Action !

Oh, those old cliche movie making terms crack me up in the sense that they’re still being used today. And how about the good old clapboard slate, the fodder of so many slapstick gags over the years. That thing still has major practical value in traditional filmmaking, where audio is recorded separately and needs to be synchronized with picture in the editing suite. The smack of the clapboard, along with the visual refence of it snapping shut, makes for a real easy sync point.

clapboard.jpg
Looks like this guy came within an inch of losing his nose.

Even if you’re recording audio direct to your camcorder, you can make use of the clapboard when shooting from multiple angles. By recording the “clap” on each camera simultaneously, you make it easy to sync your different angles to do a realtime multicamera edit in Premiere Pro 2.0. For each angle, load the clip into Premiere Pro’s Source monitor, and navigate to the frame where the clapper hits. Then go to Marker > Set Clip Marker > Next Available Numbered. Repeat for your additional angles.

setclipmarker.jpg
Make sure the clapboard markers are numbered the same on all your clips.

Then, once you have each angle of video on its own track in a timeline, select all the clips, right-mouse-click, and select Synchronize. In the Synchronize Clips dialog, select Numbered Clip Marker and click OK.

synchronizeclips.jpg
Of course make sure the clip number is selected correctly in this dialog.

Clapboard slates are easily obtainable from photo supply houses like B&H, but you can also make your own clapper out of 2 pieces of plywood and a hinge. Just make sure that all your cameras can see it closing cleanly, and your camera mics get a good audio signal of that “smack”. And keep those dang things far from your talents’ noses.

On another note, today is Flash’s 10th Birthday, happy birthday Flash!