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What should be on my Logo?

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Philip Wietrzynski
What should be on my Logo?
on Apr 5, 2015 at 12:20:51 am

Hey its me PhilingFilms, and I'm wondering what should be in my Film Logo?
Thats pretty much it that I want to talk about.

Philip Wietrzynski

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Mark Suszko
Re: What should be on my Logo?
on Apr 6, 2015 at 1:58:39 pm

Do you mean your company logo? Or do you mean the slate that goes at the front of a production like a commercial?

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Philip Wietrzynski
Re: What should be on my Logo?
on Apr 11, 2015 at 2:52:25 am

like a commerical

Philip Wietrzynski

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Mark Suszko
Re: What should be on my Logo? You mean: what info goes on my slate/countdown.
on Apr 11, 2015 at 5:40:28 am

OK, then you're not really making a logo, though your company logo can be on the slate. Separate issue.

I make my slates black, with white text at 100 IRE levels. Kill dates or other special info may be the same font in red.

Requirements for a slate vary, but in a general sense, the key info will include the name of the spot, info about the version number of the spot, an identifying code which is sometimes referred to as an ISCI code, and date information that describes the period the spot will play, like a "freshness date". This "Kill date" is the last day the spot should be airing, like, if the spot is for a Fourth of July sale, it probably has a kill date of July 5th. Kill dates are there as a last warning to the tape operator, Producer, director, or person programming the playback, about when a spot should no longer air.

There's a little bit more: you want info on the slate about the type of audio, like is it stereo, mono, surround, how many tracks, etc. This makes life easier for the engineers.

You want the name of the producer and/or editor, and contact info should some issue come up that could affect playability and they need to reach you, the guy responsible, right away, without going thru lot of layers.

Then I add the name of my organization near the bottom, to let everyone know who made this.

Finally, slates used to traditionally be an insider form of advertising and promotion for the production company: since they are not seen by broadcast audiences but only the internal staff of clients, ad agencies, and production facilities, a really artistic and cool-looking slate and countdown used to be a "calling card" for the editors, so they pulled out all the stops to show off things they could do, in the slate. By the 80's and early 90's, some slate/countdowns were much more advanced and glitzy than the actual spots they announced. It got a little bit ridiculous.

Today, that's almost gone, because spots don't often play from reels or cassettes of tape anymore, and thus don't need much ostentation for slate and countdown: it's nearly all file-based now, and some broadcast or distribution places will flat out tell you: "don't" put bars, tone, a slate or count-down on the spot AT ALL: just one frame of black at the front, and three seconds or so of black at the end. No bars, no tone, no counts, no 2-pop, no slate, even. That's "progress".

It's sad about losing the bars and tone, because today, more than ever, nobody is paying enough attention to mastering proper levels of audio or image, and those alignment features kept people honest, when they actually corresponded to the levels of the actual programming. With the coming of the desktop video revolution in the 90's and 2000's, the relationship of bars and tone to the actual programming started to split apart, as less-professional practitioners, not understanding how alignment standards work, would just throw down an un-related and non-calibrated JPEG and tone from a file, that had nothing in common with the real spots.

So, here's a sample of a modern slate's makeup, the way I personally do them, this is just one of many possible styles, adapt as you want:

White helvetica text over black. The text is all flush-left, making aspace to the far screen right where I put my countdown numbers.

Name: Worrell The Worm's Worm Garden PSA (English)
ISCI code: ########
Run time: 30 sec.
Audio: 2-track stereo, -12VU
SAP Audio: none
Captioning info here: none
Date Edited: 4-1-15
Kill Date: 5-1-15
Editor: Phillip W
Producer: PW Prods: 123-555-1212
Company logo

Where I still make slates, I run them with 30 seconds of color bars first, comprising 15 seconds of tone on the right, channel followed by 15 on the left, then audio tone on both channels for 20 seconds of slate, then beeps only, while a 15-second countdown plays in a corner of the slate, because I like to give the engineer/tape op/director the ability to positively ID the programming right up to the time of the "2-pop" (the 15-frame"bloop" of tone, 1.5 seconds before it goes to black for 15 frames, half-way thru showing the 15 frames of the number "2" of the countdown), with the next frame being your fade-up to first actual video.) Seeing only a countdown on a monitor screen in a busy control room, you may forget or get confused as to which item it is that you're about to be playing to air, so keeping the slate up during the countdown helps.

Sorry for the long reply, but giving all the details one time saves a lot of follow-up Q&A, is my theory.

But if Socratic Dialog is your thing, hey, follow your bliss.

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