I have been perfecting my green screen set-up at home (having said that, the client hasn’t approved it yet). The problem before was: I was standing side-on to the window, with daylight streaming in, so I had to light my left-hand side with artificial light, and the two were never even (daylight being blueish and artificial light being yellowish). I was also trying to light the screen, separately to myself, and avoid casting shadows on it with my body, from the ring light in front of me. That’s aside from problems with having ONE visible filament of cat hair on my jacket, and slightly less than Lego-man smooth hair (which does cause problems with keying my outline, I know).

Now, if I had a professional studio, and was a professional lighting cameraman, with unlimited budget and expertise to try all sorts of lights etc, and I knew what I was doing, I might LOVE to spend hours (days in fact) tweaking all this stuff.

As it is, it’s satisfying to finally get a result that the client is happy with. But each iteration, as the marketers would say, involves recording it, uploading it to the web, sharing it with the client and then waiting 24-48 hours for them to get back to me. In the meantime, I have to leave everything EXACTLY as it is – even the angle of the iPhone cage, lights and screen, to the millimetre. That would be fine if I didn’t have a husband, cats and a lovely cleaner who sometimes doesn’t appreciate the importance of not disturbing the set-up (that reminds me to Whatsapp her).

Each time I do this, I also have to get the full slap on, the immaculate outfit and the hair, plus get the lenses in (which I am not super keen on – they’re varifocals so everything is slightly blurry, both close and distance). But this just shows that nothing comes without effort. Art is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, as the saying goes. There’s a LOT of work in the background to make a piece of TV, a recording, a UGC, an ad, or e-learning content (which is what I am working on at the moment).

Please also excuse the laundry drying on the radiator, #glamour. Which brings me to this point: it’s a good moment to reflect that: whenever you see the TV news broadcasts, in their sweeping, glossy, glitzy studios, they may have been shot in a green screen ‘cupboard’, or a much smaller room, not unlike this. I always say to executives when I am delivering media training: be prepared that the actual studio may be a bit scrappy. Don’t be put off by that. You still have to look groomed and smart, so you will match the finished, virtual surroundings, keyed on by the engineer.

My Point is:

Art is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, and that’s fine. Just get on with it, take a breath and keep perfecting.

For more advice, training sessions and Presentation Skills coaching, please get in touch! #presentationskills #presentation #greenscreen #mediaskills #mediatraining #mediacoaching #publicspeaking #personalimpact #accentsoftening #executivepresence #mediaskills

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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