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Making Films & Videos/shooting moving camera shots against green screen backrounds


Hello Troy - I am hoping to construct a home studio to shoot some web video commercials - my fear is that when using my final cut x software, it appears my camera needs to be locked down in order to get convincing green screen shots, BUT I WANT MY CAMERA TO MOVE: use my dolly and my jib, pan and tilt, etc - one specific scene: doing a miniature shot, I dolly past a sign that says i am entering a western town, have built a miniature town in distance, and want the rest to be green screen - do i need to mimic the same dolly shot when getting my western desert background footage, so the two match up better? How do film makers get their moving shots while in galaxies far far away?  I hope there is a way to get some interesting moving CU's on my subjects while ensuring my backgrounds are somewhat plausible, otherwise my dream of shooting everything in studio with controlled lighting, etc, will be somewhat thwarted - i hope you can help me understand the concept of moving shots when filming in front of a green screen. Thanks for your help, it is greatly appreciated!

Yes, you have to have footage that will match your movements.  This is very tricky business.  You may want to shoot your plates wide (those are backgrounds used for green screen) so that you can zoom in and adjust movements as needed.  The primary think that you need to learn is called KEYFRAMING.  I found a tutorial for it on Youtube at .  With keyframing, you can adjust the plate to move with the camera.  Handheld will be extremely difficult, but smooth moving shots should be doable... it's what I use.  You may also want to get Adobe After Effects.  The motion control feature in it may help you to stabilize it better (but no promises).  I hope this helps you out.

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Troy Smith


I am a professional filmmaker (since 1995) and a professional film instructor (since 2000). I am the co-owner of Imminent Entertainment LLC. I have worked on several low-budget feature films as well as hundreds of other projects including TV commercials, concert videos, live sports for TV, sports highlights, broadcast news, faith productions, large multi-media multi-camera productions, weddings, educational, corporate, promotional, short films, documentaries and more. I have written a book called "The New Filmmaker's Adventure" that will be more widely distributed in the near future. My expertise is in writing, shooting and editing. I can answer questions on Final Cut Pro, lighting, sound recording, scriptwriting, storytelling, directing, producing, editing, multi-camera productions, shooting sports, picture to video, using DTE hard drives, using video cameras. I am NOT an expert on how to sell scripts or movies, how to finance them, how to distribute them or how to get an agent. See my WEB PAGES: and


I have been a professional filmmaker since 1995 and a film teacher since 2000. I am publishing a textbook for beginning filmmakers called "the New Filmmaker's Adventure". I have experience in the area of low-budget feature filmmaking, I am the co-owner of the production company called Imminent Entertainment, I have worked on hundreds of videos, TV shows, multi-camera events and low budget, professional productions, corporate and consumer videos, Final Cut Pro, scriptwriting, directing, videography and cinematography, sound, lighting, editing, and some producing.

Independent Feature Project

I wrote "The New Filmmaker's Adventure" book that I use in my classes and will be publishing it abroad soon

Western Michigan University - Magna cum Laude BS in film/video/TV Maine Media Workshops ('02-'07)- Film Editor Master, Directing Actors for the Camera, Independent Filmmaking, Acting for the Camera, Camera in Motion, The Directors Craft

Awards and Honors
Audience Choice Runner-Up award for Best Picture at the Muskegon Film Festival in 2009 for Producer/editor on "Coffee Shop Kings." Excellence in Education Teaching award. Winner of 12 grants.

Past/Present Clients
Kellogg, Covance, Cytec, WWMT, Ralston, many, many more

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