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What slate to buy?


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#1 Steve McBride

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 12:19 PM

I'm going to buy a slate since I realized how useful it can be in the editing, so I was wondering what would be the best to get. I've been looking through Film Tools and everyone says Don Earl, so I'm assuming that is the way to go.

Should I go for the engraved or the reverse laminate? The reverse laminate seems like it would be better because it would be easier to clean.

Lastly, instead of getting the full slate together, at Film Tools it would be cheaper to buy a replacement slate insert and the clapper sticks seperately (like $20 cheaper). Is that the way to go, or is there something different between the two?

Don Earl Engraved Slate
Don Earl Reverse Laminate Slate
Don Earl Replacement Engraved Slate
Replacement Clapper Sticks


- Steve
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#2 Matt Kelly

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 12:35 PM

I think the engraved one is just as easy to clean. The laminate ones i've seen always start to peel off the back and get real grungy lookin after a while.
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#3 Tim Terner

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 01:05 PM

Are you shooting double system ?
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 02:01 PM

I think the engraved one is just as easy to clean. The laminate ones i've seen always start to peel off the back and get real grungy lookin after a while.

Kinda depends on what you use to clean your slate with. I've been using isopropyl alcohol and water because I'm cheap, and I've found that the black ink inside the engraving comes off with alcohol. So I'd get the reverse laminate, but that's just me.
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#5 Ira Ratner

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 02:49 PM

Lastly, instead of getting the full slate together, at Film Tools it would be cheaper to buy a replacement slate insert and the clapper sticks seperately (like $20 cheaper). Is that the way to go, or is there something different between the two?

That confused the hell out of me too:

Maybe they only sell the replacement parts if you've bought the complete unit before.

This is worth a phone call from you.
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#6 Steve McBride

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 04:48 PM

Are you shooting double system ?

If you mean seperate video and audio, no. If you mean multiple camera setups, then no also. Not exactly sure what you mean by "double system"?

@ Ira
I just called and you can buy the replacement parts whenever.

I think I'm just going to buy the replacement parts because it's cheaper and I'm a student at a minimum wage job barely working any hours, so I kinda need money in order to... live...
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#7 Ian Cooper

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:10 AM

If you mean...



"Double System" usually refers to recording pictures and sound separately.
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#8 Ira Ratner

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 08:55 AM

Steve, and sorry to go off-topic guys, but did you ever hear of a band called The Skycoasters, based out of Rochester? My best buddy since we were 10 (we're 50 plus now) is their lead guitarist--Gary Rose.
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#9 Adam Paul

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 10:41 AM

I'm using an engraved one. I opted for the colored clapper stickers.
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#10 Mark Dunn

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 01:35 PM

What happened to black slates and chalk? Seriously, it's not a facetious question.
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#11 Steve McBride

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 06:02 PM

What happened to black slates and chalk? Seriously, it's not a facetious question.

I used one once, and I absolutely hated it. The chalk was messy, you needed a different eraser and then another damp cloth to clean the board if you couldn't read it because of all of the erasures as well as a dry one to dry it after cleaning it. It's also a lot rougher to write on and sometimes the chalk would actually dig into the board which made it very hard to write over it. It was just an awful experience.

With the wipe-board slate, you get a pen that has one of the erasers on it and that's all you need.
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#12 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 08:24 PM

the one that claps.
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#13 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 09:54 PM

Lastly, instead of getting the full slate together, at Film Tools it would be cheaper to buy a replacement slate insert and the clapper sticks seperately (like $20 cheaper). Is that the way to go, or is there something different between the two?

Don Earl Replacement Engraved Slate
Replacement Clapper Sticks


Might as well buy the sticks & slate separate since that's the cheapest route.
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#14 Steve McBride

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:33 AM

Yeah, I ended up buying the seperate pieces last night. I wonder if you have to glue them together or whatever... I'll know friday.
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#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 12:45 PM

Yeah, I ended up buying the seperate pieces last night. I wonder if you have to glue them together or whatever... I'll know friday.


Don't glue them together. They're made to come apart for easy storage and easy replacement. If the sticks' slot for the slate is a little loose and the slate does tend to fall off, just a length of paper tape is enough to keep them together.
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