November 16, 2009

Using Green Screen in iMovie '09

Opening Items

  • Newbie Project to be finished, exported, and uploaded to Project LIVE Blog by December 4
  • Comments on Newbie Projects by December 11
  • Script and Storyboard for Project 1 (including Newbies) to be uploaded to Project LIVE Blogs by January 8
  • You're responsible for checking due dates on the Information page of the Project LIVE web site
  • Newbie and Laptopper Reviewing teams (list is in Sidebar)
  • Voluntary sign-up to review/be reviewed: shared spreadsheet. Instructions in your EUSD G-Mail
  • EYMF: June 2, 2010
    • Video (Project LIVE)
      • iVIE Project OK
      • Student created only
    • Audio (iRead)
    • Photography (My Story)

Film Featurette and Resources:


  1. Top 10 Green Screen Filming Techniques
    1. Limit shadows and wrinkles
    2. Keep lighting diffuse, not harsh. Typical classroom lighting does this pretty well (you may need to cover windows)
    3. Make sure subject has nothing green on (unless you want it invisible; think: disembodied floating head)
    4. Have subject stand at least 3-4 feet away from green screen; more if possible to avoid spill
    5. Avoid curly, frizzy hair (Yul Brynner Andre Agassi=Good; Don King=Bad)
    6. The less movement, the better
    7. Make sure all action to be include has green behind it, but it's OK if the edges of the frame don't have green. You can create a Garbage Matte to get rid of those non-green areas.
    8. If you plan on using extra lights, light the subject just as you would if it weren't Green Screen, but keep spill off of the screen
    9. Try to have your subject lighting similar to background lighting so the two shots look organic together (consider angle of light, intensity, color, etc.)
    10. Have talent leave frame at end of take for a second or two to film just pure background (mainly for iMovie)
  2. Important: iMovie > Preferences > General > Show Advanced Tools
  3. Adding background
  4. Adding green screen clip
  5. Adjusting length
  6. Garbage matte, if necessary (watch for cut-offs)
  7. Subtract Last Frame
  8. Adding music
  9. Exporting


Plan it Out
  1. Pick a background clip from the supplied folder
  2. Pick background music from the supplied folder
  3. Develop a scenario for your talent to act out that's appropriate for the background clip; make it FUNNY!
  4. Include dialog if you wish, but it's not necessary
Shoot and Build the Scene
  1. Film your green screen clip, following as closely as possible the best practices above
  2. Let the background clip you chose be your guide on length, but 10-20 seconds is fine
  3. Remember to have subject(s) leave view of camera at the end for a second or two (background only) before turning off camera
  4. Create a new iMovie '09 Project
  5. Import your background clip from the supplied folder (File > Import > Movies)
  6. Import your green screen clip from the camera
  7. Add the background clip to the Project, then the Green Screen clip on top of it
  8. Adjust end points (Tip: use the Precision Editor by clicking on the Actions Gear [  ] of the background clip )
  9. Enable Subtract Last Frame checkbox on Green Screen clip (double-click on it to reveal the Inspector); you can disable this if you don't like the effect by unchecking
  10. From a Finder window, drag your music onto the Project background (not onto a clip; background should turn green)
Publish your Work
  1. File > Export Movie > Medium
  2. Add to someone's PL blog
  3. Be prepared to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly
  4. Re-assemble by 5:00 at the latest (we'll start earlier if all are accounted for)