Best size clapperboards

Hey filmmakers, did you know there are more than one size of clapperboard? Think many filmmakers often know to purchase the standard size clapperboard, but do you know which size is the best to use at which occasion?

Let's start with the smallest size, the Nano clapperboard. The use case for this is filming extreme close ups. Because often these close up shots take a lot of time to frame correctly.

But also certain macro lenses or the use of diopters makes it harder to focus far away, making it unable to focus on a large clapperboard. For this you can use the nano clapperboard or an insert slate, as often these shots don’t show anybody talking and can be filmed as an MOS with an insert slate, but when audio of a close up handling is needed then you do need a Nano clapperboard.

Then we have the small clapperboard, though people often react that these are cute size clapperboards, this size is actually the most ideal size for indoor use. As the size of the small clapperboard is around the size of a human head, it is ideal for a lot of the close up shots of a person. But also usable in confined spaces and in vehicles, where a normal size clapperboard is just far too big and there is no space to hold the clapperboard behind the actor. Because the clapperboard is small, you can easily hold it quite close to the camera without needing to walk far to get out of the shot.

Then we have the normal size clapperboard. The use case for these are definitely medium to wide angle shots. For outdoor and when wide angle shots are done. So when you see the shotlist has a lot of wide shots, the standard clapperboard is more ideal for it.

However there are also gigantic clapperboards. These have a very special use case, more often when multiple cameras are used to film an outdoor action section, where the clapperboard needs to be visible for multiple cameras to see the slate. However these often are special orders for big blockbuster movies and not something a 2nd AC need to have in their kit.

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