Fun Facts and Misconceptions about the Teleprompting World
“If we speed up the prompter, that is not a signal that we are rushing you.
In most cases, we are just trying to catch up”.
Teleprompters can really bring High production value.
- ON CAMERA Teleprompters:
Saves you money in the long run.
A 2-hour video shoot with a teleprompter could easily take 6-7 hours without one.
That is, man-hours and/or venue rental etc.
- PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH Teleprompting:
How it works and is put together:
There is prep time needed to format the content so that it is “prompter friendly” and also
“reader friendly”. This can take some time depending on how long the scripts are.
Fortunately, we use TeleScript prompting software and it is very format-friendly. Changes can be made in prompt mode on the fly.
We can create a run-list where scripts can run back to back enabling us to “float” a script down the list if a speaker is running late for example.
We understand last-minute script changes are normal and part of our job.
making on-the-fly changes in real-time is part of the process.
If a major overhaul of the show occurs we understand. For more efficient results, send us an updated version on a thumb drive or email and we will get it in the prompter. Minor changes can be made in our editor.
If changes are sporadic, highlight them in a Word Doc so we can jump in and get right to the changes rather than entire copy and paste and re-format which could take up a lot of time.
Many teleprompter operators may hold off formatting scripts until a couple of hours before the show.
Here is an explainer:
- Formatting Script
Raw scripts must be copied and pasted, sometimes with all formatting removed into a single-column, text-only state.
Preferably we like to remove stage and director notes.
Only speaking text should be in the prompter unless otherwise noted.
For speakers (readers) we highlight names a different color, most of the time red, although it can be whatever the client wants it to be. Red is standard. We Also create inverse name tags.
We also like to add spacing and line-breaks in logical, natural places to allow opportunities to pause and take a breath. For a long 32 page script, it could take a couple of hours to format because we prompter operators also like to preview the script in “prompt mode”, to make sure there are no glitches or anomalies such as hyperlinks, tracked changes, markup, all that weird metadata that may be creeping in that can throw a reader off.
We circumvent a lot of that stuff ahead of time.
Depending on the presenter and how particular of a reader they are, there can be additional efforts made to make a great reading experience such as text size and line spacing requirements as well.
With our Telescript AV software, we can increase the font size quickly to suit a reader’s preference.
- Do Teleprompter ops Control the speaker’s Reading Pace?
Short Answer= No.
Some speakers will speed up, and in that case, we must speed up to match them, and if they decide to speed up more, then the operator speeds up to match their pace and cadence.
If we didn’t, the screen would run out of words and they’d awkwardly stop reading…
We don’t want that to happen.
So if they speed up, we speed up. If they slow down we’ll slow down too unless otherwise instructed to control the pace. Generally, we follow, not lead (the pacing).
We advise our teleprompter readers to not become alarmed or panic if the text begins to suddenly move swiftly.
In most cases, we are just trying to catch up. We will always have the words they are supposed to be reading on the screen.
During rehearsals, we may create real-time a line break or make subtle corrections as the reader is rehearsing their reading. They may notice this. We will not make such movements during a LIVE read.
If we need to coach anyone, it’s certainly no problem.
The end goal is to make the presenter/speaker all look and sound great on stage!
Prompting a speech or script is very similar to playing music with someone.
Learning the rhythm and cadence of their speech pattern and working along with it, knowing what to do if they improvise something is a skill that goes unnoticed most of the time even by the speakers themselves.
Teleprompting is another case of “if you’re doing it right nobody notices but if you’re doing it wrong it stands out.”
That is so true. If something goes wrong during a prompter read there could be many factors that could be to blame.
No matter what the issue is or who’s at fault, all eyes initially look at the teleprompter operator until what actually happened is revealed.
With proper planning on both sides, 99% of our gigs have run very smooth without incident because we bring our experience and work with our clients as a team, which helps make everyone look great.
So When you consider the price or quote, we hope that you’ll appreciate what you’re actually getting in return.
We want you to be happy.
Because understand that you are paying for more than just a worker to fill the needs of your production, project or event.
You are also buying our experience.
You’re paying for our hundreds of hours of past errors and experimentations.
You’re buying years of previous frustrations as well as moments of joy and successes.
Whether we are doing video production, editing, photography, graphics work, voice-over recording or teleprompting for you or your project/event, know that you are getting someone reliable, dependable and with real-life experience in our industry.