English: An on a studio camera

English: An on a studio camera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have ever worked with an actor that couldn’t remember their lines, (*cough* Most of them *cough*). Then, you probably thought about building a DIY teleprompter. You know, those things that politicians need to string two sentences together.

Seriously, if you’re doing a lot of corporate, training, commercial work, you need one of these setups. Cue cards cause the actor to have to constantly look shifty-eyed, while they glance back and forth. They really can’t concentrate on the acting, when they are trying to not to miss any of the words.

With a teleprompter, the actor never has to look away from the camera! They can focus on their performance, and easily read their lines, without looking like they are reading. From what I’ve seen, the actor should be at least 10 feet away, so the audience doesn’t notice their eyes reading the text on the screen.

Unfortunately, teleprompters are pretty expensive to buy, but if you don’t want to build one, I found a deal on a decent low-cost iPad Teleprompter, here.  iPad / Android based Teleprompter R810-4 with Beam Splitter Glass

Wikipedia says this about telepromters:

teleprompter, or autocue, is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter is similar to using cue cards. The screen is in front of, and usually below, the lens of aprofessional video camera, and the words on the screen are reflected to the eyes of the presenter using a sheet of clear glass or a specially prepared beam splitter. Light from the performer passes through the front side of the glass into the lens, while a shroud surrounding the lens and the back side of the glass prevents unwanted light from entering the lens.

Because the speaker does not need to look down to consult written notes, he appears to have memorized the speech or to be speaking spontaneously, looking directly into the camera lens. Cue cards, on the other hand, are always placed away from the lens axis, making the speaker look at a point beside the camera, which leaves an impression of distraction.

Check out this DIY Teleprompter project below:

Griffins DIY Teleprompter project

Griffin found better glass for his project

Super easy teleprompter project