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What is the name of the device used in live action filming that includes information like scene, take and roll and has a part that can snap together?

It can also include information like production name, date, cameraman, director, timecode, etc.

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That gadget actually combines TWO different functions:

  1. SLATE which is the lower portion that identifies Scene / Take / Roll, etc. in written form so that the camera(s) can document exactly what this clip is. Without that information editing would be an absolute nightmare for big productions.
  2. CLAPPER which is the part at the top. Essentially two sticks that are snapped together to establish picture vs. sound SYNCHRONIZATION. The camera(s) can see exactly when the two parts come together, and the microphone can "hear" when the sticks snap. That sound transient is used to exactly synchronize the sound recording (which is typically done on a separate recorder) with the film or video recording.

Sometimes they even put a wireless mic on the slate/clapper to properly "hear" the snap, especially for huge scenes where there is no microphone near where the slate/clapper needs to be (to be seen by all the cameras).

What people CALL that gadget depends on tradition and the preferences of the director, etc.

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It is clapperboard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clapperboard

used in filmmaking and video production to assist in the synchronizing of picture and sound, and to designate and mark particular scenes and takes recorded during a production

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  • 1
    also known as a slate – Jason Conrad Jun 23 '14 at 16:26
  • I've also heard the term "clapboard" in film school. (Might have been student slang.) – BrettFromLA Jun 23 '14 at 17:38

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