Managing a Green Screen Project- How to keep your Sanity!!!

Why video projects are worth the time it takes to do them

The problem solving, team work, planning and collaboration is almost unsurpassed to other multimedia projects. The final projects create a high level of pride and students are pressed to use time management like most of them have never had to do before. Addresses ISTE NETS for students #1 ,2, 4, 6 and sometimes 3. ISTE NETS for Students

General Notes about managing a movie project:

  • Group students and have them designate a "captain" to sign up for the items below (note to teacher label EVERYTHING):
    • a tape
    • a camera
    • a tripod
    • a mic
    • mic cable
    • an extra camera battery
    • 2 computers - one computer to create the movie project, one computer to build the music and find appropriate sounds
  • The captain should make sure that before leaving the area to do taping that all of the items are with their group (except computer)
  • If possible create a generic student student user to log in the computer so any member of the team can work on the video during flex, study hall, before or after school
  • Remind students to film by location rather than in a sequential order to save time (set a really short deadline for taping and then if necessary, extend the date)
  • Remind students to pay attention to how they are dressed so they can do that the same way each time they shoot (hair, clothes etc.)
  • Be cognizant of how clothing might interfere with the green screen and the movie that goes over the top

Video Technique Notes:

  • Use a tripod
  • Pan slowly and with the tripod
  • Zoom slow OR cut the shot, zoom in, and take another shot (can transition it in later)
  • Use a pre-roll and post-roll to avoid cut offs
  • Take every shot at least twice
  • Hide the mic out of the shot
  • Make sure the camera view does not extend beyond the green screen- no one wants to see a bookcase in your video
  • Try to have the actors stand a few feet away from the screen and use a back light to avoid shadows.

Project management:

  • Make a up a chart, have it laminated and use it to keep track of student progress

Computer numbers
Camera letter
Finished shooting
Downloaded video
Finished editing
finished soundtrack
Finished project
Exported project
Final Project saved
1, 6

3, 4

5, 30

Here is blank Multimedia progress form. You can make this into a poster and use it to track all types of multimedia projects or digital storytelling projects.

Downloading video from Discovery Ed for Green Screen in iMovie 09

  1. Find the DEstreaming clip(s) you want to use, make sure you select one that permits editing.
  2. Download the movies in a Quicktime format.
  3. Import the movies in iMovie HD
  4. If you don't have HD, go to this site and download 6.03
  5. Export the movie out of HD- this allows you to import it into iMovie 09
  6. Use these setting for the export and click Share
  7. imoviehdsettings.png
  8. Now your movie is ready to be imported into the green screen project.

Downloading video from Discovery Ed for Using iMovie 11

  1. Find the DEstreaming clip(s) you want to use, make sure you select one that permits editing.
  2. Download the movies in a Quicktime format.
  3. Import the movies into iMovie 11

The green screen process iMovie 09

Here is a link that gives you a screen shot each step of the process:

To make green screen work, you need to turn on the advanced setting in iMovie 09, you can find that under iMovie Preferences.

Here is my personal favorite description of how to set your iMovie settings and a short demo of using green screen, a future teacher?:

Chroma key techniques from a pro (about 10 minutes long):

Exporting the final project (iMovie 09 or 11) high quality for burning to a DVD

Go to Share in the iMovie Menu and select Export Movie using Quicktime

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Settings for exporting to a wiki or Moodle

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You can use Medium or Mobile here depending on the size of the project.
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Be sure to specify where you want to save the project.

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Green Screen and Windows Movie Maker

I do not have any experience with this, but wanted Windows users to know there was an option.....Good Luck!

Here is the accompanying website to answer questions if you are having problems.


Green Screen (from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars) a supply website for all things green screen
Large Green Screen - this is what we use for big projects
Green screen foam- easy to send home
Flexdrop- Collapsible chroma-screen
Fabric from a fabric store- can be tricky to find correct color- good for waist up shots and projects students do at home
Chroma-key paint--ROSCOE is one brand
Check out the DEN blog for hardware store formulations and other great digital story telling tips

Tripods ($30.00)
Sony light weight tripod

Microphones ($42.00 for 3)
3 pack of mics

Microphone Cables (prices varies according to length)
Cables for most digital video cameras that have an audio output jack (I reccommend 25ft)

Camera bags-
Sometimes it is easier to build a kit for students to pick up and take along

Digital video tapes
We reuse these for projects, but be aware that over time, tape quality can diminish.