Much attention has been given to Santa suits over the years. Even in films such as The Santa Claus and Miracle on 34th Street include close-up shots of wardrobe details which have a magic of their own. We, as Santa Claus representatives, have spent a good amount of time taking care of/adding to our wardrobe (if you haven't, shame on you!) so how could having that same attitude affect our video call backdrops?
I'm not one to go spend an arm and a leg for things. The thought of having a massive film set with different Christmas themed rooms has crossed my minds and if I ever become lucky and fortunate enough to have the space and funds to do so, I would love to build tangible and interactive sets. The truth is, there are more Santas in the world than Santas who can afford to undertake and succeed at that endeavor. So what's the alternative?
Find a wall or a corner and dress it up! Though I don't have a set, I do decorate a small table and pre-lit Christmas tree in front of a theatrical backdrop. Because all of the things behind me can be out of focus, the backdrop and items I place on the table blend realistically.
As a filmmaker (got my degree and have workforce experience in) I can use green screen better than the average Joe. But, I've always been a firm believer in Murphy's Law. If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. With children attending school and using Zoom for virtual meetings, they know all to well how to spot a virtual background from a real one. Why take more upon myself to produce a virtual background flawlessly every time when I can control the lighting and personalize my actual background without worrying if the key is perfect?
Enter in my backdrop. I'm really very proud of it. For $50 I got one from China and have used it in almost every Santa project I can think of. The items and way I decorate my tree are also very very special to me and help me feel of the Christmas magic I experienced as a young one. I, in turn, can now pass that on through my performance and preparation. This week's episode covers how to put together a theatrical backdrop by showing mine as an example. Do you use virtual or a tangible backdrop for your visits?
You can watch this week's episode here: Season 02
Yours as always,