Once upon a time, if you wanted to make a movie, you’d need a sound recordist to capture audio to tape (as film doesn’t record sound) and a clapperboard to enable you to sync them up in post. Then along came video (which magically captures both sound and pictures to the same medium) and the clapperboard went out of the window with the baby, the bathwater and the bath. But that wasn’t the end of the story because the advent of the HD DSLR has meant that filmmakers once again have the need for clapperboards. So where do you go when you want a clapperboard…Clapperboard.com? Almost…Clapperboard.net actually! Visit the site and you’ll see a dizzying array of clapperboards by ‘365 Group’ costing from £15 to £1500. I tested their most popular model, the ‘Acrylic clapperboard with black & white sticks 280mm x 240mm’, which, at £39.99 represents excellent value for money.
In order to do be able to fulfil its role, a clapperboard needs to be a) visible to camera(s) and b) audible to the sound recorder, so that an editor can sync the footage of the clapperboard closing with the sound of its clap. Over and above this, it also provides a means of recording vital information such as scene number, take number, etc. Not all clapperboards offer exactly the same fields. For example, this one includes ‘Producer’, ‘Director’ and ‘DOP’, but not ‘Cameraman’/’Camera Number’ (which, some people might find more useful than ‘Producer’, though there is room to cross out the ‘Prod’ and put ‘Camera’ if needs must). On the other hand, unlike some, more expensive, clapperboards, it includes not just ‘F.P.S’, but ‘Shutter’, which, when editing footage from DSLRs can be extremely useful information to have to hand.
This board is the right size to enable it to be held comfortably without obscuring any of this information. A pair of small magnets between the clapsticks ensures it snaps shut positively and it makes a nice sounding clap when it does so. Overall it feels like a quality product that will last for years, making it the right product at the right price. Best of all though, you can have endless hours of fun pretending to get all manner of bodily parts caught in one whilst filming…and for that we owe a great debt to HD DSLRs.
More Info www.clapperboard.net
© 2010, The Technofile. All rights reserved. Moral Rights Asserted.