Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Clapperboard,_O2_film,_September_2008.jpg
Slating is an often-overlooked aspect during production that does not necessarily affect the shoot itself in any adverse way, but you’ll definitely wish for it once you’re in the editing room with a ton of video and audio files without any way to identify and sync them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when slating.
- Shoot every scene multiple times. It’s always good to have multiple takes and renditions of a scene to works best for the video. Often times your actors need to go a few rounds to really get into it, whether it be expressing a particular emotion or gesture, or delivering a specific line.
- Remember to slate before every shot. This seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re going to slate one, you’ve got to slate all. It’s a good practice to develop.
- Make sure the clap is both audible and visible. Other than being an info tag to your video files, the visual of the clap acts as a marker to help synchronize the sound of the clap with the corresponding visual.
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- Identify each take clearly. Before you start shooting, always indicate the scene number, take number, video file number and audio file number. This will make it easier to identify which video file is for which scene and its corresponding audio file during editing.
- Indicate the best takes during production itself. Make a list of the best takes as you shoot them to help narrow down the number of takes that you feel can make the cut. While it is still your prerogative to digest all of your rushes, having a preliminary list at hand would definitely make the task a lot less intimidating and overwhelming.
- Work with what you have. You don’t necessarily need an actual clapper to slate a shot. While having one would make it easier to indicate all the details you need before every take (and go a long way in giving your production a more legitimate feel), it’s nothing that a simple pen-and-paper approach and two hands actually clapping can’t solve.