Green Screen Suits And Red Balloons

When I woke up on Sunday, I didn’t quite register the fact that I would be chased down by a green screen suit man wielding a red balloon before the end of the day. One of my favorite things about being a filmmaker involved with TASEM (Tech Association of Student Electronic Media) is the often surreal situations you find yourself in sometimes when you’re knee-deep in the production process. Just last semester I was in a public park, covered in fake blood, unintentionally scaring away children from the jungle gym while filming a short film. I have no regrets.

TASEM is currently in pre-production for a short film I have written called “No Joy.” The major hurdle that we’re facing right now is making a red balloon, the main antagonist of the short film, come to life. How is that possible without the use of fishing line or wire? (I’m not above using those, but puppeteering a balloon with a fishing pole seems a little bit difficult.) Our solution: lime green duct tape and a green screen suit. We attached the balloon to the end of a broomstick (completely covered with the lime green duct tape) and commenced the balloon attack. Our other step in this experiment was the addition of a puppeteer in a green screen suit, repeating the balloon attack. After we filmed each encounter, we ran the footage through After Effects and took out the green elements. And there you have it – a balloon that has seemingly come to life.

Granted, the lighting conditions weren’t perfect and we have other tests to run in order to make this effect look really spectacular, but this is a promising start. Check out the video TASEM Director Ben Jarvis made below.

We’ll be hearing more about TASEM in the upcoming weeks here at the Hub, but until then, you can check out their Facebook fan page here. TASEM meets every Tuesday evening at 6:00 P.M. in MCOM 365. Stop by and maybe you too might find yourself being attacked by an evil red balloon.

Follow me @TaylorShofner

About Taylor Shofner


  1. So much fun making red ballons chase people.

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