Sunday, 12 July 2015

Become a Green Screen King/Queen...

Your task, in a very short space of time, is to master the basics of Final Cut Pro X ... and use one of the more advanced tools it offers in making your very first very short film...

Here's the video we played you, which you can always refer back to:

We will make you green screen kings/queens in some simple steps. Please ask for help at ANY time if you get a bit stuck!

You need to be quite quick to get through all 7 steps in just 4 hours...

I'd prefer you all do this individually, but you can pair up so long as you each give it a try.
In Final Cut, you will find an 'Event' called 'GreenScreen Celeb'. Click on it, then click FILE, and then on NEW PROJECT. Replace the date with your own name as the project file and press OK. Your blank project file should now appear on the timeline (along the bottom) ready for you to drag and drop clips into and around. 
The 'Libraries' window on the top left lists 'Libraries' (the four squares icon), within which there are 'Events' (square with a star). You should be clicked on the Event called GreenScreen Celeb.
You can rename the 'project' file just by clicking on its name.

Here's a couple of examples of intentionally silly videos Media students have created using the green screen...


Storm Queen...

Ozzy Osbourne...
This was what we term a 'mini-vid', not a full video ... a mini one!

This one didn't use the green screen, but takes a similar approach of recording different people lip-synching lines...

Click on below to read the full post

Don't worry about 'mastering' the software, help is available, but this short exercise should help you see how you can use the green screen effect for your own idea.

Individually or in pairs, I'd like you to come up with an idea for one of the following:

  • a (very!) short film
  • a spoof of one or more scenes from an existing film or TV show
  • a music video (about 1 minute of a song)

You can use this site to get an MP3 for music, or video clips as green screen background.
The three rules of green screen club are: 
Keep it simple. 
Keep it short. 
Keep it silly!

You will access to some wigs, hats and other props, and can bring other costume, props, or makeup for the second session, though filming needs to be very quick to give you time to edit.

Once you've all thought of an idea, we will share these and then you can decide whether to all work on one, or split into two teams.

As rule 1 is keep it simple, lets first of all make sure your idea is something you can shoot and edit in a very short space of time!
Once that is agreed, you need to consider...
  1. Leadership: who is the director, in overall control and organising everything below? Time is very tight, so it should the person most likely to get this all done!
  2. Filming: do you want to share camera duties, or for one person to do this?
  3. Script: basic/key points - naming + describing characters, describing the action, and writing out any dialogue
  4. Green screen: what parts can you shoot on the green screen, and what image or video will be behind it? Someone could focus on finding these images/video clips.
  5. Cast: who plays who? You should all appear, even if only briefly.
  6. Costume, props, makeup, locations list: what do you need, where will you shoot, and do you need to wait until the second session to bring stuff from home for any shots?
  7. A list of shots to film, in the quickest order!

Some simple tips:
  • Usually we'd work with tripods to avoid shakiness, but there really isn't enough time to keep re-setting tripod legs!
  • You can use the tripod for the green screen shots though
  • Try to shoot the same scenes from more than one angle - you'll have a much better film/video!
  • Talk the cast through each shot before you press record, make sure they know what they're to say/do, where they move to
  • Count them in, going '3, 2, 1...' (skip the word action then!)
  • Don't be a perfectionist - its just a bit of fun! Shoot and move on!

Just ask when you're at this stage! We need to get it off the memory cards and onto the computer for editing.

You've been shown the basic tools you need, and how to apply the green screen effect ... but as you're new to this, I'd be amazed if you didn't need help, so just ask when stuck or unsure!
If you somehow get enough time, you could also experiment with titles and other effects in Final Cut, but you need to stop no later than 20 minutes before we finish so that you can...

So long as you leave at the very least 20 minutes before we finish, there should be enough time to turn your editing into a video file that you can take away with you on a memory stick, and that I can put on the big screen!

You can simply press A or B to switch between the move and blade tools, or use the dropdown menu. Below you can see how clips look when they've been bladed. You can also drag clips in from the start or finish ... and the opposite, drag them back out! Just hover the mouse over the edge of a clip until the cursor changes then click and drag.

You can get a better view of what you're editing by zooming in on both the timeline and the clips browser, using the slider tool

The clips browser zoomed in. You can select parts of a clip by using I (in) and O (out), lining up the cursor on the timeline and then just pressing W!

A short, clear guide (just over two minutes). You can also try the magic wand tool, but this is a more precise technique. You can also find a pdf step-by-step guide here which provides clear screenshots.


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