Behold the Green Screen!

The first winner of Internshala’s all new blog contest, Mohammed Hidhayat, chose the road less travelled by, and has some stories to tell about it! Here he talks about the green screen – a concept oft used in Electronic Media that we have all seen but not noticed. Read on for an experience in his journey into the unseen…

Green Screen

“Green screen?”

“You mean a screen that’s green in color.”


“What’s the big deal about it?”

“It’s everything man. Robert Downey Jr wouldn’t be such a badass if not for the green screen (of course there’s applause for his spontaneous tricks and one liners!) and Man of Steel wouldn’t be so stunning either without the green screen.”

Alright. A green screen is actually a technique that makes people look like they are somewhere they aren’t. The subject is filmed against a plain background, which is normally either green or blue. The green background is later replaced with whatever surreal atmosphere you want and a lot of work goes into making it look believable.

Man of steel ropes
Man of “steel ropes”

My encounter with the green screen was accidental and here’s how –

“Engineering, engineering… engineering!” What is wrong with my parents? For a kid who was placed 1st in his school in the 10th grade public exams, the next herculean task of clearing the 12th grade must have been a piece of cake. Well, what is life if not for its mystery, oodles of sarcastic fun and wrong timing! Then on a fine Tuesday morning, all hell broke loose; the results were announced and I passed out with a mere 61%. Not bad! Actually I was pretty nauseous about Physics and Math! So, the lingering question was, why the sudden drop in percentage? For which I had no answer.  I realized that I had lost my grip on differential calculus and equations and that I was no longer worthy of being called a nerd – the moment of realization.

Before my parents decided to deploy the engineering bomb on me, I underwent a massive changeover shifting my perspective to HBO and Media! Thankfully, the time I spent on HBO, CBS Prime and Tech Forums, they provided me enough content to brag about movies and technology! So, long story short- I’m a Media Science Student now embarking on an incredibly creative journey on Photography, Film Studies, Public Relations, Cinematography, Script and Content Writing, Advertisements, Event Management, VFX & SFX , Editing and Animation. (Obviously, you have to specialize in a particular field and choosing it is an excruciating pain because they’re all tempting!) Now, I get to wake up saying film dialogues instead of formulae and equations!

Creativity is a serious quality. The ability to create a feature film or to fill a green matte with breath taking visuals requires rigorous practice and whooping creative quality to make it a success and a critics choice. Speaking of the green screen, does anybody know how important it is? The green screen is like our modern day God. It gives you so much creative control that it makes you feel like the Old Greek Gods. Let’s say you want to create the illusion of hanging down from a highly treacherous mystical mountain. Raise a uniform shaded green screen behind you as a background. Give proper lighting. Record yourself hanging down from a bunker bed or a ledge. Say hello to composting software – I use Nuke. With a little bit of tweaking and masking, you’re hanging at the edge of the Mount of Doom!

With that being said, I would like to point out the name of the university I’m studying in. It’s College Of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), where I’m pursuing M.Sc Electronic Media (5 years integrated) at the Department Of Media Sciences. You see, the word ‘engineering’ follows Indian youth wherever they go!

I would also like to add a little thank you to God! I normally don’t thank God because I believe in the theory of randomness, but the plan to escape the idealistic concept  of ‘engineering’ notoriously planted by advertisements and ultra- modern  educational fundamentalists in the minds of innocent parents required a ‘fictional’ upper hand!

My only regret –I spent an insane amount of time preparing for the IITs (Seriously, what was I thinking!)

Image credits-

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