Video: Overacting Syndrome PSA

I recently teamed up with director Dave Campfield to shoot a short commercial spoof to be used in a movie he is producing and directing. It turned out great and Dave posted it on YouTube.com.

I lit and shot the parts with Dave Rigg, the on-camera spokesperson. It took us about 3 hours start to finish. I used a 1k Arri Fresnel with a softbox for the key light on all of the spokesperson clips. A Lowel Omni Light was used as a backlight, another (shining into an umbrella) was used for fill, and third was gelled and aimed through a cookie for the background light.

For the dramatic “bad acting” shots, I took the softbox off of the 1k key and backed the fill light away to create a high contrast look. I turned off the light that was hitting the wall to let the background go black.

I think it turned out great. If you like it, vote for it and recommend it to a friend.

P.S. I also have a cameo as the ‘audition monitor’ on the right who can’t believe what he is seeing.

Andrew Seltz

Andrew was born in Michigan, raised there and in Tennessee, and has since lived outside Orlando, in Chicago, New York City, and now Birmingham, Alabama. He produces videos and websites for a living and is married to a beautiful, generous, loving woman who also happens to be a talented actress and writer - www.ellenseltz.com. They have two daughters.

5 thoughts on “Video: Overacting Syndrome PSA

  • March 15, 2007 at 11:15 pm
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    Marcus,

    Sorry about that. The director posted a new version and took down the old one. The post was linking to the old one.

    All fixed now!

    Enjoy,

    Andrew Seltz
    The Go-To Guy!
    http://www.AndrewSeltz.com

  • March 4, 2008 at 5:03 pm
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    Bravo! This made me laugh! You seem to know what you’re doing with lighting and chroma key I am urgently in need of some advice. If you could, please, I am having many problems with this new studio my company is building and I would like to get in contact with you. In whatever case is, I am desperate to show my boss the importance of lighting and real chroma-key paint compared to track lighting and home-depot-matched green paint, as he is an entrepreneur and knows little about these things and wont listen unless what he’s hearing comes from a professional. Thank you Mr. Seltz, I hope I can hear back from you soon.

    Justin Strobel
    The Aramaic Broadcasting Network

  • March 4, 2008 at 11:38 pm
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    Justin,

    Thanks for the comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the video.

    If you are setting up a permanent green screen studio space you can actually get by very nicely with supplies from home depot – if you are very careful about what you purchase. (I wouldn’t ever use track lights but rather build soft boxes using plywood backs and mounting traditional Edison screw-in sockets on them to take high quality screw-in flourescent bulbs. Then, I would cover the whole thing with some grid cloth to diffuse the light and even out the exposure across the screen.)

    There are a couple of very important considerations when deciding whether to use pro gear or DIY stuff. First, will the lights and backgrounds need to be mobile? The savings you get using Home Depot gear rapidly disappears if you have to set up and break down the equipment. Professional gear is engineered for the task and will allow you to get a lighting setup in place in minutes. Trying to do the same thing with lights clamped to poles and you will spend hours fiddling with everything and this will happen every single time you use the equipment.

    The second big consideration is with the consistency of the products. I love screw-in florescent bulbs and building my own makeshift lighting gear. But, the color quality of the lights from different bulbs can vary wildly. There can be huge variations in the color temperature (this is usually well marked on the bulbs) and the evenness of the color spectrum (measure by the CRI scale and rarely listed on the packaging for household bulbs.) If the bulb has a CRI rating below 90, there can be huge spikes or gaps in the color spectrum it reproduces which will, in turn, affects the color of the objects being lit and can cause some very ugly results. But, if you find a high quality bulb, the socket you screw it into isn’t that important

    When it comes to green screen paint, you can get away with having Home Depot mix up a batch for you using house paint. Just make sure you get a color swatch of true chroma key green or blue to match. Don’t guess based on the wall of color chips because it’s very hard to eyeball pure colors. Also make sure you use flat paints and not glossier finishes which will give specular reflections and make it hard to light the screen evenly.

    I would recommend that you save your pro gear purchases for a couple soft boxes with egg crates to control spill for lighting your talent and some small quartz lights to use as back lights on your talent and dimmer packs to make it easy to dial in the intensity of the back lights. You can squeeze a few dollars out of the budget with the lighting for the screen as long as it will be permanently fixed in place and the paint, as long as you bring a color swatch of true chroma key colors to match with and use high quality flat latex paints.

    The other thing to spend money on is very good software/hardware for your keys. DV Garage makes an excellent keying plugin for Macs and Adobe has a good keyer in there production suite of software (it was the Ultra Key software from Serious Magic – Adobe bought the company last year.

    I hope this info helps.

    Andrew Seltz

  • March 9, 2010 at 9:17 am
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    Haha great commercial spoof.

    Do you know of any lighting courses that are really good but not too expensive, i can’t do a full degree in film making but really need to improve my knowledge of lighting sets and scenes

    cheers

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