A Green Screen for < $20. Really? Yes, really

If I wanted a green screen that was portable and designed to be on site or in a studio, then I’d seriously look at something like the Westcott Chromakey Green Background available from Kayell in Sydney for around $300.

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But if I only had $20 or so, and wasn’t too concerned about what it looked like, if it got torn or dirty was easily replaced and was for only the occasional use, then I might build one.

Like the one above.

You see, for around that $20 along with a trip to Bunnings and another to Spotlight, you can get the timber and woodscrews to make a frame and the green material to stretch over it.

staple_gun_1_800xAs long as you then have a staple gun and staples (another $15) …


2020-03-02_10-22-40…and ideally a power drill to drill the holes and screw the screws into (borrow a neighbours if you don’t have one), you can make one.

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This took Jacqui about an hour to build on Saturday afternoon (whilst I finished off a tutorial).

And it works like a charm…

If you want the specifics, the materials take off is:

  • 2020-03-02_10-20-013 pieces dressed pine 1.8 metres long – choice your width to suit the strength you need.

  • 2020-03-02_11-00-092 metres approx. of Apple Green Plain Top Pop 112 cm Poplin Fabric Apple


  • F4832946-018 wood screws (length to match your timber depth)

 

This gives you a green screen approx 2.4 metres high and 1.1 metres wide that can be used either vertically or horizontally.

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It weighs about a kilo and a half and fits in the back of our 2003 Suzuki Grande Vitara SUV …

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…so can pretty much take it anywhere

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(as long as new puppy Dougie the Dog is not in there too…)

dougie doggie

PS: Of course, I am NOT saying this solution is anywhere need as good as a commercially available green screen such as the one I mention at the beginning of this article. In a professional environment there will be lighting issues, potential reflections etc with a piece of $3 green cloth.

But if you are in a spot, or on a very small budget for a student film, hobbyist first attempt etc, then this home made jobby should get you by. 

As with anything else, we would always recommend getting the best you can afford (whether it be camcorder, mic, lights or green screen, and I am NOT suggesting this is an “always” substitute for a pro green screen, or worse, suggesting our friends at Kayell are overpriced!!

Apologies if anyone thought that.

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