We were looking for just the right reason to invest in a new 4K camera, and when we were presented with the script for a wacky green screen project for PCMA, we knew we had found our motivation.
It seemed reasonably straightforward… shoot a bunch of sponsors, who were going to be at the convention, and then composite them over backgrounds. But here were the hurdles: we didn’t know what most of the backgrounds looked like because we had to shoot them when we arrived in Austin, and the editing had to be done onsite in only two days. The solution was to shoot the ‘actors’, head to toe, in 4K and to edit in HD. Since 4K has four times as many pixels as HD, that gave us the necessary latitude to resize both background and foreground elements as much as we needed without losing any resolution. We purchased a BlackMagic Ursa Mini camera and accessories, packed them with our Canon lenses and our lights, mics, and support gear, and headed off to Texas.
A local production company set up a 20’ by 20’ green screen for us and supplied some of the lights. We shot a dozen Partners, individually and in groups, lip synching to a song. Meanwhile, I shot scenics at the Capitol, the University of Texas, around the convention center, and in the South Congress neighborhood. Shoreline editors Tyler Sanders and James Yule, following the script, lined up the ‘actors’ with their lines and composited them against their custom backgrounds, sizing them properly to sell the look.
The PCMA clients were ecstatic, but just as importantly, so were the Partners who were portrayed in the piece. The video was warmly and enthusiastically received by the audience of 4500 the next day, and that’s what really mattered.