Typically, when people talk about the crazy things studios have done with green screens, they’re referring to movies. Granted, the film industry has been using them for much longer, but various TV shows are starting to do some amazing things that could forever change how shows are made. Although it’s only been in place for a short time, the TV industry’s evolution of green screen use has come a long way and shows no signs of slowing down.
Filming Alone but Together
Something TV shows have been doing for a while now is having the actors perform their roles separately, with the production team using green screens and CGI to bring them together. Arrested Development most popularly explored this idea after Netflix brought the show back. Since most of the actors had successful careers at that point, they had very little time to film together. This technique allowed the studio to film each actor’s part according to their schedule and still create cohesive episodes.
Of course, due to the pandemic, this technique has become more widely used. A recent example is The Drew Barrymore Show, in which the studio filmed Drew in New York while many of her guests remained in LA. They would talk over video chat, but the people in LA were filmed in front of a green screen so the show could make it look like they were sitting in front of the host.
Fixing Mistakes in Post
The film industry has used this technique for quite a while, but now that more shows are utilizing green screens, making minor or even significant edits in post-production to fix on-set mistakes is easier than ever. A perfect example of this is the scene in WandaVision in which Vision floated down in front of a car—they used a stunt double while filming, but the producers felt like the descent wasn’t elegant enough to fit Vision’s character. Instead of going through the laborious process of refilming the scene, they simply reworked it with the use of CGI.
Showing Up the Film Industry
The most exciting part of the TV industry’s evolution of green screen use is the fact that it shows no signs of stopping. With more shows finding mainstream success and budgets increasing to meet the demand for jaw-dropping cinematography in television, TV is getting closer and closer to the level of blockbuster films.
Many of the recent Marvel and Star Wars shows display just how close shows are getting to that level. Granted, they’re not perfect, but Marvel’s Moon Knight managed to produce a kaiju-level fight between two Egyptian gods that looked pretty amazing.
If some of these shows have inspired you to push the limits of CGI for your studio work, you should check out our selection of green screens and modular cyclorama sets. We’re confident you will be able to create great things given the right tools.