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Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)

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Robert Nolty
Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 6, 2011 at 8:12:06 pm

Hi all --

I inquired about teleprompters at several rental shops around Southern California, and they all wanted around $650/day, including an operator. I was wondering if anyone knows of a shop (or would rent yourself) a low-end system without an operator for less, maybe $150/day? Otherwise I may buy a low-end system for $500 used or $1000 new.

Thanks!
Bob


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Noah Kadner
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 6, 2011 at 10:59:33 pm

2 way mirror and an iPad- boom!

https://apps.bodelin.com/proprompter/producer/

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 7, 2011 at 2:06:07 pm

$150/day, and you run it yourself, is my rate, but then I'm not in LA, but central Illinois, and also, the rental thing is a casual sideline business that I don't really spend any time running, it's just word of mouth among locals I know in the biz. Thing is long since paid off so I don't really care if it rents a lot or not.

Rates have to reflect the local market, so LA rates could be higher, even though there's more people in production there and more rigs competing for business.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 7, 2011 at 2:10:50 pm

Anothe strategy, if you want to keep it to around $150, is to use that money top buy an IFB earpiece, then record your talent rading the script, convert to mp3, and let them play it off an ipod into the earpiece as their prompter. Just repeating what they ehar in their ear.

Benefits:
Distance isn't a factor for readability, as it is with iphones and ipads, you can work at longer distances and in any location and lighting, even handheld.

Eye contact with lens is always perfect, unlike the cheap solutions that put the screen *next* to the lens. That only works, sorta, at long camera-to-subject distances, and again, that distance makes the type too small to be able to see a whole sentence at a time. You bump the text size up to compensate, then the scroll speed becomes uncomfortably fast, especially for non-pro talent.

The ear prompter lets your talent speak in any language they can phonetically read off a sheet of paper, as if they can actually speak it.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 7, 2011 at 4:57:04 pm

I dunno- a lot of talent has a hard enough time just reading off a teleprompter. Trying to repeat your own voice coming through a headphone is something only certain people can pull off without sounding like a hard-of-hearing robot.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 7, 2011 at 11:53:15 pm

This is easy enough to test on yourself: record a bit of yourself at the computer, make it play back thru earbud -style phones, and, leaving one earpiece off, repeat back the speech. It may not be for everyone, but OTOH sometimes it can be just what you need.


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Bill Davis
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 10, 2011 at 2:47:05 am

BOTH discussed methods have a significant effect on performance.

If your working with professional talent - ASK them what they're comfortable using.

Most will have teleprompter experience - some will have ear prompter experience - but some talented performers will have neither - but a trained ability to memorize and parrot info given a bit of time.

CIVILIANS on the other hand (anyone without formal performance training) can get EXTREMELY wooden when they try to use ANY prompting method. It freezes them like a deer in headlights.

After 20 years of this stuff, I can tell in 2 minutes when it's time for Plan B, then Plan C, and then the desperation of Plan D. And if you don't have experience with all of the above - good luck - working with untrained talent can drag any project down from tolerable to painful pretty quickly.

You can get the words out of them - but seldom the spark that elevates a performance from tolerable to engaging.

Your mileage WILL vary. Good luck.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Noah Kadner
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 11, 2011 at 12:07:34 am

Yeah I usually just interview the person about the talking points and try to convince the client that if we get the same message but not word for word it will come across 1,000X more naturally than a robotic wooden reading that most untrained folks will likely deliver.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:14:38 am

I'm with Bill. Experience is usually, out of 100 people:

80% will give Hayden Christensen from Attack of the Clones a run for his money
15% will do ok after about 10 takes
5% will nail it as if they have been reading off a teleprompter at their local affiliate for years - these are few and far between

I recently hired some actors and they asked if we would have a teleprompter - I don't know how you'd shoot dialogue scenes with a teleprompter if the actors are supposed to be looking at each other. But as Bill said, a good actor will memorize whatever they get from you, and usually make it their own. They will also be good at improvising, or repeating your own improvised lines.

I got quotes in DC for $500+ per day too.

We could almost buy our own ship for that.

Mike Cohen


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Mark Suszko
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:20:46 am

Sure, kid, but who're you gonna get to FLY it? YOU?:-)

As far as the actors asking about prompters, I gather that prompters are used in some soaps, where they are arranged to be put in the eyelines as guides to fall back on if the actor's memory falters.


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grinner hester
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 15, 2011 at 12:18:57 am

telepromter operators no doubt earned ther 600 dollar day rates 15 years ago. But then, oldass linear suites could get an easy 450 an hour too. lol
Today, it's as easy an a ragedyass laptop with a cheap program fed to your telprompter mirror and a PA pushing the scroll button. If locked down, you could easily do it as the producer/director/videographer/editor and skip the day rate.



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Brett Houston
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Apr 4, 2014 at 6:41:51 pm

I do teleprompter operation in LA for $400 per day. To be effective you need someone to adjust the speed to follow the talent, otherwise you get some awkward looking, sounding and basically unusable footage. If the operator doesn't maintain the text placement over the lens the talent look wild-eyed, chasing it around the glass.

A good system and operator will save you hours in production and editing.

A solid pro rig runs around $7,000 for everything, including pro system with optical glass with no color change and minimal light loss, dependable, glitch-free software, and heavy-duty tripod/dolly system. If you use cheap glass and those ipad systems your footage will look like crap. Like shooting through muddy water. They are very top heavy. If you use a standard tripod and someone bumps it, or trips on a cable your camera and everything else takes a dive.

I just did a gig at a big film studio that previously tried to record several fan thank you messages from their experienced top pro actors. They tried to save money and do it without a prompter and wasted an entire day. We nailed over 50 scripts in 7 hours with the prompter.

It's worth it to hire a pro with good gear.


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Kael Beverly
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Oct 2, 2014 at 8:43:25 pm

Hi Brett,

Are you available for a gig next Thursday in LA area? If so call me. 310-545-4717


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Ben Power
Re: Teleprompter for $150/day? (LA)
on Jul 22, 2015 at 1:35:04 am

Hey mate,

If you're still doing this, can you email your details to ben@rebel-city.com.

Cheers,

Ben


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