Speaking without teleprompters?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Existential Angst, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Awl --

    Ever watch Dr. Dan Amen on PBS, give his shpiel on the brain?

    It's a flawless delivery, yet I'm tempted to bet part of the farm that he
    does not use cue cards or a teleprompter.
    Yet again, it's hard to imagine, good brain or not, that he has *memorized*
    that whole thing.
    And I can't imagine that this material is extemporized!

    I wouldn't have expected such a flawless delivery/performance from an
    academic/professional, not in the "performing business".

    Ditto Dr. Wayne Dwyer, also on PBS -- altho for the life of me, I cain't
    figger out why PBS tolerates him....
    And Ed Slott, also on PBS, the money/retirement guy. And a cupla others.

    I'm just curious as to how this is generally done, as their deliveries just
    seem ultra-natural, esp. from whom I assume are non-professional performers,
    in the traditional sense..

    If it IS memory, I'm going to require medical intervention.
    If it is in fact multiple teleprompters or some other wizardry, I hope I can
    afford it!

    Or do they semi-memorize each "block" of material, and just have "topical
    cue/reminders" flashed in front of them?
    I can sort of see this, and might be able to half-manage this myself, but
    still, their "performances" seem even too flawless for this. Mebbe this is
    a "skill" that is in fact *required* to be able to do what they do?
    Iow, if you don't have this particular skill, you don't get to stump for
    PBS?

    And still, this would seem to require A LOT of practice, rehearsal, to make
    it as good as it appears.
    And it doesn't seem like there is excessive editing, altho I guess this
    would be hard to assess by the non-professional, if done well enough.
     
    Existential Angst, Sep 18, 2010
    #1
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  2. Existential Angst

    MG Guest

    Is it possible that he is using an over-the-lens prompter?
     
    MG, Sep 19, 2010
    #2
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  3. Existential Angst

    ushere Guest

    i guarantee it's an over the lens prompter....
     
    ushere, Sep 19, 2010
    #3
  4. Why, on the teleprompter part? These are composed of semi-silvered
    mirrors through which the camera shoots and a reflection of an up-turned
    teleprompter TV screen below the front of the lens superimposes a text
    image visible to the reader (but not the viewier of the program). This
    permits the reader to look directly into the camera as the written material
    appears to pass in front of it. With a good actor (like most news "reporters"
    on TV are...;-) in front of the camera, the result appears both "live" and
    polished. Most readers also have tiny earphones so that live editors can
    help with mistakes or changes in the teleprompter copy. So much for
    "live"...;-)
    --DR
     
    David Ruether, Sep 19, 2010
    #4
  5. You know, I didn't think of the teleprompter following the camera around....

    OK, I see, such as this:
    http://www.proflixsales.com/product...lens-portable-teleprompter-kit-w-v8000-w.html

    I was reading "over the lens" as the camera shooting *through* the
    teleprompter screen, not "over" as ABOVE!!!
    Now it's clear. $6-700 for these. Times the number of cameras you
    have..... :(

    OH, oh, here is THRU the lens!! With a little historical I love Lucy
    tidbit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleprompter
    No doubt these are way over $700....

    Cue cards for me, it looks like.
    Or just having notes in front of the camera. It may look dorky in some
    regards, but at least notes are "real", and I can extemporize from them.

    Still and all, the delivery of these guys is super-excellent, there's no
    hint of teleprompter-itis. That alone must take considerable practice,
    coaching, no?
     
    Existential Angst, Sep 19, 2010
    #5
  6. Existential Angst

    Don Stauffer Guest

    As someone who had to give a lot of presentations, and never had a
    teleprompter I am not surprised.

    Giving a presentation to a live audience is easier than to just a camera.

    It is a combination of memory and knowing your subject very well so you
    can just "talk about it". The more you do it the easier it becomes.
    Take a course from Toastmasters. Not everyone gets that successful but
    the art of giving presentations CAN be taught.
     
    Don Stauffer, Sep 19, 2010
    #6
  7. Existential Angst

    Larry in AZ Guest

    Waiving the right to remain silent, ushere
    I believe you guys mean through-the-lens prompter.
     
    Larry in AZ, Sep 19, 2010
    #7
  8. It should be a "through the teleprompter" lens. :) :)
    One of the links I provided showed an above-the-lens teleprompter.
    --
    EA

     
    Existential Angst, Sep 19, 2010
    #8
  9. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    If I recall, back before the video teleprompter, they used paper rolls with
    the text. I have a very vague recollection that the scroll was on top when
    used with a mirror. I'm a little more certain that there were paper scroll
    type teleprompters mounted above (over) the lens back before color.

    It is amazing how much off axis the eyes of the on camera talent looks when
    they look above, below, or to either side of the lens just a little to read.

    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 20, 2010
    #9
  10. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    If I recall, back before the video teleprompter, they used paper rolls with
    the text. I have a very vague recollection that the scroll was on top when
    used with a mirror. I'm a little more certain that there were paper scroll
    type teleprompters mounted above (over) the lens back before color.

    It is amazing how much off axis the eyes of the on camera talent looks when
    they look above, below, or to either side of the lens just a little to read.

    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 20, 2010
    #10
  11. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    If I recall, back before the video teleprompter, they used paper rolls with
    the text. I have a very vague recollection that the scroll was on top when
    used with a mirror. I'm a little more certain that there were paper scroll
    type teleprompters mounted above (over) the lens back before color.

    It is amazing how much off axis the eyes of the on camera talent looks when
    they look above, below, or to either side of the lens just a little to read.

    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 20, 2010
    #11
  12. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    If I recall, back before the video teleprompter, they used paper rolls with
    the text. I have a very vague recollection that the scroll was on top when
    used with a mirror. I'm a little more certain that there were paper scroll
    type teleprompters mounted above (over) the lens back before color.

    It is amazing how much off axis the eyes of the on camera talent looks when
    they look above, below, or to either side of the lens just a little to read.

    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 20, 2010
    #12
  13. Existential Angst

    ushere Guest

    i find politicians ALWAYS look off axis and shifty on tv, prompter or
    not.....
     
    ushere, Sep 20, 2010
    #13
  14. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    |
    | | >
    | > Is it possible that he is using an over-the-lens prompter?
    | If I recall, back before the video teleprompter, they used paper rolls
    with
    | the text. I have a very vague recollection that the scroll was on top when
    | used with a mirror. I'm a little more certain that there were paper scroll
    | type teleprompters mounted above (over) the lens back before color.
    |
    | It is amazing how much off axis the eyes of the on camera talent looks
    when
    | they look above, below, or to either side of the lens just a little to
    read.
    |
    | David

    Whether the presenter looks off camera or not depends on how far away the
    camera is. Camera far away and zoomed in it is hard to tell, but the
    prompter or cue card has to have much bigger type.

    Steve King
     
    Steve King, Sep 20, 2010
    #14
  15. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    True enough. The width of the shot makes a difference too. If the shot is
    wider, you won't be as aware as to where the talent is looking.

    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 20, 2010
    #15
  16. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    True enough. The width of the shot makes a difference too. If the shot is
    wider, you won't be as aware as to where the talent is looking.

    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 20, 2010
    #16
  17. Existential Angst

    David Harper Guest

    Back when I was doing a lot of on-air TV work in the 1970s the teleprompters
    held a roll of wide, yellowish paper. It was above the lens. The
    typewrite-like machines they used to print the copy on these rolls were
    huge! Each letter was as big as my thumb.



    I read from the teleprompter (commercials mostly) and just chatted with the
    camera during my studio work. What worked best for me (at least it looked
    okay on playback) was to always look at the teleprompter (never the camera
    lens), even when ad-libbing. This reduced that wandering eye problem.



    - David Harper
     
    David Harper, Sep 20, 2010
    #17
  18. Existential Angst

    MD34 Guest

    I've worked with several actors that used an inside the ear receiver and an
    induction loop around the neck. They had a microrecorder in their pocket or in
    their hand if off camera. If there was a script change they could record that in
    just a few seconds. Very efficient and fast. Plus, it seemed to make them sound
    more natural since they weren't reading.
     
    MD34, Sep 21, 2010
    #18
  19. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    | I've worked with several actors that used an inside the ear receiver and
    an
    | induction loop around the neck. They had a microrecorder in their pocket
    or in
    | their hand if off camera. If there was a script change they could record
    that in
    | just a few seconds. Very efficient and fast. Plus, it seemed to make them
    sound
    | more natural since they weren't reading.

    I started using the device in the early 80's. The so-called ear prompter
    literally changed the way industrial film and corporate video was done in
    Chicago. On location shoots, where a teleprompter was impractical,
    producers went from a 10 to 12 page per day expectation to 40, 50 and even
    more pages, which had a dramatic effect on budgets. The ear prompter made
    minutes-long takes routine; it allowed an actor to have natural eye contact
    rather than being glued to a prompter in an unnatural stare; it allowed
    actors to present arcane jargon and technical language as if they were
    experts. (If you've ever tried to memorize a script on how to program in
    FORTRAN you'll know why I loved the ear prompter from the first time I tried
    it.) Early on, before other actors learned about it or overcame their
    predjudices favoring memorization, I used it on auditions causing my win
    rate to skyrocket to over 50% of my 'presenter' auditions. It meant that I
    could show up on set, record copy scene-by-scene at the directors whim, and
    become known as a 1-take actor. It meant that I no longer had to work for
    free for a day or two or three memorizing an unmemorable corporate script
    before my paid shooting day. I've worked with as many as seven actors, all
    using their own individual prompters, on corporate scenes lasting for many
    minutes. It allowed me to work exclusively as an actor for many years,
    while my luddite competition clung to memorization and tended bar to keep
    the home fires burning. Do I sound like I love this thing? I do.

    Steve King
     
    Steve King, Sep 21, 2010
    #19
  20. What is this system called? How much does it cost?

    So basically the script is being read in your ear, and you just repeat it?
    If so, even that seems a little tricky, as the timing of the recorded
    material would have to be timed properly, and the spoken stuff thusly
    coordinated.

    Sort of sounds like what Amen, Dwyer et al might be doing.
     
    Existential Angst, Sep 21, 2010
    #20
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