Movie Magic with Green Screen Technology
By Melissa Pederson, Exhibit Developer for Inside Hollywood Film & TV! You're On the Set
Imagine you are directing a movie about space explorers, and one of your scenes needs to show an actor running away from angry aliens on a distant planet with three moons. How do you record a scene on an imaginary planet? In order to film scenes that would be too expensive or just plain impossible to build, TV and film makers use color key technology with green screens.
Here's how it works: the film crew films an actor in front of a big screen or wall that is painted green. Later, special software "keys" the green color, removes it, and replaces it with any image the director chooses. So if the director decided to film the space explorer running in front of a green screen, she could later remove the green color and replace it with a computer-generated image of the aliens running under the three full moons.
Here's the awesome thing—we have a huge green screen right here at The Children's Museum! It's in our new exhibit, Inside Hollywood Film and TV! You're on the Set. In the exhibit you can play the role of an actor, director, and camera operator, and create amazing adventure scenes on our green screen! Step on the green stage and see yourself on a nearby video screen, with the green keyed away and replaced with an action-packed image!
Want to try an experiment? In the exhibit, find one of the green superhero cape costumes and wear it on the green screen stage. Then look at yourself in the video screen with the color key software. What do you think you'll see? Visit us soon to try the experiment and find out! You can even share your green screen moment using the #OnSetAtTCM hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
Watch Josh and his trusty side-kick show you how the green screen works in In This Week's WOW!