April 18, 2018

Watch: How to Build a DIY Green Screen Frame out of PVC

One of the easiest DIY builds may turn out to be one of the most useful.

Okay, you want to shoot a scene using a green screen. Sounds simple enough. You go grab some "chroma green" fabric at your local fabric store, bring it home, but aren't sure how to hang it up. You can always tack it up on a wall, but that means having to move your scene to that exact location. Bummer. Is there a way to make your green screen more portable? There totally is! In this video, Dave Knop (a.k.a. knoptop) shows you how to build a super easy frame out of PVC pipe that will not only make a great home for your green screen but also any DIY light modifier you can imagine. Check it out below:

What did I tell you? The easiest DIY filmmaking project ever, right? All you need to make this frame is some 1/2" PVC pipe and 4 90-degree elbows. How much pipe do you need? Well, that depends on how big you want to make your frame. If you want to make, say, a 2x2, you can grab 10 feet of PVC for like, 32¢ (actually, it's more like $2.32), cut 4 2-foot pieces, and connect them with elbows. If you want to make a ginormous frame, just get some couplers to connect each length of pipe (or use a ton of gaff tape). For bigger frames, it might also be a good idea to reinforce it with pipe on the inside of the frame, which you can do by connecting your pipe with some tee sockets.

You can obviously use whatever kinds of materials you want, like wood, but PVC is really lightweight, making it easy to mount to a C-stand.

Materials

  • 1/2" PVC pipe: $2.25/10' pipe
  • (x4) 1/2" 90-degree elbows: 50¢/ea.
  • (optional) 1/2" PVC coupling: 50¢/ea.
  • (optional) 1/2" PVC tee sockets: 60¢/ea.

I also like the idea of having a pillowcase of sorts that fits right over the frame, because that way you can use either side. Hell, you can make one side chroma green and the other chroma blue, or if chroma keying isn't your thing, you can have a black side and white side to act as backdrops or a reflector/flag combo. Really, the possibilities are endless if you're good with a sewing kit.     

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