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Weekly Video Tip: Movie Slate Video App Review

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By Stephen Schweickart

So you’ve got your fancy new DSLR, and your audio is set up to record to an external device. You’re ready to capture some pretty images and super crisp audio, but how are you going to keep all of that media organized when you get back to the editing room? You can dump it all onto your desktop like last week’s dirty laundry, but that’s not very efficient.

Staying organized is as easy as whipping out your iPhone or iPad and picking up Movie Slate, an easy-to-use, full-featured slate that will help keep you from having to sift through piles of bad takes, and believe me, there will be PILES, just to find that one gem.

Movie Slate first and foremost is…well, it’s a slate, just like it says in the title, so nice job app namers. It lets you label your shot, take, director, cinematographer, and most importantly is a digital clapper board so you can look all pro when preparing your shot to be synced by not having to use your hands to clap in front of your talent’s face…uncomfortable. Once you set your info and tap the clapper board, it will start your take then open up a completely new set of options for you to use.

The slate also comes with a handy dandy set of focus and color cards so you can check your camera’s calibration and be sure your shot is crispy sharp and that your colors really pop.

Once rolling, the app allows you to take notes about the shot either during the shot or after you’ve completed it. You can remind yourself what is actually happening in the shot, and you can even do that based on the time code. So if you’re filming a long interview and your talent says something mind-blowing that you’ll definitely want in your final cut, BLAMMO just select the time code in your notes and start typing. And if you simply want to say “this shot is good,” just tap Circle and you’ll have a pretty little red circle on your shot list, which can easily be emailed once you’re done shooting, making logging your footage insanely easy.

The app also has the ability to log your camera settings on a per-shot basis. So if you are looking at one of your shots and think, “hey, this shot makes me look like a boss cinematographer,” you can pull up the camera data and recreate everything you did to achieve that look so you can continue looking like a boss.

Using a slate isn’t 100% necessary for amateur shooters, but it’s a great habit to get into and you’ll say “Thanks, me in the past” for helping future you stay so organized in post production. Movie Slate can do all this and more for $24.99, so pick it up on the app store and look like you know what you’re doing.

To read more about Movie Slate, visit http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id320315888?mt=8.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic visit VScreen’s site at http://www.vscreen.com/.

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