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Making a cleaner slate

Laura Sturza

Camera slates that mark the start of a movie or TV shot are being

given a fresh take by Burbank resident Kevin Ivey, whose company

makes versions of the items using an innovative digital method to


transfer logos to plexiglass.

The slates, which include a clapper at the top, are typically hit

by the second camera assistant after the assistant director calls

“roll sound,” Ivey said. Because sound and image are taped and filmed


separately, the clapping sound signals to editors how to sync the two

in post production.

Ivey, a camera assistant on films that include Warner Bros.’

“Cradle 2 the Grave,” said he started making the plexiglass devices

as a hobby. But he said the response he received was so strong that

he began producing and selling them last year as Ivey Slates.

Camera assistant Jay C. Hager bought them for Warner Bros.’

“Terminator 3" and Universal’s “The Italian Job.”


The slates Ivey produced for “The Italian Job” are “a beautiful

thing,” according to Hager.

“We used to have to pull each letter off and individually stick

them on,” he said. “You can give him the artwork to any show [and]

... he can scan out multicolored images.”

Other slates on the market have the names of the show or film

engraved on plexiglass, Ivey said. But those, he added, are not as

durable as his because the engraving weakens the board, and they


feature full color logo reproductions.

“People also buy them as gifts,” Ivey said. “Arnold

[Schwarzenegger] bought 12 himself, to auction for charity.”

The custom film slates are available by contacting Ivey at