Learn About Director's Movie Clapboards & Film Slates
Maintain order and professionalism during your shoots with production slates. An important tool for movie and TV projects, director's slates, also known as director's clapboards, help ensure visuals, sounds, and special effects sync up perfectly in the editing room, resulting in a well-made final product. Whether you're working on home-based projects, student films, or full-scale professional shoots, movie clapboards and production slate accessories help save your entire crew valuable time and effort in the long run.
The Benefits of Director's Clapboards
With the director, sometimes multiple directors, working behind the camera, you'll want to make sure the rest of the crew, especially the editing team, knows the correct order of scenes, shot numbers, and takes that go into each day of production. Since you want to ensure everything looks and sounds as intended from start to finish, setting up each scene with a professional film slate is the best way to keep things flowing on schedule, and within the project's budget. While old-school, chalkboard-style versions can be rather messy, some people prefer the classic look and feel of them. However, you may prefer a more modern design with a dry-erase surface that cleans up quickly, while being much easier to read and maintain through years' worth of regular use.
Standard Film Slates
Paired with director's viewfinder accessories, scene slates with black-and-white or color-striped clapper sticks help users quickly establish a shot with the date, time, location, and other key information. If you're looking for a simple film slate that offers no-frills operation, you'll find a variety of styles made from durable materials such as traditional, acrylic, or masonite. Many choose to work with dry-erase markers or chalk pens, or you can apply preprinted labels for a cleaner look. For tighter shots or scenes without sound, you may want to consider insert clapboards that work well for marking footage for post-production work. Several come with soft storage cases to keep the surfaces clean and scuff-free between uses.
Digital Production Movie Slates
Step up your productions a notch with digital slates. This style of production slate features digital timecode and/or scene displays, some with built-in light and motion sensors. Many digital models have backlit OLED displays to ensure clear readouts, even in low-light environments, and some have optional interchangeable bodies so you can swap them out for a more customized look. Select models plug directly into computers to help you precisely track and sync shots across multiple cameras, or users can make use of timecode offsets to compensate for processing delays when using digital equipment.
Get your projects moving in the right direction with film, TV, and photography equipment. You'll find a wide range of slates, cameras, and digital storage devices, plus professional on-air studio lights and clock timers from B&H Photo and Video.