Prince – Original “Purple Rain” Film Used Clapperboard (from Cinematographer’s collection)

The original Clapperboard used during the filming of Prince’s 1984 classic Purple Rain.  This was given by the late Purple Rain cinematographer Don Thorin to a close friend, from whom we obtained it. Thorin was a well known director of photography who also shot An Officer and a Gentleman, Against All Odds, Scent of a Woman and Shaft.

Wikipedia explains a clapperboard is ‘a device used in filmmaking and video production to assist in the synchronizing of picture and sound, and to designate and mark particular scenes and takes recorded during a production. The sharp “clap” noise that the clapperboard makes can be identified easily on the audio track, and the shutting of the clapstick can be identified easily on the separate visual track. The two tracks can then be precisely synchronised by matching the sound and movement. Other names for the clapperboard include clapper, clapboard, slate, slate board, slapperboard, sync slate, time slate, sticks, board, and sound marker.’

A clapperboard would have been used during the filming of every shot of Purple Rain, making this one of the most historic artifacts from Prince’s breakthrough film.  We know of no other Purple Rain clapperboard to have surfaced, if indeed there were any others.  11″ x 9 1/4″, in excellent condition.  An extraordinary Prince collectible, with Recordmecca’s lifetime guarantee of authenticity, and a second letter of authenticity explaining the provenance and chain of ownership.

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