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Fred Salles

Slate naming: the pick-up debate

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Hello 

on set today yet another debate about the naming of the slate for pick-up takes...

Not the first nor the last I am pretty sure, especially when working with newcomers continuity person.

There seems to be 2 schools of thought:

The ones who name it scene/shot/take pickup (like scene 100 shot 2 take 3 pickup after a 100/02/T03 take. Then onward 100/02/ take 4 pickup...).

The other ones -including myself - who prefers to name it scene/shot/pickup/take (starting from take 1) as the point is to do a pickup of the shot, not of the take, so take number of the pickup can start from 1 (So scene 100 shot 2 pickup take 01) and increments normally if needed.

As Sound Devices recorders do not allow to name take but only scenes I always try to push towards this last way and most continuity persons agree. But there is often a debate about it.

So my file would be named 100-02pu-T01.wav

Choosing the 100-02-T03pu way is putting me in the obligation of putting in the notes the way the slate was named which is frustrating and time consuming, but also does not make sense imho.

What are your ways and opinions about it ?

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What is certainly true is that there is occasionally a debate on this issue, how do we name/identify a pick-up shot. This has been the case way before anyone was doing file-based recordings with metadata, etc., but of course we had to deal with it as we hand wrote our sound reports. I actually always preferred the method that the majority of the script-continuity people I worked with employed: they woulds call out "make this one a pick-up" and everyone would write "P.U." on the slate and the sound report. So, let's say we had done Scene 32, Take 4 and after the camera cut, the Director or someone says let's do a  pick up, we'd out Scene 32, Take 5 P.U. on the slate. Often the camera would roll and right before action the actor(s) might ask "where are we taking this from?" and more often than not the 1st AD would say "take it from the top" and we'd do the whole scene or possibly just as part of the scene, but not actually a pick-up. Then we were faced with labeling Take 5 P.U. as an incomplete (INC  --- another thin g we used to write on our sound reports. It got to the point that I often didn't bother to even put the "P.U." designation on my sound report because so often the pick-up just wasn't a pick-up after all (and let the script person make as many notations as he or she wants to about Take 5). In todays world where so much of post is initially tied to timecode and we're no longer doing prints (circled takes) and our entire files are being loaded into Editorial, I think the whole naming up certain takes as pick-ups has become somewhat irrelevant.

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Another take in the line with an added PU... Does the trick and nobody is confused.... all serious notes should be with the script supervisor. The mixer adding a PU on their notes will aid the process..

With TC and notes, everyone gets it.. at least they should.

 

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I don't care what they call it as long as each take or camera+recorder start has a unique identifier.  I recently did a job where the the scripty insisted on using a take numbering method that was much more time consuming for me to enter than what works more naturally w/ an SD machine, but I gave up arguing with scripties about 20 years ago unless they are asking for something I have no way of doing at all (this has happened, esp since digital and file names with a small number of characters).  I use the notes field but often find that it doesn't get read, so having the file name itself contain as much of the needed data as possible seems to work the best.  I agree that anymore about not seeing the need for the file name to include the "PU" or other info (using up precious characters), I always want us to just go to the next take # and everyone can put "PU" or etc in their notes, esp scripty.  Jeff's description of what often seems to go down during supposed "pickup" shots matches mine--they SAY it's going to be a pick up, but then they end up doing the whole scene through, and also maybe doubling back a few times maybe after doing a fast camera repo, and so on.  Keep it simple, please, and don't make a lot of "homework" for me correcting filenames and notes!

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On 10/29/2019 at 8:19 PM, chriskellett said:

I am of the school of thought that what ever the Script Supervisor wants to call it is what we will all call it. It starts and ends there, easy. 

I agree with this one but for instance on the shoot I am on currently the camera department forced the young guy 3d ac who was doing the slate to name it their way, overpassing the script supervisor call... 

and instead of incrementing the take and add pu -as Jeff suggested- they insist on adding pu on the name of the previous take. So after a full take 3 they will have a take 3 pickup. Which does not make sense to me and makes it tricky to apply on SD machines. But I encountered this way before.

Anyway, I spend time explaining my reasons to the dop , even showing him the take list on wingman and he seemed to understood. I guess he rather change his mind than having to wait for me renaming files 😂 So we do it my way now (the continuity girl way as well). Don’t know how long it will last throughout the shoot though.

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“they insist on adding pu on the name of the previous take. So after a full take 3 they will have a take 3 pickup. Which does not make sense”

 

Agreed. Makes no sense.

 

IMHO, slate would say “take 4pu”, but no need to even add “pu” to the file name. I would simply roll “take 4”. Anyone with notes, TC and common sense should be able to figure out what goes where.

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What's the big hub-bub? If camera wants to call it something different, that's on them. Just call it what the script sup. calls it.  Step away from the drama.

 

On a side note:  I never slate or note that it's a pick up. There is only one scene4 take6. The editors have the note from script and camera. The timecode will marry the sound to pic and my voice slate is in the garbage at that point.  There won't be less sound than picture for them to wonder about.  It's pointless for sound to make the effort to note pick ups.  Old days of mag stripe, yes, note it.  Nowadays, useless.

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Yes, I agree with Mirror on this. Over here it seems that there is no disagreement on how to name it, and it’s the T01, T02, T03 pu, T04 pu, mode. 
The only discussion happens when they want to go from the beginning and stop before the end some want to call that a pick up, too. 
 

In any case, I never label it a pickup. 

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19 hours ago, Mirror said:

 

On a side note:  I never slate or note that it's a pick up. There is only one scene4 take6. The editors have the note from script and camera. The timecode will marry the sound to pic and my voice slate is in the garbage at that point.  There won't be less sound than picture for them to wonder about.  It's pointless for sound to make the effort to note pick ups.  Old days of mag stripe, yes, note it.  Nowadays, useless.

I hear you. So why name files at all then? As long as they are in the right day folder you could name them wtf-T03 to T120 it won’t bother the editors is that what you mean?

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There was a convention of take naming that was just an ever-ascending run of numbers no matter what was being shot--this was in the film+tape (or film +magfilm) days.  Nowadays I think that a deviation from having the file name also be the scene+take name (or, in the case of a doc, the name of the interviewee etc) would need to be worked out with post.  So much of what I record goes to very inexperienced editors who do not have much of any background in organizing the assets of a big job, so keeping things straightforward seems to be a good idea.  On docs often we are shooting before there is an editor on the job, so it is up to us to decide how to name and organize files and hope the eventual editors will understand what we did.

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5 hours ago, Fred Salles said:

I hear you. So why name files at all then? As long as they are in the right day folder you could name them wtf-T03 to T120 it won’t bother the editors is that what you mean?


If timecode is healthy then probably yes. But I also think you’re somewhat blowing this out of proportion, because he very clearly did not say that. 
(And here I am defending Mirror. It really must be Hallowe’en)

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12 hours ago, Constantin said:


If timecode is healthy then probably yes. But I also think you’re somewhat blowing this out of proportion, because he very clearly did not say that. 
(And here I am defending Mirror. It really must be Hallowe’en)

You are probably right. Sorry did not mean no offence here.

I think in these days it is as important to name files correctly as in the mag days, there is so much pressure on DIT and assistant editors that they always go for the easiest way and get confused as soon as something looks wrong. They are overflowed with files and data so the clearer the better.

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54 minutes ago, Fred Salles said:

You are probably right. Sorry did not mean no offence here.

I think in these days it is as important to name files correctly as in the mag days, there is so much pressure on DIT and assistant editors that they always go for the easiest way and get confused as soon as something looks wrong. They are overflowed with files and data so the clearer the better.


No offence taken. I guess the discussion about adding a „pu“ somehwere jn the filene corresponds to that about the slate name. If you follow the idea that a pick up is just like another take in a string of takes it really makes it more confusing to add a pu to the name, I think. Especially as the take would in Finder also be sorted somewhere else (depending) and may be more difficult to find then. I prefer it to keep all takes from one shot nearby. 
This reminds me how on one production I got asked to name my files just like the camera files. So I had A009C002 for example. They were so worried that they might not be able to match video and audio. So for any plates or wildsounds to be recorded both camera and sound always had to run...

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On 10/31/2019 at 8:06 AM, Fred Salles said:

I hear you. So why name files at all then? As long as they are in the right day folder you could name them wtf-T03 to T120 it won’t bother the editors is that what you mean?

 

Let me answer your question with a question.  In a shoot, how many scene 32 take 3's are there?

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15 hours ago, Mirror said:

In a shoot, how many scene 32 take 3's are there?

 

That's an easy one, Sum of scene 32 PU's + one

Now you are all very lucky.

Over here we have commercial metadata, included is 'version'

So one would think, version 2 is higher than version 1, but instead, a lot of companies use _two in the decription,

so I end up with Commercial_V01_two (or alike, not exact syntax.)
Then there is also the very popular term 'omruil' (translates to 'switch'

So I Get Commercial_V01_Switch. (Meaning, V01 is no longer valid.)
Then, of course that one is rejected, then I get Commercial_V01_Switch_DEF.

(You can guess what will happen later that day...)
 

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3 hours ago, Mike Westgate said:

All true guys, make it logical and simple

 

But I've worked with so many clapper loaders who are dyslectic!!!

 

mike

 

dyslexic...

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