Video Shooting With Chroma Key

Video Shooting With a Green Screen (or Chroma Key)

Last week I had a new potential client tell me that someone from another video production company had told him about the possibility of doing a green screen shoot.  He was so impressed that he could be virtually anywhere by using this technology and wanted to know if I had ever considered doing this. I was somewhat taken aback because we’ve been doing these for years, even before we started shooting digitally. 

For someone to ask if this was possible reminded me of something that I have to keep learning: just because we do something as a matter of course, it doesn’t mean that our customers are aware of that. We have to keep educating them about what is possible. What we take as “givens” might be brand new and innovative to the client.

In the picture below are some shots from a training video we shot in 2000. The men were sitting in a boat talking about the topic being covered in the video (don’t remember what that was, but not important for this discussion) and they were “on a lake.” In post production we electronically  eliminated the green and added footage of a mountain lake and there they were.

What is fascinating about this is that a well done chroma key combining actual footage can convince the viewer that the subject is actually in the location we want to portray.


These pictures are from a shoot from last year. We were able to go to the client’s office and take a portable green screen. He was placed over a futuristic TV news set background as he addressed his viewers.

We were even using green screens in the last century. In fact, this Adecco new hire video we produced used actors and was shot as a green screen video production about 15 years ago. Then we added music and sound effects and graphics too.

In contrast to the pictures from the “fishing” chroma key above, this contains animation as the background, so we know we’re not fooling anyone about where the subjects are.