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The Complete Guide To Independent Film Production : Small Budget - Big Movies      

Chapter. 1
Page 1 Part 2  

by Mol Smith

  Page 1 Part 3
    You can watch one of my short films here for free. Made in 1 day. One crew - me. 1 actress. Everything I discuss in this set of articles is supported in this film. Please note: this film has implied female nudity and is probably best watched only if you are 15 years or older and you are not offended by the western inspired culture of celebrating female beauty.

Shooting & Editing Equipment


Terms & Jargon

1. Introduction & Equipment
Camera, Lens, Sound Recorder, Lights, Neutral Density acetates, Daylight and colour acetates, Clapper Board, chalk, pens, shot lists, still camera for continuity. Shooting schedules. Boom Pole, Microphones, external power source, batteries, flash cards.

Clapper Board
A clapper board is one of those items which has been around since the dawn of film making. In its most basic form, it is a rectangular sheet of wood, painted black or white, cut across at the top, and the two sections hinged together. You lift the top section and snap it against the bottom section and it 'claps'.

It provides a way to Sync sound to video as you can 'see' the spike on the sound wave in an editing package and align it with the visually recorded clapper board closing. Today, there are sophisticated versions with LED display. All you want is something cheap and functional that you can write on in chalk or a wipe-off felt marker. You write the scene and take onto the board, hold it up in front of the camera, get the camera and sound recording started, then get someone to read the clapper board scene and take aloud before snapping the board.

A simple clapper board like this one will cost around 12,00
You can buy one here.

With hundreds of takes made during a film leaving you with hundreds of sound and video clips to sync together, this item is worth every penny. I discuss auto-synching software in a moment, which works most of the time but when it doesn't (happens on some clips) you'll be pleased you used the clapper board as you will synch some files manually in the video editing software.

Shot List
High Speed High Capacity Drives
Still camera
 240 volts outside
Editing software
re-synching sound


Find out more next month, in Chapter 1 part 3