How green screens are changing the entertainment industry

Jul 2, 2015

green screen film set camera movie

Green screens have become ubiquitous in Hollywood; Credit: Photo by Mark Sebastian via Flickr Creative Commons

Everyone has an opinion about visual effects and the prevalence of green screens in cinema.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” was applauded for minimal use of it. Sir Ian McKellan said he wanted to quit acting while filming the first “Hobbit” film because of it. Action star Jason Statham isn’t
a fan

Love it or hate it, it’s what keeps people coming back to theatres. And it’s not going anywhere.

Actors are putting their training to the test in a cinematic landscape where bigger seems to be better. Jessica Barth, who plays Ted’s wife in “Ted 2,” recalls having to make out with nothing in front of her in a recent Wall Street Journal piece that explores how actors are adapting to fewer elaborate sets and more green screen.

From “Guardians of the Galaxy” to “Jurassic World,” actors are having to envision new worlds or run away from creatures on sets that include a pole with two golf balls attached to the top of it and lots of green screens.

Is the proliferation of green screen-heavy blockbusters helping or harming the industry? As technology continues to evolve, how will actors keep up?


Michael Fink, Senior visual effects supervisor for “Batman Returns.” He’s also worked on “Life of Pi,” “Tron: Legacy” and “Avatar.” The Georges Méliès Endowed Chair in Visual Effects and Kortschak Family Endowed Division Chair in Film and Television Production at USC

Joanne Baron, Co-owner and artistic director, The Joanne Baron/D.W.Brown Studio, who has taught Halle Berry and Robin Wright. Actress featured in “Spider-Man 2,” “Drag Me to Hell” and “Universal Soldier.”

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