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Slating with big actors.


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#1 ian henderson

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 06:02 PM

So I filled in on a feature the other day that has two big actors in it. Im usually a loader, but i got brought on as a second, and i hadnt worked as a second with actors that big before. The whole day we were shooting in a small office where they were sitting at a desk talking to each other. I was on b-camera, and we were on a tight lens most of the day. Using a sync slate.

When i got there, they made sure to tell me not to put the slate in the actors face, which i normally wouldnt do anyway, but this was a real tight situation.

We ended up doing alot of tail slates, but sometimes i couldnt get in there after the shot due to it being so tight. I've always been tought to mark it, and get the hell out of there and to never cross frame or the actors eyeline after marking.

So my question is: is it alright to go deeper into the scene to mark it and take a little longer getting out of there even if i have to cross frame (and the actors eyeline)?
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 07:00 PM

So my question is: is it alright to go deeper into the scene to mark it and take a little longer getting out of there even if i have to cross frame (and the actors eyeline)?


There really isn't a huge rush in terms of getting in and out while slating. First of all, NEVER RUN. Work out a quick and easy escape route, but don't kill yourself to get out of the scene.

If it turns out there's just no way for you to efficiently get in there and get out without crossing the frame or actor's eyeline, work it out with the 1st AC and Operator. The normal solution is to usually just do a quick pan to the slate, then back to the actors before calling camera set.
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#3 Tom Jensen

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:17 PM

Just pan over. It's not a lock off. If it's time code, you don't have to clap it. On some big concerts there is sometimes a giant slate off to the side where operators can just grab a shot of the slate and they're off. Clapping is just a back up for time code. The last thing you want to do is piss off a big actor or any actor for that matter. Acting is a tough gig and requires a lot of concentration. The easier you make it on them, the easier you make it on yourself.
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:29 AM

If it's time code, you don't have to clap it.


But you should clap it... I just had my ass saved because we had to rely on the clapper for sync as the TC was off... also, even when using a TC Slate, the person doing the transfer should roll back and forth over the clapper to be sure each take is (indeed) in sync even tho they are using a TC Slate.

As far as slating for big actors goes.. get up on an apple box or 4 step ladder if need be :P
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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 11:38 AM

But you should clap it... I just had my ass saved because we had to rely on the clapper for sync as the TC was off... also, even when using a TC Slate, the person doing the transfer should roll back and forth over the clapper to be sure each take is (indeed) in sync even tho they are using a TC Slate.

As far as slating for big actors goes.. get up on an apple box or 4 step ladder if need be :P


I should have qualified it and said when you cannot clap it. Also for really big actors you can use the really big slate I was referring to.
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#6 Frank Love

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 02:32 AM

I'd say you do your best. If you notice it'll be a hard slate to do, whether for how close you're slating or how far you have to go to clear, just make sure your 1st and Op know so they can either do a pan, or if that's somehow harder, they can get a tail slate or wait for you to be clear before calling set as they've said. Sometimes none of those are really an option, and the actor is insistent enough that you're not putting it in their face...I'd say depends on the actor and if the scene is a fairly intense one or not...but sometimes you just don't get a slate on it. I'll make a point about it but some situations just make it impossible to please the people involved...course this is usually on the lower budget things, that or they have enough money they don't care if syncing in post takes a little longer. I also have a small insert clap slate that can let me be further from an actor while still getting a clap on it. It may not have time code, but a clap is better than nothing.
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