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Philip Fass August 18th, 2012 10:29 AM

greenscreen setup problem
I'm going to shoot two guys doing some energetic African dance against greenscreen. The location is a former train station that's now used as an event rental. Large room lots of natural light. It also has very nice hardwood floors that I must avoid damaging in any way.

My greenscreen is about 10x20 muslin, and I was planning to use gaffer's tape to attach it to a wall, then let it curve down to the floor and tape the 3 sides to the floor.

The problem I see is that the curve from wall to floor is, of course loose, and I worry it'll be vulnerable to the repeated pulling that will come from the dance moves, gradually pulling away the wall and/or floor sections.

\I'm thinking of cutting the muslin into 2 pieces, so that I'd have a separate square or rectangle to tape to the floor on all 4 sides. Maybe with some loops of tape in the middle to help it stick. The curve would just meet the floor piece, and I'd either let it lie loose or tape it to the bottom piece (I have green-screen colored gaffer's tape).

Does this make sense? I've even thought of trying something like lime green poster boards taped to the floor.

Paul R Johnson August 18th, 2012 11:27 AM

Re: greenscreen setup problem
Never, Ever, put gaffer tape on painted walls, or even varnished timber because the adhesive will pull the paint off. If the venue is precious - use a screen frame of some kind - gaffer is really sticky stuff!

Philip Fass August 19th, 2012 11:37 AM

Re: greenscreen setup problem
Sorry, I got my spaces mixed up. This one actually has a polished stone floor, and can be seen here (first one, the train station):

Vermont Venues | Burlington VT Events | Main Street Landing

But assuming I put the vertical GS on a stand, would it make sense to cut off a piece for the floor so it can be taped down on all 4 sides, with the vertical curving down just to touch the floor piece?

Robert Turchick August 19th, 2012 12:32 PM

Re: greenscreen setup problem

Cloth WILL NOT work as a dance surface! Sorry but even people walking on a cloth floor will cause it to wrinkle and become problematic for keying.

Dancing will most certainly pull the fabric and possibly become dangerous for the dancers.

If you have to use that venue, create a wood floor from 4x8 plywood sheets that you can paint. The fabric can still work for the walls and be taped to the flooring you create using greenscreen tape.

If you can move the performance, get a place that will let you paint the floor. Or find a studio that already has a painted floor.

On another note, I know the venue you are talking about. I recorded several avante gard jazz performances there. (used to live in upstate NY) Neat space but PLEASE don't do the fabric on the floors.

Paul R Johnson August 20th, 2012 03:16 AM

Re: greenscreen setup problem
I'm not sure what you call it in the US, but MDF is great stuff to work with for dance as it has a great paintable smooth surface, and you could run the green cloth in a gentle curve to it, and then lay the MDF over the top. Joints can be pretty secure with gaffer tape on the under surface. Plywood is (here) more expensive, although tougher. For dance you should be able to get good use from MDF - although for a short shoot, even hardboard could be used with the shiny side up. MDF and hardboard are often used for permanent stage coverings here, and when a panel gets damaged, you just swap it out, protecting the real stage surface underneath. Some people like the oil tempered hardboard, but I've not found a huge difference.

I think our hardboard has a different name in the US too - no idea what it is. Ours has a softer, rough surface on one side, and then a hard, shiny paintable surface on the other?

Philip Fass August 20th, 2012 06:47 AM

Re: greenscreen setup problem
Since portability is also an issue, and it's a substantial walk to the train station, I"m thinking of 1/4 inch 4x4 plywood panels, taped together on the bottom of the seams and taped all around the outer edge to the floor. I'll probably need 3 (width) by 4 (depth). With paint, it will cost well over $100 for a one-time shoot, but I can't think of a way to make it work for less.

David Aronson August 22nd, 2012 07:18 AM

Re: greenscreen setup problem
What about greenscreen paper? If it gets torn, throw some green gaff tape on it.

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