‘Professional Clapper Board’ Amazon (2015)
The first thing we learnt regarding slating is what needs to be written on the clapperboard on each scene.
- The production no -This is what your production is going to be called
- The scene – This is which part of the film is being shot
- The take – This is how many shots you’ve had before the one you take
- The roll – This means which film roll has been used
- The date – This is the day you are filming
- The sound – Putting ‘sync’ means the sound will not be included in the clip and will be added later and ‘putting ‘MOS’ means you wont be recording any extra sound
- The Production company – Who is producing the film (this will likely stay constant throughout all scenes)
- The Director – Who is directing the scene ( this may vary depending on scene)
- The Camera Operating – Who is working the cameras during the scene ( this may vary depending on scene)
Before carrying out the task we found out some main tips for slating to ensure we made as few mistakes as possible when we tried it out ourselves. These tips were:
- All of the slate must be visible on screen
- The slate must occupy at least 1/3 of the shot
- The clapperboard must be adequately lit to read
- The board must be in focus so the writing can be easily viewed
- The board must be held still until it is closed
- The board must be swiftly removed.
One all the crew are prepared and the clapperboard has been marked on correctly the Director will ask both the sound engineer and camera engineer on set if they are ready. He will then call out ‘roll sound’ and the sound man will reply ‘sound rolling once he has started recording. The same will then happen for the camera, the director will ask ‘roll sound’ and the cameraman should reply ‘camera rolling’ once this is happening. Once the camera an sound are both rolling the director will call “mark it”. This is when the slate operator will come into shot, making sure the clapperboard can be clearly seen they will go on to announce the scene. The director will then wait for the marker to leave the shot and will wait a few seconds before calling action. Once the scene has ended the Director will again wait a few seconds before calling cut.
A head slate is when a clapperboard is used to mark the scene at the start of the clip before any action has taken place. Slating a scene is essential for two reasons. The first is when it comes to ending the sound of the clapperboard can be used to sync together the video and the sound. The second reason is to keep track of which scene you are filming so when it comes to editing it is clear which scene and take it is. As you can tell from the clips the lighting is fairly low and looks quite dark however I will talk about this more in my evaluation section at the end of the blog post.
A tail slate is when a clapperboard is used to mark the scene at the end of the scene after the action has taken place. This can be done if the crew forget to mark the scene with a head slate at the start and when the action has been completed all the director will need to do is call mark it and the marker should come and slate the scene. It is completed in the same way as a head slate and the marker will still need to announce the scene, however the key difference is that the clapperboard will need to be held upside down. Through doing this it will ensure the sound can still be accurately synced through the editor going to the end of the clip an syncing it from there.
Head Slate at a different angle
We decided to practice doing a head slate for the same scene, however at a different angle. One problem I noticed while editing this is that the person holding the clapperboard started to walk out of the scene before she has clapped the board. It would have been more professional if she had stayed still while clapping the board so that when it came to ending it was clearer when the clap took place, however I was still able to sync the sound accurately it just took slightly longer to find the right syncing point. Despite the clapperboard moving it was held up close to the camera lens and was fully in focus so the writing on the board was still fairly clear to read.
Head slate showing no sound
We also had to show how to use a clapperboard for a scene that would not include any sound. This is simply done by placing your hand where the clapperboard would normally clap down and holding up the clapperboard with your hand still in place to it is clear when watching that the clip will not include sound. One problem we had with this clip is that we did not hold up our sign saying no sound still or close enough to the camera so it may be hard for an editor to clearly read, luckily as we slated the video properly when it came to editing I could tell from this that this was the clip with no sound.
Overall I think our task of showing how to use a clapperboard went well, however the main problem we had was the low lighting. We did not realise that our camera settings had previously been set to manual instead of auto and therefore we had to rely on the indoor lights from the hallway that were not very bright and the small amount of light coming from the window and it was only when we looked at the clips on the computer screen that we realised how dark the lighting actually looked. This would have been an issue for an editor as it would be hard to read what the writing says on the clapper board and therefore they may be unable to tell which scene number and take they were looking at. Luckily for us we had also made a note on paper of each clip we had filmed so we could identify them from that. As I know exactly what we did wrong I would feel confident that if I was to carry out this task again it would be more successful with much better lighting. One thing I found that went well in the task however was the quality of our sound. We made sure the sound quality was clear and could clearly pick up what the marker and actor were saying through doing two things. These were: setting the microphone to a 30 degree polar pattern so it could only pick up the sound that was close and no background noises and also making sure the sound man was holding the microphone as close to the actors as possible without being in shot. The camera did still pick up a little background noise as we were filming in a hallway at college that was fairly noisy so If I was to do the task again I would also try and find somewhere with less people so there would be less external noise.
‘Lighting- Movie Production phase’ (2016) Village Talkies
For this task we were asked to create a range of different lighting set ups. We looked again at three point lighting and the use of key lights, fill lights and backlights so we could use each one as part of the task. We also were told how to use gels on the lights so we could create different colour tones within the photos. As we had already done a task using reflectors I was already confident in how to use them so we decided to include the use of reflectors within out task to see how this could change the look of a photo as well.
Fill Light with a white Reflector and light not pointed directly on subject
For our first shot we wanted it to be fairly simple so we used a fill light coming from the right hand side of the camera with a white reflector over the top of the subject. This set up creates a bright white effect on the subject’s face with a slight shadow and overall the lighting looks very natural.
Fill light not directly on subject with a gold reflector
For this set up we wanted the main focus to be on the effect that the gold reflector created so we directed the light next to the subject and placed the reflector next to the light to the light could easily bounce off onto the subject. This set up worked well for us and the gold tint on the subject is clear and has made the colour of her hair much warmer tones and golden looking which is a really nice effect. For the second photo we kept the same set up however used a red slide in tint on the key light to see the difference this would make. As you can tell it has softened the look of the photo and the gold light from the reflector is not as intense. This also gives the image a slight red tint, however the red tone is soft and not as overpowering as the red gel we used in another shot.
Light facing the subject directly with a blue gel
For this image we decided to place a blue gel over our key light which was placed slightly to the right of the subject to see what effect this would create. Overall the blue gel is not majorly apparent in the photo and doesn’t make as much difference as the red gel did. It does however give the image a cool tone to it and makes the blue in the subjects eyes stand out
Light directly on subject with a red gel and no reflector
For these pictures we decided to use a red gel over the key light. We made sure the key light was pointing directly on the subject to ensure we had the best lighting. Looking back I think that overall the exposure looks too high on these photos and the red tone over powers the whole photo. I think that if we had turned the brightness of he light down it may have created a softer look.
Light under subject with a backlight and no reflector
For this set up we decided to place the light under the subject’s face to create a spooky looking shadow over her face. This technique is commonly used in horror films to create an on-edge atmosphere. I decided to not use a reflector or a gel for this so the focus would be on the shadows created and use of lighting. We decided to take one photo with our subjects glasses on and one without to see if this would make any major differences to the shot. Overall the shot in which she is wearing her glasses is actually my favourite as the glasses help to create a shadow over her face. Overall if we had of removed the backlight the effect of the under light may have been more effective in looking ‘scary’, however I liked how the backlight didn’t give too much light as was less intense than a key light would have been.
Back light to the side of subject with a main light directly on the subject and no reflector
In the first photo the back light is still visible in the shot which creates a bright light in the corner of the photo and it may have created better shadowing if it had not been visible. Despite this I was still happy with the lighting this created and feel you could clearly see the subject’s face. We then decided to take another photo with this set up but moved the back light further to the left of he subject which cast a shadow over the right hand side of the subject’s face.
Key light shinning next to the camera lens
We decided to try something different for these photos and placed the key light next to the camera lens in hope of capturing the brightness of the light shining on the subjects face on camera. However because of the intensity and brightness of the light on her face she had to take off her glasses to avoid there being a glare or reflection of the light coming off them.
Back light behind subject with a key light facing a silver reflector
For these images I started to experiment with the backlight as well still using the key light and simply placed the back light behind the subject. We were happy with the outcome of the photo as it created a slight hair light around the edge of the subject. For the next photo we used the same set up however zoomed out slightly so more of the subject was in shot. We also held up the silver reflector over the subject to see if it would make an obvious difference. In my opinion the second photo looks might brighter and the halo of light created around the edge of the subject is more obvious.
Back light behind subject with a blue gel and silver reflector under subject
once we had got the grasp of the best way to use a back light we decided to experiment with using a blue gel over the back light. At first I thought this would create a blue over the whole subject, however instead it just made the outline of our subjects hair look very blue which really made the pictures stand out and look unique. We kept the same blue gel on the back light set up for all four photos however experimented slightly with what we did with the key light. For the first one we held the light under the subjects face as we had previously done which created shadows over the top half of her face and along with the blue halo made the image look slightly scary. We then took some more basic shots with this set up and just they key light behind the camera which made these shots look more angelic and as there were no shadows over the subjects face so I made both her face and blue hair line much brighter.
Back light with an orange gel and gold reflector under subject
As we were really happy with the effect that the backlight created we decided to take a photo only using the backlight with no other key or fill light to see how it would look. We also decided to use a gold reflector to create warmer gold tones throughout the photo and to make the hair line look golden which makes the subject look angelic. I was really happy with the final result as the background looks very dark so the subject stands out. As there are no extra light sources it makes the subjects face look slightly darker as it is only lit by the backlight and this along with the gold tint coming from the reflector creates a warm tone to the image.
Overall I think the task went well as we managed to try a wide range of different angles, light positions and gels which made all of the pictures unique and different. It also taught me a lot about which lights create which type of shadows, for example directing a light towards the left of someone’s face would always create a shadow on the opposite side that its facing. As we worked as part of a group throughout the task we would change job roles so that everybody got a chance to try the different areas. My two job roles were the director and camera operator which meant I was in charge of deciding which shots were going to be taken and making a note of this, then as a camera operator it was taking the photos and making sure they were in focus ect. Because me and my team mate took it in turn to be the director the notes made on each photo were not consistent and they were slightly rushed because we wanted to concentrate on the quality of the pictures. This meant that when it came to matching each photo with the list we had written it became slightly confusing, however as a team we managed to work out which one was which.
‘Professional Clapper Board’ Amazon (2015) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zig-Zag-Professional-Clapper-Board/dp/B00S15CYQ4 (Accessed: 12 November 2016).
Bowen, C.J. (2013) Cinematography POSTS. Available at: http://www.masteringfilm.com/slate-the-head-of-your-shots/ (Accessed: 12 November 2016).
‘Lighting- Movie Production phase’ (2016) Village Talkies http://www.villagetalkies.com/lighting-movie-production-phase/ (Accessed: 12 November 2016).