This week we have learnt how to use the slate in more detail than we thought, and the different ways to use it when producing, directing and creating a scene or a film.
Before we went to film our scenes, we had to learn about slating and how we use it properly so when we were filming it wasn’t being used the wrong way.
In this lesson, I wrote down some notes of how the slate is used during production.
Steven Spielberg Jaws Slate – Pintrest (no date)
*i’ll insert the notes and details here*
Ways of slate-ing in Hollywood – Uses of the clapper board
Helpful for production, tells the editor what shot is what.
Starting point of when the filming is going to begin and end.
Production – e.g name of the film you are creating
Scene – e.g of the scene you are about to film such as scene 1
(more than one shot) – note where the shot is being taken place (use the alphabet for the name of the different cameras/shots) (use letters to represent different cameras or different shots) e.g 31/1 or 25D
Try not to use I and O use something such as 32/1 or T/S
At the end of the shot hold the slate the other way round so the editor knows that certain shot take has ended. Clapper board is used to make sure that everyone on set is aware of the shot is being filmed.
What needs to be on the slate:
- Tale slate – used if set forgot to use the slate to make the same information
- Take – What film take you are on (amount of tries until its perfect for the director)
- Roll – For different camera mediums (camera a) and (camera b)
- Production company – Use for longer projects
- Cameraman – The name of the camera man working on the camera on the day
- Date – What date the production is being shot
- Director – The name of the person who is the director.
- Sync – Syncing the sound
- Mos – No sound being recorded
Pick up shot – Used to film the last scene again
Time code – Mirrors the audio and video together.
Director checks “Sound”
Sound mixer confirms “Sound ready”
Camera operator “Camera ready”
Others: “Quiet on set” “Actors ready” “Roll sound” “Sound rolling” “Camera rolling” “Slate it” “Action” “Cut” “Actors on break” “Set on break”
- Make sure the slate is in the frame and in focus
- It must occupy 1/3 of the shot
- Can be read by the editor/set
- Held still until closed
- Smoothly removed
What is slating?
A slate is used to help the whole crew of the production know who is doing what role for the production such as the director, cameraman and sound, and also used for the production to know when people with those roles need to start shooting the film and sound.
Why and when is it used?
Slating is used when the production of the crew are ready, or when the crew need to re-take some sound shots, some acting shots or all 3 of them again. The slate is used to also help the editor, and director know when the production has taken place and been marked in and out.
What did you learn?
On this lesson, I learnt more about the slate or the clapperboard as some people call it and it made me more aware about other ways to use the clapper board when producing a film. I learnt that a tail slate is used incase the clapper board was not done in the beginning, and it is done again at the end so the video and the sound can be synced properly.
I also learnt that a head slate is used in the beginning which helps the footage and audio be synced from the start. Another thing that I learnt is that when you finished filming, you should always make sure everything you recorded is clear because our group made a mistake not checking if our sound was recorded properly, however since I recorded the audio I made sure it was recorded well and clear but the sound didn’t pick up so, we had to re shoot and do a pick up shot of the film and the audio. For the no sound shot, we had to film it again but with the slate upside down, with the person holding the slate putting their hand in between where the clapper board is meant to be clapped.
We were told to make 4 different shots:
- A tail slate
- A head slate
- A shot from a different angle
- A shot with no sound.
What we did:
The task –
The edit (where the footage and audio is synced) –
(To be put here)
The footage –
For our task, we had to film and record audio using the clapper board within the production. We then had to download the footage onto our computer, and then figure out how to sync it onto Avid which I’m still figuring out. I unfortuntely didn’t have time to start the edit, as the group I was in had to re-shoot one scene with sound and film again without two people from our crew not being able to make it for certain shots for e.g our actors were missing, so we had to use one actor and record the audio again.
Evaluate the task –
As for the whole task, I really enjoyed learning more and more about how slating is used in the industry and the different ways you can use it during the production. Although I already knew how to use a clapper board, I learnt more than I knew before.
Task 1 – Complete the slating task on Avid where you sync your audio and video together then make a short edit showing the different methods of slating. Export this video to your blog and then evaluate it.
Task 2 – Beginners guide to Avid, use screengrab.
The edit – (Note: I’m still trying to get the edit done but the software crashes every time, so I don’t know what to do)
For the next task, we had to practice lighting and we experimented using different lighting equipment using lights such as small led panels to large led panels, and we had to learn their different ways we can use lighting through film, and why they are important. We also learnt what positions to put the led lighting before taking the photos, so we could gain knowledge on what certain lights are used, and why they are used in different angles.
The led lights we practised with:
- Fill light
The lighting task I wasn’t able to make it in for that day, but I did learn lots from my friends that told me about the task the day after. I learnt that if you want to experiment with different lighting, then you have to figure out what certain lights work and play around with different angles until you get the shot you want.
Here were the examples:
Key Light – The key light is used to show all of the features, shadows and details in the photo. It also shows the colour of the light, and the light is more detailed on Jess’s hair. The position is focused sort of on the side, and in the middle. However, the frame is focused exactly in the centre.
Backlight – The backlight is normally used to create a silhouette sometimes, but it can be used to add light behind the main object but it focuses more on the silhouette rather than having defined facial features, and details in the main object that’s in focus.
Fill Light – The fill light is used to extra shadows, and detailing on the main subject as well as having the fill light to add extra light to the main subject. With this fill light we added a red and a blue gel but it turned out to be more intense with the blue gel as it added more shadows to the main subject and with the red gel it was less intense but it still managed to add the shadows.
Evaluate the task
Since I missed the practical task I can’t evaluate that part, but overall I did learn more about three point lighting and the different ways of using colour gels and intensities to completely change the main subject in focus, so it’s helpful to be able to experiment with different lighting.
No Film School (2015) Available at: http://nofilmschool.com/2015/05/how-slate-pro-plus-how-you-definitely-shouldnt-slate-ever (Accessed on 7 Nov 2016)
ProVideo Coalition (2011) Available at: http://www.provideocoalition.com/the-secret-art-of-the-slate-25-tips-to-help-you-slate-like-a-pro/ (Accessed on 14/11/16)
2 Bee (2015) Available at: http://2bee.co.uk/2015/11/30/a-guide-to-lighting-for-video/