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The DV Camcorder > The DV Camcorder - Pg. 37

6.Filmtheactionasdescribedinthischapter.Whenyou'veflmedenoughofthe scene--whenyou'vegot the shot--presstheRecordbuttonasecondtimetostop rolling. At this point, the camcorder is back in standby mode. It's using up its battery faster than when it's turned off. Therefore, if you don't expect to be flming anything else within the next few minutes, push the primary switch back to its Off position. (If you forget, no big deal; most camcorders turn off automatically after fve minutes or so since your last activity.) Now you, like thousands before you, know the basics. The rest of this chapter is designed to elevate your art from that of camera operator to cinematographer/director. Film-Technique Crash Course Get the Shot Rule No. 1: Get the shot. If you and the camcorder aren't ready when something great happens--whether you're trying to create a Hollywood-style movie with scripted actors or just trying to catch the dog's standoff with a squirrel--then everything else in this book, and in your new hobby, are for naught. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION The Slate: Lights, Lens Cap, Action! I'm getting tired of seeing that "clapper" board--it's the iMovie icon, it's the picture that shows up when you choose iMovieAbout iMovie, it's the icon of every iMovie docu- ment. It's practically the world's most overused symbol. Every- body uses it to symbolize flm- making. What the heck is that thing? It's called the slate or clapstick, and they really do use it when they make commercial movies. Using a dry-erase marker, an as- sistant writes the movie's name, scene number, and date onto this plastic whiteboard (nobody uses chalk on slate anymore). As soon as the camera is rolling, the slate is held in front of the lens and the clapstick on top is slammed shut. The camera pho- tographs the time-code readout (which is generated by the sound-recording equipment) in the top part of the clapper. Only then does the director shout, "And, action!" The purpose of this exercise is to make editing easier later. Al- though your camcorder records sound and video simultane- ously, the soundtrack for flm is actually recorded on a different machine. When editing, techni- cians can plug in the time-code number captured on flm to cue up the audio track quickly and effciently. And if that sync-up circuitry fails for some reason, editors can syn- chronize the sound and picture manually, just as they did in the old days: by aligning the loud, crisp sound with the visual moment when the clapstick closes. chapter2:turninghomevideointoprovideo 37