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Old April 21 2012, 10:18 AM   #194
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

One more:
Slating Part 3

A lot of beginning filmmakers don't realize it, but the person responsible for determining what scene numbers end up on the slate is the Script Supervisor. It is their job because they annotate their copy of the script as a sort of master record of what's shot, and everything must be consistent as their notes result in production reports that track everything. Since their records must match the footage, they are the source of all scene numbers to appear on a slate.

I'll cover the Script Supervisor job in a future post, but for now let's just touch on the most commons examples of how numbers are typically assigned.
  1. The Master Shot for any scene is typically slated as the scene number. For instance, scene 10's master shot is slated as Scene 10, even if its not the first thing shot for that scene.
  2. Subsequent coverage (different camera setups) are slated as the scene number followed by a letter, so the first setup that isn't a master in Scene 10 is slated as Scene 10A, the next is 10B and so on.
  3. ANY time the camera is moved or framing is changed the scene letter is advanced...even if the only thing that changes is the lens.

When the 2nd A.C./Slate Loader slates a sound shot, they call out the audio slate. For a shot where the scene number is appended with a letter, they typically call out the letter as a word starting with that letter. Most commonly, it's in the form of the NATO phonetic alphabet for letters A through H, ergo scene 10F is called out as "Scene 10 Foxtrot".
  • A Alpha
  • B Bravo
  • C Charlie
  • D Delta
  • E Echo
  • F Foxtrot
  • G Golf
  • H Hotel
  • I (unused)
I and O are typically not used because they can look like numbers on the slate.

Starting with J it's not uncommon for the word used for the appended letter to be whatever the slate operator wants to use. So 12J might be "Scene 12 Jasmine" or "Scene 12 Jell-O" or "Scene 12 Jerk".

"Scene 21 Golf, take 1."
"Scene 74 Charlie, take 7."
"Scene 47 Kirk, take 1."
"Scene 69 Ripley, take 7."

Etc, etc.

* * *
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
óWill Rogers

Last edited by Maurice; April 21 2012 at 08:52 PM.
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