I am considering starting a green screen studio and am wondering about how high I should make the screen go.
I have a 10X24 muslin screen and plan a 10' high by 24' wide cyclorama. However, checking some of the competition, I see some daily rental studios that go up to 14'.
I am planning on using this primarily for my own purposes, but will rent it out as much as possible. However, I don't want clients come in and say, "Wow! You only have a 10' green screen? We can't use you."
Will 10' be okay or am I investing in a greenscreen that will wind up harming my rental business.
Also, I have had much success using 5000K compact flourescents and clip-on cone lights from Home Depot to light my greenscreen. Will this also shoot me in the foot or will clients not even care.
In my opinion 10 feet is too short and 14 feet more desirable. You will find the further you get back from the green screen to prevent spill, you really need height and width to get proper framing.
We use Kinoflo green/blue (420nm/520nm) bulbs to light our green screen because it makes the post process very fast, your clients might see that inconsistent lighting might make post more complicated and maybe choose someone else.
We have two permanent hard curved cyc walls that are 12' tall. There's another couple feet above for small lights. This height has served us well for over 20 years. However, if you're doing a new build and setting up for rental go for 14' +.
As Emre points out Green/Blue Kinos would be ideal for your setup. Not only do you get the green/blue boost but it's easier to get an even soft lighting on the wall and that's critical to a truly good green screen. I make due with a whole mess of totas permanently mounted to our grid in soft boxes and that works too.
The bottom line with green screens is they only have to be a little bigger than the biggest thing you're ever going to put in front of them. If you can shoot a tall man, full-body, from a low floor-height angle and get him all in with a little head room to spare, you probably have enough. If you plan to do walking or other movement shots without a fixed treadmill or turntable, you will need extra width then.
But if you have at least two inches of green all the way around the subject, garbage mattes and masks take care of everthing else.
Don't forget the added option of a matching floor treatment; this comes in handy more often than you expect, for high angle look-down shots as well as simple walk-up's to the camera. You can do a floor with painted loose floor tiles, or a plastic sheet or roll of paper, or the reverse side of some vinyl roll-out kitchen flooring.