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time looking directly into the lens of the
camera. Now, there was no looking off
slightly to the side. No more faux fi rst
person. This was the true fi rst person.”
Today there are two variants, a Passive
system which uses refl ections by way
of a customised prompting hood and
refl ector and an Active system which
takes a video feed from a second
camera feeding the prompter display.
I wished I had known about this before
as it would have been the prefect
prompting tool for the in house video
productions we used to produce for
our channel and customers at Sony.
Our presenters tended to be from
our marketing team and whilst
very knowledgeable on the kit and
clients were not necessarily all great
presenters and even when reading
prompt some could be rather stilted.
The Interrotron takes these limitations
away so a Presenter can do a piece
to camera through the lens but as if it
was a two shot interview and are not
intimated by looking just at the lens
having a human face to react with!
What I am fi nding is that this little
known technique when understood
adds real value at very effective costs.
It moves prompting from just “reading
words” to an interview style approach
and builds confi dence to camera while
maintaining the all-important eye line -
a real production advantage!
The 32” Picture Prompter. This may be a one off but I do think helps
demonstrate how Directors and DoP’s are now using Teleprompters for
applications other than words. The call came in from ITV Productions who
wanted a particular look and feel for their World Cup Campaign Trailer.
The idea was they would have a number of big close ups of supporters
watching a TV game and wanted the refl ection of the TV they were watching
refl ected in skin tone and eyes. We all supposed that this would be done in
post-production but it worked out that using a prompting screen with a 32”
monitor and shooting the reactions “through” the TV would give them, within the
budget, the look and feel that they wanted.
The rig they used is shown above and do check out the results
on You Tube that again demonstrates how prompting devices are
extending from just script support!
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvkYZfL1IBI) Conclusions – At the start of this article I asked the question is this a
new age for Teleprompting?
Maybe that is a claim too far but what I hope I have demonstrated is that
Teleprompting is providing more production value than ever before and that this
can be word and image prompting.
What next? We think the next big thing in prompting will be the adoption of
IP technologies that allow operator and talent to be in different locations. The
technology is pretty much ready to rock and roll but there are still concerns in
production as to how this will work given the fundamental relationship between
operator and talent and how any delay or latency can destroy this.
If any of this pushed your buttons do give as a call at Portaprompt to see how
Prompting could make a signifi cant difference to your next production.
Jon joined Portaprompt, a boutique prompting company based in High
Wycombe UK, as the Sales and Marketing Manager in January 2013.
Prior to this he had worked for over 30 years with Sony Professional
Solutions Europe’s in a variety of sales, marketing and senior
management roles initially in the UK and since 1999 across Europe.
He also during the 80’s spent several years in the UK Broadcast Dealership in
London Apparently according to a Linked in endorsement “What Jon doesn’t know about
broadcast vendor strategic, product and trade marketing is probably not worth
exploring” 60 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 92 AUGUST 2014