Jump to content


Photo

Help Identifying a Slate / Marker from the 1960s (with photo)...


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Karl Lee

Karl Lee
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 92 posts
  • Other

Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:30 PM

Hi everyone.

 

I wanted to see if anyone might be able to help explain a slate / marker that I noticed while watching an episode of The Monkees TV series from the 1960s.  Yes, I actually became an avid fan of the show in the late 1980s when I was in first or second grade and the show was airing daily on a local channel.  Anyway, this particular episode includes a few outtakes at the end of the show prior to the end credits, and between takes there's a momentary shot of what appears to be some sort of slate or marker, accompanied by an audio cue that's essentially just a buzzing sound (or maybe it's overmodulated tone).  As expected, the number increments with each new take.

 

Out of curiosity, does anyone know what type of slate this was?  I'm curious if this was actually some sort of slate that was filmed during production (perhaps even integrated into the camera), or if it was inserted at some point in post or during the audio synchronization process.  Thanks to anyone who might be able to help!

 

2332.jpg   

 

 


  • 0

#2 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1095 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:12 AM

Well, Irving "Lippy" Lippman was DoP on "The Monkees" for Director James Frawley, and shot on Mitchell BNC, including #70 (manufactured circa 1950, so a mere 17 years old when this shot was taken). That explains the legit content typed on the white inserts above and below the NISO code marker.

 

There were aftermarket macro-banc type accessories to shoot ANSI, NISO and DIN standard markers when archiving motion picture material such as newsreel shots (for which the B/NC-series was originally developed). See the macro resolution of the mechanical counter and frame. Similar accessories were also later available for 16mm, and then Super 8 when J.-P. Beauviala at Aaton, plus Nizo and Bauer in Germany, thought about pushing S8 as a low-cost news-gathering medium in the 1970s.

 

I am unaware of a turret-mountable version, to shoot such markers on set alongside the main lens. So I don't think this was shot during principal photography, although "The Monkees" was a pretty anarchic production. I also wouldn't know how this could be done by modification in-camera. Double-checking in Samuelson's Motion Picture Camera Data book, I can't find anything in the lists and description that would indicate either of the above. However, I am happy to be proven wrong.


  • 0

#3 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2763 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:20 AM

Some BNCs had an automatic slate built into the camera. See here

http://www.mitchellc...wtopic.php?t=56

http://www.mitchellc...23f84&mode=view

No indication of how the image actually got onto the film.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 24 April 2018 - 05:30 AM.

  • 0

#4 Frank Wylie

Frank Wylie
  • Sustaining Members
  • 83 posts
  • Other
  • Culpeper, VA

Posted 24 April 2018 - 06:02 AM

I am 99% sure that is an in-camera autoslate from a Mitchell BNCR.

 

I believe there was a periscope device that was slid into the optical path to record the autoslate on BNCRs.  The tone is a blooping sync tone.

 

Jerry Lewis, who was a real technology nut, used it extensively on his productions.


  • 0

#5 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1095 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 24 April 2018 - 07:39 AM

Interesting. There would obviously have to be reflex element inserted given the off-set from the slate bay mod to the film path, plus light on the mechanical counter. Could you point me to where you read about this, Frank? I am intrigued as I only know external archival set-ups for BNC, and not in-camera mods.

 

Here's a set pic of BNC 70:

 

the-monkees-pete-tork-inspects-the-camer

 

Given that all the outtakes in this episode feature a NISO code (you can turn these to get ANSI or DIN shown) and not the scene/take shown on the slates in the actual scenes, which the mods depicted in Mark's post would have clearly allowed, did Lippy shoot archival codes in-camera in parallel to conventional slates?

  • 0

#6 Karl Lee

Karl Lee
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 92 posts
  • Other

Posted 24 April 2018 - 09:02 AM

This has turned out to be an interesting discussion, and thanks to everyone who has replied to my original thread.  I did notice in the screenshot that there appears to be a bit of vignetting around the corners of the slate, so that's why I thought that perhaps there was some sort of optical path integrated into the camera that allowed the internal slate to be filmed.  And, if the illumination of the marker (or some other visual cue) and bloop sync tone were synchronized, then I'd assume that the marker must have been filmed during production as either a standard slate or tail slate. 

 

Also, could someone explain the difference between ANSI, NISO, and DIN markers?  On the surface, the marker just looks like an incrementing counter, so I'm curious about what the difference was between these different types of slates / markers.

 

Thanks!


  • 0

#7 Frank Wylie

Frank Wylie
  • Sustaining Members
  • 83 posts
  • Other
  • Culpeper, VA

Posted 24 April 2018 - 12:00 PM


 

Given that all the outtakes in this episode feature a NISO code (you can turn these to get ANSI or DIN shown) and not the scene/take shown on the slates in the actual scenes, which the mods depicted in Mark's post would have clearly allowed, did Lippy shoot archival codes in-camera in parallel to conventional slates?

 

 

Michael,

 

The BNCR autoslate system I am aware of only worked if the camera was blimped, as in Mark's link to the Mitchell Cameras website. 

 

So, if ALL the outtakes show these NISO code slates, then I guess you're probably right about it being an aftermarket system, used in post production to archive outtakes.

 

It sure LOOKS like the same type mechanism that was mounted internal to the blimp for autoslating.

 

I have all the SMPE/SMPTE journals from 1930 to 1980 or so near my desk;  maybe there will be an article somewhere in there addressing this issue, but the indexes are very unhelpful...


  • 0


Tai Audio

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

CineTape

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Visual Products

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC