To Teleprompt or not to teleprompt

Posted March 19, 2021 in
Video Video
Hey There Videographers!

Our internal team is begging for us to invest in a teleprompter to help them with on-camera performance. What are your thoughts on this? 

If it's recommended, are there any good recommendations on brands or bests for use with a MarkIV (if the camera matters?) 

Thanks, Happy Friday!
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Connor DeLaney
Alex Winter what's the one we use for filming?  David Roberge FYI, we actually have an app on an iPad that then reflects on the camera, pretty cool stuff that I've used a bit. 

I think if it helps your team feel more comfortable and gets them in front of the camera quicker, it's a good move. It also will depend on the video. If it's an employee bio video for example, I wouldn't recommend using it because it doesn't feel natural. If it's more educational content, it certainly can help limit editing (especially if you are newer to that game). The key, however, is making sure the team still projects energy and a natural flow, not robotic, yanno? 
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Peter Culotta
It's more common to use with webinar / paid programming.  But as a production manager or director you can always ask the subject to speak the script with their own words. At least to some degree.
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Peter Culotta
The scriptQ software is great and I have used for years. It's super easy to use and the developers are always making updates.
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Alex Winter
@David Roberge this is a great question! 

It really comes down to what you're trying to accomplish on camera and the story you're trying to depict. If you're filming something like a Bio Video, I would recommend not using a teleprompter. Those styles of video need to be genuine, candid, and conversational. 

However, if you're filming very technical scripts that are dense about a product, for instance, I think it's okay to use a Teleprompter. It will help your talent not forget crucial details. It also allows for your team to pre-approve a script that you know will be ready for publishing once complete. (Versus having to reshoot something later on because it wasn't right.)

Teleprompters need practice though. Make sure your talent writes their scripts the exact same way they speak. Not how they write blogs or emails. That's crucial. Also, have them practice using the Teleprompter before filming. They need to get comfortable and familiar with the script so it doesn't feel like it's being read. Viewers can tell when people are reading so it's really important to get the pacing and tone correct.

Here's a link: https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Teleprompter-Smartphone-Production-P-TP300/dp/B01AG9IFWO

That's the prompter we use. It's easy to set up. Works with a lot of different cameras including DSLRs. The only thing is you will need a tablet to go with it. (Sold separately.) Ipad or really any tablet works. If you're trying to save money, the Android tablets are great and super affordable. 

With the tablet - there are teleprompter apps in the app store you can download. (The paid versions are usually much better and have more features that you will need.) I believe we use Teleprompter Pro. It was like $4.99 in the app store. 
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David Roberge
Thanks a ton for the feedback  Alex Winter Connor DeLaney , and  Peter Culotta  ! Appreciate your advice:)
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