4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 12, 2011 4:52 AM by Rick Gerard

    Do I really need a "slate" clapper on my video for Comcast?

    jl2000 Level 1

      Hi -

       

      I know just enough about video production to get myself in trouble ... like now.

       

      I made a 30 second commercial spot that will be aired on Comcast's network somewhere.  The piece is an AE (5.5) animation with 7 seconds of video footage in it.

       

      I have Comcast's specs and (with the help of folks on this forum) have built the AE project correctly.  Now I have Comcast's FTP instructions and I see the following:

      "Some markets require all spots must to have a slate that identifies the spot title, client and duration, and seven seconds of black between the slate and the spot, and seven seconds of black following the spot.  "

       

      At this moment I don't know what my "market" requires so I thought I'd prepare my output with the slate and without.

       

      However - I don't have an actual physical slate so here come the silly questions.

      Is it acceptable (albeit not professional) to just make a handwritten sign  showing the title, client, duration,etc.  Will that do?

      How about, instead of shooting video of the sign, if I just put some text on layers with AE on a black background?  Will that suffice or must it be video?


      I honestly can't imagine that I would actually have to clap.  I am no where near the place where the audio behind the animation was recorded and the video setup is also long gone so the audio level of my clap will have no relation to the rest of the production.  The audio is locked/synced with the animation and video so there is no need for them to sync before broadcast.  Of what value would an audible clap be?   

       

      Another questions gnaws at me.  How long should the slate be onscreen - with or without the clap? 

       

      I would really appreciate some answers from an experienced person.  I'm not in trouble too deep right now but by tomorrow things could be dire.

       

      TIA your input

      JL

        • 1. Re: Do I really need a "slate" clapper on my video for Comcast?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The slate is just a slide that identifies the clip. There's sometimes a countdown that ends at 2. When there's a countdown you usually put an audio pop or beep at the two second mark. Then there's black, then the spot fades in at 0. That beep is called a 2 Pop.

           

          Slates may also be proceeded by color bars.

           

          You must follow the specifications exactly or the video will be rejected.

          • 2. Re: Do I really need a "slate" clapper on my video for Comcast?
            racer_300m Level 1

            You are quite correct in suggesting that, "if I just put some text on layers with AE on a black background", I would suggest a white background, it doesn't really matter, however, the white will differentiate more considering that they want 7 secs of black after the "slate" or "details about the spot".

            Forget about the "clap". Just make sure that your audio levels are correct. 

            As well as the information they are requesting ie Title, Client and Duration you could also include other information like Frame Rate, Interlaced or Progressive, Producer.

             

            It is generally formatted simply like:

             

            Title: Man Bites Dog

            Client: Whimpering Dog

            Duration: 30sec

            Frame Rate: 29.97

             

            I would suggest the "slate" should be 10 sec in duration, so the file you send them will consist of 10sec of "slate" followed by 7 sec of black, followed by "The spot" (the part that goes to air, followed by 7 sec of black.

             

            Hope this helps.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Do I really need a "slate" clapper on my video for Comcast?
              jl2000 Level 1

              Rick and Racer_300m - - -

              Thanks both for the speedy and solid responses.  I will certainly follow all advise.  (I guess I have to find a "2 Pop").

              JL

              • 4. Re: Do I really need a "slate" clapper on my video for Comcast?
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Comcast isn't requesting a countdown, just 7 seconds of black. I mentioned the countdown because some broadcasters do require one with the 2 Pop. Some require bars and tone. You just must follow the guidelines. Your audio and video levels also have a spec that must be followed. It's usually supplied in a white paper from the broadcaster.