Yesterday morning, when I looked at the latest trailer for Barry Sonnenfeld‘s Men in Black 3, I noticed something that seemed weird. A lot of other people noticed it too: a shot in which there appeared to be a green screen that featured no CG shot composited into the placeholder space. I looked at the shot a couple times, but wasn’t able to see it on a full-size screen, and at first it really seemed as if the editors assigned to cut together the trailer had used a very unfinished shot.

In truth, the shot is done; it merely looks unfinished, because the particular green color that is often chosen to use as a color to ‘key out’ is also a great color to use for the liquid (or perhaps gas) in which an alien could float. Check out a couple images below that debunk this very minor trailer mystery.

Here’s the shot in question from yesterday’s trailer:

When it goes by quickly, that green tank definitely looks like it is a part of the set decorated with a green screen of the sort that would usually be replaced with something else in post-production. That green shade is typically used in part because it is very uncommon, and that’s why it also works well as medium for some sort of beast. What sort of beast? Probably the thing we see Will Smith’s character fighting only seconds before.

Or, more specifically, this beast. Here’s a shot from seventeen seconds into the first trailer released for Men in Black 3:

That’s clearly the same tank, and there’s no conversation to be had about what it contains. If you look closely at the first shot, you can also see that it isn’t a uniform shade of green, and that there is something moving within. So the color may be an unfortunate choice in some ways, because seen quickly, those who know what green screens look like (that is: any movie nerd) might quickly assume that’s what they’re looking at. I did, and it looks like other people did, too. But there is no wildly unfinished shot in the MiB 3 trailer; at least, not that we can see.

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