In the past, green screens have been associated primarily with big name movie studios with high budget productions or perhaps your local weatherman. But in the wise words of Bob Dylan, the times, they are a changing! With user-friendly video software and less expensive materials, green screen production is now a viable tool for the general marketing community. There are many unique and interesting ways to utilize a green screen into your strategy and there are times it ‘s just best to avoid. Here’s our top 7 scenarios that we’d suggest a client consider for a green screen shoot.
- The Need for Flexibility
Every so often we’ll produce a video or photo of a client’s product that benefits by being shown in different environments. Shooting on a green screen is the wise path here as opposed to sending a photographer with a car-load of equipment on location. Along with the cost savings of the travel etc, we also get better control of lighting the product by handling this production in a studio.
- As a Lighting Solution
One of the key elements of high quality photography is lighting; it is perhaps the most important element we deal with on set. Shooting on green screen can offer solutions to hard to overcome lighting problems presented in many live locations. For example, when you have a vast landscape that you want to place talent in; two very different lighting schemes are needed for the landscape and talent. Having a green screen in this situation allows us to naturally light our talent and then capture the landscape in its best naturally lit form and bring the two together in post. To shoot them at the same time would require massive amounts of equipment, crew and time to set everything up and tear it all down not to mention weather concerns. A great example here is that shot of a pro athlete standing in front of a dramatically lit field or court.
- To Solve Production Logistics
Sound, lighting, traffic, geographical location, weather and even the season are but a handful of the logistical concerns affecting a video or still shoot on location. Although location shoots look great for that one moment, they require many production stipulations. Shooting on location can require travel with equipment, crew, talent and setting up. Plus, predicting the weather, lighting and the general crowd add to the challenges of the shoot. Planning can take days or even weeks. Shooting in a studio offers more control of all of these elements and somewhere to serve the donuts.
- High Profile Talent
Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just all about the talent. High profile personalities demand high dollar figures and more often than not much more of just about everything. The flexibility of shooting on green screen in that talent's location considerably outweighs dealing with the logistics of scheduling production, first class travel, first class accommodations and the resulting security needs of such high profile talent.
- The Need to Minimize Distance/Creating Cohesiveness
Green screen can allow consistency in situations when one or more of the elements can’t be scheduled efficiently. We have a client that is a regional bank and their marketing strategy has them going gangbusters right now. As they add new locations and buyout their competitors we need to present newly acquired assets as part of their growing brand. Using a green screen background allows us to capture their new employees pretty much anywhere and present them all as one cohesive unit.
- Live Events
Many companies use green-screen technology to create unique consumer experiences at live events. The technology allows guests to get photos and videos of themselves in front of visually interesting backgrounds. Brands use customized green-screen attractions to engage with event attendees and to gather their contact information. They can then use the data to deepen relationships with their customers and to reach new potential relationships. Captivating local audiences with a meaningful experience at a live event, brings direct-to-consumer leads that were previously unavailable.
- No No’s
There are many reasons to use a green screen over location shoots, as they are budget friendly. With all of this said it would be good to note since green screens offer a good deal of separation from realism as well as the fact that it is very difficult to create a true sense of reality shooting on a green screen; it is wise to avoid shooting on them when you are looking to build trust or repair a broken relationship with the viewer. One exception to this would be taking an honest testimony shot on green screen and placing it in a specific location that benefits the brand, like a bank's lobby for example. Shooting the actual testimony live in the lobby would take away from a customer's banking experience and cause a disruption to typical work processes. Planning the shoot on green screen to look like it was shot in the lobby of the bank will offer the same product recognition without derailing the bank's service goals.
Businesses and brands can take advantage of green screen backgrounds by superimposing their company logo or brand standards into the background. Not only does this make the video look clean and professional, but also it delivers constant advertising to the viewer. Using this technique will give more credibility and faith in the product and the brand, because the consumers will associate the product with a high budget company that is dedicated to quality.
Shooting on green screen can offer logistical solutions in some cases by removing tons of production time and helping to meet budget limitations. Green screen backgrounds can also offer flexibility in branding needs and help increase customer engagement by improving the viewers’ experience. So, next time you’re planning your next video production or still shoot, consider if shooting "green" might just save you some.