I have been asked to supply a countdown and slate for a US commercial.

I haven’t done a clock for such a long time that I no longer have the specs or a reference to refer back to.

Would anyone be willing to share an example with me so that I can quickly knock one up for this export?


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There’s not really a lot of official spec to slates anymore. Most traffic companies are only interested in the content; nothing to do with cueing up a spot, which was what their other purpose traditionally was. None of them want audio countdowns because it messes up their CALM act measuring tools. They don’t want a visual 2 pop and they all have a different spec for Black/slate/black/program/black. Attached is a blank slate that I use as a template. Traditionally it would have a number countdown, but no one seems to care.


Thanks @ytf that is what I thought it was a strange request.

We have a company slate but good to see that you call the key number ISCI.

I still get digital audio files with 48 frame plop and it really frustrates me. Especially when they are actually a 50 frame plop.

I’ll just slate them up as see what they say.

Do you have a certain length? Slate for 8 sec and then two sec black before picture?

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It depends on who you are sending to for traffic. ER wants 5 slate/2 black/program. Syncro wants 2 black/5 slate/ 2 black /program /2 black. Comcast wants picture only, to time. Client needs to get you specs. And they need to be up to date. I’ve gotten specs within the last couple of years that laid out how much bars and tone and how much space to put between each spot on a single video tape. Most spec sheets have a date and anything over a year I view as possibly obsolete. For instance, I don’t think I have delivered 29.97 for at least a year or 2. Only 23.98, including SD. Which is also getting rare.


Super helpful. Thanks @ytf

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ISCI is actually obsolete, but I refuse to drop it. Industry Standard Coding Identification. Most places call it the Ad-ID now.

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in the uk its generally called the “clock number”!

Hi Betsy. The 48fr/50fr is just a two second plop and depends what frame rate you have it sampled at.

Yep and completely pointless when you are delivering a digital file which is otherwise cut to length.

I’m just saying that we don’t need it anymore.