Slating is pretty straightforward, but there are definitely ways to make it easier and more productive.
Whether you're a 2nd AC working on a big budget production or a one-man-band filming in your backyard, using a slate makes navigating and syncing your footage/audio in post much easier. Maybe some of you veterans have found little tricks and workarounds that make the process even better and more efficient, but for those who don't have a lot of experience, Caleb Pike shares 8 helpful slating tips in this video:
Here are Pike's 8 tips for slating:
- Use gaffers tape instead of markers: Markers are easy to lose, ink smudges/stains. An alternative is to write all pertinent information on gaffers tape, stick it to the back of your slate, and use as needed.
- Don’t clutter the slate (keep it simple): You may not need to fill out all of the boxes on a slate. Use only what you need to keep things simple.
- Figure out a system and stick with it: Your system might take some time to develop as you figure out what works for you, but once you have one, stick to it to avoid confusion later.
- Use the slate to find focus: This is especially helpful if your actors are busy or if you don't have stand-ins.
- Have the slate in the frame before recording: Making sure the slate is in the frame before you hit record makes finding the clips you need in post so much easier, because each thumbnail will have the slate in it.
- Remember you can slate at the end of a shot if you can’t slate at the beginning: If you mess up and forget to slate at the beginning of a shot, no worries—just do it at the end.
- Don’t slate to loudly: You don't need to bust any eardrums. All you need is for it to be loud enough to hear and see when you look at the levels in post. A nice, gentle clap will do.
- Use slate orientation as a marker: If you don't want to write any additional information onto your slate, you can use its orientation as a shorthand indicator or marker for something you determine with your editor.
What are some other helpful slating tricks? Let us know in the comments below!