Using a Teleprompter with a Hand-Held Camera

December 20, 2017 | Andy Linda

We had a fun shoot at eBay this month using a Teleprompter, thanks to our favorite Prompter operator Lorin Fink of Line by Line Teleprompting. The out-of-town client needed to prompt real employees with a Teleprompter for video that’s portable. Non-actors need all the prompting they can get, even in simple role playing situations because acting and memorizing lines is not what they normally do.

TelePrompter from the talent’s point-of-view

We have the perfect portable rig and Lorin Fink is a master at using the Teleprompter. Together we managed to pull off some pretty complex shots where our camera, Prompter and director started out in a hallway, joined an actor in an elevator, went up a floor and then all four people walked down another hallway. Thank God the wireless microphone, operated by Will Mitchell, was strong enough so that Will didn’t have to join us for the elevator ride; it was already a very tight fit with the four of us in there!

This is some of our footage, shot in full 4k

Wireless, portable TelePrompter

Other parts of this project involved a classroom scene where Lorin used six Teleprompter screens, all hard-wired, so that the actors could look in many different directions while still reading off one of the Prompters. Overall this was a simple shoot for the camera, but a challenge for the Teleprompter operator. Lorin pulled it off without a hitch.

Corporate shoots tend to have a lot of talking in them: either an executive delivering a message straight to camera or nonprofessional actors having a dialogue. In both cases the on-camera people are out of their element. Unlike professional actors these people are not used to delivering lines. A Teleprompter is a great tool for making them feel at ease and simply for getting through the shoot. For corporate work, whether the camera is on a tripod or hand-held, there’s nothing like using a Teleprompter.

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