Top & Best Clapperboard: How to choose the best instrument for audiovisual production in 2021
The clapperboard is one of the most used tools in the recording of scripted audiovisual production. Its function is not limited to punctuating the synchronization of image and sound, but includes identification, cataloging and organization of recordings.
Regardless of whether you are a student or a professional, be sure to use the clapperboard when recording short films, documentaries, and films. In this article, learn about the features of the clapperboard, learn how to fill and use this tool.
First, the most important
- In audiovisual productions, the image and sound are recorded on different devices, the clapperboard helps to synchronize them when editing the material.
- Relevant information such as production title, director name, camera operator name, recording date and time, scene number, shot number, etc. are added to the clapperboard.
- Once properly completed, the clapperboard must be positioned in front of the camera and its information must be read aloud. By hitting the clapperboard, the actors start the scene.
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The best clapperboards: Our recommendations
Anyone who works with the production of scripted multimedia content cannot fail to invest in a clapperboard. The accessory serves to identify, organize and facilitate the editing of the material produced. Find out which are the best clapperboards for students and professionals below:
- The choice of professionals
- A complete clapperboard
- The best clapperboard for students
The choice of professionals
After the phrase “Light, camera and action”, the clapper’s beat signals the start of a recording. This instrument is very important in audiovisual production, as the clapperboard beat serves as a reference point in the synchronization between image and sound.The clapperboard is a very important item in the organization of a short film, feature film or documentary. Want to learn what the clapperboard is for, how to fill it in and how to use it? Continue reading this Buying Guide.
What is a clapperboard?
To organize the scenes and their respective takes, the clapperboard is used, as the instrument carries the main information about each of these recordings, helping in the identification and organization of the material.
Some information regarding production is inserted in the clapperboard, the most important data being: Scene, plan and number of the outlet. Such information must be entered and removed with each new take .
The set of this information next to the clapper’s beat is used to synchronize the sound and image that are captured by the microphone and camera, respectively. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of using a clapperboard in the table below:
Why should I use the clapperboard?
The clapperboard shows that a certain scene and its respective shots are being recorded. Of these shots, the best ones are selected for editing – this choice is made by the director during recording.For the editing island, only the best shots go. When editing audiovisual content, it is not necessary to watch every minute of the raw material to choose which shots will be used in the composition of the scene.
How to fill the clapperboard?
Have you noticed that the clapperboard has some fields for manual filling? These blanks are used to record some relevant information such as production title, director’s name, camera operator’s name, date and time of recording, scene number, shot number, shot used and roll.This information helps when editing, because it identifies the scenes, so the video editor does not need to waste time watching the material to find out what the scene is filmed and in which context the piece fits.
In the bottom corner of the best clapperboards, you will find some more information regarding the filming. This information must be circulated with a pen. Find out what this additional information is in the table below:
You can use the back of the clapperboard to mark other relevant information such as camera settings, for example. These annotations can help you maintain the level of recording quality when you need to shoot the same scene at different times.
To fill in this information, use a hydrographic pen, you will find options in blue, black, red or green. This information must be deleted and inserted with each new outlet. And don’t forget to erase all the information at the end of the recording day, otherwise your clapperboard may stain.
How to use the clapperboard?
After filling in the clapperboard with the information mentioned in the previous section, make sure that the audio and image capture devices are ready for shooting, then position the clapperboard in front of the camera, read the information from that scene out loud and then hit the clapperboard.By keeping the clapperboard on the scene before starting recording, the first of the plan’s frames will already present the basic information regarding the scene. If you forget to use the clapperboard at the beginning of the recording, you can use the tool at the end of the scene.
Just keep turning after the “cut”, place the clapperboard upside down to indicate that it refers to the last recorded plane and then rotate it to the normal position to make it easier to read the information.
But be aware, as you will hit the clapperboard near the faces of the actors, it is important to hit it gently so as not to disturb the concentration or performance of the professionals on the scene.
In scenes without actors, the clapperboard should be positioned close to the focus area, so as not to cause the camera operator to waste time readjusting the focus. By following this step-by-step, the editor is able to work the material efficiently and quickly.
Purchasing criteria: How to compare the different clapper models
As you can see throughout the text, clapperboard is a very relevant tool in audiovisual production. Used for product identification, cataloging, organization and editing, the clapperboard must be used in the recording of documentaries, films and commercials.
Regardless if you are an enthusiast, student or professional in communication, we suggest choosing a clapperboard based on the following purchase criteria:
- Digital or analog clapperboard
- Clapperboard color
- Fields for completion and language
- Set of pens
We will detail each of these criteria throughout the section, if you have any questions, leave a comment. Share this content with your professional colleagues.
Digital or analog clapperboard
You got to know all the features of the conventional clapperboard throughout this article, so let’s focus on the digital clapperboard / smart clapperboard, used during the recordings of major film productions.
This model has an LED display and a timecode that works with the audio recorder. The two pieces of equipment are synchronized and the clapperboard is only shown to the camera before recording begins.
The timecode is a system that accurately indicates when the recording starts, stops and ends, ie the professional no longer needs the sound of the clapper to synchronize audio and image.
It is important to mention that digital clapperboard is not easily found in the national market. Generally, electronic clapperboard is used only in large film productions.
You find the clapperboard made of acrylic and wood. The acrylic clapperboard can be filled in with a colored felt-tip pen or chalk and erased with a whiteboard eraser.
The wooden clapperboard can be filled with white or colored chalk and erased with a flannel. Do not use colored pens to fill in the information on the wooden clapper board, as it may stain.
We suggest that you buy a clapperboard with a built-in magnet, as the material provides a clear sound while decreasing the impact between the rods.
At the time of purchase, you can choose whether you prefer whiteboard or blackboard. The rods can be in B&W or colored. The choice of the tone of the picture is related to personal preference.
But if you choose to buy a black clapperboard, remember to choose a set of colored pens that contrast with the color of the board, otherwise, the notes will be unreadable.
Fields for completion and language
As we mentioned earlier, the clapperboard comes with some fields to fill in information related to production. At the time of purchase, evaluate what information to fill in, as it changes from one model to another.
Another feature that deserves your attention is the clapperboard footer information. The more information requested, the more complete your clapperboard is.
Finally, assess whether the entries are in Portuguese or English because although they are simple sayings, those who do not have knowledge in English can be confused when filling in the information.
Set of pens
As we mentioned earlier, you must fill in the information on the clapperboard with a colored hydrographic pen – blue, black, green or red. These pens can be purchased separately.
However, some clapperboard models come with a case with four colored pens and a whiteboard eraser. Although it is not a very relevant purchase criterion, we recommend that you give preference to models with these accessories.
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