How To Become a Clapper Loader

What is a Clapper Loader?
Clapper Loaders are responsible for loading raw film stock into camera magazines, operating the clapperboard and the upkeep and maintenance of all records/paperwork within the Camera Department.

Clapper Loader or Second Assistant Cameraperson?
The terms Clapper Loader and Second Assistant Cameraperson are often used interchangeably, sometimes they can even be used to refer to two different jobs roles. In the UK, the jobs are one and the same. The Clapper Loader is responsible overall for assisting the focus puller and the camera magazines. Further, they are also assisted from time-to-time by the Third Assistant Cameraperson, who will aid the changing of batteries and boards when the Clapper Loader is performing other tasks.

Overseeing The Negative
The Clapper Loader has one of the most important roles in the production process. In this role, you would be responsible for handling the film before it is passed to the laboratory. Practice is key in this role, as untrained hands can easily lead to the loss of a day of filming. There are many elements to take into account; for instance, the right type of film must be used, this film must then also be placed in the right can, with the correct labelling. A mistake in any part of this process can lead to high costs for the production.

Other Duties
While the duties of this role will vary depending on the production, there are some tasks that are general to the role. The Clapper Loader will work with the rest of the Camera Department, assist the Focus Puller, Camera Operator and Director of Photography. Further, you may be expected to keep an inventory of equipment, order film stock, clean magazines and secure equipment.

How To Use a Clapper Board
Using a Clapper Board is one of the duties of the Clapper Loader. This is a vital tool, used for syncing sound to footage when the two are recorded separately. Further, it helps with the overall editing of the production. Find out more about how to use the Clapper Board in this video:

Key Skills

  • Highly organised
  • Able to work well within a team
  • Takes initiative
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Willing to work unsocial hours
  • Know how to handle film
  • Good knowledge of relevant¬†equipment

How To Become a Clapper Loader
Generally, Clapper Loaders will start out as Camera Trainees and work their way up. It is also essential to get experience of loading and unloading film, so it can be beneficial to work in a camera rental house which will allow you to get to know the equipment.

Become a Clapper Loader Today
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the latest Clapper Loader vacancies on our jobs board? You can view our latest vacancies here.