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Duties of a Loader

Jacob Mitchell

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Hey everyone,


Despite all the benefits of growing up in the digital age, I hate that I missed out on the era of film. What are a clapper/loaders particular duties on a set? What does one do for labeling spent reels? How are spent reels stored? Are reels loaded with film ahead of time? What are the dutyseparations between them and the ACs?

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What do you mean by "spent reels"?


Film usually comes on plastic cores except for the small daylight metal spools that some cameras use. Exposed rolls are put back into a black plastic bag and then a metal can in the darkroom or changing bag, then taped up and labeled -- same goes for unexposed short ends of rolls.


Clapping the slate usually falls under the job of the 2nd AC in the U.S. and on a small production, that 2nd AC is also the loader, but on most shows, there is a separate loader position on the camera crew. 2nd AC is usually filling out the camera reports on the back of the slate, circling takes, putting notes on the report, and the loader handles inventory duties.

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Jacob, reading the thread again, these thoughts may help... The common language used is a productof history. Limiting though this may be, it must be respected.


There are no reels...just rolls. They are not spent, they are exposed, and as such they contain the precious, as yet unexpressed output of the whole production.

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Another useful resource is "The Camera Assistant's Manual" by David Elkins (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Camera-Assistants-Manual-David-Elkins/dp/0240818687).

​I have not read the most recent version which apparently incorporates more information relating to digital production, however the description of the 1st and 2nd AC's role for film productions was very informative and useful. I would thoroughly recommend it.

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