Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Pages and Files
Add "All Pages"
A clapper loader, (also known as the second assistant camera) is part of a film crew, whose main jobs are the loading of the raw film stock into the camera magazines, operating the clapperboard at the beginning of each take and maintaining all records and paperwork for the camera department.
A basic description of the job duties includes the following:
generally assisting the rest of the camera crew
keeping inventory of all equipment, film, and expendables
requesting film stock as needed
securing the equipment
cleaning and keeping clean the magazines and the loading environment
organizing and cleaning the equipment space
maintaining and cleaning the equipment
loading and unloading of film stock from and to the magazines
labelling of equipment, boxes, magazines, and storage spaces
marking and operating the clapperboard properly
keeping accurate camera notes
charging of batteries for camera and accessories
preparation of film to be sent to the lab
keeping records of time and expenses for the entire camera crew
liaising regularly with production, rental houses, editing, laboratories, and unions
recordkeeping of all camera-related paperwork, including negative reports, daily stock reports, film inventory reports, lab orders, rental contracts, and expendable orders
ensuring that all instructions from the director of photography are passed along properly to labs and post houses
relaying reports from the lab about the rushes to the director of photography
It is expected that a decent assistant will be able to anticipate a good part of those demands before they become demands.
The clapper loader has a very high responsibility level on any given set, because they are the only person on set who directly and physically oversees the state of the undeveloped film. The loader is the only person who actually handles the raw film between the manufacturer and the laboratory, and can easily make an entire day's work useless if the film is handled improperly. The loader is usually in charge of keeping all records with regard to the film stock from when it is received until when it is sent out to the lab.
Essential knowledge and skills:
Clapper loaders must have a vast knowledge of all camera equipment, film stocks and processing techniques. They also need a much understanding of how to manage and maintain all camera department paperwork and administration.
Key Skills include:
excellent organisational skills;
agility and speed;
effective communication skills;
precise attention to detail;
ability to collaborate and to work as part of a team;
diplomacy and sensitivity when working with artists and crew;
physical stamina and strength;
knowledge of the requirements of the relevant Health and safety legislation and procedures;
Training and qualifications:
Although the most important training for clapper loaders is hands-on experience. Training in stills photography provides a good all round understanding of composition and light.
There are many short courses that are available in the UK and the USA but here is a link to a short course in Victoria:
And here are some courses in Erope:
National Film and Television School
**British Society of Cinematographers**
, the trade union represents camera personnel;
The Guild of British Camera Technicians
aims to further the professional interests of technicians working with motion picture cameras
Guild of British Camera Technicians website
**The Moving Image Society (BKSTS)**
, organises events, courses, and demonstrations of new equipment, and publishes
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"