Speaking without teleprompters?

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

  1. Existential Angst

    Larry in AZ Guest

    Waiving the right to remain silent, "David McCall"
    I've seen them, but the paper rolls were never mounted on the camera.
    they were on a bed with a monochrome camera pointed down at the taped-
    together sheets of paper, and the camera's output was sent to the prompter
    mirror system mounted on the talent's camera.
    It depends how far the camera is from the talent. Further away makes it
    less obvious. On a close-in prompter, you can often see the talent's eyes
    move back and forth across the lines of text.
     
    Larry in AZ, Sep 22, 2010
    #21
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  2. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    What you have seen is somewhat different and much more "modern" than what
    we are talking about. The thing you are talking about ran a script that only
    took
    up half of the page width, and was typically prepared using an IBM Selectric
    typewriter with the "Orator" font installed.

    I wasn't able to find exactly what I was looking for, but there is a nice
    diagram
    on this page that shows a teleprompter over the lens, but with 2 mirrors
    added
    to move the image in front of the lens, but I've seen it used without the
    mirrors.

    http://tinyurl.com/28aytqz

    These links show the teleprompter without the mirrors, but the pictures
    aren't very good.

    http://www.oldradio.com/archives/hardware/TV/tk11-wwl.jpg
    http://www.oldradio.com/archives/hardware/TV/tk11-wcia.jpg
    http://www.eyesofageneration.com/media/images/campix/7894_02_cbs.jpg

    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 22, 2010
    #22
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  3. Existential Angst

    Mike Kujbida Guest


    One guy I worked with several years ago who did this was just using a
    cassette Walkman with a really small earbud.
    I once saw him do at least a 15 min. demo of a huge printing press at a
    trade show.
    Considering that he didn't have a clue about what he was talking about,
    it looked and sounded impressive.

    These days you could get away with using the audio recording features of
    a cellphone.

    To answer your question yes, it gets played back and you repeat it as
    you hear it.
    Trust me when I say that it's a lot harder to do than it looks and sounds.
    If you're walking and talking then yes, timing has to be factored into
    it but this is why your hire a professional.

    The one suggestion no one has offered so far (at least I don't think so)
    is that speakers like Amen, Dwyer et al don't need cue cards or
    teleprompters or any other trick because they really know their material
    after doing it so often.

    Mike
     
    Mike Kujbida, Sep 22, 2010
    #23
  4. Existential Angst

    Steve King Guest

    | On 9/21/2010 11:37 AM, Existential Angst wrote:
    | > | >> | >> | 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
    | >
    | > 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.
    |
    |
    | One guy I worked with several years ago who did this was just using a
    | cassette Walkman with a really small earbud.
    | I once saw him do at least a 15 min. demo of a huge printing press at a
    | trade show.
    | Considering that he didn't have a clue about what he was talking about,
    | it looked and sounded impressive.
    |
    | These days you could get away with using the audio recording features of
    | a cellphone.
    |
    | To answer your question yes, it gets played back and you repeat it as
    | you hear it.
    | Trust me when I say that it's a lot harder to do than it looks and sounds.
    | If you're walking and talking then yes, timing has to be factored into
    | it but this is why your hire a professional.
    |
    | The one suggestion no one has offered so far (at least I don't think so)
    | is that speakers like Amen, Dwyer et al don't need cue cards or
    | teleprompters or any other trick because they really know their material
    | after doing it so often.
    |
    | Mike

    I believe that Mike is correct about Dwyer and the other professional
    speakers. Dwyer probably speaks at a 100 dates a year. I'm sure that he
    tweaks his presentation for certain audiences, but he knows his stuff. He
    doesn't need any kind of prompting device.

    About the "ear prompter", and that is what most everyone calls it, we first
    used small cassette recorders about the size of the Sony Walkman. That was
    soon replaced by micro-cassette "note taker" recorders. Now, we use digital
    memo takers. Some actors would record the full script before showing up at
    the shoot. I found that to be much too difficult; you know how hard it is
    to find a cue point on a cassette. I showed up on set, asked the director
    what scene he'd like to start with, and recorded that scene. If there were
    complex camera moves or manipulation of props, I'd put cues for myself right
    on the recording, "pick up the dooframis". Then, scene by scene you work
    through the day: record, shoot, record, shoot. I've taught other actors to
    use the ear prompter. I have an actor acquaintence who has made a business
    out of this kind of coaching. I was lucky enough to find the technique of
    hearing my cue-track and speaking at the same time easy to learn. For me,
    even though I've only read the material once as I record it, the cue track
    in my ear is like an old familiar friend. I can change emphasis and
    attitude from what I've recorded and even change the perceived pace of the
    read; of course, the overall time will not change from the timing on the
    recording device. Some actors have much more difficulty. Like Mike said,
    I've used ear prompting for 15 minute presentations at trade shows; that
    requires some rehearsal time, but it beats rote memorization of unfamiliar
    jargon. Where directiors really appreciate the ear prompter is when there
    is a very difficult camera move on a longer shot. The ear prompter to a
    great extent locks the actor into a pace; the camera (or dolly) operator
    isn't contantly trying to adapt to a different actor interpretation or
    pace.... and the actor can repeat his or her performance take after take
    without the fatigue that often sets in after a few takes of memorized
    material.

    I got my equipment: digital recorder from Radio Shack, neck loop in in ear
    receiver from a hearing aid company in Chicago that made a business of
    equiping actors, Yonan Hearing Aid Service. There are others that Google
    will uncover. Kit cost is about $250 last time I checked.

    Steve King
     
    Steve King, Sep 22, 2010
    #24
  5. Existential Angst

    Ty Ford Guest

    Whether the presenter looks off camera or not depends on how far away the

    I was on a shoot last week with Mitt Romney. They rigged a lap top under the
    lens and he was about six-eight feet back. I was thinking the eye line would
    suck. To my surprise, it didn't. No samples at the moment.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford

    --Audio Equipment Reviews Audio Production Services
    Acting and Voiceover Demos http://www.tyford.com
    Guitar player?:
     
    Ty Ford, Sep 22, 2010
    #25
  6. Existential Angst

    Ty Ford Guest

    Ear-prompter is great, but it is a skill that needs to be learned and the
    noisier the environment, the more difficult it is to stay with the track.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford

    --Audio Equipment Reviews Audio Production Services
    Acting and Voiceover Demos http://www.tyford.com
    Guitar player?:
     
    Ty Ford, Sep 22, 2010
    #26
  7. Existential Angst

    Ty Ford Guest

    including the request to speed things up or slow them down just a few beats!

    Regards,

    Ty Ford


    --Audio Equipment Reviews Audio Production Services
    Acting and Voiceover Demos http://www.tyford.com
    Guitar player?:
     
    Ty Ford, Sep 22, 2010
    #27
  8. Existential Angst

    MD34 Guest


    We used one like that on location, back when we had an Ampex quad VTR in a
    suitcase. I'm sure you remember those Larry
     
    MD34, Sep 28, 2010
    #28
  9. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    Yeah, Larry is an old guy like me, so I would imagine that he got the joy of
    working with Quad,
    but not necessarily the Ampex/Nagra "suitcase" Quad machine. I only worked a
    few gigs
    that used those "portable" machines. I mostly worked with the more modern
    Sony BVH-500 1".

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/AMPEX_2_ZOLL.jpg


    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 28, 2010
    #29
  10. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    Yeah, Larry is an old guy like me, so I would imagine that he got the joy of
    working with Quad,
    but not necessarily the Ampex/Nagra "suitcase" Quad machine. I only worked a
    few gigs
    that used those "portable" machines. I mostly worked with the more modern
    Sony BVH-500 1".

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/AMPEX_2_ZOLL.jpg


    David
     
    David McCall, Sep 28, 2010
    #30
  11. Existential Angst

    David McCall Guest

    There may have been an a playback unit that would give you at least a black
    and white playback.

    David
     
    David McCall, Oct 2, 2010
    #31
  12. Existential Angst

    MD34 Guest

    I tweaked my Sony 400A to route a B&W video feed to one of the BNC outputs on
    the camera(maybe TC out ??) Fed it to a field monitor. At least I could playback
    B&W. VF playback was not enough for me and this way the client could see too.
    Not really for record confidence but to check blocking and action.
     
    MD34, Oct 2, 2010
    #32
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