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The world according to the Blaine Brothers: green screen

Ben and Chris Blaine have their own opinions on green screen and keying. As filmmakers they want to ensure the actor's performance comes first.

Note: If you are of a nervous disposition you may want to only listen to this interview as there is a gory image from the Blaine Brothers’ feature Nina Forever at 1.50 for 15 seconds. It is classified as an 18. We have included it as it makes an important point about keying. You can hear the interview via the MP3 download link below if you prefer.

It’s fair to say the Blaine Brothers aren’t that enthusiastic about green screen. They prefer other options.

The Blaines are after good performances; it’s about interaction, and responding to your environment. That’s not easy to do if the green screen gets in the way. It’s difficult to get emotionally intense performances out of an actor talking to herself in an ocean of green. However, the Blaine Brothers find other ways to use keying in their work.

Most noteworthy is their admission that sometimes they prefer to roto (rotoscope) a shot, a technique we’ll be covering in the next section. This involves creating a matte but essentially drawing round your character and cutting them out. This shows how fastidious and dedicated the Blaines are to their films!

The Blaine Brothers’ feature Nina Forever is available on BluRay/DVD and Amazon Prime in the UK and on VOD (Video on Demand) in the US (via Epic Pictures), UK (via StudioCanal) and Canada (via VSC). The trailer is here, and there’s a website. There is also a book, The Art of Nina Forever by Stanton Waro.

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