the slings and arrows of location shooting,
or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
by simply cooping up in a small room clad with green cloth, and shoot your entire film there.
I call upon your forgiveness, good Sirs and Ladies, but having the choice I now more often go for the green screen option, no matter what story I'm telling. There is a bit of critisism flying about the internet pertaining to the fact that many amateur fillmakers are now using chroma key, or green screen effects, with a fervour that would impress George Lucas himself. I am, I confess, one of them. The complaint is that the filmmakers are lazy when they coose to chroma key a scene which could be shot on a real location, especially if they can't get the effect perfected.
But why is everyone using green screen so much? Let's take a few examples.
mujawooja on YouTube. He does a fair share of location shot old-style slapstick comedy with his friend Jim, but he also tells stories taking place in all sorts of exotic locations. How to get there? Get in front of the old green screen. Bernie's a green screen wizard, and when he's doing a video project all by himself he acts out all the parts on his own, sometimes taking this to extremes. The still you see here is from his film "Atomic Monster B Movie", where giant bugs threaten to destroy the world, and a super attack squad is called out to deal with them. Bernie plays all the members of the squad, and lets his imagination run riot.
kkmoviechannel" on YouTube, is obsessed with old stop-mo monster movies, especially the dinosaur-filled epics of Ray Harryhausen and Willis O'brien. Since he has no money at all to spend on his projects, and even has difficulty finding actors, he gets around his problems by using green screen effects. Instead of NOT doing the sort of stories he loves to tell, he does the best he can with what he's got, and gets on with it. I applaude him for that.
An example from my own repartoire: My Gandalf film shows the wizard walking in a variety of surroundings, both small, intimate and familiar forests (shot on location), and grand fantasy landscapes (shot in my green screen studio). I quickly found that the chroma key shots better conveyed what my imagination wanted to show the audience.
Save Prince Plutonium" which is completely contained in a chroma key world of photoshopped surroundings. This is a highly artificial reality, but it's consistent, and therefore (I hope) convincing in the same way a surrealist film, or an expressionist film can convince despite it's bizarre visuals. Here's the thing; The ever more available chroma key software options allow more and more amateur (or "independent") filmmakers to dream bigger and dare more. That is a good, even great, thing I think.