How to make your own clapper board

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When producing a music video, film or TV show, labelling each separate shot allows the editor to piece together the correct segments for the finished product. This is done with a clapper board, an instrument used to signify the beginning of a shot or a take. These boards can be bought or created using a few pieces of wood and a couple of coats of paint.

Cut the wood block in half. You will be left with two pieces measuring 2.5 by 25 cm (1 by 10 inches). Use these for the movable portion of the board.

Measure and cut a sheet plywood into a rectangular shape measuring 25 by 20 cm (10 by 8 inces). Use thick plywood to create a sturdy board.

Nail one of the pieces of wood to the top of the plywood. Don't worry if the wood is wider than the plywood, this will help provide a grip during use.

Attach the second piece to the top of the first piece using the brass hinge. Secure the hinge on the end of the wood, allowing the top piece to open up and down.

Cover the entire surface of the wood with blackboard paint. This will give you the ability to write on the board with chalk to label each shot. Allow the paint to fully dry before continuing.

Section off the clapper board using the white acrylic paint. Use the image in this guide for an idea on how to create the sections of the board. You can also use the paint to decorate the clapper portion.

Label each area of the board with information that you'll need during the shoot. This can include the production name, director, date, shot number, scene number and take number. Once the paint has dried you can begin using the clapper board.

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