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manuelchk

Favorite Slate

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Hello guys, recently I got my slate robbed, a Denecke TS-C and I need to buy a new one.

 

I’ve seen the new models of smart skates, Betso and Ambient, both having nice features. I think I’m getting the Betso, but I would love to hear your experience and which one is your favorite.

 

Thanks in advance.

Manuel.

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18 minutes ago, KGraham045 said:

I have both a Denecke TSC and an Ambient ACD. I have owned the Denecke TS3 as well. Gotta say I like the TSC.

 

That means you like the TSC better than the Ambient? It’s the one I had and I loved it, bet the bet so has new features like handles to slate with one hand, WiFi to send timecode to betso lockit boxes, when you tails the timecode will turn to be read it perfectly, more options for frame rates, super bright LED numbers, lighter, etc.

 

the bad things: they don’t have service here in LA and it looks it’s more “breakable” compared to the TSC...

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TSC here too, it just works great.  I have to get the magnet repaired every 2-3 years from it getting slammed shut all the time, but it's not a huge deal.  That slate is by far my best ROI.

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Ambient slates are more common here.

 

I was somewhat dubious of the new model but after buying one I have become a big fan of it's ease of use. It is a lot more robust then it appears. Well at least so far. Would recommend getting the handle with it.  

 

One thing that is really handy about the older model is that it slips out of the face plate to become a smaller insert size slate.

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Test driving Betso...   So far ACs really like it.  And i love the ridiculous battery life as well as internal backup battery..  Not using movielslate features or any of the wireless capability.... yet.. 

 

 

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I have the Ambient slate and its great, but I have to say I prefer the noise the Denecke makes with the wooden stick over the Ambient Delrin sticks!!!

The little things.

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Ambient and TCS slates boast some awesome features, primarily wireless sync if you're using their wireless sync networks. The ambient slate does have a neat handle that makes one hand slating so effortless. I know lots of AC's who love it. The TCS slate (actually made by Denecke) has a second screen below the time code LED screen that allows you to have things like scene and take, and seems like a neat step in the right direction, but unfortunately places the responsibility of labeling the slate away from the camera department / script supervisor, and onto the mixer, which has its pros and cons.

 

All this said, I'm still a fan of my Denecke TS-C slate. It's been my go to for 75% of my jobs. Small size is amazing, and it's built like a tank. I would love to see a similar version that can tether to any one of these wireless sync networks like Ambient's, TCS' or Zaxnet.

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This is more a question for camera assists, we supply the slates but they are the ones that actually use them. From my experience most prefer the original size denecke type slate.

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On 8/18/2018 at 9:42 PM, Jesse Flaitz said:

TSC here too, it just works great.  I have to get the magnet repaired every 2-3 years from it getting slammed shut all the time, but it's not a huge deal.  That slate is by far my best ROI.

good to know! Also, how do you charge for your slate? I'm pretty new to the slate game, and want to make sure I charge correctly! 

 

Thanks, 

Nate 

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11 hours ago, resoNate3973 said:

good to know! Also, how do you charge for your slate? I'm pretty new to the slate game, and want to make sure I charge correctly! 

 

Thanks, 

Nate 

The prevailing rate for timecode is $50/thing/day so if you have 2 cameras needing lockits, and a timecode slate that's $150/day added to the invoice for a la carte items.

In general, the popular way of coming up with rental rates in our community is roughly 2% of the purchase price as a daily charge as a starting point. But higher if it isn't an item you constantly control (comtek, timecode device, slate) and therefor subject to higher wear and tear OR something specialized that is rarely needed. The rental fees not only cover the cost to buy the device, but also pay for maintenance, repair, insurance, storage, and depreciation of that device.

Talk to the other mixers in your market and look at the rental rate sheets from the usual suspects to put together your price list. Everyone's list doesn't have to be exact, but as long as we're all in the same ballpark all is good

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I don't disagree with anything Shastapete just said, however, the way you charge for items depends partly on the type of productions you do, and also on what market you're in.

 

In some situations it works better to simply build a reasonable list of extras into the gear rate. 

 

Get to know other people in your market who do similar gigs.  Along with helping you understand the norms, they can be your best source of referrals. 

 

Big-Important-Tip:  Never undercut them, and never try to steal clients!

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Shastapete said:

The prevailing rate for timecode is $50/thing/day so if you have 2 cameras needing lockits, and a timecode slate that's $150/day added to the invoice for a la carte items.

In general, the popular way of coming up with rental rates in our community is roughly 2% of the purchase price as a daily charge as a starting point. But higher if it isn't an item you constantly control (comtek, timecode device, slate) and therefor subject to higher wear and tear OR something specialized that is rarely needed. The rental fees not only cover the cost to buy the device, but also pay for maintenance, repair, insurance, storage, and depreciation of that device.

Talk to the other mixers in your market and look at the rental rate sheets from the usual suspects to put together your price list. Everyone's list doesn't have to be exact, but as long as we're all in the same ballpark all is good

- Ah see I charge 50$ a day per thing for everything BUT timecode boxes, most of clients I think expect that to be included... I even had a producer complain to me about another mixer who charged a la carte for the slate. (this was a corporate gig) She thought it should be included, but not everyone wants a slate so you could lose a gig if your standard gear rate is too high because of all these included goodies. I prefer a la carte as well. And overall, I'm in the ballpark I think. 

 

Thanks for the input! 

 

 

3 hours ago, John Blankenship said:

I don't disagree with anything Shastapete just said, however, the way you charge for items depends partly on the type of productions you do, and also on what market you're in.

 

In some situations it works better to simply build a reasonable list of extras into the gear rate. 

 

Get to know other people in your market who do similar gigs.  Along with helping you understand the norms, they can be your best source of referrals. 

 

Big-Important-Tip:  Never undercut them, and never try to steal clients!

 

 

 

Yeah sometimes people expect stuff to be included... but I try to charge a la carte as much as possible to keep things organized. What kinda of stuff do you include in your rate and ~ what does that make your standard kit rate? 

 

Of course I would never undercut people to steal clients - I'm in the business of getting paid! 

 

I networked with some locals and actually helped them get paid more by telling about the a la carte (not all in) fee system. 

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Generally when quoting a rate for a client I'll suss out their equipment needs before I'll give them a rate. Sure, I have a "usual basic package" that is 2 wireless, boom and recorder that is $300/day, but if the client says in the original call that they only need 1 wireless, a TC box, a slate, and 2 IFB then I could give them a package rate for that, usually with a slight discount from a true a la carte rate. They feel like they are getting a deal, and it puts a round number on the invoice. Then when they comeback later if they need more they can order off the menu.

Also, rental houses tend to give heavy discounts on longer rentals. I won't do 3 day weeks, but I might do 4 day weeks if the gig is 3+ weeks long (no 10 day months either!) but this is only if they're not fighting me on what a normal rental rate is.

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On 8/31/2018 at 11:23 AM, Shastapete said:

Generally when quoting a rate for a client I'll suss out their equipment needs before I'll give them a rate. Sure, I have a "usual basic package" that is 2 wireless, boom and recorder that is $300/day, but if the client says in the original call that they only need 1 wireless, a TC box, a slate, and 2 IFB then I could give them a package rate for that, usually with a slight discount from a true a la carte rate. They feel like they are getting a deal, and it puts a round number on the invoice. Then when they comeback later if they need more they can order off the menu.

Also, rental houses tend to give heavy discounts on longer rentals. I won't do 3 day weeks, but I might do 4 day weeks if the gig is 3+ weeks long (no 10 day months either!) but this is only if they're not fighting me on what a normal rental rate is.

good to know! Thanks for the input. Yeah maybe round down for the package rate or something. And i like your logic with the weekly deals over 3 weeks. Will definitely start incorporating some of this. I was doing a 250 base, but recently had a crew come in offering 300 and I was like... hmm YES! 

 

What are you guys in NYC normally charging for labor? 650/12hr? 

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Has Denecke stopped making the TS-TCB?  At least one site says it's "discontinued", and another site says "limited quantities remaining". 

 

I'm growing increasingly interested in the Timecode Systems line, especially the Ultrasync One (although I do wish they had chosen a different connector).  For my purposes I think the TS-TCB, the Ultrasync One and the ":pulse" would make a great system!

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50 minutes ago, TomBoisseau said:

Has Denecke stopped making the TS-TCB?  At least one site says it's "discontinued", and another site says "limited quantities remaining". 

 

I'm growing increasingly interested in the Timecode Systems line, especially the Ultrasync One (although I do wish they had chosen a different connector).  For my purposes I think the TS-TCB, the Ultrasync One and the ":pulse" would make a great system!

 

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it was. It was way too far ahead of its time, and it was definitely difficult to incorporate the workflow... at least in the narrative world. Denecke would be better suited to just build a standard slate with b:link capability for wireless TC. Similar to what other brands are doing.

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14 hours ago, resoNate3973 said:

And i like your logic with the weekly deals over 3 weeks.

And one more addendum, I don't offer a discount off the bat. But if there is negotiation, it is something that I'll be willing to commit to without much pushing... again as long as the rest of the rate is reasonable. For instance, if their equipment needs are $550/day but they say they only have $400/day for gear ($2000/week) I would say "Since the gig is X weeks long, I'd be willing to offer 4 day weeks - where the equipment rental is free on the 5th day" If they say yes to this, I still talked them up $200/week on their rate, and built in protections where if the last week runs short, they won't get a prorated discount.

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