Background to talking head at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Windows / PC Post Production Solutions > What Happens in Vegas...

What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 2nd, 2009, 02:25 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,104
Background to talking head

I have a green screen and can get a clean cut of my subject, and know how to put an alternative image behind my subject. What I'm inquirying about is not this technical aspect, but rather the aesthetic aspect of what to put behind the subject so as to enhance the subject, and the message (if they have a message) they are conveying. So this is a question about the art of composition.

I'm thinking specifically of a talking head type subject.

Now I know that a lot of this - perhaps all of it - is subjective, but any man and his dog can put any old photo in as a background. What not anyone can do is put an appropriate background in.

I have looked at a Photoshop tutorial for making up backgrounds for portraits which gives me some ideas, although it doesn't help me in terms of how to choose a colour for whatever sort of 'cloud' pattern is used - which the tutorial was about creating. So ideas on what colours to head for would be helpful.

Then of course, perhaps a background with some sort of content in would be preferable, though content that does not distract from the subject or the message.

If anyone knows of some guidelines, or has some pointer to answers to such questions, or tutorials, or articles, or such like, it would be appreciated. Thanks.
Renton Maclachlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2009, 02:34 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 475
Don't have a direct answer for you, since it would all be subjective as to the message's content. If it's a simple interview, a blurred living room scene would work. If the subject is on a "news set" then a bank of monitors would work, blurring them to create the illusion of distance.

Except for the news stuff I do, I usually try to set the scene during the interview. Law books ( I work for the courts) a jury box, maybe lamp and a potted plant, or play with shadows on the wall.

I didn't do it on green screen, but for a current project, I took the organizations logo(thankfully a simplistic logo), and cut a negative of it in black foamcore and used it as a cookie, throwing the blurred shadow on the wall behind the subject. A bit of subliminal effect since it is not a clean shadow. In hindsight (and it was what I planned but in the heat of the moment forgot) was to put a blue gel on the light.

to your point, you could do the logo thing in post as well.
Bill Mecca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2009, 02:58 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,414
So many things can effect your choice, topic, gender, background music, hair color, clothes color, etc.
but when I don't have time I just use radial gradient,
:)
__________________
I love this place!
Buba Kastorski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2009, 04:05 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mecca View Post
Don't have a direct answer for you, since it would all be subjective as to the message's content. If it's a simple interview, a blurred living room scene would work. If the subject is on a "news set" then a bank of monitors would work, blurring them to create the illusion of distance.

Except for the news stuff I do, I usually try to set the scene during the interview. Law books ( I work for the courts) a jury box, maybe lamp and a potted plant, or play with shadows on the wall.

I didn't do it on green screen, but for a current project, I took the organizations logo(thankfully a simplistic logo), and cut a negative of it in black foamcore and used it as a cookie, throwing the blurred shadow on the wall behind the subject. A bit of subliminal effect since it is not a clean shadow. In hindsight (and it was what I planned but in the heat of the moment forgot) was to put a blue gel on the light.

to your point, you could do the logo thing in post as well.
Thanks Bill

I have the excellent DVD produced by Vortex Media "How to set up. light, and shoot great looking interviews.' They cover blurring backgrounds, practicals, shadows on walls, etc. it is very well done. So that aspect of the aesthetics I've got a grip on pretty well. I also know simplicity is critical so as to not distract from the subject.

Maybe it is just a portrait (clouds) background I need for the one I'm going to shoot shortly - just have to experiment with colours in Photoshop.

By the way, I picked up one hint from the DVD I'm going to try. They talked about starting off with a wide shot at the start of the interview and zooming in to a more closeup shot for the end - to heighten the intensity. As I'm the subject speaking to camera through a teleprompter, I've set up three cameras looking through the teleprompter, set to wide, medium, and closeup. Depending how it all works out, I could combine them in that order start to finish, or if that does actually work, pick the shot I like best. I imagine I will have to zoom appropriately on whatever background I choose.
Renton Maclachlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:21 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Windsor, ON Canada
Posts: 2,765
If you're shooting with an HDV camcorder and delivering on SD DVD, then shoot the whole thing on a wide shot and do your zooms/cuts to different shots in post.

I did this for a group of students the other day and they were astounded that I could do this :-)
Mike Kujbida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2009, 07:39 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Kujbida View Post
If you're shooting with an HDV camcorder and delivering on SD DVD, then shoot the whole thing on a wide shot and do your zooms/cuts to different shots in post.

I did this for a group of students the other day and they were astounded that I could do this :-)
I'm not shooting HDV and am unlikely to be any time in the future. So be it. I accept limitations in favour of other advantages...
Renton Maclachlan is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Windows / PC Post Production Solutions > What Happens in Vegas...

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:05 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network