SAVE YOUR PRODUCTION! with Rear Screen Production
REAR SCREEN PROJECTION can save your production!
Rear Screen Projection is an in-camera effect that first showed up in the 1930’s. Actors, props and vehicles would be positioned in front of a projection screen while an image was cast behind them.
The Alfred Hitchcock reign, brought the height of its popularity. Using it for a mix of locations, special effect and driving scenes. One of its shining moments was Cary Grant getting chased down by a plane in the film North By Northwest. The early James Bond Sean Connery films had great fun using rear projection as well .
The technique took an advanced leap in 1968 when Stanley Kubrick used it to perfection in the filming of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick himself never liked traveling to locations for filming and wanted to avoid the on location filming needed to travel to Africa. Numerous shots were used for spaceship windows.
In time, Quentin Tarantino used it in homage form in Pulp Fiction when actor Bruce Wills drives away from his fight to a black and white background plate.
Director James Cameron used rear screen projection on several of his films including Aliens and Terminator 2. When the T-1000 robot hijacks the police helicopter. Or in Aliens when Ripley and her crew narrowly escape an incoming crashing spaceship.
When using the term “Shooting Plates” we refer to the images filmed in advance that then gets projected onto the rear screen.
GREEEN SCREEN DRIVING
In time, a GREEN SCREEN would evolve to replace this technique by placing actors inside a green environment then removing the green and replacing it with backgrounds. This was referred to as “Chroma keying” and became a new visual effect brought to the industry. Particularly in films, broadcasting and even video games. Green Screen Driving has become a very common set up in the industry.
While this has become a revolutionary process, it is not without its major limitations and costs as well. It requires a lot more work in pre production. Deciding wardrobe choices, blocking and lighting the subjects and their movements. As well as lot of arduous work in post production.
Very often the subjects and objects get “green spill” which is the green color from the surrounding green screen, shining back onto the subject itself. CGI artists (computer generated imagery) have to spend tedious amounts of time masking and rotoscoping out the green spill. Particularly in the actors hair. Creating an intensionally soft glow around the subject to compensate for the problems.
For those who do not wish take on that much production work responsibility or for those who want as much in-camera effects as humanly possible then Rear Projection is an amazing and gratifying choice.
BLOCKBUSTER REAR SCREEN PRODUCTIONS
The Tom Cruise blockbuster Oblivion launched a new love of Rear Screen Projection when director Joseph Kosinski of Top Gun Maverick fame decided to use rear screen projection for all of the worlds environments. Which created a dazzling in camera effect and made use of realistic reflections off of any and all surfaces. Including the actors. The HBO tv show WESTWORLD created incredible effects, deciding to switch from Green Screen to Rear Screen projection for the show. Especially in it’s latter seasons going into the future world.
One incredible benefit is that there is absolutely no guess work. You can see exactly what the final composition and product is going to look like. Giving Directors, Producers and Creatives the confidence in your storytelling needs.
LIGHTING REAR SCREEN PRODUCTIONS
Lighting for rear projection screens takes a basic understanding of light. No advanced knowledge is required to perfect it.
There’s only one rule to stick by: You simply do not want to light the screen itself. Which means when setting up a key or fill light, you must flag it to illuminate the subject and not the rear screen.
Matching color and quality of light is always a great tip. So that for example, if the driving plates are shot outside during daylight that you match the inside talent light with the same daylight color temperature.
Here in Los Angles our RearProjectionDriving.com Studio, it takes away the guess work and fear of achieving a realistic and entirely In-amera production experience. You can park your car. Place your talent inside and you’re ready to shoot!
Our advanced laser projection system, software and lighting is all you need to bring your production to life. At the end of day, the talent’s performance is all that should matter to you. Having the ability to concentrate solely on that makes for a better film, commercial, music video, tv show or any production where driving is required. No distraction and a fun ride. Literally.
PROCESS TRAILER RENTALS
Los Angeles is a very tough city to shoot on the real streets. FILM LA requires expensive permits to do so. These also require you to already pre map the exact street route you will need with the city. Often filmmakers are not sure of exact routes. A process trailer is a rig that tows the actors on a platform that holds the car around the streets. This also requires police escorts of two or more on this pre planned route. With soaring gas prices you must fill the truck along with paying an additional licensed driver to tow the truck while cramming an entire crew, lights and gear onto a moving truck.
This also limits the time of day. How much daylight, shifting light or forcing a grueling night time shoot in order to accommodate all of this. All while keeping the talent, crew, police and driver safe and fed. Plus spending additional money on a “base camp” location. Which is a place required for breaks, meals and bathroom runs. This can run budgets up very higher and very quickly.
When working with talent on a process trailer, the Director or Creatives often have to get a follow vehicle as well to house themselves. To attempt to connect with the talent by walkie talkie. Which can lead to miscommunication and a feeling of always being rushed because frankly, you are! Lighting directions shift in the city. Which can mean that even on a pre determined street route, you can only film on one street going in a certain direction or the lighting doesn’t match or puts the actors in darkness at times or blinds them. Not to mention the possibility of constant red lights.
THE WRAP UP
Rear Screen Projection Driving takes away absolutely all of the uncertainties, stress and complexities of street driving or green screen studio work. Get a better performance from your talent, when you can walk up safely to the car and talk directly to the talent to bring out their very best performance. Which is why actors and talent absolutely love our system. We also provide a monitor so that the talent can see the road ahead of them and match their movements all synced perfectly. Shoot up to three cameras at once if needed!
We also provide our own rich custom color graded background plates for your production so that you can have one less thing to worry about. Efficiency is the key to productions. We also provide a tech to run it all. Get your entire production grounded and in one stable place. Imagine if you can get multiple scenes done in a day or two. Shoot all day in one time of day that never changes. Multiple episodes and the freedom to create all in a safe environment.
Book time on our stage and bring your production to life!