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Old March 20th, 2004, 06:53 AM   #1
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questions about clapping slates

1) the slates have either B&W or color stripes on top. well, i know that colored ones are good for correcting colors in post. what about the B&W ones?

2) The advanced ones have electronic timecode on them. This is the timecode of what? how does it work? how do they sync it with the camera?

your thought is appreciated
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Old March 20th, 2004, 06:58 AM   #2
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2) it is coming from a timecode generator which can be a seperate
device or can come FROM the camera. All professional camera's
accept timecode in (which consumer / prosumer DV doesn't). It is
also used to synchronize mulitple camera's and the audio
recording equipment.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 09:10 AM   #3
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The TimeCode slate is usually fed timecode from the Sound Mixer.

The color stripes have no color correction value, it is only cosmetic.

The stripes help to separate the sticks from the background, making it easier for the editor to see when syncing with the soundtrack.

Color charts such as a Macbeth Color Checker is usually photographed at the head of the roll along with a grey scale for color timing.


SOME MORE SLATING FUN FACTS...

END MARKERS

An annotation is made on the camera report to indicate End Markers.

If it is not feasible to slate at the head of the shot for whatever reason, the AC calls, LOUDLY, two times, once as the camera is rolled...END Stix and as soon as the Director says cut...END STIX!

This is done at the end so that the camera operator and/or the sound mixer does not shut down before the scene is slated. The slate is then inserted into the scene...upside down...to indicate that it is the end of the scene and then the sticks are hit. In MOS, the sticks remain closed at all times.

COMMON MARKERS

When shooting multiple cameras, each camera is ID'd with an MOS slate and a note is made on the camera report of common sticks. Just before the cameras roll, all cameras focus on one common slate. This can be a slate turned around as to not cofuse the editor with a specific camera designation or a set of GIANT sticks on a hinge when shooting something like a concert where all the cameras are far away from the AC with the sticks.

The AC then LOUDLY calls. COMMON STICKS! A,B,C,D, CAMERAS, MARK and then hits the sticks for all to see, thus giving a sync reference point to the editor.

INSERT SLATE

6"X6" slate used to ID when shooting very tight shots like product or tabletop. These are commonly MOS but you can get them with sticks as well.

RB
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Old March 20th, 2004, 10:40 AM   #4
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Rob, professional DV cameras do accept time code. It's only the consumer and "prosumer" ones that don't.
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Old March 20th, 2004, 02:52 PM   #5
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Rick, I'm notorious for spacing out and switching the camera before end sticks are hit. The assistants learn to put tape over the switch in the middle of the take to keep me from doing this (or smack my hand away, if they feel comfortable doing so).

We should add to the lexicon:

SECOND STICKS

If sound is up to speed and the sticks are hit without the camera rolling (usually due to miscommunication), a loud chorus of "second sticks!" is announced, and the assistant will hit them again. This is so that the assistant editor who is syncing dailies knows to ignore the first mark he hears on the soundtrack. On the odd occasion, this can develop into "third sticks" if there is a serious fumble around camera, very embarassing; and if it actually gets to "fourth sticks", everyone should just give it up and go home.

BIG STICKS

An oversized set of clappers (no slate), usually about 3 feet long, used for high and wide shots like cranes or when the assistant cannot get close enough to the camera. Nicknamed "clown sticks" or "comedy sticks" because they are a little hard to take seriously.

WHOOPSIE

What the camera assistant says with a sheepish grin when he drops the timecode slate on the ground. The slate is is usually owned by the sound mixer, with whom the assistant likely has a very peripheral relationship. Said assistant will look around quickly to see if anyone in the sound department saw this happen and pretend that it didn't. Generally the boom guy will roll his eyes and either shake his head disapprovingly (if he tends to ass-kiss his boss, the mixer) or shrug and share a grin with the camera assistant (if the mixer likes to beat him up, or drives him crazy by saying stupid stuff over the headphones all day)
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Old March 20th, 2004, 06:54 PM   #6
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time code FROM panasonic DVX100

hello there,

i have a question about time code in dvx100 camera. i worked recently with TWO dvx cameras with timecode properly set in each one.each of both tapes started with same TC (rec run)
of course, i tryed to make my life easier (i was shooting an interview) so i turned on/off cameras almost in sync. but of course, when you turn by hand - you are never precise.
so, my question is following - do you know about ANY (for normal user, not electronic guru) way to pull out time code from one camera and put it in another (like in pro cameras, you can link two or more cameras with BNC cable via TC in <-- TC out connectors)

thanks

filip
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Old March 20th, 2004, 06:57 PM   #7
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time code slate

hm...
i forgot to ask another question...

the timecode slate - did anyone build home made timecoded slate?

any thougts?

is this possible for "normal people" or it is too complicated due to electronics?

thanks

filip
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Old March 21st, 2004, 07:05 AM   #8
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Timecode from one con/prosumer camera to another is not
possible since the camera's do not have timecode in. If you
were recording to computers there would be a way.

Making a slate with timecode yourself is as far as I know not
done yet. It would be quite complex due to not having a
timecode out port either. You would probably need to make
a firewire box (with custom electronics + software) to get the
numbers and then feed them to a board with LED's or some
other form to display them. I would say pretty hard and
expensive to do.

I have one question for people "in the know" as well. How does
the timecode signal get to the slate? Is it a wireless connection
or is there simply running cable? I can imagine a cable might
get in the way when the camera needs to move in the take?

p.s. Bill: that's what I meant, I have clarified my post somewhat
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Old March 21st, 2004, 11:37 AM   #9
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cant you link 2 dv cams via firewire and controll both cams from buttons on one? would this give synced time codes? or at least something close enough for non-pros to work with?
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Old March 21st, 2004, 12:57 PM   #10
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to Patrick MCMurray

hm,

this sounds interesting - never tested this. i'm wondering what will hapend...

nice idea, but will it work...?

i must test this!
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Old March 21st, 2004, 04:52 PM   #11
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You can indeed slave certain camera's through a firewire link
to record at the same time. I don't think the recording device
will use the senders timecode, but that might be a very
interesting test indeed! Do let us know what you find out.
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Old March 21st, 2004, 10:45 PM   #12
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What was I thinking, Charles?

How could I have forgotten SECOND STICKS?

As for the BIG STICKS, yeah, you catch allot of grief because they do look funny. Also, they are hard to keep from bouncing open after hitting them, garnering nasty notes from the editor.

Speaking of nasty notes. While shooting a film in Nashville, the editor constantly complained that he couldn't hear the sticks clearly, regardless of how hard we hit them or how close the mike was.

The solution...we removed the magnets in the sticks and inserted a .22 caliber starter cap and a tack...you should have seen the note sent on that one!!!

Needless to say, we didn't hear from the editor for the remainder of the shoot!

As for dropping the TC slate. Usually done on purpose since the damned thing doesn't fit into a standard Front Box!

RB
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Old March 21st, 2004, 11:16 PM   #13
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To me, considering the technology involved with cameras today, it's just ludicrous that we are still using slates. It should be an internal burn-in. It's just one of those vestiges from the past that needs to go bye-bye, methinks.
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Old March 22nd, 2004, 07:06 AM   #14
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Anyone care to comment on my question above?
(the second post about cabling etc.)
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