It was the year 1898. Georges Méliès films himself removing his own head and placing it on a table where the head begins to talk. Georges then grows another head and repeats the process two more times. Eventually, he ends up playing a banjo and having a sing along with all his heads. Méliès blew everyone’s minds with this film despite the fact that it only lasted about one minute. It was groundbreaking. This was the first known instance of multiple exposures being used in film. It was quite the process back then, but of course, in the last 115 years or so, the film industry has gotten a lot better at it. Today, the use of Green Screens and Chroma Key play a big part in just about every major motion picture.
There have been several different processes and techniques used when dealing with multiple exposures. Whether it was painting pieces of glass matte black, making entire backgrounds black in order to film only the actors, or having actors completely cover themselves in black velvet to appear invisible, filmmakers have been experimenting since the beginning. However, you might have guessed that black screens don’t really work ever since color film was introduced. The following video provides a great look into the history of Green Screen compositing. Instead of echoing what is said in the video, we encourage you to view it because John Hess from FilmmakerIQ.com has very thorough explanations of everything.
As you can see, Green Screens and Blue Screens and Chroma Key are all extremely useful tools for adding something more to your productions. When done properly, they can add entirely new dimensions to a shot. Here at NCTV, while we don't have the same capabilities as huge movie companies, we do have the ability to use Chroma Key and Green Screen compositing and have done so in the past. At times, Kevin Gleason's show On Your Computer would feature what appeared to be a smaller version of Kevin standing next to his computer in order to get a close up look at what he was talking about.
In the past, NCTV has also provided classes to explore the setup and uses of Green Screen/Chroma Key technology and how to Green Screen using studio equipment as well as using field cameras and compositing in post production.
All of us here at NCTV encourage anyone interested to come in and give it a shot. We have the technology, tools, and the knowledge to help you out. Maybe this is the first step in you filming one of the next great action films. Contact us any time!