Friday, December 25, 2009

Green Screen Hollywood - Brief History

By Phillip Guye

Green screen Hollywood technology, a. K. A chroma key is a system employed by filmmakers to mix two separate photographs together. This works by making the background ( a solid color which is mostly green or blue ) clear in order to show another image which is the particular background that'll be shown on film. This technique of filming is often referred to as color keying, blue screen, and color separation overlay ( CSO ). It was essentially used for weather reports. Forecasters were shot in front of chroma key screens and the background was replaced by actual maps that indicate weather forecasts . The chroma key technique is also used by filmmakers and photographers alike.

The green screen first made its appearance in the 1930's at RKO Radio pictures. The background used back then was blue. This technique of film making was developed to create special effects for the film "The thief of Bagdad." apart from the chroma key technique, filmmakers depended on an awfully boring and laborious process called "travelling matte." This made transition such as "wipes" possible.

Larry servant is thought to be in charge of pioneering the blue screen system. In fact, he even took home an Academy Award for visible effects for his work in "The burglar of Bagdad." After his success in the 30's, butler was the first individual to use chroma key technology in Technicolor, paving the way for modern green screen Hollywood technology.

The first films to take advantage of Chroma Key technology was the flick adaptation of Ernest Hemingway famous short story, "The Old Man and the Sea," starring Spencer Tracy. After the "Old Man and the Sea," more films used the chroma key methodology. Some famous film that employ chroma key technology are The Empire Strikes Back, Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Star Trek, and even three hundred. Films that make use of CGI or computer generated pictures are also made with aid from green screen technology. This is how having out of this world settings and amazing creatures are able to be shown on film.

Today, green screen Hollywood technology isn't just restricted to big budget flats. It's also utilized in photography. From the initial blue screen, green was used later on because filmmakers discovered that a green background doesn't need boring lighting. Cameras are most delicate to this color, so the result of films shot on green screens are easier to work with and manipulate. With that said, chroma key technology is now known to photographers and filmmakers' best friend.

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