Green Screen Basics: Maximizing the Versatility of Your Footage

Capturing footage on a Green Screen opens up all sorts of possibilities in post production. With full control over your subject’s background you can place them anywhere and insert any graphics desired. This will help improve your video’s production quality and increase the versatility of your video footage.

Syntax Production Green Screen Studio


  • 4 BiColor Light Set Up
  • Green Screen (Cloth, Frame, Etc) – The Bigger the Better
  • Camera
  • Gaff Tape


Ideally, we will be running a single camera with 4 lights, 2 that will light the subject and two that will light the green screen. These must be BiColor lights (lights that you can control the temperature on.) You want your subject to stand about 3-5 feet in front of the green screen. Mark where their feet should be placed with gaff tape on the floor. Set up your lights in the following configuration with matching temperature settings.

Syntax Video Production Camera

You can set up your camera wherever frames your subject best. Don’t worry about capturing anything off of the green screen, just make sure nothing is obstructing your subject. 

You can “Mask” out any parts of the wall, or ceiling in post production. Record your footage and move onto post production.

Syntax Production Framing


Once you have your footage into Adobe Premiere or most other editing software you want to “Key” out the color of your green screen. Use “Ultra Key” in Premiere and choose the color dropper tool and select the shade of green from you video footage.

Adobe Premiere Ultra Key Syntax Production

The area where the green was should be mostly black now and you can tweak different settings like”Pedestal” and “Tolerance” to get the cleanest and most consistent black across the video. Put in a layer below the video with your selected background. Green screen and ultra key layers can open up your video to anything– even the whole universe.

Like what you read? Want to learn more about audio and video production? Syntax and Motion is a Burlington, Vermont-based production studio. Check out the rest of our website for more.