So, I finally purchased and setup my green screen room in school and have had the children in my class create some green screen films. I thought I would share the details of the project here for all to see.
The green screen kit itself came from a company selling through Amazon, they no longer seem to be selling it, so I would recommend 123 Video Magic as they sell a very similar kit, this is an American company but they do ship abroad.
The kit we bought comprised of a 10ft x 20ft green screen muslin (bigger the better); frame to hold it which stretched to the ceiling; 2 lights, bulbs, tripods and umbrellas similar to the ones used by photographers. This all came in a useful carry bag. There’s a picture of the kit in the post below. You really do need everything in this kit, the lights allow you to create an even effect, much better than classroom lights.
We have 3 camcorders in school which I used at first, but soon realised it was very complicated to get the clips off the camera and into the file format needed to create the film. I now use ipod touches, the quality of these is fine for what we do in school and they so easy to use. It also helps that they link up with the iMac very well.
At first I was using a PC, but this proved very slow for importing the films and editing, in fact so slow, I gave up. If you have a powerful PC, then you might be OK, but I would recommend using an iMac. This is not cheap but worth its weight in gold.
The software we use has again changed, I bought 123 Video Magic from the site above which although very good, runs on a PC for which I had the problems above and is expensive if you want it on more than one PC. When buying the iMac, this came with iMovie which is fantastic. After reading a How To on line (just type ‘green screen movie with iMovie into Google), I made my first movie in seconds and the pupils have also found the software easy and love making movies.
We use an audio visual room in school which had some windows, we bought some blackout curtains from dunelm and these are fab at blocking out all the light.
Green Screen Kit – £200 approx
iPod Touch 8Gb – £160 approx
22″ iMac – £783 approx
Blackout Curtains – £80 approx
Not cheap to setup but the children are getting so much out of it. The biggest problem is finding the room in our cramped school to have the screen setup permanently! Everything has gone really well.
My first project with the pupils linked to Science and our work on habitats, next I’m planning some story telling or news reading linking in with English. The next stage is also for me to train other staff and create a video prospectus of the school.
If you’re planning on trying this in school, good luck, it’s great fun.