Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheater & Acting · 1 decade ago

What is the use of this particular filmmaking tool? ?

i have been interested in film-making since i can remember. i know that there's the lighting, the many kinds of cameras, and all of that stuff. but after all these years, i haven't found out exactly the name of the following item in this picture and what its used for. its the thing that is shown in the camera when the director says, "take one, ACTION!" but i can't google it since i don't know the name of the item. help me please?

here's the picture:


the name of this item would be super helpful lol thanks (:

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Second Camera Assistant (2nd AC) is the one who is charge of taking care of the "slate" as it is referred to by everyone on set.

    The slate is usually a plastic board with different areas etched into it for different information, such as scene, take, and date. The plastic is connected to two hinged "sticks" that are "hit" together to create a visual and audio "mark" for the Editors when syncing the film and sound in post-production. The primary purpose of the "sticks" is to provide a visual and audio "mark" for the Editors to sync the picture and sound.

    The information written on the plastic board provides: the Scene number (determined by the Script Supervisor), the Take number, the Roll number (starting at #1 at the start of a movie), the current date, the Director, the DP, the name of the Production (Title of the movie), and any special information, like a different frame rate (ie, not 24fps) or filter information that the lab or Editor should know.

    A "SMART SLATE" is the one you see with red digital numbers. When the "sticks" (the black & white wood pieces on top) are opened, the digital numbers light up and the TIMECODE is visible. That TIMECODE is generated by the Sound Mixer's equipment. This TimeCode is in lieu of the "hitting of the sticks" as a visual cue for the Editor to use to sync the picture and sound. In music video, where PLAYBACK is used for lip-syncing, the TimeCode is the way to sync the master audio tracks with the film so that precise sync can be obtained.

    The "randomness" of the digital slate isn't random at all. It is usually set to the actual time-of-day by the Sound Mixer. Any time could be set, so in that sense, it is random, but the real purpose is to provide that specific visual reference for the Editors.

    Professional Camera Assistants buy their "Don Earl" slates from a variety of equipment vendors, such as Filmtools in Burbank.

    Brian Dzyak


    IATSE Local 600, SOC

  • Morty
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I've seen it addressed as a clapperboard. :)

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