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Build Your Own Teleprompter

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the rated-d-for-diy dept.

Hardware Hacking 218

bigt_littleodd writes "Ever been in the situation where a certain expensive piece of equipment would be ideal to do the job at hand, but you would probably never ever need it to use it again, thus making the purchase/rental of equipment prohibitive? Here's a guy that had such a need and built a teleprompter with easy-to-find materials, a camcorder and a laptop."

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218 comments

Where do you get these stories anyway? (-1, Flamebait)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122008)

Here's a guy that had such a need and built a teleprompter with easy-to-find materials, a camcorder and a laptop.

Yeah, it's called PowerPoint [actden.com] . Or what I like to call Impress [openoffice.org].

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (4, Informative)

jm92956n (758515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122044)

I know it's quite uncool to read the article and all. . .

But even with sophisticated presentation software, there's still a basic problem: when you're reading a screen, you're not looking directly at the camera. And that's bad. Which is why this guy's teleprompter is directly in front of the camera, and he can maintain proper eye contact throughout.

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (-1, Flamebait)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122050)

So basically it's just a camera attached to a computer? Like a web cam?

Who would ever have thought of that?

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122074)

You're fucking stupid. RTFA and then get a clue.

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122092)

why is parent modded down? grad-parent *was* being fucking stupid... id 56 and all

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (2, Interesting)

ttldkns (737309) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122054)

when you RTFA you see that he tried to put a laptop just under the camera but it still looked stupid once it was on tape as he was looking down. With a teleprompter there is a sheet of glass placed infront of the camera at an angle, the camera sees through this just fine. There is then a source of light placed underneath and because of total internal reflection the light (or screen of text) gets reflected into your eyes. you can then read the word and look into the camera at the same time.

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (-1, Flamebait)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122067)

Oh so it's not as completely stupid as it sounds.

But this grade nine science project is going to look like bloody hell on film anyway.

I think the idea is that if you can't afford a teleprompter you should not be in the film business.

It's basically a supply and demand thing. If your show is excellent, you should have the funding to have proper teleprompters.

If your show sucks you should use a can of pringles and some tin foil, a string and some saran wrap and an overhead projector.

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122161)

you are a nigger

i think youll need to go and buy a lower uid to promote these "thoughts" of yours to even the abysmally stupid slashdot crowd

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (2, Interesting)

dirty (13560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122196)

Wow, what an insightful comment! Everyone starts out somewhere bucko. What if your show is only ok? By your logic cheap high quality digital camcorders should have no reason to exist. After all, if your show is excellent you can afford a proper film camera.

Sheesh, some people just can't appreciate creativity.

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122076)

Good idea. If you read the article, he uses powerpoint...

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (1)

tentac1e (62936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122078)

Way to not read the article.

A teleprompter projects text in front of a camera lens so the host can keep eye contact with the audience while looking through their script. It's not just a screen that displays text.

I'd bother to explain how it works, but that's already in the article.

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (4, Interesting)

omega_cubed (219519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122086)

The part that actually requires construction is the part where he projects the text on a slab of glass that is placed between him and the video recorder.

The whole point of the teleprompter, rather than a fancy-schmancy projected PowerPoint display, is that the person reading the teleprompter stares directly into the video camera: from his point of view the text is directly in front of the camera. The slab of glass at 45 degree angle means that the text on the prompter will not be reflected into the camera.

Of course, the reflection means that the texts all apper mirrored, compared to the laptop screen. Personally, I don't understand why he needed to export the document in postscript and mirror flip it. Wouldn't it be alright if he just add another mirror?

Well, if the goal is to make things difficult... (2, Interesting)

papaskunk (718169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122276)

There are no mirrors. Adding a mirror to the construction would be a lot of physical work, not to mention: where would you put the mirror? InDesign is AppleScriptible (which, when combined with watched folders, allows the process to be completely automated), but in any case checking one box when you're saving the file, which takes all of about half a second, seems like a lot less work than adding mirrors to a wooden frame to me.

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (1)

wastingtape (576230) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122383)

I was wondering about the converting to PS then flipping as well. A 2nd monitor seems a bit extravegant (if you're on a limited budget that is). At work, my workstation's driver supports image flipping (it's an nvidia version i believe).

I've never actually used it for anything serious. Most of the time it's just to play office jokes by flipping the screen upside down then acting like i'm working. I suppose in this context it would actually benifit.

Re:Where do you get these stories anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122292)

You could just use a web browser and some MARQUEE tags.

WTF? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122009)

tele-what?

Rental prohibitive? (4, Insightful)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122021)

"Ever been in the situation where a certain expensive piece of equipment would be ideal to do the job at hand, but you would probably never ever need it to use it again, thus making the purchase/rental of equipment prohibitive?"

If it's expensive (i.e. specialized), and you only have to use it once, then wouldn't rental be ideal? I would rather rent an expensive piece of equipment once, than roll my own and hope that it works (half as well as the real thing).

I guess it comes down to what your time is worth, but personally, I would want to rent in a situation like this.

RTFA (3, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122064)

teleprompter was the solution, but there are no teleprompters in our area, and renting one from Los Angeles or San Francisco - both hundreds of miles away - was impractical and beyond my budget.

Renting is no good when you have to drive 200 miles round trip to rent+haul it.

Re:Rental prohibitive? (3, Insightful)

nbert (785663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122080)

Yes, I agree that it wasn't a good choice to mention renting as a choice in the article.

But I completely agree that it often makes more sense to build some device out of old parts instead of buying expensive gear. Most of the time such things are expensive because:

*There is just a small market and/or
*it's too hard for Joe Sixpack to build it

It's nowadays possible to build just about anything with cheap components or even stuff which is considered trash. So if you have time and imagination at hand it's a good idea to think of building stuff on your own.
Especially if the money you saved is lower than the income you would have had if you spend the same time at work :)

Re:Rental prohibitive? (2, Insightful)

dubiousmike (558126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122375)

for a video professional, time is money. If he has the time to build a telepromter instead of just buying one that uses a PDA and comes with appropriate PDA software, he can't be that good at producing video.

They are so cheap, his time SHOULD be worth more than the hours to build one.

That said, he was industrious. Though he built one that is prohibitive to shooting on location. That thing is huge.

Re:Rental prohibitive? (1)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122228)

Seems to me it could be much faster to drill the info into one's head by rote, than it would be to build such a device for just one use.

Re:Rental prohibitive? (1)

Coach Mike (49761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122257)

The guy was out in the boondocks and made such a rental impractical. There's ideal, and there's real. Oh, but you'd have to RTFA once to know.

Re:Rental prohibitive? (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122266)

Sometimes it is a matter of opportunity costs. There may be limited funds, and if those funds are spent on project A, say a TelePrompter, then funds will not be available for project B, say buying dinner for clients after the presentation. Since dinner must be bought, the TelePrompter must be homemade. And while your time is worth something, the time spent in building the TelePrompter will be billed as an investment in acquiring clients and building the business.

This is really why windows was used so much in the 90's. The computer were relatively cheap. The software was easy to acquire for little cash. The stability compared to other platforms was irrelevant because software for other platforms was harder to get. Money spent on software was not seen an investment to build the business.

teleporter? (5, Funny)

Leers (159585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122027)

Was I the only one who read that as "build your own teleporter?"

Too much Si Fi....

Re: teleporter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122088)

The alphabet dancing in front of your eyes... time to get some sleep, dude.

Re:teleporter? (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122101)

Hey kids, build your own teleporter this holiday! You'll need:
  • A couple laser pointers
  • Mirrors and beam splitters
  • Tin foil
  • Liquid helium
  • A ruler
  • One large table compensated for zero micron vibrations
We rummaged through the dumpster behind CERN to find our phase splitters, but you can also make your own using cellophane and spraypaint.

Re:teleporter? (1)

domc (11897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122354)

You forgot duct tape...

Dom

Re:teleporter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122367)

omfg domo is that you? didn't you have a QM exam tonight?

Re:teleporter? (1)

CyberVenom (697959) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122109)

Actually that's exactly what I read too. It sounded interesting. Then I realized it was only a teleprompter. That's old news. Been there, built that. ;) I built a teleprompter from an old pentium laptop, a floppy disk, a parellel cable, 3 Roland DP-12 foot pedals, and some assembly code. Works great. My friend Johnny used it when he toured with Axel Rudi Pell in europe early this year. It runs right from the bootloader off a floppy; no OS or hard drive needed. I wrote my own variable-width bitmap font engine, so I can use pretty much any size bitmap font on the screen for easy readability. As far as user-interface, there are two modes: title mode, and lyric mode. The center foot pedal flips between the two modes. When in lyric mode, the lyrics for a particular title are displayed on the screen one page at a time, and the left and right pedals flip through pages. When in title mode, one title is displayed on the screen at a time (along with any notes about the title), and left and right pedals flip through titles.

Re:teleporter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122256)

Is it GPL'd? Where can I download the source?

Re:teleporter? (1)

mandolin (7248) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122179)

Yeah. I thought the next part was leading to some kind of l33t equipment-sharing scheme.

"Ever been in the situation where a certain expensive piece of equipment would be ideal to do the job at hand, but you would probably never ever need it to use it again, thus making the purchase/rental of equipment prohibitive? Here's a guy that had such a need and built a teleporter with easy-to-find materials, a camcorder and a laptop. When he's done with the equipment he releases it into the para-dimensional ether, ready for random nerds in need to retrieve it."

Re:teleporter? (1)

sinner0423 (687266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122271)

"Was I the only one who read that as "build your own teleporter?"

No, No you weren't. I actually got disappointed when I re-read it.

What? (2, Interesting)

Guillermito (187510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122029)

would be ideal to do the job at hand, but you would probably never ever need it to use it again, thus making the purchase/
RENTAL of equipment prohibitive?
I would rather say this is exactly the kind of situation in which renting the equipment makes sense.

Re:What? (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122388)

Its really a bad blurb; more like the lack of units available for rental in the local vicinity (the closest one he could find was a couple hundred miles out).

Generic term plz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122041)

TelePrompTer is a registered trademark, nu? Like Rollerblades, Kleenex and Xerox.

Here's what we do (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122048)

In my neighborhood, this is what Future Shop is for because of their incompetent, low paid employees. They don't pay them enough so the employees couldn't care less about handling returns strictly.

So what we do is, we just buy whatever equipment we need -- need to forge some documents? Buy a color laser printer! Need to film some porn? Buy a high end camcorder! Then just return it, the employees never complain.

That's what they get for mistreating their employees btw.

ProPrompter (1)

Mechnoch (641132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122052)

I know the guy who developed the ProPrompter, and GoPrompter. Much more mobile than the setup in TFA. http://www.proprompter.com/ [proprompter.com]

Re:ProPrompter (1)

jci (521890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122233)

But I am pretty confident that the teleprompter in the article cost much much less than $1695 when counting the laptop as existing equipment.

something about those photos ... (2, Funny)

timothy (36799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122061)

I keep squinting and saying "Huh, is that a photo? Or a rendered graphic? No ... it's a photo! But hmmm ... it looks like a cool rendering."

I'd be curious about how the photos were taken.

timothy

Re:something about those photos ... (1)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122131)

My guess is that, being big into video, he happened to have a large white backdrop to shoot in front of. A lot of shots where you really shouldn't notice the background at all are shot in front of a white (or black, depending) wall / sheet / drape sort of thing.

If you slowly curve it, and are good with the lighting, there are no evident lines (ie, where the wall meets the floor).

He IS a videographer, so this type of stuff probably is part of what he does routinely.

Well, Spank my ass and call me a slashdot whore. (3, Informative)

Spackler (223562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122068)

Bit by Bit: Forget Cue Cards, Make a Teleprompter!
Creative problem solving is a trait many creative professionals share, but perhaps no one possesses that skill more than Brian P. Lawler. See how he made a teleprompter with a laptop, Adobe InDesign, and some scrap wood. Ingenious.

(creativepro.com)
By Brian P. Lawler, creativepro.com contributing editor
Thursday, December 16, 2004

It was Thursday evening and I needed a teleprompter.
I was making a video about panoramic photography, and for the scenes where I speak directly into the camera I looked like a cross-eyed newscaster. While trying to read cue cards on a stand in front of the camera, my eyes were cast downward, and that looked odd.

To overcome this problem, I decided to read from the screen of my PowerBook instead. I figured that I could put the PowerBook display closer to the lens, and thus not appear to be looking down when looking at the camera.

But even with the text on the PowerBook screen, I still looked slightly downward when I wanted to look directly into the lens of the camera. A teleprompter was the solution, but there are no teleprompters in our area, and renting one from Los Angeles or San Francisco - both hundreds of miles away - was impractical and beyond my budget. I decided to build one.

Discipline Makes Successful Video
I am careful when making video productions to enforce a moviemaker's discipline upon myself and my hired crew and helpers. This is a skill learned from experience. When one is making a video, attention to detail, continuity, and story are critical. I find that I can't go back -- ever -- to shoot a fill-in scene; something will have changed, someone won't be available, the light will be different -- something will prevent success. Instead, I work to get it right the first time!

In the back of my sketchbook I keep a cardboard template with four windows cut to the proportion of a television screen. I use this to draw frames for my storyboards, and then I sketch ideas and stories into the frames. My sketchbook thus becomes the foundation of many of my projects. I had been working on the storyboard for this video for several months, and the story and scene ideas covered many pages of the book (see Figure 1).

From Sketchbook to Database
After deciding to use a teleprompter, I wanted to convert the sketches in my book to visual elements of a script database. I scanned the pages of the sketchbook, and then cropped the individual frame drawings into small photos that I stored in a folder. I then built a FileMaker template, and imported all the images into that database. FileMaker is very accommodating in this respect -- it imported my entire folder of numbered images into the database automatically.

Once the sketches were imported, I added descriptions, scene and shot numbers (used to sort the story into chapters), and the narration text. This method allowed me to develop the text that I would read into the camera using the teleprompter. Using FileMaker's sorting functions, I then generated a story that was in logical order with a narration that flows smoothly and which I could read easily. After sorting the script, I exported the script records into text, and then placed the resulting file in Adobe InDesign for my teleprompter needs.

Construction of the teleprompter
Having seen a number of commercial teleprompters over the years in television studios and at trade shows, I understood the concept. A teleprompter is a made of a sheet of glass suspended in front of the camera lens at a 45-degree angle. The glass reflects the image of a TV screen without affecting the light entering the lens. In the most sophisticated units, there is a controller -- and an operator -- to set the pace of the text scrolling on the screen. Mine is more primitive.

My prompter is nothing more than a sheet of window glass supported in a plywood frame in front of the camera at the correct angle (see Figure 3). I probably spent three hours cutting and building. Once it was finished, I set the PowerBook on it, and practiced reading the text as it paged-by. Without the sophistication of the scroll-speed controller, I use a PDF document, and I put a mouse with an extension cord on my knee to click when I want to change pages.

Even with years of experience reading film negatives, handset type and such, my backwards-reading skills are limited. The image on my home-built teleprompter was -- of course -- backward. I tried to find a way to reverse the entire screen, but that was fruitless. I then placed my narration text into an InDesign document, formatted it with a style that would be very legible (white letters on a black background), then printed the file to disk as a .ps file with the image flipped horizontally (in the Output settings of InDesign's Print window). Distilling this file into a PDF made the final document perfect for my reflecting teleprompter (see Figure 4). I was immediately reading with proper attention and eye movement -- directly into the lens!

With my home-built teleprompter, the recording of the narration went smoothly, and now I have the device anytime I need it.

And I bet I'm the only person on my street with his own teleprompter!

Re:Well, Spank my ass and call me a slashdot whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122085)

*spank*
/. whore!

Ummmm,,, cue cards? (-1, Offtopic)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122072)

I know a really cheap solution...

Get some paper and a sharpie. Write down all the stuff you want to say, and have the camera man flip the pages. They're called cue cards, and they used them way back in the day....

I always find it amazing how people don't just go for the simple hack and over-technologize the solution to what should be a simple problem.

Re:Ummmm,,, cue cards? (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122127)

He did try that.

I won't spoil the ending, though. You'll have to RTFA to see why he didn't use cue cards.

--RJ

Re:Ummmm,,, cue cards? (1)

Hungry Student (799493) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122155)

Because cue cards don't solve the problem.

The problem is that he wanted to look into the camera while reading his lines. Precisely the setting the teleprompter was designed for. Ergo, he made a teleprompter, as cue cards wouldn't do what he needed them to.

Jeez, with this many cynics and naysayers around, its amazing anything gets made these days, "why think outside the box, just do a crappy substitute and make do".

WTF! That wasn't the point at all! (4, Insightful)

macz (797860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122212)

I realize that with all the pressure to post first people don't always read the articles, but it is amazing to me that this and several preceding comments are making the same, misinformed statement... Why not tell him to memorize his lines... cause "That's better than a USB thumb drive!"

The point, and he did have one, was that using powerpoint, or perhaps it's analog equivalent, cue cards, were not good enough for him. He was always looking off to the side or down and not right at the camera.

I will 'splain: Unless you can afford a studio with long camera angles, there is a thing called parallax [wikipedia.org] that will make you look like every dumb asshole who tries, and fails to do a home documentary... staring off into space, uncomfortably over the viewer's right shoulder or worse, their crotch.

We have all seen these on public access channels that have small studios or too few lenses to get sufficiently far enough away that a person holding a cue card can make the person on camera look natural without completely obstructing the view of the camera.

I could understand it if someone said "What about a piece of poster board with a hole cut in the middle and the text written around the lens" because that would at least show some understanding of the problem, if not actually hitting on an acceptable solution. (Hint: Unless you have only a single cue card, bad idea.)

Think about it, WHY ARE TELEPROMPTERS SO EXPENSIVE AND USEFUL IN THE FIRST PLACE? It is because, Occam's razor hasn't eliminated them in the places where they are most useful. Yes, Letterman and Conan can get away with cue cards, but that is because they have larger studios, more cameras to cut up the view so that people don't get uncomfortable with a walleyed announcer, and they can move around during spots that depend heavily on cue cards like the short monologue of 5-8, 30 second jokes. Not 60 second news storys where they have to pronounce words like Slobodan Milosevich or Hafith al-Barghuth

Give the guy a little credit, he said he tried other, less complicated analog and digital methods and in true /. fashion, copied the IP of the Teleprompter and released it open source. Compare his solution, some 2x4's and a piece of glass with a commercial equivalent [teleprompters.com]

Re:WTF! That wasn't the point at all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122343)

Amen!

This guys my professor. Knowing him, this didn't take long at all.

Re:Ummmm,,, cue cards? (1)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122222)

just have someone to flip those cue cards in place of the powerbook. Still one would be able to look at the lens. Much cheaper. Altho, if you already have that powerbook...

nice idea.

Free, easy, powerful way (0, Offtopic)

tomocoo (699236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122090)

Just open a text file in quicktime... It shows each line sequentially.

Bush's Back Pack - Nifty Newfangled Teleprompter (4, Funny)

QTeela (835606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122100)

Maybe the little rectangular object that protruded from President Bush's backside during the debates was really a wireless teleprompter that transmitted wirelessly to an implant in the visual cortex of his brain. Better to rent than buy, though, unless it is upgradable.

Re:Bush's Back Pack - Nifty Newfangled Teleprompte (1)

mrspecialhead (211339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122150)

Or maybe it was a buttplug?

Sorry, just be careful with the use of "backside" 'round these parts...

X + xrandr can mirror text (2, Interesting)

po8 (187055) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122105)

The image on my home-built teleprompter was -- of course -- backward. I tried to find a way to reverse the entire screen, but that was fruitless.

Note that with a modern version of the X server supporting Keith Packard's "Resize and Rotate" extension and utility, this could be easy. Just say "xrandr -x" to mirror the display left-to-right. (Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to work for all servers supporting the extension yet.)

Prompter People (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122120)

There's a company called Prompter People http://www.prompterpeople.com/ [prompterpeople.com]that offers a solid professional teleprompting solution. They offer systems that can easily be moved from camera to camera, and it's a much better value than anything else out there (800 bucks for a professional quality setup). They have a website with a really informative video in both quicktime and windows media that basically says the same thing as the article without any of the reading. It's worth a watch if you want to learn more about how these work.

Re:Prompter People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122387)

Yeah, go watch a video, because reading that short article is really, really difficult.

better solution??? (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122168)

It sounds like this was a one time thing, so why not just memorize it or at least the main points? I taught public speaking for a year and saw dozens of students give 5-10 minute speeches with minimal notes. Seems like an easier solution to me.

Re:better solution??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122200)

Another good tip is to have a nip of alcohol before you get in front of the audience. I'm not joking here. Psychologists have found that alcohol suppresses self consciousness / self awareness, calming you down in social situations and letting you focus more on the task at hand - your speech. Tackling public speeches and getting good at them is quite the exhilirating experience, and I suggest giving it a go.

Bunch of pussies (2, Funny)

scenestar (828656) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122181)

there another cheap DIY method, its called: MEMORISING your fucking speech

Re:Bunch of pussies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122337)

Now that was Kinda funny.. Really, can you remember 60 to a 100 pages of tech dialog?

No one more creative? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122187)

"Creative problem solving is a trait many creative professionals share, but perhaps no one possesses that skill more than Brian P. Lawler. See how he made a teleprompter with a laptop, Adobe InDesign, and some scrap wood. Ingenious."

Without a doubt, Brian P. Lawler's ability to use a laptop and a sheet of glass proves that he is the greatest creative problem solver in the world. Move over, Da Vinci. Fuck you, Edison. There's a new creative problem solver in town, and they call him Lawler.

Have a nice night, nerds! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122195)

I'm off to get laid.

Re:Have a nice night, nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122380)

I'm off to get laid.
heh, no you're not. you wish you were, but instead you're just going to go play some counterstrike.

He should've used a fresnel lens... (1)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122198)

If I'm not mistaken, if he could have used a fresnel lens and a backlight, he might have been able to get the magnification and the "reverse" image that he was seeking.

Re:He should've used a fresnel lens... (1)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122213)

Just make sure you put the lense on right. Otherwise, the person reading the prompt may lose his or her eyes and other facial parts.

Re:He should've used a fresnel lens... (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122230)

And if done in full day-time sun, gives a very cool special effect- flaming narriator!

Re:He should've used a fresnel lens... (1)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122305)

The article points out that a narrower image was desirable, in order to prevent conspicuous "reading" eye movements.

MAC USERS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122223)

Just another example of the creativity of MAC users.

Re:MAC USERS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122280)

Yeah, fucking idiot wasted hours to make this when he could have spent a few seconds memorizing his lines. Unless, that is, he is a complete moron.

Re:MAC USERS/pc loser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122369)

Can you really remember 60 to 100 pages of tech Dialog? And can all the people you hire do this...I bet not.

Go out and shoot some video and see how well you do. I will bet you real money, you will want to build on of these or at least kill a few actors :)

Memorization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122272)

For the love of God, are people so poor at memorizing a few lines that they would rather spend hours developing a temporary teleprompter!?

The author is so worried about how his eyes look while reading on camera, well, guess what, I bet he still looks like he is reading with his teleprompter.

My advice: memorize a few lines and recite them directly into the camera. This guy claims to be a movie director/producer/etc. and if his movies are worth a damn, he won't have a scene of himself talking directly into the camera continuously for more than 15-30 seconds. Can he not memorize that amount of material at a time?

Commodore 64 (4, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122278)

Most of the small studios I have worked in used the venerable Commodore 64 as a teleprompter (to this day, many are still in use).

Using teleprompter software that was developed for the system, the C=64 had the advantage to being able to output to any NTSC screen, making it a cheap and reliable method of putting text on the screen.

You simply typed in your script, and ran the software, which would display the text one line at a time and you could go fowards, backwards, etc. The monitor was then bounced into the glass in front of the camera, so the person speaking could look directly into the camera and see the text reflected.

Pretty simple and very very reliable.

I had the same problem! (0, Offtopic)

Syre (234917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122284)

I had the same problem once, but I came up with another solution.

It's called "memorize the cue cards".

I bet I did that in a lot less time than he took to build a teleprompter.

Re:I had the same problem! (1)

drawfour (791912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122374)

After some number of presentations, the total amount of time needed to memorize for all presentations will be greater than the amount of time it took to build the teleprompter. Assuming, of course, that the teleprompter is used repeatedly and repairing any breaks do not require a large amount of time. Regardless, if you only need the teleprompter a few times, it's probably not worth your time. If you need it more often than that, it's probably cheaper time-wise to build one yourself. If you need it much more than that, you're probably better of buying one that's already made, especially since there will likely be some service plan or warrantee.

This guy's my professor... (3, Interesting)

papaskunk (718169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11122316)

I know this is off-topic, but you'll thank me...

This guy is one of my professors. This teleprompter is for a presentation on panoramic photos, of which he is an amazing photographer. He's actually creating a coffee-table book from these panoramics [thelawlers.com], and some are for sale through PayPal.

Worth at least a look, especially the ones of the Brooklyn Bridge. He'll also sell you huge prints if you email him.

Videocue ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11122376)

Though it doesn't involve powertools, we're using Videocue [varasoftware.com] to make videos at our school.
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