By Laura Sturza
Kevin Ivey makes a clean slate. His company Ivey Slates sells camera slates made from Plexiglas with the film’s logo digitally transferred to the glass. He says his slates are more durable than slates with engraved logos, and have been used on such films as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Van Helsing and Starsky and Hutch. They’ve also been bought by actors and crew because they are considered “beautiful,” he adds.
“Whenever you ordered slates, they were always engraved,” says Ivey, a camera assistant whose credits include Spider Man 2 and Team America. “Engraving is nice but you’re limited.” Using digital technology, Ivey overcame those limitations and created products featuring full color logos that users say are as durable as they are desirable.
Second assistant cameraman David Seekins used the slates on films like Terminator 3, The Italian Job, Paparazzi and Fat Albert. “The way that Kevin constructs them, they don’t really show any visible wear and tear,” he says. “So from the first day to the last, what’s being seen is always clean and pristine.”
The slates also look good to editors, he adds. “Even in dailies, it’s nice when [the writing is] big and pronounced and everything is legible.” And when filming wraps, the slates are a hot commodity. “The whole point of having a custom slate for the show is that it’s unique to that movie,” says Seekins. “When anyone on the crew sees one, they immediately want to buy one.” The slates range in price from $75 without a logo to $120 with custom full-color logos.
By Laura Sturza