As I've been cutting Grundy together (I think you'll find there will now be a real back and fourth between Dream Lover and Grundy posts), I decided to start doing a bit of playing around with some color correction to make sure I'm not totally screwed. After shooting one scene outside, it became extremely clear to me that I did not want any scenes of this film taking place outside to be shot outside. So, to the green screens I went.
Green screening is always a very scary thing. It's deceptive in how easy it looks, and alluring in the idea that you can just put anything in at the end of the day. But it's really not the case. So, as I've been chipping along, I decided to just grab a temp background and make sure that I was correct in my imaginary spacial shooting. Ready? Here we go!
A screengrab from the original footage, totally untouched, uncolored, as it was on the camera. Our star is looking down an alleyway while approaching a T intersection in the alley.
Here is Christopher, with the green removed. Notice we lost the dirty shot of Neville in the right hand corner, but he's still there- just a shadow. If we popped a white background in, it would still be that edge of Grundy's shoulder. You can also see if you click on the image to enlarge it, at the top of Chris's forehead there is a speck of green coming through his hair.
We've now played with the colors. A bit of desaturation on Christopher to take out the color, popped a bit of orange over him to match the artificial light we'll be surrounding him with. The desaturation has also pretty much completely taken out that green noise that was left over in his hair from the green screening. Fortunately, I'm making a film that relies on desaturation, so using this technique means I can cut corners. A super colorful movie would have to go about it a much different way.
Here's our temporary background image. No way this is actually ending up in the film- it's just for reference. I ended up just googling "dark alley" and browsed around until I found something that looked like it was shot at an angle and level that wouldn't make it seem like Jimmy had one leg way shorter than the other. Just temp background for reference!
After some editing.... We've really darkened it down, which has actually helped take this really cumbersome and cartoony image, and made it seem a bit more gritty and real. Darkness always helps. Popped some orange in their to mimic the supposed streetlights (here's our artificial light playing in heavily for us) and desaturated the whole thing so it wouldn't pop too much! Which leads us to...
The "final" temp mix of everything. I put all of this together in about four minutes just to make sure my ass was covered, so when we get to the real cutting, hours will be spent matching saturations, brightness, and lighting in an artificial scene with moving backgrounds. However, for a temp view, I'm now feeling pretty good about my green screening, and happy with the decision to shoot on a stage for scenes like these!