5 Tips for styling on a green screen
Last month I have worked on my first green screen shoot. It was for a commercial spot for the Egyptian television about a luxury real estate complex in Cairo.
Because the real estate is not built yet, everything was shot in front of a green screen in a London studio.
Although shooting on a big green screen is not the most exciting job on earth, I’m so glad I was part of it cause I learned a lot among really nice people (it's me in blue !) :
I’ll share few tips about styling for a green screen shoot here :
1. No green/blue-ish
This is obvious… But if you don’t pay attention you can find a nice top with a cool print and… there is some kind of green in it… and people will hate you on set.
2. No shining
I knew I had to avoid any shining or reflective fabrics and I was really careful of only getting plain and muted colors because this was part of the mood boards. However I still did the mistake.
As always I had a tight budget, a very short time and not a lot of information regarding the desire of the client. So I decided to source the shoes from a famous discount retailer. I was looking for generic, minimalist but fashionable high heels sandals that would go with all my different outfit options. Luckily there were lots of Steve Madden sandals for a really good price but not a lot of choices regarding the design in the size I was looking for. So I got these :
I though they would be ok cause the stripes were very thin and the reflection was very subtle (I was probably looking very weird in the store trying to see the reflection ahah). Of course I also had another pair of black shoes if needed although these looked “more precious” and would work with everything.
But… it didn’t worked. The reflection was too high on the shoes (I think I forgot the floor will be green as well lol). There was the risk that the shoes cut her feet or make it look weird and too difficult to edit. Lesson learned !
3. No bright white
I usually avoid white and black anyway cause I know some DP don’t really like having hard contrasts. The client really liked a white top I had in option but we could not use it because it was too bright and too hard to light I guess…?
4. No laces
You can’t use laces or see-through fabrics because you would have the problem of seeing the green screen through it (think about the sleeves if the clothe is not stuck on the body or between the legs if it’s a skirt).
I think it’s better to just look at these examples to understand what I mean :
5. No loose fit or fringes
Everything must be very polish and easy to cut for a computer software so if you have a fringed skirt it will make the work much more difficult. Same thing for the Hair stylist, you’ll probably have to use a lot of laque spray.
The ad is not out yet and I can't wait to watch the video and share it with you ! Meanwhile let's have a good laugh with these couple green screen failures...
and how visual effects with a green screen work :