Have you ever thought about how you wanted to film on location like in New York City, or live at a professional football game, or outside with a river behind you?

livescreenWell, I have an idea for you, where you can get that perfect live background without leaving your computer and I’m not talking about Green Screen. Find the biggest TV you can, hook the computer up to your TV, load up PowerPoint, find a moving background that will make it look like you’re on location and bring it in to PowerPoint, set your talent right in front of the TV screen, and zoom your camera in to frame the shot.

Tip #1: Use a site like www.videoblocks.com. Recently, School Video News had a feature on videoblocks.com, so I decided to check it out and you should too. You can find just about any moving scenery you want, like the moon moving night, fireworks, running animals, athletic fields and much more. Videoblocks.com allows up to 30% of your background footage to come from their website. Most videos are between 30 seconds to a minute long, which works perfect when you recording one or two lines from your talent at a time. For my project, I was helping my younger sister enter an EA Sports Kid Reporter Search, and welivescreen02 used backdrops like a Football Stadium, the New York City Skyline, a News Anchor Desk, and a flowing lake. If you wanna check out the video, here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw928ny-Odc


Tip #2: Make sure your talent is as close as possible to the TV Screen. When we first started shooting, you could only see my sister’s head and it just didn’t look as real. So, we moved her anchor chair close enough, that it was actually touching the TV Screen. This way, from her chest up was shown in the video, and it felt like she was right there on location. Here, it is the same idea as using green screen but you don’t have to take all that time in the studio editing after you get your footage. Plus, my sister has blonde hair which makes it even tougher to make green screen look real.

Tip #3: PowerPoint Settings.
At first, we couldn’t get the video to fill the entire TV screen. I found a way in PowerPoint to trick the TV; simply switch your PowerPoint to landscape and change your margins in PowerPoint to match your screen resolution, mine was 11.5 by 8. The second PowerPoint tip is to have your video start on the click from the mouse, and don’t hit start until the director (me) says action. You don’t want your video to end before your talent is done saying their lines!

Videoblocks.com gives schools a discount of $99 a year, so if you don’t have access to videoblocks.com, you could go out and film your footage on a nice sunny day or during an event, and drop it in to PowerPoint on the day you are going to record your talent, and still get the live effect.


livescreen03Jordan Rice is a junior in High School in upstate New York. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a member of Cortland County Youth Leadership, Co-Captain of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad, part of the Rotary Youth Leadership, a member of drama club where she acts in school plays, and treasurer of French club.

She is Editor of her school’s district newspaper The Lion's Roar sent to 1,900 readers. Jordan has been published in 2011 and 2012 in the Syracuse Post Standard for Student Voices. Some School Video News blogs include stories with the New York Giants, Orange County Choppers, Ironman 70.3, and Courtside to Get the Shot at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Jordan hopes to attend college to pursue a career in sports journalism.