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Self-Slating DV Camera

Time to do away with the slate guy.
  [vote for,

There's a person on a film set whose sole job is to step in front of the camera with a slate and announce the scene and take to the camera, with the scene and take written upon the slate. Very inefficient, even though it's kinda cool.

Surely it would be easy enough to program a function into your high-end DV (digital video) camera that would do exactly this. Whenever recording stops and starts again, the take and scene would be labeled for the editor's benifit. You'd be able to program what scene is being shot, naturally. And of course you could turn it off if you didn't want the slate screen intruding. In addition, when the footage is transferred to an editing station, the takes would break up into seprate clips, saving valuable chopping time. The slate screens would be separate clips attached to the takes, ready to be deleted--or they could even be set not to show unless asked. Not very clear, I suppose, but you get the idea. I hope.

At this point, DV has yet to match film's quality, so this would be a feature in cameras that would save time for independent filmmakers and other users of DV.

Eugene, Jan 18 2004


       Trivial for video. Film's a little harder, though it might be doable with a device similar to the mirror mechanism in an SLR camera.   

       Film slates actually serve and have served a number of purposes. Among them:   

       (1) They allow someone who's handling the film negative by hand to find and identify different takes. Relatively large numbers on the slate are used to allow the slates to be identified on film with the naked eye.   

       (2) Sound slates (with the clapper) are used to mark a common point on the film and sound track. Unlike home movies, professional movies record the audio on an entirely separate medium from the film. Until recently, it would have been difficult to synchronize audio and video without using sound slates, though nowadays timecode is recorded on both the film and audiotape to alleviate this problem.   

       I don't know to what extent films are still manipulated by hand; I do know that timecode has served to solve many of the synchronization issues that formerly necessitated sound slates.   

       BTW, when I saw your post it made me think of a related idea: How about a self-slating home VCR?
supercat, Jan 18 2004

       I thought I might be half-baked something already fully baked. I just couldn't find it on Google. But the self-slating VCR is good.
Eugene, Jan 18 2004


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