge area or even a private holding area? How about kitchen access so you may store their favorite beverages and snacks? Sometimes a production needs to consider the comfortability and privacy the client or talent is expecting. Bravo Studios, for example, has client areas in all of their studios for privacy and comfort yet is close enough to the action to provide feedback.

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