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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old March 6 2012, 10:19 PM   #181
doubleohfive
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

I was just about to bring that up. Last year in my crash-course in television post-production, it was made patently clear that we just will never know what MOS stood for.
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Old March 6 2012, 10:31 PM   #182
USS Intrepid
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Maurice wrote: View Post
USS Intrepid wrote: View Post
Also, don't know if this is a British thing, but the physical slate I have has a space labelled 'slate'. I've never been entirely sure what the correct usage of this is, but I tend to use it as an incremental count on the number of shots we've slated throughout the day.
Nick, do you have a pic of this slate?
Not to hand, though I probably have it on a screencap somewhere. I'll snap a pic when I get a second.
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Old March 6 2012, 10:52 PM   #183
Maurice
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

USS Intrepid wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
USS Intrepid wrote: View Post
Also, don't know if this is a British thing, but the physical slate I have has a space labelled 'slate'. I've never been entirely sure what the correct usage of this is, but I tend to use it as an incremental count on the number of shots we've slated throughout the day.
Nick, do you have a pic of this slate?
Not to hand, though I probably have it on a screencap somewhere. I'll snap a pic when I get a second.
My guess would be that the "Slate" thing was to track which scene it is in filming sequence vs. what scene it is in the script. The first scene we shot in Polaris was (I think) 10B, but if you marked the Slates in sequence that would be Slate 1, Scene 10B.
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Old March 6 2012, 11:49 PM   #184
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

That's pretty much how I use it, though I don't really know if it's right.
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Old March 7 2012, 01:20 AM   #185
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

USS Intrepid wrote: View Post
That's pretty much how I use it, though I don't really know if it's right.
My experience is that there are many conventions but few absolute rules in filmmaking. If you've found something that works for you, work it.
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Old March 7 2012, 06:57 AM   #186
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Sorry to post again, but I corrected my late night post above. I'd mistakenly written "Camera Assistant" and I meant "2nd Assistant Camera". I also added a link to a Wikipedia entry on the Clapper Loader/2nd A.C. and a link to an actual Tail Slate from "Spock's Brain".
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Old March 10 2012, 06:58 AM   #187
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

A follow up:
SLATING PART 2

Here are some pointers on slating for the person doing it.

Check with the D.P. as to when he wants you to step in. A few prefer the slate to be in shot when they start rolling, most don't. If they don't, stand just outside the frame and be ready to step in and out quickly when the call to mark it comes along.

Normal Slating
When asked to mark/slate it:
  1. Step in at a distance appropriate to the shot (based on the lens/zoom)
  2. Bring the slate UP into the frame (not down or sideways) with the clapper sticks apart
  3. Audio Slate the shot by reading the slate (e.g. "Scene 18 Alpha, Take 1")
  4. Snap the sticks closed and hold them closed
  5. Wait one second so there's a clear shot of the slate
  6. Remove the slate by lifting it out of the frame (this is useful for the editor scrubbing through footage because they can tell if the slate is entering or exiting by where it is)
  7. Quickly get to your place off-camera
On sound takes ALWAYS operate the clapper bars, even on a digital slate with synced timecode, because the clap is the backup if something goes wrong with the timecode (the editor will thank you)

Slating for MOS
is the same as for sound except
  • Hold your fingers between the clapper bars and (obviously) don't clap it
  • Don't audio slate it

Get in and out fast
Plan an exit route that gets you just off camera and out of the path of any lights. I've been on shoots where the 2nd AC took 30 seconds to get clear and stop moving. You don't want the whole crew waiting on you.

"Second sticks"
If the camera operator or DP calls for "second sticks" it means the slate need to be shot again. In such a case, quickly get back in frame and slate it again, and make sure you are there long enough for the camera to get it.

Don't always hold the slate
Put the slate DOWN once you're clear and hear "action". That'll allow you to do anything else you need to during the take (like if the AC hands off something to you or whatnot). Don't put it down before then in case there's a call for second sticks.

If you're not doing anything else during the take, update the camera log during this time. You'll never lose track of the take and scene numbers this way.

Audio Slate
When calling the audio slate, turn your head towards the mic. The boom operator may need to swing the mic towards you. You might need to speak up to be heard if the mic's not right next to you.

Soft Sticks
If the A.D. calls for "soft sticks" that means "slate/mark it" but clap it softly. "Soft sticks" or not, be mindful of your distance from the actors. Never clap the sticks loudly right in an actor's face.

Tail Slate
If a shot calls for a Tail Slate (aka Tail Sticks) you may want to keep the slate in hand so you can jump out there in a hurry when the tail slate is called for. Quite often, directors forget a shot is to be tail slated and will call "Cut!" before you can do it. If that happens, immediately and clearly say "Tail Slate!" and get in there and do it before the Camera is stopped.

Tail slating is done by slating the shot at the end with the slate right side up, and then flipping it upside down and displaying it for one second at the end . You don't slate it upside down... unless you're trying to hurt the editor's neck.


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Old March 22 2012, 07:46 AM   #188
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

This thread is fantastic, guys.

I'll be making my first camera purchase soon. Will a DSLR be significantly harder for a novice filmmaker to learn on? Or would you recommend another direction for a first camera purchase?
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Old March 22 2012, 01:19 PM   #189
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

If its your first camera, going DSLR at this point would be wise. It would allow for greater flexibility going forward. You would need to learn about the camera with either choice.
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Old March 23 2012, 03:18 PM   #190
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

It depends on what alternatives you're looking at. But yeah, DSLR is not a bad way to go.

Just make sure whatever camera you do buy that it is HD, shoots 24p (25p with PAL) or 30p and allows manual control of your focus and exposure. Interchangeable lenses are great, but not necessary for a beginner.

The other thing to think about if you're going with a DSLR (and I think this may have been mentioned already in this thread) is how will you record your audio? DSLRs are a lot like film cameras in that they are useless for sound. You will need to record audio separately. However you can find prosumer camcorders with XLR input and manual gain control which would simplify your audio set-up (though not something you'll want to do forever.)
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Old April 16 2012, 11:55 PM   #191
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Once again - thank you Maurice, for providing such in-depth and informative posts on these various topics. I've learned (and am continuing to learn) quite a bit and am ever-appreciative for your time and efforts here.

George
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Old April 18 2012, 09:42 PM   #192
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

doubleohfive wrote: View Post
Once again - thank you Maurice, for providing such in-depth and informative posts on these various topics. I've learned (and am continuing to learn) quite a bit and am ever-appreciative for your time and efforts here.

George
I appreciate that, George. I sometimes wonder how many people actually read any of this.
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Old April 19 2012, 09:26 PM   #193
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

I read it every time it updates. It's been very helpful!
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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

SLATE NUMBERING
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.
AUDIO SLATING THE SCENE NUMBER

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.


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Last edited by Maurice; April 21 2012 at 08:52 PM.
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Old April 21 2012, 01:10 PM   #195
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Melonpool wrote: View Post
I read it every time it updates.
So do I. And I've easily reread this thread from the beginning more times than any other TBBS thread since I've been here.
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