A clapper loader or second assistant camera (2nd AC) is part of a
film crew A film crew is a group of people, hired by a production company, for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. The crew is distinguished from the cast, as the cast are understood to be the actors who appear in front of the camera ...
whose main functions are that of loading the raw
film stock Film stock is an analog medium that is used for recording motion pictures or animation. It is recorded on by a movie camera, developed, edited, and projected onto a screen using a movie projector. It is a strip or sheet of transparent ...
camera magazine A camera magazine is a light-tight chamber or pair of chambers designed to hold film and move motion picture film stock before and after it has been exposed in the camera. In most movie cameras, the magazine is a removable piece of equipment. Many ...
s, operating the
clapperboard A clapperboard (also known by various other names including dumb slate) is a device used in filmmaking and video production to assist in synchronizing of picture and sound, and to designate and mark the various scenes and takes as they ar ...
(slate) at the beginning of each take, marking the actors as necessary, and maintaining all records and paperwork for the camera department. The name "clapper loader" tends to be used in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, while "second assistant camera" tends to be favored in the United States, but the job is essentially the same whichever title is used. The specific responsibilities and division of labor within the department will almost always vary depending on the circumstances of the shoot.


Clapper loaders have a very important role as practically the only people on set who directly and physically oversee the state of the undeveloped negative. The loader – the only person who actually handles the negative between the manufacturer and the laboratory – thus can easily render an entire day's work useless if the film is handled improperly. Additionally, the loader usually controls all records with regard to the film stock – from when it is received until when it is sent out to the lab; if this information is miscommunicated or missing, this too can destroy an expensive shoot. Furthermore, the loader usually has much more to do in addition to these tasks.startintv.com clapper-loader
/ref> Noted director of photography Oliver Stapleton has written on his website:


A full description of the job duties includes the following (although different shoots may often not always require all of these): *generally assisting the rest of the camera crew (
focus puller A focus puller or first assistant camera (1st AC) is a member of a film crew's camera department whose primary responsibility is to maintain the camera lens's optical focus on whatever subject or action is being filmed. "Pulling focus" refers t ...
, camera operator, director of photography) *utilizing the camera trainee, film loader, and/or camera runner if one has been brought onto the production *keeping inventory of all equipment, film, and expendables *requesting film stock as needed *securing the equipment *unloading/loading equipment off/on the camera truck daily if necessary *checking loading materials and spaces to prevent light leaks *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 actors and props (leaving a marker of their positions as the scene is blocked for the purpose of measuring distance from the camera so that its focus can be adjusted throughout the scene) *marking and operating the clapperboard properly *keeping meticulous and accurate camera notes *writing negative report sheets in detail *interfacing with continuity in order to note which takes to print *charging of batteries for camera and accessories *preparation of film to be sent to the lab *keeping records of time, per diems, 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 upDigital Clapperboard


{{film crew Filmmaking occupations Cinematography