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Camera Slate Alphabet


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#1 Joey Daoud

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 06:22 PM

Does anyone know the official (if there is one) film alphabet used when slating a scene? Apple, eh Baker?... I know it's different than the military alpha, bravo; but a Google search yielded nothing. Or am I wrong and there is no official alphabet, just use a word that starts with the letter? Thanks.
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#2 Simon Miya

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 09:26 PM

There is nothing "official", but many script supervisors have words they always use. Sometimes we have fun with it and try to use words that fit a theme relevant to the movie. B)
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#3 Mitch Gross

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 10:13 AM

I did an Italian-American comedy where we used character names from The Godfather.
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#4 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 10:29 AM

I did an Italian-American comedy where we used character names from The Godfather.


:lol: very cool!!!

As far as I know, there's nothing official about it. On Italian productions, most of the times, we don't even use words, we only call out the alhpabet letters we're using.
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#5 Leon Sanginiti, Jr.

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:11 AM

:lol: very cool!!!

As far as I know, there's nothing official about it. On Italian productions, most of the times, we don't even use words, we only call out the alhpabet letters we're using.


There is no set "official" list, but there are some common names. Here are the most common:
A-Apple; B-Baker; C-Charlie; D-David, Delta, or Denver; E-Echo, Edward; F-Frank; G-George, H-Harry, Hotel; There is no "I", it looks like a number 1, and script supers never use it; J-Jackson; K-Kelly, Kansas; L-Larry; M-Mary; N-Nancy; There is no "O", it looks like zero; P-Paul, Peter, Paris; Sometimes script supervisers refuse to use "Q" because, again, it looks like a zero when glanced at quickly, but I have used it with some, so Q-Quick, Quilt; R-Richard; S-Sam, Steve; T-Tom, Texas; U-Umbrella; V-Victory, Victor; W-Wagon; X-X-ray (try not to use the odd words with "soft" letters that start the word, for example, don't use "xylophone" for "X", it can be confused for "Z", or don't use "Photo" for "P", it can be confused for "F"; Y-Yarn, Yo-Yo; and Z-Zebra, again a lot of script supers don't use "Z" either because it could look like the number 2.

Other things to keep in mind is try to keep the words short, one or two syllables, if you use a longish word, you are wasting time, or trying to sound "cute". Remember, the second assistant has to slate and get out, the actors are waiting. Also...use common sense...I'm all for having a good time on set, and coming up with "catchy" words that impress when the moment is right and lighthearted...but if the scene is serious, and the actors are "in the moment", stick to "traditional" words that are simple, and not attention breaking.

I hope this helps.

Leon Sanginiti
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#6 Simona De Lullo

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 04:04 PM

This is what I use:
Apple BecKer Charlie Denver Edward Frank George Hotel Jackson Kilo Larry Mary Nancy Peter Queen Roger Steve Tracy Umbrella Victor William X ray Yellow Zebra

I made a research about phonetic alphabets and this is what I found

http://www.w2aee.col...u/phonetic.html
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#7 Joey Daoud

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 04:22 PM

Thanks Leon and Simona. Being in school right now we have a little fun with it - the last show I was on we used Harry Potter words, even going so far as 'Scene 3 and the Goblet of Fire,' but this was partly the script sup's idea plus the script sup is the assistant editor, so they're syncing the footage. I just wanted to know when I hit the real world if there was a standard, because I'm pretty sure '4 Black comma Sirius' won't fly. Thanks again.
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#8 Tom Banks

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 09:48 PM

Is it necessary to call out scene and take number if the sound recordist is already recording those for his own reference? In that case would you just call out ?marker??

Or is calling out scene and take also a courtesy to keep everyone informed on set?
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#9 Joey Daoud

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 09:55 PM

Is it necessary to call out scene and take number if the sound recordist is already recording those for his own reference?


I'd say yes because even though you can put the scene and take number in the file name, the sound mixer could get it wrong, so therefore it's nice to have the verbal slate on the actual audio file just in case.
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#10 Simon Miya

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 10:44 PM

Is it necessary to call out scene and take number if the sound recordist is already recording those for his own reference? In that case would you just call out ?marker??

Or is calling out scene and take also a courtesy to keep everyone informed on set?


Just call out marker. Identify which camera if it's a multiple camera shoot. Sound department will take care of their own ID before they call speed.
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#11 Leon Sanginiti, Jr.

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:03 PM

Just call out marker. Identify which camera if it's a multiple camera shoot. Sound department will take care of their own ID before they call speed.

The majority of the time I have only called out "marker", which is great because it's only one thing to say, and your out of there, but I have come across some mixers who request you repeat the scene over what they previously recorded. It's an odd situation, but it's best to be a team player.
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#12 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:06 AM

I worked for an AC who insisted that the ONLY way to do it was to use the military alphabet. Nah...the only way to do it is to use common sense and plan your exit when it's a wide frame. (Talk about a way to ruin the moment, try getting stuck in the master shot!)
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#13 Chien Huey

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 12:58 AM

I worked for an AC who insisted that the ONLY way to do it was to use the military alphabet.


Are you talking about me? Though I'm not sure if I said it was the ONLY way.

I just like the NATO alphabet. To me it just sounds more professional than calling out names, cities, etc. http://en.wikipedia....onetic_alphabet
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#14 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:19 AM

A - Alpha
B - Bravo
C - Charlie
D - Delta
E - Echo
F - Foxtrot
G - Golf
H - Hotel
J - Juliet
K - Kilo
L - Lima
M - Mike
N - November
P - Papa
Q - Quebec
R - Romeo
S - Sierra
T - Tango
U - Uniform
V - Victor
W - Whiskey
X - Xray
Y - Yankee
Z - Zulu

Have fun :) Thats what i used when i was slating.
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