In this blog, BizVid Communications, a video production leader in San Diego California, will talk about using green screen and multiple cameras in constructing a music dance video.
Recently a client requested this type of video to be done as a dance parody to highlight the tapping motion tied to the use of their product. BizVid hired six actors who fit the client’s demographic. They didn’t have to be great dancers for the parody to work, just have fun.
We built a full green screen set upon which the dancers could be videotaped, and we brought in two cameras to provide different angles of the action. When you produce this type of video, using a music track, it is a good idea to have your talent perform the same scene in several ways, and with numerous actions. This will give the editor a lot of different options when assembling the finished production.
It was decided that the background, which would overlay the green screen, should be a variety of pastel colors, which would change periodically throughout the video of just under two minutes in length. This would emulate videos done in the 80’s, which would enhance the parody.
You have likely noticed X’s taped to the green screen. That is called tracking tape and it helps the editor get a frame of reference for where the actors are in relation to their setting. This assures that when an actor moves, the background perspective can move along with them. This also helps as the editor gives the illusion of a wall and floor with perspectives that move as the talent moves. The “exes” will be eliminated during post production. The process is called rotoscoping.
To get an idea of how the finished video will look, the editor does a rough cut, by overlaying one green screen scene upon the next, without worrying about the background. Once the actual scenes are approved, the editor will begin dropping out the green background and electronically replacing it with his wall and floor. This is perhaps the most time consuming part of the post production, as each single frame of the video must be rendered, incorporating the movements of the dancer, with the moving perspective of the floor and walls.
This rotoscoping process along with the actual rendering of each scene becomes complex and time consuming, when you overlay several green screens on top of each other. For example, using a single computer for rendering, it takes about 45 minutes to treat a 2-3 second dance clip where the large group is on the screen. It takes about 15 minutes for every three seconds of screen time on a solo actor, and you can imagine how time consuming this can be when there are a lot of clips within a production of multiple minutes in length. By the way, the term “rendering” is like “saving” your computer artwork or word text, but different than saving a single piece of artwork, in video, each frame must be saved as its own piece of artwork, which takes a lot more time. When production companies have longer productions and bigger budgets, often numerous computer banks are used, which will render and rotoscope smaller portions of the video, which are then cobbled together.
Of course there is much more to the production techniques applied to a finished video of this nature. This would include the fabricating of shadows of the actors to make their movements more realistic and the editing of the music to fit a prescribed time frame. But we’re running out of time on this blog. We hope this opens your eyes to the process and makes you appreciate the experience and dedication it takes in pulling a project like this together.