Frequently Asked Teleprompter Questions
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you don't find your answer below or need additional information.
Q: How do I know if I need to use a teleprompter?
In general if the length of the script or presentation is such that the talent or presenter won't be able to memorize it then having a teleprompter is a good idea. Also, use may also depend on the skills of the speaker -- if there is any question, it is good to have a teleprompter available. Many times a teleprompter is used if there are specific facts, data or numbers that have to be stated accurately regardless of length of the presentation. We are often hired and placed on stand-by on video shoots and at conferences in case a presenter is unable to deliver the script well without it, and we can swing into action if necessary.
Q: What kind of teleprompter should I rent?
For video shoots our camera mounts, mini-camera mount and floor stands are what you would use. Multiple camera-mounts are sometimes used, and even combinations of camera-mounts and floor stands as well. Camera mounts are used when you want the talent to directly address the camera/viewer. Floor stands are for interview style situations where the talent is looking off-camera. Our standard camera mounts are good up to 25-30 feet, depending on the talent's vision. our mini-camera mount is good up to 15-20 feet. Also, keep in mind that our camera mounts are jib compatible.
For conferences the executive speech prompter and/or floor monitors are what are used. Sometimes it is clear what equipment a speaker needs, other times they may not have a preference. We often operate on shows with both because some speakers prefer to roam the stage (floor monitors) while others prefer to stand behind a podium (executive speech prompter).
The Rise and Fall motorized presidential prompter is useful when 1) you have large height difference among speakers as a standard podium prompter can handle variations of 12" or less; 2) when you will have situations where you want or need the prompter glass to "disappear"; 3) if you have a presenter who wants presidential glass while most others do not.
The interrotron is used for unique interview situations where it is desired that the talent maintain eye contact with the camera at all times.
Q: Can I rent just the teleprompter equipment?
No. We are a full service teleprompter provider, so all of our rentals include both gear and an operator.
Q: How do I get a script to you?
We can take Word, Rich Text Format or Text Only files. You can email a script in advance, and we can accept them on site too. Since scripts often change don't worry if you have a newer version when we arrive.
Q: What if I need to make changes to the script on-set or behind the stage?
We can change whatever is necessary, just keep in mind that the more changes you have the longer it will take to make them so keep the production or event schedule in mind. Changes can be given to us verbally, on hard-copy or we can accept a new electronic file. If a new electronic file is given it may take us some time to 'clean-up'/format the text so that it is easier to read on the prompter.
Q: What if I have more than one script?
We work with multiple scripts all the time. Sometimes, especially on video shoots, there will be different scripts for the same talent to take advantage of their availability. We will load the scripts as necessary in this type of circumstance.
On conferences where there are often many presenters, we will keep them separate for rehearsals, which makes changes easier, but will link the files together into one file for the actual show. If there are presenters in the show that aren't using the teleprompter we will "black out" the teleprompter screens during those presentations.
Q: How do you handle presenters who only use bullet points, or ones that may ad lib?
For presenters who use bullet points we cannot emphasize enough how important a rehearsal is so that both the teleprompter operator and the presenter can get comfortable with one another. With bullet points we space them out so that there are usually never more than two on the screen and we advance each bullet as the subject is read by the presenter.
Ad libbing is fine as long as the presenter understands that the teleprompter will stop if they do so and won't start scrolling again until they return to and continue with the words on the screen.
Q: Is any special equipment required on our video shoot for us to use a teleprompter?
No, we have designed our camera-mount packages so that we can accommodate most cameras and tripods. Our largest camera-mount weighs 15 pounds so you don't have to rent a super heavy-duty tripod to handle it. Our mini-camera mount weights 4.5 pounds. We can also mount camera-mount types on a floor stand and place it in front of your camera/tripod -- with the camera still shooting through the glass as if the prompter were mounted on the tripod -- this allows camera-mounts to be used with any size camera/tripod.
Q: What if I want to use a teleprompter on a jib or dolly?
We regularly mount our camera mounts on jibs with no problems -- just keep in mind that you will need to bring additional counter-weights to balance it over what you normally use for just a camera on the front.
We also mount on dollies all the time.
In both situations it is a good idea to let us know ahead of time that these types of equipment will be used so we can bring additional cabling for teleprompter signal and power.
Q: What if I don't see the kind of teleprompter equipment I need on your web site?
This is most often larger floor monitors, which we can rent. Otherwise feel free to ask.
Q: Do your teleprompters work outdoors?
Yes, we have done all kinds of teleprompter outside. Please let us know in advance that it will be outside -- because of temperature concerns and/or because there may be no availability of electricity, or for a wide variety of other circumstances. We have DayBrite teleprompter monitors available that are readable even if the sun is shining directly on them. If no electricity is available we can supply batteries to power our equipment.
Extreme cold or heat can cause issues with equipment so we will take additional measures to try and ensure that our equipment works. If we feel there are any limitations we'll communicate that with you in advance of the event or shoot.
Q: How does teleprompter in a foreign language work?
We have teleprompted in foreign languages many times. Understand that the teleprompter operator does not need to be, nor is it likely that they will be, fluent in the language they are teleprompting. There are two essential elements to ensuring that it works: 1) that a sample of the foreign language be sent to us in advance (especially if it is a language that uses symbols like Mandarin, etc.) so that we can test it and make sure it imports properly, and 2) that a translator be on site so that there is someone who can help the teleprompter operator properly adjust the speed as the talent reads. The translator is also helpful if any changes to the script need to be made. Changes would be made using the characters on a standard English keyboard unless it is possible to copy/paste them from somewhere else in the script.
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